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Banjo-Kazooie is the first game in the Banjo-Kazooie series. It was developed by Rare Ltd. and released on the Nintendo 64 in 1998. The story involves the two heroes, Banjo and Kazooie, going on an adventure to rescue Tooty from Gruntilda, who tries stealing Tooty's beauty. The game received a sequel in 2000, titled Banjo-Tooie.

In 2008, Banjo-Kazooie was ported to the Xbox Live Arcade, where it received updated textures, a newly implemented Stop 'n' Swop feature, and additional minor changes. In the September 2021 Nintendo Direct, Banjo-Kazooie was revealed as one of the games planned for inclusion on the Nintendo Switch Online service, and was released on January 20, 2022, marking its first re-release on a Nintendo console.


Gruntilda asking Dingpot who is "the nicest looking wench"

The evil witch of Spiral Mountain, Gruntilda, is inside her lair, asking her cauldron Dingpot questions about who is the 'nicest and fairest of them all', to which Dingpot reluctantly answers, "Why it's Grunty, any day, she really takes my breath away." She gloats over her "beauty," until Dingpot finally breaks his 'silence' and tells the witch that Tooty, another inhabitant of Spiral Mountain, is actually the prettiest and the fairest of them all. Grunty reacts angrily and decides to kidnap Tooty in order to steal her beauty. She grabs her broom and sets off immediately.

Tooty is confronted by Grunty.

Meanwhile, Tooty is running around Spiral Mountain, when she is greeted by Bottles in front of Banjo's House. She eagerly tells Bottles that she is going on an adventure with her brother, Banjo. Inside the house, Banjo is sleeping soundly, with his breegull friend, Kazooie, sleeping in his backpack, which is hanging on a nearby coat rack. Tooty and Bottles are still talking, until Bottles spots Grunty in the distance, but confuses her for Banjo (due to his short-sightedness). Grunty immediately goes for Tooty, and a struggle ensues. Kazooie, eager for action and adventure, overhears the clamor outside as well as Bottles' cries for help and tries to wake Banjo up. Banjo and Kazooie leave their house, only to discover that Grunty has gone off and kidnapped Tooty. Bottles tells the bear and bird that they must venture to Gruntilda's Lair to rescue Tooty. Bottles offers to prepare the duo to fight Gruntilda by teaching them some basic moves and repairing the bridge leading to the lair's entrance. Banjo and Kazooie set off on an adventure into the lair to save Tooty.

Once inside the lair, Banjo and Kazooie find a Jiggy, which is used to open and unlock levels around the lair by completing Jigsaw Puzzle pictures. They soon find a painting that fits their first Jiggy, opening the first level of the lair, Mumbo's Mountain. Banjo and Kazooie enter the first level and find that their quest is not as easy as they had anticipated. They discover that they need to rescue Jinjos imprisoned by Grunty throughout each of the levels as well as collect Musical Notes, which are needed to open up Note Doors, to progress through the deeper areas of Gruntilda's Lair. They also meet Mumbo Jumbo, a skull-faced shaman who offers his services to the bear and bird by transforming the adventurers into different animals with new abilities.

The two continue progressing through the lair, gathering musical notes, Jiggies, and other collectibles along the way, as well as rescuing the Jinjos of each level. They also encounter Mumbo Jumbo and Bottles several times, who continue to help the heroes by transforming them and teaching them new moves, respectively. Banjo and Kazooie also get help from Gruntilda's nicer sister, Brentilda, who gossips interesting facts about her ugly sister.

After successfully surviving through all nine levels in Grunty's Lair, Banjo and Kazooie eventually reach Gruntilda but are forced to participate in her quiz show, Grunty's Furnace Fun. Thanks to the information provided by Brentilda's gossips, Banjo and Kazooie win Grunty's game and save Tooty. With Tooty rescued, they return home and celebrate with a barbecue. However, Tooty reminds our heroes that Grunty had escaped shortly after the game show and was still at large, plotting her wicked schemes.

Banjo and Kazooie make their way back up the lair until they finally reach the roof with a little help from Dingpot. On the roof, Gruntilda challenges them to a more direct confrontation and an epic battle ensues. But, with the help of the Jinjos they rescued in the various levels in Gruntilda's Lair, Banjo and Kazooie defeat Gruntilda and ultimately knock her off her tower. She crashes into the ground, creating a crater of her shape, which is then covered by a large boulder that falls from the tower and traps her beneath it. Banjo and Kazooie finally take a well-deserved break at the beach, where the bear and bird and their friends anticipate a sequel, Banjo-Tooie. Meanwhile, Gruntilda, whose loyal minion Klungo is trying to rescue her, swears her revenge.


Banjo in the first world, Mumbo's Mountain

In Banjo-Kazooie, the player controls Banjo and Kazooie, exploring multiple non-linear worlds and obtaining collectibles like Jiggies and Musical Notes in order to advance in Gruntilda's Lair. The game introduced many new features to the genre, such as the ability to learn new moves and transform Banjo into different forms. The items scattered throughout the worlds each have different functions: the Jiggies allow Banjo and Kazooie to open new levels in Gruntilda's Lair by completing Jigsaw Pictures, the Musical Notes allow them to open Note Doors, the Mumbo Tokens allow them to request Mumbo Jumbo's help and become different forms, the Extra Honeycomb Pieces extend the duo's health bar, the the Blue Eggs serve as ammo for Kazooie to shoot either from the front or behind, the Red Feathers allow them to fly and use the Beak Bomb move and the Golden Feathers allow them to use the Wonderwing move. Many other items can also be obtained but their only purpose is to be delivered to a character for a Jiggy. Kazooie can also wear Turbo Trainers, speed-boosting shoes, and Wading Boots, hazard-protecting boots, after learning how to with Bottles.


Playable characters

Character Description
B-K Banjo Punch.png
One of the main protagonists, Banjo is a good natured and polite honey bear. He wears a blue backpack to carry Kazooie around, and can perform many moves with her.
BK Talon Trot artwork.jpg
The other main protagonist, Kazooie is a red-crested breegull with a sassy and impolite personality. She stays in Banjo's backpack, and aids him by performing a wide variety of abilities she learns along the way.

Non-playable characters

Character Description
Tooty BK artwork.jpg
Banjo's young sister who gets kidnapped by the evil witch Gruntilda. She is rescued once the duo wins Grunty's Furnace Fun.
Gruntilda's Lair B-K Warp Cauldron.png
Gruntilda's magic cauldron who is constantly mistreated by her. During the introduction sequence, he tells her about Tooty, the "prettiest girl of all." He also aids Banjo and Kazooie in the end by taking them to the top of the tower.
B-K Mumbo 2.png
Mumbo Jumbo
A shaman who was previously Gruntilda's teacher, but was betrayed and had his face transformed into a skull by her. He helps Banjo and Kazooie by transforming them into different forms when they have enough Mumbo Tokens.
Bottles B-K artwork.jpg
A short-sighted mole who teaches Banjo and Kazooie new moves throughout the worlds, as long as they find his molehills.
BK Klungo screenshot.png
Gruntilda's minion whose role is to turn on the Beauty Steal Machine and make Gruntilda prettier than Tooty.
Brentilda render (BK).png
Gruntilda's nicer sister who appears throughout the lair to tell Banjo the witch's embarassing secrets and help them avoid a fiery fate at Grunty's Furnace Fun.
Magic Cauldron.png
Magic Cauldrons
Sentient cauldrons who make moving around Gruntilda's Lair easier.
Cheato B-K.png
Gruntilda's spell book who betrays her and provides Banjo and Kazooie with cheat codes when they find him in the witch's lair.
BK Green Jinjo art.png
Colorful creatures who were imprisoned by Gruntilda in each world. Once five of them in the same world are found, they reward Banjo with a Jiggy.
A monkey in Mumbo's Mountain who helps Banjo and Kazooie if they give him an orange.
Captain Blubber B-K screenshot.png
Captain Blubber
The Salty Hippo's "useless hippo captain" who crashes it in Treasure Trove Cove, losing his treasure in the process.
A leaking bucket who, once patched up, drains the water surrounding the Sandcastle.
Gruntilda's garbage grinder who doesn't like the condition of his cavern. Banjo and Kazooie can, after he is helped, enter inside him.
Gloop BK.png
A fish who provides bubbles for Banjo and Kazooie to breath under Clanker.
Croctus B-K.png
Golden crocodiles who must be fed with eggs in order to obtain a Jiggy
Mr Vile (B-K).png
Mr. Vile
The self-proclaimed "greediest croc of all" who challenges Crocodile Banjo to a challenge.
A giant turtle who complains about how his feet are numb and cold. Once they are warmed, he can be entered.
BK Tiptup in-game.jpg
A turtle who conducts his choir inside Tanktup. If Banjo and Kazooie can correctly perform his lessons, they are rewarded with a Jiggy.
Tiptup Choir.png
Tiptup Choir
Tiptup's turtle choir who need to be hit with the Beak Buster move in order to perform the lessons.
Sentient Christmas lights who need help getting across the Twinkly Munchers.
A walrus who strongly dislikes bears, but will befriend fellow walruses.
Boggy in sled race BK.jpg
A sled-racing polar bear who is intially found with a terrible stomachache but can be raced after being helped.
Groggy in B-K.jpg
Moggy B-K screenshot.jpg
Soggy B-K.jpg
Groggy, Moggy and Soggy
Young polar bears who are sad because their father Boggy has not arrived home with their gifts yet.
A camel whose back is constantly hit by Banjo and Kazooie for his water. After fleeing from Gobi's Valley, he returns in Click Clock Wood.
Grabba B-K.png
A Slappa who has been guarding his Jiggy for a thousand years before it is taken by Banjo and Kazooie.
Jinxy (B-K).png
A sphinx whose nose is blocked, but can be unblocked with eggs.
A thristy tree who needs Gobi's water in order to grow.
Ancient Ones B-K.png
Ancient Ones
Four golden bear statues who grant Banjo and Kazooie a Jiggy once their hoops have been flown thorugh.
Rubee and Toots
A snake charmer and his small, anteater-like friend who sings along. They help Banjo and Kazooie make Histup come out of his basket.
A long snake who, once Rubee starts playing, comes out of his basket and can be climbed to reach a Jiggy.
Loggo A toilet who can be entered once Banjo is transformed into a pumpkin.
An organ-playing spectral hand who rewards Banjo and Kazooie with a Jiggy if they correctly follow his song.
Napper B-K screenshot.png
A large, sleepy ghost who guards one of Gruntilda's Jiggies. Banjo can collect it if he manages to climb the table without making noise.
Flower Urn.png
Flower pots
Pots where flowers can be sprouted within to, when they all have flowers, obtain a Jiggy.
Tumblar BK screenshot.png
A glass cup who has a Jiggy stuck inside him that can only be obtained once his puzzle is solved.
Snorkel B-K ending.png
A dolphin stuck under an anchor who rewards Banjo with a Jiggy once helped.
B-K Nabnut.png
A hungry squirrel who eats all of his acorns and ends up not having enough for winter, causing Banjo and Kazooie to have to get some more for him.
Mrs Nabnut B-K.jpg
Mrs. Nabnut
Nabnut's wife who is seen sleeping with him during winter.
A beaver whose home is blocked up by a boulder. Banjo and Kazooie can break it to help him and get a Jiggy.
Eyrie artwork.jpg
An eagle who is raised by Banjo and Kazooie during the seasons and, by winter, goes from a baby to a large eagle.


Conga Nipper Black Snippet Mutie-Snippets
Conga B-K render.png
Mumbo's Mountain
Nipper B-K render.png
Treasure Trove Cove
Black Snippet.png
Treasure Trove Cove
Clanker's Cavern
Yellow Flibbits Boss Boom Box Zubbas Gruntilda
Yellow Flibbit jumps.png
Bubblegloop Swamp
Boss Boom Box.jpg
Rusty Bucket Bay
Click Clock Wood
B-K Gruntilda and Broomstick.jpg
Gruntilda's Lair


Hub worlds
World Summary
Spiral Mountain (Banjo-Kazooie).png
Spiral Mountain acts as a training level and is featured as the home to many characters, including Banjo and Kazooie. This is where a player must learn all the basic moves. Banjo's House lies on the outer part of Spiral Mountain. The area serves as a tutorial level before entering Gruntilda's Lair.
Gruntilda's Lair B-K interior.png
Gruntilda's Lair is the main hub world, meaning that each level can be accessed from here. Gruntilda's Lair is a large structure that houses a variety of ecosystems, each being based on a hub location for every level. Gruntilda's Lair also leads to the tower, which features the final boss battle against Gruntilda.
Mumbos Mountain view.png
Mumbo's Mountain is the first level, and features a boss fight against Conga, a termite mound with a collection of termites. Judging from the title, this might be the hometown of Mumbo Jumbo. Bottles teaches three abilities to Banjo and Kazooie: Egg Firing, Beak Buster, and Talon Trot.
Treasure Trove Cove.png
Treasure Trove Cove is a beach island that hosts a landlocked ship, the Salty Hippo, and a shark named Snacker; a lighthouse over a massive natural arch dominates the skyline. In this level Flying Pads and Shock Jump Pads are introduced, and a pirate hippo named Blubber.
Clanker's Cavern B-K.png
Clanker's Cavern is a level of flooded caves and disposal pipes. This level is home to the massive shark, Clanker, who was used as Gruntilda's garbage disposal.
Bubblegloop Swamp B-K.png
Bubblegloop Swamp is a swamp with piranha-infested waters, and also has Mr. Vile and Tiptup and his choir. Mr. Vile can be found inside a crocodile head while Tiptup and his choir appear inside of a large turtle.
Freezeezy Peak snowman.png
Freezeezy Peak is a snowy, mountainous level with a winter holiday theme whose focal point is a large Snowman statue in the center.
Gobi's Valley (B-K).png
Gobi's Valley is a desert level based on Ancient Egypt. The level was named after the camel Gobi, and consists of pyramids, quicksand, and a bear-modeled sphinx.
Mad Monster Mansion.png
Mad Monster Mansion is a spooky, haunted-themed level featuring frightening themes such as haunted houses, spooky mazes, ghosts, and tombstones.
Rusty Bucket Bay (B-K).png
Rusty Bucket Bay is centered around an old, large cargo ship named the Rusty Bucket. The ship is docked at a port, which is surrounded by several warehouses.
Click Clock Wood (B-K).png
Click Clock Wood is the last level of the game. It is notable for its four seasons, based on which seasonal door that Banjo and Kazooie enter from. Click Clock Wood revolves around a large tree in the center of the location. Gnawty and Nabnut are featured in this level.


Regular items

Artwork Name Description
BK Blue Egg art.png Egg Eggs are collectible items that Kazooie can use as projectile once taught by Bottles.
BK Extra Life art.png Extra Life As the name suggests, Extra Lives give another life to Banjo and Kazooie. A few of them are hidden in each level.
BK Golden Feather art.jpg Gold Feather Gold Feathers allow Kazooie to use Wonderwing for a longer period of time.
BK Honeycomb art.png Honeycomb Honeycombs restore a missing segment of Banjo and Kazooie's health bar, if they have previously been injured.
BK Red Feather art.png Red Feather Red Feathers allow Kazooie to flap higher while airborne.
BK Turbo Trainers art.png Running Shoes Kazooie can use the Running Shoes temporarily to rapidly move around after Bottles teaches her the Turbo Talon Trot.
BK Wading Boots art.png Wading Boots Kazooie can temporarily use the Wading Boots to walk through swamp or icy water without harm.


Artwork Name Description
BK Extra Honeycomb Piece art.png Empty Honeycomb Piece Items that are hidden in every level. By collecting a certain number of them, an extra honeycomb is added into Banjo and Kazooie's health bar.
BK Jiggy art.png Jiggy Jiggies are the main collectible item, and are required to finish the incomplete Jigsaw Pictures throughout Grunty's Lair. If the duo complete a picture, its corresponding level is unlocked.
BK Green Jinjo art.png Jinjo Jinjos are small, colorful creatures, and five of them are located throughout each level. By rescuing all of them in a level, Banjo and Kazooie are rewarded with a Jiggy.
BK Mumbo Token art.jpg Mumbo Token By collecting a certain number of Mumbo Tokens, Banjo and Kazooie can go to a Mumbo's Hut where Mumbo transforms Banjo into another creature or vehicle.
BK Musical Note art.png Musical Note Each level features 100 Musical Notes. Collecting them adds up to a best score within the level, and the combined total allows Banjo and Kazooie to open Note Doors throughout Gruntilda's Lair. If the duo lose a life or leave the level, all Musical Notes are reset back to their original positions.


Artwork Name Description
BK Beehive art.png Beehive Beehives are breakable objects containing three Honeycombs inside.
BK Exit Pad art.png Exit Pad Each level has an Exit Pad, which is how Banjo and Kazooie enter and leave the area.
BK Flight Pad art.png Flight Pad A Flight Pad springs up Banjo and Kazooie, who then spreads out her wings and flies in the air.
BK Molehill art.jpg Molehill By approaching a Molehill, Banjo and Kazooie can speak to Bottles, who teaches them a new ability from each Molehill.
BK Shock Jump Pad art.png Shock Jump Pad These pads allow Banjo and Kazooie to perform the Shock Spring Jump to reach some higher areas.
BK Witch Switch art.png Witch Switch There is a Witch Switch in each level. Banjo and Kazooie can use Beak Buster on it, causing a Jiggy to spawn in the level's corresponding room within Grunty's Lair.


In each world that Mumbo Jumbo appears in, he can transform Banjo into a different creature or object if he has enough Mumbo Tokens.

  • Mumbo's Mountain - A termite, which can't attack, but can sneak past other termites and can scale steep surfaces.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp - A crocodile which is resistant to (or at least scares away) the piranhas that infest the water, as well as being able to bite.
  • Freezeezy Peak - A walrus, resistant to the icy waters of the area.
  • Mad Monster Mansion - A pumpkin, which bounces around to move, can go into small spaces,and will not be hurt by the thorns on top of the hedges.
    • Grunty's Lair - Mumbo appears inside a small hut near the entrance to Mad Monster Mansion. Here, his purpose is to transform Banjo back to his normal form, which enables him to hit a switch in the room, before being re-transformed into a pumpkin in order to leave.
  • Click Clock Wood - During Spring, Mumbo will offer his services and transform the duo into a bee, which can fly very high altitudes, and can sneak into the Zubbas' hive.
    • During Summer, however, it's too hot to perform the spell.
    • During Autumn, however, he's too busy raking up leaves.
    • During Winter, he's gone on holiday and has gotten a Beehive to watch over his hut.

His hut is absent from Treasure Trove Cove, Clanker's Cavern, Gobi's Valley and Rusty Bucket Bay; as such, those levels don't have transformations.

Very rarely, he mistakenly turns Banjo into a washing machine, before going on to turn him into the correct transformation. Also he mentions he would turn Banjo into a T-Rex but changes his mind, saying that the transformation is meant for the next game.


The music was composed by Grant Kirkhope. A CD soundtrack was exclusively sold to Nintendo Power subscribers or a pre-order bonus at Best Buy stores. According to an interview with OC Remix, Kirkhope stated that Banjo-Kazooie was his favorite work that he composed.


Banjo-Kazooie was highly successful when it was released, selling over 1.8 million copies in the United States.[1] At the 1999 Interactive Achievement Awards, Banjo-Kazooie won in the Console Action/Adventure and Art Direction categories, and was a nominee for the "Console Adventure Game of the Year" and "Game of the Year" categories.

It also received the following ratings:

  • IGN: 9.6
  • GameSpot: 9.5
  • GameStats: 9.2
  • 9.2
  • Metacritic: 23 of 25 (based on 19 reviews)
  • Game Rankings: 91% (based on 14 reviews)


A screenshot of an early build of Banjo-Kazooie, when it became a 3D platformer.

Banjo-Kazooie started development in the mid-1990s as a completely different game for the Super Nintendo, Dream: Land of Giants. Most details regarding the game's development were unknown until 2015, when Rare discussed the game in their Rare Revealed series, "A Rare Look at Dream."[2] and "Five Things You Didn't Know About Banjo-Kazooie."[3] An unlockable video on Rare Replay named "Dreaming of Banjo" also revealed more information about the game's development.[4]

Sometime during its development, Dream shifted its development to Nintendo 64. After a few months of development, the team felt that Edson was a weak character and began searching for a replacement. A rabbit was considered at first before the team decided on a bear, who would become Banjo. The team scrapped Dream entirely and reworked it into a 2.5D platformer similar to Donkey Kong Country, which had a gameplay style more familiar for them. This was the earliest form of Banjo-Kazooie, where Banjo would move along linear path collecting fruit. In the "A Rare Look at Dream" video, Gregg Mayles called it the "connecting piece" between the Donkey Kong games they developed and the final version of Banjo-Kazooie. Kazooie was created during this phase so that Banjo could perform a double jump. The team designed some more moves that involved both characters.[5]

One day, the developers saw an early version of Super Mario 64, making their project looked obsolete in comparison. The project was scrapped again, and the team began a fourth and final attempt at making the game in the style of Super Mario 64. This version would be finalized and released as Banjo-Kazooie. The game was in development for 17 months after Dream was scrapped.[6]

Pre-release and unused content


For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Banjo-Kazooie.

Names in other languages

Language Name Meaning
Japanese バンジョーとカズーイの大冒険
Banjo to Kazooie no Daibouken
Banjo and Kazooie's Big Adventure


  • On December 29, 2020, both Banjo-Kazooie and Blast Corps were mistakenly listed as upcoming games for the Wii U Virtual Console, both having a set release date of December 30, 2020. The error was fixed that same day, and both titles were removed from the list.[7][8]


External links