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Gruntilda's Lair is a recurring location in the Banjo-Kazooie series.
Gruntilda's Lair is located in a large sculpture of Gruntilda's head in Spiral Mountain. It is largely cavernous but features some wild changes in environment (including a swamp, a snow-filled area, a forest and an enormous lava-filled chamber). Most of it is indoors, but the graveyard area where the Mad Monster Mansion entrance is to be found gives the impression of being outside. It is also the location of all the jigsaws that must be filled to open the worlds. The background music of Gruntilda's Lair is based on the tune of Teddy Bears' Picnic and is also used as the theme for Gruntilda herself.
In Banjo-Kazooie, Gruntilda's Lair was the main area and central hub of the game. The lair overlooks the peaceful Spiral Mountain. This was the home of the evil Gruntilda Winkbunion, who kidnapped a young bear named Tooty so that she could suck out Tooty's beauty and be "fairest in the land". However, Tooty's brother, Banjo, and his friend, Kazooie soon learned of the plot and ventured into the lair. Along the way, they met many helpful characters, like the friendly mole, Bottles the Mole, and the game's resident shaman, Mumbo Jumbo. Through their combined efforts, they ventured through perilous lands, broke the witch's many spells, and even won a game show to rescue Tooty. After Tooty was rescued, Banjo and Kazooie went to the very top and defeated Gruntilda in a showdown.
The lair reappeared in Banjo-Tooie with the outside colored brown instead of green. However, in the two years that Gruntilda spent trapped under ground, the lair fell into disrepair. Only the first room was left, along with the witch's spellbook, Cheato. The lair was used just to see Cheato, who would give Banjo and Kazooie cheats in return for his ripped out pages.
(Note that the names used below are merely descriptions, and by no means official or canonical.)
- Entrance - a fairly ordinary cavern of yellow-brown rock, which branches off into a small grassy field where the walls are decorated to look like a blue sky. Contains Mumbo's Mountain's picture puzzle and its entrance, the compulsory first Jiggy of the game, a steep slope that can only be ascended with the Talon Trot, a molehill and the game's first Note Door.
- Grunty Mosaic Room - a larger, greyer room whose most striking feature is a large mosaic of Gruntilda's face on the floor (see below). An ivy-covered stone bridge rises up into the room's upper exit. The room also contains the picture puzzles for Treasure Trove Cove and Clanker's Cavern, as well as the Lair's first purple Warp Cauldron.
- Waterfall Room - an even larger, split-level room containing a waterfall pouring down into a lake on the lower level. A hidden hole in the bottom of the lake leads to a forested room containing the Click Clock Wood picture puzzle. The second Note Door is atop a small hill.
- Red Cauldron Pipe - a small offshoot from the waterfall room, connected by a sewage pipe and containing only a red Cauldron.
- Treasure Trove Cove atrium - a sandy-floored room with the walls done up to resemble a beach environment. Wrecked ship fragments flank either side of the room and a large treasure chest opens to provide the entrance to Treasure Trove Cove.
- Clanker's Cavern atrium - a dank, waterlogged metal interior where an open pipe serves as the entrance to Clanker's Cavern. Various switches here can be pressed to activate pipes and grilles to provide access to the Bubblegloop Swamp puzzle contained in a marshy antechamber.
- Statue Island - on passing through the second Note Door, one is immediately confronted by an enormous statue of Gruntilda on an island surrounded by a small moat. This statue can be entered with the help of a certain Witch Switch (see below). Steep inclines on either side lead to the Bubblegloop Swamp atrium and the third Note Door, respectively.
- Bubblegloop Swamp atrium - a large room mostly occupied by the piranha water to be found in Bubblegloop Swamp itself. A wooden walkway leads to the shack on an island amid this water, which serves as the level entrance. Through a tunnel some way behind this shack, accessible only by Stilt Stride or the crocodile, lies a snow-blanketed room containing the Freezeezy Peak picture puzzle. Yet another tunnel in this chamber leads to Cheato's first location, accessible only by the crocodile.
- Mummy's Tomb - a sandstone room containing a large vase in the centre and a Banjo-esque sarcophagus off to one side. A desert tree facsimile separated from the vase by stairs and some hot sand serves as the entrance to Gobi's Valley.
- Freezeezy Peak atrium - a shadowy cavernous area containing a huge sculpture of Gruntilda's head, whose mouth contains the fourth Note Door. To the right lies the snowy room with the huge Advent calendar that is Freezeezy Peak's entrance adorning the wall. This room contains both a purple Cauldron and a blue Cauldron, each behind cobweb breakable by Eggs. The fifth Note Door is up on a higher level.
- Lava Chamber - in a room of orange igneous rock, a small walkway winds above an enormous pool of lava as the light waxes and wanes. The Gobi's Valley picture puzzle and (accessible only to the pumpkin) Cheato's second hiding place are both to be found here.
- Mad Monster Mansion atrium - a seemingly exterior location, though this may just be an illusion, this room takes the form of a graveyard by night. A small, spooky building at the other end of the path serves as the entrance to Mad Monster Mansion. A small crypt lies at the bottom of another path, past a gate.
- Mumbo's Crypt - within this crypt (accessible only to the pumpkin), Mumbo Jumbo can be found. He transforms Banjo back into bear form so that he can activate the first Water Switch, which is hidden inside a coffin here.
- Waterlogged Cave - a small, generally unimportant room notable only for being the first room to be affected by the shifing water levels in the lair - when Banjo first enters here, the entrance is above water level, but it is underwater once the first Water Switch has been pressed. The third, impermanent Water Switch is also here, as well as the sixth Note Door.
- Rusty Bucket Bay atrium - another waterlogged room, decorated in the style of Rusty Bucket Bay, one of the walls resembling the outside of a ship. This is the Rusty Bucket Bay entrance. The second blue Cauldron and the second Water Switch are also here.
- Mansion/Bay picture room - a small, contained room which plays host to the Mad Monster Mansion and Rusty Bucket Bay picture puzzles. Since there are two separate entrances to this room and the route between the two sections is not immediately obvious (and only accessible before the second Water Switch is hit), this is often incorrectly thought of as two separate areas.
- Click Clock Wood atrium - a large room decorated like a forest, where the tree at the far end of the room serves as the entrance to Click Clock Wood. The room also contains a switch to make the picture puzzle podium appear in front of the Click Clock Wood puzzle, Note Door number seven and, hidden underground, the second red Cauldron. (This makes the potentially frustrating task of travelling back and forth between the level's entrance and picture easy for a player who has been thorough.)
- Furnace Fun antechamber - a small chamber leading up to the magical dais that transports Banjo and Kazooie to Grunty's sinister Furnace Fun game. The walls are decorated with question marks.
- Furnace Fun - a large, lava-filled room with a large game board bridging the gap between the teleportation dais and Banjo's prize - his sister Tooty. It is obviously here that Furnace Fun is played.
- Machine Room - a sinister room housing Gruntilda's beauty relocation machine, deactivated by the time Banjo and Kazooie appear on the scene. This room also contains the game's largest picture puzzle - a portrait of Gruntilda that must be filled in to progress any further - five more Note Doors and the Red Energy picture puzzle. Dingpot also appears here, and it is thanks to him that Banjo and Kazooie can progress to the final area of the lair.
- Atop the Castle - a simple, turreted arena where Gruntilda engages in the final showdown against our heroes. Tumbling off the side would spell death for either combatant. The arcane Jinjonator manifested itself here.
When the Witch Switch is stomped in each level of Banjo-Kazooie, a Jiggy to be collected appears in the Lair. The Jiggies to be found, along with the levels containing the corresponding Witch Switch, are:
- Mumbo's Mountain: On top of the grassy stone column at the level's entrance. Can only be accessed as a termite.
- Treasure Trove Cove: On top of a shipwreck near the level's entrance.
- Clanker's Cavern: No Jiggy appears, but the eyes on a Grunty mosaic in the room with the level's portrait bulge out of the floor. Beak busting them back into place makes the Jiggy appear.
- Bubblegloop Swamp: In a cage at the bottom of the large Grunty statue. To access it, it is necessary to jump down through the vase near the Gobi's Valley entrance.
- Freezeezy Peak: In a slot high up in the Advent calendar that constitutes the level's entrance. Access requires flight; arguably the hardest Witch Switch Jiggy to collect.
- Gobi's Valley: Inside a sarcophagus near the level's entrance.
- Mad Monster Mansion: Inside the glass eye of a sculpture of Grunty's head in the room with the Freezeezy Peak entrance.
- Rusty Bucket Bay: On a platform slightly above water level in the first waterlogged cavern os the lair.
- Click Clock Wood: At the very top of a tree near the level's entrance. Can only be accessed as a bee.
In Banjo-Tooie, Grunty's Lair serves as the home of Cheato the spellbook, who throughout the course of the game will give the player special Cheats in return for his lost pages, which have been torn out by Gruntilda. In this game, only the entrance area is available, the rest of the Lair being blocked off by immovable rocks. Interestingly, the game's code also features location text reading "Gruntilda's Lair (Tower Room)," although there is no such area in the game.
Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts
Gruntilda's Lair appears in Spiral Mountain in Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, although it cannot be entered, as its entrance is blocked by immovable rocks. For some unexplained reason, the eye that is missing the jewel is the opposite one from the eye that was missing the jewel in Tooie.
Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge
In Banjo Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge, the lair is still under construction. Even though unfinished it is still home to the final fight of the game.
In Banjo-Pilot, Gruntilda's Lair simply appears in the background of the Spiral Mountain track.