Here are a few of my favorite things: Nintendo, Penny Arcade, The Legend of Zelda, Mario, Pokemon, Harvest Moon, Fallout, Dungeons and Dragons, books, dice, Professor Layton, Shadow of the Colossus, Minecraft, and so much more. I'm going to talk a lot about video games, I sincerely hope you don't mind.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Video Game Character Spotlight: Banjo-Kazooie

In the grand scheme of adventure, it's good to have a partner. Someone to look out for you in the dire situations and always watch your back. Or if it makes it easier, to not just watch your back but live in your back....pack. That's the kind of close-knit partnership that exists between the lovable platforming duo, Banjo and Kazooie of Rare's classic series, Banjo-Kazooie. Quite possibly the oddest pairing in the history of heroics, Banjo is the good natured bear to Kazooie's foul-mouthed, sassy bird. But the time old saying of opposites holds true as this team stick fiercely together as they brave the dangers that come with the thrill of adventure. Banjo and Kazooie fight bravely against the challenges of the world, all the while Kazooie does so from the comfort of Banjo's backpack.


“The backpack is actually a ruse; they're a product of a teleporter malfunction a la Jeff Goldblum,” Source.

When we first meet Banjo and Kazooie, it's in their debut hit, Banjo-Kazooie for the Nintendo 64. Having already brought us such gems as Goldeneye 007 and Diddy Kong Racing, the smart cookies at Rare then added a new hit to their already impressive record. In walks Banjo-Kazooie, the 3D platformer about the lovable adventures of a bear and a bird whom set out to thwart the plan of the evil witch Gruntilda. The game became an instant-classic, selling over 1.8 million copies in an industry then-dominated by a certain turtle-stomping plumber. And how could it not do so well? It's a heart-warming, exciting story about two friends out on a daring adventure.


“And also this thing,” Source.

At the start of the series, Banjo and Kazooie are living in their quaint home next to Spiral Mountain, doing you know, bear and bird stuff. When all of a sudden, Banjo's little sister Tooty (pause for immature laughter) is captured by the evil witch Gruntilda! Gruntilda heard word that Tooty (pause) was actually the prettiest in the land, and made a sinister plot to use a machine to rob her of her prettiness. So it comes down to Banjo and Kazooie, with the help of their mole-friend Bottles and their resident shaman Mumbo Jumbo, to save the day!


“While ensuring they don't miss band practice,” Source.

But the inevitable defeat of Gruntilda was not the end of Banjo and Kazooie's adventures, as their series would go on to produce more and more installments. Following the success of their first game, the animal duo went on to have such releases as Banjo-Twooie, Banjo-Pilot, Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge and Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts. The series was in fact so popular that Banjo-Kazooie was re-released onto Xbox Live Arcade in 2008, met with critical acclaim. There was no stopping the bear and bird!


“That's the most banjo we've seen since Deliverance,” Source.

The popularity of Banjo and Kazooie only stand as a testament to our love for the great adventure. The thrilling and wondrous journey that keeps us coming back again and again, enriching our hearts and our minds. For in the end, it's a story of friendship; that special bond between two friends whom only have each other against a sea of troubles. And when the troubles are evil witches with a nasty habit of rhyming, it's good to have your best pal watching your back.....pack.


Header Image Source


Banjo Kazooie was everything that we wanted to be improved from Super Mario 64-- then multiply that by 100 because there are zero flaws in this game. The only negative is that there aren't more levels to play. This game gets a replay, from beginning to end, at least twice a year from me.

Definitely is one of the best games to grace the N64. Coupled with its sequel makes for some of our fondest memories from our childhood.

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