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|First appearance||Banjo-Kazooie (1998)|
|Latest appearance||Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Challenger Pack 3) (2019)|
|Full name||Gruntilda Winkybunion|
|Hometown||Isle O' Hags|
|Affiliation(s)||Klungo (up to Banjo-Tooie), Piddles, Blobbelda, Mingella|
Gruntilda (sometimes referred to as just Grunty) is the main antagonist in the Banjo-Kazooie series. She is an evil witch who serves as the archenemy of both Banjo and Kazooie. Gruntilda made her first appearance in Banjo-Kazooie. Gruntilda has three sisters: Blobbelda, Mingella, and Brentilda, the former two being villainous like her while the latter is good. In her earlier appearances, Gruntilda has a goblin assistant named Klungo.
Gruntilda makes her first appearance in Banjo-Kazooie, where she resides in her own lair. She is first shown in the opening cutscene, where she asks her magic cauldron, Dingpot, who the "nicest looking wench" is. Dingpot responds by telling her that Tooty, Banjo's little sister, is much prettier than Gruntilda. Gruntilda becomes outraged and jealous, so she hops on her broomstick and flies off to Spiral Mountain, where she kidnaps Tooty and takes her back to her lair.
Back at her lair, Gruntilda has a Beauty Transfer Machine to steal Tooty's good looks, which would result in Tooty becoming an ugly monster while Gruntilda has a slim appearance, as seen during the Game Over sequence.
Following Tooty's kidnapping, Banjo and Kazooie enter Gruntilda's Lair and progress through nine different worlds until they reach the end, where Grunty forces them to compete in her game show, called Grunty's Furnace Fun. After they reach the end of the game board, Gruntilda allows Tooty to leave with Banjo and Kazooie while she flees to the tower at the top of Gruntilda's Lair. With the help of Dingpot, Banjo and Kazooie pursue Gruntilda to the top, where they engage her in battle until she falls off the top of her own tower, and is subsequently trapped under a large rock. The game ends with her still trapped under the rock (which Klungo is frantically trying to move), though she says that she'll be back for her rematch.
Gruntilda returns as the main antagonist in Banjo-Tooie. During the opening cutscene, Klungo is shown trying to move the giant rock that Grunty is still trapped under. Grunty's two sisters, Blobbelda and Mingella, break through to Spiral Mountain utilizing their giant digging machine, the Hag 1. They use a magic spell to levitate the rock, which then explodes. Gruntilda finally emerges from her grave, reduced to a mere skeleton as a result of remaining underground for too long. Grunty tells her sisters that she needs a body, and the three prepare to leave for Cauldron Keep.
Mumbo Jumbo had secretly been watching the entire thing while hiding behind a cliff not far away. Unfortunately, the three witches catch him spying on them. Gruntilda chases after him and fires energy blasts, but the witch-doctor is able to escape into Banjo's House. Gruntilda then begins charging a powerful spell.
Mumbo runs inside the house and warns the others to get out, telling them that Gruntilda has returned. Banjo and Kazooie escape immediately, but Bottles thinks it is a joke and stays inside. Tragically, he is killed by the resulting blast from Grunty's spell. Gruntilda and her sisters then quickly depart from Spiral Mountain, leaving behind a regiment of monsters to destroy the surrounding area.
When the witches reach Cauldron Keep, Gruntilda is introduced to a large ray gun called the Big O' Blaster, which has the power to suck the life force out of living things. Gruntilda subsequently forms a new plan to blast the entire island using the ray gun, which her sisters only agree to help with if she stops rhyming everything she says. When she obliges, her sisters go on to explain that they can use the ray gun to give her her original body back. Delighted, Grunty decides to make King Jingaling her first target, because he had given Banjo and Kazooie a Jiggy. The blast from the ray turns the king into a zombie, but barely fills up B.O.B.'s energy meter at all. Her sisters then explain that B.O.B. must recharge before it can be used to blast anyone else. Gruntilda doesn't view this as a setback, however, saying that Banjo and Kazooie really have no chance of defeating her anyway.
Obviously, Gruntilda is wrong, because Banjo and Kazooie do eventually reach Cauldron Keep before the ray gun has time to recharge. After fighting their way past Klungo, they will have to endure yet another game show, this time called the Tower of Tragedy Quiz. During the quiz, Grunty crushes her own two sisters under one ton weights, presumably killing them. Grunty then escapes to the top of the tower (again) via a rocket built into her podium "for this very occasion". Banjo and Kazooie then proceed to restore life to Bottles and Jingaling via the reverse button on B.O.B. before confronting Gruntilda on the top of the tower.
This time however, Gruntilda is controlling the Hag 1, (the large digging machine seen earlier) and thus has more attack and defense capability than ever before. Gruntilda's digging machine is loaded with many tricks, allowing her to use a wide variety of attacks, including poisoning the air and summoning monsters. Eventually, Banjo and Kazooie must hit her while she is charging up her final spell to cause her to drop it inside the digging machine, which will then explode. At the end of the game, Banjo, Kazooie, Jamjars, Mumbo, and Wumba are all shown having a "kickaround" with Grunty's disembodied head, which is all that was left of her following the explosion. The game ends with her vowing to get revenge in "Banjo-Threeie".
Gruntilda is also playable in a few of the Multiplayer-exclusive games. She is the slowest out of all the multiplayer characters, but also takes the most hits to defeat.
Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge
- Main article: Mecha-Grunty
In Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge, set two months after the events of Banjo-Kazooie, Klungo is still unsuccessful at trying to move the large boulder that Gruntilda is trapped under. Eventually, he gives up and decides to build a Mecha-Grunty robot suit which Grunty transfers her spirit into, leaving her body trapped under the rock. As such, Gruntilda is still the main villain, albeit in the form of Mecha-Grunty.
Mecha-Grunty proceeds to kidnap Kazooie and travel back in time, hoping to prevent Banjo and Kazooie from ever meeting as this would, by extension, also prevent her from being defeated in Banjo-Kazooie. Banjo henceforth sets out to save Kazooie, and must journey through a total of five more worlds to do so. Grunty will appear in her Mecha-Grunty suit multiple times throughout the game and attempt to thwart Banjo by engaging him in battle. After Banjo finally reunites with Kazooie, he goes on to confront Gruntilda in Spiral Mountain once again. She will force the duo to answer questions related to the game, periodically taking a break from the quiz to attack them. Eventually, Banjo and Kazooie defeat her once again, destroying the Mecha-Grunty and sending Grunty's spirit back to her body still trapped under the rock. Grunty then informs Klungo to go and get her sisters (Blobbelda and Mingella) to assist him in moving the rock, setting up the events of Banjo-Tooie.
Gruntilda is also playable in Banjo-Pilot, and is designed after her appearance in Banjo-Kazooie. Unlike her other appearances, Grunty does not speak in rhymes. She replaced King K. Rool from the 2003 iteration of Diddy Kong Pilot.
Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts
Gruntilda returns as the main villain of Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts. She first appears while Banjo and Kazooie are busy playing games on an Xbox 360. Her disembodied head hops up to them and demands a rematch. They are about to fight when L.O.G. appears and pauses the game. He gives Gruntilda a robot suit which her disembodied head inhabits, and then transports them all to Showdown Town. Banjo and Kazooie must race their way through five more levels. At the end of each level, Banjo and Kazooie must battle Gruntilda, where she will use a different vehicle depending on the occasion.
In the ending, Banjo and Kazooie must battle Gruntilda once more in Spiral Mountain, where she utilizes five different vehicles. When she has been finally been defeated, Banjo and Kazooie will be made the new owners of Spiral Mountain, while Gruntilda is sentenced to an eternity working in L.O.G.'s Video Game Factory.
Powers and abilities
Throughout the Banjo-Kazooie series, Gruntilda has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to work well with both magic and machines. In Banjo-Kazooie, she uses her magic more than anything else, flying on her broomstick and casting spells. She apparently does not need a wand to cast spells, unlike Brentilda, who, though she never visibly casts any spells, does indeed carry a wand. In Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge she is actually transported into a mechanical body, which she uses with apparent ease. In Banjo-Tooie she uses magic to blow up Banjo's House in the beginning of the game, but during the boss battle at the end she uses the Hag 1. She also drives a variety of different vehicles which she uses against Banjo and Kazooie in Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts.
Gruntilda is not as politically influential compared to villains from related franchises, such as Bowser from the Mario franchise or King K. Rool from the Donkey Kong franchise. It is gradually revealed throughout the series that her spellbook Cheato, her sister Brentilda, and her cauldron Dingpot are actually all allies of Banjo and Kazooie. By the end of Banjo-Tooie, her assistant Klungo had deserted her, and her two sisters Mingella and Blobbelda are supposedly dead. Many monsters are seen coming out of the Hag 1 during the final battle, which comprise most of Gruntilda's forces.
- In Banjo-Tooie, the entrance to Gruntilda's Lair has one eye missing. Gruntilda's eye also falls out in the beginning of the game when Klungo slaps her on the back. A Gruntilda Doll from her first game show found in Jolly Roger's Lagoon is shown to be missing an eye. Also, her eye falls out again during the ending sequence of Banjo-Tooie, when they are playing kickball with her head.
- During Banjo-Kazooie, Gruntilda only spoke in rhymes. However, she is told to stop this "annoying habit" by her sisters in Banjo-Tooie, the first game in which she says anything that does not rhyme. She resumes the rhyming in Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts though, and also rhymes in Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge, though this technically takes place before her sisters told her to stop.