North American box art
4J Studios (Xbox Live Arcade)
Microsoft Game Studios (Xbox Live Arcade)
|Release date(s)||Nintendo 64
Banjo-Tooie is a platform and action-adventure hybrid video game developed and published by Rare in 2000 for the Nintendo 64 as a part of the Banjo-Kazooie series. It was first titled Banjo Katooie, however, this name was scrapped early in the development phase. The game is the successor to Banjo-Kazooie and was one of the most anticipated sequels for the Nintendo 64.
The game's story takes place two years after Banjo-Kazooie. The antagonist, Gruntilda Winkybunion, and her sisters, Mingella and Blobbelda, are planning to restore Gruntilda's body to its original form. Banjo and Kazooie, along with Mumbo Jumbo, must stop them before it is too late.
Following from where Banjo-Kazooie left off, Banjo and Kazooie defeat Gruntilda and escape Gruntilda's lair after they rescue Banjo's sister, Tooty, from her clutches in the previous game. Gruntilda is then sent hurtling towards Spiral Mountain and is buried alive under a boulder. Two years have passed since Gruntilda's assumed death. While Banjo and Kazooie are playing poker with their friends Mumbo Jumbo and Bottles, Gruntilda's sisters Mingella and Blobbelda arrive in a large digging machine, the Hag 1. They destroy the boulder and free Gruntilda, her time spent underground having rotted her flesh away and reduced her to a skeleton. Seeking revenge, Gruntilda destroys Banjo's house before fleeing with her sisters. Banjo, Kazooie and Mumbo all escape in time, but Bottles, believing it all to be a trick on Kazooie's part (as had happened before in their card games), is caught in the magical blast and killed. The three remaining friends decide to put an end to Gruntilda's plans.
Following the witches' trail, Banjo and Kazooie arrive at Jinjo Village in the Isle o' Hags, where King Jingaling, king of the Jinjos, explains that his subjects were frightened away by the Hag 1 and scattered throughout the island, and gives the two their first Jiggy to help find them. Meanwhile, Gruntilda's sisters introduce her to a cannon called the Big-O-Blaster (B.O.B.) that will restore her body by sucking the life force from any given target. They test B.O.B. on King Jingaling, who is turned into a zombie. Gruntilda plans to charge B.O.B. long enough to blast the entire island. The witch's most loyal minion Klungo is sent out to hinder Banjo and Kazooie in their progress by fighting them. After taking many beatings from Gruntilda as punishment for losing, Klungo eventually gives up and abandons her.
Finally reaching Gruntilda's fortress at Cauldron Keep, Banjo and Kazooie confront Gruntilda and her sisters in another trivia game in which the losers will be flattened under one-ton weights. The two dispatch Mingella and Blobbelda while Gruntilda escapes once more. They then reverse the effects of B.O.B., bringing both King Jingaling and Bottles back to life. They, along with Klungo, celebrate at Bottle's house, while the rest work to finish Gruntilda. The two enter the top of the fortress and defeat Gruntilda, destroying most of her body and breaking the Hag 1 apart. Banjo and Kazooie return to Bottles' house with their remaining friends (Jamjars, Mumbo, and Wumba) to find that everyone else has celebrated without them. The game ends with everyone playing kickball with Gruntilda's head, who swears to have her revenge.
- Banjo is a male brown honey bear. He always wears a blue backpack (which contains Kazooie), a shark-tooth necklace, and yellow shorts. He is an expert banjo player, hence his name. His hometown is Spiral Mountain and his best friend is Kazooie. Banjo is unlike her, however: he is calm, respectful, and kind. He is one of the two major protagonists in the game.
- Kazooie is a female Red-Crested Breegull. She excels at playing the kazoo, hence her name. She resides in Banjo's backpack unless the player stands on a split-up pad and has many more attack methods than Banjo. She is wisecracking, can be annoying, and she loves adventure. If Banjo tells Kazooie to quit joking someone, she will listen, proving her loyalty to Banjo.
- Gruntilda is a mean, evil green-skinned witch, although by the time this game began she had turned into a skeleton. In the prologue of the game, her sisters and Klungo levitate and destroy the boulder that fell on her at the end of Banjo-Kazooie. Then she spots Mumbo Jumbo and destroys Banjo's house. She obviously likes quizzes, given that she hosts another called The Tower of Tragedy. She is the last boss of the game.
- Mumbo Jumbo is a male shaman and rival of Humba Wumba. Unlike in Banjo-Kazooie, he doesn't transform Banjo and Kazooie into other creatures, but instead performs spells on a Mumbo Spell Pad that helps the two on their quest. In this game, the player must bring him a small creature called a glowbo; they are usually hiding close to his house.
- Humba Wumba is a new character in the game, a female native American sorcerer and rival of Mumbo Jumbo. She is the character that transforms Banjo into other creatures. Like Mumbo Jumbo, the player must bring her a glowbo in order for her magic to work.
- Jamjars is a mole soldier who is a new character in this game, the brother of Bottles, and the player's guide. He wears a military outfit and replaces his brother as the one who teaches the player the moves of the game. To learn the moves, the player must collect a certain number of musical notes.
- Bottles is a mole and close friend of Banjo and Kazooie. He no longer teaches new moves like in the previous game due to his death at the beginning of the game by Gruntilda destroying Banjo's house.
- All of these characters can be used in Multiplayer Mode of the game, but Kazooie and Banjo cannot be separated. Jinjo is also a playable character in the game, but the player must unlock it in Heggy's Shed. Gruntilda has the most health and lowest speed and Jinjo has the lowest health. All other characters have the same health, but a very small difference in speeds.
Similar to its predecessor Banjo-Kazooie, the game features three-dimensional worlds containing items to be collected. Among the items are golden jigsaw pieces ("Jiggies") that are used to complete jigsaw puzzles that unlock the levels. Instead of exploring the hub world in search of incomplete puzzle boards as in Banjo-Kazooie, a singular board is used within a temple where Jiggywiggy resides. Whenever the player has obtained the number of Jiggies required, a timed puzzle-completion challenge can be played, after which Jiggywiggy grants access to each world. Each puzzle challenge requires more Jiggies than the last.
Musical notes return in Banjo-Tooie, but are used to learn new moves from the drill sergeant Jamjars. He is the brother of Bottles and takes over Bottles's role from the first game. Mumbo Jumbo also returns as a playable character that can venture out into each world and use specific magic spells to help Banjo and Kazooie proceed. Replacing Mumbo's previous role of transforming the duo into different forms is Humba Wumba, a medicine woman and Mumbo's rival.
Another feature introduced in Banjo-Tooie is the interconnectedness of its worlds. In Banjo-Kazooie the titular duo would be magically transported to each level via special doors in Gruntilda's lair. In Banjo-Tooie the levels are physically connected at multiple points and are effectively extensions of the Isle o' Hags hub world. In addition, the train Chuffy can be used to migrate minor characters between some worlds that contain stations.
- Training Area: Spiral Mountain - Banjo-Kazooie's homeworld. It features their destroyed home, Grunty's old lair from the first game, which has the entrance to Mumbo's Mountain and the first note door blocked off by large boulders due to Grunty's defeat. Also Cheato lives here where he can give them cheats for every five of his Cheato pages they find. Between the mountain and Jinjo Village is a green cave, where Klungo is fought for the first time. Bottles' molehills also continue to stand alone throughout most of the level where Banjo and Kazooie can get clarification on moves from the previous game.
- Overworld: Isle O' Hags - The hub world where all the other worlds can be accessed. It features many locations, most of which are blocked off until Banjo and Kazooie have certain moves. Mumbo Jumbo's spell here is Heal, which cures the sick. Humba Wumba's transformation here is a secret transformation called Dragon, which only affects Kazooie. It makes her able to spit fire at enemies along with all her normal moves, so she is not required to change back. It also gives her infinite fire eggs. Like the rest of the transformations this can be turned off if the player wishes to. The hub also features a Jinjo Village in which each different family of Jinjos of a given color gives Banjo and Kazooie a Jiggy if they rescue them all from the same color. In the Cliff Top, the third train station can be seen. In the Quagmire, an inaccessible train station can be seen, and can only be accessed if a person successfully hacks the game to get into it. The tracks of the various stations can be seen near the entrance of Cauldron Keep.
- World 1: Mayahem Temple - A jungle-like world with ancient Mayan theme, featuring Mayan pyramids similar to ones found at Tikal. Mumbo's spell here is "Summon", which lets him control a large golden statue that can open large doors and attack larger enemies. Wumba's transformation in this level is "Stony", a small creature made of stone that can understand the cryptic language of the other Stonies and enter the Mayan Kickball tournament. The boss is Targitzan, a giant totem pole.
- World 2: Glitter Gulch Mine - An underground ore mine with a Western theme. There are multiple caverns Banjo and Kazooie can explore, some filled with toxic gas or flooded with water, and they can ride a mine car along a track. Mumbo's spell in this level is "Levitate", which can levitate a boulder into a crushing shed, and levitate Chuffy the train back onto its tracks. Wumba's transformation here is "Detonator", which can detonate TNT packs to open up new parts of the level. The boss is Old King Coal, a giant pile of coal who grants access to the trains after defeat. Once Banjo and Kazooie learn the Talon Torpedo move from Sergeant Jamjars in Jolly Roger's Lagoon, they can break a large underwater boulder, revealing a tunnel to a small, closed-off cove in the ice side of Hailfire Peaks. The cove contains a very special, secret item. Glitter Gulch Mine contains the first train station of the game.
- World 3: Witchyworld - A substandard theme park featuring many dangerous rides and unhealthy food. There are several themed lands including the Space Zone, the Inferno, a Western-style land, the Big Top, and another Space Zone named "Area 51". Mumbo's spell here is "Power", which can activate some of the rides and machines. Wumba's transformation is "Van", which can access certain doors and pay money to open up some of the attractions. The boss is Mr. Patch, a giant inflatable monster with patches as vulnerable spots. This level also features the debut of the minjo, an evil jinjo lookalike. Witchyworld contains the second train station
- World 4: Jolly Roger's Lagoon - A seaside resort. There's a small town at the entrance of the level, but most of it is in an immense underwater cavern which features Atlantis and other unusual locations. Mumbo's spell is "Sunlight", which oxygenates the lagoon so that Banjo and Kazooie can breathe underwater. Wumba's transformation is "Submarine", which can send out sonar pings and launch torpedoes. The boss is Lord Woo Fak Fak, a giant anglerfish, with vulnerable boils and sensitive eyes. A pipe in this level leads to the Water Storage area in Glitter Gulch Mine, where the fifth jinjo from Glitter Gulch Mine can be collected. Unlike many levels, there is no train station in this level.
- World 5: Terrydactyland - A prehistoric world full of dinosaurs and cavemen. Mumbo's spell here is "Enlarge", which makes things larger. Humba has two transformations in this level, "Baby T-Rex" and "Daddy T-Rex", depending on if Mumbo had enlarged Wumba's wigwam. Baby T-Rex can't do much besides access certain parts of the world, but Daddy T-Rex is ten times Banjo's original size and has a deafening roar, allowing him to scare cavemen. The boss is Terry, a disgruntled pterodactyl. This level contains caves that connect to both Mayahem Temple and Witchyworld. This level features the debut of evil, red-eyed Beehives. Terrydactyland contains the fourth train station in the game.
- World 6: Grunty Industries - A polluting factory full of dangerous machinery. Mumbo's spell is "EMP", which can disable certain machines, but only temporarily. Wumba's transformation is "Washing Machine" (a humorous nod to the first game), which can access mechanical-only areas of the world, launch underwear at enemies, wash clothes, and is resistant to polluted water. However, he is prohibited to warp while transformed. The boss is Weldar, a giant near-sighted welding torch. Grunty's Industries has the fifth train station, and the main building can only be entered using said station.
- World 7: Hailfire Peaks - A large mountain that has two sides to it, a "Fire Side" full of lava and fire, and an "Ice Side" with ice and snow. Mumbo's spell here is "Life Force" which can bring inert creatures back to life. Wumba's transformation is "Snowball", which can make Banjo larger if he rolls around to make him more destructive. If he goes on the Fire Side, he slowly begins to melt, which makes him gradually decrease in size and lose health. The bosses are Chilli Billi and Chilly Willy, a fire dragon and ice dragon, respectively. Hailfire Peaks is the only dungeon that contains two train station, one in the lava world, and one in the icy world.
- World 8: Cloud Cuckooland - A bizarre world in the clouds featuring a giant garbage can, a giant cheese wedge, and a pot of gold, among other oddities. Mumbo's spell in this level is "Rain Dance", which makes certain plants grow, creates pools of water and makes the Rainbow Bridge appear. Wumba's transformation is "Bee", which makes its second appearance since Click Clock Wood in Banjo-Kazooie, which can now can shoot stingers at enemies and other targets. The boss is Mingy Jongo, a cyborg Mumbo impersonator that inhabits a second Mumbo skull.
- Final Stage: Cauldron Keep - The final world in the game, and by far the smallest. In this world, Banjo and Kazooie must fight Klungo for the third and final time, participate and win in the "Tower of Tragedy" quiz, bring Bottles and King Jingaling back to life, and defeat Grunty and her HAG-1 digger.
Rare left a fully functional, though inaccessible, mode in the game where player two can play as an undead version of Bottles the mole and can take control of enemy characters to hinder Banjo in his quest. The player cannot take control of bosses, however, due to Bottles leaving when entering a room to fight a boss, stating, "I'm not needed here." The Rare Witch Project website released a GameShark code allowing users to play this mode. This mode was originally intended to be used in gameplay and was supposedly somewhat playable when the game was demoed at E3.
The face of "Devil Bottles" appears with one of the questions in the Tower of Tragedy. "Devil Bottles" is also pictured in a sheet with all Banjo-Tooie characters on it, which could be won in a Banjo-Tooie contest on Rare's website, back whenever the game was released in a specific region, in 2001. In 2006, Rare said that the reason Bottles' Revenge was scrapped was because they ran out of time to debug it, although, "It did work rather well." They also mentioned that bosses were meant to be able to be controllable in Bottles' Revenge, but the only boss that they had working in the mode when they dropped it was Old King Coal. Old King Coal is not controllable in the version of Bottles' Revenge that appears in the game.
Using an emulator, Bottles' Revenge can be activated using the cheat menu. If activated, a cutscene will play upon entering Spiral Mountain for the first time, and player two can control Devil Bottles. If a mini-game or boss is selected from the replay menu while Bottles' Revenge is activated, instead of simply replaying that part of the game, the player is placed at that point in the game and can continue to play normally, facilitating easy replaying of entire levels.
Bottles' Revenge remains inaccessible in the Xbox Live Arcade version of the game. 4J Studios, the developer of the XBLA Banjo-Tooie, noted that their intention was to faithfully port the game rather than extensively revise it by reinstating Bottles' Revenge.
On September 13, 2006, Microsoft and Rare announced at X06 that the series would return after eight years on the Xbox 360. On November 12, 2008, Rare released Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, in which Gruntilda returns as a skull inside a container. At the end of Banjo-Tooie, Grunty's severed and skeletal head makes a comment about getting her revenge in Banjo-Threeie. Rare representatives stated that though they were aware of the player's expectation due to the comment, they nevertheless decided on the Nuts & Bolts name.
In September 2012, core members of the original team for the game "Banjo-Tooie" have created a joint Twitter account under the username "MingyJongo" discussing a spiritual successor to "Banjo-Tooie".
In Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts to unlock extra content, a new feature was also added to the game. Stop 'N' Swop II, which would be unlocked once the player collected the Gold, Silver, and Bronze eggs from inside the three BK game paks scattered in Spiral Mountain and the Isle o' Hags. Once it becomes unlocked after the eggs are hatched by Heggy the hen, a message will appear, telling the player that the items unlocked through Stop 'N' Swop II will be usable in a future Banjo game. 4J Studios, the developer that worked on the XBLA version of the original Banjo-Kazooie game, was commissioned by Rare for the new version of Banjo-Tooie.
A trailer for Banjo-Tooie was added to the Xbox Live Marketplace on April 10. The video, entitled "Happy Easter Banjo-Tooie" shows more of the game's Stop 'N' Swop features with Heggy the hen and the eggs. It was released with gamerpics featuring the six eggs and ice key, as well as the new gold, silver and bronze eggs. A premium theme was released the following day. On April 22, a conventional trailer was released showing the game's graphical enhancements. An interview with 4J Studios revealed that multiplayer gameplay would remain offline for the XBLA release. On 25 April 2009, the Rare Witch Project released a news article along with a video of the use of the Stop 'N' Swop items in the XBLA Banjo-Tooie.
Banjo-Tooie was part of a long chain of critically and commercially successful games on the Nintendo 64 from Rare upon the time of its release. However, due to being released at the end of the console's lifetime, the game suffered from a mild depreciation in sales. The scores were consistently very high, rivaling its predecessor Banjo-Kazooie. IGN praised the multiplayer system and its characters but criticized the graphics for framespeed problems during certain points in the game. Its release on Xbox Live was given an 8.5/10.
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