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Banjo-Kazooie coming to Nintendo Switch Online

Rare’s Nintendo 64 platformer arrives Jan. 20

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Rare’s 1998 Nintendo 64 action-platformer Banjo-Kazooie is coming to the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack subscription service on Jan. 20, Nintendo announced Tuesday. It’s the 11th Nintendo 64 game for Nintendo’s premium tier of the Nintendo Switch Online subscription service.

Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack costs $49.99 annually for an individual user, and $79.99 annually for a family plan (for up to eight users). The higher-priced tier of Nintendo Switch Online also grants access to Sega Genesis games and the Happy Home Paradise add-on for Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Banjo-Kazooie stars Banjo the bear and Kazooie, a Breegull, on a cooperative adventure to, in classic Nintendo fashion, rescue a kidnapped loved one: Banjo’s sister Tooty. Here’s the game’s official description from Nintendo:

It all starts when the wicked witch Gruntilda kidnaps Tooty, Banjo’s little sister, and Banjo and Kazooie set out to bring her back—venturing from Spiral Mountain, along the shark-infested coastline of Treasure Trove Cove, through the icy perils of Freezeezy Peak, and beyond. But with Kazooie spending most of her time inside Banjo’s backpack, they’re like two heroes in one! Though they may squabble from time to time, with the two of them working together, nothing can stand in their way. Now you can join them on this journey into a magical world of adventure!

Since Banjo and Kazooie’s debut on N64, developer Rare has created a mix of sequels and spinoffs starring the duo. That includes sequels Banjo-Tooie for N64 and Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty’s Revenge for Game Boy Advance, and the kart racing game-inspired Banjo Pilot, also for GBA. Banjo and Kazooie’s most recent stand-alone game, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, was released for Xbox 360 in 2008. Banjo and Kazooie resurfaced as playable characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, where they were released as DLC fighters in 2019.