Banjo Kazooie in Super Mario 64: Whomp’s Fortress

Whomp’s Fortress is a hack of Banjo Kazooie released on 22 March 2020 by Mark Kurko. It’s a level mod of Banjo Kazooie featuring the Whomp’s Fortress level from Super Mario 64 and part of Level 1-2 from Super Mario Bros.

You can download the patch for this hack on the official Mega source or by using the N64 Squid mirror that’s available as well by using the password “whompthetwhomp”. Once you download it, apply the patch to a Banjo Kazooie ROM called Banjo-Kazooie (U) (!).v64.

It’s always a bit weird to label these hacks, is it a Mario 64 hack or a Banjo Kazooie hack? I guess it’s technically a level mod in Banjo Kazooie. There isn’t really a proper “level 2” in SM64 since you can go through all levels in any order (provided you have the stars for them) but Thwomp’s Fortress has the lowest star requirement after Bob-omb Battlefield.

Looks like Mario got here first.

The hack recreates the level quite faithfully, with a few amends to make it compatible with the BK system. The enemies are different and the jiggies re in different places from where the stars were, enemies are different and the platforming challenges are different.

The game was made to help bored people in quarantine from COVID-19, so there’s a few references to that. The honeycombs have been replaced with toilet paper, and when you collect one, Banjo and Kazooie have this little conversation:

Kazooie, we’d better grab as much as we can, it’s worth more than its weight in Jiggies right now!

Banjo

I’m gonna to Gruntilda’s Lair after this!

Kazooie

The Whomps at the beginning of the stage are replaced with Boom boxes, but I never figured out how to get past them without getting hit. There’s one later that you can destroy with eggs, but I think that these can only be killed with a golden feather.

Piranha plants are replaced with Snarebears, making it a bit of a pain to get their contents since you have to use a golden feather each time. If your timing isn’t perfect, you’ll never get that note.

There’s two Sir Slushes on this stage, one in the floating platforms and one in the hidden alcove. They’re a bit of a pain since you’ll hear them throwing snowballs at you all the time, but usually there’s something in the way… Until it isn’t and you get hit.

Throughout the level you can find parts of Mario’s outfit. I found his shoes, hat and gloves but I’m not sure if his overalls are hidden somewhere I didn’t notice.

At the base of the top tower, you’ll see a pipe that takes you down to another section of the level.

It’s a recreation of level 1-2 from Super Mario Bros! Well, a very faithful recreation of it at least. You can’t break the bricks, only the question blocks, and some of the enemies have been replaced. Otherwise, it’s very close.

I didn’t manage to get past the pit in that last screenshot, and I already went through the level several times by that point.

Overall Whomp’s Fortress is a great hack of Banjo Kazooie. It has great exploration potential, isn’t too hard, and has a great sense of humour. The only bad thing I can say about it is that it has a few difficulty spikes, some very specific jumps that will make you lose all your progress if you make one miscalculated jump.

You know what I’m talking about…

Articles across the web

Whomp's Fortress is a Nintendo 64 hack of Banjo Kazooie in which you can play Super Mario 64's second level as well as Super Mario Bros' level 1-2.
Article published on N64 Squid

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