Donkey Kong Country (series)

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Donkey Kong Country
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The logo used for the original three installments in the series.
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The logo used for Donkey Kong Country Returns
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The logo used for Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
First Installment Donkey Kong Country (1994)
Latest Installment Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (2014)
Number of Installments 11 (5 main, 5 remakes, 1 cancelled)
Parent Series Donkey Kong
Key Staff Tim Stampers, Gregg Mayles, David Wise, Leigh Loveday

The Donkey Kong Country series is a video game sub-series of the Donkey Kong series. Although it usually stars Donkey Kong and his pal, Diddy Kong, Donkey Kong also ends up as a damsel in distress in some games. The series is a platformer-type; levels are shown in a sidescrolling perspective and the heroes must jump and avoid obstacles in order to clear levels. The series was started by Rare, Ltd., until they were bought by Microsoft. Remakes are included in the Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance and Nintendo 3DS handhelds. The series was later revived by Retro Studios and their game, Donkey Kong Country Returns. The Donkey Kong Country series also has well-received reviews and has greatly impacted future titles.

The Donkey Kong Country series is also the inspiration for a very similar sub-series created for the Game Boy systems, known as the Donkey Kong Land series.

List of games in the series[edit]

Original titles[edit]

Title, original release and system Description
Donkey Kong Country

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The first installment in the series was Donkey Kong Country, released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Here, Donkey Kong is portrayed differently as he was in the past games, and it was mentioned that it was Cranky Kong who had caused trouble for Mario in the past Donkey Kong games. This time, Donkey Kong is a carefree monkey who spends his time in the jungle, until a villain named King K. Rool steals his Banana Hoard. Donkey Kong takes his nephew and dependable buddy, Diddy Kong, along to stop King K. Rool and get his bananas back.
Europe 1994
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest

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Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest is the second installment of the Donkey Kong Country series. As Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong were the primary heroes of Donkey Kong Country, Donkey Kong gets kidnapped by King K. Rool (under the alias Kaptain K. Rool). Diddy Kong takes his partner, Dixie Kong, along to save Donkey Kong from Kaptain K. Rool. The game plays similarly to Donkey Kong Country, but also has new gameplay elements and new enemies added.
USA 1995
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!

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In the third installment of the Donkey Kong Country series, Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!, Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong both end up getting kidnapped by KAOS, a new leader from the Kremling Krew. Dixie Kong, taking her little cousin Kiddy Kong with her, sets out to save Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong from KAOS, who turns out to be King K. Rool under the alias Baron K. Roolenstein. Like Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, this game plays similarly to the original Donkey Kong Country, but has a lot of new elements not seen before in the series.
USA 1996
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Donkey Kong Country Returns

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Donkey Kong Country Returns is the fourth installment of the Donkey Kong Country series. After Microsoft bought out Rare, the Donkey Kong Country series had a drought of remakes made for the Game Boy and Game Boy Advance. Retro Studios revived the Donkey Kong Country series by developing Donkey Kong Country Returns. New villains, called the Tikis, raid Donkey Kong's banana stash. In retaliation, Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong set out to retrieve the lost bananas. This is the first Donkey Kong Country series game to not feature Kremlings or underwater levels. There are also some mechanics from the past Donkey Kong Country games that return in this game, such as Animal Buddies.
USA 2010
Wii
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

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Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is the fifth installment of the Donkey Kong Country series, and was developed by Retro Studios for the Wii U. Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Dixie Kong, and Cranky Kong are playable characters (with the latter two Kongs having a similar role to Diddy Kong in Donkey Kong Country Returns). The game's antagonists, the Snowmads (which are based off stereotypical vikings), have frozen Donkey Kong Island, and the plot of the game revolves around the Kongs defeating the Snowmads to restore the island back to its initial state.
Japan 2014
Wii U

Remakes and ports[edit]

Title, original release and system Description
Donkey Kong Country (Game Boy Color)

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Donkey Kong Country was ported to the Game Boy Color in the year 2000. Although it was a port, there were several significant differences such as having only one Kong appearing at a time, extended and exclusive levels, new minigames, and more. However, it still retains the same gameplay mechanics and the same story as the original. This was the only game in the series to be ported to the Game Boy Color.
Europe 2000
Game Boy Color
Donkey Kong Country (Game Boy Advance)

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Donkey Kong Country was ported again to the Game Boy Advance in 2003. This particular port features new changes not seen in the Game Boy Color port. Changes include bosses made more challenging, redesigned graphics, replaced order of levels, new modes, a scrapbook, and more.
Europe 2003
Game Boy Advance
Donkey Kong Country 2

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Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest also received a port for the Game Boy Advance. The title was shortened to "Donkey Kong Country 2", and like most ports, features significant changes such as a new boss, graphical makeovers, more DK Coins to collect, altered and replaced levels.
Europe 2004
Game Boy Advance
Donkey Kong Country 3

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Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! was also ported to the Game Boy Advance. Like the preceding ports, major changes has been added, but many elements of the original game have been retained. Such changes include graphical makeovers, exclusive boss fights, a new soundtrack, new and different methods of trading items and new areas, including the new world Pacifica.
Europe 2005
Game Boy Advance
Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D

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Donkey Kong Country Returns received a Nintendo 3DS remake, titled Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D. Aside from the graphical change, the remake has additional new content. This includes New Mode (which includes additional items in Cranky Kong's Shop and a third heart added to the life meter), and a new world called Cloud, which features additional levels that are not present in the Wii game.
USA 2013
Nintendo 3DS

Pitches[edit]

Donkey Kong Country 4[edit]

According to RareWare co-founder Tim Stamper, it was internally suggested at Rare to make a Donkey Kong Country sequel on the Nintendo DS, as porting the trilogy to the Game Boy Advance gave the developers experience and a good basis for making a sequel.[1][2]. However, the proposal was turned down in favor of making Diddy Kong Racing DS.

Major characters[edit]

Protagonists[edit]

Character Brief biography
Donkey Kong

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Donkey Kong is the main star and our hero of the Donkey Kong Country series. Though he does get kidnapped by the Kremling Krew from time to time, he plays a major role in all Donkey Kong Country games. He is the more powerful but slower of the two apes that the player controls in the Donkey Kong Country games. He often thwarts King K. Rool's raid of his Banana Hoard, but he also gets kidnapped by King K. Rool and plays the part of damsel in distress. In the latest game in the series, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Donkey Kong and his friends are kicked off Donkey Kong Island by a gang on Vikings.
Diddy Kong

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Although usually a sidekick, Diddy Kong can also be a main hero of the series if the player wishes to use him as the primary Kong. He is Donkey Kong's most reliable little buddy and always tags up with Donkey Kong on his adventures to stop King K. Rool. While Donkey Kong mainly boasts strength, Diddy Kong trades power for agility and nimbleness. In Donkey Kong Country 2, Diddy Kong is the main star who, along with Dixie Kong, saves Donkey Kong from the Kremling Crew. Eventually, he, along with Donkey Kong, get captured by King K. Rool in Donkey Kong Country 3, where Dixie Kong and her cousin, Kiddy Kong, must save them. He reappears in Donkey Kong Country Returns as a playable character, and again in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.
Dixie Kong

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Dixie Kong is Diddy Kong's partner in her debut game, Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest. Dixie Kong is slower in terms of mobility, nor can she defend herself properly through the aid of a barrel, but she can glide through the air using her Helicopter Twirl. She stars in the game Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!, where she takes her little cousin, Kiddy Kong to aid her on her journey. She also appears in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze as a playable character.
Kiddy Kong

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Kiddy Kong is Dixie Kong's little cousin, who debuts and stars in the game Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!. Despite his young age, Kiddy Kong shows remarkable strength that even his older cousin Dixie Kong couldn't perform, such as lifting objects with ease and defeating enemies more quickly. However, he is very heavy, unlike Dixie Kong, who boasts superior air mobility and her ability to use her Helicopter Twirl. His name rhymes with Diddy Kong.
Cranky Kong

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Cranky Kong appears in most Donkey Kong Country games, where he occasionally played some roles. He is Donkey Kong's grandfather and was stated that he is actually the original Donkey Kong that attacked Mario. He usually gives advice to the monkeys and helps them on their quest, and serves as an element of comic relief with his jokes and sarcasm. However, he plays a very minor role in Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!. In the Game Boy remake, he plays a slightly larger role by owning Cranky's Dojo. He runs a shop in Donkey Kong Country Returns, and is playable in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.

Antagonists[edit]

Character Brief biography
King K. Rool

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King K. Rool is the primary antagonist of the Donkey Kong Country series. He usually steals something belonging to the Kongs in the games, such as Donkey Kong's Banana Hoard or even Donkey Kong himself, but always gets thwarted by the Kongs. In each game of the Donkey Kong Country series where he appears in, he goes by a different alias, such as Kaptain K. Rool in Donkey Kong Country 2 and Baron K. Roolenstein in Donkey Kong Country 3. Although he is the primary antagonist of the Donkey Kong Country series, he and his Kremling Krew haven't appeared since the third installment; Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!.
KAOS

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KAOS is the main foe that Dixie Kong and Kiddy Kong must face in Donkey Kong Country 3. It is powered by Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong, whom are captured by King K. Rool to power his machine. KAOS is a mechanically powered foe that uses several attacks such as spinning blades and exhaust flames to damage its foes. It is eventually destroyed by Dixie Kong and Kiddy Kong twice, which releases Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong.
Tiki Tong

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Tiki Tong is the main villain of Donkey Kong Country Returns and the leader of the Tiki Tak Tribe. He replaces King K. Rool from previous games, stealing Donkey Kong's Banana Hoard in order to create a Tiki army and hypnotize all the animals on Donkey Kong Island. He resides on the summit of the island Volcano. His hands were created when the juice of Banana Hoard was sprayed on his minions, and he uses them to attack Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong.
Lord Fredrik

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Lord Fredrik is the main antagonist of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and the leader of the Snowmads. Instead of stealing the Banana Hoard like antagonists of previous games, he invades Donkey Kong Island with the use of a strange ice dragon which he summoned from a large horn, turning the island into a frosty area with continuous snowfall. He resides at the top of the island throughout the course of the game. When the Kongs get back to their home turf after being blown away due to the aforementioned ice dragon's winds, they make their way to the top of the island, where they ultimately defeat Lord Fredrik and end his reign over the island.

Supporting characters[edit]

Kong Family[edit]

Character Brief biography
Funky Kong

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Funky Kong appears in all Donkey Kong Country games that were released so far, except for Donkey Kong Country Returns. He helps the apes by providing them with mechanical services, such as lending them the Jumbo Barrel, which enables the monkeys to travel in islands where they already cleared; later games where the vehicles he lends have a similar function. He also hosts minigames that promise certain rewards if cleared, such as Funky's Fishing.
Candy Kong

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Candy Kong first appears in Donkey Kong Country, where she helps the apes save by managing Candy's Save Point. In the remakes of Donkey Kong Country, she runs several minigames, such as Candy's Dance Studio. She does not have any other major role later in the series, partly because her role of saving the game progress is later occupied by Wrinky Kong, although she does make cameos in several minigames in the remakes.
Wrinkly Kong

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Wrinkly Kong first appeared in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest. She is Donkey Kong's grandmother and the wife of Cranky Kong. She manages the Kong Kollege in Donkey Kong Country 2 and Wrinkly's Save Cave in Donkey Kong Country 3, proving a save point for the player. Like her husband, she tends to give advice and tasks for the Kongs to complete. She also helps the Kongs by saving Banana Birds they might have obtained during their quest.
Swanky Kong

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Swanky Kong's role in the Donkey Kong Country series is for Kongs to play minigames and win them to earn rewards. In his debut appearance, Donkey Kong Country 2, he hosts Swanky's Bonus Bonanza where he gives extra lives to the Kongs if they answered the questions correctly. In Donkey Kong Country 3, he hosts Swanky's Sideshow, where, at a certain amount of Bear Coins, compete against Cranky Kong to win rewards.
Banana Bird Queen

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The Banana Bird Queen first appeared in Donkey Kong Country 3, where she is sealed away by Baron K. Roolenstein. Banana Birds, the birds of the queen, are also sealed away to prevent an escape that the Banana Bird Queen could make, which turned her into a stone contraption. After collecting all possible Banana Birds, the Kongs are then taken by the Banana Birds to their mother, the queen. She would then chase after King K. Rool which makes him flee the Northern Kremisphere.
Brothers Bear

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The Brothers Bear help Dixie Kong and Kiddy Kong in Donkey Kong Country 3. They are a group of bears which each own homes and businesses scattered across the Northern Kremisphere. The Kongs need them to trade their Bear Coins for the items they have. These items help the player achieve 100% complete progress in the game, especially the Banana Birds.

Enemies[edit]

Enemy Brief biography
Kremling Krew

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The Kremling Krew, led by King K. Rool, is the main antagonist organization of the Kong Family. They are mostly made up of Kremlings with different colors, sizes, shape and traits, and many make their appearance as enemies throughout the many levels of the series. They also are the primary cause of the Kong Family members getting kidnapped throughout the games, including Donkey Kong. King K. Rool and his aliases are often the final boss faced in the games, excluding Donkey Kong Country Returns.
Zingers

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Zingers are common, wasp-like enemies that appear in most games in the Donkey Kong Country series. They hover in the air, damaging any Kong who happens to come in contact with them. Since they have spikes on top of their body, they cannot be defeated by stomping them. Instead, a barrel or an Animal Buddy may be used to defeat it. Red Zingers cannot be defeated at all. In Donkey Kong Country 3, Zingers are replaced with Buzzes, which behave in a similar manner.
Tiki Tak Tribe

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The Tiki Tak Tribe is the main organization of enemies in Donkey Kong Country Returns. They resemble wooden masks or musical instruments, many having adornment feathers, and are references to real-life Tikis. Their leader is Tiki Tong. Some Tikis have hypnotizing abilities, and these serve as the cause of the boss battles, hypnotizing creatures into fighting against Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong. Minor Tikis are found as regular enemies throughout the levels; most of them are drum-shaped.
Snowmads

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Snowmads are viking-like animals who are the main antagonists of the Wii U title Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. Their leader is Lord Fredrik. According to the game's story, Donkey Kong and his friends have been kicked off Donkey Kong Island by the Snowmads, and they must trek their way through five other islands in order to claim back what's rightfully theirs. Snowmad enemies of the game consist of a variety of creatures, such as walruses, penguins, owls, and polar bears. Many of the bosses faced throughout the game are also themed around the Viking stereotype.

References[edit]

  1. ^ DK Vine: Donkey Kong Country 4: Here Comes [REDACTED PUN!]
  2. ^ DK Vine: The Donkey Kong Country GBA Trilogy