Banjo-Tooie Turns 20 – The Uncommon Staff Tells The Story Of Bombs, Bugs And Bottles – Characteristic

Banjo Tooie Lead© Nintendo Life

These days, there’s nary a sport that does not end with a post-credits tease to tee up a sequel or spin-off. There’s at all times a tantalisingly free thread or Easter Egg hidden within the DLC hinting at an additional instalment. It might be a really daring transfer, although, to call your sequel and immediately reference it in a sport that hadn’t even launched but.

Uncommon’s 3D platformer Banjo-Kazooie was arguably the primary credible challenger to sq. as much as seminal Nintendo 64 launch sport Tremendous Mario 64. With giant, vibrant 3D worlds to discover, a solid of loveable characters and a splash of British naughtiness in its humour, it turned a quick favorite with followers. It additionally completed with probably one of the best sequel bait in online game historical past, with the titular bear and hen taking a well-earned break on the seashore after their journey earlier than shifty shaman Mumbo Jumbo exhibits up with a set of animated polaroid photos exhibiting innaccessible areas you ‘missed’ with secrets and techniques which might be used within the subsequent sport.

The group should have been assured in what that they had, however was Banjo-Tooie—the bold follow-up which launched in North America on 20th November 2000—genuinely on the playing cards earlier than the primary sport even launched? “Sure it was,” confirms Gregg Mayles, designer on each platforms, “however solely as a reputation and us wanting to incorporate the ‘Cease n’ Swop’ objects that shaped a hyperlink between the 2 video games. What Tooie would really be had not been considered at that time!”

“There was a constructive response to what we confirmed publicly,” says head programmer Chris Sutherland, one in every of a number of Banjo veterans that may go on to discovered Playtonic Video games and recapture the Banjo spirit within the Yooka-Laylee collection. “There have been a bunch of concepts that by no means made it into the primary sport, so it appeared just like the wise factor to do to maneuver onto a sequel. A few of the group originated from DKC video games so in some methods it mirrored how we might rolled straight onto DKC2 from DKC1… I assume it additionally places Banjo-Kazooie right into a shortlist of “video games that (efficiently) introduced the identify of their sequel within the sport”!”

The moody second act

Banjo Tooie Bottles Brown Bread

From the very starting, Banjo-Tooie feels darker—a bit extra harmful, rather less forgiving—than the earlier sport. It is nonetheless very a lot a fairytale romp however from the off Tooie leans into Brothers Grimm-style darkness. Bottles (bespectacled, move-teaching mole and stalwart pal to the protagonists) meets his demise by the hands of Gruntilda within the introduction cutscene, and mere moments after making the pleasant Jinjo King’s acquaintence, he is remodeled right into a shambling zombie by the vengeful witch.

“It was deliberate,” Mayles says of the basic ‘darker second act’ strategy. “We didn’t wish to do the identical factor once more as the primary sport and we needed to shock gamers. I don’t suppose anybody would have anticipated us to kill off one of many most important supporting characters and I can bear in mind us laughing after we plotted Bottles’ downfall. There have been some fairly darkish and mature components to the tone that we tried to steadiness out with our sense of humour, I believe my favorite was when Bottles’ household was asking about him and Banjo needed to fake he didn’t know the mole was no extra.”

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