EXCLUSIVE: The Curse of Banjo-Kazooie

When Banjo-Kazooie was first releasing back in 1998, I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I was in seventh grade at the time and had been reading about the game in magazines, seeing commercials of it on tv and listening to my friends talk about it at school. I wanted that game!

My parents back then were giving my siblings and I a five dollars per week allowance for doing various chores around the house, and of course most of my money went toward the purchase of Nintendo 64 titles at Wal-Mart and older SNES games and such I came across at pawn shops. Banjo-Kazooie was no exception. I put the game on layaway at Wal-Mart and slowly made payments on it until one day the time finally came when I could actually go to the store and take it home to play! That very night was also the beginning of what I like to refer to as my personal ‘Banjo-Kazooie curse’.

My Dad had–and still has, in fact–a 1989 cherry red Z28 Camaro. The car is awesome to say the least and can easily top 100 mph and do it gracefully fast. Well the night we were going to pick up Banjo-Kazooie, he decided he’d push it to the limit across this straight away on a bridge along the way. Naturally, a police officer would be camping nearby, registered the speed my Dad was driving and quickly pulled us over. My Dad was told to get out of the car and was taken to sit with the officer in his vehicle where he gave my Dad a warning and a discussion about being safe when others are in the car. It probably didn’t last for about 15-20 minutes, but for me and my excitement of finally picking up the game, it seemed like an eternity! When he returned, we continued to Wal-Mart, picked up the title and then began our journey–slowly, I might add–back home.

When we got back, it was around 8PM. That should have given me a few hours to play the game, but wouldn’t you know that I would be grounded at the time? So my time for bed was 9PM, no exceptions. I experienced the game for almost an hour before having to turn it off and get some sleep.

Things went smooth from there. I played the game, enjoyed it immensely. It was fun and I loved it. One thing I had not yet done though was complete it 100%. I still had a few Jiggies and Musical Notes I needed to acquire and I was determined to do it! There was, however, a friend at school who didn’t have the game and was begging me to let him borrow it. I caved and took it to him before having fully completed it. That very same day, someone stole the game from his backpack! All of my hard work had been for nought. I was angry and demanded that he get me another.

My friend told his Mom of the situation and she was likewise upset at having to go and spend fifty dollars she otherwise wouldn’t have had to spend. She did though and I’ll never forget that phone call. My friend called to tell me he had gotten the game and I could clearly his Mom in the background violently shaking the game in its box yelling, “you hear that?! That’s your game!”. To this day I still laught aloud a when remembering that scenario.

So I get the game back and begin the journey anew. This playthrough is going faster than before considering I had nearly collected everything the first time. This time I do manage to get all 100 Jiggies and had 898 Notes before dying trying to retrieve the final two in the Winter Season of Click Clock Wood. Figures doesn’t it? AFter that I decide to take a break before getting back to it. Then the ‘Banjo-Kazooie Curse’ strikes again. Upon starting my save file, I had unknowingly pressed the ‘Z’ button beforehand so rather than starting the game I actually erased it! Can you believe it?! All of my hardwork gone again in the blink of an eye! Would I ever 100% it?

The answer to that last question is yes. After that last unfortunate scenario, things went quite well. I dove back into the game and finally managed to collect everything there was to collect. All of the Jiggies, Musical Notes and Hollow Honeycombs were mine. The ‘Banjo-Kazooie Curse’ had finally concluded.