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Project Dream / Banjo Kazooie [N64 - Beta / Proto / Test Level]

Project Dream / Banjo Kazooie [N64 - Beta / Proto / Test Level]

Banjo-Kazooie was originally known by the project name Dream for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The project starred a boy named Edison, who owned a wooden sword and got into trouble with a group of pirates lead by Captain Blackeye. Dream was also scheduled to include a rabbit that looked like a man, a dopey dog and a bear that became Banjo. A screenshot from the Project Dream phase, shows Edison in a pirate town, but we do not know if it is a concept art or a Nintendo 64 tech demo. Finally, Project Dream was shown at the 1997 E3 as Banjo-Kazooie. [info from wikipedia]

From Grant Kirkhope’s website we can read many interesting facts about Dream’s development and download some unused / beta songs:

I started at Rare in October 1995 and when I got there “Dream” was already going. The core team from “Donkey Kong Country” had given DK to another team to carry on with and was working on this game which was going to be Rare’s greatest SNES title. It was very secret and Tim Stamper was leading the team, nobody outside the team knew anything about it. [...]

I was shown the demo of the game running on the SNES and was blown away; it looked beautiful and was obviously going to be a big step up from “Donkey Kong Country”. [...]

Pretty soon after I joined the game it was decided that it was too big for the SNES and was converted over to the N64, plus we were going to be using the extra “bulky drive” add on, that Nintendo told us they had in development. [...]

The game was a huge RPG, which I loved as I was a huge “Zelda” fan, and I tried to write some really strong themes for all the characters. The demos that I’ve put on the site are all using proper samples as opposed to the N64 versions which were obviously not as good quality due to memory restrictions.[...]

I think the final nail in the coffin for “Dream” came from another one of Rare’s teams. The “Killer Instinct” team had started “Conker” and it looked and played fantastically. In “Dream” we had this elaborate floor system that meant we could stretch the polygons into any shape to create some really great looking landscapes that really hadn’t been tried before, unfortunately the N64 just didn’t have the power to run it at a decent frame rate and we were struggling to make it work. The “Conker” team had gone more the tried and trusted route as used in “Mario 64″ and had left us behind. I remember Tim trooping us all across the courtyard to look at “Conker” and our hearts all sank as “Conker” was really good.[...]

So we went back to our barn and tried their method, “Dream” started to run great. Then Tim was unhappy with the whole boy/hero thing and said we should change it to an animal. A bear was our first creature and “Banjo” the bear was born. So now we had “Banjo” running around in an RPG, I really can’t remember when we added the back pack and “Kazooie” but it was around this time. Again Tim still didn’t think it was all good enough and after seeing how good “Mario 64″ was and with Rare’s platforming heritage it was decided to scrap “Dream” and do a platformer with ” Banjo” as the main character.[...]

Check our interview with Grant Kirkhope! Also, Coolboyman is helping Grant to restore the beta BK tunes to their former glory. Check the videos below, to find some of these beta songs!

In the gallery below you can see various screens and videos from the beta version of the game, with removed enemies and levels. One of the most famous beta areas is the “Giant’s Lair”, that should have been the world’s HUB before Gruntilda’s Lair. The “Mount Fire Eyes” is instead a beta level, that is talked about in the final game, as an easter egg. You can check the video below created by VIDEOmakerNezuke to read more info on the Banjo beta.

Some more info on Banjo Kazooie Beta listed by Mew Mew:

  • there were originally 16 levels planned for the game
  • some of the cut levels were reused in banjo tooie (as witchy world, glitter gulch mine and mount fire eyes)
  • it seems that mount fire eyes turned into the lava side in hailfire peaks
  • clankers cavern also went through a few changes in its devlopment for example there is a video which shows clanker the whale as a real whale not made of metal with the fungi forest music from donkey kong 64
  • clankers cavern is rumoured to have been a part of fungus forest (similar too donkey kong 64), as the level is very close to the underwater entrance to the click clock woods puzzle podium, which is covered in moss or fungus (this was believed to be where the orginal entrance or puzzle was for fungus forest)
  • This description of the game is still a work in progress, if you would like to write a better article on the development of the game, let us know!

Thanks to Princess Toadstol, Saga Darvulia, cheat-master30 Anon and BM for the contributions!

[Italian] Per maggiori informazioni: Banjo Kazooie – analisi Stop ’n’ Swop

Images:

Videos:

Below are some beta songs that the composer, Grant Kirk Hope, kindly uploaded.

http://www.grantkirkhope.com/betabanjokazooie.html

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U64 Staff & Contributors

Authors at Unseen 64
From 2001 Unseen 64 tries to archive beta and cancelled videogames, till the 7th generation of consoles. There are too many unseen games to archive, but many people help us with their contributions, screens, videos and descriptions. Do you want to help too?

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33 thoughts on “Project Dream / Banjo Kazooie [N64 - Beta / Proto / Test Level]

  1. Dark Rayman

    There is a unused stage in this game called Fungi Forest before Donkey Kong 64, In Banjo Kazooie take a look at one of the portraits in Banjo’s house you should see a picture of Banjo in a forest. That forest is Fungi Forest if you don’t believe me there is a screenshot of the portrait and the song just send me an e-mail and I’ll send it to you

  2. FungiGamer

    The original music for Clanker’s Cavern was scrapped and replaced with the one we now have. We know the original scrapped music today as the music for Donkey Kong 64′s Fungi Forest!!

  3. 8PM

    Adding on to what FungiGamer said,the music in clankers cavern also has,if you listen long enough,has some music lyrics from fingi forest in it

  4. robin_playa_styler

    how can i find a beta ROM of Banjo Kazooie??
    if someone can tell me pls write me a message
    thx

  5. D.M,R

    Fungus forest clue here is one for you cackoo clock in banjos house like the clock in fungi forest in DK and a picture of fungus forest in his house and the clock time in fungi forest is a random time if you keep turning time you could then have it on 6:40 like the one in banjos house then swop cartridges maby?

  6. MarxForever

    @D.M.R
    Stop N Swop’s original purpose was scrapped… Get over it!
    Now go enjoy your lame 360 avatars.

  7. 360 avatar.

    Try this code in the sandcastle floor? CHEAT: STOP N SWOP AN ICE BOOK FOR CAPTAIN BLACKEYES HOOK? It might work?

  8. cheat-master30

    I remember the talk about the beta version of this game. The Mount Fireeyes level or whatever become Hailfire Peaks in Banjo Tooie.

    Plus, quite recently the music composer for the game released the Project Dream original music.

    1. monokoma

      You are right Cheat-Master, we’ll have to update this article ASAP! Sadly i’m super busy lately, so i hope that someone could write a better article update before me :P

  9. banjofan4319

    the beta levels in banjo kazooie that i know of are:fungus forest,mount fire eyes,hammerhead beach(beta treasure trove cove),the giants lair,witchy world and glitter gulch mine.

  10. banjofan4319

    heres my theories about the levels:fungus forest became fungi forest in dk64 plus there’s moss outside click clck wood and a picture in banjo’s house.mount fire eyes became hailfire peaks in banjo tooie.hammerhead beach was just beta treasure trove cove.the giant’s lair was beta grunty’s lair(not mt fire eyes)and witchy world and glitter gulch mine were put in banjo tooie as well as hailfire peaks.

  11. banjofan4319

    I wish they actually realeased banjo kazooie with beta.The game would be 8X better.Thumbs up if you agree the game would’ve been better in the beta version.

  12. Krishaa Racer

    @3:52 of the video

    Rare does eventually make sense of this because Gobi ends up in the Fire and Ice level of Banjo Tooie… or was that a different level ._.

  13. fusugar

    in case you didnt know, when blackeye appears in banjo tooie in jolly’s bar if you hang around long enough he says ‘i had a dream once’ and ‘a bear stole me glory’ refering to his role in dream, the project that was scrapped :)

  14. Adam

    I’m so happy that we ended up with Banjo-Kazooie instead of Project Dream. I love the characters too much to imagine Rare without the bear and bird in their archive of great games.

  15. Miranda

    I love Banjo-Kazooie. Its one of my favorite N64 games. But I secretly wish that Project Dream was a seperate game :)

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