June 31, 1998
The Grunty's Furnace Fun quiz show near the end of the game features references to the Donkey Kong series:
- A type of question has the player listen to a voice and then indicate which character it belongs to. When the voice of Clanker the Whale is heard, the wrong answers are "Cranky the Whale" and "Cranky Kong", referencing the Cranky Kong character from the Donkey Kong Country series.
- A question about which character talks in what voice has as a possible wrong answer "Funky the Monkey", referrencing Funky Kong from the Donkey Kong Country series.
- A question about what Conga the ape throws at Banjo, has as a possible wrong answer "barrels", referencing Donkey Kong's habit of throwing barrels.
Additionally there's a beaver character in the game called "Gnawty", likely based on the beaver enemy by the same name from Donkey Kong Country. Many people consider him the same character, but he's not, because their appearance and behaviour are different, but most importantly, if he was a Donkey Kong Country character he would be owned by the game publisher Ninendo (regardless of the game being developed by Rare), so he'd have to be removed from the Xbox Live Arcade version of Banjo-Kazooie; instead the fact that he was left in proves that he's considered an original Banjo-Kazooie character.
As a side note, in beta images of the game, there was a portrait of Donkey Kong in Banjo's house, but it was replaced in the final game by a portrait of Banjo's sister Tooty.
Donkey Kong 64
November 6, 1999
In Candy Kong's Music Store, a broken xylophone with the Nintendo logo on it, a banjo with the Rare logo on it, and a kazoo, can be seen lying in a corner covered in dust. These are the instruments used respectively by Mumbo Jumbo, Banjo and Kazooie in the introduction for Banjo-Kazooie. The only inaccurance is the xilophone having an extra yellow bar (it also has a red bar missing, but it's lying on the floor near it), but despite this difference, this is considered an in-universe link because officially authorized and because these are implied to be the same instruments from the other game, supposedly being unused since their previous appearance, and not different instruments that just happen to look similar.
Additionally, early screenshots of Donkey Kong 64 showed that Donkey Kong's Treehouse originally had a piece of forniture (likely a shower stall, a fridge or a closet) in it with a poster of Banjo and Kazooie on it.
The game also has many stylistic similarities to Banjo-Kazooie, both in graphics and gameplay, but that's considered due to both games being of the same genere and being developed by Rare, so that doesn't count as a reference.
November 20, 2000
Bottles' daughter, Googles, is seen playing with a squeaking plush doll of a gorilla wearing a red tie, very likely representing Donkey Kong.
In Grunty Industries, there is a fridge with many magnets on it, representing logos from Rare games, including Donkey Kong's "DK" (other logos are of Banjo-Tooie, Perfect Dark, Jet Force Gemini and the Rareware logo itself). The "Tower of Tragedy" quiz even has a question regarding these logos, asking the player which one is farthest right.
Like Grunty's Furnace Fun in Banjo-Kazooie, this game's quiz show, called "Tower of Tragedy" features references to the Donkey Kong series:
- The question "Who appears on the cover art?" has as one of the possible wrong answers "Banjo, Kazooie, and Donkey Kong".
- A question about which game Gruntilda first starred in, has as one of the possible wrong answers "Grunty Kong 64", referencing Donkey Kong 64.
- The question "Which of these is an area in Hailfire Peaks?" has as one of the wrong answers "Crystal Caverns". This may be a reference to Crystal Caves, the sixth world in Donkey Kong 64.
Donkey Kong Country (Game Boy Advance)
June 06, 2003
In the Game Boy Advance version of the game, refernces to other Rare games have been added in Cranky's Cabin. This includes a mask looking like Mumbo Jumbo's skull, which can be seen lying on a barrel. There also are elements from the Sabreman series.
Note that in the original game Mumbo Jumbo doesn't wear any mask, but instead has his face turned into a skull by Gruntilda's magic.
Rare developed Donkey Kong 64 and Donkey Kong Country, so they were free to include elements from their own series in it. Rights for Donkey Kong are held by Nintendo, but they only included minor references in the Banjo-Kazooie games.