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The Banjo-Kazooie Character Even Its Creator Hated

Some characters in games stand the test of time — while others fade away quietly, never to appear again. For example, Kiddy Kong from Rare's "Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!" stands among many characters in the franchise, since the muscle-bound baby ape only appeared as a playable character in the aforementioned game. On the subject of Rare, company artist and designer Steve Mayles has cited a particular character he grew to dislike from the N64 classic "Banjo-Kazooie."

Creators disliking their own characters for one reason or another is not new, and there are several well-documented examples. Among characters greeted with a less-than-stellar reaction from their creators: Tooty, the piccolo-playing bear whom Gruntilda the Witch kidnaps. Banjo and Kazooie's quest in the original game may revolve around rescuing the former's sister, but for a character who serves as the player's motivation to even start the game, Mayles has some harsh words.

A Tooty Retrospective

Responding to a tweet by user DK Vine in 2019, Mayles referred to Tooty as "officially the least BK favourite character." He added, "Didn't even make the sequel. Go on, name me a more unpopular BK character."

The tweet came in response to a post by DK Vine reflecting on Tooty's cameo in "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate," in which she debuted as a Spirit power-up after Banjo-Kazooie was added as a playable DLC character. DK Vine also shared a bit of trivia in this post: According to the August 1997 issue of Nintendo Power, the "Banjo-Kazooie" creators originally gave her the name Piccolo. They had also cast her as Banjo's girlfriend rather than his sister, to which DK Vine remarked, "This family tree twists more than Spiral Mountain itself."

Tooty has not appeared live and in-the-fur since the first "Banjo," unless gamers count her Spirit form in "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate." However, her likeness has made small appearances in "Banjo-Tooie" and "Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts."

The Future of Banjo-Kazooie and Tooty

It remains unlikely fans of the "Banjo-Kazooie" series will see Banjo's little sister in a more significant capacity, given Steve Mayles opinion of her and her recent (lack of) history in games since the original. However, Mayles has implied an openness to creating a new "Banjo-Kazooie" game for Microsoft if approached about it. In an interview with YouTuber Canadian Guy Eh in 2020, the character art director at Rare said the following on the possibility of a partnership opportunity to produce a new game. After questioning if the IP's renewed popularity was solely due to the characters' appearances in "Super Smash Bros.," he remarked, "So say in theory, Microsoft did approach us, I'm sure we'd absolutely love to work on a new Banjo game. But would it be right for Xbox?"

Fans can still revisit the original "Banjo-Kazooie" games and characters like Gruntilda, Bottles, and (of course) Tooty on Xbox systems and on Nintendo Switch via Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack.