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Banjo-Kazooie logo

Banjo-Kazooie is a series of video games created by Rare in 1998. The game stars a honey bear named Banjo and his friend, a large red bird named Kazooie, who are both controlled by the player, and a witch named Gruntilda as the primary antagonist. Throughout the various games they are tasked with thwarting Gruntilda's various evil schemes. There are currently five games in the series.





The first game in the series, Banjo-Kazooie, was released in 1998 for the Nintendo 64 and re-released in 2008 for the Xbox 360 via Xbox Live Arcade. In Spiral Mountain, Banjo's sister Tooty has been kidnapped by the witch Gruntilda who wants Tooty's beauty and is willing to turn her into a hag for it. It is up to Banjo and Kazooie to save her. The goal is to progress through the witch's lair and the various worlds within it, collect items to help Banjo and Kazooie along their quest, and defeat Gruntilda.


Banjo-Tooie is the second game in the series, and was released in 2000 for the Nintendo 64 and re-released in 2009 for the Xbox 360 via Xbox Live Arcade. Two years after Banjo and Kazooie defeat Gruntilda, Gruntilda is freed from her grave and revived by her two sisters using a drilling machine and their magic spell. Using a machine named B.O.B., she proceeds to wreak havoc on the Isle O' Hags, sucking the life force out of the land and its inhabitants to gain power to restore her body to its former state. After she kills Bottles, Banjo and Kazooie go to stop her.

Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge

Grunty's Revenge was released in 2003 for the Game Boy Advance. It takes place two months after Banjo-Kazooie. While Gruntilda is still trapped under the boulder that fell on top of her, Klungo decides to make a robot for Gruntilda's spirit to dwell inside. During the game, Gruntilda transfers her spirit into the robot and travels back in time to prevent the first meeting of Banjo and Kazooie. In the end, Gruntilda tells Klungo to go try to get her sisters, thereby setting the events of Banjo-Tooie into motion.


The fourth game in the series, Banjo-Pilot was released in 2005 for the Game Boy Advance. This game is not part of the plot of the series, but is a racing game similar to Mario Kart where the characters race planes.

Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts

The fifth game in the series, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, was released in 2008 for the Xbox 360. An ending sequence in Banjo-Tooie suggested the title would be Banjo-Threeie, while early press releases tentatively named it Banjo-Kazooie 3. The original trailer sported a cubist artistic design for the characters and complete fur and feather detailing on Banjo and Kazooie. The game's release on 12 November 2008 marked the tenth anniversary of the series.[1] It is the first original Banjo-Kazooie game released on a non-Nintendo system. The gameplay is also a departure from the previous games in that, rather than learning new moves in order to continue, the player must instead build vehicles of all shapes and sizes to complete challenges. These challenges included either races, transporting an object, fighting an enemy or a variety of different tasks. Gruntilda is still the main antagonist, but this time the Lord of Games (L.O.G.) has swept Banjo, Kazooie, and most of the cast into an all new world.

Other appearances

Prior to Banjo-Kazooie, Banjo's first appearance was as a playable racer in Diddy Kong Racing, released for Nintendo 64 in 1997. Also in Conker's Bad Fur Day & Conker: Live & Reloaded, Banjo's head has been cut off and is above the fireplace in the main menu. Kazooie's head was found on the end of an umbrella in the chapter select screen for both versions as well. In Grabbed by the Ghoulies, pictures are seen throughout the game as well as scenes from the levels. Also monster versions of Banjo and Kazooie's heads are seen. Following Microsoft's purchase of Rare, Banjo was absent from the Nintendo DS remake, Diddy Kong Racing DS. Banjo and Kazooie also appear in the Xbox 360 version of Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing.[2][3]


  • Banjo is a brown honey bear, who is one of the two main characters of the series. He has a younger sister named Tooty, who plays a big part in Banjo-Kazooie but is absent in Banjo-Tooie and Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts. He is polite and well-mannered, and is always seen wearing yellow shorts with a belt, a shark tooth necklace, and a bright blue backpack. The backpack usually contains his good friend Kazooie. He was first seen in Diddy Kong Racing where he started his career. His arch-nemesis is Gruntilda the witch. He can also play his namesake instrument (a Banjo)
  • Kazooie is a large, red female bird who is referred to as a "Red-Crested Breegull".[4] She is Banjo's closest companion and lifelong friend, although their personalities are quite different from each other's. Whereas Banjo is polite and friendly, Kazooie is loud, sarcastic and rude. Kazooie does not hesitate to make crass statements about even the most imposing figures that the duo encounter, much to Banjo's dismay. Although Banjo often finds himself apologizing for Kazooie's remarks, they almost always find themselves embroiled in dangerous situations simply due to Kazooie's inability to keep quiet. Kazooie has the ability to lay and spit out many different kinds of eggs, from ordinary blue ones, to giant spotted ones that hatch miniature robotic duplicates of herself. She can also spread her wings and fly, carrying Banjo with her, although doing so causes her to lose feathers. In Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts she loses all of her moves and instead uses a magic wrench.
  • Tooty is Banjo's younger sister and Bottles' best friend. In Banjo-Kazooie, Gruntilda kidnaps her because she wishes to steal Tooty's perceived beauty. She is physically absent from all other games in the series; In Banjo-Tooie an image of Tooty is shown on the side of a milk carton with the caption Missing: Last Seen In Banjo-Kazooie. Her name is also referenced in Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts as a shop in Showdown Town called Tooty Fruity.
  • Gruntilda Winkybunion, also referred to as Grunty, is a foul-tempered witch and the main antagonist of the series. She has green skin, warts, a pointed hat and a high-pitched cackle, as well as a penchant for speaking in rhymes. She has three sisters: Brentilda, Mingella and Blobbelda. Brentilda, her fourth sister, is her complete opposite, with a fairy-like appearance. Mingella and Blobbelda, her second and third sisters, convince Grunty to stop speaking in rhymes, although she resumed the trait in Nuts & Bolts. Gruntilda's surname, Winkybunion, was revealed in the ending cut scene of Banjo-Tooie. She is a skeleton in Banjo-Tooie and has an artificial body in Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts due to Banjo and Kazooie defeating her at the end of the previous games.
  • Mumbo Jumbo is a shaman who originally taught Gruntilda how to use magic. She disavowed Mumbo Jumbo and cursed him by turning his face into a skull mask.[4] He helps Banjo and Kazooie by providing them with transformation magic in Banjo-Kazooie and he is a playable character in Banjo-Tooie, where he can use his "mighty shaman zap-stick" to levitate objects, oxygenate bodies of water, and zap enemies. He runs Mumbo's Motors, a garage in Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts.
  • Bottles is a shortsighted mole who assists Banjo and Kazooie. He wears large, thick, cokebottle framed glasses and has a wife, Mrs. Bottles, two children, Speccy and Goggles, and a brother, Jamjars, who takes over the role Bottles held in Banjo-Kazooie. In Nuts & Bolts, he runs a tourist information stand, offering the player advice either for free or in exchange for musical notes.
  • Jamjars is the brother of Bottles and a militaristic drill sergeant mole, complete with trooper sunglasses, green fatigues and army boots. He was first featured in Banjo-Tooie, where he took over Bottles' original role from Banjo-Kazooie following his death. He hides in silos spread across the Isle o' Hags and its various worlds, and teaches Banjo and Kazooie new moves in exchange for musical notes. He is a radio DJ in Nuts & Bolts.
  • Humba Wumba is a female shaman. She provides transformation magic to Banjo and Kazooie in Banjo-Tooie and is a rival of Mumbo Jumbo. She sells vehicle blueprints and parts in Nuts & Bolts.
  • Klungo is Gruntilda's green-skinned minion. His role is minor in Banjo-Kazooie but he appeared frequently during Banjo-Tooie as a miniboss, and was the victim of increased abuse from Gruntilda for his failure to defeat Banjo and Kazooie. He eventually quit working for Grunty to seek a fortune in making video games. It is also revealed that he has a wife. He builds a play emporium on the pier in Showdown Town in Nuts & Bolts, where he shows his final product of his game, "Klungo Sssavesss teh World". In the Nuts & Bolts expansion, L.O.G.'s Lost Challenges, he has a second product called "Hero Klungo Sssavesss teh Universsse".
  • Jinjos are a species of multicoloured creatures that inhabit the Isle O' Hags. Their original home is in a village neighbouring Banjo's in Spiral Mountain, but they are forced out by Gruntilda when she drives her gigantic drilling vehicle through the village, crushing the house of the grey Jinjo family and killing those within. They are ruled by King Jingaling, a large, yellow Jinjo wearing a king's crown. Jinjos are sociable and enjoy competitive sport, offering challenges in Nuts & Bolts, where they reward Banjo with tokens with which he can play Bingo.

Stop 'N' Swop

Stop 'N' Swop menu with six of the coloured eggs and the ice key

Stop 'N' Swop is a hidden feature in Banjo-Kazooie. Evidence suggests that the feature was never fully implemented due to the Nintendo 64 revisions completed in 1999 that kept the feature from being practical.[5][6] The feature was widely publicised through a column published by Nintendo Power.[7]

Rare announced that special areas and items in the game could only be reached by completing certain tasks in its sequel, Banjo-Tooie. It was later discovered that Banjo-Kazooie contains seven special items which can be accessed using in-game cheat codes[8] or by using a cheat cartridge. These items would then be viewable in a menu titled "Stop 'N' Swop".


An ending sequence in Banjo-Kazooie indicated that two coloured eggs in the game would be put to use in the sequel Banjo-Tooie. There was also an inaccessible ice key shown in the sequence, which induced gamers to search for a way to get it. While only two eggs were shown in the sequence, hackers Alan "Ice Mario" Pierce and Mitchell "SubDrag" Kleiman of the Rare Witch Project fansite discovered cheat codes to unlock a total of six different eggs and the ice key.[7] Other ways of getting the six eggs and key were previously discovered via the use of a cheat cartridge. Once acquired, these items would be viewable by all three game files, and would remain after erasing the files.

In the years between the two Banjo-Kazooie games, Rare representatives were questioned on "Stop 'N' Swop" and how it would be implemented. Ken Lobb was reportedly unwilling to discuss how the connection would be made between the games.[9]

Banjo-Tooie was released in 2000 and offered a way to retrieve the items without the need to acquire Banjo-Kazooie. The player would attain them by destroying in-game Banjo-Kazooie game paks. These eggs could then be brought to Heggy the hen to hatch. There were three eggs in total, one of which was already with the hen, but which Kazooie had to hatch herself. The ice key, however, was to be used to obtain an item locked in an ice vault. No explanation for "Stop 'N' Swop" was revealed in the game. Nintendo released a statement on the matter expressing that the feature "was not implemented in the game, and although we know there is a code that opens this menu, it does not do anything at all. And as much as I would like to be able to answer your question about why it was not implemented in the game, this is not information that our Consumer Service Department has access to."[10]

A reference to Stop 'N' Swop was included in the 2003 video game Grabbed by the Ghoulies. On one of the chalkboards in the schoolroom is a mathematical equation, stating: "[egg] + [egg] + [egg] + [egg] + [key] = ?".

In 2004, a patent filed by Rare was published which suggests that Stop 'N' Swop involved swapping cartridges with the power off to transfer data. The information would be momentarily retained by utilizing the Rambus memory in the Nintendo 64.[5] As a result of changes done to the Nintendo 64 systems produced in 1999, the system could no longer do this effectively.

Another Stop 'N' Swop reference appeared in 2005's Banjo-Pilot. After completing most of the game, Cheato sells an item called "STOP N SWAP" for 999 Cheato Pages. The only result of buying is Cheato saying: "So you want to know about Stop N Swop, eh? I hope you're ready. Here goes...Why don't you stop annoying me and swap this game for a nice book or something?"

In a 2007 interview with Retro Gamer, Rare employees told the magazine reporters that they may have to wait until the release of Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts for the details of Stop 'N' Swop to be revealed.[11] In March 2008, a new website appeared with an animation of the ice key rotating, the eggs, and the words "the answers are coming." On April 1, however this was revealed to be an April Fool's joke created by The Rare Witch Project.[12]

In 2008 MTV conducted an interview with Salvatore Fileccia, lead software engineer at Rare. Fileccia cited that the abandonment of Stop 'N' Swop was due to revisions made to the Nintendo 64 circuitry. He stated that older versions of the system would have given the player 10 seconds to swap cartridges, while newer iterations of the console reduced this time to one second.[6]

At Microsoft's E3 press conference on 14 July 2008, it was announced that the original Banjo-Kazooie would be made available through the Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) and feature Stop 'N' Swop connectivity with Nuts & Bolts to unlock new features.[13] In the demo version of Nuts & Bolts, Bottles also offers a "Stop 'N' Swop Truth" for 6,000 music notes. The Rare Witch Project extracted the demo's text string, which revealed that when Bottles is paid 6,000 notes he says "I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you, and we couldn't show that in a game with this rating. Put it out of your mind and think happy thoughts! Thanks for the notes!".

It was revealed that the eggs and key in the XBLA version of Banjo-Kazooie would unlock bonus vehicle parts in Nuts & Bolts such as fuzzy dice.[14] In Nuts & Bolts there is an imprint of the ice key on top of Boggy's gym and drawings of the eggs throughout Showdown Town. When a Stop 'N' Swop item is collected in Banjo-Kazooie, a corresponding crate appears at each drawing. Banjo and Kazooie can take them to Mumbo to get the special vehicle parts. The level BanjoLand also features large fake Stop 'N' Swop eggs that contain Gruntbots.

On 27 January 2009, Rare announced that Banjo-Tooie would be released in April on XBLA and that the "original plan" for Stop 'N' Swop would be implemented.[15] On 25 April 2009, the Rare Witch Project released a news article along with a video of the use of the items in the Xbox Live Arcade version of Banjo-Tooie.[16] The six eggs and key from Banjo-Kazooie unlock the bonuses included in the original Banjo-Tooie as well as new content related to the Xbox 360. In place of the three preexisting eggs in Banjo-Tooie are the gold, silver and bronze eggs. The three unlock achievements listed under a "Stop 'N' Swop II" submenu. Additional achievements can be unlocked by completing specific objectives in the game.


External links


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The Banjo-Kazooie series is a 1 player adventure game where the main goal is to collect different things such as notes, jigsaw pieces, eggs, feathers, and honey combs. In the game you control the bear named Banjo and his partner in the backpack named Kazooie through a variety of levels.

The games that are part of this series include

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