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Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts

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Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts is the third game in the Banjo-Kazooie series, taking place eight years after the events of Banjo-Tooie. It was announced at Microsoft's X06 in 2006 at Barcelona, Spain and was released on November 11, 2008. [1] Before the name was finalized, the game was commonly referred to as Banjo-Threeie. It is the first game in the Banjo series which is unaffiliated with Nintendo, as it is exclusive to the Xbox 360. In early 2009, L.O.G.'s Lost Challenges, a DLC for the game, became available for 400 Microsoft Points.

PlotEdit

Set 8 years after Banjo-Tooie, the plot of the game involves Banjo and Gruntilda competing to determine the true owner of Spiral Mountain. Banjo wishes to preserve his home while Gruntilda hatches an urban development scheme to replace the vegetated area with towers and malls. A new character named Lord of Games (also known as LOG) attempts to settle the conflict between the two by devising a series of worlds and challenges. LOG transports the other characters to Showdown Town, his headquarters, and starts the contest. The winner would be set to own Spiral Mountain; the loser must endure eternal hardship working at LOG's video game factory. While Banjo and Kazooie seek to win by completing the challenges, Grunty uses a slew of vehicles she presumably has built, as well as an army of mechanical Gruntbots to stop the duo from succeeding.

Banjo and Kazooie return to Spiral Mountain to fight Grunty one last time. Banjo and Kazooie beat Grunty and LOG takes Grunty and Piddles to his game factory. Banjo and Kazooie own Spiral Mountain and get a "Banjo-shaped head" vehicle. The end shows Grunty and Piddles working in LOG's game factory and Grunty says she will be making a game.

GameplayEdit

The game is not a traditional third-person action and platform game like the previous entries in the series, but instead utilizes vehicles to transport Banjo and Kazooie around the levels and complete challenges for Jiggies. According to Mayles about 20 percent of the game retains traditional platforming elements. There are however no conventional "moves" for Banjo and Kazooie to use. The duo are limited to only jumping and attacking with a magical wrench while other abilities, such as firing eggs have been mapped to vehicle parts instead.

VehiclesEdit

Vehicles play a prominent role in the game. The player can build them from over 1,600 components available, such as body panels, engines, wheels, wings, propellers, fuel and weapons. Vehicle presets are available as blueprints. Vehicles can be created when starting a challenge as well so as to make the perfect vehicle with which to win.

ItemsEdit

The game still requires the player to collect Jiggies in order to progress and open up new worlds, there are 131 Jiggies to collect in all. Notes are also scattered aroung the worlds and the hub, they are used to buy parts and blueprints and have several other functions. There are no note doors to open though. There are three different types of notes that are worth different amounts. From greatest to least they are gold, silver, and bronze. A new item, tentatively called "Mumbo's magic wrench" is also used in the game. It plays a significant role, as it is used to both build and move objects via a yellow beam fired from the device. The wrench is also used by Kazooie as a primary weapon for on-foot gameplay, which allows the breegull to attack nearby enemies by spinning around in a circle from inside Banjo’s backpack.

AbilitiesEdit

Various abilities from Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie will not be at Banjo and Kazooie's disposal for Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts. This approach was first mentioned in the December 20 of Rare's Scribes column, which stated, "Banjo and Kazooie haven't got many of the abilities that they used in previous games". The ability introduced in Banjo-Tooie to split up Banjo and Kazooie as separate playable characters will be unavailable in Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts. A previous Scribes mentioned that they "thought about using two different controllers" to account for the new moves and all the old moves as well, but that a simpler system had been used for the game. It was eventually revealed that the approach involves using vehicles instead of the previous attack moves. According to Rare, the in-game explanation is that most of the older abilities were forgotten after eight years of not using them and LOG did not allow the duo to remember them. The only move you can still do are the Grip Grab (no attack), Swim (Banjo only), Climb, and Single Jump. The Magic Wrench is used as a new attack, for the platforming elements of the game.

The player can disembark from a vehicle and explore the environment in a manner similar to that of the previous games. In a screenshot, Banjo and Kazooie are seen walking on a tightrope crossing a river.

MultiplayerEdit

The idea of multiplayer options was first discussed at the Rare Witch Project, where Mayles said that there would be multiplayer capability in the game unlike that found in Banjo-Tooie. He also noted that there would not be any first-person shooter sections in the traditional action-adventure game. It was later revealed that multiplayer will be purely vehicle-based where players will be able to take their custom built vehicles to Xbox Live and compete in online races and activities. An announcement stated that the game features a co-operative mode and offline multiplayer options.

FeaturesEdit

  • Multiplayer is available in the game. It is not the same form of multiplayer as Banjo-Tooie's multiplayer. Instead it focus' on vehicle gameplay, these are races and 14 different sporting events.
  • Vehicles are a major part of the game. The game centers on building vehicles to complete challenges with. Some of the main pre-made vehicles are:
  • Banjo 4x4 (4 wheel drive)
  • Banjo Plane
  • Grunty Coco-Carrier
  • Banjo Copter
  • Banjo Boat
  • Trolley (for use in the hub world)

CharactersEdit

Returning CharactersEdit

  • Banjo
  • Kazooie
  • Gruntilda
  • Mumbo Jumbo
  • Humba Wumba
  • Jolly Roger
  • Tooty
  • Bottles
  • King Jingaling
  • Captain Blubber
  • Jinjos
  • Weldar
  • Clanker
  • Tanktup
  • Loggo
  • Mr. Patch
  • The snowman from Freezeezy Peak
  • Bawl
  • Klungo
  • Jamjars (voice only)
  • Mr. Fit
  • Boggy
  • Golden Goliath
  • George Ice Cube
  • Mildred Ice Cube
  • Dingpot
  • Cheato
  • Minjo
  • Targitzan
  • Glowbo

Other CharactersEdit

  • Pikelet
  • Trophy Thomas
  • Lord of Games (LOG)
  • Piddles

Worlds and levelsEdit

Many levels have been introduced in Nuts & Bolts, many new, while some old levels from previous games being redesigned in a whole new way.

There are 6 new levels (not including Showdown Town and Spiral Mountain). Each new world is split into 6 acts each with a number of Jiggies obtainable (L.O.G.'s Lost Challenges has no Jiggies to obtain, since they go to the picture). Like the other console games, the levels can be accessed from the hub world and themed music will play when neared. Each world has its own intro that plays when you enter the world for the first time.

  • Showdown Town - The new hub world.
  • Nutty Acres - An artificial grassland level, on a tropical island (includes a coconut farm and a volcano).
  • LOGBOX 720 - A level that resembles the inside of a video game console (obviously the Xbox 360).
  • Banjoland - A museum of levels, people, and scenery from the first 2 games.
  • Jiggoseum - A level taking place in a large colosseum that is themed around sports.
  • Terrarium of Terror - A space-themed level, taking place in a series of domes filled with overgrown plants.
  • Spiral Mountain - The home world from the original Banjo-Kazooie
  • L.O.G.'s Lost Challenges - A DLC world that takes place in the Test-o-Track.

Easter EggsEdit

Easter Eggs

During the game, you will see a lot of things that are references to other Rare games, consoles, and gaming things such as:

  • Kazooie is playing SEGA Superstar Tennis on an XBOX-360 in the opening movie, She played as Aiai (from Super Monkey Ball).
  • A Lickatoad from Viva Pinata appears in the game. It appears as a vehicle part named "Papery Pal", and L.O.G. turns Banjo into it once.
  • In the aforementioned Papery Pal's description, Mumbo says that, "Trouble in Paradise is good game. Mumbo recommend player buy it tomorrow." Trouble in Paradise is the 2nd Viva Pinata game.
  • When LOG announces himself as the grand creator of all video games, Kazooie responds with "Even ones that don't sell very well, like Ghoulies?", a reference to the fact that the Rare game, Grabbed by the Ghoulies, was a large commercial failure.
  • LOG tells Banjo and Kazooie that they're failures. Kazooie says that they've been in lots of games, to which LOG says the they haven't been in nearly as many games as "that Italian gentleman", an obvious reference to Mario.
  • When you're building a vehicle with a tray, it contains a Viva Pinata Lickatoad, 5 Grabbed By the Ghoulies video games, and a skeleton arm from Grabbed by the Ghoulies.
  • When you first arrive at Klungo's Arcade, Klungo tells you about his game, and claims he is a big star, and he is "bigger star than Massster Chief...", a reference to Master Chief from Halo.
  • One of LOG's random quotes says that he invented the first person shooter and regretted it, then he mentions "a certain Space Marine", most likely referencing iD's DOOM.
  • There are many game disks to be found in LOGBOX 720, including Viva Pinata, It's Mr. Pants, and Grabbed by the Ghoulies.
  • At one point, Banjo mentions that he once was in a race with "a genie and a giant pig", a reference to Diddy Kong Racing (the genie is Taj and the pig is Wizpig)
  • In Banjoland, floating in the large lake, there is a Grabbed By The Ghoulies case behind the Test of Strength cactus and Cloud Cuckooland's Garbage Bin is filled to the brim with copies.
  • In the Jiggoseum, there is a scoreboard marquee sitting at the top of the colosseum, which shows fake scores from fake sports teams (the teams are named after Banjo characters, and there's even one named "Twycross Athletic", which is where Rare is based). Eventually, it will read, "Is anyone actually reading this?"
  • The achievement for unlocking the space-themed level, Terrarium of Terror, is known as "Super Banjo Universe", a play on the title of the Mario game set in space, "Super Mario Galaxy".
  • The Nintendo 64 can be seen in the beginning of the game, although it appears to be stowed away, a reference to Banjo & Kazooie's transition to Xbox 360.
  • In Spiral Mountain (Intro or Game World), if you jump in the large dumpster you can see Fudgehogs and Ghoulies in it.
  • In the background of Showdown Town, you can see a mansion in the distance. The mansion is the one from Grabbed by the Ghoulies.
  • One of the parts is named "Fulgore's Fist" Fulgore, which was the name of a fighter in Killer Instinct, an arcade fighting game by Rare which was also ported to the SNES
  • On a weapon called Freezeezy(Shaped like a fridge, and named after the Banjo-Kazooie world Freezeezy Peak) has KI3 planted on the front made out of magnetic words this is a obvious abbreviation of Killer Instinct 3.
  • When you find Jolly Dodger in Showdown Town he opens a case with copies of Killer Instinct 3(but appears in a Xbox 360 box (which never was released for that console).
  • A back alley in Showdown Town has a stack of green crates with Rareware's logo. The alley is in a construction site, between the center of town and the docks.
  • In Banjo Land, if you fly behind Mumbo's skull, you can see the words "This is not a photo opportunity" written on the wall.

DevelopmentEdit

Originally Rare had hinted at their intention of making a third Banjo-Kazooie game, referred to in the ending of Banjo-Tooie through character dialogue as Banjo-Threeie. Eurogamer magazine stated that the original team from the earlier Banjo-Kazooie games would be working on the new game. In a video interview, concept artist Ryan Stevenson said, "It's still gonna be the same characters, and it's still gonna be the same thing. It was just so many years ago that Banjo was around and we've got a lot of technology and a lot of new things to pour into that world. It's a game for all the people that appreciated the game years ago, and also for new people coming to the 360."[19]

The game was absent from the E3 2007 show floor. However, Peter Moore, the former Senior Vice President of IEB at Microsoft, stated in an interview that they could have shown games such as Banjo-Kazooie but they decided to focus more on games being released in 2007. Moore stated, however, that it would be included in next year's E3 line-up, implying that the game would be released in the third or fourth quarter of 2008. Phil Spencer wanted to reassure gamers that Banjo's Xbox 360 debut is very much in the right hands. He revealed: "Team sizes are so different now and we have more animators now than the full Banjo 1 team, but the key core team is really the same."[20]

Rare announced in an edition of their website's email-answering column, "Scribes", that they would release trailers and game screenshots when they feel the time is right. The August 30 edition of Scribes at the Rareware website announced that Banjo and Kazooie would both speak in the "gibberish" language the original games have been known for. The announcement stated "You'll be pleased to know that we have gone for the 'last-gen' option – no fancy speech for us!"[17] As of October 17, 2007, the game is still in designing stages.[21]

A podcast of 1UP Yours from the website 1UP.com stated that "A big Microsoft first-party title that has been in the works for a very long time, that people are very excited for, sounds like it's being canceled."[22] This led to the belief that Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts was the canceled title. However, Rare later announced that it had not been canceled.[22] As of December 30, 2007, the game "is more than halfway done."[23]

On February 11, 2008 in an interview with MTV.com's MTV Multiplayer blog, head of Microsoft Game Studios Shane Kim said "I’m super-excited about what they’re doing with ‘Banjo’. I think ‘Banjo’ is going to be a big hit for us this holiday". On February 12, 2008 Microsoft UK revealed to ComputerAndVideoGames.com that the game is "still on target" for a 2008 release. According to Rare's community manager George Kelion, posting on NeoGaf, "The game is scheduled for a holiday 2008 release - barring the coming of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, you should be playing Banjo 3 before the end of the year (providing you buy the game, that is)." Kelion went on to state that Banjo's creator, Gregg Mayles, is the lead designer on the game, and sought to calm the fear that it's going to be one for the kids. "I can assure you that we haven't been focused on four year-olds when creating the new Banjo game," he wrote. "We hope that you'll be pleasantly surprised with what we've cooked up." On October 29, a demo version of the game was released through Xbox Live Marketplace. The development team consists of many Rare people that have previously worked on the Banjo-Kazooie series, including designers Gregg Mayles and Steve Malpass.[citation needed] [edit] Initial concepts

Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts was Rare's third idea in their plans to create a sequel to Banjo-Tooie. In an interview with Gregg Mayles, he said that the first idea was to create a remake of Banjo-Kazooie that would purport to be a direct port, but would feature extreme changes unexpectedly. For example, a massive queen termite would emerge from the termite hill in Mumbo's Mountain, causing Banjo to have to get oranges for Conga to throw at it. The second concept involved more traditional platforming, but with Gruntilda trying to follow Banjo and Kazooie around every world and replicating their moves in an effort to better them. The working title for the vehicle idea was Banjo-Buildie, but Mayles stated that it was too similar to the previous titles to have an impact.[24]

The team stated that they had attempted to make a straightforward sequel to Banjo-Tooie, but felt it was a "stale" method.[25] While the game was in early development, Mayles hinted at the new direction. “ [O]ur aim is to take the 3D platform adventuring game into the next generation and do something more than just adding polygons. Some fans look back fondly and want more of the same, but the Banjo of yesteryear has no real place in tomorrow's market on the Xbox 360. What we want to do is retain all the elements that made the first two games so loved, but also try things that breathe new life into a genre that has sadly been neglected for many years.[26] ” [edit] Stop 'N' Swop

On the subject of the notorious Stop 'N' Swop feature from the original game, Gregg Mayles said in a 2007 interview with Retro Gamer, "[…]I'm going to say nothing yet again, although we are considering revealing the truth somewhere in the third game, as some kind of anniversary treat." Similarly, Chris Sutherland commented, "For reasons I can't explain I doubt if all the details could ever be revealed on this, but in the meantime I guess you'll have to wait for the Xbox 360 game to see…"[26] Rare later announced that the original Banjo-Kazooie would be released through the Xbox Live Arcade and feature Stop 'N' Swop connectivity with Nuts & Bolts.

In the demo version of Nuts & Bolts Bottles offers a "Stop 'N' Swop Truth" for 6000 music notes. The Rare Witch Project extracted the demo's text string, which revealed that when Bottles is paid 6000 notes he says "I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you, and we couldn't show that in a game with this rating. Put it out of your mind and think happy thoughts! Thanks for the notes!" The ice key can be seen inside a small alcove in BanjoLand. A picture of Banjo holding the pink egg can also be seen in the level, as well as a yellow egg marking on a rock wall. The level also features large fake Stop 'N' Swop eggs that contain inactive cube-shaped robots.

It was eventually revealed that the eggs and key in the XBLA Banjo-Kazooie unlock novelty vehicle parts in Nuts & Bolts.[27] An indentation in the shape of the ice key and drawings of the eggs appear in Showdown Town. When a Stop 'N' Swop item is collected in Banjo-Kazooie, a corresponding crate appears at the indentation and drawings. Banjo and Kazooie can take the crates to Mumbo to get the special vehicle parts. [edit] Web-related promotion

The Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts teaser trailer, which was released online in September 2006, introduced Banjo and Kazooie with their new looks, trying to get past a mysterious door. The trailer concludes showing a wall that says "Banjo is back!" The teaser trailer features many gameplay elements that were used in the previous games such as Jigsaw pieces, musical notes, and honeycomb pieces. Although Gruntilda does not appear in the trailer her lair can be seen past a slight fog. Also the moat around Spiral Mountain seems to have disappeared.

Rare released a Christmas card on their website. A lot can be seen in the picture, such as Grunty's portrait on the wall, Banjo holding a crown or a Christmas ornament of some sort, Kazooie holding a wrapped item later revealed to be a magic wrench, a Small Ammo vehicle part, several Burger King toys for Viva Piñata, and a stocking that says "KI3". Another piñata can be seen wearing a wireless headset. The portrait of Gruntilda points to the fireplace containing her burning head.

In late March 2008, Rare updated Banjo-Kazooie.com to a Silverlight-based page showing a spinning golden Jigsaw piece reflecting both a render of Banjo and the words "Coming Soon!" On March 20, Rare changed the image of Banjo to a silhouette of both Banjo and Kazooie. Rare stated that the site would be updated with new information "relatively soon".[29] "I really wouldn't base your ultimate judgements of the final Banjo model from what you've glimpsed on the teaser site if I were you," warned Kelion. "All shall be revealed in due course, not that long to wait now." Rare also stated that the Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts teaser site is not a hoax.

On May 11, 2008, supposed screenshots of Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts were released. Two days later the screenshots were later confirmed to be real by Rare and feature gameplay as well as character designs. The name of the game and some other details were also revealed.

On October 29, 2008, a demo version of the game was released through Xbox Live Marketplace that includes a portion of Showdown Town and BanjoLand. The player has the ability to create vehicles, but not to paint them. Additionally, the demo allows for online play with pre-made or player-generated vehicles. Rare also held a pre-order promotion: by pre-ordering a copy of Nuts & Bolts, the purchasers would get a code card that allowed them to download the original Banjo-Kazooie from the Xbox Live Arcade free of charge.

On March 6, 2009, Rare posted a news item on their official website discussing downloadable content to be added to Nuts & Bolts, titled "L.O.G.'s Lost Challenges." The expansion was further detailed in a trailer released by Rare. It includes 6 new challenges, a new arena, more Klungo-related content, seven multiplayer modes and new achievements. [edit] Music

The music is composed by Robin Beanland, Grant Kirkhope and Dave Clynick. It was suggested that the soundtrack would be orchestrated, following in suit to Viva Piñata and Kameo: Elements of Power. The guitar version of the Banjo-Kazooie theme featured in Nuts & Bolts was first heard in Kameo.

Rare announced that the game's soundtrack would be released on Amazon.com on June 30, 2009. The soundtrack will be released by the label Sumthing Else, who also released the soundtracks for Kameo and Perfect Dark Zero. The track listing is unspecified, but will fit onto one disc.

The music heard on Banjo's radio in the intro is from Conker's Bad Fur Day, it can be heard in various areas of the game, and the remake Conker: Live and Reloaded

ReceptionEdit

Upon its release, Nuts & Bolts received a generally favorable reception from critics. IGN gave the game a score of 8.3/10, calling it well designed and full of replay value. The publication however went on to say that the online multiplayer seemed promising during development, but did not deliver the experience they were looking for. IGN UK gave the game a 6.5, and Wired rated it 5/10, claiming the game should have stuck to its platforming roots. GameTrailers scored the game a 6.7/10, commenting on the lack of conventional platforming in the game and expressing that the vehicle creation tool would be too complicated for kids. The same website also criticized the game's lack of mission variety, however praised its graphics and visual presentation. GiantBomb scored Nuts & Bolts a perfect 5 out of 5, praising its "enormous, well-rendered environments" and "classic Banjo themes" orchestrated in the musical score.[36] GiantBomb later announced Nuts & Bolts as their pick for the best Xbox 360-exclusive game of the year.

Some critics pointed out that the game's text is difficult to read without a high definition setup. Rare has since released an update to fix this issue as well as newer copies of the game that already have this problem dealt with. It also looks like the text seen in the older games.

Other less favorable opinions ranged, Andrew Reiner of Game Informer wrote that in Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts, protagonists "Banjo and Kazooie, who are introduced as lazy, out-of-work, pizza-guzzling fatsos, are also thrown under the bus as archaic characters that no one could possibly love."[37] Ben Reeves of the publication also added, "Banjo and Kazooie weren't even considered relevant icons 10 years ago, so I don't know how much enthusiasm there is for resurrecting this series.

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