I remember playing these games called Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie when I was a teenager. I had great fun with them and finished their stories so many times that I actually memorized them. But a few years ago when the Xbox and PS2 came out I had to sell my N64 and all the cartridges with it. A week ago I was reading a cool article about classic platformers and Banjo-Kazooie was mentioned. Nostalgia attacked me and I felt the urge to play it again. Since I’m all legal about this stuff I called a friend and asked her to lend me her N64, she said yes but she didn’t have the game so I decided to buy it online in a website that’s just like the eBay from my country.
I usually visit the N64 page on it but I never actually saw BK, strangely enough. The 3rd article in the first page of the N64 catalog had this picture of a BK cartridge but the sticker on it seemed faded and kind of broken, I clicked on it.
The article didn’t have any description or any messages like the usual “I’m selling (name) on (this) condition for (number) dollars”. There was only a sentence saying something like “You can come and pick it up whenever you want”. The price of the game was around 2 dollars so I decided to make the offer. Around 10-15 seconds later I get an email on my phone, it had an address and the same picture of the BK cartridge was attached, I replied asking if I could go pick it up the next day at 10am but the message was never delivered. I didn’t really care at the moment.
The next day I decided to just go to the place. It was a street full of old houses, the one in the address seemed kind of… abandoned but there were some weird flower bouquets around it and the door to the front garden was opened so I decided to just go in and knock on the door. I didn’t get any answer after around 5 minutes and a couple of tries but then I noticed there were a wooden table and a chair in the house’s entrance. On the table was a small box with a piece of paper with the handwritten message “For Mike” on it. I picked it up and the game was inside. At the moment I just thought the owner was not there and just left the game there for me to pick up so I left the coins in the same table and took the game home.
When I arrived to my place I put the game in the N64 and turned it on. The intro started as usual but the song Banjo, Kazooie, Tooty and Mumbo play was completely different, it sounded kind of glitchy and there were some Jinjo sounds in the background sounding glitched as well. I didn’t mind and just went to the menu. In it the 3rd file was used, the player had 99 jiggies and all notes. Since I wanted to mess around the levels first I decided to play that old file. Now, I remember the game always starting up in the first room of Gruntilda’s Lair but strangely enough, this file started with Banjo standing in the big table with the ghost in Mad Monster’s Mansion.
Before I could even move the ghost talked to me in the usual BK way, this face appeared in the lowest part of the screen and text started to show up, there was no sound to his voice however and the text kind of freaked me out. It said something like “The evil ones are watching the bear and bird, must escape.” I seriously don’t remember this ever happening in BK, I moved around a little, Banjo and Kazooie made no sounds at all, no matter which move I used. I paused the game and noticed the missing jiggy was in Rusty Bucket’s Bay and this player had all eggs and the ice key from the SnS thing. I moved around MMM and there were no enemies at all, Mumbo was not in his hut. The only NPC there was the ghost (even the toilet wasn’t there). I started to think this was just a hacked pirated cartridge and was a little disappointed to be honest. I decided to go to Gruntilda’s Lair.
Just like in MMM, the lair had no enemies but I noticed something really creepy. It was a mirror version of it, left and right were flipped and the paintings you used to open the levels were all replaced by pictures of the common enemies you encounter in the game lying in the ground (just like they are when you kill them and they disappear) There were different ones: carrots from Spiral Mountain, crabs from Clanker’s Cavern, etc. There was no music but something like the wind was emitting a really scary sound. Every once in a while Snacker would talk but the text would appear really glitched, the only thing I could read was “100 jigsaw pieces to swop”. I was starting to get both scared and confused but I went to Rusty Bucket’s Bay anyway.
The game crashed a couple times on my way to the level but on my 3rd try I managed to get inside, the water around the ship was all red, like it was blood and the ship textures were changed to something like wood, the ship was made of wood. Some strange music started to play and it took me a few seconds to notice it was an extremely slow and low-pitched version of the normal song from the level. The door that is usually closed at the end of the level was opened but every time I tried to swim to it Snacker would spawn really close and kill me in one bite (in which Banjo would make a really loud scream no matter what volume my TV was on). After resetting the console a few times after dying (I would not respawn) I thought that maybe the missing jiggy was the one in the engine room, that jiggy is usually the hardest one to get in the entire game for everyone.
Once I got Banjo to the engine room, I saw the missing jiggy on it, but the place was different, there were blades literally everywhere and some of them were moving too fast even after pressing the switch to slow them down. There were a lot of screams sounding, like the ones people make when they’re in a lot of physical pain. It was quite disturbing so I muted the TV, but after a few seconds the sounds started to come back. After this I was completely scared, but something stopped me from turning the console off. I thought about it and wanted to do it but I just didn’t, instead, I went and tried to reach the last jiggy. Snacker talked to me again and between the glitched text I could barely read “bear and bird will not make it, suffering forever” after his face disappeared I could clearly listen to the common sounds the jinjos make when you save them (Jinjooo… wheeeee!) I was really scared so I started jumping making my way to the jiggy while avoiding being killed by the moving blades. Somehow, I made it. Banjo and Kazooie grabbed the last jiggy but the animation never appeared. This time, Snacker spoke to me again but I could not understand anything he said…
After trying to go back to Gruntilda’s Lair by myself, I died in the engine room at RBB and the game crashed a few times again. For some reason, I didn’t take to opportunity to stop playing; I just kept resetting the console. Once I was back at the Lair I made my way to where the board game happened to see if I could fight the witch and take a look at the video of Mumbo showing the SnS items. Gruntilda was there laughing a lot. It was kind of disturbing this time, she invited me to the game and explained the rules as usual but once she asked me the first thing I literally jumped from my seat… the question was “When are you going to tell her it pisses you off?”. The night before I had an argument with my girlfriend about the guy she was dating before me, I’m really jealous so I get pissed every time she says “hello” to him, I’ve never told her but the game somehow knew, and it was way too accurate for it to be a coincidence.
One of the answers to choose from was “probably never”, which is actually the correct one so I chose it and the “correct” sound was heard. After that, Gruntilda kept asking me stuff about my personal life. Stuff like “Are you ever going to work on your project?” “Will you cook that thing you want tomorrow?” and things like that, they were pretty random questions about stuff that have been happening to me but trust me, it was scary as hell. When I reached the last square and question, the witch laughed again and said something like “I will just let the bear and bird continue on but they do not possess the tools to emerge victorious, bear and bird cannot swop” Then, she just made her broom appear and went out flying… I continued to make my way to where she changes bodies with Tooty after a game over.
Tooty was there with the animation she uses when she’s scared. The music here was that of Gruntilda’s Lair but it sounded slower and low-pitched, just like the one from RBB. When I talked to her, she didn’t say anything; just some “…” appeared. I couldn’t do anything in the room. I was going to leave but just as I was about to exit the room she talked to me. It was her voice and the speech bubble had her face but to be honest, it didn’t really feel like something Tooty was saying, instead, I felt it was a message from the previous player in that weird and scary game file. It said “You are in danger, get rid of this. The only way to be free is to take the message to Tooie” I realized that just like this BK cartridge was… cursed. There was a Banjo-Tooie one as well, and I needed to take items from BK to BT to deliver a message to something or someone in the other game. After this, the game crashed again.