DK: King of Swing

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DK: King of Swing
DKKoS cover art.jpg
Developer(s) Paon
Nintendo SPD Group No.4
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Platform(s) Game Boy Advance, Virtual Console (Wii U)
Release date Game Boy Advance:
Europe February 4, 2005
Australia March 17, 2005
Japan May 19, 2005
USA September 19, 2005[1]
Virtual Console (Wii U):
Japan November 19, 2014
USA November 20, 2014
Europe January 22, 2015
Australia January 23, 2015
Genre Platformer
ESRB:ESRB E.svg - Everyone
PEGI:PEGI 3.svg - Three years and older
CERO:CERO A.png - All ages
USK:USK 0.svg - All ages
Mode(s) Single Player, Multiplayer
Wii U:
Media DL icon.svg Digital download
Game Boy Advance:
Media GBA icon.png Cartridge
Wii U:
Wiimote Sideways.png Wii Remote (Sideways)
Game Boy Advance:

DK: King of Swing is a puzzle game starring Donkey Kong for the Game Boy Advance. It is the first installment of the DK series. Its gameplay is similar to the NES game Clu Clu Land, but has been re-formatted in certain aspects to provide more of an adventure game feel. In this game, Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong must quest across five worlds to win back the Jungle Jam medals that King K. Rool has stolen and scattered across the levels. The game is the first Donkey Kong franchise game developed by Paon for Nintendo, who also made the sequel, DK: Jungle Climber and the racing title Donkey Kong Barrel Blast.


The game takes place during the Jungle Jam Tournament, where a huge festival held occurs. During the tournament, medals (which are actually DK Coins) are handed out as prizes to participants in contests like breaking barrels and jumping pegs, with the winner being crowned the hero of the jungle. King K. Rool, however, steals all the medals before the tournament commences, proclaiming himself the jungle hero. Donkey Kong pursues King K. Rool to get the medals back and restore peace to Donkey Kong Island. After traveling through four different regions, gaining the stolen medals dropped by K. Rool, Donkey Kong arrives on the King Kruizer III. Confronting K. Rool, DK beats the king in both a climbing race and battle, claiming the last medal. He leaves with all the medals on K. Rool's hovercraft while the flying fortress falls out of the sky.

Game modes[edit]

The list of modes.

Diddy Mode differences[edit]

  • The tutorial stage is no longer present.
  • Bananas laying out in the open are no longer there; the player can only collect them by destroying enemies or crates.
  • Crystal Coconuts were removed, and as a result, Bonus Barrels and the bonus stages they led to are no longer present.
  • Diddy is slightly faster and jumps slightly higher than Donkey Kong.

Time Attack mode[edit]

A Time Attack appears in DK: King of Swing, where it can only be played after the player has completed the adventure mode. It can be found under the Extras menu. When the player selects the mode, they are given a list of every level, each with its only best time that the player can beat. Three other times also exist in the high scores list that the player can beat. However, beating the times are optional and do not allow the player to unlock any new mode or item.

During the mode, the player is given three hearts of life. If all three are lost, they must start the Time Attack over. Additionally, hearts can be restored if they collect ten bananas and use them for Donkey Kong's "Going Bananas" move. Unlike in adventure mode, though, the player is given no bananas to start with and must find them around the course. After the level is completed, the player's time is recorded if it beats a score on the high scores list.


Donkey Kong in one of the game's levels.

As mentioned earlier, the gameplay is very similar to the NES game Clu Clu Land, and mainly consists of swinging across boards of pegs. However, in this game the player must climb, swing, and even shoot their way to reach the top, all the while collecting the medals. The player cannot face the boss without beating each level; once all levels have been completed, the player may face the boss at the designated boss stage. After the boss is beaten, the player may continue to the next world.

If the player chooses to collect each Crystal Coconut, hidden items concealed inside crates, boxes, nooks and crannies, or even inside enemies, Wrinkly Kong is unlocked as a player in the single player Jungle Jam Tournament. There are twenty Crystal Coconuts in all.


The controls are made to be simple: L Button swings Donkey Kong left, R Button swings Donkey Kong right. If the L Button button is held down, DK will swing on a fixed spot from left to right, and vice versa for the R Button button. If the button is lightly tapped, Donkey will go flying of in whatever direction he is pointing. To get a better aim, DK must swing about until he is facing the right way.

When on the ground, DK can walk about quite quickly using the L Button and R Button buttons; when they are tapped simultaneously he will lift off from the ground in a flying leap.

Donkey Kong can also Attack by holding down both the L Button and R Button buttons at once. DK will clutch the pegs, and slowly start to glow red; once he is totally glowing, the buttons should be released and DK will go flying off into an aerial attack.

Finally, DK can either Charge using the B Button Button (uses ten bananas; restores one health unit) or Go Bananas using the A Button Button (uses twenty bananas; makes DK invincible and able to leap great heights).


Playable characters[edit]

Adventure and Jungle Jam mode[edit]

Image Name Description
DKKOSDonkeyKongSprite.png Donkey Kong Donkey Kong is the first Kong to be playable in Adventure Mode. He is also available in the Jungle Jam Tournament mode. In the Jungle Jam Tournament mode, Donkey Kong is the most balanced character statistically-wise, as his jump and attack abilities are at 3/5 apiece.
DKKingofSwing-DiddySprite.png Diddy Kong Diddy reappears as Donkey Kong's buddy. He is available to play as in Adventure Mode, after the player defeats King K. Rool as Donkey Kong. Diddy is also a playable character in the Jungle Jam Tournament mode. His jump ability is high at a 4/5 due to his weight. However, this negatively affects his attack ability, as it is only at a 2/5.

Jungle Jam mode only[edit]

Image Name Description
Starting Characters
DKKOSDixieKongSprite.png Dixie Kong Dixie Kong is Diddy Kong's girlfriend. She is playable in the Jungle Jam Tournament mode. Her apparent feather-like weight results in her jump ability being maxed out at a 5/5. However, her attacking ability is as weak as possible, as it sits at a 1/5.
DKkingosfwingFunkykong sprite.PNG Funky Kong Funky Kong makes his first appearance in any game as a playable character. He is the fourth and final starting character in the Jungle Jam Tournament mode. He prefers the attack-based contests, as his attacking ability ranks at a 4/5, while his jumping is at 2/5. These stats are exact opposite to Diddy's.
Unlockable Characters
Kritter-DKKOS.png Kremling Kremling appears as an unlockable playable character. He is simply a Kritter, but the game refers to him as "Kremling". Kremling is unlocked when the player earns 6 Gold Medals in the Jungle Jam Tournament. This game marks the first time where a Kritter is a playable character. His stats are exactly like Donkey Kong's: 3/5 jump, 3/5 attack.
DKKOSWrinklyKongSprite.png Wrinkly Kong Wrinkly Kong is available to play as in Jungle Jam Tournament mode after the player collects all 20 of the Crystal Coconuts while playing as Donkey Kong in Adventure Mode. This game marks the first time Wrinkly is a playable character in any game. It is also the first time she appears as a ghost. Because of her weightlessness, Wrinkly's jump ability is maxed out at 5/5, tying her with Dixie Kong for the best jump rating. Her attack is weak, as it is only a 2/5.
KingKRool-DKKOS.png King K. Rool King K. Rool appears as the final boss in Adventure Mode. Upon earning 12 Gold Medals in the Jungle Jam Tournament, he is also available as a playable character in the Jungle Jam. This marks his first game as a playable character. He is the strongest character in the game with an attack rating of 5/5. His jump, however, is extremely weak, as it only ranks 1/5.
DKKOSBubblesSprite.png Bubbles Bubbles is unlocked after the player completes Diddy Mode while collecting all 24 Medals. She makes her first and only appearance in a Donkey Kong game. Her stats are the most balanced out of any character, as her jump and attack rate a 4/5 each.

Supporting characters[edit]

Image Name Description
DKKOSCrankyKongSprite.png Cranky Kong Cranky Kong returns as Donkey Kong's grandfather and mentor. His main role is to preside in Cranky's Lectures, where he teaches Donkey Kong the controls for the game and gives a couple of tips.
DKKOSCandyKongSprite.png Candy Kong Candy Kong's appearance in DK: King of Swing is extremely minimal, as she only appears in the opening cutscene in which King K. Rool crashes the Jungle Jam Tournament and in the final cutscene in which Donkey Kong has returned with the Medals.


Normal enemies[edit]

Image Name Description First level appearance Last level appearance
ClickClack-DKKOS.png Click-Clack Click-Clacks are found on peg boards. They are invulnerable to frontal attacks due to their claws. When they detect Donkey or Diddy Kong in the area, they follow the Kong while making a clicking noise, making their pattern of attack changeable. Cactus Woods Cactus Woods
FlipFlap-DKKOS.png Flipflap Flipflaps are blue bats that appear mostly in cave levels. They fly above peg boards or hover low to the ground. Their attack pattern includes flying left to right or up and down. Contraption Cave Kremling Kamp
Flitter-DKKOS.png Flitter Flitters are blue dragonflies that are common in the Jungle World. Like Flipflaps, their pattern of attack is either flying left to right or up and down. Banana Bungalow Cactus Woods
Kritter-DKKOS2.png Kremling Besides appearing as an unlockable, playable character, Kremlings (Kritters) are extremely common enemies found throughout the game, as they are found in every world. They can be found throwing rocks, pulling peg switches, or jumping from peg to peg. Contraption Cave K. Kruizer III Hull
Lockjaw-DKKOS.png Lockjaw Lockjaws make their return to the Donkey Kong series after a decently long hiatus. They retain their red-orange color and biting attack, and are commonly encountered in underwater levels. If a Lockjaw sees one of the Kongs, it will do a biting call then charge towards the Kong. Risky Reef Underwater Ruins
MiniNecky-DKKOS.png Mini-Necky Mini-Neckies also return to the Donkey Kong series after a brief absence. These vultures retain their trademark coconut spit attack and can also attack via a swoop. They are commonly seen in the Wild West World. Necky's Canyon Booster Barrel Skyway
Neek-DKKOS.png Neek Neeks can be found climbing on peg boards in cave-themed levels. When near Donkey or Diddy Kong, they make a squeaking noise. Contraption Cave Madcap Mine
Powan DKKoS.png Powan Powans are ghosts that are only seen in the level Ship of Souls. They attack Donkey or Diddy by approaching them. If visible, the Powan exerts harm to the Kong. They are only able to be defeated when they are invisible, but their silhouettes are still perceivable. Ship of Souls Ship of Souls
Shuri-DKKOS.png Shuri Shuris are starfish that are only found in underwater levels. They have no fixed movement, as they just bounce off the wall. Risky Reef Underwater Ruins
Zinger-DKKOS.png Zinger Zingers reappear as one of the most common enemies in the Donkey Kong series. These bees can be heard buzzing as they move up and down or side to side. They can only be defeated by an attack to their front, as they have stingers and spikes on their back. Cactus Woods Booster Barrel Skyway


Image Name Description Level Appearance
Congazuma-DKKOS.png Congazuma This Kremling statue is the game's first boss. It attacks Donkey Kong by jumping around towards him. Its jump, however, can only go so high, and can be dodged if Donkey Kong positions himself on the peg boards above. The statue is defeated when Donkey Kong performs four simple Attacks on it by holding down L Button and R Button simultaneously. Congazuma's Castle
FireNecky-DKKOS.png Fire Necky This fiery Necky's method of attack is spitting out flames, which shortly crystallize into rocks, at Donkey Kong. Donkey Kong hit Fire Necky with these rocks a total of seven times, while avoiding contact with its flames. Fire Necky's Nest
DavyBones-DKKOS.png Davy Bones This undead eel emerges from one of six holes towards Donkey Kong, then swims around him for a few seconds. Donkey Kong must grab the peg at the tip of its tail and swing it into spikes which are found on the edges of the holes. Its method of attack is repeated until its defeat. Davy Bones' Locker
SassySquatch-DKKOS.png Sassy Squatch Sassy Squatch breaks through a surface of ice to first encounter Donkey Kong. It chases him up a series of pegs, where two bombs are waiting at the end. These bombs can be thrown into its mouth in order to cause damage. Once a bomb enters its mouth, Sassy Squatch shoots out crystallized pegs from its mouth, which shortly melt into climbable obstacles for Donkey Kong to climb up and escape its subsequent pursuit. This process is repeated until the snow monster is defeated. Sassy Squatch's Lair
KingKRool-DKKOS.png King K. Rool In the final duel of the game, Donkey Kong must race K. Rool in a Climbing Race. If Donkey Kong wins, the king challenges him to an Attack Battle, which, if won, ultimately defeats the Kremling king and ends the game. King K. Rool


Jungle World
Level Medal Type of level
Banana Bungalow none Jungle
Tropical Treetops Bronze Jungle
Contraption Cave Bronze Cave
Puzzling Pyramid Silver Pyramid
BOSS LEVEL: Congazuma's Castle Gold Pyramid
Wild West World
Level Medal Type of level
Necky's Canyon Silver Desert
Cactus Woods Silver Cactus
Treacherous Twister Bronze Desert
Madcap Mine Bronze Mines
BOSS LEVEL: Fire Necky's Nest Gold Desert
Aqua World
Level Medal Type of level
Risky Reef Bronze Underwater
Lockjaw Falls Bronze Waterfalls
Kremling Kamp Silver Ship
Ship of Souls Silver Ship
BOSS LEVEL: Davy Bones' Locker Gold Underwater
Ice World
Level Medal Type of level
Cold Cold Forest Silver Forest
Raging Ravine Silver Ice
Underwater Ruins Bronze Underwater
Ice Castle Gold Ice
BOSS LEVEL: Sassy Squatch's Lair Gold Ice
K. Kruizer III
Level Medal Type of level
Booster Barrel Skyway Bronze Sky
K. Kruizer III Artillery Silver Gunship
K. Kruizer III Hull Gold Gunship
K. Kruizer III Engine Gold Gunship
BOSS LEVEL: King K. Rool Gold Gunship

Items and objects[edit]

Image Name Description
DKKOS Banana.png Banana Bananas are common items that appear in every level. Each single banana adds one to Donkey Kong's stash, which could be used for Going Bananas or for replenishing health.
DKKOS Banana Bunch.png Banana Bunch Banana Bunches are found in most levels and add a total of five bananas to Donkey Kong's stash.
DKKOS 10Bananas.png 10 Bananas A bunch of ten bananas is more rare than the other bananas, but are found in levels after breaking open barrels or crates. One bunch of ten bananas can restore one full heart of health.
Medals Medals appear in each level besides Banana Bungalow. They can be found in Bonus Areas or inside of barrels or crates. The gold variants are awarded after defeating a boss.
DKKOSCrystalCoconut.png Crystal Coconut Crystal Coconuts are found in each level. They are usually found in similar spots to the Medal, and can also be obtained by defeating an enemy.
DKKOSTire.png Tire Tires are common objects that can be bounced off, helping Donkey Kong reach high places that would not be reachable otherwise.
DKKOSRock.png Rock Rocks are common items that are used to damage enemies or destroy breakable walls.
DKKOSBomb.png Bomb Bombs are items that can break open obstacles or destroy enemies. They detonate withinin approximately five seconds and will cause one heart of damage to Donkey Kong if he holds onto it for too long.
DKKOSSpike.png Mine Mines are spiked objects that are common obstacles throughout some levels. They cause Donkey Kong one heart of damage if he makes contact with them. Mines can also move around, too.
Cannons Cannons are objects that are encountered in the levels on the K. Kruizer III. They shoot fireballs at Donkey Kong in an attempt to cause damage to his health. Some cannons rotate towards the direction of Donkey Kong while others stay in the same position.
DKKOSCrate.png Wooden Crate Wooden Crates are large boxes of wood that can be broken by Donkey Kong with a simple attack. They usually take up an entire peg board, and, when broken, allow the Kong to progress up. Additionally, wooden crates represent 100 bananas in the player's stash in the bottom right of the screen.
DKKOSCoconut.png Coconut Coconuts are objects that some Mini-Neckies shoot from their mouths. They cause one heart's worth of damage to Donkey Kong if it comes into contact with him. Coconuts can be destroyed if they hit a projectile that Donkey Kong throws, such as a rock.


Image Name Description
DKKOSBarrel.png Barrel Standard barrels, if broken by Donkey Kong, reveal bananas or other items. Additionally, barrels represent fifty bananas in the player's stash in the bottom right of the screen.
DKKOSQuestionBarrel.png Question Barrel Question Barrels are like standard ones, where if broken they reveal something. These barrels reveal Peg Boards or activate doors.
DKKOSBoosterBarrel.png Booster Barrel Booster Barrels are barrels that act as rockets and are steered with L Button and R Button. They are the subject of the level Booster Barrel Skyway.
DKKOSBonusBarrel.png Bonus Barrel Bonus Barrels shoot Donkey Kong to a Bonus Area upon entering it.
DKKOSBarrelCannon.png Barrel Cannon Barrel Cannons are enterable barrels that launch Donkey Kong in a given direction.
DKKOSRollingBarrel.png Rolling Barrel Rolling Barrels are enterable barrels and their aims can be adjusted with the L Button and R Button buttons.


Pegs are common objects in the game that have many different variants. Each variant performs a different function and assists Donkey Kong in reaching further areas.

Image Name Description
DKKOSPegs.png Peg Pegs are single, floating studs that the Kongs are able to grab onto. They are the most common of all Peg variants and featured in Jungle Jam Tournament Events as well.
DKKOSPegBoards.png Peg Board Peg Boards are groups of pegs that the Kongs are able to climb on. They come in many different sizes, ranging from two by two pegs to five by six pegs. They are also the main obstacle in the Jungle Jam Tournament Events.
Handle Peg Handle Pegs are wheel-like pegs that, if grabbed onto, carry Donkey Kong on a mechanism. These mechanisms run up and down or left and right.
DKKOSSwitchPegGreen.pngDKKOSSwitchPegRed.pngDKKOSSwitchPegBlue.png Switch Peg Switch Pegs can open doors or reveal new secrets if grabbed onto and pulled down with both hands.
DKKOSJackPegGreen.pngDKKOSJackPegRed.pngDKKOSJackPegBlue.png Jack Peg Jack Pegs are peg variants that operate mechanism if pulled down on repeatedly. They can open doors or reveal new peg boards.
DKKOSRotatingPeg.png Spinning Peg Spinning Pegs rotate quickly either clockwise or counterclockwise. If grabbed with the correct hand, they can launch Donkey Kong high up to new areas.
DKKOSGreenCrackedPeg.pngDKKOSRedCrackedPeg.pngDKKOSBlueCrackedPeg.png Cracked Peg Cracked Pegs are rare types of pegs that slowly fall once Donkey Kong grabs onto them.
DKKOSConveyerBelt.png Conveyor Belt Conveyor Belts are variants of peg boards that slide Donkey Kong from up to down or side to side if he simply stays still while grabbing on it. They are common in Mine-themed levels.
DKKOSIcyPeg.png Icy Peg Board Icy Peg Boards are types of peg boards that are frozen over, causing the Kong to slip on it before being able to get a firm grip. They appear in the level Ice Castle


Release Reviewer, Publication Score Comment
Game Boy Advance Craig Harris, IGN 7.8/10 "DK: King of Swing is a classic example of a Nintendo game attempting something that's both unique and familiar at the same time. It's a concept that could only be successful on the Game Boy Advance for its rather basic structure, but even with its simplistic design DK: King of Swing has a lot going for it. Simple L and R gameplay isn't enough to keep interest high all the way through, so it works best as a quick-shot experience."
Game Boy Advance Frank Provo, GameSpot 7.3/10 "All told, DK: King of Swing is a unique and interesting take on the puzzle genre that people will either love or hate depending on how accepting they are of the game's innovative control scheme."
Game Boy Advance Kristan Reed, Eurogamer 7/10 "But ignoring the entirely superfluous Jungle Jam, the single-player adventure more than makes up for it and although has arguably way too many incidences of annoying level design to get too excited about, for those with a steely mindset and a longing for something genuinely new DK: King Of Swing is a surprisingly worthwhile addition to the handheld (swinging) scene. Monkeys and bananas are still evidently doing it for us."
Compiler Platform / Score
Metacritic 70
GameRankings 71.85%


Main article: List of DK: King of Swing staff


Main article: List of DK: King of Swing quotes

Pre-release and unused content[edit]

DK: King of Swing went through some changes during its development.

Image Description
DKKos Beta 1.png This screen shows five heart points, while in the final, there is only three of them. It was not possible to go beyond that number in the final release.
DifferentBG.jpg Everything in this image is the same as it is in the final game, minus the five heart points and different background.
BombPegs.jpg This screen features explosive pegs that weren't present in the final game.
Spikes.jpg These spikeballs were not found in this area in the final game.
DifferentArea.jpg This area does not exist in the final game.


For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:DK: King of Swing.


For a complete list of media for this subject, see List of DK: King of Swing media.
Audio.svg Theme

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Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ぶらぶらドンキー
Burabura Donkī
Hanging Donkey
German DK: King of Swing -
Chinese 摇摆森喜刚[2]
Yáobǎi Sēnxǐgāng
Swing Donkey Kong


  • The Donkey Kong Country Returns level "King of Cling" is named similarly to this game.
  • This game marks the first playable appearances of Funky Kong, Wrinkly Kong, Kritter, and King K. Rool.
  • This is the first, and currently the only game where Dixie Kong does not wear her top tied.
  • This game was planned to release in mainland China by iQue, but left unreleased due to the huge scene of piracy in China at that time. The unreleased Chinese prototype received an ISBN, meaning it was approved for distribution despite the ban on video games from Chinese government.


  1. TMK: Release date info, retrieved 9-20-2008
  2. From the unreleased iQue version.

External links[edit]