Unforgettable: Click Clock Wood

Typically when I write about something unforgettable in a video game, I usually talk about something small that stuck with me.  A particularly memorable cut scene, an extra epic segment of gameplay.  Today, however, I am discussing an entire world.  It was after my recent playthrough of Rayman 2 that I decided next to revisit another favorite of mine, Banjo-Kazooie.  And as I made my way through the game’s final world, I couldn’t help but stop for a moment to really appreciate a level I usually take for granted.

Click Clock Wood is the ninth and final world of Banjo-Kazooie, and I must say, this might be the single best world in any 3D platformer I have ever had the joy of exploring.  The world centers around a huge tree in the middle of a forest, and you visit the place four times, one for each season.  You start in spring, and you must find a button to open the door to summer, and so on and so forth.  There are several characters you meet in this world, namely Eyrie the eagle, whom you hatch from an egg in spring, and Nabnut the squirrel, who can be seen wolfing down his acorns without any concern for having enough by winter.  You complete little quests with these respective characters as the seasons go by, and eventually Eyrie grows into an adult (sniff, they grow up so fast) and Nabnut is saved from his acorn-woes (even though I can’t say he deserves it, the lazy rodent) just in time for winter.

Video from Youtube User: ZorZelda

Aside from helping characters, the scenery also greatly changes from season to season, in all the obvious ways, plus the platforms being built up around the tree change, as well, including a tree house that is just being started in spring and is completely finished by winter.  And despite having played through this world many times throughout the years, I never get over how clever it is.  Every other world in the game feels stagnant in comparison.  In those worlds, there is no change.  There is no real story for the various characters.  In Click Clock Wood, on the other hand, you get to follow the lives of these characters through the year-long span of time you visit them, and I felt a far more personal connection to this place as a result.  It is amazing, really, considering 3D platformers started in 1996 with Super Mario 64, with Banjo-Kazooie’s release coming two years later.  In all that time, from 1998 to the present day, I can’t think of any other world that has been done as well.  Rareware, you truly are the master of platformers.

What about you guys?  What is your favorite world in a platformer?  What’s your favorite in the Banjo-Kazooie series?  Let me know in the comments?

Click Cluck Duck

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Hatm0nster says:

    There’s something about Treasure Trove Cove that has cemented it as my favorite Banjo-Kazooie world. It just feels so open and vibrant while avoiding the feeling of being overwhelming! In all likely-hood though, it’s probably the music that’s doing it. Can’t get enough of that steel-drum beat!

    Really, I just can’t help but smile the entire time I’m playing through it. 😀

    Like

    1. duckofindeed says:

      Treasure Trove Cove is indeed a lot of fun. Mumbo’s Mountain is a bit boring because it’s too easy, but the game starts to get a lot more fun once we start Treasure Trove Cove. The world I really like after Click Clock Wood is actually Rusty Bucket Bay. I think, like you, it’s the music that makes me enjoy it so much. Because in all other aspects, that world is brutal. Oily water. Bottomless pits…inside of a boat. Shudder.

      Like

  2. Matt says:

    I agree with you when you say Click Clock Wood might be the single best world in any 3D platformer.

    It is that good! I think only some galaxies from the Super Mario Galaxy duo can get close.

    Like

    1. duckofindeed says:

      I think after playing platformers for so many years, Click Clock Wood struck me all the more with how amazing it is. How can a game come out in 1998 and still have the best platforming location of all time 17 years later? That’s how great Banjo-Kazooie is. (That’s how great Rareware used to be. Sniff.)

      The Super Mario Galaxy games did indeed have some neat locations. What levels did you like most in those games?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Matt says:

        Yeah, Rare was on an incredible roll back in those days.

        As for my favorite Galaxy levels.

        SMG:

        Good Egg Galaxy
        Sweet Sweet Galaxy
        Space Junk Galaxy
        Freezeflame Galaxy
        Toy Time Galaxy
        Dreadnought Galaxy
        Buoy Base Galaxy

        SMG2:

        Fluffy Bluff Galaxy
        Hightail Falls Galaxy
        Tall Trunk Galaxy
        Haunty Halls Galaxy
        Bowser’s Galaxy Generator
        Space Storm Galaxy
        Sweet Mystery Galaxy
        Supermassive Galaxy

        That was tough.

        Like

      2. duckofindeed says:

        In the first game, I loved Honeyhive Galaxy because I thought the bees were adorable. I also liked Throwback Galaxy in the second game. It was fun replaying an old Super Mario 64 level.

        Like

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