The Banjo-Kazooie series is one of Rare's most successful franchises. It is named after the titular protagonists, Banjo and Kazooie, a bear and bird duo who live on Spiral Mountain. The first game of the series is Banjo-Kazooie, which released in June 1998. The main collectible in every game are golden jigsaw pieces known as Jiggies.
The Banjo-Kazooie series originated as a second-party franchise to Nintendo during the Nintendo 64 era, with Banjo-Kazooie and its sequel, Banjo-Tooie. In September 2002, Microsoft acquired Rare, and the Banjo-Kazooie franchise became an intellectual property of Microsoft.
In August 2003, Microsoft and THQ signed an agreement to publish Rare's catalog for the Game Boy Advance. This included two games, Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge and Banjo-Pilot, and the latter game originated as Diddy Kong Pilot.
In November 2008, the Banjo-Kazooie series received a third main installment, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, an Xbox 360 game that takes place after the Nintendo 64 games. Around the same time, Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie were each re-released the Xbox Live Arcade.
- Banjo: A honey bear wearing trademark shorts and blue backpack
- Kazooie: A red-crested breegull and the sidekick of Banjo
- Mumbo Jumbo: A friend of Banjo and Kazooie and a shaman with the ability to perform magic.
- Gruntilda: An evil witch who is the series' main antagonist.
- Klungo: A former aide to Gruntilda who has since joined Banjo and Kazooie's side.
- Jinjo: A unique species of varying colors, Jinjos are usually found around a level and need to be rescued.
- Bottles: A mole who gives advice to Banjo and Kazooie throughout their adventures. In the first game, his main role is teaching moves to them.
- Humba Wumba: Debuting in Banjo-Tooie, Humba Wumba is a shaman and the rival of Mumbo Jumbo.
- Jamjars: A drill sergeant and the brother of Bottles. His only appearance is in Banjo-Tooie.
- Bozzeye: An ancestor of Bottles who teaches moves to Banjo and Kazooie throughout Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge.
- Cheato: A spellbook owned an abused by Gruntilda. In the first two games, Cheato helps Banjo and Kazooie by providing them with in-game cheat codes.
- Banjo-Kazooie - Nintendo 64 (1998)
- Banjo-Tooie - Nintendo 64 (2000)
- Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge - Game Boy Advance (2003)
- Banjo-Pilot - Game Boy Advance (2005)
- Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts - Xbox 360 (2008)
- THQ to publish four Rare GBA titles. Eurogamer. Published August 12, 2003.
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