Sunday, December 11, 2011

25 Days of Villains - #15: Gruntilda

Gruntilda Winkybunion is a parody of practically every witch in any novel, film, video game, or fairytale that preceded Rare’s classic adventure-platformer Banjo-Kazooie. She uses magic to zap the bear and bird duo. She has a nasally cackle. And she speaks in rhyme, spewing insults at friends and foe alike.

Grunty’s aims in the first game are relatively simplistic – she wants to gain the better looks of Banjo’s sister Tootie. But by the time the sequel rolls around, Grunty’s powers are all but depleted, so she travels with her sisters to the Isle o’ Hags with the intent to fire up the B.O.B. and suck the life force out of everything. In Banjo-Tooie, Grunty exhibits a much more ruthless nature, sending more varied opponents against Banjo and Kazooie, killing off Bottles the mole and leaving King Jingaling in a zombified state, and utilizing every piece of tech at her disposal.

I’ve played a lot of great games on the Nintendo 64, and I’m not just saying that because it was the first system I ever owned. There were some genuinely awesome games released in the mid to late nineties. These games also came with a lot of seriously challenging boss fights. Regardless of whether you are playing Banjo-Kazooie or Banjo-Tooie, the final boss fight has Grunty dishing out some serious pain. Both boss fights require careful tactics and fast reflexes, and are some of the most intense final boss encounters I’ve endured on the console.

Boss theme:

I’m partial to Grunty’s boss theme from Banjo-Kazooie. Both games have phenomenal (if not incredibly quirky) soundtracks. This tune represents one pretty darn epic conclusion, if I do say so myself.

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