Picking out moral alignments for your favourite fictional characters is always a fun thing to do, so I figured I’d try and decrypt some of the heroes, villains, and unclassifiables in Banjo-Kazooie. Let’s begin.
Brentilda’s dulcet, fairygodmother tones and eager willingness to uncover Grunty’s dirtiest secrets (for the very noble purpose of helping Banjo and Kazooie blitz through Furnace Fun) could only be classified as lawful good. The polar opposite to her ruthless sister, Brentilda upholds truth and assists the needy to vanquish evil.
As for Banjo, his good-hearted nature ensures he does his very best to rescue Tooty from Grunty’s clutches, but he’s okay with letting Kazooie beak bust Gobi (twice!), and apparently feels no qualms about making Mildred Ice Cube a widow.
On the surface, Mumbo Jumbo is a pretty benevolent shaman. He assists Rare’s dynamic duo with a bunch of transformations, however, it isn’t actually to save Banjo’s sister — it’s “to get his (own) face back” (can somebody at Rare or Playtonic please give us closure on this) — which technically isn’t a selfless motivation.
We know Bottles is a good, law-abiding citizen because of two things. Firstly, his distaste for Kazooie’s tendency to cheat at card games, and secondly, his offer to teach bear and bird a cluster of moves that’ll benefit their quest. Bottles won’t sacrifice himself in direct battle, but he will help from the sidelines.
While Cheato may be a rather unimposing magical book, he isn’t afraid to fight dirty. After Gruntilda mistreats and misplaces him, Cheato’s no longer concerned with behaving like a loyal minion and gives his secrets away to anyone who’s brave enough to find him. He’s not interested in extremes or personal politics, and prefers impartiality.
With Kazooie, what you see is what you get: brash, unfiltered, and unapologetic. She’s the kind of breegul who tags along with Banjo to kick-butt, play pranks, and generally promote mayhem. Kazooie’s reluctance to hatch eggs (and face Gruntilda) suggest she isn’t too keen to place duty above personal freedom.
Ever the faithful acolyte, Klungo obtains great satisfction from fulfilling the wicked demands of his mistress. To both honor her authority and protect her from potential harm, he actively seeks out Banjo and Kazooie and instigates fights. His decision to leave Grunty’s service by Banjo-Tooie‘s end does, however, suggest a shift in alignment.
Mr.Vile‘s reign of terror only comes to a halt if Banjo and Kazooie beat him at his own game. If they lose, the greedy, unscrupulous and self-appointed ruler of Bubblegloop Swamp’s croc house will chomp one honeycomb’s worth of health in a chilling display of callousness.
Gruntilda Winkybunion‘s list of misdeeds is seemingly endless. Not only does she betray her former instructor and kill Bottles (and her own sisters!), she also kidnaps Tooty to steal the young bear’s youth and looks, and for what reason? To transform herself into a svelte green goddess of gravity-defying beauty, of course. Grunty might be the epitome of barbarous, self-serving egotism, but you gotta give credit where it’s due — her rhymes are fantastic.