Animal Friends, also known as The Good Guys, Animal Buddies, or First Class Friends, is a term relating to friendly creatures that aid Donkey Kong and the other Kongs on their various adventures. Since their first appearance in Donkey Kong Country, Animal Friends have appeared in several subsequent Donkey Kong titles, especially the Donkey Kong Country series and Donkey Kong Land series. There is also a separate yet similar group of allies known as Jungle Buddies.
Every Animal Friend has their own abilities, which are sometimes shared between two or more Animal Friends, usually if they do not appear in the same game. Animal Friends generally help by defeating enemies, finding special items, and allowing the Kongs to reach Bonus Levels and other high areas. In some cases, a special item, such as a couple of DK Coins, can only be obtained through the aid of an Animal Friend. A few of the Animal Friends have the sole purpose of allowing the Kongs navigate an environment, such as by illuminating a dark area, and are only found in a few relevant areas. None of the Animal Friends can use ropes, and most of them cannot carry objects such as barrels.
In most cases, an Animal Friend is contained within an animal crate, which depicts an emblem of their face on the side. The Kongs can release the Animal Friend by breaking open its animal crate. Most of the Animal Friends can be ridden, and when this occurs, the player's control switches over from the Kongs to the Animal Friend. Just like Yoshis in the Super Mario series, if an Animal Friend is injured by an enemy or obstacle, it runs away, continuing in a single direction until hitting into a wall, where it starts moving in the opposite direction, or by falling down a pit. To continue riding the Animal Friend, the Kongs must jump back onto it. The Kongs can continue riding an Animal Friend until they exit a level or pass a No Animal Sign, which is a signpost that the depicted Animal Friend is incapable of passing. Crossing a No Animal Sign causes the Animal Friend to disappear, and an item, such as an Extra Life Balloon, appears in its place.
Similar to Animal Crates are Animal Barrels, which transform the Kongs into the depicted Animal Friend. Whenever two Kongs are active, a small icon of the same Animal Friend is shown at the bottom-left of the screen to represent the other Kong. The Animal Friend can sustain two hits from an enemy or most obstacles, meaning that it only loses an extra life if hit a third time. Whenever the Animal Friend takes one hit, its bottom-left icon disappears to indicate that only one of the Kongs is presently transformed into it. Touching a DK Barrel causes the second Kong, and therefore the Animal Friend's icon, to reappear. Whenever the Kongs cross a No Animal Sign, they transform back into themselves. In the Donkey Kong Land series, some levels do not have a No Animal Sign near the end, so they can be completed by an Animal Friend, who then turns back into the Kongs afterward.
List of Animal Friends
Names in other languages