Banjo-Kazooie: Worlds Collide is a new bear ‘n’ bird adventure for N64

by Martin Watts, 27 October 2019

Banjo runs across a bridge in the Worlds Collide mod's Spiral Molehill stage.

Will Rare ever give us another Banjo-Kazooie game? Who knows, but at least we have great fan games like Banjo-Kazooie: Worlds Collide to entertain us in the meanwhile.

Created by Bynine B, Banjo-Kazooie: Worlds Collide is a mod of the original Banjo-Kazooie.

It offers nine new worlds for you to explore, and a slightly different gameplay experience to the original.

The mod works on both emulators and original N64 hardware – although you’ll need a flashcart for the latter.

What’s Banjo-Kazooie: Worlds Collide about?

After descending into Bottles’ underground tunnels, Banjo and Kazooie discover nine new unexplored worlds.

Although, they’re not entirely new. Each location is, in fact, a mash-up of places from the bear ‘n’ bird’s past N64 adventures.

Banjo discovers a nearby temple in Rich Ruin Cove.

For example, there’s Rich Ruin Cove. This world merges the Aztec vibe of Banjo-Tooie’s Mayahem Temple with the golden sands of Banjo-Kazooie’s Treasure Trove Cove.

WitchyWest, on the other hand, merges two worlds from the same game (Banjo-Tooie).

Much like the environments, the music for each world is a mix of two or more tracks from the official games. They sound strangely familiar and fresh at the same time!

Banjo and Kazooie prepare to battle Mutie-snippets in Banjo-Kazooie: Worlds Collide (N64).

Banjo-Kazooie: Worlds Collide feels authentic, despite being a fan game. It’s stuffed full of subtle nods and references to past events in the Banjo-Kazooie universe.

The in-game dialogue really hits the spot too. Characters speak and behave as you’d expect, and that Rare brand of humour is present throughout.

"Mr Drippy" and "The Salty Nut", two of Ol' Nabnut's Port's local businesses in Banjo-Kazooie: Worlds Collide.

Longtime Banjo-Kazooie fans will really get a kick out of this lovingly crafted mod.

Banjo-Kazooie: Worlds Collide plays just like the first N64 game. You can use all of Banjo and Kazooie’s original moves and abilities, but not any of the techniques learned in Banjo-Tooie.

Banjo and Kazooie soar over Spiral Molehill in the Worlds Collide mod for N64.

Taking notes

One area where this mod does differ drastically from the original is gameplay objectives.

Surprisingly, Banjo-Kazooie: Worlds Collide is not a massive collect-a-thon. In fact, there’s only one Jiggy to find in this game.

Bee Banjo attempted to jump across floating barrels in a pool of toxic waste

In eight of the nine worlds, all you have to do is collect 10 musical notes and some Mumbo tokens.

Getting as many musical notes as possible per world is important, as you’ll need them to unlock later worlds.

Sir Slush the Snowmen throw snowballs at Banjo and Kazooie in the Worlds Collide mod.

There are also two honeycomb pieces per world, but these are entirely optional. The final world has just five Jinjos, and collecting all of these gives you the Jiggy you’re after.

It sounds simple enough. However, these items are often spread out and in difficult-to-reach and treacherous locations.

Swimming underwater in Banjo-Kazooie: Worlds Collide for N64.

And just like in the original game, you must collect all of a world’s notes in a single visit without leaving or dying.

So even if you find nine of them and then die or leave, you’ll have to find all nine again – as well as the tenth – next time.

Kazooie fires eggs at distant enemy in Banjo-Kazooie: Worlds Collide on N64.

This setup, combined with Banjo-Kazooie: Worlds Collide’s heavy emphasis on tricky platforming, makes for a rather challenging game at times. That said, it’s the ideal difficulty level for veterans of the series.

And because the worlds are relatively small in size, it always feels manageable. The entire game only takes about three to four hours to complete.

Banjo explores Rich Ruin Cove, a stage from the Worlds Collide mod for N64.

Variety is the spice of life

Banjo-Kazooie: Worlds Collide doesn’t have the same gameplay variety as the original games.

In fact, it’s primarily just platforming challenges. There little in the way of puzzles or additional item-gathering tasks.

Banjo jumps across treacherous icicle platforms in Worlds Collide's Hailfire Hole stage.

The way in which you can interact with most worlds is also pretty limited. Only very occasionally are there moments where you can raise platforms or destroy objects.

It’s understandable. After all, this is a mod of a 20-year-old game that was never meant to be modded in the first place.

And despite its limitations, Banjo-Kazooie: Worlds Collide has some really clever moments.

For example, some in-game tasks from the original game make an appearance, but with notable tweaks. As a result, they’re more challenging than before.

Brentilda runs her own quiz show in Banjo-Kazooie: Worlds Collide's Quarrelsome Quiz stage.

There’s also a world that’s just one big multiple-choice quiz. It tests your knowledge across both Banjo-Kazooie N64 games, and it’s pretty unforgiving if you make a mistake!

If you’re a fan of the series then you really should give Banjo-Kazooie: Worlds Collide a go. It has all the charm of the original games, and some of the references and Easter eggs will truly delight you.

Aboard a ship with a Rare logo flag in Banjo-Kazooie: Worlds Collide.

How can I play Banjo-Kazooie: Worlds Collide?

You’ll need an unmodified NTSC ROM of Banjo-Kazooie and the Banjo-Kazooie: Worlds Collide patch.

The patch is an xdelta file. Use Delta Patcher to apply it to the ROM.

Mumbo Jumbo performs a transformation spell on Banjo and Kazooie in the Worlds Collide mod.

To play on an original N64 console, you’ll need to use a flashcart such as an EverDrive 64.

Just stick the patched ROM on your EverDrive 64’s SD card and you’ll be good to go!

Banjo stood atop a rooftop in Banjo-Kazooie: Worlds Collide's WitchyWest world.

I played through the entirety of Banjo-Kazooie: Worlds Collide on an N64 console. I didn’t encounter any major game-breaking bugs or performance issues, but the game did crash once or twice.

There are also some occasional graphical glitches that look a bit odd, but they’re relatively minor and don’t ruin the gameplay experience.

What do you think?

Will you be giving Banjo-Kazooie: Worlds Collide a go? Let me know on Twitter or Facebook.

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