4 crazy old Banjo-Kazooie fan games (with download links!)
9th September 2019
The veteran developers at Playtonic Games have done their best to scratch everybody’s itch for a new Banjo game with Yooka-Laylee, but it doesn’t change the fact that the last real Banjo game came out in 2003 (yeah, I’m just going to gloss over Nuts & Bolts).
Given that it’s nearly twenty years since the golden age of bear-and-bird-related platforming adventures, it’s hardly surprising that the fans have been jonesing for more material – and that some have taken it upon themselves to have a go at creating their own versions.
However, some fan games were being made even at the height of Banjo-mania in the early 2000s. Still-working download links for these games are nearly impossible to find today, and for years they have largely been shared from person to person like geeky heirlooms. However, I’ve tracked each of them down and can now offer them for download here on Levelhive!
Small caveat: these are old games, and as such might require a small amount of persuasion to get working on a modern machine. One likely occurrence is that you’ll get an error message alerting you to the absence of cncs32.dll – you can download that here (just unzip and put it in the same folder as the installed game to get it working).
Ready? Let’s peer back through the mists of time…
Possibly the first Banjo fan game to ever be created, BKPC was made in 2000 by a chap known as Yumblie (the webmaster of the now-defunct site Yumblie’s Banjo-Kazooie).
It was made using The Games Factory, one of the early precursor applications to Multimedia Fusion and Clickteam Fusion (engines that are still used by game developers today, with games such as Baba Is You and Five Nights At Freddy’s serving as well-known examples).
BKPC doesn’t really follow the structure of Banjo-Kazooie; each level is presented from a top-down 2D perspective and invites you to collect all of the notes and Jinjos on each screen in order to spawn a Jiggy which, when touched, allows you to advance to the next area.
The simple setup makes for quite a playable game, although one-hit kills, wonky collision detection, conspicuous bugs and maddeningly unfair enemy spawns make it difficult to wholeheartedly recommend.
[BKPC Banjo-Kazooie Fan Game Free Download]
It didn’t take Yumblie long to announce a followup to BKPC, developed in collaboration with his friend Bhlaab (I promise I’m not making these people up).
Released in 2001, BKPC 2 was a much larger and more ambitious effort than its predecessor. Gameplay-wise, it was closer to the structure of the N64 originals, with five Jiggies and 50 notes on each world for the player to hunt out and collect. It was also a great deal more accessible and forgiving, offering a health bar and a save system (but still an eccentric approach to collision detection).
BKPC 2 also boasted an original soundtrack, the ability to play as numerous different characters including Gruntilda, and a plethora of secrets – the solutions to many of which are now lost to the sands of time (as apparently even Yumblie himself no longer remembers exactly how to access them).
It still stands as an impressive feat of work for two (presumed) adolescents, and is fondly remembered by a small number of long-time Banjo obsessives today.
[BKPC 2 Banjo-Kazooie Fan Game Free Download]
I’ve grown accustomed to introducing Banjo’s Egg as “the worst Banjo fan game ever made”. Admittedly that’s quite harsh, but I feel justified in saying it as its creator was none other than yours truly.
Yes, I’m ashamed to say I’m responsible for making this hilariously terrible pile of pants back in 2001. About all that you can say in its favour is that it’s a fascinating glimpse into the mind of an adolescent geek who had far more enthusiasm for game development than actual ability.
“Features” of Banjo’s Egg include a nonsensical plot, sprites with incorrect origin settings so that almost every character in the game accidentally teleports each time they turn around, a tuneless MIDI soundtrack that I “composed” despite not knowing anything about music, embarrassing collision bugs that cause the player to stick to almost every wall, a selection of near-unplayable boss fights in which Banjo doesn’t actually do anything himself, and more!
Although I originally made it, I didn’t even have a copy of this myself for many years until a kind soul reunited me with the work of my younger self – much to my subsequent chagrin.
I know that I haven’t exactly sold it as a game that anybody would want to play, but I think it’s worth preserving as sort of a bizarre cultural artefact of the early-2000s Internet and a cringe-tastic reminder that we must all start somewhere.
[Banjo’s Egg Banjo-Kazooie Fan Game Free Download]
By the way, here’s the list of passwords for each of the levels and boss battles – yes, you’re going to need them (highlight to reveal the codes):
Level 1 Boss: dvboss
Level 2: spuppy
Level 2 Boss: srbomb
Level 3: ackma
Level 3 Boss: bnjok
Level 4: spirfor
Level 4 Boss: rbull
Level 5: dubloon
Level 5 Boss: squidly
Final Boss: wbunion
I’ll come clean right away – I made this one as well.
Fortunately, this was a couple of years after Banjo’s Egg and I’d learned how to use The Games Factory with a little more skill, resulting in a game that I can’t exactly recommend as ‘good’ but which was certainly the best game I produced in my teenage years.
Banjo Fair, unlike the other games listed, was not so much an adventure as a collection of Banjo-themed replayable minigames. Ranging from platforming challenges to target shootouts, drawing tasks and even a crude multiplayer mode, Banjo Fair’s minigames came with a high score system that would occasionally dispense trophies if the player could beat an unspecified score threshold – trophies that would ultimately unlock more minigames.
I didn’t make this one entirely by myself; I had help with some of the music from two of my friends (going at the time by the names of Dr. Fruitcake and Icy Guy) who both turned in a few tracks that far surpassed anything I would have been able to do on my own. (As a matter of fact, I’m still working with Fruitcake to this day, sixteen years later – he’s doing all the music for my upcoming Steam game, Cornflake Crisis!).
Although Banjo Fair contains more than a few in-jokes and references that won’t make any kind of sense to a person who doesn’t remember being part of our Banjo fan community in 2003 (and has more than its fair share of clunky and near-unplayable minigames), I don’t think it’s a bad piece of work for what it was – and it’s probably worth preserving at least as a relic of days gone by.
[Banjo Fair Banjo-Kazooie Fan Game Free Download]
Does anybody else have any more crusty old Banjo fan games? Ding them over to me and I might be able to put them up here!