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This page details prerelease information and/or media for Banjo-Kazooie.

This article is a work in progress.
...Well, all the articles here are, in a way. But this one moreso, and the article may contain incomplete information and editor's notes.
To do:
  • Early music formerly on Grant Kirkhope's website.
  • Bug sheets (mirror of page 1, 2)

The origin of Banjo-Kazooie can be summed up in a single quote:

Q7: Were you consciously trying to one-up Mario64 with B-K?
A: That's right. Banjo once had a bigger moustache than Mario, wore brighter coloured overalls and the game was originally called Really Super Duper Mario 64.[1]

...Well, okay, not really. The real story of Banjo starts with a Dream.

Development Timeline



  • c. September-October: Project Dream begins development on the SNES.


  • c. Winter/Spring: Dream moves to the Nintendo 64DD.
  • c. Late 1996-January 1997: Dream is scrapped and reimagined as a 2.5D platformer starring Banjo named Kazoo.


  • c. January 23-27: The character that would become Kazooie is conceived, as a way to augment Banjo's moveset.
  • c. Late February-Early March: Kazoo is overhauled into a free-roaming 3D platformer named Banjo Kazoo.
  • c. May-June: Trademark conflicts result in Banjo Kazoo being renamed to Banjo-Kazooie.
  • June 19-21: Banjo-Kazooie is unveiled at E3 1997.


  • June 29: The final game is released.



Retro Gamer 36 April 2007 - Project Dream N64 Early Screenshot.jpg
Project Dream
1995-1996: The Zelda-like that wasn't.
Kazoo Sk8rBanjo.jpg
Early 1997: Dream goes back to the drawing board, and comes out as what is basically Donkey Kong Country but with a bear.
Banjo-Kazoo Logo.png
Banjo Kazoo
Spring 1997: Linearity goes out the window, and the final game starts to take shape.
BK EarlyLogo.jpg
Mid-1997 to 1998: Covers the game's official announcement to its release.

Other Music Tracks

In 2013, Kirkhope put up several early tracks on his Bandcamp (and then had to take them down, for legal reasons). While some are unambiguously from Dream, others are less clear. Also included in this album were the tracks that are still present in the final game but unused: Advent, Mumbo's Rain Dance, Early Click Clock Wood, and so on.


Not even Kirkhope is sure where this track would have gone. The title implies it might have been for a female character, but who exactly is anybody's guess.

Big Foot

Despite the name, this track has no relation to the similarly named Biggafoot from Tooie. A version without the brass was used for the falling stalactite sequence in Donkey Kong 64's Crystal Caves.


This theme can be heard in footage of the game from E3 1997 (erroneously labeled 1998 in the video). The first 12 seconds would be altered and re-used for the minecart challenge in DK64's Jungle Japes, while the section from 0:35 to 0:57 would be used for the final battle against Gruntilda.


It is not known who "Elvking" is, and whether or not this character has any relation to King Jingaling, the carefree Jinjo king of Tooie (or perhaps some hitherto-unseen elven royalty in Dream). The middle section would be touched up slightly and re-used for the credits in Kazooie.

Freezeezy (early version)

An early rendition of Freezeezy Peak, the 5th level in Banjo-Kazooie and one of the first levels in the game Grant Kirkhope had attempted to compose music for, having been told to use a longer melody than the 8 bar standard. Kirkhope stated that he didn't believe either this or the other early version of Freezeezy Peak displayed below had "enough of a wintery feel [to it], as well as [lacking in] a Christmassy element".

Another FreeEezy!

A slightly modified version of the track directly above, also composed for Freezeezy Peak. This incarnation is more complex than the first rendition shown above, with more naturally flowing instrumentation. While the majority of the composition would be scrapped entirely in favour of a more energetic score, 2 of the melodies would end up being included in the final version of the level's theme.


A slow, brass-heavy theme with unclear purpose. It was likely intended for Dream, as its main melody is shared with "Ogres" below, which combines it with Edson's theme. Tonally, it bears a resemblance to K. Lumsy's theme from DK64 (the percussion and strings at 0:56 are almost identical). Fitting, as K. Lumsy is himself a giant.


The original version of the Mumbo's Mountain theme, derived from Henry Mancini's "Baby Elephant Walk".[2] It can also be heard in footage from E3 1997. Interestingly, it shares its name with the first planned level of Kazoo, but it's not known if it actually dates back that far. This melody can actually still be heard in the final game, as the Ticker's Tower submap did not receive a new theme to match. A jazzy version would also make it into DK64 as Tiny Kong's Tag Barrel theme.


What would eventually become DK64's overworld theme. Likely to have also been a Dream track, given its drumline matches that of the main theme.


If you've ever wondered why Angry Aztec and Mayahem Temple sound so similar, here's why: both of them originated from this early track. The section at 0:39 would also make it into DK64's Hideout Helm.


A fight theme that intertwines parts of "Boy" and "Giant", indicating a showdown between Edson and the aforementioned Giant character (or some ogres, judging by the title).


This theme would later be re-used for Fungi Forest, the 5th level in Donkey Kong 64, and a level which was notoriously planned to be in Banjo-Kazooie (albeit with the name Fungus Forest). While there is footage at E3 1997 that takes place in Fungus Forest, the music that plays features a section heard in DK64, but not here. This early version of the track is noticeably faster, shorter, and includes different melodies and instrument allocation midway into the theme.

Treasure Trove Cove

An early composition for Treasure Trove Cove, the 2nd level in Banjo-Kazooie. Completely different to what we would receive upon release, with a generally slower, less energetic melody that Kirkhope believed "didn't really feel right" for the level. Like Boss1, Jungle1, and Temple above, this composition can be heard in early footage of Banjo-Kazooie displayed at E3 1997.

Lost Jingles

"Quit", an unused jingle still present in the final release's code, is also included among these.

Extended Jiggy

An extended version of the theme played when Banjo & Kazooie obtain a Jiggy. This can be heard in action near the end of the Rare Revealed video.

Jig Short

A slightly shorter rendition of the above.


A similar (albeit shorter) jingle would be used in Banjo-Tooie upon collecting a Treble Clef.

Miscellaneous Changes


Early Final
  • The N64/Rare logo cutscene originally took place atop a cloud. In the final game, this cutscene takes place in mid air.
Early Final
BanjoKazooie-earlyband.jpg BanjoKazooie-finalband.png
  • The area where the musical intro took place in looked completely different.

Banjo's House

Early Final
BanjoKazooie-earlydkpic.gif BanjoKazooie-finaltootypic.png
  • The picture of Tooty was originally a picture of Donkey Kong, likely a placeholder.
Early Final
BanjoKazooie-earlybanjohouse.jpg BanjoKazooie-finalbanjohouse.png
  • The textures in Banjo's house for basically everything are completely different. The house feels more rustic and cabin-like compared to the bright modern look in the final.
  • An extra window and a picture of Banjo in what appears to be the original concept test level was added in the final game.

Grunty's Lair

Early Final
(Source: AnonymousJ)
  • The note doors originally had the number of required notes above the door. In the final game, it alternates between the required number of notes and an image of a note. The original note door texture has the note as part of the texture, and is more regal than the final's wooden door with steel trim.
Early Final
BanjoKazooie-earlyttcsign.jpg BanjoKazooie-finalttcsign.png
  • The signs with the level names on them originally didn't exist.

Mumbo's Mountain

Early Final
BanjoKazooie-earlyenemy.jpg BanjoKazooie-finalgrublin.png
  • The Grublins in this level were originally Mumbo-like characters. This is a very interesting change; the enemies were likely changed so players wouldn't perceive Mumbo as an enemy.
  • The trees were originally 2D objects. They went through a few design changes across builds.
Early Final
BanjoKazooie-earlygrublin.jpg BanjoKazooie-finalgrublin.png
  • The Grublins in this level were originally a pale blue/green. They're purple in the final game.
  • An additional tree can be seen in the area across the bridge. This tree was removed in the final game.
  • The bridge looked different.
Early Final
BanjoKazooie-earlymumbobridge.jpg BanjoKazooie-finalbridge.png
  • Another early bridge design.
  • The Bigbutt (bull) enemy is not present.
  • The bee hives were much larger, lacked googly eyes and weren't animated.
Early Final
  • The inside of Mumbo's skull used different textures.
  • The four notes inside here are on top of the pillars. In the final game, they're on the ground.
  • The button that Banjo is supposed to stand on is not present.
Early Final
BanjoKazooie-earlymumbohut3.jpg BanjoKazooie-finalmumbohut2.png
  • A later version uses a flat texture of Mumbo's face, changed to a more elaborate and flashy button model in the final.
Early Final
BanjoKazooie-earlytermitemound.jpg BanjoKazooie-finaltermitemound.png
  • Mumbo's skull looked different, more menacing, and lacked the red feathers on top.
  • Banjo is on top of the termite mound, something that is normally impossible in the final game.

Bubblegloop Swamp

Early Final
BanjoKazooie-earlystartpad.jpg BanjoKazooie-finalstartpad.png
  • The start pads were originally in full color. In the final game, they're an embossed silver image of the same Banjo-Kazooie face logo.


Early Final
BanjoKazooie-earlybottles.jpg BanjoKazooie-finalbottles.png
  • Bottles' glasses were originally black. In the final game, they were changed to red likely to make them contrast more with his fur.

Debug Display


A debug display seen in an early screenshot that displays some info such as CPU/RSP usage and framerate. It's unknown if this is still present in the final game.

Debugging Text


(Source: Ferrox)


  1. Rarewhere: The Tepid Seat - Rareware.com, Jun. 9th, 1999
  2. Special Guest Grant Kirkhope - Guest Grumps - Game Grumps, Mar. 25th, 2013