If you’re a lifelong fan of Banjo-Kazooie like we all are here at Virtual Bastion, then odds are you’ll also be familiar with its spiritual successor, Yooka-Laylee. The most important and most notable feature is the titular buddy duo, Yooka and Laylee, who serve as the replacements for Banjo and Kazooie, respectively. While a chameleon and a bat, on the surface, couldn’t seem more different from our bear and bird duo from the Nintendo 64 era, they are very similar in terms of personality. And while I could discuss the wise-cracking breegull Kazooie, I thought I might as well focus on her equally sassy replacement, Laylee the fruit bat. Because I’ve played Yooka-Laylee more recently and because much of what I can say about Laylee can also be applied to Kazooie.
In much the same manner as Kazooie, Laylee acts as a foil to her more mild-mannered partner, Yooka. While I must admit that Laylee is a bit of a jerk, she’s undeniably the more entertaining out of the two, with her constant insults targeting anyone and everything…but most frequently Trowzer (which isn’t so very different from Kazooie’s constant bickering with Bottles the mole). Unlike Kazooie, however, she also seems to have an odd obsession with…what I can only assume is…peeing on things? I mean, in the first game, she threatened to “coat” someone’s windows in “something far worse”, and she commented in the second game that she could fill up a river all by herself, so…I’m not sure how else to take that.
Laylee appears to be the more dominant member of the team, as well, considering that she painted their shipwreck of a home to look like herself, along with adorning it with the phrase “Bat Ship Crazy”. It’s also never failed to make me laugh that she gets the bigger towel on which to sunbathe, while the larger Yooka gets the smaller one. If left alone for long enough, Laylee will also fly around Yooka’s head until he gets dizzy or, worse yet, she might even outright bite him! It’s fortunate for her that her chameleon partner is pretty chill and less prone to striking back than Banjo was. For you see, in Banjo-Kazooie, sometimes when Kazooie would attempt to peck her friend on the head, Banjo would grab her by the neck and give her head a good tug. Perhaps Yooka should consider employing similar methods if he ever wants Laylee to stop nibbling on him….
Fortunately, Laylee does a lot more than merely pester everyone she sees, Yooka included. Just like Kazooie, she is a valuable member of the team, with her ability to fly and shoot sonar to uncover invisible items. She can even create barriers that make the pair impervious to damage! Laylee might be tiny, but this purple fruit bat is definitely a force to be reckoned with!