Donkey Kong Land

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Donkey Kong Land
Donkey Kong Land Box Art.jpg
Developer(s) Rareware
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Platforms Game Boy, 3DS Virtual Console
Release date: Game Boy
USA June 26, 1995
Japan July 27, 1995
Europe August 24, 1995
3DS Virtual Console
Japan April 2, 2014[1]
Europe October 16, 2014
Australia October 17, 2014
USA February 26, 2015
Genre Platformer
ESRB:ESRB K-A.png - Kids to Adults
Modes 1 player

Donkey Kong Land, also known as Super Donkey Kong GB in Japan, is a Game Boy follow up to Donkey Kong Country, released in 1995. Unlike its sequels, Donkey Kong Land is not based on its Super Nintendo Entertainment System superior. Donkey Kong Land stars Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong in a new quest in Donkey Kong Island. Despite the limitations of the Game Boy, DKL introduced some new characters and locations. Donkey Kong Land was successful enough to feature a unique yellow cartridge (most GB games having a gray one) and two sequels.

The game was released about 19 years later on the 3DS Virtual Console in Japan in April 2014,[1] Europe and Australia in October 2014 and America in February 2015.


Donkey Kong Land takes place directly after the events of Donkey Kong Country. Returning home exhausted and triumphant, the Kongs tell Cranky Kong of their adventure. Cranky Kong steps out of character and admits he underestimated the duo. After he returns to his querulous nature and claims DKC itself wouldn't have done so good without its advanced graphics. Again breaking the fourth wall as usual, he references how Nintendo's graphical revolution helped them win the console wars at the time and that kids will "buy anything nowadays".

Cranky Kong, now feeling quite cocky, arranged King K. Rool to steal the bananas again and sends Donkey and Diddy on another journey to reclaim them, this time in a smaller scaled 8-bit handheld. The two end up exploring new areas of Donkey Kong Island, meeting old friends and other familiar faces, along with new challenges and foes to oppose them.

Gameplay overview[edit]

General gameplay[edit]

Donkey Kong climbs a rope.

Like most games on Game Boy, Donkey Kong Land is a side-scrolling platforming game. In similar vein to Donkey Kong Country, the player assumes control of either Donkey Kong or Diddy Kong (with only one on screen at a time) and must go through each level in one piece. Along the way there are usually several enemies, including the Kremling Krew. The Kongs can utilize checkpoints, various items and on occasion an Animal Buddy to aid them. The levels will involve the heroes jumping over abysses, climbing ropes and vines, avoiding obstacles, swimming underwater, and so on. After a level is completed the next one is unlocked until finally reaching a boss, and upon defeating the boss, moving onto the next world. As previously stated, Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong are the two playable characters, and the duo are an effective juxtapose. The two have some individual attributes, but both can run, jump, swim, grab onto ropes and vines, and utilize rolling attacks. Donkey Kong is the "heavy" character, moving slower and not being as agile as his ally. However his strength allows him to handle the enemy Krusha by himself. Diddy Kong is the lightweight and nimble contrast, utilizing his cartwheel ability to escape close quarters or jump large gaps.


A Banana Bunch

The Kongs encounter many types of items, objects, and coins in the game, mainly carried over from Donkey Kong Country. Commonly scattered throughout levels, they are key to success in the game.

  • Bananas are collectible fruit found frequently in Donkey Kong Land. Collecting 100 of them rewards the player with an extra life.
  • Banana Bunches are, as the name implies, a group of bananas, bunched together for a value of ten bananas.
  • An Extra Life Balloon, as the name suggests, grants an extra life upon collection. They are often difficult to reach and float away quickly. Unlike Donkey Kong Country, there is no color or value distinction in the game due to technical imitations, so each balloon only grants one additional life.
  • K-O-N-G Letters are a returning item which is found in order in each non-boss level. Unlike in DKC, the KONG Letters are collected in order to save the game after a level has been completed. This mechanism is a replacement for save points, which were removed due to limited cartridge space.
  • Kong Tokens are a new item which can be collected in levels and exchanged for extra lives in certain bonus levels.


The DK Barrel (also called "Buddy Barrel").

There are four types of barrels found in the game, all carried over from Donkey Kong County:

  • DK Barrels serve to bring back an absent Kong. When both are present it functions as a regular barrel.
  • TNT Barrels are powerful, explosive barrels that detonate on impact. They are useful for dispatching enemies and revealing secret entrances.
  • Steel Kegs, also known as Steel Barrels, can be used as projectiles much like wooden barrels. They continue to roll after they are tossed and can be bounced off walls. After rebounding off a wall, they can be jumped on and ridden.
  • Wooden Barrels are basic barrels that can be picked up and tossed to harm enemies.


Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong,


  • Cranky Kong does not make an in-game appearance. He is however is responsible for the banana hoard being retaken, in his bet that Donkey and Diddy can't pull off an 8-bit adventure.
  • Donkey Kong returns as the game's star. He is the stronger and slower foil to his companion Diddy. Donkey refuses to let Cranky win his bet and goes on yet another adventure to keep his precious bananas safe, and outside of the Kremling's clutches.
  • Diddy Kong returns as the co-star, who makes use of his nimbleness and agility to help his buddy Donkey Kong win their 8-bit journey.

Animal Buddies[edit]

Due to limitations, only two animal buddies appear:

  • Rambi the Rhinoceros, who returns from Donkey Kong Country, also appears in the first level, "Jungle Jaunt". He helps by quickly defeating enemies or breaking open some bonus level areas.
  • Expresso the Ostrich also returns from Donkey Kong Country. He can fly over large gaps, and is usually found in bonus levels.


A Hogwash. Hogwash are new enemies unique to DKL.
A Kritter walking. They return from DKC as Kremling minions serving K. Rool.

As with their previous adventure, the Kongs find a variety of enemies in the game. Most are from Donkey Kong Country, though some are new.


Bosses appear at the end of each world.

Levels and worlds[edit]

Gangplank Galleon Ahoy![edit]

Jungle JauntFreezing FunSimian SwingDeck TrekRope RavineTyre TrailRiggin' RumbleCongo CarnageArctic Barrel ArsenalWild Sting Fling
Gangplank Galleon Ahoy!, the first world in DKL.

Click an area to open the relevant article.
  1. Jungle Jaunt (Jungle)
  2. Freezing Fun (Snow)
  3. Simian Swing (Jungle)
  4. Deck Trek (Ship)
  5. Rope Ravine (Snow)
  6. Tyre Trail (Jungle)
  7. Riggin' Rumble (Ship)
  8. Congo Carnage (Jungle)
  9. Arctic Barrel Arsenal (Snow)
  10. Boss level: Wild Sting Fling (Ship)


Tricky TempleKremlantisReef RampageSnake Charmer's ChallengeChomp's ColiseumNautilus ChaseSwirlwind StormSea-bed Showdown
Kremlantis, the second world in DKL.

Click an area to open the relevant article.
  1. Tricky Temple (Temple)
  2. Kremlantis (Underwater Ruins)
  3. Reef Rampage (Coral)
  4. Snake Charmer's Challenge (Temple)
  5. Chomp's Coliseum (Underwater Ruins)
  6. Nautilus Chase (Coral)
  7. Swirlwind Storm (Temple)
  8. Boss level: Sea-bed Showdown (Underwater Ruins)

Monkey Mountains and Chimpanzee Clouds[edit]

Pot Hole PanicMountain MayhemTrack AttackSpiky Tyre TrailSky High CaperLandslide LeapCollasping CloudsMad Mole Holes
The Monkey Mountains and Chimpanzee Clouds, comprising the third world of DKL.

Click an area to open the relevant article.
  1. Pot Hole Panic (Caves)
  2. Mountain Mayhem (Mountains)
  3. Track Attack (Clouds)
  4. Spiky Tyre Trail (Caves)
  5. Sky High Caper (Clouds)
  6. Landslide Leap (Mountains)
  7. Collapsing Clouds (Clouds)
  8. Boss level: Mad Mole Holes (Caves)

Big Ape City[edit]

Balloon BarrageKong KrazyConstruction Site FightFast Barrel BlastSkyscraper CaperButton Barrel BlastOil Drum SlumK. Rool's Kingdom
Big Ape City, the fourth world of DKL.

Click an area to open the relevant article.
  1. Construction Site Fight (Skyscraper)
  2. Kong Krazy (Blimp)
  3. Balloon Barrage (Construction site)
  4. Fast Barrel Blast (Blimp)
  5. Skyscraper Caper (Skyscraper)
  6. Button Barrel Blast (Construction site)
  7. Oil Drum Slum (Skyscraper)
  8. Boss level: K. Rool's Kingdom (Blimp)

Beta elements[edit]

  • An animal buddy called Ram Bunkshus was to appear, as seen in an issue of Nintendo Power. He has been stated to be male, able to climb, and use his horns as a weapon. It is possible he was a considered replacement for Rambi given his horns, but was dropped.
  • Pucka is a dropped underwater enemy also appearing in Nintendo Power. It has been stated to be a "large fish in a small sea", and make water levels tougher for DK and Diddy. It might of been dropped due to the abundance of underwater enemies already in the game.
  • The final unused element is a Kong character resembling Donkey Kong with a hat. Nothing else is known about him, not even his name.



Box arts[edit]



  • This is the only Donkey Kong Land series title with DK Barrels on the ground; the next two would only have them floating in mid-air.
  • The level names for Construction Site Fight and Balloon Barrage were likely accidentally switched in the game manual, because they describe each other.


  1. 1.0 1.1

See also[edit]