Freak Cutscene Accident Ends Promising Banjo-Kazooie Speedrun

Speedruns are all about risk and reward, as runners perform dangerous tricks in search of the best time. Cutscenes are usually a safe space where runners can relax before the next big skip. Unfortunately for one Banjo-Kazooie speedrunner, cutscenes aren’t always as safe as they seem.


dickhiskhan is a Banjo speedrunner who currently holds third place in the game’s 100% category, which seeks to collect every item in the game as fast as possible. It’s a demanding speedrun made all the more difficult by how the game records collected items, specifically musical notes. Levels have 100 musical notes spread around the level to find. If the player dies before finding all of them, they must restart the level and collect them all again. Death can be punishing and set players back a considerable amount of time.


Nearly 40 minutes into his speedrun, dickhiskhan entered the desert themed Gobi’s Valley. One of the levels challenges involved quickly running through a series of hoops. When players jump through the hoop, a cutscene plays to show the next hoop’s location. With only two units of health, dickhiskhan slides through a hoop as an enemy approaches. Right before the cutscene plays, Banjo is hit by the enemy. In theory, he should be invincible entering the cutscene. Instead, he dies as the cutscene plays, costing dickhiskhan a run that was over twenty seconds faster than his best time.

Banjo-Kazooie runners often have low health and strategically kill themselves near the end of the level to warp back to the game’s hub world. Dickhiskhan’s low health isn’t unusual but even with the small nudge from the enemy, he should have been fine. Instead, a solid run was lost to a surprising accident. And if cutscenes aren’t safe, those giant bumblebee baddies might come for us next.

Former Senior Writer and Critic at Kotaku.

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Lenny Valentin

Gods, I loved Banjo Kazooie despite the stupid characters and the collect-a-thon nature of the game, but damn, the difficulty of it drove me crazy sometimes. The game had some great levels and fantastic mood. The dynamic music helped immensely too.

Eventually managed to wax that witch’s beehive behind though and clock the game, but it cost me... Man, did it cost me. Probably years off my total lifespan due to the stress and frustration! :D

Haven’t played the game in...damn, I dunno. Ages! Unfortunately I smashed most of my N64 games into pieces way back when due to anger issues, I don’t think Banjo survived. Very sad, really. Today I wish I hadn’t!