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The K-O-N-G Letters in Donkey Kong Country.
|Usage||Collecting each letter in a level grants the player an extra life.|
|Game appearances||Donkey Kong Country|
Donkey Kong Land
Donkey Kong Country 2
Donkey Kong Land 2
Donkey Kong Country 3
Donkey Kong Land III
Diddy Kong Pilot (2003)
Donkey Kong Country Returns
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
- "Keep an eye out for those Kong letters! They might be worth something!"
- —Cranky Kong, Donkey Kong Country Returns
K-O-N-G Letters are collectibles that first appeared in the original Donkey Kong Country, and have since appeared in nearly every game in the series. They act as progress markers and reward players who collect all four with various bonuses.
These letters spell out "KONG", the species of monkeys in the games. There are four in every level, in order from K through G. In most games, when all are found, the player is rewarded with a free Extra Life Balloon. In Donkey Kong Land, they are instead the means of saving the game. These letters are often found right along the way through the level, though some require a timed jump or some other obstacle to get. In the SNES version of Donkey Kong Country, K-O-N-G Letters are entirely optional, as they do not affect the game's percent complete, but are a nice bonus. The letters also serve as a way to show the player how far he or she has gotten in a level, given the "O" letter is usually located halfway through the level, and the "G" is near the end. The Game Boy Advance ports of the Country trilogy requires all the K-O-N-G letters for completion percentage.
Yellow letters similar to the K-O-N-G letters sometimes appear in the Bonus Levels in Donkey Kong Country. These minigames require the player to jump and collect the letters in a certain order to spell something. For example, the first bonus level of Vulture Culture, of Vine Valley, the letters would spell out "RARE" (a reference to the company, Rare, Ltd.). A few more letters are used in different minigames, though the game appears to have the entire alphabet left in the game's coding, despite certain letters not being utilized. (F, H, J, L, Q, V, and Z) The spare letters were likely left for reference for the developers.
In Donkey Kong Country Returns and its remake, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, K-O-N-G letters have been drastically redesigned and are now mandatory for completion percentage, only counting if all four are collected in one run of the level. Collecting all the letters in a world unlocks the -K level and completing all the -K levels unlocks world 9; the letters are not found in these levels.
In Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, K-O-N-G letters operate the same as in Returns. In addition, blue variants appear in Hard Mode, and collecting all four of them also counts towards completion percentage.
Of particular note is the level Kong Krazy in Donkey Kong Land, where there are many K-O-N-G letters instead of the typical four, which are used as platforms (except for the very last four at the end of the level). These platforms are needed to progress through the level, although typically not all the letters are needed.
The K-O-N-G Letters in Donkey Kong Country.
The K-O-N-G Letters artwork from Donkey Kong Country 3.
The letter K in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.
Donkey Kong Country
|System||Individual sprites||Group sprite|
|Bananas||Banana • Banana Bunch • Giant Banana • Golden Banana|
|Coins||Banana Coin • Bear Coin • Bonus Coin • DK Coin • Kong Token • Kremkoin • Nintendo Coin • Rareware Coin|
|Weapons||Coconut Shooter • Denture Popgun • Feather Bow • Grape Shooter • Gumball Popgun • Peanut Popguns • Pineapple Launcher|
|Brothers Bear items||Bowling Ball • Box of Chocolates • Flupperius Petallus Pongus • Mirror • No. 6 Wrench • Present • Rose • Shell • Stop Watch|
|Miscellaneous||Animal Token • Banana Juice • Banana Medal • Barrel • Blueprint • Boss Key • Camera • Cog • Crest • Crystal Coconut • Crystal Star • Extra Life Balloon • Golden Balloon • Golden Feather • Heart • Heart Boost • K-O-N-G Letters • Map Key • Patch • Puzzle Piece • Rare Orb • Skis • Star • Sticker Pad • Treasure Chest|