Banjo and Kazooie “are raring to go” and will join the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster later this year. And their DLC release just might pave the way for even more Microsoft characters in the future (cough Master Chief cough).
Nintendo made the announcement towards the end of the company’s E3 2019 presentation Tuesday. Earlier in the show, a teaser confirmed that Dragon Quest XI’s unnamed hero will join the growing list of anime-inspired sword bois as a Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC later this summer, but the second teaser video confirmed that Banjo-Kazooie will follow with a fall release date.
The short video featured Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, and King K. Rool napping together in a cabin before a figure outside drew their attention. The silhouette of Banjo and Kazooie was replaced by the dog and duck that comprise the Duck Hunt character, but soon enough the real Banjo-Kazooie dove in from the sky to knock the imposters out.
The presentation included gameplay of Banjo-Kazooie in action, and they appear to have a diverse moveset that’s well-balanced. The dual nature of the character feels more like Duck Hunt rather than Ice Climbers, with the two characters working together as a single unit.
The duo can run at high speeds using Kazooie’s legs, but they spend most of the time with Banjo in charge. Banjo’s regular attacks look slow but powerful for his size, like a smaller Donkey Kong. They also have a weaker but faster beak stab from Kazooie for aerial and slide attacks.
Banjo can also fire projectiles right out of Kazooie’s mouth or wallop enemies with the red-crested breegull’s body, and because she’s a bird, her flapping wings make for an effective recovery movie. Banjo can even materialize some kind of explosive item out of his backpack similar to Link’s bombs.
Is there anything that Banjo-Kazooie can’t do?
The pair originally made their debut in a 1998 platform developed by Rare for the Nintendo 64. Banjo-Kazooie and its sequel in 2000, Banjo-Tooie, were beloved by fans. Many count it as one of the best games ever released for the Nintendo 64. The 3D platform adventure games involved many puzzles as the duo foiled the plans of the witch, Gruntilda, who wanted to steal the beauty of Banjo’s sister, Tooty.
Banjo and Kazooie have been on many players’ wish lists for the Super Smash Bros. roster since before the game even came out. One 2018 poll with 20,000 votes cast revealed that Banjo-Kazooie was the single most requested character for the game.
Microsoft and Xbox own the rights to these two characters, making their inclusion in a Nintendo game another groundbreaking collaboration between video game companies for the sake of the Super Smash Bros. franchise. Could it set the precedent for more Xbox characters?
We don’t think that somebody from Gears of War will ever show up to chainsaw Mario in half, but Microsoft does own Battletoads, who would be a perfect fit for this fighting game. (They could even just be Greninja echo fighters.) More interesting, however, is that this could eventually lead to the inclusion of Master Chief from the Halo franchise, who might play like the heavier Snake with a gun-oriented tool kit.
In the meantime, we’re just happy to see Banjo-Kazooie back where they belong: beating up Mario, Link, Pac-Man, and the rest of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster.
Banjo-Kazooie will be released on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate sometime in fall 2019.