Banjo Kazooie; the game that endured its fair share of change. Undergoing a complete story upheaval, drastic character changes and numerous fine-tunings, here’s our run-down of curious pre-release happenings of Banjo Kazooie.
1 – Bear and Bird all along?
Banjo Kazooie was originally going to be called Dream, an RPG intended for release on the SNES and featuring a completely different hero. The original hero, Edison, was a boy caught up with some pirates, preferring a wooden sword over the jabbering bird we grew accustomed to.
2 – Trivial Grunty
In Project Dream, the antagonist was Captain Blackeye. Grunty was originally intended to be an enemy giant before assuming arch nemesis role. Blackeye can be found in Banjo Tooie rambling how, “Once, I had a dream…” and “A bear stole his glory”, a reference to Project Dream’s demise. From main nemesis to irrelevant, the fall from grace is truly outstanding!
3 – Making a Fungi Scene
Fungus Forest was an incomplete level originally planned for release but scrapped due to time constraints. Speculated to be located where the
Click-Clock Wood puzzle area, it made its way into Donkey Kong 64 as Fungi Forest, though its painting can be spotted back in Banjo’s house.
4 – Clanker Confusion
Clanker resembled an organic whale during its Beta stages, not the mechanical one! This prompted rumours Clanker’s Cavern was originally Fungus Forest, especially as the Beta version played what is thought to be the original compositions for Fungi Forest on DK64. What do you think of the score similarities and the non-mechanical clanker?
5 – Melody Madness at Monster Mansion
Chase was a melody intended for a mining cart sequence on Project Dream, composed by Grant Kirkhope, the in-house audio producer of Rare at the time. Parts of it eventually ended up on Mad Monster Mansion, Witchy World, Viva Pinata and Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts. He also produced another song, Bully, that resembles the original soundtrack closely. Sound familiar?http://youtu.be/P4bfWRvtqlY http://youtu.be/orSEarQ2wH8
A games’ development always sees many different changes through its creation, whether that’s a sudden game changing concept or more subtle tinkering of the game mechanics. From sword wielding boy to bear and bird adventurers is quite exceptional however.
Do you think Edison would have made a good protagonist? Would you like to see Captain Blackeye, Fungus Forest and other characters and levels that didn’t realise their potential in a future Banjo Three-ie platformer that has been reported? I love to hear from you so please leave a comment below with your thoughts.