Donkey Kong Country

From Gamehiker Wiki

Donkey Kong Country
Developer Rare
Publisher Nintendo
System Super Nintendo, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Virtual Console (Wii, Wii U)
Release Date Super Nintendo
EU November 24, 1994
US November 25, 1994
JP November 26, 1994
Game Boy Color
US November 4, 2000
EU November 17, 2000
JP January 21, 2001
Game Boy Advance
EU June 6, 2003
NA June 9, 2003
JP December 12, 2003
Wii Virtual Console
AU December 7, 2006
EU December 8, 2006
JP December 12, 2006
US February 19, 2007
Wii U Virtual Console
EU October 16, 2014
JP November 26, 2014
Gallery GH Gallery
Rating ESRB: E

Donkey Kong Country was the Super NES revival of the Donkey Kong franchise in the form of a new platforming experience. Developed by Rare, it was considered a revolutionary game at it's time, mostly due to its prerendered 3D graphics, and it spawned a new platforming subseries while shaping the image of Donkey Kong which has persisted to the modern day.



King K. Rool and the Kremlings have stolen Donkey Kong's banana hoard. With the help of his hero trainee, Diddy Kong, Donkey Kong travels across Donkey Kong Island to defeat the attacking Kremlings and recover his bananas.


Though mostly a typical platformer, Donkey Kong Country had several unique features. The one that stands out most is the player being given two characters: Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong. Donkey Kong was the stronger of the two while Diddy Kong was quicker and more agile.

As well as two main characters, there were also a variety of animal helpers as well. Among them were Rambi the Rhino, Expresso the Ostrich, Enguarde the Swordfish, Winky the Frog, and Squawks the Parrot. Each had unique abilities to help the player through the level. Each world also had several businesses run by members of Donkey Kong's family; Cranky Kong had a cabin where he ranted about the "good old days" of video gaming and gave the player a 1-Up Balloon if they endured his speech, Candy Kong ran a save station where the game could be saved, and Funky Kong ran Funky's Flights, which the player could use to leave the current world for any world they had already beaten.

The game was made up of six worlds. The goal of each level was simply to reach the end while gathering as many bananas and KONG letters as they could (which often earned 1-Ups). Enemies blocked the way, but could be defeated by jumping on them, throwing barrels at them, or rolling into them. Most levels had hidden bonus areas, and there were also special bonus areas featuring the animal buddies that could be reached by collecting animal tokens, and all of this was needed to reach 100 percent in the game.

Continuity Notes

  • The game has several callbacks to the arcade Donkey Kong. Additionally, Cranky Kong is referred to as having been the original Donkey Kong who battled Mario in "several of his own games" (the Donkey Kong arcade series, even though he instead fought Stanley in Donkey Kong 3), with the implication that this Donkey Kong is his son (an adult Donkey Kong Jr.) or grandson. The instruction manual clearly states that the Donkey Kong featured from Country onwards is "a totally new character" who is a "relative of the classic arcade character", although later games would be inconsistent about this point.
  • As part of the debate over whether Donkey Kong is Cranky Kong's son or grandson, in the instruction manual Cranky is referred to as his granddad and "his old pappy" (which could mean father or grandfather, but most usually refers to a grandfather).


The game was wildly popular and spawned a new franchise. Rare would make a number of follow-ups until they left Nintendo, and then the Country style was revived in a new form with Donkey Kong Country Returns on the Nintendo Wii.

This was also the first Donkey Kong game that Shigeru Miyamoto wasn't in charge of, and he became infamous for his quote saying "Donkey Kong Country proves that players will put up with mediocre gameplay as long as the art is good." He later apologized, saying he was too harsh due to Nintendo pressuring him to make Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island more like Donkey Kong Country, although he later elaborated that he had not made that comment at all, and that he was close to as well as supportive of Rare during their development of Donkey Kong Country.


The next game in the Donkey Kong Country series was Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest. At the same time, the first game was also accompanied by Donkey Kong Land, a companion game for the Game Boy that acted as a midquel.

Ports and Remakes

  • Donkey Kong Country: Competition Cartridge was also for the Super Nintendo. It contained a shortened version of the game used for competition. On 2,500 copies were made.
  • In 2000, the game was ported to the Game Boy Color. Although it had lesser quality than the original, there were several new additions such as a new level of Chimp Caverns as well as an extension of the Winky's Walkway level. Cranky and Funky Kong now hosted shooting and fishing minigames respectively instead.
  • In 2003, the game was released on the Game Boy Advance. This version was closer to the original quality-wise and had alterations to some of the bosses to make them harder. Candy Kong now ran her own dancing minigame due to the ability to save at the pause screen, and photographs were hidden throughout the game that had to be collected for a scrapbook.
  • In 2006, Donkey Kong Country was made available for download on the Wii's Virtual Console. It also was released for the Wii U Virtual Console in 2014.

See Also

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