The Duck’s second silly scoundrel is another creation of Rareware’s, the rhyming witch Gruntilda and nemesis to the beloved bear and bird duo, Banjo and Kazooie! In this post, I’ll be focusing on her antics in the two main Banjo-Kazooie titles on the N64. (I barely remember the handheld title, Grunty’s Revenge, and…there’s definitely not another game on the Xbox 360. Yep, definitely not…)
In her original debut, Gruntilda kidnaps Banjo’s sister Tooty in order to steal her beauty. Old Grunty is your typical witch, complete with green skin, a bubbling cauldron, a flying broomstick, and a maniacal cackle. While she is certainly a nasty old crone, I can’t help but laugh at her many silly rhymes, which extend to whenever you’re exploring her massive lair, where she insults you or just generally rambles on.
“I’m still here, I watch you play, but I can’t think of much to say.”
“Your butt will tell you and you’ll know, when my boot swings to and fro!”
“Hey Banjo, you’re looking glum, it must be hard, being so dumb!”
And before you face her in the final showdown, she’s got a big quiz prepared for you, Grunty’s Furnace Fun, where you’re faced with answering questions about your adventure or risk getting dumped into the lava! Honestly, she had to have put a needlessly large amount of effort into this silly quiz! I can’t say I understand why a quiz was her first choice in defeating us and outright murdering us was her second!
The ironic thing about Grunty is the fact that her goal of gaining physical beauty completely backfired on her. After her defeat at the hands of Banjo and Kazooie, she falls from her tower and is crushed beneath a boulder. This, in turn, leads to her being resurrected by her sisters two years later as a skeleton at the start of the sequel, Banjo-Tooie. Now, her newest goal involves regaining her body by sucking the life force from the island using the Big-O-Blaster. Again, she is defeated (after yet another quiz, of course), and she is blown up and reduced to no more than a head! Because she wasn’t satisfied with what she had, she lost everything in the process, her life and her body included!
Foolish though she was, one thing is certain as far as this vain old witch is concerned:
“Long of tooth and strong of arm, Grunty’s got the lasting charm!”