Treasure Trove Cove is the second level of Banjo-Kazooie, and is set on a tropical island in the middle of the sea. Sandy beaches dotted with palm trees surround rocky outcrops that snake about the island, whilst the sun shines down from a mostly cloudless sky. In the centre of the island sits a large stone arch, which forms a natural cove above the inlet below. Small stonework ruins of towers and other structures are also found around the island.
Enemies in the area range from demonic, toothed treasure chests (yes, really), to a giant crustacean called Nipper that attempts to eviscerate Banjo upon getting too close to his jiggy-containing shell. The most memorable enemy, however, is definitely Snacker, a murderous shark that appears whenever Banjo hops into the ocean. The panic induced by his Jaws-esque theme has likely been burned into the childhood of many who recollect otherwise fond memories of the game.
The island isn’t all hostile however – in the cove lies a beached ship called The Salty Hippo and its forlorn Captain Blubber, who is, naturally, a large weeping hippo. Banjo and Kazooie can help the set-upon sea captain by retrieving his gold bullion from the flooded decks below. Also nearby is Leaky – a small, talking bucket (imagination at its best, I know) who will drain the water from a large sandcastle in the area, allowing you to use the lettered floor within as a kind of cheat code input system. In fact, entering a certain code causes a secret island to appear off the coast of the cove. Within “Sharkfood Island”, as it is known, is a large pink egg which was originally going to be used as part of a feature called “Stop ‘n’ Swop”, which would allow players to use these items in the eventual sequel, Banjo-Tooie. Although the plan never came to fruition on the N64, it was eventually realised a decade later in the XBLA ports of the two games and even had an in-game impact on Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts.
Bottles the mole also provides Kazooie with the ability to fly in this level, allowing the player to reach the top of the cove’s arch, upon which sits a lighthouse. At this altitude the cheery music of the level fades into silence, leaving only ambient sound in the form of the player’s footsteps and the sound of the wind gusting about, creating a calm, subdued atmosphere. Up here, at the highest point of the level, you have a perfect, tranquil view of the horizon, where sea and sky meet in a deep, uniform hue of blue.