Banjo & Kazooie (SSBU)
Banjo & Kazooie (バンジョー&カズーイ, Banjo & Kazooie), formatted in their reveal trailer as Banjo-Kazooie, are playable fighters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and are the first third-party representatives from Microsoft. They were announced alongside the Hero during the E3 Nintendo Direct on June 11th, 2019 as the third downloadable fighters from the Fighters Pass. Banjo & Kazooie were released on September 4th, 2019 and although they are a team, they are collectively classified as fighter #73.
Chris Sutherland's portrayals of Banjo & Kazooie from across the Banjo-Kazooie series were repurposed for Ultimate in all regions.
Banjo & Kazooie are a duo that fights together as a singular character, akin to Duck Hunt. The duo is a heavyweight weighing as much as Snake and R.O.B. While their walking speed is below-average, and their initial dash and traction values are among the worst in the game, they have a very fast running speed, courtesy of Kazooie's Talon Trot, which is fairly uncharacteristic of their weight class. While Banjo is somewhat short for a heavyweight (having a relatively average size), his hurtbox is still fairly wide nonetheless, much like Wario. Outside of the Talon Trot and up tilt, Kazooie does not have a hurtbox, meaning that all standard attacks involving her are disjointed. Akin to Ridley and Charizard, the duo has two midair jumps. Additionally, they have a fast falling speed, high gravity, slow air speed, and average air acceleration.
Banjo & Kazooie's grounded arsenal makes use of the majority of moves from their first two games, Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie. Banjo's Claw Swipe and Kazooie's Rat-a-Tat Rap comprise their neutral attack. The former serves as a 3-hit gentleman jab, while the latter is a standard rapid jab. It should be noted that the hurtbox of Kazooie's jabs is large enough to sometimes hit enemies standing directly behind Banjo. This can sometimes cause the opponent to be continually jabbed into Banjo's back, keeping them locked in the hurtbox, amounting to extremely high percentages. Their forward tilt, Beak Bayonet, is a quick stab with Kazooie's beak, functioning similarly to Ridley's forward tilt. Banjo & Kazooie's up tilt is an original move, being a powerful upward kick from Banjo. Their down tilt, Beak Barge, is a low-to-the-ground slide that launches at a very low semi-spike angle, making it a very potent edgeguarding option. Their dash attack is the Forward Roll, bearing similarity to Donkey Kong's dash attack.
Complementing their versatile tilts, Banjo and Kazooie sport very useful smash attacks. Their forward smash is Breegull Bash, a slow but powerful move that highlights a comical maneuver in their home game. The duo's up smash is the Bill Drill, a spinning attack with Kazooie's beak that is fairly useful as an anti-aerial and out-of-shield option. Banjo & Kazooie's down smash is an original move, being a wing-slam from Kazooie on both sides of Banjo, in a similar vein to Ridley, making it a useful tool for catching rolls. Additionally, it can 2-frame opponents on the ledge very easily.
Their aerial moveset also combines old and new moves. The duo's neutral aerial is the Twirling Wing Whack, a multi-hitting circular wing spin from Kazooie that is functionally very similar to Ivysaur and Piranha Plant's neutral aerial. Banjo shows off a haymaker punch in his forward aerial. Rat-a-Tat Rap makes a second appearance in their aerial moveset as a back aerial that hits three times, while Kazooie uses a wing clap move as their up aerial that hits twice. Beak Buster makes an appearance as their down aerial, being a stall-then-fall that meteor smashes opponents during its initial frames.
The pair's ground game is varied, with some attacks like forward and up tilt coming out fairly quickly and having long range, while their smash attacks are overall slower but have decent power. This is also true of their aerial game, as Banjo's forward aerial is powerful, but has 15 frames of startup and high ending lag, while Air Rat-a-Tat Rap and Twirling Wing Whack are faster and safer but suffer from high landing lag.
Banjo & Kazooie's special moves are fairly versatile as well. Their neutral special, Egg Firing, sends eggs out of Kazooie's mouth that are affected by gravity; the move also briefly stalls the duo's aerial momentum as well. Holding the button transitions into Breegull Blaster, where Banjo holds Kazooie like a "gun" akin to Banjo-Tooie's first-person shooter segments, with low damage but faster and constant projectiles, all while being able to move and jump freely; interestingly, Breegull Blaster's eggs deal vertical knockback at point-blank range, but on the other hand, repeated use of the move causes the eggs to deal less damage. Wonderwing bursts the duo forward without halting upon contact with opponents, and it does incredible damage and knockback if it connects, especially if hit during its initial frames, and its full-body invincibility that lasts throughout the entirety of the hitbox's duration enables it to outprioritize nearly every other move in the game, although the duo is still vulnerable to getting grabbed despite this. It also functions as an excellent recovery option with its horizontal speed and distance, and does not induce helplessness either. However, the move runs on a limited stock of five golden feathers that are not replenished until Banjo & Kazooie are KOed, so its usage must be carefully considered; additionally, despite crossing up shields, Wonderwing's high ending lag and long-lasting singular hitbox makes it fairly unsafe nonetheless. Shock Spring Jump makes an appearance as their up special, being a decent vertical recovery move that does not leave them helpless and preserves their midair jumps; it can be charged to increase its travel distance, and when used in the air, the Shock Spring Pad itself possesses a damaging hitbox that can be used to gimp some recoveries. Rear Egg, their down special, is a quirky move that gives them a strong defensive option when opponents are directly behind them, and the grenade egg is catchable and throwable. Overall, their four specials give them impressive utility with both physical and projectile options.
Banjo has a respectable grab game, using above-average reach to clinch his opponents. Each of the duo's throws have vastly different functions as well. Back throw is a useful KO tool near the ledge, much like Mario's back throw, and down throw buries the opponent, leading into various guaranteed follow-ups at very high percents, although it is inferior to King K. Rool's similar down throw nonetheless. Up throw can setup juggles, but its ending lag limits true follow-ups, while forward throw is mainly used to send opponents off-stage to setup edgeguards.
The pair is not without weaknesses, however. Outside of their smash attacks and Wonderwing, Banjo & Kazooie's potential to KO is limited, given their status as a heavyweight fighter. Some moves like neutral aerial and up aerial are extremely weak, and they have a limited combo game unlike some other fighters who also have problems KOing their opponents. Banjo & Kazooie have a wide hurtbox, and they are susceptible to combos and juggles due to their heavy weight, fast falling speed, slow air speed, low jump height and lack of fast escape options. Their overall mobility is unorthodox, with their excellent run speed being offset by their poor inital dash speed that is tied for the fifth-worst, their high vertical recovery options being hampered by their low jumps, poor air speed and fast falling speed, and their grounded mobility being hindered by the lowest traction in the game alongside Mii Gunner. Additionally, the duo's special moves, while strong, are also flawed as well. Egg Firing has a slow firing rate on its own, and weak power when the pair transitions to Breegull Blaster; additionally, Breegull Blaster's eggs become weaker with repeated use, discouraging excessive use of the move. If the pair runs out of golden feathers, they lose access to Wonderwing, eliminating a potent move with plenty of offensive and defensive utility; Wonderwing is also vulnerable to grabs despite its invincibility as well. Rear Egg is quite situational, and the explosion itself is not very powerful. It is also difficult to run backward to grab the grenade egg and use it as a throwing item, and opponents can grab it and use it against the duo as well due to it being an item. Shock Spring Jump requires slight charge time to make their recovery strong, which is brief but can leave them vulnerable, and it also does not have a hitbox outside of the Shock Spring Pad itself, making it vulnerable to meteor smashes and aggressive edgeguarding in general.
Overall, Banjo & Kazooie have a lot of specialized tools to accommodate different opponents and playstyles. Their egg projectiles can be used in a multitude of ways, and their recovery, while flawed, is fairly strong, with many different ways to get back onto the stage. Banjo and Kazooie can be considered to be a classic all arounder similar to Mario and Samus, in that they have no real clear or punishable flaw, but in contrast have no clear strengths or abusable abilities, as Wonderwing, while strong, is limited by its resource pool. Players must change their playstyle with the duo to combat their opponents playstyle, taking advantage with all the tools the duo offers. In short, Banjo and Kazooie are a jack of all trades and master of none character that has solid performance overall, but lack superiority over other characters. Their power then comes from the ingenuity from the player and how they counter their opponent. While they have seen very little representation at top levels so far due to their recent release, Tweek was able to place 5th at Glitch 7 shortly after their release, implying that the duo might be competitively viable, but to what extent is currently unknown.
For a gallery of Banjo & Kazooie's hitboxes, see here.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
In competitive play
Any number following the Smasher name indicates placement on the Spring 2019 PGRU, which recognizes the official top 50 players in the world in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate from February 1st, 2019 to July 7th, 2019.
Classic Mode: Perfect Partners
Banjo & Kazooie's Classic Mode comprises of opponents featured as a duo, akin to themselves being partners. The music and stage combinations reference the various worlds from the first Banjo-Kazooie game.
Role in World of Light
Due to their status as downloadable content, Banjo & Kazooie do not have a legitimate role in World of Light. Instead, they are unlocked for use in the mode after freeing 10 fighters from Galeem's control. If loading an existing save file that meets this condition prior to downloading Banjo & Kazooie, they are immediately unlocked.
Banjo & Kazooie's Fighter Spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 300 coins, but only after Banjo & Kazooie have been downloaded. Unlocking Banjo & Kazooie in World of Light allows the player to preview the first spirit below in the Spirit List under the name "???". As a Fighter Spirit, it cannot be used in Spirit Battles and is purely aesthetic.
In Spirit Battles
As a minion