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Mumbo Jumbo

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“Me Mumbo, best shaman in all game. Can help Banjo and filthy feathered one.”
Mumbo Jumbo, Banjo-Kazooie

Mumbo Jumbo, or simply Mumbo, is a skull-faced shaman and one of the main supporting characters in the Banjo-Kazooie series. He first appears in Banjo-Kazooie and has since appeared in every game of the series. Mumbo has a different role in each game, and usually assists Banjo and Kazooie with either spells or transformations. Mumbo lives inside of a large structure shaped like his head, Mumbo's Skull.

History[edit]

Banjo-Kazooie series[edit]

Banjo-Kazooie[edit]

In Banjo-Kazooie, Mumbo appears in five worlds, and has his name in the title of the first world, Mumbo Mountain. In each world that Mumbo appears in, he is found in Mumbo's Skull. If Banjo visits with enough Mumbo Tokens, he can get Mumbo to transform him by standing on a small skull-shaped switch. The player must press B Button for Mumbo to transform Banjo.

The five worlds each have their own transformation: Termite (Mumbo's Mountain), Crocodile (Bubblegloop Swamp), Walrus (Freezeezy Peak), Pumpkin (Mad Monster Mansion), and Bee (Click Clock Wood). Occasionally, Mumbo's magic fails, causing him to transform Banjo into a Washing Machine, although he quickly fixes the mistake. Mumbo sometimes mentions that he would transform Banjo into a T-Rex but changes his mind.

In the Game Over sequence, after Grunty succeeds in transferring Tooty's beauty through the Beauty Steal Machine, Mumbo appears, offering her a flower and to go to Mumbo's Skull with him.

Banjo-Tooie[edit]

Appearance in Banjo-Tooie

In Banjo-Tooie, Mumbo first appears in the opening sequence of the game, where he is found in Banjo's House playing cards with Banjo, Kazooie, and Bottles. It is noted that Mumbo had most of Banjo's money at that point. When Grunty's sisters drill through to Spiral Mountain, they all feel the large rumbling it causes inside the house, which Mumbo says he will go outside to investigate. He hides behind a rock face not far from where Grunty was buried underground and witnesses her resurrection. Obviously realizing the seriousness of the situation, he runs back to Banjo's House to warn everyone of the impending danger. However, Grunty sees him running back to the house and begins to chase him, shooting spells that narrowly miss him as he runs. He finally does make it back to the house, and warns everyone inside that Grunty is about to blast the entire house with a powerful spell. Everyone evacuates immediately, with the exception of Bottles, who, believing it is another joke at his expense, remains inside. In the morning, he, along with Banjo and Kazooie, witnesses Bottles' charred body stumbling out of the house and collapsing on the ground, at which point he unfortunately dies. He then decides that Grunty must pay for what she has done, and tells Banjo and Kazooie to get after the witch, and that he will meet up with them later. After Banjo and Kazooie have finally defeated Grunty yet again, he shows up at Bottles' house with Banjo, Kazooie, Jamjars, and Wumba prepared for the party. However, they all quickly realize that there will be no party, as Klungo has eaten everything. Mumbo for some reason blames Wumba for this, and after she threatens to turn him into a frog, he says that he'll summon a large golden statue to kick her butt. Eventually, the five of them end up going back to Cauldron Keep, where they play a game of kickball with Grunty's head.

Mumbo Jumbo was first made a playable character in this game, and thus appears in every level in the game. As his rival Humba Wumba took over his role from the first game, he now has the power to manipulate various objects or creatures throughout the levels, as opposed to turning Banjo and Kazooie into different forms. His magic receives its power from small magical creatures called Glowbos, which Banjo and Kazooie must bring him another one of each time they seek out his help. His skull has also been remodeled as well, and now has a second story, accessed by a ramp from the first floor. When Banjo and Kazooie seek out his help, they will need to throw a Glowbo they have collected into Mumbo's bag, and he will then become available for the player to use in that particular level. When he leaves his skull and goes out into the level, he must find and step on a Mumbo Pad, which allows him to cast powerful magic, and can be found throughout the level in varying locations and numbers. When he steps on a Mumbo Pad, he can perform any of the following spells: Summon (Mayahem Temple), Levitate (Glitter Gulch Mine), Power (Witchyworld), Sunlight (Jolly Roger's Lagoon), Enlarge (Terrydactyland), EMP (Grunty Industries), Life Force (Hailfire Peaks), Rain Dance (Cloud Cuckooland), and Heal (Isle O' Hags). Aside from performing a spell, Mumbo cannot do much else other than jump, swim, or attack with his wand. When he is done performing spells for the time being, the player can return him to his skull and put him in his chair. The next time the player requires his assistance, they only have to go talk to him in his skull again. He is also a playable character in multiplayer.

Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge[edit]

In Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge, Mumbo first appears in the opening sequence, where his role is similar to that of Banjo-Tooie's. He witnesses Klungo free Grunty's spirit into the Mecha-Grunty suit, and he hurries back to Banjo's House to warn him and Kazooie. After Mecha-Grunty kidnaps Kazooie and goes into the past, Mumbo uses his magic to create a time portal, so that Banjo can follow Grunty into the past and rescue Kazooie. Right as Banjo enters the past, he meets Bozzeye, who mentions that Mumbo sent him a letter telling him about Banjo.

During Banjo's adventure, he can find Mumbo inside his skull (renamed to Mumbo's Pad). The younger Mumbo is training to become a witch doctor. There are four transformations; Mouse, Candle, Octopus, and Tank — which can be unlocked with Mumbo Totems. Unlike Banjo-Kazooie, Mumbo allows Banjo to select his transformation, regardless of the world, provided that Banjo had already unlocked that transformation. If Banjo is transformed, he has the option to change his transformation or return to normal. While Banjo is transformed, the game limits where he can go. If Banjo crosses a boundary, a Mumbo icon with an X is displayed on-screen, and then Banjo is automatically taken back to a place within the boundaries.

In the game's ending, Mumbo uses his magic to return Banjo into the present.

Banjo-Pilot[edit]

In Banjo-Pilot, Mumbo Jumbo is a playable character and is available from the start, having average top speed and handling and low acceleration. Mumbo Jumbo is the boss of Cauldron Cup, being fought at the end in the match "Mumbo Maul." During the battle, when Mumbo Jumbo is flying in front, he sends behind whirlwinds that work like Single Blue Ice Eggs.

Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts[edit]

In Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, instead of being involved with magic, Mumbo is instead a vehicle mechanic. In Showdown Town, he runs Mumbo's Motors and can open the Mumbo Crates that Banjo and Kazooie bring him.

In Nutty Acres, Mumbo plays "The Farm Owner." In Act 2, he hosts the challenge "Tick, Tick, Bang!," where he asks for the duo to take a ticking bomb to Bottles. In Act 5, he hosts the challenge "Beat the Fleet," where many Gruntbots on boats invade the island.

In LOGBOX 720, Mumbo plays "The Helpline Operator." In Act 4, he hosts the challenge "You Little Squirt," where he needs Banjo and Kazooie to cool down the overheated fans. In Act 6, he hosts the challenge "Critics Say No," where he needs help assembling the gameplay creation device he ordered.

In Banjoland, Mumbo plays "The One With Ideas Above His Station." In Act 6, he hosts the challenge "Mumbo's Stunt Spectacular" where he needs Banjo and Kazooie to perform various stunts with a pre-made vehicle and entertain the new visitors.

In L.O.G.'s Lost Challenges, Mumbo plays "The Self-Styled Ladies' Man." In Act 1, he hosts the challenge "Big Rimmed Race Off," where Banjo and Kazooie need to race him, Bottles and Humba Wumba.

Kinect Sports Rivals[edit]

The Mumbo Bowling outfit
“Last challenge easy-peasy. Win next event and bowl 10 spin balls for much Mumbo respect!”
Mumbo Jumbo, Kinect Sports Rivals

In Kinect Sports Rivals, Mumbo Jumbo appears in the Banjo-Kazooie Challenge Pack and offers to sponsor the player's Champion, challenging them to three events which make use of the Mumbowl ball. Once they are all won, both a large amount of Coins and the Mumbo Bowling outfit are obtained.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Mumbo Jumbo can sometimes appear in the background of the Spiral Mountain stage, standing in different spots and juggling his eyeballs. He also appears as a Primary Advanced spirit, whose battle is against a Gold Mii Swordfighter and a R.O.B. who, while in the internacional release is giant and golden, has no special effects or transformations in the Japanese, Chinese and Korean versions. The battle conditions are that only the main fighter needs to be defeated in order for the battle to be won, the player constantly takes minor damage and the enemy favors air attacks.

Other appearances[edit]

In Donkey Kong Country's Game Boy Advance remake, Mumbo Jumbo's mask appears inside Cranky's Hut.

In Viva Piñata and Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise, there is an item called a "Dastardos Scarer," which is a statue of Mumbo. A concept artwork from Ryan Stevenson reveals that Mumbo was planned to appear physically in the first game, but was eventually scrapped.[2]

General information[edit]

Physical appearance[edit]

Mumbo has pink skin and wears a yellow skull, which has three red feathers on top. In Banjo-Kazooie, Mumbo is larger than both Banjo and Kazooie. In Banjo-Tooie, Mumbo's size was made both thinner and shorter, around the size of Banjo, and his skull is more rounded.

In Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, Mumbo Jumbo wears blue overalls in Showdown Town and L.O.G.'s Lost Challenges. In LOGBOX 720, he has a goatee and wears a gray cap with a red, Space Invaders-like alien and gray overalls with red and green buttons. In Banjoland, he wears a green and brown cap with a Jiggy, a brown shirt and green overalls with yellow buckles and also with Jiggies in them. At one point in development, he also had a Mumbo's Motors tattoo on the side of his skull.[3]

Personality[edit]

Mumbo is generally friendly, although he has animosity toward Humba Wumba, as both regard themselves to be more powerful than the other. He always speaks in the third person, and does not refer to characters by their name. Like many characters, Mumbo refers to Banjo and Kazooie as "bear" and "bird" respectively. He sometimes jokes about what he transforms Banjo into.

Speech[edit]

Mumbo's two main phrases are "Eekum-bokum" and "Oomenacka." His speech is made up of cut-up samples of Grant Kirkhope's voice that would later be used on the background theme of Mayahem Temple in Banjo-Tooie, in which Kirkhope is actually saying "Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough," a famous English football chant.[4]

Profiles and statistics[edit]

Banjo-Kazooie[edit]

  • Manual profile: "A former teacher of Gruntilda's, this mysterious shaman was betrayed by his pupil before he could prevent her from putting his magic to bad use. The witch transformed Mumbo's face into a mask of horror to remain that way until the day she's overthrown…"

Banjo-Tooie[edit]

  • Manual profile: "The skull-headed shaman has been busy since we saw him last, and a couple of well-spent years at witch doctor school have honed his mysterious powers to a greater level than ever before. Mumbo hopes that this time he'll get a chance to leave the safety of his skull and show Banjo and Kazooie what he can really do with his new-found skills..."

Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge[edit]

  • Manual profile: "Mumbo's special transformation spells will help Banjo to no end in locating secret areas and extra Jiggies, Notes and Jinjos. (Read pages 16-17 for more on Transformations.}"

Banjo-Pilot[edit]

  • Top Speed: 3/5
  • Acceleration: 2/5
  • Handling: 3/5
  • Manual profile: "The masked shaman, Banjo's friend and Gruntilda's sworn foe. But his magic may not be so useful in the clouds..."

Viva Piñata / Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise[edit]

  • Dastardos Scarer description: "Garden be much improved with statue of handsome character. Don't buy dump bear statue - it's not as good as this one. All Piñata love Mumbo! Can scare Dastardos so he takes longer to come out of home."

Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts[edit]

  • Manual profile: "Being a shaman is glorious in its own way, but running a garage is where the real action's at. Mumbo is eager to help Banjo with all his vehicle-construction needs."

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

Name Image Series / game Type Class Ability How to obtain Spirit battle
Opponent(s) Battle conditions Stage Song
Mumbo Jumbo SSBU Mumbo Jumbo spirit.png Banjo-Kazooie Series Grab Ace Magic Attack ↑ •Battle via DLC Spirit Board
•Purchase from the Vault Shop for 6000G (since v5.0.0)
•Gold Mii Swordfighter (with the moves Gale Strike, Gale Stab, Hero's Spin and Blade Counter, and wearing Skull Kid's Hat and Ashley Outfit)
•Giant Gold R.O.B. (INT)/R.O.B. (JP/CH/KR)
•Defeat the main fighter to win
•You constantly take minor damage
•The enemy favors air attacks
Jungle Japes (hazards off) Mumbo's Mountain

Gallery[edit]

For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Mumbo Jumbo.

Quotes[edit]

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese マンボ・ジャンボ -
Spanish Mumbo Jumbo -

Trivia[edit]

  • The phrase "mumbo jumbo" usually means gibberish or nonsense.
  • In Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, Mumbo has an idle animation in which he takes out his eyeballs and juggles them. This is later the topic of a quiz question near the end of the game.
    • This animation returns in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
  • According to Ed Bryan, Mumbo's design originated from the Jinjo body with a skull and feathers stuck onto it. Despite this, Bryan still holds that Mumbo is "not actually a Jinjo."[5]
    • When asked about this himself, Mumbo said he had never been "so insulted in whole life."[6]
  • When asked about why he wanted Mumbo Tokens in Banjo-Kazooie, Mumbo stated that he was going through a "Gothic phase" and hoped to build "big throne for hut out of silver skulls," but later got "freaked out" and went back to "tatty old chair." Since then, he threw the tokens away in the bin and thinks they were probably stolen by Minjos.[6]
  • Mumbo claims that, in Banjo-Kazooie's Game Over screen, despite what it looked like, he was actually simply tricking Gruntilda to "lure her back to skull" where he would betray her and "transform her into tortoise or something."[6]
  • Mumbo Jumbo, along with Banjo and Tiptup, were considered playable for Diddy Kong Racing Adventure, a rejected pitch made by Climax Group for the Nintendo GameCube.[7]

References[edit]