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Gruntilda

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Dingpot, Dingpot by the bench, who is the nicest looking wench?”
Gruntilda, Banjo-Kazooie

Gruntilda Winkybunion, often named Grunty or Gruntilda for short, is a wicked witch and the main antagonist of the Banjo-Kazooie series, starting with the titular Banjo-Kazooie. In the games, Gruntilda often causes trouble for Banjo and Kazooie. Grunty frequently speaks in rhymes, and she has the ability to use powerful, magical spells. Gruntilda has a good sister, Brentilda, and two sisters, Blobbelda and Mingella, who are evil like her. Gruntilda has a different appearance in nearly every Banjo-Kazooie game. In the first two games, Gruntilda had a loyal assistant named Klungo. A few of Gruntilda's minions are living objects, including her magic cauldron Dingpot, her broomstick, and her spellbook Cheato.

History[edit]

Banjo-Kazooie[edit]

Artwork for Banjo-Kazooie of Grunty unsuccessfully firing a spell at Banjo and Kazooie.

In Banjo-Kazooie, Gruntilda acts like a stereotypical witch. In the opening cutscene, Grunty is asking Dingpot who the "nicest looking wench" is. Dingpot tells her that it is Tooty. Gruntilda gets outraged, hops on her broomstick and flies off to Spiral Mountain, where Grunty kidnaps Tooty and takes her into her lair.

The game manual elaborates on the backstory further than in-game. It says that Gruntilda already planned to kidnap a denizen from Spiral Mountain and transfer their beauty to her. Grunty was already jealous of her sister, Brentilda, for "inheriting" the good looks. Deep down, Grunty was glad that Tooty was prettier, as it give her an excuse to use Tooty as the first subject for her "Beauty Transfer Machine".

Nearly all of Banjo and Kazooie's adventure takes place in Gruntilda's Lair and its connected worlds. In the lair, Grunty tries to hinder the duo with her minions and challenges. She also kidnapped several Jinjos and put five of them throughout each level. As the pair progressed, Gruntilda shouted rhyming taunts and various insults in an attempt to keep the pair away. With help from various sources, such as Brentilda who told Banjo and Kazooie secrets about Gruntilda, the bear and bird duo were able to complete the nine worlds before reaching Grunty's quiz show, Grunty's Furnace Fun.

After Banjo and Kazooie win the game show and rescue Tooty, Gruntilda flees to the Top of the Tower. With the help of Dingpot, the duo follow Grunty to the top, and they engage in a final battle. At the end of the battle, The Mighty Jinjonator is activated, and he attacks Gruntilda and knocks her off the tower. After a long fall, Gruntilda crashes into the ground, and then a large boulder falls on the same spot, trapping her below. Grunty manages to survive the fall, as she commands Klungo to move the boulder. Klungo struggles to move the boulder as Grunty vows revenge on Banjo and Kazooie.

If Banjo and Kazooie get a Game Over, a short sequence is shown where the Beauty Transfer Machine switches looks between Grunty and Tooty. After the machine runs, Gruntilda comes out with a slim physique, while Tooty becomes an ugly green monster. Mumbo Jumbo falls in love with Grunty, offers her a flower and asks her to visit Mumbo's Skull.

Banjo-Tooie[edit]

Gruntilda, as she appears in Banjo-Tooie.

In Banjo-Tooie, which takes place two years after Gruntilda's first defeat, Klungo is still trying to move the large boulder that Grunty is stuck under. Grunty's two sisters, Blobbelda and Mingella, arrive in their giant digging machine, the Hag 1. They use a magic spell to levitate the rock, which then explodes. Gruntilda emerges from her grave, and was reduced to having a skeletal body as a result from being stuck under the rock for so long. Grunty tells her sisters that she needs a new body, so the three prepare to leave. At the start of the game, when Klungo slaps Gruntilda on the back, she briefly loses an eye.

Mumbo Jumbo secretly witnessed the events while hiding behind a cliff, but the three witches catch him spying on them. Gruntilda chases after him and fires energy blasts, but Mumbo Jumbo manages to safely escape into Banjo's House. Gruntilda starts charging a powerful spell as Mumbo urges Banjo, Kazooie, and Bottles to evacuate. They were playing poker, so Bottles thought they were trying to trick him. As a result, Bottles is killed by the spell, and Banjo's House is destroyed. The three witches leave Spiral Mountain and leave behind some Uggers and Gruntydactyls to do more damage to the place.

After destroying Banjo's House, the trio of witches go into the Hag 1 and to Cauldron Keep. When they arrive, Grunty's sisters show the B.O.B. machine, which was designed to suck the life out of anything captured in its beam. It was designed to restore Gruntilda's appearance with the life it sucked out of other characters. Grunty first uses B.O.B. on King Jingaling, because he gave a Jiggy to Banjo and Kazooie. Grunty then wants to use B.O.B. on the entire Isle O' Hags, but her sisters inform her that it will take a while for B.O.B. to charge up enough energy to do so. Grunty is confident that Banjo and Kazooie cannot reach her, with King Jingaling and Bottles dead. From this point onward in the game, Gruntilda stops rhyming because her sisters find it annoying. For the rest of Banjo and Kazooie's adventure, Grunty stays in Cauldron Keep, but she usually talks to them whenever they enter a mini-game.

The duo eventually reach Cauldron Keep before B.O.B. recharges. They encounter Grunty, who tries to destroy them with another game show, the Tower of Tragedy. Her two sisters participated in the contest, and the conditions for losing meant that the losing contestants would have a 1-ton weight dropped on them. Grunty's plan failed, as Banjo and Kazooie ended up being the winners, and her two sisters, Mingella and Blobbelda, ended up being killed by 1-ton weights. Out of spite, Gruntilda considers Banjo and Kazooie's win to be "invalid due to the faulty scoring equipment".

Unsure of what to do, Gruntilda takes Kazooie's advice to "escape in a cowardly fashion like in Banjo-Kazooie". Gruntilda retreats to the top of Cauldron Keep, where she awaits a final battle with the duo. When Banjo and Kazooie reach the top, they find Grunty in the Hag 1. In the machine, Grunty tries many attack, including releasing poisonous gas into the air and summoning enemies. Kazooie eventually destroys the Hag 1 by shooting a Clockwork Kazooie Egg into the machine's main engine chamber. Gruntilda's skeleton blows up and scatters in several directions. Gruntilda is only left with her head, which Banjo, Kazooie, Humba Wumba. and Jamjars use as a ball in their "Kick Around" game. During this, one of Grunty's eyes pop out, and she vows revenge in the next game, Banjo-Threeie.

Gruntilda is playable in three multiplayer games, Targitzan's Temple Shootout, Ordnance Storage Shootout and Clinker's Cavern Shootout. In these games, Gruntilda is the tank character, with a high health at 16 Honeycombs; this enables her to endure up to four Grenade Eggs. To compensate, Grunty is the slowest-moving character in multiplayer.

Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge[edit]

“Although you've smashed my mecha-suit, don't think you've given me the boot. Now I've trapped you on my tower, I'll crush you with my ghostly power!”
Mecha-Grunty, Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge

In Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge, two months after Grunty fell under a boulder, Klungo builds her a mechanical body, aptly called Mecha-Grunty, for her ghost to inhabit. In her new body, Mecha-Grunty kidnaps Kazooie and travels back in time, to try and prevent them from ever meeting. After Banjo defeats Mecha-Grunty in their first battle at Breegull Beach, Kazooie was freed.

Their next battle took place above the lighthouse, and it involved Banjo and Kazooie taking out her individual mechanical parts. After being defeated again, Mecha-Grunty requested Klungo to upgrade her suit. She awaited a third and final battle with the duo in her lair.

In the third and final battle, Mecha-Grunty's attacks consist of charging at them, firing electric balls, ground pounding, and dropping airborne mines. Banjo and Kazooie manage to destroy Mecha-Grunty, although Grunty continues to battle them in ghost form. Banjo and Kazooie manage to defeat her entirely, which causes her spirit to return to her body in the present.

Banjo-Pilot[edit]

In Banjo-Pilot, Gruntilda is an unlockable character. She retains her exact appearance from Banjo-Kazooie and has her own Grand Prix mode, "Grunty GP", which feature unique cups but with the regular courses, which received some thematic changes. Gruntilda can be unlocked if Grunty GP is completed, and 150 Cheato Pages are given to Cheato. Like for most of Banjo-Tooie, Grunty does not speak in rhymes.

Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts[edit]

Gruntilda, sitting on her vehicle, in Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts.

In Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, Gruntilda returns as the main antagonist. She talks in rhymes again like the first game.

Eight years after the events of Banjo-Tooie, Grunty manages to return to Spiral Mountain, still in the form of a skull. Banjo and Kazooie become overweight over time from eating junk food and playing video games. They challenge her to another showdown, but the Lord of Games pauses the battle and arranges an event where they collect random objects placed around the map. Seconds after L.O.G. starts the event, he gets impatient and decides on a different event. He restores Banjo and Kazooie's physique and gives the Magic Wrench to them. L.O.G. then gives Grunty an artificial body, with a jar to contain her head, and a sidekick who is a cat named Piddles. The three characters go to Showdown Town, where Gruntilda tries to stop Banjo and Kazooie from earning Jiggies and returning to Spiral Mountain to fight her again. Gruntilda appears in at least one act of every level in the game. In Showdown Town, Gruntilda takes her time off as a break from fighting Banjo and Kazooie. One of Grunty's idle animations shows her putting on sunglasses.

For Nutty Acres, Grunty appears in Act 3, where she is trying to steal the island's Loco Coco. She carries it away and Banjo must knock it out of her vehicle. This is not a difficult challenge as the coconut is not secured. Beating the challenge earns the bear and bird high grip wheels for the trolley in Showdown Town.

In LOGBOX 720, Grunty tries to send Piddles to contaminate the glubber tank (forcing Bottles to shut down the LOGBOX 720) but first offers a race in Act 3. When Banjo wins, Grunty must stop her plan. Grunty races in the water and Banjo on land and the race is several laps long. The prize for this victory are the floaters and a small propeller. After she is defeated, go down the pink pool to find two passages, one containing notes and the other nothing. 

In Banjoland, Grunty tries to cause a ruckus in the museum with her new bouncing vehicle in Act 4. Banjo must destroy it before she gets away. Freezing her is a good strategy because she is hard to hit. The spring is earned here so that the trolley can jump.

In Jiggoseum, Grunty appears in two acts in this world. In Act 4, she flooded the stadium and Banjo must beat her challenge of knocking beach balls into the goal. Then he gets the scuba seat in Showdown Town. In Act 5, she tries to destroy the billiard balls with a laser, so Banjo must keep them safe. He gets a laser for his trolley if he wins.

In Terrarium of Terror, Grunty attempts to destroy the foliage in Act 5 with her invisible flying vehicle.

Lastly, Grunty's plan for Spiral Mountain is revealed—she plans to industrialize Spiral Mountain and convert it into Grunty Acres. Grunty unleashes her five strongest vehicles in her final challenge. The first is a fast-moving monster truck. The second is her driving a boat in the lake. After that, she pilots another invisible vehicle. Then she uses an immobile impenetrable fortress to attack. Finally, she pilots a very fast airborne broomstick. After this is defeated, Grunty tries to attack Banjo and Kazooie, but L.O.G. intervenes again and tells her she lost the challenge, Spiral Mountain and her freedom. As such, Grunty is sent to work in the video game factory. She is shown busily working in the factory while Piddles bosses her around. Right before the end credits, Grunty cackles and says it was a mistake to bring her here, as she plans to create her own video game.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Gruntilda makes a cameo appearance on the Spiral Mountain DLC stage. She swoops in on her broomstick when the camera rests with her lair in the background. Her appearance is based on her original design from Banjo-Kazooie.

General information[edit]

Physical appearance[edit]

Gruntilda, as she appears in Banjo-Kazooie.

Gruntilda's general appearance is not that different from witches in general—she has green skin, green eyes, black hair, a long chin, and a long nose (with some warts). She wears a black robe with a dark red interior, a purple striped scarf, Mary Janes shoes with stockings that match her scarf, and a witch hat. Gruntilda has asymmetric eyes, with her right eye being fairly normal while her left eye is in a perpetual squint. Gruntilda is obese, and in one of her lair taunts in the first game, Grunty implied that it was caused from overeating.

In the Game Over sequence for Banjo-Kazooie, Gruntilda's appearance after using the Beauty Transfer Machine shows her as significantly slimmed down, being given a petite yet busty appearance, with her dress shrinking to a great extent. She wears matching dress shoes with no socks. Her nose and chin are significantly smaller. Her eye color was changed to red and are rendered symmetrical.

In Banjo-Tooie, Gruntilda's appearance was changed, largely to reflect how she was trapped under a boulder for two years. Aside from being a skeleton, Gruntilda retains most of her normal appearance. Her robes are tattered and were changed to blue with purple interior. Gruntilda's witch hat is slightly bent. Grunty retains her obese shape, and her rib cage suggests that she is "big-boned".

In Nuts & Bolts, L.O.G. gave a new body to Grunty. It is based on her general appearance, with the largest difference being a glass tank on top that contains her skull. A witch hat is the lid of the glass tank. There is a small, yellow-striped tube on the back of the glass tank that connects to the main body. Grunty's shoes look different, and her robe has some purple stitches and a slight silk frill near the lower part.

Personality[edit]

Gruntilda is similar to witches in other works of fiction. She resembles the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Gruntilda's use of a cauldron and her two wicked sisters, Mingella and Blobbelda, resemble the wicked witches from William Shakespeare's Macbeth. Aside from witches, Grunty shares traits with the Evil Queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, namely her main motive to steal Tooty's beauty. Grunty's first line parodies Evil Queen famous line, "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?". In the ending for Banjo-Kazooie, Grunty has the same fate as the Evil Queen in the Disney adaptation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, as both of them fall to their doom and get crushed by a boulder.

Like the rest of the characters in the Banjo-Kazooie series, Gruntilda has a very comical personality and often breaks the fourth wall. Gruntilda is intelligent and has a sarcastic wit but is overconfident, believing that Banjo and Kazooie cannot overcome her challenges. Grunty mostly speaks in rhymes, except for most of Banjo-Tooie (because her sisters get annoyed at her for rhyming) and in Banjo-Pilot.

Gruntilda has poor hygiene, most of which is revealed by Brentilda gossiping about her in Banjo-Kazooie. In the opening cutscene, it is shown that Gruntilda has a habit of picking her nose. Despite her poor hygiene, Grunty has some distaste for Banjo going through Loggo in Mad Monster Mansion, demanding that he wash his hands immediately

In Banjo-Tooie, Grunty's selfish nature is the most evident, like when she used B.O.B. to drain the life force from characters such as King Jingaling, to try and restore her general appearance. Throughout the game, Grunty is considerably more evil, as she is responsible for the death of others such as her sisters during the Tower of Tragedy event, or by carelessly riding the HAG 1 through Jinjo Village and crashing into the gray Jinjo house, killing every gray Jinjos inside.

In the first two games, Grunty is shown to be abusive to her minions, causing them to side with Banjo and Kazooie. In Banjo-Kazooie, Grunty's cauldron Dingpot and her spellbook Cheato assist Banjo and Kazooie along their adventure. In Banjo-Tooie, she is shown to frequently beat her loyal servant, Klungo, to the point where he also decides to take Banjo and Kazooie's side. In Grunty's Revenge, Grunty's plots are more comparable to Banjo-Tooie than the first game—she kidnaps Kazooie and travels back in time, trying to change history so that Banjo and Kazooie would never meet and to give her control over Spiral Mountain.

Grunty has a love for quiz shows, and she hosts one in the first two games and Grunty's Revenge. In the final boss battle of Banjo-Tooie, Grunty is shown to have some degree of honor, because if Banjo and Kazooie answer her quiz questions correctly, she uses a slow-moving spell. Grunty still gets mad if Banjo and Kazooie correctly answer a question but feels bound to her word to go easy on them if they do.

In Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, unlike the first two games, Gruntilda does not value upgrading her personal appearance and appears to be fond her new mechanical body. She is shown to be smart enough to use potential setbacks and turn them into victories on her part, such as in the ending, where despite her being forced to work at L.O.G.'s Videogame Factory, she claimed to have access to the resources to make her own game despite being forced to work at LOG's factory when she lost to Banjo and Kazooie.

Powers and abilities[edit]

In the final boss battle of Banjo-Kazooie, Grunty is shown to have various magical powers, such as the ability to cast fireballs, homing spells, and generate a powerful force field. In Banjo-Tooie, her spells are lethal enough to kill others upon contact. In Grunty's Revenge, aside from using Mecha Grunty, Grunty could split her soul into three to confuse her opponents. In Nuts & Bolts, L.O.G. removed Grunty's ability to use magical powers as a stipulation for participating in his contest.

Grunty is capable of producing technology. It was implied that the Beauty Transfer Machine from Banjo-Kazooie was developed by her. In Banjo-Tooie, Grunty was shown to be piloting the Hag 1 (although it was implied that she frequently consulted a manual in that case), and had modified her podium in the Tower of Tragedy as a means to escape, in the event that Banjo wins. In Nuts & Bolts, her inability to use magic is compensated by her designing mechanical robots, such as Gruntbots, and various vehicles to compete against Banjo and Kazooie.

In Banjo-Kazooie, Gruntilda has the ability to delete the save file. This only occurs if Banjo and Kazooie use too many cheat codes in the Sandcastle.

Quotes[edit]

Main article: Gruntilda/quotes

Gallery[edit]

Main article: Gruntilda/gallery

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese グランチルダ Guranchiruda
Spanish Gruñona (B-K)
Juanetes (B-T)
Guiñajuanetes (Grunty's Revenge)
Winkybunion (Nuts & Bolts)
Grumpy
Bunions
Winkbunions
-

Trivia[edit]

  • Gruntilda's last name is Winkybunion, which she inadvertently admitted in Banjo-Tooie. She dislikes her last name and threatens to sue Banjo and Kazooie if they told anyone.
  • According to Gregg Mayles, Gruntilda is based on Grotbags from the British television show Emu's World.[1]
  • Gruntilda has been nicknamed "Winky" and "Wart Brain" by Kazooie.
  • Gruntilda's last spell before being knocked over by the Jinjonator was originally supposed to hit Banjo and Kazooie and turn them into a frog, resulting in Mumbo Jumbo trying to restore them to normal. It was cut out of the final version due to time constraints.
  • In the Japanese versions of the first game, instead of showing her to be rhyming in her dialogue, she is instead given a stereotypical (and exaggerated) old woman's drone.

References[edit]