Tricks, Treats, and Feats: Getting Tricky with Banjo-Tooie

As far as gaming goes, trick or treating can take on a whole new meaning.  Gaming’s a treat, especially when you’ve got a few tricks up your sleeve.  The longer you’ve been playing a game, the more likely you’ll have some tricks that will help to make the game a bit easier, and there are few games I’ve been playing as long as Banjo-Tooie.

The Banjo games feature a wide variety of moves for bear and bird, and once you’ve completed your first playthrough of the game, you know what abilities to expect in each world.  This allows for a greater degree of planning, as there might be certain challenges you wish to pass up because you know of a future move that will make the job easier.  For example, you may want to visit the Pine Grove before you fight Old King Coal because the grenade eggs make the fight against him much simpler.  Or you’ll want to wait on Targitzan’s Temple until after you’ve obtained Beak Bayonet in Glitter Gulch Mine, which allows you to defeat enemies without needing to waste eggs.

All of these tricks are pretty basic, but what about tricks that will allow you to obtain items earlier than Rareware planned, or at the very least, differently?  For this particular category of tricks, I’ve got two that, if you choose to try them out, will make your time with Banjo-Tooie a bit more interesting.

1. The Power Hut: Remember the Power Hut in Glitter Gulch Mine? You know, the building with the dark basement whose lights only come on if you stand on the switch upstairs?  Well, Rareware wants you to obtain this particular Jiggy by splitting up, which allows Banjo to stand on the switch while Kazooie navigates the tricky and narrow pathways in the basement.  But this certainly isn’t practical.  I mean, this is world two, and you would need to visit world three in order to learn this move.  Madness!

Well, if this distressing amount of waiting bothers you like it does me, worry no more because you do not need to split up in order to nab that pesky Power Hut Jiggy.  In fact, you don’t even need Banjo and Kazooie to complete this one.  Nay, in this instance, our fine shaman friend Mumbo can take care of this Jiggy himself.  How is this?  Does our mysterious ally own a flashlight or some other such mystical device?  No, but he’s got the next best thing.  Better, really.  His magical…zappy…stick thing!

You see, when Mumbo attacks, he is able to electrocute any enemies that come into contact with his staff, and it is this very act of attacking that illuminates a small area around him.  So one day, it occurred to me that it might just be possible to traverse the Power Hut basement with our shaman comrade.  All you need to do is attack repeatedly to illuminate the path, all the while inching along in between the brief flashes of light created by Mumbo’s weapon.  It is an, admittedly, very time consuming process, and you would really be better off just waiting until our bear and bird duo can complete the task themselves.  Nevertheless, if you get a kick out of doing things differently from what the developer intended, then there you go.

2. Cheating with the Clockwork Kazooie Egg: Another rather useful trick I learned during my many years of playing Banjo-Tooie is the fact that the Clockwork Kazooie egg is a great way to be, well, downright lazy when obtaining items. Seriously, a good many Jiggies, Jinjos, or what have you can be found just lying around, and with a bit of practice, you shouldn’t have much trouble firing a Clockwork Kazooie egg over to the item you desire and obtaining it without having to expend any effort.  Notable locations include:

  • The Jiggy atop the pillars in Mayahem Temple’s Prison Compound
  • The Jinjo high up near the entrance of Terrydactyland
  • The treble clef in Hailfire Peak’s Icicle Grotto (it’s a slippery platform otherwise)
  • The Jinjo high up near the aforementioned treble cleft
  • The tiny path near the entrance of the Icicle Grotto can be traversed with the Clockwork Kazooie egg, as well, even if Banjo’s Shack Pack seems to be the intended move.
  • The Jiggy on top of the boxes in Grunty Industries’ uppermost floor
  • Not to mention the fact that this is a great way to provoke the Tintops into appearing high up in Grunty Industries Floor 1. Just send over a Clockwork Kazooie to make them come out, destroy one of them with the resulting explosion, then fire on them from a safe distance.
  • Another example I haven’t tried is the Jiggy behind the waterfall in Glitter Gulch Mine. The one obtained using the spring shoes.  Would it work here, as well?

After playing Banjo-Tooie so many times, it’s been rather amusing trying to come up with alternative ways to obtain the game’s copious amount of items.  What better way to keep things interesting than to try playing the game just a bit differently each time?  So I’d like to ask, who here has tried the tricks listed above?  And do you have any other tricks that have proven useful during your time with Banjo-Kazooie and Tooie?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

A Tricky Duck

Screenshot from Flickr User: Tyler Burgess