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Professional wrestler Cody Rhodes applauds the reveal of Banjo-Kazooie for Smash Bros. Ultimate

Cody's got some good taste

As we've said in the past, professional wrestler Cody Rhodes is a big Nintendo fan. He loves Zelda in particular, but has shown interest in all of Nintendo's franchises over the years. Today he took to Twitter to share the following tweet about Smash Bros. Ultimate.


The reveal of Banjo-Kazooie for Smash Bros. Ultimate is one of those moments that will go down in gaming history. It was a reveal that so many wanted, but none were sure it could ever happen. The pure joy that reveal brought is something that'll stick with people for years to come.

Thanks to MrThee for the heads up!

Famitsu print ad - Smash Bros. Ultimate Japanese tournament (ad #2)

Nintendo has put another advert in the latest issue of Famitsu for their upcoming Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament. Even though this is an elementary school tournament, there's no doubt the action will be fast and furious. I can't wait to see what these kids can do!

Switch 'My Way' commercials - Super Mario Maker 2 and Smash Bros. Ultimate

Play your way


Let your imagination run wild with Super Mario Maker 2 and show ‘em how it’s done in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on Nintendo Switch!

Check out an alternate color for Banjo-Kazooie in Smash Bros. Ultimate

Pretty in pink

Yes, Banjo and Kazooie will have alternate colors in Smash Bros. Ultimate, just like all characters have alternate colors/costumes. Nintendo has shared just one image of an alternate design, which gives us a pink Banjo and a more pastel version of Kazooie. The pair are looking great!

Smash Bros. Ultimate 'Let's go to that island again!' Spirit Board event announced

Time to revisit Koholint

Nintendo has revealed the next Spirit Board event for Smash Bros. Ultimate. This event, entitled "Let's go to that island again!," kicks off this Friday, and will run for 5 days. This Spirit Board event includes Koholint island-related Spirits, including Link and his owl buddy from Link's Awakening!

Check out Smash Bros. Ultimate's updated mural


Dragon Quest's hero and Banjo-Kazooie have been added to the Smash Bros. Ultimate mural. Man, this image is absolutely insane. I can't even believe it's real!

Grant Kirkhope goes into great detail on how he got involved with Banjo & Kazooie's appearance in Smash Bros. Ultimate, original character creator comments

Everyone is happy to see the duo back on Nintendo hardware

As we mentioned earlier, Grant Kirkhope handled the music for Banjo and Kazooie's reveal for Smash Bros. Ultimate. In an interview with VideogamesChronicle, Mr. Kirkhope elaborated on the whole topic. Apparently he worked on 12 different iterations of the tune before he got to what we heard in the trailer.

“In about January this year I received a message from Davide Soliani, the creative director on Mario Rabbids, who said Nintendo were asking for my contact information. He said, ‘can I pass it on to them?’ and I was like, ‘too f***ing right!’ I think it was Nintendo’s idea that they wanted the original composer. This had been going on long before they talked to me and they must have been talking to Rare at the back end of last year. A couple of days went by and I eventually got an email from Nintendo saying that they had a piece of music they’d like my assistance on and that they really loved what I did with the Princess Peach theme in Mario Rabbids. That was it.

So my brain was going mad trying to work out what it could be. I did quickly wonder if it could be Banjo in Smash Bros., but then I thought it couldn’t be that because they always use their own Japanese composers to remix the tunes for that game. They never get the actual composers: even David Wise didn’t get to do his Donkey Kong stuff for K Rool, which I didn’t understand.
So I thought it couldn’t be that. I wondered whether it might be Rabbid Peach as a playable character in Smash, or something like that.

I think it was Nintendo’s idea that they wanted the original composer. This had been going on long before they talked to me and they must have been talking to Rare at the back end of last year. I started thinking what the most recognisable Banjo-Kazooie tune would be. I went through a few different ideas like Mad Monster Mansion, Freezeezy Peak or Treasure Trove Cove, but eventually settled on Spiral Mountain. I thought that would be the most recognisable of all of them. I didn’t actually know the Banjo stage in the game was Spiral Mountain, so it was pretty handy when I found out I’d accidentally matched the tune with the stage. Maybe they should’ve told me at the start!”

When I have to redo any of my own stuff, like in Yooka-Laylee which was very much Banjo style, I don’t want to do it almost. I’m not great at going back to old stuff – I usually end up making it worse! But once I started it, it was great fun. But I had to get it right for the fans. Nintendo Japan also asked me to weave in some references to other Banjo levels, so I put in bits of melody from other tunes. It’s up to the fans to spot them!

I think it is significant that Banjo is back on a Nintendo system. They were born on Nintendo consoles. I feel that their home is with Nintendo, but that’s just my personal opinion and I think the fans definitely agree.”

Kirkhope isn't the only one pleased to see Banjo and Kazooie popping up in Smash. Steve Mayles, the character designer of the duo, was quite happy about the reveal.

“It’s wonderful to see Banjo and Kazooie return after 11 years in gaming wilderness, and back to their spiritual home on a Nintendo console no less. I’m really pleased for all the passionate Banjo fans who never lost faith that their heroes would one day come back! The duo are a great fit for Smash Ultimate – I can’t wait to make them Rat-a-tat-Rap Sonic in the face. Take that hedgehog boy!”

Chris Sutherland, lead programmer on the Banjo-Kazooie games, shared the same sentiment.

“It was a surprise to me, but I know many people have been asking for this – it is great to see the bear and bird back in action! Guhuh!”

Microsoft's Phil Spencer reveals how Banjo and Kazooie got added to Smash Bros. Ultimate, RARE comments as well

Guh-huh!

Banjo-Kazooie are coming to Smash Bros. Ultimate. It's actually happening, but how did it all come together? Xbox boss Phil Spencer explained to Kotaku.

“The ‘how’ is not actually that interesting. Obviously we’re one of the biggest third-party publishers on Switch, so we have great relationships with their third-party team. And you’ve seen the ambition they’ve had with every character that’s ever been in Smash and even more. So it was just kind of part of the partnership relationship we have with them. There wasn’t anything kind of CEO-to-CEO that had to happen. People have asked me on social [media]—I’m sure you’ve seen that—over many years: ‘Would I welcome having Banjo in Smash?’ and I’ve always been open to that.

“The licensing relationships between the two companies, they’re there and are kind of ongoing. The reason it’s not some interesting, deep conversation is because with us owning Rare and the history between those two things, there are a lot of conversations over the years about, ‘Hey, we want to do “X” is that okay? I think it’s cool that Banjo is going to be in Smash.”

RARE also shared a comment about the reveal on their Twitter account, which reads as follows.

You asked. We listened. Nintendo were listening too, and we were happy to work with our old friends to make this one a reality.

Grant Kirkhope handling the Banjo-Kazooie music in Smash Bros. Ultimate

The way it should be

Wondering who handled the Banjo-Kazooie music in Smash Bros. Ultimate? Turns out none other than Grant Kirkhope is taking it on! Check out the announcement and the theme sample below.


Registration for Smash Bros. Ultimate Online Open June 2019 now live, action kicks off June 29th/30th, 2019

Fight for your spot at EVO

The top four players from the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Online Open June 2019 will win a trip to one of the largest competitive gaming tournaments in the world! The tournament will take place on June 29 or June 30, depending on the player’s home region.

If you think you're one of the best Smash Bros. Ultimate players out there, now's the time to put up or shut up. You can register for the Smash Bros. Ultimate Online Open June 2019 and battle it out starting June 29th. Win yourself a spot at EVO 2019, and then take home the grand prize at game's biggest tournament! Click here to register.