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Cranky Kong

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DKCoinIconLeft.png Cranky Kong DKCoinIconLeft.png
Cranky Kong - DKC Tropical Freeze.png
Full Name Professor Donkey "Cranky" Kong Sr.
Aliases Donkey Kong
Donkey Kong Sr.
Big Ape
Residence Donkey Kong Island
Family Donkey Kong (grandson),
Wrinkly Kong (deceased wife),
Donkey Kong Jr. (son),
Kong Family
Species Kong
Gender Male
Affiliates The Kong Family
Powers/Abilities Formerly: Tremendous Strength,
Unlimited supply of Barrels,
Now: Encyclopedic knowledge of video game history
Enemies Mario (formerly)
Stanley the Bugman
King K. Rool
Kremling Krew
Tiki Tak Tribe
Games Donkey Kong Country
Donkey Kong Land
Donkey Kong Country 2
Donkey Kong Land 2
Donkey Kong Country 3
Donkey Kong Land III (cameo)
Donkey Kong 64
Donkey Konga
Donkey Konga 2
DK King of Swing
Donkey Konga 3
Donkey Kong Barrel Blast
DK Jungle Climber
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Donkey Kong Country Returns
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U
Ultimate NES Remix
"Sure looks like I'm Mr. Popular today, yes siree!"
—Cranky Kong

Cranky Kong is Donkey Kong's grandfather who constantly rambles and complains. He has made numerous appearances throughout the Donkey Kong series. He usually acts as a guide in the games to help his grandson Donkey Kong or his friends along their journey. However, in Donkey Kong Country 3, he played the Kongs' rival in Swanky's bonus game. In some appearances, he is indicated to be the original Donkey Kong from the Donkey Kong arcade game and Mario's main adversary in the game prior to his retirement. Because of his claims to be the original Donkey Kong, he often looks down on his grandson and breaks the fourth wall by saying that Donkey Kong will never be as great a character as he was during his prime.


The Main Ape

According to the Donkey Kong Country series, Cranky Kong is the original Donkey Kong from the arcade games. (although Nintendo, who owns the Donkey Kong rights, has only occasionally supported this; usually they indicate that there is only one Donkey Kong). During his youthful prime, Cranky Kong kidnapped Pauline, was kidnapped by Mario, and even battled Stanley the Bugman in a greenhouse.

Missin' the Old Days

Apparently, after his defeat by Stanley the Bugman, Cranky migrated to Donkey Kong Island; here, he grew old and bitter.

Cranky's first appearance as Cranky was in Donkey Kong Country. Here Cranky lives in a slightly rundown shack known as "Cranky's Cabin". From here, Cranky gives advice on the game's various items and locations to his grandson Donkey Kong and his friend Diddy Kong.

Though Cranky is not actually in Donkey Kong Country's Game Boy sequel, Donkey Kong Land, he is the one that sets off the events of the game. Cranky, slightly jealous of Donkey and Diddy's success over the evil King K. Rool, tricks them into making a bet with him; if Donkey and Diddy can reclaim Donkey's banana hoard from King K. Rool again, this time on an eight-bit system, he will admit that they are adequate gaming heroes. In the end Cranky ends up eating his words when Donkey and Diddy once again defeat K. Rool and the Kremling Krew.

Monkey Museum Curator

In Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest Cranky sets up his "Monkey Museum" on Crocodile Isle. Once again Cranky will give out information, this time for a price. In this game Cranky also scatters several DK Coins throughout the game's various levels. Once Kaptain K. Rool is defeated, Cranky will tally Diddy Kong and Dixie Kong's "hero status" by how many DK Coins they have collected. Donkey Kong Country 2 also introduced Cranky's wife and Donkey Kong's mother, Wrinkly Kong.

In the Game Boy Advance remake of Donkey Kong Country 2 Cranky's role remains relatively the same as in the original game. Although a new sidequest involving Cranky was added to the game; it seems with the "fabulous fortune" he made in Donkey Kong Country, Cranky bought a racing ostrich he names Expresso. After bulking up Expresso using feathers, the Kongs can race Expresso for Cranky and try to get trophies for the grouchy old Kong in exchange for rewards.

An Enemy Again

In Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! Cranky's appearances are more or less cameos. In Swanky's Sideshow, Cranky Kong acts as Dixie and Kiddy Kong's opponent in various ball throwing mini-games. Cranky also appears at the end of Donkey Kong Country 3 to criticize Dixie and Kiddy's victory over KAOS and Baron K. Roolenstein. If players manage to get the game's "best" ending Cranky will do a few water-skiing tricks before holding up a sign which says "THE END" in runny ink. He is also at the top of the All-Time Greats list at the end of the game, having beat the game in 04:22 with 103%. If the player beats the game with the TUFST code activated, thereby attaining 105%, they will get a trophy of Cranky Kong in a black belt's outfit and will be named the 'Immortal Monkey!'.

In the Game Boy Advance remake of Donkey Kong Country 3 Cranky runs several dojos, aptly named Cranky's Dojo to prepare for his "First" game, Cranky Kong Country. In Cranky's Dojo, players can gain the ability to play as a shield wielding Cranky during a Bristles dodging mini-game. Cranky's Dojo mini-game must be beaten at least once to gain a Banana Bird.

Returning to the scene

Cranky returns in Donkey Kong Country Returns as the only other Kong representative other than DK and Diddy. In this game, he runs his own shop in each world, in which he sells Heart Boosts, Map Keys, Balloons, Banana Juices and even Squawks. [1] While DK is buying some items, Cranky will often make snide remarks on what the ape buys and will even give out hints during his ramblings.

Defying His Age

Cranky Kong reappears in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, as one of the four playable characters, alongside his grandson, his great-grand-son, and Dixie Kong. Here, he serves as a buddy character, able to ride on DK's back. He is able to use his cane to Ground Pound, and can use it like a pogo stick to bounce over spikes, jump higher, and defeat enemies that everyone else can't. He can also throw sets of false teeth as a projectile. When the Kong Pow move is utilized with him, all enemies turn into Banana Coins. The game marks his first playable appearance as his current self in a platformer.

The Mad Scientist

Cranky in Donkey Kong 64

Cranky's next appearance after the original DKC trilogy would be in Donkey Kong 64. Here, Cranky has seemingly taken up science as a hobby; Cranky's Lab can be found in every area of Donkey Kong 64 except Hideout Helm. At Cranky's Lab the Kongs can pay for several potions that can give them new powers and abilities. Also if the Kongs manage to collect fifteen Banana Medals Cranky will allow them to play Jetpac, an early Rare game. The Kongs must beat the Jetpac game in order to obtain the Rareware Coin. Cranky also acts as the Kongs coach during their boxing match against King Krusha K. Rool.

A very little known fact about Cranky's role in DK64 is that it was one of several themes based on the old Donkey Kong Country TV show, in which Cranky was sometimes seen mixing up magic potions to use on either himself or others to advance that episode's plot.

More Training

In DK: King of Swing Cranky Kong, along with ghost of his wife Wrinkly, teaches Donkey Kong (and thus the player) how to use the game's unique controls. Cranky, along with Candy Kong, is the only Kong who is not playable in DK: King of Swing's Jungle Jam mode.

Even More Training

Cranky once again appears in DK: Jungle Climber. He teaches DK and Diddy how to play the game, and also appears in various levels to teach them moves. Cranky has a very strangely active and good-tempered role in this game, as he follows DK and Diddy and Xananab through the various islands. He also tells the characters what they can do with the various Banana Coins, DK Coins, and Oil Barrels he finds throughout the levels once they are collected.

Barrel Blasting

Cranky appears in Donkey Kong Barrel Blast as a secret character, unlocked by playing Candy's Challenges, Challenge 24, and winning. He has oddly high stats, and is a rival to King K. Rool. Contrary to popular belief, this is his not first North American playable appearance, as he was playable in the Cranky's Dojo minigame in the Game Boy Advance version of Donkey Kong Country 3. He was also playable in the Japan-only Donkey Konga 3.

Donkey Konga

Cranky also appears in the Donkey Konga series, though he is only playable in the series' third installment, Donkey Konga 3.

Piloting failure

According to the gameplay video on YouTube and some early screenshots, Cranky was to be a playable character in Diddy Kong Pilot 2001. Nothing else is known.

Piloting the skies

Team Cranky. Note there are four different Crankys that can be found.

Cranky is an unlockable playable character in Diddy Kong Pilot 2003. He can be unlocked once Team Kremling completes all of the cups in their mode and all of the dogfights. When his team is selected, there are four different Cranky slots strangely. Also, he has high speed and acceleration along with a low amount of weight. He is about identical to T.T. in his stats and is replaced by Bottles in Banjo-Pilot. He also can be seen right next to his cabin talking to the player after completing a certain task.

In Super Smash Bros.

Cranky makes a small cameo in the background of Jungle Japes in Super Smash Bros. Melee, where he can be seen pacing back and forth in his cabin. He technically makes another minor cameo in Super Smash Bros. Brawl where appears in sprite form as his younger self in the stage 75m, which is based on the original Donkey Kong game. He also appears as a collectible trophy and sticker in the game. Cranky Kong also appears in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo/Wii U as a trophy.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl Trophy Information

A village chief and bitter old codger. Cranky uses his extensive knowledge and wisdom to provide helpful hints. He has also made appearances in a white lab coat as a potion-dealing chemist, granting the Kongs special abilities. Donkey Kong: Barrel Blast/Jet Race features Cranky as a playable character for the first time.

Appears In:

  • SNES Donkey Kong Country
  • Wii Donkey Kong: Barrel Blast (NTSC) Donkey Kong: Jet Race (PAL)

Name in italics in the description indicate PAL game name.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U Trophy Information

NTSC-U Description: This old man could teach you a thing or two! Cranky Kong has always been willing to share some words of wisdom, but in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, he decides to help directly and brings his cane-swinging style to the field. What a crazy old... Ahem. What a gentleman!

PAL Description: In Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Cranky Kong's decided he's done with just giving the young 'uns helpful hints, so now he's taking things into his own hands by bringing some much-needed cane-swinging to the fray. You just can't keep an old ape down, can you?

Appears In (Wii U version only):

  • SNES Donkey Kong Country (11/1994)
  • Wii U Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (2/2014)

Appearance and Personality:

Compared to his appearances in the original Donkey Kong and its two sequels, (where he greatly resembled the current Donkey Kong) Cranky Kong appears to have become thinner, more diminutive, and much less muscular over the years, with his fur also becoming slightly darker. He bears facial proportions much like those of his grandson, though his head is smooth on top, his lips are more wrinkled, and he wears thick glasses with black frames. He has also grown a thick, white beard which obscures most of his torso (due to the fact that he always stands with a heavy slouch). Beneath his beard, Cranky Kong wears a brown sweater-vest (green in DKC2 and DKC3) as his only garment. Finally, Cranky always carries an ordinary-looking wooden cane with him, (though he held two in DKC 2-3) His trademark pose involves him standing on both feet with a heavy slouch, his cane in one hand, and the other arm resting on his back, (reminiscent of how contestants stand on Family Feud).

Though he showed no personality during the 1980s, Cranky Kong would become a more developed character as the years passed. He is generally depicted as curmudgeonly and bitter, always making sarcastic remarks about various things, pointing out flaws in the other Kongs (particularly Donkey Kong) or even the very games he appears in, and complaining about everything he doesn't like. He is also rather cocky, claiming himself to be among the best video game icons ever, and that he is and always will be better than his grandson despite his old and frail state. His arrogance is countered by his poor sportsmanship however. Aside from this, Cranky Kong is also known to display traits of stereotypical elders, such as constantly demanding sleep. Despite all of the above, however, Cranky Kong can be benevolent and heroic when the situation calls for it, (such as how he helped his grandson take back DK Island in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze instead of sitting on the sidelines like in previous games) and even knows when to stop being cocky and ask DK for help, or let him take over in situations he knows he can't get through. Though he might say some snippy things to them, Cranky does care for the other Kongs deep down, and is always glad to help them, whether it be physically, or through his shop.

Appearances in Other Media

Cranky was also a main character on the Donkey Kong Country television series. Here, Cranky was as grouchy and bitter as he was in the games, but far less arrogant; he showed genuine concern for the Kongs if they were in trouble. He was also Donkey Kong's father. On the show, instead of living in a cabin on the ground like in the games, Cranky instead lives in a cabin on a tree-top village, similar to ones seen in the area Vine Valley from the Donkey Kong Country game. On the show, Cranky was also seen to be adept at potion-making and magic, a trait later carried on into the games. It was revealed in Best of Enemies that he and K. Rool were once best friends. Cranky was also shown to be a master of pranks, having pulled several pranks on the Kongs. He often takes every crisis seriously, especially when it comes to the Crystal Coconut.

He also appeared in the Club Nintendo comic "Donkey Kong Country". He is the first one to discover that King K. Rool has stolen the Kongs' Banana Hoard, which follows the story of the game. Cranky's appearance in the comic differs slightly from his standard look, as he is wearing a blue shirt instead of a gray or brown one.

In the comic "Donkey Kong in: Banana Day 24", published in the same magazine, he supported Donkey, Diddy, Dixie and Kiddy on their mission to save the Earth from being pulled away from the sun by a giant UFO. It was his idea to carry on negotiations with the aliens so they would release the Earth. The President of the United States puts a space shuttle at the Kongs' disposal, and Cranky is the one to navigate it. He beams Donkey, Diddy and Dixie into the UFO and stays in the Kongs' space shuttle meanwhile. When their mission succeeds, he navigates the space shuttle back to Earth, where the Kongs are being hailed by the people. Euphorically, Cranky tries to kiss a random girl, much to her disgust. After returning to their jungle, Cranky gets in trouble with his wife Wrinkly because of this. During the events of this story, Cranky did not show much of his grouchy traits as often discovered in the games, but instead appears as a helpful person.

Cranky got his own action figure in the late 1990s due to the popularity of the DKC TV show.


"Look!...Look at this!...As I rock, my beard swings! Waste of frames in my opinion!"
—Donkey Kong Country
"The best switch is the one on top of your N64, as you can turn off your silly 3-D adventure and let me get some sleep."
—Donkey Kong 64
"Someone sure has a vivid imagination! I've been everywhere and I can tell you that none of these places actually exist!"
—Donkey Kong Country 2 manual
"Back in my day, we used to have REAL gameplay... We didn't have any of this fancy 3D stuff"
—Donkey Kong Country
"I've got more gameplay in my little finger than this entire game does!"
—Donkey Kong Country
"I did this using one life! And I took less than an hour!"
—Donkey Kong Country
"Say hello to your old grandpappy Cranky. I'm back by popular demand to offer my wealth of gameplay wisdom for this unnecessary sequel"
—Donkey Kong Country 2
"Now, go ahead and switch that cartridge off, so I could get some sleep! I reckon I've earned it!"
—Donkey Kong Country 2
"Try all you'd like, this game will never be as good as Donkey Kong Country, and even THAT was rubbish anyway!"
—Donkey Kong Country 2
"Even I could run faster than you, Lanky. Even while carrying K. Rool on my back!"
—Donkey Kong 64
"It's not a simple game of questions and answers this time! You've gotta beat yours truly if ya hope to win any prizes!"
—Donkey Kong Country 3
"That's not fair! Some of their targets were twice the size of mine!"
—Donkey Kong Country 3


See Cranky Kong/gallery for the entire gallery.




  • Cranky's trophy states that his first playable appearance is in Donkey Kong Barrel Blast; howerever, this is not true. His first playable appearance is in the GBA version of Donkey kong Country 3, in the Cranky's Dojo minigame.
  • In the N64 version of Banjo-Kazooie, Cranky Kong and Donkey Kong's names can be seen as answers in the Grunty's Furnance Fun quiz.
  • In Super Mario Odyssey, one of the streets in New Donk City is named "Cranky Avenue."


  1. [1]