Banjo-Kazooie Smash Designs Comes From the Diddy Kong Racing Artist

Banjo and Kazooie are making their way to Smash and you can thank Rare's Paul Cunningham on the fabulous character design.

June 29, 2019

At Nintendo’s E3 direct this year, one of my long awaited dream announcements was finally made a reality when Banjo-Kazooie was unveiled as a DLC character coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. While it isn’t a new sequel coming to one of my favorite video game franchises, it still warmed my heart to see the bear and bird together in action again, while also staying shockingly true to the original character design.

According to an official blog post from Rare, Paul Cunningham, an artist who has worked on Diddy Kong Racing and Jet Force Gemini, has been the “point man” on capturing Banjo-Kazooie for Smash. I was always a bit worried that they would take the weird and blocky design of from Nuts and Bolts rather than the originals, but I was happy to see that Rare tried to stay as true to the original concept as possible.

While the announcement is still new to us, Rare stated that this has been kept a secret for quite some time. They have been quietly been working on coming up with different movesets and musical choices for last year.

You know, I really believed that we would never see the bear and bird make a comeback in some compacity. I mean, we have seen Battletoads come back before Banjo-Kazooie. To be fair, one of my colleagues went hands-on with the game and said it was a lot of fun. However, I always thought that the bear and birds narrative was closed. Now that their book is back open, maybe Microsoft and Rare will start adding some pages again.

Grant Huff

Grant Huff is a writer at DualShockers located out of Houston. He is a computer science graduate from Texas State University. When he is not playing or covering video games, he is most likely eating pizza.

Read more of Grant's articles

Got a tip?

Let us know