Game music of the day: Banjo-Kazooie

GR's ongoing tribute to the beloved world of videogame music

Game: Banjo-Kazooie

Song: Spiral Mountain

Composer: Grant Kirkhope


Above: Spiral Mountain from Banjo-Kazooie

Ah, the sweet country pluckins of Banjo-Kazooie. For a game filled withirritating noisesand characters who never shut the hell up, it's got a surprisingly catchy, borderline heartwarming soundtrack that'll soothe even the most burningest of rages.

This particular song, which plays just outside of Banjo's house, will one day save me from having a heart attack. Something about the pleasant banjo sound and down-home melody calm my nerves and bring me back from the edge of pure madness. It may be early in the game, but I daresay it's the best song of the whole soundtrack.


Above: The game's opening is a right hillbilly hoedown! Take it away Mumbo


Above: Click Clock Wood sounds like they lifted pieces of Mario 64 and Mario Kart 64, but hey, it's still a great track

Interesting note about the BK music that you've likely noticed by now - there are a lot of animal effects throughout. Not sure why Kirkhope used shrieking animals as instruments, but it's certainly a unique choice. Something that doesn't immediately come across in YouTube videos, however, is the "interactivity" of BK's music. When you swim underwater, for example, the area's music will slightly change to convey a more aquatic, lightweight feel.


Above: Spiral Mountain, as heard while swimming underwater

FASCINATING! I still think Banjo Kazooie holds up, even if Tooie and then Nuts %26amp; Bolts never did anything for me. In fact, I still recommend downloading the XBLA version and having a quick run through the whole thing. It's kind of a relic and doesn't stand up to severe scrutiny, but in a time of mascot-filled, collectible-heavy platformers, nobody did it better that Rare. Well, other than Nintendo.


Lava Cave by Miya, Nakabai and Shigeno


Snake Eater theme by Hibino and Harrell


Even Rats by The Slip

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