Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge

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Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge
North American GBA box art
Developer(s) Rare
Publisher(s) THQ
InFusio (mobile)
Composer(s) Jamie Hughes
Series Banjo-Kazooie
Platform(s) Game Boy Advance, Mobile phones
  • NA: 12 September 2003
  • EU: 24 October 2003
Genre(s) Platform
Mode(s) Single-player

Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge is a platforming video game developed by Rare and published by THQ for the Game Boy Advance. The game was released in North America on 12 September 2003 and in Europe on 24 October 2003. Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge is a handheld game in the Banjo-Kazooie series and takes place two months after the events of Banjo-Kazooie for the Nintendo 64. The game also contains a time travel plot; its story actually takes place before the events of Banjo-Kazooie as well. Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge used an overhead platform design similar to Conker's Pocket Tales to replicate the 3D feel of the console entries in the series, but on a smaller scale.

Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge was the first Rare game that was released after the company was purchased by Microsoft from the Stamper Brothers, and the first Banjo-Kazooie game to be released on the portable Game Boy Advance and to only be licensed by Nintendo. A port for mobile phones was released in June 2005, along with a mobile compilation of the minigames, titled Banjo Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge Missions.


Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge is played from an overhead perspective, as opposed to the third-person view of its predecessors. Similarly to previous Banjo-Kazooie titles, the game is spread across five individual worlds accessible from the main hub world, Spiral Mountain. Banjo must collect up to 10 Jiggies from each world to unlock new ones with help from Master Jiggywiggy, eventually leading to Gruntilda's Castle. Jiggies can be earned by completing various objectives, such as winning a minigame, defeating a boss, or helping someone in need. New to Grunty's Revenge is the Jinjo Oracle, a statue who offers hints regarding Jiggy locations in exchange for saving Jinjos trapped in each world; collecting all the Jinjos in a world will earn Banjo a Jiggy.

Several of Banjo and Kazooie's moves from the previous games are retained, such as the Talon Trot and Bill Drill, while one new move is introduced, the Battery Eggs. New moves can be acquired from Bozzeye, one of Bottles' relatives, in exchange for Musical Notes, up to 100 of which can be found in each world. Returning character Mumbo Jumbo can also transform Banjo into one of several new forms, giving him access to previously unreachable areas; unlike past games, specific transformations are not exclusive to each world and can be used in any world once unlocked. Additionally, Banjo can also collect up to two Hollow Honeycombs per world and exchange them with Honey B for extensions to Banjo's energy meter.


Two months after Gruntilda's defeat, Gruntilda's minion Klungo is unable to make any progress moving the boulder crushing her. Instead, he builds a mechanical body for Gruntilda which she possesses with her spirit, allowing her to exact revenge on Banjo and Kazooie. Mecha-Grunty kidnaps Kazooie and travels twenty years back in time to keep the duo from ever meeting, which would prevent her defeat. Mumbo Jumbo uses his magic to send Banjo back in time and stop her.

Upon his arrival in the past version of Spiral Mountain, Banjo is greeted by Bottles' relative Bozzeye, who received a note from Mumbo prior to Banjo's arrival asking for his assistance. With the aid of Bozzeye and a younger incarnation of Mumbo, Banjo quickly reunites with Kazooie, and together they battle Mecha-Grunty and Klungo multiple times before eventually arriving in Gruntilda's Castle, which is still being constructed. The two defeat her, dismantling her robotic body and sending her spirit back to the future and into her real body underground. Returning to the present, Banjo has Kazooie invite Mumbo and Bottles over for a card game to celebrate. The game ends with Gruntilda summoning Klungo to request assistance from her sisters, foreshadowing the events of Banjo-Tooie.


Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge was developed by Rare for the Game Boy Advance (GBA).[1] Production lasted four years and began in August 1999, a year before the release of Banjo-Tooie[2] and when Rare was still a second-party developer for Nintendo.[3] Although it was developed and released on the GBA, Grunty's Revenge was initially planned for the system's predecessor, the Game Boy Color.[2] It was originally titled Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Curse and was conceptualized by a small team.[2] Grunty's Curse's story was different: it did not involve time travel and would have been set several years after the events of Banjo-Kazooie.[2] In the story of Grunty's Curse, Gruntilda curses Bottles and Mumbo, and kidnaps Kazooie and turns her into a monster; to save them, Banjo must find several magic ingredients. As he has not adventured in a long time, Banjo sets out to be retrained by Bottles' father Grampa Mole (who became Bozzeye in the final version).[2] The original plot is referenced as an in-joke in the final game; when Banjo finds Kazooie, he says he is surprised Gruntilda did not turn her into a monster.[2] Grunty's Curse was to feature more levels and power-ups than Grunty's Revenge. Rare was working on the game's sprites when production halted in late 1999.[2]

Production restarted after Nintendo released the GBA, and it was retitled Grunty's Revenge.[2] The game was first shown along with Rare's other GBA games they were working on at the time at E3 2001.[4] Development continued even after Rare was acquired by Nintendo rival Microsoft, which does not make handheld game consoles, in 2002.[2][3] Grunty's Revenge was nearly complete at the time, but Rare chose to continue to fine-tune it during their transition to a first-party developer. It also gave them time to implement 3D computer graphics.[4] A multiplayer mode using the GBA's Game Link Cable was planned but cut.[5] On 11 August 2003, Microsoft announced it was collaborating with THQ to publish Rare's GBA projects, including Grunty's Revenge, Banjo-Kazooie spinoff Banjo Pilot, a remake of Sabre Wulf, and It's Mr. Pants.[6] The game was released in North America on 12 September 2003 and in Europe on 24 October 2003.[1] It was Rare's first game after the studio was purchased by Microsoft[5] and their first game in over 10 years that they or Nintendo did not publish.[7] A port for mobile phones was released by InFusio in June 2005.[8] Another mobile game comprising the minigames featured in Grunty's Revenge, Grunty's Revenge Missions, was released around the same time.[9]


Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllGame3.5/5 stars[12]
Game Informer5.25/10[15]
GameSpy4/5 stars[17]
NGC Magazine90%[20]
Nintendo Life7/10 stars[21]
Nintendo Power3.6/5[22]

Most reviews were generally positive. However, GameSpot gave the game a 6.8 out of 10, criticizing the better aspects of the game being overshadowed by its focus on item collecting and "the rather short nature of the overall quest".[16] The game has an average score of 72.70% from GameRankings[10] and 72 out of 100 from Metacritic.


  1. ^ a b "Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge (GBA / Game Boy Advance) News, Reviews, Trailer & Screenshots". Nintendo Life. Retrieved 22 September 2018. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i McFerran, Damien (5 October 2013). "Lost Game Boy Color Banjo-Kazooie Game Unearthed In Design Documents". Nintendo Life. Retrieved 22 September 2018. 
  3. ^ a b McLaughlin, Rus (28 July 2008). "IGN Presents: The History of Rare". IGN. Retrieved 22 September 2018. 
  4. ^ a b Harris, Craig (18 September 2003). "Rare Interview". IGN. Retrieved 22 September 2018. 
  5. ^ a b Harris, Craig (12 September 2003). "Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge". IGN. Retrieved 22 September 2018. 
  6. ^ "Rare Line-up Revealed". IGN. 11 August 2003. Archived from the original on 22 January 2016. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  7. ^ Provo, Frank (22 September 2003). "Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 23 September 2018. 
  8. ^ IGN Wireless (25 May 2005). "Wireless: Banjo-Kazooie Grunty's Revenge". IGN. Archived from the original on 26 May 2005. Retrieved 22 September 2018. 
  9. ^ Gouskos, Carrie (21 June 2005). "Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge Missions Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 22 September 2018. 
  10. ^ a b "Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge for Game Boy Advance". GameRankings. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  11. ^ "Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge Critic Reviews for Game Boy Advance". Metacritic. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  12. ^ Marriott, Scott Alan. "Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge - Overview". Allgame. Retrieved 22 December 2013. 
  13. ^ "Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge". Edge: 106. December 2003. 
  14. ^ Taylor, Martin (31 October 2003). "Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge Review". Eurogamer. Retrieved 22 December 2013. 
  15. ^ "Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge". Game Informer (127): 177. November 2003. 
  16. ^ a b Provo, Frank (22 September 2003). "Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  17. ^ Steinberg, Steve (6 October 2003). "GameSpy: Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge". GameSpy. Archived from the original on 11 May 2008. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  18. ^ Zacarias, Eduardo (12 October 2003). "Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge - GBA - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on 23 June 2008. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  19. ^ Harris, Craig (12 September 2003). "Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge". IGN. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  20. ^ "Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge". NGC Magazine. December 2003. 
  21. ^ Letcavage, Dave (10 March 2013). "Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge (Game Boy Advance) Review". NintendoLife. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  22. ^ "Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge". Nintendo Power: 148. December 2003. 

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