Hag 1

        It has been a while, but I still remember Banjo-Tooie very fondly. While I never played the game that came before it, Tooie kept me captivated all the same, and I loved every minute of it. The story picks up right where the first game stopped, and it did a very good job of telling me what I needed to know- namely that in the first game the witch Gruntilda, or just Grunty, was trapped under a giant rock following her defeat at the hands of Banjo and Kozooie. It didn’t say why they fought her, but that’s not really important, I guess.
        Now though, she’s trapped for her trouble, but it was not to last forever. Her two sisters, Mingella and Blobbelda, destroy the boulder with the help of a giant drill tank, and we discover that Grunty is still alive even though she’s been down there for two years- she’s been reduced to bones, but apparently witches are really hard to put down. In any case, she quickly blew up Banjo’s house, and seemingly everyone in it, before making her getaway in the tank with her sisters.
        So if I didn’t have a reason to see why they fought her before, I do now- Grunty’s just a horrible person. Luckily, they all do make it out safely- except poor Bottles, who was slain from the explosive spell. Now we have our reason to go after Grunty, as do the protagonists.
        So over the rest of the game, the two heroes learn more techniques, grow stronger, and collect Jiggies to unlock new areas, eventually finding their way to the castle of Grunty’s sisters. Their plot, however, is revealed much sooner- they plan to use a giant life draining laser to suck the life out of the island, and transfer it to Grunty to bring her back to life properly. They had already done so to King Jingaling, who gave Banjo his first Jiggy. If you go back in his castle, the entire building has turned ask black, and the king himself has been transformed into a zombie, who will attack you if you get close. The only survivor is the debatably the king’s pet, who has been reduced to a pile of ash with eyes.
        Luckily, the cannon will take quite some time to charge after that use, so the heroes have some time to make their way to Cauldron Keep and stop the witches. 55 Jiggies are needed to enter the keep, but 70 are needed to actually reach the final boss. The keep itself is actually fairly small compared to many other areas, and has no regular enemies to face, except for Minjos. The player can collect Jinjos throughout the game, who have been scared away from their home by the witches when Grunty’s sisters ran a drill tank through oneo f their homes. I’d be scared too! Anyway, Minjos are imposters who attack you if you try to ‘rescue’ them, but they go down in one hit.
        There is also a mini-boss, Klungo. Poor, poor Klungo. You face him three times throughout the game, and he uses potions to enpower himself to face you. The actual potion he uses for which battle seems to be random, so you may see some potions more than once, or not see one at all. I will just list a different one for each fight.
        In the first fight, he has been charged by Grunty to watch over the starting area and keep you from escaping to face her again, and is refered to as a “Minion With A Mission”. He will use a blue potion to turn himself invisible, but it fails occasionally, letting you see him. If you hit him once, he will surround himself with a magic barrier and through orange acidic potions at you. Once his barrage is done, he will turn invisible again and the barrier will fade.
        For the second battle, he looks rather beaten up and bruised, not from the last fight, but from Grunty punishing him for his failure. He’s called the “Revenge Seeking Minion”. He will use a new potion, this one creating a copy of him to throw you off. However, if you hit the right one he will hide behind a barrier as before, and it goes much the same way, except he will make more copies each time. If you guess wrong, he will throw potions at you regardless. After being beaten, Banjo even suggests that Klungo should retire from henchman work, since getting beaten up by Banjo and Grunty can’t be good for his health. However, he still comes back for a third and final battle.
        He’s even worse for wear now, and is called the “Career-Questioning Minion”. Whether it’s because of what Banjo said before, or because Grunty promised to feed him to a monster if he fails, Klungo is starting to wonder if henching is the right job for him. His final potion will cause him to grow and attempt to jump on Banjo, but he will be vulnerable after landing. None of these make for very hard fights, actually, but he is a mini-boss, so I don’t expect too much anyway. All that said, once he’s beaten the third and final time, Klungo quits his job and leaves to find a new job, actually becoming a friend of Banjo’s later.
        After getting past the henchman, Banjo and Kazooie find themselves in, oddly enough, a quiz game Grunty is running, with her sisters as fellow contestants. The Tower of Tragedy quiz has Grunty ask several questions about the game‘s locations and so on, with correct answers getting you two points, and second guesses after someone gets it wrong netting you one point. Getting a question wrong loses you two points. Whoever has the least points at the end of the round is eliminated via a giant weight falling on them, and then it’s down to the remaining contestants.
        Grunty insults them all regardless of if they get a question right or wrong, and crushes her two sisters without an once of guilt if Banjo gets through the first two rounds. For the third round, the rules are changed. Grunty will ask banjo a question, but unlike before, you have to buzz in and commit to answering to see the possible answers, and you need to get at least 15 points. You can also skip a question if you think you don’t know the answer.
        After the final round, Grunty starts to mock Banjo’s score, but then realizes he actually passed the total, and blames it on the ‘faulty’ scoring system. Since clearly you didn’t actually beat it, she declares the win invalid. None of them are actually sure what this means, but Kazooie suggests Grunty could ‘run away in a cowardly fashion like you did in Banjo-Kazooie’ and they would go on to fight her. Grunty goes along with this and leaves, opening the way forward. Funnily enough, when you leave the weight above you will drop anyway. Seems she rethought that a little too late.
        Anyway, Banjo goes on to find her giant laser, reverses its effect, bringing King Jingaling back to life, and then goes onto fight Grunty once more. But this time, she has a bit of help. After all, when you have a giant tank lying around, why wouldn’t you use it? The tank, called the Hag 1, serves as your final boss.
        The battle starts off fairly easy. The tank can’t actually charge at you because the area is too small, but instead it fires two lasers out of its sides and turns, forcing you to jump over them. After a short time of this, she will poke out of the tank to ask you another quiz question, though these will be different questions from before. If you get it right, she will attack more slowly, but if you get it wrong her attacks will be very fast.
        She will start lobbing green energy blasts at you after the question, and you will automatically switch to Breegull Blaster mode, basically a first person shooter mode, where you fire Kazooie’s egg ammo back at her. Regular blue eggs do one damage, Fire and Ice eggs do two, and Grenade eggs do three damage. Once ten of her one hundred health is gone, she hides in the tank once more, dropping a honeycomb as she does. This little health power up won’t vanish, so save it for when you need it.
        Back in the tank, she will shoot four lasers now, and faster. Oh, and in case you think that maybe you can go opposite direction so her lasers will always be behind you, she will start turning the other way if you go too quickly. Same deal again, she pops out and you get the chance to reduce her health to 80. Also, there is an ammo power up in the arena, which changes what kind of ammo it is over time. These regenerate every now and then.
        After taking more damage, Grunty hides once more, and stops the lasers, activating a mortar cannon. The tank will now turn to face you and you fire out a bomb. Even if it misses, it will fire out shrapnel in four directions. Rather than running normally, use Talon Trot, which has Kazooie carry Banjo around and move more quickly. This will keep you ahead of the blasts and hopefully give you enough time to jump over the shrapnel.
        Another quiz and shooting session later, Grunty brings out a second mortar cannon. This means twice the shrapnel, and the tank will track you a little quicker. When it pauses for longer than usual, you know Grunty is going to ask a question, so turn to face her. That way you be aimed in her direction as soon as quiz time is over.
        Once she’s down to 60 health, she pulls the cannons back in, turns on the lasers and drill, and start closing in on you. The lasers will pin you in as she gets closer, but she won’t actually stab you with the drill, but instead veer off suddenly to try and zap you with the laser, but you should be able to dodge as long as you use Talon Trot. This is a good chance to get behind her, where you will be safe from attack. At quiz time, the lasers will stay on this time, limiting your ability to move around.
        Once she’s down to half health, the Hag 1 will stop moving, apparently because of Grunty’s bad management of it, and the exhaust port on the back will stop spewing smoke, allowing you to use the hole. Fire a Clockwork Kazooie egg, which makes a miniature exploding robot, and send it in the hole. The interior of the tank has one minion that will try to run into the robot if it is spotted, and the robot will explode if hit. Head past it and to the batteries at the end, and blow one up. If you fail to do this, you’ll have to repeat the previous phase, but without the chance to hurt Grunty.
        Grunty will notice there was an explosion and burning smell, but will keep trying to kill you. Now the back lasers are on too while she tries to chase you, so the back of the tank is no longer entirely safe. The Hag 1 will move much faster, too fast for the Talon Trot to keep you ahead of the lasers even if you wanted to try that, and will occasionally change direction to try and knock you into a laser. Try and stay behind the tank so you can hit the battery when you can.
        Another quiz, down to 40 health. The tank will, once again, fail to work properly, and you have your opening. Destroy that last battery! There will be two minions to avoid now. Once the last battery is destroyed, the drill will stop working entirely, and Grunty will opt just to shoot at you from then on. Once she down to 30 health, minions will pour out of the tank every now and then to try and attack you, adding another distraction to deal with, and something to waste ammo on, though you can take them out with a stabbing attack too. They sometimes drop honeycombs, which you may be needing soon.
        Once she’s down to 15 health, she will start letting poison gas out of the tank, giving you only a limited amount of time to finish her off, and start releasing two minions at once. Once she’s down to a measly one health, the poison gas will fade, and the minions will die, probably from breathing. She starts preparing a far stronger, purple spell to hit you with, stating “You’ll wish you’d never taken on the mighty Gruntila Winkybunion!”
        Naturally, the two heroes mock her name, and she starts shooting. It seemed to do two damage instead of one to me, but from what I read it actually just does one, and it fires much quicker. Maybe I just got hit twice in rapid session? Whatever the case, she’ll be firing very quickly now, so fast that you wouldn’t be able to stand there and make that last shot. Keep moving, because one more is all it will take!
        That last hit makes her drop her spell, and she’s unable to drop it before it falls. She hides in her tank, but even the mighty metal walls cannot protect her from the blast, which tears her and the Hag 1 to pieces. And with that, you’ve beaten the game! That‘s all for now, dear reader, and I hope you enjoyed.

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