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An orange Jinjo in Nuts & Bolts.
Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge,
Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts
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Jinjos are major characters and collectibles in the Banjo-Kazooie series.
Jinjos are small multicolored creatures with long pointy ears and noses. Unlike most other collectibles, they are collectible characters. In the platforming games, collecting a certain amount of Jinjos yields a Jiggy. Though small and hard to see, Jinjos can be identified by their loud whistling, cries for help, and flailing of their arms. The Jinjos live in Jinjo Village, part of the Isle o' Hags, and are ruled by King Jingaling. They were the original inhabitants of Spiral Mountain. Their ultra-powerful guardian is the Jinjonator, and their arch-enemies are an evil, similar-looking race known as the Minjos.
History and development
According to an interview in RetroGamer magazine, Jinjos began as an idea for a "hard-to-collect" collectible (the idea dating back as far as Donkey Kong Country's development), a collectible that would run away or camouflage itself to hide from the player. Ironically, this idea eventually became the Jinjos of Banjo-Kazooie, who do just the opposite -- stand around in one place and call for the player's attention.
In the Games
In Banjo-Kazooie, the Jinjos are being held captive by Gruntilda in the worlds scattered throughout her lair. The player has to collect all 5 Jinjos in each world to be rewarded with a Jiggy. Each Jinjo has a different colour (Purple, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Orange). If the player dies or leaves the level, the Jinjos return to their original locations. This is changed in the Xbox Live Arcade port of Banjo-Kazooie, wherein Jinjos remain collected.
In the final battle against Gruntilda, Banjo and Kazooie must free Jinjos who have been sealed into statues by shooting eggs into the statues' bases. Each of these Jinjos will break through Grunty's magical barrier and harm her. After they have all been freed, a gigantic Jinjo statue will emerge. Shooting enough eggs into this statue's base will release the mighty Jinjonator, who will finish off Grunty once and for all.
Banjo-Tooie takes a different approach on Jinjos in that each Jinjo now belongs to a family of Jinjos, and each family has been scattered throughout the levels of the game. There are a different amount of members in each Jinjo family, from 1 to 9, and collecting all of one family will reward the player with a Jiggy. In this game, the colors of Jinjos in each location is randomized at the start of a new file. Unlike in Banjo-Kazooie, once a Jinjo has been collected in Banjo-Tooie, it stays gone and will not return to its original location. The Jinjo families and the number of Jinjos in each are as follows:
- White Jinjo: 1
- Orange Jinjo: 2
- Yellow Jinjo: 3
- Brown Jinjo: 4
- Green Jinjo: 5
- Red Jinjo: 6
- Blue Jinjo: 7
- Purple Jinjo: 8
- Black Jinjo: 9
- Grey Jinjo: 0 (all deceased, number before death unknown)
Banjo-Tooie introduces Jinjo Village, the home of the Jinjos, as well as their ruler, King Jingaling. It is revealed that when the Hag 1 drove through Jinjo Village the Grey Jinjo Family House was destroyed, resulting in the death of the family.
Banjo-Tooie also introduces the Minjos, creatures who look just like Jinjos, but are violent and evil rather than gentle and peaceful. Minjos stand in various locations and act just like Jinjos until the player gets close, at which point they begin attacking.
Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts
Jinjos make a return for Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts. The Jinjos, like other characters, have undergone slight redesign. Their ears and noses are more elongated and now feature freckle-like markings (which are darker shades of their respective colors). The Jinjos in this game have two roles, each different than in the previous games. There are 72 Jinjos in the game, and the colors represented include Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Purple, and Orange. A White Jinjo also appeared on a wallpaper showcasing the game's characters, although it doesn't actually appear in the game.
In Showdown Town there are six small jail cells, one for each Jinjo color. Banjo must use his wrench to open up the cell and then drive the Jinjo to its house somewhere in Showdown Town. Doing this once will net the player an achievement with the requirements of freeing and rehousing a Jinjo in Showdown Town. After the Jinjo is back in his home, it gives Banjo a few Notes and Pikelet demands Banjo find another prisoner to take its place. This is entirely optional but if the player chooses to do so they must find a Minjo somewhere in Showdown Town and simply bring him to the empty cell, which will earn Banjo some Notes from Pikelet. There is also an achievement requiring the player to lock up one Minjo.
The second role for the Jinjos in Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts are to hide in each game world, unable to be seen on radar unless player is using the Spec-O-Spy vehicle part. Once a player finds a Jinjo they can choose to talk to it and accept a small bonus challenge. Completing these challenges does not reward a Jiggy but instead rewards a Jinjo Bingo Token. Once back in Showdown Town Banjo can talk to King Jingaling at his Palace to play a special Bingo game. There the Jinjo Tokens can be placed in any spot on the board that matches the color of the Token. Completeing a row rewards the player with notes and a column with a special vehicle part. The game has an achievement for completing one line of the Bingo card.
The Jinjos have six types of challenges available in the game worlds:
- Jinjo Speed - The player must go above a set speed.
- Jinjo Fetch - The Jinjo indicates an item lost at a certain location, which the player must retrieve and bring back to the Jinjo.
- Jinjo Race - The player must best the Jinjo in a race.
- Jinjo Hurl - The player must launch the Jinjo a certain distance by knocking into it.
- Jinjo Combat - The player must win a vehicular sumo match against the Jinjo by knocking it out of an arena.
- Jinjo Taxi - The player must take the Jinjo to a specified location in a designated taxi vehicle.
Banjo Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge
In Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge, Jinjos are again split into colored families and are hidden throughout the game's worlds like usual. Unlike the other games, each world has a specific color of Jimjo. It is revealed in this game that the Jinjos were the original inhabitants of Spiral Mountain. The game also features the Jinjo Oracle, a large, sentient female Jinjo statue that is very wise and will give hints to the player for each Jinjo collected. The Jiggies earned by collecting all the Jinjos in a world also appear in front of the Oracle.
Interestingly, since the majority of this game takes place before any of the others, the Grey Jinjos appear, alive and well.
A Purple Jinjo is available as a playable racer in Banjo-Pilot. Its stats are as follows:
- Top Speed: 1/5
- Acceleration: 4/5
- Handling: 5/5
- The lone White Jinjo appears to be male, as if his is the first "family" completed (but he is not the first Jinjo collected), he says "The White Jinjo family is complete, he'd like you to have this!" when he hands over his Jiggy.