Summer Video Game Movie, Banjo Kazooie

Even if you owned a Nintendo 64 and loved playing Banjo Kazooie as I did, you may not think of Rare's bear-and-bird action game as a summer game. One wonderful part of it was.

Listen to this first clip. It is summer.

Let me explain. I refer you to Click Clock Wood, a late-game Banjo Kazoooie level of fantastic design. The central attraction of the level was a massive tree. Banjo and Kazooie could climb this tree to find musical notes, Jinjos and other silly items. There were enemy bees and little scout critters to fight, plus a bird to help hatch.


Best of all, there were four seasons.

Click Clock Wood had four entrances from the Banjo Kazooie's hub world. Each entrance was a doorway to the tree in a new season. In the winter season, the water around the tree was frozen into ice upon which Banjo could walk. In the fall, piles of leaves formed convenient slopes up which Banjo could scramble. In the spring Banjo could turn into a bee. And, of all things, I remember that in the summer, the normally-clothed bad guys ran around with their shirts off. It was warm in the summer!

Originally I was going to include a video of Banjo Kazooie's summer section of Click Clock Wood. We've been showing great summer scenes of video games all week as we celebrate all things summer and gaming. But I decided that this movie would be audio only. Each season of Click Clock Wood had its own version of the level's music. Listening to each one lets you hear what the sound of a season is like.

This is what froggy, musty autumn sounds like:

This is icicled winter:

This is blooming spring:

And, up top, that's the wonderful lazy buzzing of summer. It is the sound of a hot and bright day, a day for lemonade and a hammock. It is the sound, for me, of summer.


Credit to BK development studio Rare for this audio exploration of the seasons.

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This game.... not only does it remind me of the summer I moved from the UK to mexico (this game made the move seamless as I arrived, plugged in my n64, bought banjo and proceeded to 100 jiggy 900 note the game) but it's also a testament to how amazing rare were back in the day.

Though I might be mistaken, I'm fairly certain the audio tech the game used where the music dynamically changed from water to land, from world to world, and from area to area, was amongst the first to do it. The audio engineer who programmed it was a god, and then he left rare.... :(

I'd also like to note that this is one of the only games where I have 100%'ed it on every save slot, then bought the xbla version, and 100%'ed it again.... BK3 cant come soon enough