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Donkey Kong Country

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Donkey Kong Country
DKC Front Cover.png
Developer(s) Rareware
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Platforms Super Famicom/Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Famicom Box (Japan), Virtual Console, Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Color
Release date: SNES
Europe November 24, 1994
USA November 21, 1994
Japan November 26, 1994

Game Boy Color
USA November 4, 2000
Europe November 17, 2000
Japan January 21, 2001

Game Boy Advance
Europe June 6, 2003
USA June 9, 2003
Japan December 12, 2003

Virtual Console (Wii)
Australia December 7, 2006
Europe December 8, 2006
Japan December 12, 2006
USA February 19, 2007
South Korea May 26, 2008

Virtual Console (Wii U)
Europe October 16, 2014
Australia October 17, 2014
Japan November 26, 2014
USA February 26, 2015

Virtual Console (N3DS)
Worldwide: March 24, 2016
Genre Platformer
ESRB:ESRB K-A.png - Kids to Adults
PEGI:PEGI 3.png - 3+
Modes 1-2 players
Walkthrough on Strategy Wiki Donkey Kong Country
"I'll hunt them down through every part of my island, until I have every banana from my hoard back!!"
—Donkey Kong

Donkey Kong Country ( スーパードンキーコング, Sūpā Donkī Kongu in Japan) is a game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and was released in 1994. It was among the first games to receive an ESRB rating. The game is credited with bringing back the Donkey Kong character as well as starting a new franchise entirely based around new characters and gameplay. While Rare had made some popular games in the past such as Battletoads, Donkey Kong Country is credited with making them an industry well-known.

The game is known for being the first game to use pre-rendered sprites, creating a 3D effect throughout the game. The graphics were made with expensive Silicon 3-D graphic models and compressed for 2-D SNES. This allowed them to have more detail in animations and large amounts of detail, for a 16-bit console,[1] which was revolutionary at the time.[2]

The game was very successful, selling over nine million units,[3] and has been re-released over various platforms including the Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance and the Wii's Virtual Console. However, starting November 25, 2012, Donkey Kong Country and its two sequels, Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, and Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! are being pulled from the European Wii Shop service for reasons unknown.[4] In addition, the games have already been pulled from the Virtual Console in North America without any prior warning at an unknown date.

Donkey Kong Country was later released on the Wii U's Virtual Console and returned to Wii's Virtual Console on October 2014 in Europe and Australia, November 2014 in Japan, and February 2015 in North America. The game was also released on the New Nintendo 3DS's Virtual Console on March 24th, 2016. It is also one of the 21 games included in the Super NES Classic Edition.


This intro is based on the Game Boy Advance remake's intro. The original intro can be viewed here: [1]

On a dark and stormy night in Donkey Kong Island,[5] Diddy Kong, Donkey Kong's nephew, has taken responsibility of guarding Donkey Kong's precious Banana Hoard for one night, as a part of his "hero training". Donkey Kong entrusts Diddy with protecting the hoard until midnight, where he will be relived, while Donkey Kong catches up on some sleep.

Banana Hoard - DKC GBA Intro.png

Everything seems to go smoothly in the hoard until Diddy hears some noises. Diddy hears some voices outside, and gets scared, asking who's there. King K. Rool commands his Kremlings to seal Diddy inside a barrel and hide him in the nearby bushes. Two ropes drop from above, and suddenly two Kritters appear. Diddy cartwheels them both easily, but then a Krusha comes in as backup. Diddy is not strong enough to defeat Krusha by himself, so is overpowered and defeated. In the manual's prologue, a Klump instead overpowers Diddy.

Cranky rushes inside the treehouse to tell Donkey Kong what happened. Cranky apparently woke him up from a nice nap. He then tells Donkey Kong to check his Banana Cave (Hoard). Donkey Kong is infuriated, exclaiming that the Kremlings will pay for stealing his bananas and trapping Diddy Kong inside a barrel. Donkey Kong goes on to say that he will hunt every corner of the island for his bananas back. During this time, King K. Rool presumably loaded his cargo onto the Gangplank Galleon.

The Kongs' quest would take them all over Donkey Kong Island. They travel through the jungles of Kongo Jungle, the ruins of the Monkey Mines, forests of Vine Valley, the snowy tundra of Gorilla Glacier and the caves of Chimp Caverns. As the duo progress through the island, the Gangplank Galleon can be seen slowly approaching the island from the horizon. After finishing the Chimp Caverns, the ship docks on the island and the Kongs have their final battle with King K. Rool. Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong fought a long and harsh duel with the Kremling ruler; the tyrant used his ship to his advantage, firing cannonballs and trying to trap the two heroes. K. Rool even faked his own death. However, the Kongs triumphed over the K. Rool, winning their Banana Hoard back and restoring peace to the island. This wasn't the last of King K. Rool, though; he sails away and the Kongs celebrate.

Gameplay Overview

General Gameplay

Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong

Donkey Kong Country is famous for introducing a "tag team" element of gameplay. In the single player mode, the player controls Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong. Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong both have unique abilities. Donkey Kong is the "heavy" character, able to defeat nearly every enemy easily by himself, either through his stomp attack, Barrel Roll, or Ground Pound. In return, he is slower than Diddy, jumps lower than him, and cannot use the Cartwheel ability to gain as much distance. Diddy Kong, as mentioned, can cartwheel off ledges and jump to gain huge distance, and is more agile than DK. However, he cannot ground pound and has trouble defeating certain enemies, notably Army, Klump, and Krusha.

In single player, each Kong only takes one hit from any enemy. Once hurt, the Kong will run off screen, or fall off the screen in the Game Boy Advance version. If there is another Kong on standby, the Kong takes over. If there is not a Kong on standby, a life is lost. Donkey/Diddy can be brought back once injured with the help of the DK Barrel. As long as there is at least one Kong in play, there are no lives lost. However if they both fall into a bottomless pit, a life is lost. When both are present, the player can easily switch between the two on the ground.

In multiplayer, player one is Donkey Kong and player two is Diddy Kong. Unfortunately, in order to have two players, a separate file must be made for the two player mode. In addition, there are two settings for multiplayer - two player contest or two player team. In either case, the gameplay is exact. The first player controls DK, and once defeated, player two (Diddy) must press a button in order to take over (if available). Essentially, if the first player is hurt, the second player takes over, and when the second player is hurt, the first player takes over. The game also keeps a score for both players, to keep track of which player completed a certain amount of levels. The player whom completed the most levels "wins" in the end. The player can change to a different Kong by pressing "SELECT".


A banana

During their adventure, Diddy and Donkey run in a variety of collectibles and other usable items. There are a variety of items. Some items are similar to Super Mario World: bananas are the basic "coins" from the Mario series and the Extra Life Balloons are the basic "1-ups".

  • Animal Tokens are golden tokens of regular animal buddies, and when three of the same type are collected, brings the player to a bonus area.
  • Bananas function as coins from the Mario series; they are common, and upon one hundred collected, a free life is given.
  • Banana Bunches are the equivalent to ten bananas.
  • Extra Life Balloons are the base life counters. They have three colors; a red balloon, which gives one life, green which yields two, and the rarest blue colored ones which reward three lives.
  • K-O-N-G Letters are collectible, gold letters spelling out "KONG", all four letters found in each level, and once all are gathered, a red life balloon is obtained.
  • Mine Carts are signature vehicles in-game, despite being found in two levels. They are the main means of transportation in mine levels, and can not be stopped.
  • Tires are bouncy objects that are used to gain height.


A DK Barrel.

The concept of barrel throwing is re-imagined in Donkey Kong Country, much different from the initial Donkey Kong concept, as now barrels are not only a weapon, but also serve many other useful purposes:

  • Auto-Fire Barrels fire almost immediately upon landing inside.
  • Barrel Cannons, the Kongs must simply get in the barrel. The barrel then launches them when the player presses "B" ("A" in later versions).
  • DK Barrels are breakable barrels that free a defeated or absent Kong when broken.
  • The Funky Barrel is an airplane shaped-barrel that is the main way of transportation provided by Funky Kong.
  • Fuel Barrels are a one-time usage barrel needed to keep a moving platform on limited fuel moving.
  • Star Barrels are the game's checkpoints; jump and break it for the checkpoint. Usually halfway through the level.
  • Steel Kegs can be thrown and they roll on the ground and also bounce off walls.
  • Stop & Go Barrels are encountered exclusively in the level "Stop & Go Station" that have some odd connection to Rock Krocs.
  • TNT Barrels are rare, powerful barrels full of explosive TNT.
  • Vine Barrels are a type of wooden barrel, the most notable difference is the fact that they break upon contact with anything.
  • Wooden Barrels are basic, symbol-less barrels that can be thrown and rolled. It is a basic weapon and is the basis for other barrels.


The Game Boy Advance remake's menu

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System edition had three main modes:

  • Single player, where one player controls both Donkey and Diddy in the quest.
  • Two player team, where player one controls DK, and when DK is out, player two controls Diddy.
  • Two player contest, same as the two player team except the game keeps track of which Kong completed an amount of levels- a contest to see who can win the most levels.

Remakes added the following:

Additional modes have been included in the Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance versions:

  • Candy's Dance Studio, which was based off the popular dancing series "Dance Dance Revolution". This replaces Candy's Save Point from the SNES version, Candy's Challenge from the Game Boy Color version, and is exclusive to the Game Boy Advance version.
  • Crosshair Cranky, a mini-game where Kongs must shoot-out Kremlings. This mode is exclusive to the Game Boy Color version.
  • DK Attack, a self-explanatory mode where the monkeys have to get to the end of the level quickly. Bonus time can be collected, and a rank is given for the time. This mode only appears in the Game Boy Advance version.
  • Funky's Fishing, a fishing mini-game where the Kongs have to fish for certain types of fish or items. This mode first appears in the Game Boy Color titled Funky Fishing, and then appears in the Game Boy Advance version.
  • Hero Mode, where the player can only play as a yellow-colored Diddy Kong, with no star barrels (only available after 90% completion). This mode only appears in the Game Boy Advance version.
  • Rock Hard is available only through cheat; this disables Star Barrels. This is similar to the ROCKARD cheat in Donkey Kong Country 2's Game Boy Advance re-release.



The Kong Family in the game

In the game, there are a total of five Kongs:

  • Donkey Kong, the main star of the game. He is often characterized as a great hero and a role model for Diddy Kong. DK is overall stronger than Diddy but less agile. Donkey Kong can defeat Krusha and Klumps by merely jumping on their heads, however his sidekick requires an item to defeat the two or a cartwheel in the latter case He has a rolling-based attack in addition to a special "Ground Pound" attack, which will defeat an enemy and yield a banana, or, if hit in the right spot on the ground, reveal an item.
  • Diddy Kong is Donkey Kong's sidekick and the second main protagonist of the game. Diddy Kong is often seen as a weaker, but loyal sidekick to DK, seeing him as a hero, and wishing to be like him one day. In fact, he was assigned to guard the banana hoard as a part of "hero training". Diddy often has some trouble, or cannot defeat at all, certain enemies by himself. However, he possesses a very unique "Cartwheel" ability, allowing him to travel a large distance when used correctly. In the Japanese version, Diddy has an unusual problem defeating Manky Kongs; whether he can cartwheel/defeat it in one or two shots is random and somewhat glitchy.[6] The pair are assisted in their perilous quest by a few members of the Kong Family.
  • Cranky Kong gives hints to the Kongs when they drop by his cabin, named "Cranky's Cabin". Cranky narrates and congratulates the Kongs in the ending of the game, and also appears to give commentary after the defeating the bosses in the Game Boy Advance version.
  • Funky Kong makes his first appearance halfway through Kongo Jungle, and freely lets the Kongs use his barrel jet in th rest of the worlds. The barrel jet allows them to quickly jump to the overworld map and navigate worlds the Kongs have finished (otherwise done by defeating the area boss), or simply navigate the area faster, with Funky's unique theme. He also hosts a fishing mini-game called "Funky's Fishing", in the Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance version.
  • Candy Kong allows the player to save his or her progress at her save point, Candy's Save Point. Getting to her point in the SNES version is often viewed as a big accomplishment due to the fact that getting to her point is usually far in a world. She is considered the most useful Kong. She also hosts a dance mini-game in the Game Boy Advance version.

Animal Buddies

Diddy rides on Expresso.

The Kong Family are not the only ones to aid Donkey and Diddy in their quest, the wildlife also help. Each Animal Buddy is prisoner in a crate with their symbol on it.

  • Rambi the Rhinoceros is first found halfway through Jungle Hijinxs. It is capable on rampaging through Kremlings and opening bonus rooms using its powerful horn.
  • Enguarde the Swordfish is exclusively found in underwater levels. Enguarde is a swordfish with a large bill which can defeat many underwater enemies that the Kongs cannot.
  • Winky the Frog has a very high jumping ability, nearly three times as higher than the Kongs. With this ability, it can reach bonus rooms or simply avoid foes. It can defeat most enemies by jumping on them, including Zingers.
  • Squawks the Parrot is the only Animal Buddy that cannot be ridden upon. Squawks only appears once in "Torchlight Trouble". There, it carried a bright lamp to illuminate the way in the otherwise dark level. Squawks returns in the game's two sequels where it can now carry Diddy, Dixie, or Kiddy.
  • Expresso the Ostrich is the tallest and fastest animal buddy. With its height, it can completely avoid small foes, commonly the Klap Traps. Expresso has no means of attack, but can glide distances to find secret bonus rooms.


Kritter, a common enemy
A Zinger, a pestering bee-like enemy

Many enemies, grunts under K. Rool's army, will stand in the Kong's way. The enemies are very varied in Donkey Kong Country, and some, in one shape or another, return in the sequel and a few later games. A majority of these enemies, such as Gnawty and Kritter, are very common, though a few are rare, such as Chomps. The enemies mostly contain of generic animal-based foes.

  • Army is an armadillo-based enemy. Army attacks by curling in a ball and rolling forward. It is often viewed as a pest for its speed and the fact that Diddy has problems defeating it, as he is unable to defeat it with one jump while it rolls.
  • Bitesize is a piranha based enemy; however, Bitesize is far from aggressive, and is usually found casually swimming in water levels. Even so, one touch injures a Kong.
  • Chomps is a large, shark-like enemy found in underwater stages. It depends on its size rather than speed, since it usually swims in a slow speed in a set area.
  • Chomps Jr. is a younger, slightly faster and smaller version of Chomps. It is more common than a regular Chomps.
  • Clambo, a clam-based enemy who is exclusive to water levels. It spits out pearls in a certain pattern.
  • Croctopus, whose name is an obvious pun on "octopus", is another type of water-exclusive foes; Croctopus has two different traits depending on its color; a purple one swim in set paths, while a blue one waits for a Kong to pass by and then give chase.
  • Gnawty is often compared to a "Goomba" in terms of attack pattern - that is, it does not have any specific direction of attacking, it simply walks forward.
  • Klap Trap, lizard-like enemies, is a somewhat rare foe that are always walking forwards, and shows its sharp teeth when doing so, preventing frontal attack.
  • Klump is a somewhat rare enemy that wears army gear, including a helmet which protects it from Diddy's jumping attacks. Aside from its head protection, it acts as normal, march-forward foes.
  • Krash is a sub-division of Kritter; Krash is simply a Kritter in a mine cart going in the opposite direction of Donkey and Diddy Kong's mine carts.
  • Kritter is a basic Kremling foot soldier, usually found in pairs. Kritter is normally green or purple, and a few of its species can jump constantly. Kritter, like Gnawty, simply goes in one direction and hurts a Kong upon impact.
  • Krusha, an uncommon muscular, can endure any of Diddy's directional attack and DK's rolling attack. However DK's jumping attack defeats it. A very rare gray breed is invincible to even Donkey Kong's jumping attacks, a projectile being its only weakness.
  • Manky Kong supposedly is a rogue member of the Kong family. Manky Kong was exiled and appears to have moved onto Vine Valley. Manky attacks by throwing barrels in succession.
  • Mincer is the only non-organic enemy in the game. Mincer is a spinning, green spike ball that must be avoided at all costs; Mincer cannot be damaged in any sort of way.
  • Mini-Necky is a "mini" version of a regular Necky. The main difference is other than size and appearance is the fact that Mini-Necky can shoot a nut projectile out of its mouth.
  • Necky is the adult form of a Mini-Necky. Necky is incapable of launching projectiles, some just fly in place or sit in a set course throwing nuts. In most cases, it is a means of getting across a distance, as a Kong may have to jump on one and relay onto the other side.
  • Rockkroc is a foe that rapidly runs back and forth in Stop & Go Station, the only level it appears in the game. It can be stopped temporarily if a Stop & Go Barrel is touched.
  • Slippa is a cave dwelling snake that usually is the cave equivalent to a Gnawty; it just slithers forward. Sometimes, there is an Oil Barrel that can spawn Slippas indefinitely.
  • Squidge is a unique water enemy. Squidge is an enemy with an odd pattern of movement, usually just swimming back and forth in one direction.
  • Zinger, a wasp enemy, is often considered among the most annoying enemy in the game. Zinger does not directly attack the Kongs. However, it cannot be harmed physically by either Kong and normally is in the path of the Kong, either flying in a pattern or not moving at all being dormant in one location. Zinger usually pesters the Kongs by being in the way of an item or a platform.


The typical boss arena, though the width and length vary per boss.

Bosses in this game are found at the end of each world, like in the Mario series. Bosses are usually enlarged versions of usual enemies. The bosses guard a large portion of the Banana Hoard. In fact, the arena where each boss is fought is composed of portions of DK's hoard. Each boss (excluding K. Rool) is a bigger version of a generic enemy. They are, in order of appearance:

  • Very Gnawty is the first boss of the game, and is simply a larger Gnawty with an enhanced jumping ability. Very Gnawty is known for its goofy laugh upon being hit.
  • Master Necky is a giant version of Necky as its head can only be seen by the audience. Master Necky inherits Mini-Necky's nut-firing ability and Necky's appearance.
  • Queen B. commands the Zingers, and is the hive queen. Her attack pattern varies per version of Donkey Kong Country ; in the original version, Queen B. must be hit with a barrel, and the player must dodge her diving attacks after. In the Game Boy Advance remake, Queen B. instead calls upon her fellow wasps in combat after getting hit.
  • Really Gnawty is the master of all Gnawties. Really Gnawty has similar abilities to Very Gnawty, being able to jump "really" high. In the original SNES version, its attack pattern involves jumping around like Very Gnawty, and upon being hit, it makes a "really" high jump, invincible, and tries to land on Donkey and Diddy Kong. After avoiding, the cycle is repeated, with more jumps per hit. In the Game Boy Advance version, it simply jumps around like Very Gnawty, and upon being hit, it causes stalagmites to fall, with more per hit.
  • Dumb Drum can summon enemies right out of its drum, much like its smaller Skull & Crossbones Barrels. It is defeated by defeating waves of spawned enemies or by throwing TNT Barrels at in the in the Game Boy Advance version.
  • Master Necky Snr. is a purple, stronger version of Master Necky. Master Necky Snr. can spit many nuts in succession, unlike Master Necky. In the Game Boy Advance version, Master Necky Snr. is aided by Master Necky.
  • King K. Rool is the final boss of the game. His attacks consist of running, making cannonballs drop, and jumping.

Worlds and levels

Kongo JungleMonkey MinesVine ValleyGorilla GlacierKremkroc Industries Inc.Chimp CavernsGangplank Galleon
World map, of DK Island. Click an area to open the relevant article.

Similar to Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country's level progression system is simply beating one level to unlock the next, until reaching a boss stage. After the boss stage is beaten, the next "world" is unlocked. In the worlds are some areas where the Kong family can help, whether it be Cranky Kong giving hints, Funky Kong allowing the heroes to return to the overworld map, and Candy to save the game. In order to return to the overworld, the area boss must be defeated or Funky must be used. On overworld, as the player gets through the game, the Gangplank Galleon is slowly seen getting closer to the island, foreshadowing the final battle.

On top of level and world locations, a head of Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, or a Kritter marks whether the area has been beaten or not, and who beat it. A Kritter head means the area has not been finished yet. Donkey Kong's head means the area was last finished with him, and a Diddy head means the area was last completed using Diddy. On the original Super Nintendo Entertainment System version of Donkey Kong Country, there is a glitch in the single player where once a location is beaten with Diddy, DK's head would not overwrite the location when a level is beaten with him.

The "world" located before Kongo Jungle on the overworld map can not be accessed. The Kongs are shown to start off their journey by leaving this area and heading to Kongo Jungle.

World 1: Kongo Jungle

World 2: Monkey Mines

World 3: Vine Valley

World 4: Gorilla Glacier

World 5: Kremkroc Industries Inc.

World 6: Chimp Caverns

World 7: Gangplank Galleon

This pirate ship is not a world, but the location of the final boss battle against King K. Rool. The Galleon can actually be seen approaching closer and closer each time a world is beaten until it's finally accessible after beating Chimp Caverns.

Changes in the remakes

Game Boy Color

The Game Boy Color boxart.

The game was ported to the Game Boy Color in 2000 (2001 in Japan). A few differences include:

  • The game has three different title screens, a random one pops up when the player starts the game: one has an underwater theme, another a jungle theme, and another a mine theme.
  • Like the Donkey Kong Land series, only one Kong appears on-screen at time.
  • This port is compatible with the Game Boy Printer, which can print out Sticker Pads and monochrome ABC's photos.
  • The Monkey Mines level Winky's Walkway has been extended.
  • A new level called Necky Nutmare is the fourth level of Chimp Caverns.
  • The Kongs do not ride Animal Buddies; they transform into them, in the fashion of an Animal Barrel, by jumping on an Animal Crate.
  • Two mini-games have been added: Funky's Fishing (which would later reappear in the Game Boy Advance version) and Crosshair Cranky.
  • Candy now hosts a challenge shack where certain challenges must be completed to win a Banana Coin (also added in the game). The game auto-saves after the Kongs finish an area.
  • Two additional difficulties have been added: the first one removes DK Barrels and the second one removes Star Barrels.
  • Over half the music in Donkey Kong Land was reused.
  • The Warp Barrel of Mine Cart Carnage is absent.
  • The mode select screen resembles that of Donkey Kong 64's.
  • The Cast of Characters ending segment is absent, and the developer credits take place on a montage of game screenshots.
  • The game automatically saves after the Kongs finish a level.

Game Boy Advance

The Game Boy Advance boxart.

Another port was made for the Game Boy Advance in 2003. A few changes of this port includes:

  • Candy now hosts a dancing mini-game at Candy's Dance Studio.
  • The time attack mode DK Attack is added in the game.
  • The player only plays as a yellow-clad Diddy in the new unlockable Hero Mode. DK Barrels, DK, and Star Barrels are absent from this mode.
  • The maps have been redesigned.
  • Rockkrocs, just like in the Japanese Super Nintendo release, can be defeated by DK's Hand Slap attack.
  • Numerous enemies have a variety of different colors, for example: Kritter and Zinger.
  • Most boss battles have been changed slightly.
  • Starting from Vine Valley onwards, a few of the levels' orders have changed; for instance, Temple Tempest became the sixth level in Vine Valley, rather than the fourth.
  • The "Cast of Characters" ending segment takes place on Gangplank Galleon instead of at Donkey Kong's Treehouse.
  • The player's amount of lives are also saved when he or she saves the game.
  • Only one level's star barrel can be saved at a time.
  • The Auto-Fire Barrels that sent players to Bonus Rooms were replaced by Bonus Barrels from Donkey Kong Country 2 and 3.
  • The game had more voices and sound effects.
  • A Scrapbook was added, in which players had to collect Photographs throughout the game in order to add pictures to it.
  • Funky's and Candy's themes are different than in previous releases.

Beta elements

The preview video, Donkey Kong Country Exposed, contains a few beta elements that never made it into the final game, such as a few instances where binary digits were seen underneath the lives counter, which may have been a debug menu of some sort. Also, in this build, it was possible to exceed one hundred bananas, which would result in a beta life sound effect, whereas in the final game, the banana counter would reset once it reaches that number. Lastly, Donkey Kong was unable to kill the regular Krusha enemy by jumping on him. Unlike the final, Krusha will laugh after Donkey Kong does so, as he would if Diddy had done that. This also applies to Klump. The Bonus Level music is also shorter, looping much earlier than it does in the final game.

In an old Scribes page on the Rareware website, a giraffe Animal Buddy was mentioned, and mentioned to appear in Donkey Kong Country; this Giraffe character was dropped for unknown reasons, though one of his mentioned abilities was that he would allow Donkey Kong to crawl up his neck and reach high items and secrets. Also on the outdated Rare site, a screenshot revealed Dumb Drum's arena to be different than the standard one.

There are unused sprites in this game, such as a Puftup, who would later appear in Donkey Kong Country 2, and a jungle plant.[7] Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong also have unused sprites.[8][9] Additional letters similar to the K-O-N-G Letters appear in some bonus rooms, though not all letters in the alphabet are used, and the game appears to have the entire alphabet left in the game's coding.[10] Slippa has unused sprites as well.[11] Croctopus has an unused sprite, likely a defeated animation, and a thunderbolt.[12] Cranky Kong apparently was able to walk in a beta version [13]

In an issue of a Toys-R-Us catalog, the game's box art is shown to be different. It was most likely a placeholder given the simplicity of the art, consisting of the games logo and a lone DK Barrel on a black background, which is radically different from the final product.

Reaction and sales

At the time of its release, Donkey Kong Country was extremely acclaimed by critics and audiences alike. According to GameSpot, Donkey Kong Country has a critic score of 9.1, having over 90% from nearly every critic. Praise went to its graphics, music, and overall fun and addictive game-play.[14]

Sales were more than expected, since the game was released at the peak of the 16-bit era, but when the Sega Genesis was at the height of its popularity, and the SNES witnessed its rise.[15] The game had a successful first day at the stores, and sold 8.5 million copies worldwide,[16] 2nd on the SNES to Super Mario World. To date, it is the best selling Donkey Kong game and the best seller by Rare.

Although it won 1994's game of the year by EGM, it was later placed 2nd on their top 10 overrated games, as well as 9th on GameSpy's 25 most overrated games of all time list. It has mixed reactions today, but is still well-received by fans.


For the game's gallery, see Donkey Kong Country/gallery.


  • Rumble in the Jungle,[17] Donkey Kong and the Golden Bananas,[18] Donkey Kong vs Super Wario,[19] and Donkey Kong's Monkey Mayhem[20] were all early names for Donkey Kong Country.
  • Gnawtys are pictured as blue on the box art even though they are gray in-game. Gnawtys were eventually colored blue in Donkey Kong 64 and the Game Boy Advance remake.
  • This game has an adaptation in the Super Mario-Kun manga with some changes, Mario and Yoshi land in the Donkey Kong Country universe by mistake, and Cranky Kong asks them to help Donkey and Diddy in their task to find the bananas and stop King K. Rool.
  • This game was one of Donkey Kong's only playable appearance until Donkey Kong Country Returns, despite the game's sequel and triquel games bearing the name Donkey Kong Country.
  • This game marks the only playable appearance of Winky and the only playable appearance of Expresso within the Donkey Kong Country series (outside of cameos and remakes; Expresso was technically playable in a minigame in the Game Boy Advance remake of Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest and Winky made a cameo in the Monkey Museum.)
  • After defeating a boss, a giant banana drops from the sky. In the original, it had a Nintendo logo on it, but was removed in later versions.
  • The Japanese version of the game contains a number of noteworthy differences:
    • Rather than only Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong appearing on the title screen, the Japanese version of the screen includes both Kongs, as well as all five animal buddies, and a pair of Zingers.
    • On the World Map, the DK head next to Donkey Kong's Treehouse is not present.
    • Manky Kong takes two hits from Diddy to be defeated, unlike in the American/European versions where either Kong can kill him in a single blow.
    • The Rock Krocs in Stop & Go Station can be defeated in the Japanese version via DK's Ground Pound, whereas they can't be defeated at all in other versions.
    • In the Japanese version, Ground Pounding three enemies consecutively would earn DK several Bananas.
    • Extra DK Barrels were added to various levels:
    • Certain levels contain minor tweaks (removed enemies/hazards, added power-ups, etc.) to make them easier:
      • In Mine Cart Carnage, some of the crashed Minecarts were removed.
      • An extra TNT Barrel was added to Millstone Mayhem.
      • The Mini Necky was removed from the end of Vulture Culture.
      • A specific room in Clam City contains only three piranhas instead of four.
      • The first Klaptrap has been removed from Snow Barrel Blast, as well as one of the Neckies, and the green Zinger before the Barrel Cannon.
      • One of the Armies was removed from the stage, alongside the Zinger placed directly above it. Additionally, the fourth blue Kritter and another pair of Zingers were removed.
      • The Oil Drums in Oil Drum Alley have a longer gap between the times when they release flames, thus making them attack less frequently.
      • The moving platforms in Trick Track Trek do not automatically drop at the end of their cables, giving the player more time to jump off.


  3. IGN
  4. CVG Article
  5. DKC Fans
  7. Unused DKC sprites
  8. Unused Donkey Kong sprites
  9. Unused Diddy sprites
  10. Additional unused letters
  11. Slippa's unused sprites
  12. Croctopus and thunderbolt sprite, unused
  13. Cranky Kong's unused walking animation
  17. Gregg Mayles' Twitter
  18. Gregg Mayles' Twitter
  19. Gregg Mayles' Twitter
  20. Gregg Mayles' Twitter

See also

External links