Being the spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie and sporting the talents of the very same composer, Grant Kirkhope, it’s no wonder the soundtrack of Yooka-Laylee is so darn nostalgic. Yooka-Laylee proved that it’s possible to feel nostalgia for a game within seconds of starting it. From the similar personalities of the game’s titular buddy duo to the gibberish voices to the initial screen where you select your save file, right from the beginning, the game felt so cozy and familiar. And of course, there’s that music…which could sneak its way into the Banjo-Kazooie soundtrack and go almost entirely unquestioned. Hmm, I don’t remember that song being in Banjo-Kazooie…but it sure doesn’t sound out of place, either….
While all of the music in Yooka-Laylee has that nostalgic Banjo-Kazooie feel (I already wrote about the Hivory Towers theme and how it has a distinct Gruntilda’s Lair vibe), one of the songs that stuck with me most came from world 5, Galleon Galaxy. More specifically, I’m talking about the variation that plays when you transform into a pirate ship.
Oh yeah, this song takes me back…to 2017…or rather 1998 because it really makes me think of a certain version of the Rusty Bucket Bay theme from Banjo-Kazooie, with the flute and the underlying…accordion in the background?
When I first played Yooka-Laylee, the initial wave of nostalgia was overwhelming, but it wore off after a while. It wasn’t until that particular song began to play many hours later in Galleon Galaxy that…tears almost welled up in my eyes at the memories the song evoked. Sure, it wasn’t the same, but it was so very close, like thinking about an old friend rather than personally visiting them. Banjo-Kazooie was special to a lot of people, myself included, and I’m just grateful Yooka-Laylee can bring back some of that old nostalgia.