And so my series continues, because I didn't see anyone else doing it and video game bosses stand out as some of my most poignant virtual memories. This time I'm sharing with you one of the most epic fights to ever grace a platformer.
I played a lot of games when I was younger. Being lucky enough to own a N64 and a PS1 as well as a Mother who took me to Blockbuster every Friday for doing well in school meant that I got to try out a huge number of games. Some were shit, like Spider, but some were Banjo Kazooie. I think Banjo Kazooie could be credited with turning me into a full-blown video game addict. Well, that and the Legend of Zelda of course.
I didn’t own Banjo Kazooie until later on in my life, but I rented it two Fridays in a row until I beat it. Climbing up Gruntilda’s tower, which seemed a lot smaller from the outside, was an amazing experience. The clever writing mixed with the charming and beautiful worlds captivated my young mind. An experience I wouldn’t have until my parents bought me Banjo Tooie for Christmas a couple of years later.
After struggling through a maze suspended over a pool of lava and finding my way to Gruntilda’s chamber, I was presented with something unexpected. As it turned out, Gruntilda’s evil sister Brentilda had actually been an important character. All of the secrets she had been telling me about Gruntilda were about to be the difference between saving Tooty and dying atop the tower. Scary, eh?
I remember nearly losing this quiz. How was I supposed to know that I was going to be tested on how much attention I’d paid to Brentilda over the course of the game? Hell, half of the time I didn’t even want to know that Gruntilda stuck weird things in her wazoo or that she ate cottage cheese with her feet. Still, there I was in the chair of fate, answering the questions that could very well lead to me doom.
Thankfully, my brain kicked into hyper mode and I managed to decipher all of the questions. I chased Gruntilda to the roof of her “impenetrable” fortress, and prepared myself for an epic battle. I had no idea what I was in for though, and had it not been for the help of a few familiar friends, my journey would have ended atop the tower. Seriously, put some sunglasses on because shits about to get epic.
The Final Battle
Even though we had won the Quiz and Grunty had escape, Tooty demanded that we end our party and get back up there. We had to finish the job right?
Everything had been leading up to this final moment. Here atop the lair, either Banjo or Grunty would fall, and I was going to be damned if our heroes were defeated. The battle started out easy enough, using some of the moves I learned at the beginning of my adventure, but it soon ramped up in difficulty, requiring me to draw upon everything I had learned over the course of my journey.
Soon, Jinjo statues began to appear around the arena. Knowing what I had to do, I made Kazooie shoot eggs out of her throat at them, summoning the Jinjos to help defeat Grunty. After four direct hits, her broom was defeated, and she was left on her legs. Firing spell after spell at me, I concentrated on dodging, waiting for my moment. It came with the arrival of the Jinjonator. After summoning him, I watched as Grunty took blow after blow, before I heard a final, deep “Jinjo” uttered from the mouth of the destroyer.
With her final words, Grunty tried to destroy Banjo. Luckily, it missed. I watched as Grunty fell to her death, and pondered how dark the ending to this friendly adventure had been. To this day, this remains my favorite boss fight of all time.
I really don’t have much to say this time, other than that if you did read this, you’re my favorite person on Destructoid. Happy hunting everyone? Apologies to everyone if there are factual errors here, it's been years since I played this game.