Banjo-Dreamie Keeps the Nostalgic Vibes while Ramping Up the Difficulty

Changing anything about a masterpiece is always going to make some people upset. I read a lot of weird things about this rom hack from the time it came out and it has absolutely been underrepresented because of it. Many fans of BK were claiming that this mod is unfair and too punishing. I disagree! Is it harder than BK? Absolutely. Did I ever feel like this robbed me of the experience it was trying to provide? Not once.


Right out of the file select screen you’re controlling Banjo. The first spice of challenged is introduced: the only two moves he can perform are crouch and short hop. Another quirk: there are no Jiggies in Banjo-Dreamie, instead you’re collecting music notes. How is this different than normal? Well each level has only 25 music notes that are as difficult to obtain as normal Jiggies. The catch being that when you die or exit the level, you lose them all. Note doors have significantly lower numbers; the first one needing only seven notes.

This adds SO much to the challenge of the mod without creating unfair situations. Want to up your total note score? Collect all the other notes again PLUS the new notes before exiting the level! Thankfully, falling into oblivion isn’t considered a death but falling into lava is.


The first world, Glowing Gardens, seems rather limiting at first what with your small move pool until you start to notice that everything in the environment was designed with limitation in mind. Soon, the landscape the negative space of the landscape becomes more clear. Obstacle you would normally get ignored for their trivial difficulty are at the for front. If you can navigate this daunting environment, you’ll find the Bottles. What move does he have on offer? Climbing of course! This felt monumental. All the trees I walked by earlier were now platforms and hiding spots. Once again, this small world opened up to new challenges in a refreshing manner.


Typically the platforming in Banjo-Kazooie is made easier by the double jump offering a bit of a second chance. You won’t be finding that convenience in the first section of THIS rom hack! To aquire enough notes to open the VERY FIRST DOOR, you’ll have to climb to the top of a tree. If you fall, you start over… Time for a privilege check.

Memories of Mega Man were flashing in front of my eyes. Going from leaf to branch to leaf to leaf to vine to leaf to branch wasn’t as simple as double tapping the A button anymore. My jump arc was small but controllable and the game was beckoning me to master it.

… and that’s the learning curve to expect from here on out. Unlocking the double jump and crouch jump were bitter sweet moments for me. I was really looking forward to navigating more obstacles with the limited tool set! Fortunately, the next two worlds pushed my knowledge of these mechanics to their limits once more! In fact every time I entered a new level in Banjo-Dreamie things felt merciless. So much time is spend thinking your under-powered move pool is what’s keeping you back until you find that ‘secret method’ of cheesing your way onto a platform. Then you realize that the ‘cheese’ you were using was actually the ONLY way to get up there and you see how each level was designed to make gamers feel accomplished.

I constantly felt like a speed runner playing through this mod. In fact, I felt like Simpleflips. 1 Shoutouts 2 Simpleflo-oatmeal.


It wouldn’t be a Banjo-Kazooie mod without amazing music, right? Look no further than Banjo-Dreamie’s OST for the very best original scores using the soundfont Kirkhope himself pioneered for the series! Every single composition in this rom hack was written specifically for each level and beautifully orchestrate every leap of faith needed to explore the environments.

Banjo-Dreamie handles with care the context sensitive instrumentation that Banjo-Kazooie pioneered. If you’re running in the grass, each note will sing crisp from a distinct voice; notably horns and mallet instruments. However, as soon as you take a dip in a body of the water, dynamics will mellow down and that horn will be replaced with a subtle harp or strings instrument. Also, if I were to climb to the very top of the highest mountain, the volume might drop on the main melody, a mild wind instrument might replace a percussive voice and suddenly I realize that I’m on top of the world!


Playing through Banjo-Dreamie is actually a dream come true. Not only is the world as astounding as it was in the original first two games, but the difficulty curve puts my motor skills to the test in organic exploration situations, unlike some n-sane remasters.

How dare they compare that game to Dark Souls when it doesn’t have an ounce of non-linear exploration.

If Banjo and Kazooie are your peeps, play this game. If you get off on finding outlets to string together creative profamity, play this game. If you like discovering your pain tolerance and inching it forward, freaking play this game.


The download of this rom comes with everything you need to get going! Normally PJ 1.6 is the way to go but just like the last BK rom hack, I found that the forked PJ 2.3 with Glide64 as your video plugin renders the game best.

Official download here:

So Loggo has a Twitter but they haven’t posted anything yet. Still, you can follow them here: @LoggoTheToilet. I believe they were pretty active on the Banjo Backpack forums but that’s been replaced with the SixtyForums and it’s still pretty young. Loggo does have a Bandcamp and YouTube if you’re interested in scouting their latest material there!

Once again, thank you Loggo so much for making this rom hack! If you ever get the opportunity to work with a super group of modders to make a game, PLEASE jump at that opportunity! I believe in you!

Follow @SheeshForreal on Twitter!

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