YMMV / Banjo-Kazooie


  • Author's Saving Throw: With Stop 'n' Swop rendered impractical, but hints about it already dropped, Rare couldn't just ignore it. The solution was to add Banjo-Kazooie Cartridge enemies into Banjo-Tooie that drop the promised items when defeated. Also, when the XBLA versions were released, Stop 'n' Swop was re-added (with the massive delay lampshaded to hell and back) and Stop n' Swop 2 taking its place.
  • Awesome Music: Now with its own page.
  • Best Boss Ever:
    • While it's kind of easy if you know what you're doing, the Final Battle with Gruntilda in the first game is, in the opinions of some, how a truly epic Final Boss should be.
    • Most bosses in Banjo-Tooie qualify. From Mr. Patch, to Weldar, to Chilly Billy/Willy... but the best one has to be the Hag 1 controlled by Grunty. Not only it's very hard, but like the Final Battle in Banjo-Kazooie, the Hag 1 battle tests your skills to the fullest, and is accompained by Awesome Music.
  • Breather Boss: Old King Coal spends so much time roaming around the arena that he's almost harmless, and you're more likely to die by falling in lava than by him actually killing you. Shoot him with Ice Eggs or Grenade Eggs, and he especially becomes a complete joke.
  • Breather Level: Mingy Jongo and Canary Mary notwithstanding, Cloud Cuckoo Land is nowhere near as difficult or confusing as the previous two levels.
  • Contested Sequel: Nuts & Bolts for radically changing the formula of the game, to the point it is In-Name-Only to the other games.
  • Critical Dissonance: While critics gave mixed to positive reviews to Nuts & Bolts, fans of the series have bashed the game for not being the advertised big comeback for Banjo Kazooie they had in mind (though this has gotten better - see Vindicated by History below).
  • Designated Hero: Parodied somewhat with Kazooie, especially in Tooie. Before the game even starts, she's shamelessly cheating at cards with Mumbo and Bottles, then spends the game constantly snarking and demanding jiggies from characters in trouble before letting Banjo rescue them. One of Banjo's recurring lines is a shocked "Kazooie!!!"
  • Designated Villain: Conga, in the first game. Whereas other foes in the series either try and kill the pair over a Jiggy, one of Kazooie's usual insults, or for not handing over a pizza they don't actually have, he just chucks oranges at 'em for trespassing in his home.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Hot Grunty.
    • Mumbo Jumbo from the first game. Started out as a weird shaman with an unexplained romantic history with Gruntilda who turned up in a handful of levels. In the second game, he became a playable character.
    • Jolly Roger, making him (along with Mr. Fit) one of the few minor characters to return for Nuts & Bolts with an expanded role.
    • Chili Billi and Chilly Willy are one of the most popular bosses from Tooie. For one thing, they're two boss fights instead of one. Said boss fights are also quite enjoyable. They have some of the most impressive visual effects on the N64. Also, THEY'RE GIANT FREAKING DRAGONS.
    • Mr. Patch is probably the other most popular boss in the series. He's the second biggest enemy in the series, losing only to Stomponadon, with his arena alone being larger than the entire first world of Banjo-Kazooie. He's also fought entirely from the air. To top it all off, he's hilarious. These factors have all made him very beloved.
    • Despite the level he appears in being widely considered one of the hardest levels of the game, Weldar from Tooie has quite a few fans and fanart, due in part to his design, his Punch Clock Villain status, and providing quite a few funny lines.
  • Even Better Sequel: For many, Banjo-Tooie was a significant improvement over the original, expanding on the formula by dramatically increasing the world size, adding more bosses, and making Jiggies harder to find, removing the limited lives and changing the system for collecting Notes (along with what they do), making the game more challenging while simultaneously removing the more unfair difficulty aspects.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Grunty becomes really beautiful when she absorbs Tooty's youth in the first game-over sequence.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • Most of the enemies in the original game are reasonably easy to defeat, but the giant snowmen that appear in a few levels are incredibly annoying in that they can only be killed while you're in the air (and require a special maneuver that's easy to bungle) but still present a danger while you're on the ground.
    • And those ghosts in Mad Monster Mansion; no golden feathers? You're screwed.
    • The Hotheads in Banjo-Tooie like to swoop in on their flying carpets at inopportune moments, often knocking unfortunate players off ledges, and their airborne nature makes them difficult to hit. Their annoying laugh just adds insult to injury.
    • Also from Tooie, the Minjos. While there is a surefire way to tell when a Jinjo is actually a Minjo(fire an egg at 'em. It'll pass right through the Jinjo but hurt the Minjo) It's a bit of a pain to go through the process with every one you come across, and if you decide not to bother, they'll be an even bigger pain thanks to their speed, aggression, and resilience.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • In Tooie, Banjo can double-jump when he's going solo by swinging his backpack in mid-air and then jumping again. This move allows for minor Sequence Breaking by reaching otherwise inaccessible platforms without outside help.
    • In Nuts & Bolts, there's an exploit that allows for decent Sequence Breaking in Showdown Town when used properly. Basically, put an item in the Trolly (preferably something square), stand on the item, and use the wrench on the trolly. It allows the ability to fly past various obstacles that require trolly upgrades to pass normally, allowing access to many crates before the first world. Just make sure to move forward every so often to continue flight, and enter the vehicle when (crash) landing to avoid damage
    • There exists a glitch in the first game which makes the infamous propeller room jiggy from Rusty Bucket Bay, widely regarded as the most difficult in the entire game, much easier to obtain.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Nuts & Bolts has multiple lines of dialogue predicting the game would do poorly. It did indeed, to the extent that it killed any chance of another game being made.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Nuts & Bolts also had the Lord of Games make a few disparaging remarks about how no one would like the old designs and gameplay of the previous titles, thus turning everything into a vehicle-focused game for his amusement. Yooka-Laylee, a Spiritual Successor to Banjo-Kazooie, and its large amounts of support show otherwise, perhaps in part due to what Nuts & Bolts did (with a Take That to Nuts & Bolts in that project).
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Any mention of Nuts & Bolts online and on YouTube usually provokes someone into quoting JonTron's "CARS?!" or his infamous reaction to how the teaser matched the final product:
    JonTron: "Well, I don't know about you but I don't see any CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARS!!!!!"
    • AND IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII....HOLY SHIT!!!! WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU-I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU DID THIS TO ME, GOD DAMMIT HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?!?!?!?
  • Moral Event Horizon: If her plan to suck out the island's life-force wasn't bad enough, Gruntilda crosses the line when she kills her own sisters for losing the Tower of Tragedy Quiz Game Show.
  • Most Annoying Sound:
    • The Hotheads' laugh in Tooie.
    • Players who use the Talon Trot often may get annoyed with the noises Kazooie makes every step.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • The choir accompanying the appearance of a Jiggy.
    • From both Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie, "Jinjo!" whenever a Jinjo is rescued.
  • Polished Port: The XBLA ports of the first two games have massively less slowdown, crisply upscaled HD resolution support, and bring back Stop 'n' Swop (as well as a Stop 'n' Swop 2 that may befall the same fate as its predecessor). However...
  • Porting Disaster: ...the Rare Replay version of Nuts & Bolts runs worse than the Xbox 360 original.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: In Kazooie, Banjo's claw swipes were a very weak attack everyone used and disliked, because it was easy to use even by accident. For Tooie, the devs took a good, hard look at the controls, cut the claws altogether and gave its move spot to the rat-a-tat rap instead, and there was much rejoicing.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Canary Mary. This bird and her races are reviled by many players to this day for the rage they induced. See That One Sidequest below.
    • The Lord of Games from Nuts & Bolts, for shamelessly dissing one of the greatest features in the past two games (via his "Collect-a-thon"), and radically changing the formula of the game himself. Essentially, in universe, he's singlehandedly responsible for absolutely everything BK fans hate about the game.
  • So Okay, It's Average: The basic response to the GBA games.
  • Squick:
    • Everything Brentilda tells you about Grunty in the first game. The hag's pretty much built on Squick.
    • Receiving both prizes from Canary Mary. The Jiggy was stuck under her wing for days, and the Cheato page was wedged in... somewhere. Kazooie is rightfully disgusted when Mary tells them where they've been.
  • Stuck in Their Shadow: Banjo-Kazooie is a little weird about this. Ask anyone who the star is, and they'll say it's Banjo, even though the titles of three out of five games also include his partner Kazooie. The second game, Banjo-Tooie, opts for a silly title pun instead of recognizing the second lead's name (it's even lampshaded by Kazooie herself at the end of the first game), and Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge mentions her name even though she isn't available at the start.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The beginning of the Gruntilda's Lair theme sounds a lot like "The Teddy Bear's Picnic".
  • That One Boss: Grunty in both Kazooie and Tooie as well as Weldar and Mingy Jongo in Tooie.
  • That One Level:
    • Fans like Clanker just fine, but Clanker's Cavern was a tiny, three-room level with hardly any content that required a lot of swimming around. And getting to it involved two mildly difficult jumps in a row. At least it avoids most common sewer level pitfalls in the process.
    • Rusty Bucket Bay, mainly due to the engine room, which has annoying to avoid propellers and gears. It's also all above a Bottomless Pit, and thanks to the musical notes being record-based (changed in the XBLA port), you will lose all your notes if you don't anticipate how annoying this room will be. There's also a switch Jiggy, where you need to race across all the treachery and make it to the boat's motors under a strict time limit. General consensus is that it's best to get this room over with first and then tackle the rest of the level.
    • Grunty Industries in Tooie. It's by far the most complex level in the entire game, even though it's only the sixth out of eight. Terrydactyland too, though mostly because of how huge it is.
  • That One Sidequest:
    • The Mr. Vile challenge in Bubblegloop Swamp, due to his Rubber Band AI making his eating competition much harder than it needs to be.
    • The Stegosaurus family sidequest in Terrydactyland is one of the most exasperating fetch quests in Banjo-Tooie, requiring the use of the Chuffy Train to bring back a member from Witchyworld and to take another to Isle O' Hags so Mumbo can heal him, and will push your patience to its limits; and since it's still one sidequest, its rewards is only one Jiggy (even Kazooie complains that it's not sufficiently rewarding).
    • Canary Mary's Cloudcuckooland race in Banjo-Tooie, also due to exploiting some nasty Rubber Band AI. The fourth (but thankfully optional) race for a Cheato Page makes it even harder by introducing some nasty Fake Difficulty—no matter how fast you go near the end, Mary will always get a quick burst of speed that at least allows her to catch up to you, or in worst case shoot ahead of you, so you can to time your use of speed near the end with absolutely perfection in order to best the last race. This also doubles as a Guide Dang It, since most players didn't even realize that you aren't supposed to button mash in the later races against her, unlike how you could beat her in Glitter Gulch Mine.
    • The Pot O'Gold challenge, also from Cloudcukooland. What makes that challenge so hard is that if you want to win the Jiggy you have to hit 90 targets in only 45 seconds. You have to be INCREDIBLY lucky to be able to hit that many targets in such a short amount of time.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Replacing most of Banjo's moves with vehicles in Nuts & Bolts pretty swiftly divided the fanbase. The final game has been received positively, but wasn't too successful in terms of sales. Some detractors point out there's nothing wrong with the game mechanics themselves, in fact they're rather fun, it's the fact previous Banjo-Kazooie titles have nothing in common with them. This overlaps with They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot, as they feel the concept of two rivals building all manners of custom vehicles and competing against each other in huge levels sounds like a great game, just not suitable for a proper Banjo-Kazooie game.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Stop 'n' Swop. Technically not their fault, as changes to the N64's hardware in later models made what Rare was originally planning to do with it impossible (they had planned to have the players shut off the console and switch cartridges, as the N64 originally held memory within its RAM for 30 seconds after being turned off; however, newer models drastically reduced that time, to the point where it would have been impossible to use the mechanic on a newer console). However, after all the endless speculating the (admittedly cool) sequel hooks at the end of Banjo Kazooie prompted, the cop-out Banjo Tooie had to use felt distinctly forced and was definitely a let-down.
    • Banjo-Tooie's Downer Ending. Banjo-Kazooie had a rather elaborate Game Over screen, where Gruntilda succeeds in stealing Tooty's beauty. Tooie doesn't have any cutscene of this kind, showing the outcome of Grunty succeeding in her plots to drain the life force of the entire island for her own ends.
  • Unwinnable by Insanity: As Washing Machine Banjo, it's possible to trap yourself in Grunty Industries (specifically at the bottom of the Air Conditioning Plant).
  • Values Dissonance: Some North Americans might take offense to Rare (a British company) designing Humba Wumba as an extremely stereotypical Native American. It's worth noting that in Nuts & Bolts, made under the supervision of American Microsoft, Rare drastically changed her design to be much less stereotypical. That said it's unlikely only North Americans would think of her as stereotypical.
  • Vindicated by History: Downplayed. When it first came out Nuts & Bolts was near-universally reviled by Rare fans (especially JonTron) for drastically differing from the gameplay of the previous two games (although professional critics were a little more charitable). Admitting that you liked it even a little bit would get you accused of Fandom Heresy and cause major Internet Backdraft. However, as a result of what happened to Rare because of this game's failures (being forced to make generic Kinect shovelware), many fans have begun to reconsider their thoughts of the new gameplay, conceding that, despite being different from classic Banjo-Kazooie, it is still fun, unique, and creative, just like the games that made Rare so great back in the good old days. However, there is still a noticeable amount of backlash towards the changes to this day. Overall many nowadays consider it a good game, just not an appropriate Banjo-Kazooie game.
  • The Woobie:
    • Gobi, a camel who just wants to find some water and a quiet place to rest, is constantly suffering abuse from our eponymous heroes and Gruntilda's mooks for some reason or another. By the time you see him locked up and put on display in a freak attraction at an amusement park in Banjo-Tooie and see that he's grown a very large gray beard, you can't help but want to cry for his constant misfortune despite the fact that it's necessary in order to progress. Gobi quite clearly establishes himself as a selfish bastard in his 2nd appearance, where he greedily hoards water from a tree that even he can see is clearly dying. It's made even worse by the fact that this spot is actually surrounded by water, meaning that Gobi would be easily able to replenish his supply after helping the tree. Everything that happens to him after that is just deserts.
    • King Jingaling also counts. The poor guy loses all of his subjects thanks to a giant tank that runs over part of his kingdom (one entire family of his subjects is killed in this way) and his reward for pointing Banjo and Kazooie in the right direction and giving them a Jiggy is to be zombified.
    • Klungo is an unrepentant villain who makes it clear that he doesn't regret anything he did while working for Grunty, but the sheer amount of abuse she put him through makes you feel more than a little sorry for the big guy.
    • Clanker is a pitiful blend of Gentle Giant and Body Horror. He's obviously a very intelligent creature and probably used to be a regular whale before being gutted and encased in machinery. And in spite of his solitary confinement in his cavern, which would drive pretty much anyone completely insane, upon seeing Banjo swim in he simply offers a friendly welcome. And asks if Banjo could please raise him to water level. He's spent this whole time alone and imprisoned in a derelict cyborg body, unable to so much as breathe comfortably.

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