Banjo is one of the two protagonists of the Banjo-Kazooie franchise, along with his best friend, Kazooie. However, his first appearance is in Diddy Kong Racing, in which he is a playable character. His inclusion was to promote his then-upcoming title, Banjo-Kazooie. Banjo has light-brown fur, and he wears a shark-tooth necklace, yellow shorts, and a blue backpack that houses Kazooie.
Donkey Kong franchise
Diddy Kong Racing
In Diddy Kong Racing, when Wizpig invaded Timber's Island, Timber calls for Diddy Kong's assistance. In turn, he sends Squawks to contact his friends, one of whom is Banjo. All the characters compete in a variety of racing challenges to liberate the island and decide who would race Wizpig. Eventually, the eight racers, with the help of Taj and T.T., drove Wizpig back to his home planet, Future Fun Land. However, Wizpig returns, and the racers go to his homeworld. At the end of the world, the winning character races Wizpig again, who rides on a rocket missile for the rematch.
On the character selection screen, Banjo's theme instrument is the banjo. The menu's theme is re-composed in a banjo when the player highlights him. Like the other characters, Banjo says his name when he is selected.
Since Microsoft had direct ownership over Banjo and Conker, both of them do not appear in Diddy Kong Racing DS. Instead, they were replaced with Tiny Kong and Dixie Kong, respectively. Despite this, Banjo's theme instrument was left intact, and it plays both on the character selection and the game's introduction sequence. Banjo's statistics were also retained for Tiny Kong, who was likely redesigned for Banjo's heavyweight feature.
Donkey Kong 64
Mario no Bōken Land
Banjo makes a small, non-speaking cameo in the Diddy Kong Racing story segment of Mario no Bōken Land, titled "Go Go Diddy!". The comic shows him participating in a race with his friends, with him being in sixth place.
4-koma Gag Battle
Banjo appears throughout the 4-koma Gag Battle manga adaptation of Diddy Kong Racing. A certain four panel comic provides an explanation for what was in his backpack during Diddy Kong Racing, since Kazooie was absent: the backpack was filled with a beehive full of bees.
"N-Gang vs. Nintendo"
Banjo appeared in the 2000 N-Gang comic, "N-Gang vs. Nintendo", where he played on the same soccer camp team with Kazooie, Wario, Yoshi, Princess Peach, Donkey Kong, and Lanky Kong. Mario refereed the match.
"Die Hexe lacht um Mitternacht"
Banjo makes an appearance in the N-Gang comic "Die Hexe lacht um Mitternacht". After Gruntilda transformed Toni and VIP into hot dogs and leaves to reek havoc into the city, Big B. and Gecko arrives and devise a plan to defeat Gruntilda. They then use VIP's machine to bring Banjo into the real world, and then launches eggs at the witch to defeat her. After that, they all celebrate.
Mario Artist: Paint Studio
Banjo appears in some Banjo-Kazooie and Diddy Kong Racing-based artwork in Mario Artist: Paint Studio along with other characters from those games.
Originally exclusive to the Xbox 360 and Xbox One versions of the game, Banjo and a few other Microsoft-exclusive characters (including Conker) appear as playable skins in the Wii U and Nintendo Switch versions of Minecraft through an update on January 30, 2018. This technically marks Banjo's first appearance on a Nintendo console since Banjo-Pilot on the Game Boy Advance, and additionally, technically his first appearance alongside Diddy Kong since his debut.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Banjo, alongside Kazooie, were announced as playable fighters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate during the E3 2019 Nintendo Direct on June 11 (PST). Ultimate marks their first non-cameo appearance in a new game since Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing with Banjo-Kazooie, which was released for the Xbox 360 in 2010, as well as the duo's first appearance on a Nintendo console since Banjo-Pilot for the Game Boy Advance in 2005. Banjo & Kazooie were released on September 4, 2019 (PST) as part of Challenger Pack 3.
The reveal trailer for the duo heavily references King K. Rool's original reveal trailer, with Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, and King K. Rool looking outside the window of DK's tree house and seeing a silhouette of Banjo & Kazooie. It is then revealed to be Duck Hunt playing a prank, much like how the K. Rool reveal trailer had King Dedede pretending to be King K. Rool. Banjo & Kazooie then appear from the sky and knock Duck Hunt out of frame, with Banjo holding his namesake instrument.
The trailer references the connection between the Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong franchises, as both were managed by Rareware in the 1990s. The trailer could also be referencing the fact that Banjo's first in-game appearance was in a Donkey Kong series game, Diddy Kong Racing. The English tagline "Banjo-Kazooie are Raring to Go!" is a reference to Rareware as well. Banjo and Kazooie appear in Sephiroth's reveal trailer, and are shocked to see him descend from the sky.
Banjo & Kazooie's moveset and appearances are directly pulled from their two Nintendo 64 titles, Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie, though they also sport a few original attacks. Spiral Mountain, the location of their home, serves as the representation for their stage. Regarding weight, Banjo & Kazooie are collectively a heavyweight, being heavier than Link, Yoshi, Captain Falcon, Mii Gunner, and Min Min, but lighter than Wario, Ike, Ridley, Simon, and Richter, while having the same weight as Snake and R.O.B..
Banjo & Kazooie are the first fighters from a Western franchise in the Super Smash Bros. series.
Classic Mode route
Banjo & Kazooie's Classic Mode route pits them against fighters that work as a team.
Egg Firing / Breegull Blaster
Egg Firing is Banjo & Kazooie's standard special move, which involves Banjo crouching, and Kazooie shooting a Blue Egg forward. This egg is affected by gravity, and is a weak projectile that will cause mild flinching. If Banjo and Kazooie use this move in midair, their falling speed is slower.
When the standard special move button is held down, the move transitions to Breegull Blaster. Banjo will take Kazooie out the backpack and hold her like a gun; holding or mashing attack or special buttons during Breegull Blaster, will make the eggs fire at twice the speed of the Egg Firing move, with Banjo now able to walk around while shooting. These eggs deal less damage than from Egg Firing, especially with repeated hits on the same player. Breegull Blaster can be canceled by shielding, crouching, grabbing, or performing a side, up or down special input. These two moves originate from Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie, respectively.
Wonderwing is Banjo & Kazooie's side special move. The move involves Banjo doing a side charge forward with Kazooie placing a wing over the duo, acting as a shield. The attack is very powerful, but they can only use the move five times per stock, as represented with five Gold Feathers displaying each time they perform the move. Once they run out of feathers for the stock, the duo will trip when attempting to perform it. In Sudden Death and Super Sudden Death, the duo only gets one feather, and in stamina battles, the numbers of feathers is determined by their starting HP. The move originates from Banjo-Kazooie.
Shock Spring Jump
Shock Spring Jump is Banjo & Kazooie's up special move. The move involves the duo using a Shock Spring Pad that spontaneously appears under them, to launch themselves upwards into the air. The pad then acts like Sonic the Hedgehog's Spring Jump move, in the sense the pad falls downwards (if the duo uses the move in midair), which can hurt any opponent that comes in contact with it. The move can be slightly charged for a slight increase in jump height. The move originates from Banjo-Kazooie.
Rear Egg is Banjo & Kazooie's down special move. The move involves Banjo crouching, while Kazooie shoots a Grenade Egg backwards (opposite direction of which they are facing). The egg bounces in an unpredictable pattern, before detonating either on contact or after several seconds. This egg can be picked up by any players to be tossed again, but it can also explode in the player's hands if it is not thrown fast enough. If the egg detonates from contact of an opponent, said explosion will not harm Banjo and Kazooie, but if exploding on timer, or in Banjo's hands, it will harm the duo. Banjo and Kazooie can only fire one Grenade Egg at a time. The Rear Egg move originates from Banjo-Kazooie, while Grenade Eggs originate from Banjo-Tooie.
The Mighty Jinjonator
The Mighty Jinjonator is Banjo & Kazooie's Final Smash. The move must be performed in close proximity of an opponent (or opponents), to which Banjo and Kazooie will summon the statue of the Jinjonator from under the opponent(s). A quick cutscene begins which shows the Jinjonator statue breaking apart, revealing the Jinjonator. The Jinjonator will then begin to fly and ram into a trapped opponent multiple times, before charging forward for a final hit with four other Jinjos. Only one opponent can be caught in the cutscene, but multiple opponents can take damage from the attack. The Mighty Jinjonator originates from the final battle and ending of Banjo-Kazooie.
Profiles and statistics
Diddy Kong Racing
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Banjo and Kazooie shares this stock conversation with all other DLC characters except Piranha Plant. It was originally used for Mewtwo, Lucas, Roy, Ryu, Cloud, Corrin, and Bayonetta in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, who are downloadable fighters in that game.
Diddy Kong Racing
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Names in other languages