Controversy over original Donkey Kong

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Below details the disputes over the determining of whether or not Cranky Kong is the original Donkey Kong, or the current Donkey Kong's grandfather.


Old theory[edit]

The start of the controversy begins with the original Donkey Kong Jr.. Fans have been unsure of which characters are who, or which characters grew into who. In the original Donkey Kong, there was only one Donkey Kong. In Donkey Kong Jr., Donkey Kong was kidnapped and a new character, Donkey Kong Jr. emerged and rescued his father.

In the Donkey Kong Country series, Donkey Kong is seen as an adult ape watching over his new home island. His grandfather, Cranky Kong has made many, many, references claiming that HE was the original Donkey Kong "whisking maidens and tossing barrels seven days a week", therefore making Cranky Kong the original Donkey Kong In fact, the DKC manual explicitly states,

"Donkey Kong's cranky pappy is actually the original Donkey Kong who appeared in the Donkey Kong arcade classics of the eighties"[1]

In the Donkey Kong Country Returns manual, it states that Cranky Kong is Donkey Kong's grandfather.

It is also questionable why Mario had never aged at the same rate Donkey Kong Sr. did.


The remake of Donkey Kong Country 3 stated that Cranky Kong's first starring-game would be a game called "Cranky Kong Country", though he may have meant the first game he would be playable in, as the original Donkey Kong was never playable. What exactly he meant is unclear.

Later on, in the Mario Vs. Donkey Kong series, it stated that Donkey Kong has always been the main character. To add to this confusion, Donkey Kong's Mario Superstar Baseball bio claimed that Cranky Kong is an ancestor of his, and was the one who kidnapped Pauline.

In Yoshi's island DS, both Baby Mario and Baby Donkey Kong are in the game. In the game, Baby DK wears a bib with the "DK" logo on it. Donkey Kong Jr. had been the one who started the "DK" logo trend, not the original Donkey Kong. So then perhaps this is the current Donkey Kong.

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, a non canon spin-off, Otacon stated that "the original" Donkey Kong is DK's grandfather. It is also plausible that like other animals, Kongs have different life spans than humans, making them age quicker.

Other noteworthy facts[edit]

In the Donkey Kong Country Returns manual, Cranky Kong claims "...In my day, we had to walk uphill both ways to get around the island!", much like the Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong did in the original Donkey Kong Country. Also in the manual, it states that Cranky Kong is Donkey Kong's grandfather.


  1. DKC Manual, click for zoom in