Cranky Kong

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This article is about the elderly form of the original Donkey Kong from the Donkey Kong game. For the character in general, see Donkey Kong.
"CK" redirects here. For information about an online Flash game, see Cannon Kaos.
Cranky Kong
Artwork of Cranky Kong from Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.
Cranky Kong, as he appears in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.
Full name Cranky Kong (formerly Donkey Kong)
Species Kong
First appearance Donkey Kong Country (as Cranky Kong) (1994)

Donkey Kong (as Donkey Kong) (1981)

Latest appearance Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (2018)
Latest portrayal Takashi Nagasako (2007-present)
“You young apes wouldn't know a real adventure if it jumped up and bit you on the nose!”
Cranky Kong, Donkey Kong Country: Rumble in the Jungle

Cranky Kong is one of the central characters in the Donkey Kong franchise, being Donkey Kong's grandfather and paternal figure. He has been remarked, especially in the Rare-made games, for breaking the fourth wall and constantly complaining and rambling, although he proves to be a helpful sage in many situations, having been shown to possess much knowledge about the current location and its history and secrets.[1][2][3]

He is also currently a widower, as his wife Wrinkly Kong is deceased. He is the elderly form of the original Donkey Kong from the Donkey Kong arcade game and Donkey Kong Jr.'s father,[4] and can be described as argumentative, old, and bad-tempered, but with a heart of gold underneath his grumpy exterior. Cranky has been playable in four games, including Japan-only games. His abilities and health vary greatly in games, sometimes being unable to walk without two canes, while other times being just as athletic as the other Kongs.



Main article: Donkey Kong#Donkey Kong series
The original Donkey Kong with Pauline

Cranky Kong is the original Donkey Kong from the arcade games. During his youthful prime, Cranky Kong kidnapped Pauline, was kidnapped and trapped in a cage by Mario, and even battled Stanley in a greenhouse. He also implies in one of his lectures to his grandson that his kidnapping Pauline was consistent enough that he did so "seven days a week." Not counting the "Modern" mixes in the Game & Watch Gallery series, his final role as Donkey Kong was in Donkey Kong for Game Boy. He retired after he relinquished the name to his grandson.[5]

Donkey Kong Country series[edit]

Donkey Kong Country[edit]

Art of Cranky Kong for Donkey Kong Country

Cranky's first appearance as "Cranky Kong" was in Donkey Kong Country, in which he lives in a slightly rundown shack known as "Cranky's Cabin". From here, Cranky gives randomly selected advice on the game's various items and locations, mostly pertaining to the first few levels, to the new Donkey Kong and his friend Diddy Kong. Unlike in the sequels, Cranky asks no fee for his advices and can be consulted as many times as the player desires to.

He also appears in the opening cutscene before the title screen of the original SNES version, where he operates a phonograph, playing the theme song from the NES version of Donkey Kong atop a construction site. Donkey Kong disrupts his session by knocking him aside and dancing to a remixed version of the song Cranky was playing on the phonograph, which plays on a boombox he drops nearby, then the scene turns to a jungle. Cranky, irritated by this interruption, hurls a TNT barrel at Donkey Kong's boombox, destroying it.

In the game's manual, Cranky provides various commentary to try and discourage potential players from the game, such as claiming that the characters and items listed do not exist. Despite this, the back of the manual has a section titled "Cranky's Advice" where he gives some basic tips on the game.

In the Game Boy Advance version, Cranky appears after each boss battle to provide commentary. He makes similar appearances in the GBA versions of Donkey Kong Country 2 and Donkey Kong Country 3.

Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest[edit]

In Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, Cranky sets up his "Monkey Museum" on Crocodile Isle. It appears as though, through his further aging, it has become more difficult to walk, as he stands with two canes. Once again, Cranky will give out information, this time for a price. In this game, Cranky also scatters several DK Coins throughout the game's various levels. Once Kaptain K. Rool is defeated Cranky will tally Diddy Kong and Dixie Kong's "hero status" by how many DK Coins they have collected. Donkey Kong Country 2 also introduced Cranky's wife, Wrinkly Kong.

In the Game Boy Advance version of Donkey Kong Country 2, Cranky's role remains relatively the same as in the original game, although it was slightly expanded with a new sidequest. Cranky bought a racing ostrich he named Expresso, which the Kongs can bulk up using Golden Feathers and race against other ostriches to try and achieve trophies in exchange for rewards from Cranky.

Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble![edit]

In Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!, Cranky's appearances have been reduced. In Swanky's Sideshow, Cranky Kong acts as Dixie and Kiddy Kong's opponent in various ball throwing minigames. Cranky also appears at the end of the game to criticize Dixie and Kiddy's victory over KAOS and Baron K. Roolenstein, resulting in Dixie and Kiddy Kong approaching him ominously while he tries to avoid an inevitable beating by putting on glasses. At the end of the post-game cutscene, Cranky will appear in the background doing a few water-skiing tricks behind Funky Kong, who pulls him with a motorboat. He eventually falls in water, but comes back to the surface holding up a sign which says "THE END" in runny ink. He is also top of the All-Time Greats list at the end of the game, having beat the game in 04:22 with 103%. If the player beats the game with the TUFST code activated, thereby attaining 105%, they will get a trophy of Cranky Kong in a black belt's outfit and will be named "Immortal Monkey!"

In addition, a picture of Cranky Kong over a white background hangs from a wall in Wrinkly's Save Cave. The same picture can be seen in the same spot within Wrinkly Refuge in Donkey Kong Land III, which is the only visual appearance of Cranky Kong in the entire Donkey Kong Land series.

In the Game Boy Advance version of Donkey Kong Country 3, Cranky runs several dojos, aptly named Cranky's Dojo to prepare for his self-purported "first" game, Cranky Kong Country. In Cranky's Dojo, players gain the ability to play as a shield-wielding Cranky during a Bristles dodging minigame. Cranky's Dojo minigame must be beaten at least once to gain a Banana Bird.

Donkey Kong 64[edit]

Cranky Kong appears as Professor Cranky Kong[6] in Donkey Kong 64, having taken up science. Cranky's Lab can be found in every area of Donkey Kong 64 except Hideout Helm. At Cranky's Lab, the Kongs can pay Professor Cranky for several potions that can give them new powers and abilities. Also, if the Kongs manage to collect fifteen Banana Medals, he will allow them to play Jetpac, the first published computer game of Ultimate Play The Game (Rare's direct predecessor). The Kongs must beat the Jetpac game in order to obtain the Rareware Coin. Cranky also acts as the Kongs' coach during their boxing match against King Krusha K. Rool.

Donkey Kong Country Returns[edit]

Cranky Kong's Shop

Cranky appears in Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D. In the game, he runs a shop in each world and will often make sarcastic remarks over what Donkey and Diddy Kong buy. Aside from Donkey and Diddy, Cranky is the only Kong from the original trilogy to make a return appearance. According to him, the reason he made the shop was because his pension was revoked, so he has to sell things to make money.

To buy things in Cranky Kong's shop, the player needs to have Banana Coins. In his shop, there are Extra Life Balloons bundled into groups of 1, 3, and 7 balloons. There is also a Heart Boost, which gives Donkey or Diddy the ability to have three hearts for the duration of one level, Banana Juice, which gives limited invincibility, and Squawks the Parrot, who helps the Kongs collect undiscovered Puzzle Pieces in levels. There is also a key for sale, which gives access to the locked path in each world.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze[edit]

Cranky Kong with Donkey Kong in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Cranky Kong appears as a playable partner character in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and its Nintendo Switch port of the same name, marking the first time he is fully playable in a Donkey Kong Country game (his role as shopkeeper filled by Funky Kong). Cranky is able to use his cane to bounce upward, as well as on spikes, and defeat certain enemies that the other Kongs cannot. His cane can also be utilized while underwater, using a move called the Cane Swipe to attack and take down enemies that cannot be defeated by a simple corkscrew move, such as Pufftups and Sea Urchins. Despite the cane's capabilities, it cannot be used to collapse unsound underwater structures, balancing it in relation to the corkscrew action. Cranky's Denture Popgun has unlimited ammo of dentures, which can be shot at enemies in order to stun them for a brief period of time. Cranky's use of his cane as a pogo stick to attack enemies is similar to the method of attack used by Scrooge McDuck, the main protagonist of Disney's DuckTales, in a video game adaptation of his show that Capcom produced for the NES and Game Boy.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is the only game in the series where Cranky does not have any written dialogue.

Club Nintendo[edit]

"Donkey Kong Country"[edit]

He also appeared in the Club Nintendo comic "Donkey Kong Country". He is the first one to discover that King K. Rool has stolen the Kongs' banana hoard, which follows the story of the game. Cranky's appearance in the comic differs slightly from his standard look, as he is wearing a blue shirt instead of a gray or brown one.

"Donkey Kong in: Banana Day 24"[edit]

In the comic "Donkey Kong in: Banana Day 24", published in the same magazine, he supported Donkey, Diddy, Dixie and Kiddy on their mission to save the Earth from being pulled away from the sun by a giant UFO. It was his idea to carry on negotiations with the aliens so they would release the Earth. The President of the United States puts a space shuttle at the Kongs' disposal, and Cranky is the one to navigate it. He beams Donkey, Diddy and Dixie into the UFO and stays in the Kongs' space shuttle meanwhile. When their mission succeeds, he navigates the space shuttle back to Earth, where the Kongs are being hailed by the people. Euphorically, Cranky tries to kiss a random girl, much to her disgust. After returning to their jungle, Cranky gets in trouble with his wife Wrinkly because of this. During the events of this story, Cranky did not show much of his grouchy traits as often discovered in the games, but instead appears as a helpful person.

Donkey Kong Land series[edit]

While Cranky does not appear in any of the Donkey Kong Land games, the instruction booklet for the first Donkey Kong Land explains that the game happens owing to Cranky. Jealous of Donkey and Diddy's victory over King K. Rool, Cranky attracts them into a bet, stating that if they can reclaim Donkey's banana hoard from King K. Rool once again, this time on an 8-bit system, he will admit that they are adequate gaming heroes. In the end, Cranky retracts his doubts when Donkey and Diddy once again defeat K. Rool and the Kremling Krew.

Additionally, the instruction booklet for Donkey Kong Land 2 accidentally states that "Even old Cranky charges for his words of wisdom", having copied and pasted the line directly from the Donkey Kong Country 2 manual.[7]

Donkey Kong Country: Rumble in the Jungle[edit]

Cranky Kong with Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong and Squawks the Parrot, from Donkey Kong Country: Rumble in the Jungle.

Cranky Kong appears in the 1995 novel Donkey Kong Country: Rumble in the Jungle, accompanying Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong across the island to reach Big Ape City. At the beginning of the novel Cranky Kong expresses his disapproval about Diddy Kong flying in Funky Kong's barrel plane, complaining that "if apes were meant to fly, they'd have wings", and "there's nowhere any self-respecting ape would want to go that he can't get to on his own two hairy feet". After Funky Kong leaves in his plane, the Kongs find that he has accidentally left his walkie talkie with Donkey Kong. Trying to contact him, the Kongs hear that his plane is being attacked by "flying pigs" near Big Ape City, and that he's going to crash.

Donkey Kong and Diddy immediately decide to travel to the city on foot. Cranky Kong doubts that they are capable, although he wishes to join them so that they don't have to "go off on another adventure alone". After reaching Tree Top Town on the edge of the jungle, Cranky Kong trips over a vine after insisting to take the lead, which triggers an alarm that alerts the Kremlings. Attacking alongside Donkey Kong and Diddy, Cranky uses his cane to slam several Kremlings on their feet, which sent them "hobbling into the bushes". An illustration also shows him swinging on a vine.

After the Kongs are guided through a mountain's caves by Squawks the Parrot, they reach the skyline of Big Ape City. Cranky says to Donkey Kong that "I haven't been here since I was your age[...] I remember battling a short plumber named Mario", which suggests that Big Ape City is the location of the original Donkey Kong arcade game. They find that the city has been overrun by Kremlings, who are building a large factory. Cranky Kong notably complains several times, being reluctant to continue while they are trying to locate Funky Kong's prison cell. In an illustration, Cranky Kong is even shown to be unimpressed when Donkey Kong uses a TNT Barrel to open the prison door lock.

While battling some Kremlings who had heard the loud explosion, Kritter tries to take Cranky Kong hostage. He shouts "stop your assault or the old ape gets it!" Cranky Kong instead elbows Kritter in the stomach, and says "I was stomping on the likes of you when you were knee-high to a salamander!". After Funky's plane is found in the factory's cargo room, Donkey Kong and Diddy both leave to retrieve a part to repair the plane, and to turn off the factory's defense system. Cranky Kong is left to keep Funky Kong company while he repairs the plane, and Cranky tells "story after story" about his youth. After the plane is repaired, the Kongs all board (although Cranky Kong is reluctant as he "hates" flying), and they escape through a hole in the factory wall created by a TNT Barrel. Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong manage to plant King K. Rool's zeppelin with TNT Barrels, which falls and destroys the Kremling's factory. Cranky Kong shares a laugh with the other Kongs as they fly back home to their treehouse.

Donkey Kong Country television series[edit]

Cranky as he appears in the Donkey Kong Country show.

Cranky was also a main character on the Donkey Kong Country television series produced by Nelvana and Nintendo, where he was voiced by Aron Tager. Here, Cranky was as grouchy and bitter as he was in the games, while also being far less arrogant and not breaking the fourth wall nearly as often. The white hair he has in the games is replaced by large white eyebrows, though he still has his beard. In addition, his sweater-vest is now a bluish-gray, and he sometimes appears without his cane, unlike in the games.

On the show, instead of living in a cabin on the ground like in the games, Cranky instead lives in a cabin on a tree-top village, similar to ones seen in the area Vine Valley from the Donkey Kong Country game, which doubles as a shelter for the Crystal Coconut. On the show, Cranky was also shown to be adept at potion-making and magic, a trait later carried over into the games. In one episode, it is revealed that he was once best friends with King K. Rool until the crocodile cheated during a bet, which turned their friendship into a bitter rivalry.

Picross NP Vol. 8[edit]

Cranky makes a cameo appearance in Picross NP Vol. 8 as one of the images that must be cleared.

Super Smash Bros. series[edit]

Throughout the Super Smash Bros. series, Cranky Kong makes a cameo appearance in the background of Jungle Japes, where his silhouette can be seen pacing back and forth in his cabin near that of his rocking chair. The stage is accessible in Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He also frequently appears as an obtainable trophy, where he is often described as being a wise and helpful figure.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl[edit]

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Cranky Kong appears as a sticker, which uses his artwork from Donkey Konga 3. It is usable by any character and boosts the power of indirect special moves by 7.

Cranky's trophy from this game states that his first playable appearance is in Donkey Kong Barrel Blast. However, this is not true, as he had been playable in the earlier Japan-only release Donkey Konga 3: Tabehōdai! Haru Mogitate 50 Kyoku and in the Cranky's Dojo minigame in the GBA version of Donkey Kong Country 3.

Cranky Kong is also alluded to in Solid Snake's Codec call about Donkey Kong, where Colonel Roy Campbell mentioned that the Donkey Kong who fought Mario in an "epic battle" (referring to the arcade release of Donkey Kong) was the current one's grandfather, with Snake also calling the current one "a chip off the old block" upon learning that the current one also was a rival of Mario, to certain extent.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

Cranky Kong appears as a primary, ace, attack-type spirit in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, using his artwork from Donkey Kong Country Returns. In his spirit battle, the player fights a white-furred Donkey Kong on the Kongo Jungle stage in its Omega form with a Slumber Floor effect. The music during the fight is "Opening - Donkey Kong", referencing the fact that he was the Donkey Kong appearing in the original arcade game, and the opening to the original Donkey Kong Country where he is associated with the theme.

Diddy Kong Pilot[edit]

It has been requested that this section be rewritten and expanded to include more information.

Cranky is one of the playable characters in the 2001 version of Diddy Kong Pilot.

In the 2003 Diddy Kong Pilot, Cranky talks to Team Kong and Team Kremling both before and after they start a cup or a new mode. Cranky encourages the former team to win races but criticizes the latter. Cranky is one of the unlockable characters, and he can be obtained after Team Kremling completes every cup and dogfight. The character select screen for Team Cranky erroneously shows four different portraits for Cranky. He has the highest speed and acceleration of the other characters, and is a lightweight character. Cranky was replaced with Bottles in Banjo-Pilot.

Donkey Konga series[edit]

Cranky as he appears in Donkey Konga

Cranky also appears in the Donkey Konga series, though he is only playable in the series' third installment, Donkey Konga 3: Tabehōdai! Haru Mogitate 50 Kyoku. It also marks the first time Cranky Kong is playable in any game.

DK series[edit]

DK: King of Swing[edit]

Cranky, as he appeared in DK: King of Swing

In DK: King of Swing Cranky Kong, along with the ghost of his wife Wrinkly, teaches Donkey Kong how to use the games unique controls in Cranky's Lectures. Cranky, along with Candy Kong, are the only Kongs who aren't playable in DK: King of Swing's Jungle Jam mode.

DK: Jungle Climber[edit]

Cranky, as he appeared in DK: Jungle Climber

Cranky once again appears in DK: Jungle Climber. He teaches DK and Diddy how to play the game, and also appears in various levels to instruct them on new moves, power-ups, and collectibles. Cranky has a very active involvement in this game, as he follows DK, Diddy and Xananab throughout the various islands. He also makes announcements to tell the characters what they can do with the various Banana Coins, DK Coins, and Oil Barrels they collect throughout the levels, as well as tracking their game completion. Cranky's namesake personality is substantially diminished, having a more good-natured, wise, and altruistic persona.

Donkey Kong Barrel Blast[edit]

Cranky as he appears in Donkey Kong Barrel Blast

Cranky appears in Donkey Kong Barrel Blast as an unlockable character, unlocked by completing Challenge 24 of Candy's Challenges. All three of his stats are rated four stars out of a possible five. His rival is King K. Rool (who has the same stats as Cranky Kong). His stats essentially mean that he has high stats all around. He also has his own race course, Cranky's Temple.

Cranky Kong also hosts Cranky's Flight School; a mode that serves as a tutorial to the game.

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle[edit]

While Cranky Kong himself does not appear in Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, a Rabbid in his likeness known as Rabbid Cranky appears in the Donkey Kong Adventure add-on.

General information[edit]


Grandpa Kong

The pitch that would lead to Donkey Kong Country, Donkey Kong and the Golden Bananas, featured a character named Grandpa Kong, who was a white-furred bearded gorilla who looked very similar to Donkey Kong himself. Due to Donkey Kong Jr.'s presence in the pitch, it seems that the idea of him being the original arcade Donkey Kong had not yet been written. Throughout Donkey Kong Country's development, the character would eventually be retooled to his current appearance, but unused dialogue found in the game's data suggests Cranky was initially written as a more kindly and friendly individual.[8] Cranky Kong's dialogue in the final game and instruction manual was primarily written by Gregg Mayles,[9] with some lines contributed by Tim Stamper.[10]

Physical appearance[edit]

Compared to his appearances in the original Donkey Kong and its two sequels (where he greatly resembled the current Donkey Kong), Cranky Kong appears to have become thinner, more diminutive, and much less muscular over the years, with his fur also becoming slightly darker. He bears facial proportions much like those of his grandson, though his head is smooth on top, his lips are more wrinkled, and he wears thick glasses with black frames. He has also grown a thick, white beard which obscures most of his torso, due to the fact that he always stands with a heavy slouch. Beneath his beard, Cranky Kong wears a taupe sweater-vest (green in Donkey Kong Country 2 and 3) as his only garment. Finally, Cranky always carries an ordinary-looking wooden cane with him (though he held two in Donkey Kong Country 2 and 3). His trademark pose involves him standing on both feet with a heavy slouch, his cane in one hand, and the other arm resting on his back. In addition, his gameplay in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze suggests that he might wear dentures.


Even though he is a supporting character, Cranky is generally depicted as curmudgeonly and bitter, always making sarcastic remarks about various things, pointing out flaws in the other Kongs (particularly Donkey Kong) or even the very games he appears in, and complaining about everything he doesn't like. He is also rather cocky, claiming himself to be among the best video game icons ever, and that he is and always will be better than his grandson despite his old and frail state. His arrogance is countered by his poor sportsmanship however. Aside from this, Cranky Kong is also known to display traits of stereotypical elders, such as constantly demanding sleep. Cranky can be benevolent and heroic when the situation calls for it, such as how he helped his grandson and their friends take back Donkey Kong Island in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. Cranky sometimes asks Donkey Kong for help, or allows him take over in situations. Despite his cantankerous manners, Cranky has praised his fellow Kongs on exceptional occasions (more frequently in DK: Jungle Climber, where he is shown less crabby), such as telling Donkey Kong that "he's nearly as good as I used to be" if 101% Completion is achieved in the original Donkey Kong Country, or saying of Diddy that "You're as big of a hero as they come." if all DK Coins are recovered in Donkey Kong Country 2.

Identity confusion[edit]

Rareware created the Cranky Kong character as an older version of the original Donkey Kong from the earlier Donkey Kong games, but his exact relation to the current Donkey Kong has been disputed. Before the release of Donkey Kong Country, footage from a promotional VHS video exclusively for Nintendo Power subscribers named Donkey Kong Country: Exposed called Cranky Kong his "dad or grandfather",[11] yet Cranky Kong refers to Donkey Kong as "Junior" in the review of Donkey Kong Country by UK's Nintendo Magazine System.[12] Upon release, Cranky Kong being Donkey Kong's grandfather was the consistent backstory throughout the SNES series.[13] While this was not explicitly stated in the television series, he acted as a father figure and once said that he considered DK like a son. Rare seemingly started to retcon their relationship in Donkey Kong 64, in which Cranky Kong consistently addressed him as "son"[14] implying a more direct parental role. According to Leigh Loveday in a 1999 online Q&A, their Donkey Kong was intended to be Cranky Kong's son and thus an adult Donkey Kong Jr. as far as he was aware, and requested fans to completely ignore instances claiming Cranky to be his grandfather.[15] Whether or not this statement was intended to be taken seriously, the Nintendo of Europe website for the Game Boy Advance re-release of Donkey Kong Country supported this notion.[16]

After Rare left Nintendo, the issue was left open for some time. Official bios for both Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros. Melee implied that the Donkey Kong in the arcade may be the Donkey Kong of today,[17][18] and Mario vs. Donkey Kong advertised Donkey Kong as Mario's "original foe".[19] However, this was contradicted by Mario Superstar Baseball, which distinguished "his ancestor, the original Donkey Kong".[20] Subsequently, Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis suggested that Donkey Kong met Pauline for the first time and became smitten at first sight.[21] Super Smash Bros. Brawl (and, consequently, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate) sticks with the story that the original Donkey Kong is the current Donkey Kong's grandfather.[22] Retro Studios' Donkey Kong Country Returns reaffirms the position of Cranky Kong as the grandfather of the modern Donkey Kong.[23]

According to Gregg Mayles, Cranky Kong called Donkey Kong "son" during the events of Donkey Kong 64 because he was so senile by then that he could not remember.[24] Playing With Super Power: Nintendo Super NES Classics seemingly acknowledged both opposing versions of the Donkey Kong lineage. In one section, it is asserted that Donkey Kong Jr. is the father of the modern Donkey Kong;[25] however, in another section, it is concluded that the modern Donkey Kong is, in fact, a grown Donkey Kong Jr.[26] The Prima Games Twitter account has since clarified and elaborated upon the apparent contradiction, stating that the latter is meant to be written as a metaphor for the original design process, whereas the former is indeed the official interpretation of the characters' familial ties.[27]

Game appearances (as Cranky)[edit]

Title Description Release Date System/Format
Donkey Kong Country Non-Playable Character 1994 Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Donkey Kong Land Mentioned in plotline found in the instruction booklet 1995 Game Boy
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest Non-Playable Character 1995 Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! Opponent in minigame 1996 Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Donkey Kong Land III Cameo appearance 1997 Game Boy
Donkey Kong 64 Non-Playable Character 1999 Nintendo 64
Picross NP Vol. 8 Cameo 2000 Super Nintendo
Donkey Kong Country Non-Playable Character 2000 Game Boy Color
Super Smash Bros. Melee Cameo walking around in the hut in Jungle Japes. 2001 Nintendo GameCube
Donkey Kong Country Non-Playable Character 2003 Game Boy Advance
Donkey Konga Non-Playable Character 2003 Nintendo GameCube
Donkey Konga 2 Non-Playable Character 2004 Nintendo GameCube
Donkey Kong Country 2 Non-Playable Character 2004 Game Boy Advance
Donkey Konga 3: Tabehōdai! Haru Mogitate 50 Kyoku Playable Character 2005 Nintendo GameCube
Mario Superstar Baseball Mentioned in Donkey Kong's bio. 2005 Nintendo GameCube
DK: King of Swing Non-Playable Character 2005 Game Boy Advance
Donkey Kong Country 3 Playable Character in minigame 2005 Game Boy Advance
DK: Jungle Climber Non-Playable Character 2007 Nintendo DS
Donkey Kong Barrel Blast Unlockable Playable Character 2007 Wii
Super Smash Bros. Brawl Cameo as a trophy and sticker, as well as an appearance in Jungle Japes. 2008 Wii
Donkey Kong Country Returns Non-Playable Character 2010 Wii
Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D Non-Playable Character 2013 Nintendo 3DS
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze Playable Character 2014 Wii U
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U Cameo as trophy, as well as an appearance in Jungle Japes in the Nintendo 3DS version. 2014 Nintendo 3DS, Wii U
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze Playable Character 2018 Nintendo Switch
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Cameo as spirit, as well as an appearance in Jungle Japes. 2018 Nintendo Switch

Profiles and statistics[edit]

German Donkey Kong 64 website[edit]

"A sharp tongue, lots of hair and loose teeth characterize the video game veteran Cranky Kong. Even if he seldom has anything good to say about his "good for nothing" son, as he calls him, he still supports Donkey and his friends in their exciting adventures with various potions from his laboratory. These wonders from the research lab help the Kongs to turn into true super apes! Whether it's a rocket back-pack, invulnerability, increased speed or becoming the size of a dwarf or a giant - Cranky is just the right one for the purposes of the ape clan. Since one has to pay a price for these helpful abilities, however, it is necessary to have sufficient banana coins on hand when calling on the brightest scientist of the primate world."

DK: King of Swing[edit]

  • Instruction booklet bio: "Head of the Jungle Jam Executive Committee. He teaches Donkey useful information like how to grab hold of pegs."

Super Smash Bros. series[edit]

Super Smash Bros. Brawl[edit]

Name Image Game Description
Cranky Kong BrawlTrophy326.png SNES Donkey Kong Country A village chief and bitter old codger. Cranky uses his extensive knowledge and wisdom to provide helpful hints. He has also made appearances in a white lab coat as a potion-dealing chemist, granting the Kongs special abilities. Donkey Kong: Barrel Blast features Cranky as a playable character for the first time.
Wii Donkey Kong: Barrel Blast
Image Game Effect
Cranky Kong Sticker Donkey Konga 3 JP [Specials: Indirect] - Attack +7

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U trophy[edit]

Name 3DS Image Wii U Image Appears in NTSC-U Description PAL Description
Cranky Kong Cranky Kong's trophy, from Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS. Cranky Kong trophy from Super Smash Bros. for Wii U SNES Donkey Kong Country (11/1994)
Wii U Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (02/2014)
This old man could teach you a thing or two! Cranky Kong has always been willing to share some words of wisdom, but in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, he decides to help directly and brings his cane-swinging style to the field. What a crazy old... Ahem. What a gentleman! In Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Cranky Kong's decided he's done with just giving the young 'uns helpful hints, so now he's taking things into his own hands by bringing some much-needed cane-swinging to the fray. You just can't keep an old ape down, can you?

Blue indicates exclusive to the Wii U version.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate spirit[edit]

Name Image Game Type Class Effect How to obtain Spirit battle
Opponents Battle conditions Stage Song
Cranky Kong Cranky Kong Donkey Kong Series Primary (3) Ace Attack
Speed ↓
World of Light (DK Island); Summoned with a Cyrus & Reese and Wrinkly Kong core Donkey Kong Hazard: Slumber Floor
  • The floor is sleep-inducing
Jungle Japes Opening - Donkey Kong


For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Cranky Kong.


Audio.svg Cranky's Theme - The theme used in Cranky's Cabin in Donkey Kong Country
File infoMedia:DKC SNES Cranky's Theme.oga
Audio.svg Cranky's Conga - The theme that plays in the Monkey Museum in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest
File infoMedia:DKC2 SNES Cranky's Conga.oga
Audio.svg Cranky's Theme - The theme used in Cranky's Cabin in the Game Boy Color version of Donkey Kong Country
File infoMedia:DKC GBC Cranky's Theme.oga
Audio.svg Cranky's Theme - The theme used in Cranky's Cabin in the Game Boy Advance version of Donkey Kong Country
File infoMedia:DKC GBA Cranky's Theme.oga
Audio.svg Cranky's Conga - The theme that plays in the Monkey Museum in the Game Boy Advance version of Donkey Kong Country 2
File infoMedia:DKC2 GBA Cranky's Conga.oga
Audio.svg Cranky's Lectures - From DK: King of Swing
File infoMedia:DKKOSCrankysLectures.oga
Audio.svg Cranky's Theme - From DK: Jungle Climber
File infoMedia:Cranky Kong (DK Jungle Climber).oga
Audio.svg Cranky Kong's Shop - From Donkey Kong Country Returns
File infoMedia:Cranky Kong Donkey Kong Country Returns 2.oga
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Main article: List of Cranky Kong quotes
  • "They can't keep this level of graphics up for much longer! We used to be lucky if we only got three shades of grey, let alone any real colors!"
  • "Look!...look at this! I rock, my beard swings! Waste of frames in my opinion!"
  • "Whisking off maidens and throwing barrels around the place seven days a week, I was. That's how I got where I am today, you know. Hard work."
  • "You're only reading this because you're bored!"
  • "Tired of me? You're lucky I'm here to brighten up this boring manual!"
  • "I've never seen so much worthless rubbish! I'm surprised they don't give you a special 'trash barrel' to haul it all around in!"

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese クランキーコング
Kurankī Kongu
Cranky Kong
Chinese 库朗奇刚 (Simplified)
庫朗奇剛 (Traditional)
Kùlǎngqí Gāng
Cranky Kong
Finnish Kärtty Kong (in DKC1-3 and DKL1-3) Cranky Kong
German Cranky Kong
Bubbles (Donkey Kong Country animated series)
Cranky Kong
Korean 크랭키콩
Keuraenki Kong
Cranky Kong
Russian Крэнки Конг
Kraenki Kong
Cranky Kong
Spanish Cranky Kong Cranky Kong


  • In the original Nintendo 64 version of Banjo-Kazooie, Cranky Kong and Donkey Kong's names are each an answer to one of the Grunty's Furnace Fun questions.[28]
  • Cranky Kong admits to being a big fan of Game & Watch games, and he also mentions that he considers playing the original Donkey Kong arcade game when Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong are not visiting him.
  • In Super Mario Odyssey, one of the streets in New Donk City is named "Cranky Avenue".
  • Cranky Kong has an unused walking animation in the Super Nintendo Entertainment System version of Donkey Kong Country, which would later be used in the Game Boy Advance version.[29]
  • In the Donkey Kong Land 2 coverage of both the 47th and 49th issues of the Australian Nintendo Magazine System, a DK Coin is described as being a prize of "Kranky Kong",[sic] even though he does not appear in the game.[30][31]


  1. ^ "Have you been to see my husband Cranky? He complains a little, but he does know everything about this island." - Wrinkly Kong, Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest
  2. ^ "Even old Cranky Kong is getting in on the entrepreneurial spirit. He’s opened a Monkey Museum where inquisitive monkeys can go to learn about the lore of Crocodile Isle. Prepare to pay to get the best hints!" -Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest instruction booklet, page 26.
  3. ^ "Rumor has it—and it might just be simian senility—that Cranky Kong covered all the levels and found everything in five hours and fifteen minutes!" - M. Arakawa. Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble Player's Guide. Page 4.
  4. ^
  5. ^ 「1994年に発売された『ドンキーコング』(ゲームボーイ)を最後に、孫に“ドンキーコング”の名を譲り渡す。」 ("After the release of 'Donkey Kong' (Game Boy), he turned over the Donkey Kong name to his grandchild.") - Nintendo Online Magazine
  6. ^ "Professor Cranky Kong Yep, you read it right, sonny! It’s Professor Cranky now, and you’d better show your elders some respect, as I’m your only hope in defeating those rancid reptiles." - Donkey Kong 64 instruction booklet, page 9.
  7. ^ TMK. Kongtroversy. The Mushroom Kingdom. Retrieved July 1, 2012.
  8. ^ TCRF. Donkey Kong Country (SNES)#Greetings. The Cutting Room Floor. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  9. ^ Gregg Mayles in a November 2015 Twitter post. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  10. ^ Gregg Mayles in a February 2018 Twitter post. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  11. ^ cfhworld (Dec 22, 2006). Donkey Kong Country Exposed Part 1. YouTube. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  12. ^ "CRANKY KONG I am the original Donkey Kong and, as such, command barrel loads of due respect from my proteges Junior (the Donkey Kong of this game) and Diddy." - Nintendo Magazine System (UK) #26, Special page 6 (among other references on Special pages 2, 4, 8, 9, 12, 14, 18, 22, and 26)
  13. ^ "He groggily rolled over to see the familiar wrinkled, white-bearded, grouchy face of his old granddad "Cranky Kong" peering down at him. In his heyday, Cranky was the original Donkey Kong who battled Mario in several of his own games." - Donkey Kong Country instruction booklet, pages 5 & 6 (among various in-game lines)
  14. ^ "That darn Donkey has all the luck! His girl Candy waits around in her hut, always willing to offer her musical help to that undeserving son of mine and his fancy polygonal friends. Pah!" - Donkey Kong 64 instruction booklet, page 9 (among various in-game lines)
  15. ^ Scribes - April 25, 1999. Rareware Website Archive. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
  16. ^ Donkey Kong Country web page. (April 13, 2017). Retrieved April 13, 2017.
  17. ^ "Donkey Kong and Mario started out as arch-rivals, but they've patched things up in recent years. These days Donkey Kong spends his time searching the jungle for bananas instead of kidnapping beautiful maidens." - Super Smash Bros. Characters
  18. ^ "While he now prefers the laid-back jungle lifestyle to construction site mischief, DK is often forced back into action by the Kremling Krew." - Super Smash Bros. Melee Trophy
  19. ^ Mario vs. Donkey Kong box back
  20. ^ "His ancestor, the original Donkey Kong wore no necktie." - Mario Superstar Baseball Exhibition Game Records
  21. ^ "The Mario Toy Company’s hairiest employee. He instantly fell in love with Pauline as soon as he saw her at the theme park’s opening ceremony, and now the jealous ape has run off with her!" - Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis instruction booklet, page 7.
  22. ^ "The Donkey Kong who fought that epic battle with Mario was this guy's grandfather." - Otacon, Snake's codec
  23. ^ "Donkey Kong’s white-bearded, grouchy grandfather, Cranky Kong, has set up shop in each world to sell items to aid Donkey Kong. Cranky Kong can ramble on about anything, but don’t ignore what he has to say, as his ramblings provide advice for those who pay careful attention." - Donkey Kong Country Returns instruction booklet, page 20 (among various in-game lines)
  24. ^ Greg Mayles in a May 2017 Twitter post. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
  25. ^ "Super Mario Kart is the only Mario Kart game to feature Donkey Kong Jr. Due to the success of Donkey Kong Country, all future Mario Kart entries featured Donkey Kong, who is actually Donkey Kong Jr.’s son, with Cranky Kong, aka Donkey Kong Sr., canonically being the character featured in the original Donkey Kong game. Makes sense, right?" - Playing With Super Power: Nintendo Super NES Classics eGuide, Super Mario Kart 16 Bits Tab.
  26. ^ "As the marketing noted, “This isn’t your father’s Donkey Kong!” He is, in fact, Donkey Kong Jr., all grown up. For his 16-bit revival, Donkey Kong was redesigned, with his original creator Shigeru Miyamoto providing Rare with a sketch that included the now-iconic red tie. Mr. Miyamoto also suggested Donkey’s ape-inspired “hand slap” move, which allowed him to defeat nearby enemies and reveal certain secrets. Rare was able to implement the move just weeks before the deadline for the game." - Playing With Super Power: Nintendo Super NES Classics eGuide, Donkey Kong Country Characters Tab.
  27. ^ DK Vine forum thread, with snapshots from the book and Prima Games' justification on social media
  28. ^ CountBleck2009 (January 3, 2009). Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Furnace Fun Part I. YouTube. Retrieved February 7, 2014.
  29. ^ TCRF. Donkey Kong Country (SNES)#Cranky Kong. The Cutting Room Floor. Retrieved October 31, 2017.
  30. ^ Nintendo Magazine System (Australia) issue 49, page 51.
  31. ^ Nintendo Magazine System (Australia) issue 47, page 48.