Mumbo Jumbo, often referred to as just Mumbo, is a skull-faced shaman that appears in every game in the Banjo-Kazooie series.
Mumbo generally likes helping people out, and has a very strong loyalty streak - he's never stopped being Banjo's friend, while he's been equally permanent as Humba Wumba's rival.
English doesn't appear to be Mumbo's first language; he always speaks in the third person and often doesn't refer to people by their name.
In Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge, Mumbo transforms the duo into various forms. While his spells must stay within a limited distance of the originating world, the transformations make Banjo completely incognito and allow him to explore otherwise-inaccessable areas.
In Banjo-Tooie, Mumbo ditches the transformations and is able to stand on a Mumbo Pad and, provided he's got a Glowbo, can perform a spell designed to make things easier for Banjo and Kazooie. While on foot, Mumbo can't do much but jump, swim, and attack with his Zap Stick, and he has less health than Banjo.
In Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, Mumbo builds all the odd vehicles that the duo dream up. He also plays parts in various other worlds.
Mumbo's past is largely a mystery, although he repeatedly states he was the best student at the Handsome Shaman Institute. What is known is that he was a magical instructor of Gruntilda's at some point in time. However, despite Mumbo's teachings, Grunty turned to dark magic and transformed Mumbo's head into a skull. (Mumbo's lower body suggests that he is a Jinjo, but this has been repeatedly denied.)
Mumbo first appears in Banjo-Kazooie as the "best shaman in all game". Found in multiple worlds starting in Mumbo's Mountain, the skull-faced one transformed Banjo and Kazooie into native animals (and a plant) in return for Mumbo Tokens, as Mumbo wanted to help the bear and bird beat Grunty to get his face back. Despite Grunty being buried under a large boulder, Mumbo's face remained intact. Mumbo remained a friend of Banjo, while he and Kazooie got into dust-ups.
Months later, when Grunty went back in time to prevent Banjo and Kazooie from meeting, Mumbo sent Banjo back in time to fix what she had done. In this time period, Mumbo was less skilled as a transformer, but still allowed Banjo and Kazooie to fix the timeline.
In 2000, Mumbo was just about to get all of Banjo's cash in a poker game when Banjo's House started shaking. Being brave, the shaman ran outside to find out what was going on. He found that Grunty had been revived by her two sisters and ran to tell, but Grunty spotted him and destroyed the house. On the following adventure, Mumbo did some adventuring himself, helping the bear and bird get around by magically altering the environment (such as re-railing a derailed train and making the water in Jolly Roger's Lagoon breathable). However, Mumbo earned a competitor in the transformation business, Humba Wumba. The two hated each other, each convinced that they were better than the other. In the end, Grunty was beaten once more, but Mumbo's skull face still didn't revert.
In the time after Banjo-Tooie, Mumbo's transformation skills went unused. He decided to try his hand at mechanics for a change after getting wind that the next game would be all about vehicles. Finally, in 2008, Banjo and Kazooie showed up at Mumbo's Motors in Showdown Town for the first time. Mumbo gladly helped build all of the crazy vehicles the pair dreamed up, although he didn't like playing Lord of Games' "parts" in the game worlds so much.
Nowadays, Mumbo is still the masked shaman everyone knows him as. He still holds out hope that Grunty will be defeated permanently some day so he can get his face back, although the skull-faced look has grown on him.
In Banjo-Kazooie, Mumbo transfroms Banjo, at the cost of Mumbo Tokens. These transformations include:
- Mumbo's Mountain - A termite, which can't attack, but can sneak past other termites and can scale steep surfaces.
- Bubblegloop Swamp - A crocodile which is resistant to (or at least scares away) the piranhas that infest the water, as well as being able to to bite.
- Freezeezy Peak - A walrus, resistant to the icy waters of the area.
- Mad Monster Mansion - A pumpkin, which bounces around to move, can go into small spaces,and will not be hurt by the thorns on top of the hedges.
- Click Clock Wood - During spring, Mumbo will offer his services and transform the duo into a bee, which can fly very high altitudes, and can sneak into the Zubbas' hive. During Summer, however, he's too hot to perform the spell, during Autumn, he's too busy raking up leaves, and during Winter, he's gone on holiday and has gotten a Beehive to watch over his hut.
Very rarely, he mistakenly turns Banjo into a washing machine, then going on to turn him into the correct transformation. Also he mentions he would turn Banjo into a T-Rex but changes his mind, saying that the transformation is too good for the game and leaving it to the next game.
During Banjo-Tooie, Mumbo performs spells for Banjo and Kazooie, as long as he has a Glowbo with him to perform it (otherwise he's incapable of doing so). His spells are:
- Isle o' Hags - Heal
- Mayahem Temple - Summon
- Glitter Gulch Mine - Levitate
- Witchyworld - Power
- Jolly Roger's Lagoon - Oxygenate Water
- Terrydactyland - Enlarge
- Grunty Industries - EMP
- Hailfire Peaks - Life Force
- Cloud Cuckooland - Rain Dance
Relationships with other Characters Edit
Mumbo befriends Banjo and helps him on his quest because of their mutual hate for Gruntilda. Despite that he barely ever refers to him by name and often calls him "bear".
Mumbo is another target of Kazooie's impulsive judgments, being insulted for his appearance and being nicknamed "Mumbo Dumbo" and other things by her. He tends to ignore her. Similar to Banjo, Mumbo always calls Kazooie "bird".
Mumbo's ultimate goal is to bring the witch down, as it is the only way to break the curse on him. Mumbo has good reason to resent Gruntilda, since he taught her how to perform magic.
The two shamans are rivals at first, both believing that they are more powerful than the other. At the end of Banjo-Tooie, the two seemed to have buried the hatchet after Gruntilda's defeat, and they both agree that it's fun to play ball using Gruntilda's head.
- The phrase "mumbo jumbo" means gibberish or nonsense, a fact which is poked fun at in Grunty's Revenge when Bozzeye tells Banjo about the note he received from future Mumbo.
- The main phrases he uses are spelled "Eekum Bokum" (seen on the Mumbo Pad in Banjo-Tooie) and "Oomenacka" (as revealed in Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts).
- In Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, if you wait long enough, Mumbo will take his eyeballs and juggle them.
- In Banjo-Pilot, when you select Mumbo, instead of saying his usual phrases, he will say "Mumbo Jumbo", which is the first time he's vocally said his name (as in, not through text).