I decided to do my top 10 songs from “Banjo-Kazooie”, a fun game for the Nintendo 64. This game is still one of my favorite after all these years and has lots of fun music. There are several versions of many of the songs, so I just chose my favorite.
10. “Secret” is played in very secret levels of the game Rareware didn’t intend for us to get to. (I chose the version that plays in Rusty Bucket Bayand Treasure Trove Cove.) I like this song, even though it’s short. It’s possibly in my top 10 because it reminds me of how exciting it was to finally get the secret items. Anyway, if you’re curious about the story behind the secrets, Rareware planned on something called Stop ‘n’ Swap where you could get secrets in this game and do something with the next game, “Banjo-Tooie”, by switching cartridges while the console is on, an idea they abandoned considering that is a good way to kill your Nintendo 64. They left the secret eggs and ice key in the game, though, and if you enter some codes, you can open up the areas where they are hidden. (The codes are all rhymes. For example, one is “Don’t you go and tell her about the secret in her cellar.”) I did this, and while you get absolutely nothing for collecting the items, it is still fun. The fanfare at the beginning also plays in “Donkey Kong 64”, I think, when you open the door to each world boss.
9. “Mad Monster Mansion (Church)” is the music that plays in the spooky church. Much is a variation of the main theme for this world, but not all of it. My favorite part has always been 0:53-1:14.
8. “Click Clock Wood”, the last world, has different versions of the song for every season. This is my favorite, spring. It is nice and cheery and makes me almost forget about the dozens of times I have fallen to my death here.
7. “Gobi’s Valley” is the theme of the desert world. The area is named after a camel named Gobi who just can’t seem to catch a break. Our protagonists, Banjo and Kazooie, follow him through several worlds and even into the sequel, stealing his water at every chance they get.
6. “Inside Clanker” is played inside the big mechanical whale, Clanker, who is Grunty’s garbage disposal. (Actually, maybe he’s a shark. But, why does he have a blowhole AND gills? I never noticed that until just recently.) Poor Clanker. I always liked this music. My favorite part starts at 1:14. It took me a while to figure out how to get here, though. Clanker sounds like he’s got a rumbly tummy.
5. “Clanker’s Cavern” was the third world and a beast of a level. Oh, the number of times I drowned deep down under the water, trying to release the chains holding Clanker down. I guess no good deed goes unpunished. I like the music, though. It fits the level well, with the dirty water and the pipes and stuff. I bet it smells weird here.
4. “Gruntilda’s Lair” is the theme for the location of the same name and begins with a laugh from our rhyming witch antagonist, Gruntilda. You must go through this area to get to every world in the game. I very much like this music. I heard this song came from a really weird song about a teddy bear picnic….
3. During the “Credits” plays a nice dramatic version of the “Banjo-Kazooie” theme. I find myself humming this at very random times.
2. “Rusty Bucket Bay” is played in an area where you explore a ship in a polluted bay. This area includes almost unavoidable drowning, a machine room with a bottomless pit, and explosive boxes. Good times. This song is hard to hum.
1. “Rusty Bucket Bay Machine Room” is the theme for a room that is the embodiment of all that is evil in the world, the machine room of the Rusty Bucket. That consists of a bottomless pit somehow. A bottomless pit inside of a boat? Yes, a bottomless pit. Inside of a boat. Not to mention you get to jump around on spinning cogs, jump through the blades of spinning fans, and cross rotating platforms. Despite all this, I very much like the music. I like the squeaking sounds in the background. Oh, the nightmarish memories this music will bring back.
Rusty Ducket Bay