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|~ Banjo's introduction in Diddy Kong Racing|
|~ Banjo's catchphrase|
Banjo is a brown honey bear, who is one of the two protagonists of the Banjo-Kazooie series. He has a younger sister named Tooty, who plays a big part in Banjo-Kazooie, but is absent in Banjo-Tooie and Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts. He always carries a blue backpack around, which usually contains his good friend Kazooie. When they are split up, he can use his backpack to carry helpless subjects and take them to their right places. His only solo attack is the Pack Whack. He was first seen in Diddy Kong Racing where he started his career. His arch-nemesis is Gruntilda the witch. He can also play his namesake instrument (a banjo). With the help of local shaman Mumbo Jumbo, transforms into creatures and things that originate in some worlds like a bee in the games. His home is Spiral Mountain.
Banjo is usually seen wearing yellow shorts with a belt, a shark tooth necklace, and a bright blue backpack.
In stark contrast with Kazooie, Banjo is polite and well-mannered, and will often go out of his way to help others without even stopping to think about it. In fact, one notable running gag is that when Kazooie says something rude or snarky, he will reprimand her by exclaiming "Kazooie!" He is also very laidback, so if he doesn't have a particular reason to go on an adventure, he'd prefer to just stay at home, play video games and the like. However, when there is someone to save or something important to do, he will immediately jump into action, as shown with his unfailing determination to save Tooty in the first game.
Banjo is also often portrayed as being simple-minded and somewhat gullible. However, he is far from outright stupid. In particular, by the sequel, Banjo-Tooie, he often knows when a NPC character is going to ask him to do some dangerous task on their behalf in order to get a jiggy before they say so. He also has a fair amount of common sense in general, to the point he often comes off as something of a straight man/voice of reason to some of the more wacky and quirky side characters. For instance, in Tooie, he actively suggests to and convinces Klungo to leave Gruntilda after he gets repeatedly beaten by her for his repeated failures to defeat them. On a similar note, he also shows a lot more tact than Kazooie and tries to avoid unnecessary conflicts whenever possible. Although he's still very nice and helpful for the most part, it is also during the time of the sequel that Banjo begins to pick up on some of Kazooie's snarkiness and cynicism as a result of already having gone through the motions and knowing full well what other characters, particularly antagonistic ones, are going to do and say.
Banjo is first seen sleeping in his bed inside his house. Kazooie attempts to wake him up twice until he does, hearing from Bottles the Mole that his sister has been "bearnapped" by Gruntilda outside. After scaling Spiral Mountain, Banjo and his feathered friend make it into Gruntilda's Lair and enter several grand worlds full of Jiggys and notes. Soon, the two make it to Grunty's Furnace Fun, a quiz show-like gauntlet that sees the duo answering questions relating to their adventure. Once they complete the quiz and save Tooty, they return home and have a BBQ, only for Tooty to remind them that Grunty is still out there, so the adventure isn't over yet.
Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge
Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts
Diddy Kong Racing
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
- He's determined to save his sister no matter the hazards awaiting on their journey, but when he isn't doing some heroic rescuing, he'd rather slack around and play video games.
- Banjo and Kazooie eventually became playable characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Their inclusion was first announced during E3 2019.