Top 5 Curious Banjo Kazooie Development Facts

Banjo Kazooie Original

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.

Banjo Kazooie Edison Project Dream

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

Banjo Kazooie Click Clock Wood Fungus Forest Puzzle Area

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.

Banjo Kazooie Fungus Forest

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?

Banjo Kazooie Clanker Organic Fungus Forest

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?

Kazooie Closure

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.


2 responses to “Top 5 Curious Banjo Kazooie Development Facts

  1. I think part of the allure with Banjo-Kazooie is because of all the mysteries surrounding not only the game’s development but also the stop’n’swop madness as well. Still haven’t given up on seeing Banjo-Threeie at some point but it’s not looking great at the minute.

    • Yeah, I’m glad they actually found a use for the stop’n’swop, even if I would’ve liked to have seen it on Banjo Too-ie.

      Here’s hoping Rare will pluck up the courage and do a proper third platformer instalment! I’ve heard rumours Nintendo might be getting Rare back, which would make a Banjo Threeie a much bigger possibility. At the moment though, I think we’ll just have to sit tight!

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