Banjo & Kazooie

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"Banjo-Kazooie" redirects here. For the universe, see Banjo-Kazooie (universe).
For fighter info, see Banjo & Kazooie (SSBU).
Banjo & Kazooie
Banjo and Kazooie.png

Official artwork of Banjo and Kazooie from Banjo-Tooie.

Universe Banjo-Kazooie
Debut Banjo:
Diddy Kong Racing (1997)
Banjo-Kazooie (1998)
Smash Bros. appearances Ultimate
Most recent non-Smash appearance Rare Replay (2015)
Console of origin Nintendo 64
Species Bear (Banjo)
Breegull (Kazooie)
Gender Male (Banjo)
Female (Kazooie)
Place of origin Spiral Mountain
Designed by Steve Mayles
Voice actor Chris Sutherland

Banjo (バンジョー, Banjo) and Kazooie (カズーイ, Kazooie) are the main protagonists of the eponymous Banjo-Kazooie series.


Banjo is a laid-back, well-mannered brown bear who loves honey and, as his name suggests, playing his banjo. He is generally non-confrontational, desiring peace and quiet, and he often helps those in need, but he is strong enough to defend himself if need be. He is a foil to Kazooie, his best friend whom he goes on adventures with.

Kazooie is a Red Crested Breegull, a fictional species of bird known for fast running speeds and flight abilities. She lives in his backpack and is much more abrasive and brash compared to Banjo, often making sarcastic and inappropriate remarks about the people they meet. They live in a small house near the foot of Spiral Mountain on the Isle O' Hags.

Their first adventure together saw them rescue Banjo's little sister, Tooty, from the clutches of the evil witch Gruntilda, also known as Grunty; in order to become the fairest woman in all the land, Grunty kidnapped Tooty and attempted to use a machine to steal her youth. Throughout the duo's journey in the witch's lair, they receive help from the shaman Mumbo Jumbo, who transforms them into various creatures and objects, and Bottles the mole, who teaches them new moves. Banjo and Kazooie work their way through Grunty's lair and confront her at its peak, ultimately summoning the Jinjonator to push her off the tower to her doom; she crashes into the ground and is buried by the ensuing debris.

Two months later, in Grunty's Revenge, Grunty's ogre-like minion Klungo creates a robotic body for her spirit to possess while her body remains underground. Mecha-Grunty kidnaps Kazooie and travels 20 years in the past to stop the two from meeting, thus preventing her defeat. Mumbo uses his magic to send Banjo back in time and stop her, rescuing Kazooie and sending Grunty's spirit back to the future into her real body, restoring the timeline back to normal.

Two years later in Banjo-Tooie, Grunty's sisters appear and use their magic to dig up Grunty, who has been reduced to nothing but bones. Grunty casts a powerful spell to destroy Banjo's house while Banjo, Kazooie, Mumbo, and Bottles are in the middle of a card game; the former three escape before the spell hits the house, but Bottles is killed in the explosion. Grunty wants her flesh back, so she and her sisters use a giant laser called the Big-O-Blaster (B.O.B.) to suck the life out of the inhabitants of the island. After using it once, the laser requires much more time to recharge before it is ready to be used again. Banjo and Kazooie set out to both avenge Bottles and stop Grunty. Bottles' role is filled by his brother Jamjars, and Mumbo takes a more active role in the adventure, with transformations instead being done by his rival, the shamaness Humba Wumba. Banjo and Kazooie triumph over Grunty once again, and use the B.O.B. to revive Bottles.

Eight years later in Nuts & Bolts, the duo becomes lazy and out of shape from their lack of exercise. Grunty reappears as just a skull, but before they can fight, they are interrupted of the Lord of Games (L.O.G.), creator of all video games. He creates a robotic body for Grunty and a series of racing challenges for Banjo and Kazooie to go through; the pair eventually battle and defeat Grunty, who is forced to work in L.O.G.'s video game factory.

In all their adventures together, Banjo and Kazooie demonstrate a close synergy through the fact that their many moves require some kind of teamwork, though Kazooie is usually the one taking the most physical abuse. Banjo-Tooie introduced a mechanic that lets them separate should they stand on specially marked pads, giving each of them access to exclusive moves.

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

As playable characters[edit]

Banjo & Kazooie, as they appear in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Banjo and Kazooie were announced as playable fighters, alongside the Hero, during the E3 2019 Nintendo Direct on June 11, 2019.


  • Banjo and Kazooie are the fourth foreign-created characters to be playable in Smash Bros.: they alongside Diddy Kong and King K. Rool were created by British developer Rare Ltd., and Dark Samus was created by American developer Retro Studios. They are the first third-party fighter to be created outside of Japan, and the first fighter in general to belong to a completely foreign franchise.
  • They are the first third-party fighters in Smash Bros. to belong to a non-Japanese company, as well as current console rival of Nintendo, Microsoft.
    • However, they hold the unique distinction of being the only fighters who were formerly part of a second-party franchise, partially owned by Nintendo, before becoming a third-party.
  • Banjo & Kazooie are the only third-party fighter whose series debuted on a Nintendo console other than the NES.
  • Banjo & Kazooie are the first and only third-party fighters to debut in a game that was published by Nintendo worldwide.
  • Banjo & Kazooie are the only third-party characters who fight as a team.
  • Kazooie is the second female third-party fighter, after Bayonetta.
  • Banjo and Diddy Kong have previously met before in Diddy Kong Racing.
  • Banjo, Kirby, Mario, Wario and Sonic are the only playable characters to appear in a game prior to the first one in their series.
  • Banjo is the second fighter who originated in a Donkey Kong series game, but is not classified as part of the Donkey Kong universe; the other is Mario.
  • They are the second pair of animal fighters consisting of a mammal and a bird, the first being Duck Hunt.
    • This similarity is referenced in Banjo and Kazooie's reveal trailer, with Duck Hunt dressing up as the duo. Duck Hunt also has an alternate costume that some fans took to be similar to Banjo and Kazooie.
  • Kazooie is the fourth playable bird in the Super Smash Bros. series, following Falco, King Dedede, and the duck in Duck Hunt. She is the first female bird, and the first to originate from a third-party franchise.
  • Unlike Bowser, Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong and King K. Rool, Banjo and Kazooie retain their voice actor from their home franchise. They share this trait with Yoshi, who is voiced by Kazumi Totaka, and Bowser Jr. and the Koopalings, who are all voiced by their respective Mario series actors.
  • Banjo & Kazooie have been requested for approximately 20 years, receiving 18 votes in a small poll from 1999.
    • According to Source Gaming, Masahiro Sakurai previously wrote on the Melee homepage that including Banjo & Kazooie was, at the time, "unlikely for a variety of legal and financial reasons."
    • A trophy for Banjo & Kazooie was also considered for Melee, but Sakurai mentioned that it would be difficult to work on the game as scheduled and travel to England to gain Rare's approval.[1]

External links[edit]

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