Banjo is one of the main protagonists of Rareware's Banjo-Kazooie series, along with Kazooie. He has minor relevance to the Mario games.

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Physical description

Banjo and Kazooie's artwork from Banjo-Kazooie.

Banjo is a brown bear. If you are wondering why his name is Banjo, it is because he plays the banjo in the Banjo-Kazooie series. He has a pair of yellow shorts with a black belt holding them up. He does not wear a shirt but instead has a shark tooth necklace. Banjo also sports a blue backpack, which holds Kazooie, his red-bird friend. Kazooie got her name from the fact she plays the Kazoo. Kazooie is not present in Diddy Kong Racing. She makes her first appearance in Banjo-Kazooie.

Games

Diddy Kong Racing

Banjo first appears in Diddy Kong Racing as one of the characters who are playable in the game.

In the game's events, Banjo had been called by Timber to help save his island from the evil galactic invader, Wizpig who had been trying to rule the area. They then all wanted to be the big hero in the game by wanting to be the one who has stopped Wizpig in his trails of invading the area. He, along with his pals, manage to defeat Wizpig in a race twice and send him onto a deserted planet in space where he demands revenge. Then, Timber's Island has a party with every resident and playable character being in it.

Banjo lacks high acceleration but has high speed and average handling skills.

Banjo-Kazooie Series

After his debut in Diddy Kong Racing, Banjo starred in his own series of games, starting with Banjo-Kazooie in 1998 for the N64. Two years later, Banjo Tooie came out on the N64 again. An eight-year-long period went on with just two spin-off games, Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge and Banjo Pilot, for the Game Boy Advance. Finally, in 2008, the official sequel to Banjo-Tooie came out, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts. In all of the games, an evil witch named Grunty plots against the welfare of Spiral Mountain of Isle O' Hags, which is near the Mushroom Kingdom. The series was praised for its 3D Platformer Experience.

Donkey Kong 64

Banjo and Kazooie from the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC trailer.

Banjo, along with Kazooie, have their faces displayed on a shower in the treehouse in the beta version of Donkey Kong 64. This cameo had later been removed, along with the entire stall itself.

Mario Artist: Paint Studio

Banjo, along with many other characters from Diddy Kong Racing, have their artwork make a cameo appearance in Mario Artist: Paint Studio.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

The announcement at the Nintendo Direct at E3 2019 that Banjo and his friend Kazooie were joining Smash Bros. completely broke the internet. People had wanted him in the game for years. He was reportedly considered for Smash Brothers Melee alongside 007 (aka James Bond), but due to Nintendo’s deal with Rareware expiring, the bird and bear duo had to wait sometime before their inclusion in a Smash Bros. game.

Trivia

  • Along with Conker, they both do not reappear in the remake, Diddy Kong Racing DS, due to copyright issues concerning that the characters belong to Rare. Strangely, Tiptup is a Rare-licensed character, but reappears in the DS remake. His theme, along with Conker's, can still be heard in the background music though.
  • In Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, a character named L.O.G. makes a remark about an "Italian Plumber," referring to Mario.
  • After Rareware was sold to Microsoft, the right to characters and elements from then Banjo-Kazooie series were stripped from Nintendo. However, on a few occasions, Microsoft has granted the use of the characters to Nintendo a couple of times, such as with Banjo-Pilot and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
  • Banjo and Kazooie are the fourth foreign-created characters to be playable in Smash Bros.
  • Banjo & Kazooie are the only third-party fighter whose series debuted on a Nintendo console other than the NES.
  • Banjo & Kazooie are the first and only third-party fighters to debut in a game that was published by Nintendo worldwide.
  • Banjo & Kazooie are the only third-party characters who fight as a team.
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