Banjo-Kazooie is an action-adventure platformer video game developed by Rare and originally released for the Nintendo 64 in 1998. The plot of Banjo-Kazooie follows Banjo, a middle-aged anthropomorphic honey bear who is trying to save his younger sister Tooty from the evil witch Gruntilda, who wants to steal Tooty’s youth. It features nine nonlinear levels where Banjo and his friend Kazooie must gather musical notes and jigsaw pieces (or “Jiggies”) to progress through the story.
The player controls Banjo and Kazooie as they travel across the game’s world called “Click Clock Wood” in order to gather musical notes, jiggies, and other items necessary for Banjo and Kazooie to progress through each level. Banjo is able to jump on enemies that are encountered within the game using his backpack. Once Banjo jumps on an enemy once, Banjo can then pick up the enemy and use it as an attack to either defeat other enemies or break open crates. Banjo’s backpack serves many functions, such as allowing Banjo to climb ropes and swing across certain platforms or reach higher areas.
Banjo has a wide range of moves that he learns throughout his adventure by visiting Bottles’ brother, the trainer named Jamjars, who resides within each level. Banjo can learn new moves from Bottles’ brother throughout the game by collecting Jiggies and meeting other requirements for a new move to be learned. Banjo-Kazooie features nonlinear gameplay, and is frequently described as a collectathon platformer. Banjo and Kazooie must explore each level in order to collect Jiggies and musical notes. The game has nine levels, called worlds, which are spread out across five areas of Click Clock Wood. Each world is held by a boss that Banjo must defeat in order to progress through the game. Banjo-Kazooie was conceived in 1997 when Rare’s Tim and Chris Stamper ran experiments with a Silicon Graphics workstation, rendering realistic 3D grass. Inspired by Banjo-Kazooie and Spyro the Dragon, they decided that their new game would be Banjo-Kazooie: a colourful, stylised platformer. The Stamper brothers aimed for Banjo-Kazooie to be a 3D platformer with an animated look similar to the critically acclaimed Donkey Kong Country.