While Yooka-Laylee was not quite what we had all hoped it would be, there is one area where it absolutely delivered, and that was nostalgia. After having completed the game only about a month ago, and despite having a rather rocky time with it, I already kind of miss it. I think some of the Banjo-Kazooie nostalgia has rubbed off on Yooka-Laylee, but darn it, I can’t help it! One major aspect of the game that immediately brought to mind thoughts of Banjo-Kazooie and Tooie was the music, which could have easily been right at home on the bear and bird duo’s own soundtrack. And for me, nowhere is this more apparent than in the background music for Hivory Towers.
Hivory Towers is what Gruntilda’s Lair was to Banjo-Kazooie. While I can’t say it’s nearly as magical a place as the rhyming hag’s old lair (frankly, it was terribly confusing to navigate), I couldn’t help but grow attached to Yooka-Laylee’s hub world, even if it’s probably only thanks to the transference of Banjo-Kazooie nostalgia. Let me tell you, that stuff is powerful if it can make me love something in an entirely different game from where the nostalgia originated. But there was just something about my initial venture into Hivory Towers that made me feel like I was back in Gruntilda’s Lair, if only in purpose more than anything else. And do you know what is responsible? Most definitely the music!
Video from Youtube User: Vector Harbor
This song really has a Gruntilda’s Lair vibe going on. In case you’ve forgotten what that song sounds like, just take a quick listen to the video below.
Video from Youtube User: GilvaSunner
Both songs start off low and menacing, despite a pretty catchy beat, and 1:00-1:20 of Grunty’s Lair is comparable to 0:52-1:11 of Hivory Towers. By having a song reminiscent of one I had grown up with, I couldn’t help but feel immediately attached to a game I had, at that initial moment, been playing for a mere ten minutes. If Capital B is the new Gruntilda, Dr. Quack is the new Klungo, and Hivory Towers is the new Gruntilda’s Lair, these songs were clearly meant to be spiritual soul mates, as surely as I live and breathe! Nothing more needs to be said.
How do you do it, Yooka-Laylee? You made me mad on more occasions than I care to count. You put me through unfair and tedious challenges that made me tear my feathers out. And yet, every time I listen to this music, I want to play you again! Music is powerful, and nostalgia is powerful. By combining these two things, Playtonic has created a song that resonates both with my past and present all at once. Well played, Playtonic, well played. Now when do you plan to start Yooka-Twoie? Don’t keep me waiting!
Ducka-Laylee…Yooka Can Ride Around in My Backpack
Image from Flickr User: PSMania.net