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Banjo-Tooie is a platform and action-adventure hybrid video game developed by Raremarker and published by Nintendo in 2000 for the Nintendo 64 as a part of the Banjo-Kazooie series. 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 must stop them before it is too late.

Plot synopsis

Kazooie and Banjo in the level Witchyworld
Two years have passed since Banjo and Kazooie defeated the witch Gruntilda and buried her alive under a boulder. While the two 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 while Bottles 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 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. The two confront Gruntilda in the Hag 1, which explodes in the end and destroys most of Gruntilda's body, leaving her nothing more than a talking skull. Banjo and Kazooie return to Bottles' house with their friends to find that everyone else has celebrated without them. They decide to play kickball with Gruntilda's head, who swears to have her revenge in "Banjo-Threeie."

Gameplay

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 Bottle'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.

Worlds

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 rest of the lair blocked off by large boulders. Also Cheato lives here where he can give them cheats for five of his Cheato pages they find.

Jinjo Village - Home of the Jinjos in which each different family of Jinjos of a given color give Banjo and Kazooie a Jiggy if they rescue them all. Banjo and Kazooie also meet King Jingaling who looks after all the Jinjos and Bottles lives here where Banjo and Kazooie find a secret entrance that leads to the Isle O' Hags.

Isle O' Hags - The hub world where all the other worlds can be accessed. It features many locations, many of which are blocked off until Banjo and Kazooie have certain movies. 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 never needs to be changed back.

Mayahem Temple - A jungle-like world with ancient Mayan theme, featuring Mayan pyramids similar to ones found at Tikalmarker. 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.

Glitter Gulch Mine - An underground 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.

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, and the Big Top. 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.

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 "Oxygenate Water", which makes the lagoon rich in oxygen so that Banjo and Kazooie can breathe underwater. Wumba's transformation is "Submarine", which can send out sonar pings and launch torpedoes.

Teradactyland - 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 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.

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", which can launch underwear at enemies, wash clothes, and is resistant to lava.

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.

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 and makes the Rainbow Bridge appear. Wumba's transformation is "Bee", which can fly and shoot stingers.

Cauldron Keep - The final world in the game. In this world; Banjo and Kazooie must fight Klungo for the third and final time, participate in the "Tower of Tragedy" quiz, bring Bottles and King Jingaling back to life, and finish Grunty off once and for all.

Bottles' Revenge

Devil Bottles
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.

Bottle's 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 Bottle's Revenge.

Development

Sequel

A Game Boy Advance prequel to Banjo-Tooie was made, titled Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge. The events in that game follow those of Banjo-Kazooie, and lead up to Banjo-Tooie.

On September 27, 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 head 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.

Xbox Live Arcade

Graphical enhancements in Banjo-Tooie for Xbox Live Arcade
The Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) version of Banjo-Tooie was released on April 29, 2009. Just as with its XBLA predecessor Banjo-Kazooie, the XBLA version of Banjo-Tooie features minor graphical refinements as well as increased screen resolution. The "original plan" of including Stop 'N' Swop was also implemented. 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.

Reception

Banjo-Tooie was part of long chain of critically and commercially successful games on the N64 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, rivalling its predecessor Banjo-Kazooie. IGN praised the multiplayer system and its characters but criticised the graphics for framespeed problems during certain points in the game.Its release on Xbox Live was given an 8/10, one point less than its predecessor, as the lack of a map could make the game confusing, and the game was somewhat difficult.

References

  1. http://www.rarewitchproject.com The Rare Witch Project website]
  2. NEWS UPDATE: Banjo-Tooie Release Date & Screens banjo-kazooie.com. Retrieved on January 27, 2009.
  3. Behind the Fur and Feathers with 4J Studios mundorare.com. Retrieved on April 16, 2009
  4. http://www.rarewitchproject.com/?id=1778

External links




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