Donkey Kong Land

From Gamehiker Wiki

Donkey Kong Land
Developer Rare
Publisher Nintendo
System Game Boy, 3DS Virtual Console
Release Date Game Boy
US June 1995
JP July 27, 1995
EU August 24, 1996
3DS Virtual Console
JP April 2, 2014
EU October 16, 2014
Rating ESRB: K-A

Donkey Kong Land is a Game Boy game that was developed by Rare alongside Donkey Kong Country. It acts as a companion game of sorts, but with its own unique environments and enemies.



Following the events of Donkey Kong Country, Cranky Kong is reluctant to acknowledge Donkey Kong's success, saying that Donkey Kong Country was only popular due its fancy graphics. So Cranky dares Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong to repeat their feat on the technically-inferior Game Boy. They reluctantly accept the challenge, and Cranky calls in K. Rool to steal back Donkey Kong's bananas again, but this time hiding the bananas in new areas.


The gameplay follows that of Donkey Kong Country. Notably, Donkey Kong Land is not a mere re-hash of Donkey Kong Country, as it contains a variety of new enemies and environments. Once again Donkey and Diddy are aided by animal buddies, but in this game they can only use Rambi and Expresso. Instead of granting an extra life, collecting all four K-O-N-G letters in this game is the only way to save your progress.

The game was divided into four worlds, with one world acting as an homage to the original Donkey Kong arcade game.

Continuity Notes

  • The instruction manual story directly references the events of Donkey Kong Country in a partially metafictional sense and acts as a direct follow-up to it, with Cranky daring DK and Diddy to repeat their defeat of King K. Rool on the technologically inferior Gameboy.
  • As mentioned above, Great Ape City contains an homage to the original Donkey Kong arcade, although it is uncertain if this is supposed to be the actual construction site from the game (which would mean it took place on Donkey Kong Island) or if it is a recreation (which would also be likely considering Cranky's love of the glory days).
  • This is one of the conflicting sources about Cranky's relationship with Donkey Kong. In the instruction manual, Donkey Kong is referred to as Cranky's "grandape", and in the comments section, Cranky refers to himself as "old grandpa Cranky", both of which imply that Cranky is Donkey Kong's grandfather


Donkey Kong Land inspired a new subseries on the Gameboy. However, none of the sequels were as original as Donkey Kong Land, being composed more of elements taken from the Donkey Kong Country games. Donkey Kong Land was also the only Land game to influence the Country series, as the pirate ship levels and Flotsam enemy introduced in this game later appeared in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest.


Donkey Kong Land was followed by Donkey Kong Land 2, which acted mostly as a low-tech remake of Donkey Kong Country 2.


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