- Number of Players
- 1 (Single Player)
- Release Date
- 29th Jun 1998
- 17th Jul 1998
- 6th Dec 1998
Nintendo Switch (Nintendo Switch Online)
- 20th Jan 2022
- 20th Jan 2022
Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack (Subscription)
- Available Now
"Kazooie, we're home"
This review originally went live in 2009, and we're updating and republishing it to mark the long-awaited return of Banjo-Kazooie to a Nintendo console, available as part of the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack N64 library. Back in the days of the N64’s prime, there was one firm that managed to stand out from the rest:...
It's Christmas, which might mean snow wherever you are in the world. However, not all of us are that lucky, and sadly have to settle for rain or – gasp! – ghastly sunshine instead. Fear not, though – there is a solution: playing winter-themed levels in your favourite games. Christmas is the best time for it too, as you're...
Part Two: "How the f*** am I going to write music for a Mario game!?"
Last week, in celebration of Banjo-Kazooie's 25th anniversary, we published the first part of our career-spanning interview with Mr. Grant Kirkhope, composer extraordinaire and the man responsible for some of our favourite music ever, video game or otherwise. Part One covered his...
Pik us a winner
Well, we're halfway though 2023. That's quite a thought, huh? The first six months of the year may be behind us, but Nintendo is showing no sign of slowing down. This week, we asked you to rank every N64 3D platformer in celebration of Banjo-Kazooie's 25th birthday, while we went head-to-head with Horace the Horse in our Everybody...
Part One: Mr. Banjongles
Grant Kirkhope is an interviewer's dream, and not just because he's responsible for some all-time great video game soundtracks. He’s great company — frank, funny, and loquacious. We spoke to him most recently for our Nintendo Life VGM Fest back in 2021 and only ended up publishing a small fraction of our chat in our...
Thank you, chef
Games Done Quick's second speedrun marathon of 2023 is over, and what an event it was. Held much earlier than previous years, Summer Games Done Quick 2023 kicked off on 28th May and concluded on 4th June, raising a staggering $2,239,204 (and counting) for Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières. Jam-packed with hundreds...
New year, old game
We did it everyone! 2022 is finally behind us and 2023 stretches happily into the great beyond. This is to be a year full of promise, a year of hope, a year of enough Nintendo releases (with any luck) to squeeze out an almost literal cry from our bank accounts. But for the moment we're not thinking about the future, we're looking...
Composer Grant Kirkhope has the proof
One of the most bizarre, yet enduring myths regarding the N64 classic Banjo-Kazooie is one that's perhaps a little NSFW. While developer Rare has certainly flexed its more cheeky side in the past with the likes of Conker's Bad Fur Day, many fans have mistakenly believed that the flower pots found within Mad...
As one moves into adulthood, it's possible to look back and laugh at things that once terrified you. Sure, the adult world contains more than its fair share of horrors worth recoiling from, but at least we gamers can look back at the digital scares of our youth with a satisfied smile, knowing we've conquered our childish fears. Right? Well,...
Aside from costumes, big bowls of sweets and the impending fear that I'm A Celebrity will soon dominate TV again, if there is one thing that you can bank on over Halloween, it's lots, and lots of scary video games. The spooky season has an annoying habit of seeking out those of us — this writer included — who are not the best with...
Wow. This week has been so full of news, we would be hesitant to add any more for fear of bursting. After long anticipating the releases of Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope and Persona 5 Royal on the Switch, who would have thought that Bayonetta 3 drama would overshadow it all? Hey, welcome to the world of Nintendo! Aside from...
Or 'Ultimate Play the Game', as it used to be known
As that weird android from Ridley Scott's Prometheus once said: "big things come from small beginnings". Or was that Lawrence of Arabia..? Anyway... It's a quote that can be attributed to the creation of many of our favourite game developers, but is perhaps most valid when describing the early days...
Banjo-Kazooie is comprised of several non-linear 3D worlds in which the player must gather jigsaw pieces, or "Jiggys", to progress. Banjo and Kazooie are aided by Bottles, who teaches them new abilities, and Mumbo, who uses magical powers to transform them into other creatures, such as a termite or crocodile.
The player progresses in the game by finding Jiggys, Musical Notes and Mumbo Tokens. Jiggys open doors to new worlds by collecting enough to complete the corresponding jigsaw puzzle. There are ten in each world; nine must be found, and one is granted by finding all five Jinjos on each world. Musical Notes open note doors that allow Banjo and Kazooie to progress further into Gruntilda's lair. There are 100 notes in each world, and 900 total in the game. Mumbo Tokens grant the player magical transformations at Mumbo's hut when the player collects a sufficient amount.
Besides these primary items, the player can also collect items which are used in performing certain moves. Bottles must teach Banjo and Kazooie the move before the item can be used. Items include blue eggs, red feathers and gold feathers, which can be held in quantities of up to 100, 50 and 10, respectively. Blue eggs are fired as projectiles or ejected from Kazooie's rear, and bounce slowly until they either hit an enemy, or break on their own; red feathers are used in flight and flying attacks; and gold feathers are for the most powerful attack, Wonderwing, which uses Kazooie's wings to make her and Banjo invincible and can kill almost any enemy, or at least protect the bear and bird. Rarer, temporary items can be found which have specialized use in puzzle-solving, namely wading boots, which enable the crossing of hazardous terrain, and turbo trainers, which grant extra running speed, often as part of a race or a time-based puzzle. Other items include extra lives and honeycomb energy, which respectively increase the player's lives and health, and extra honeycomb pieces, which give the player a permanent increase of one honeycomb of health for every six collected.