DK: King of Swing

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DK: King of Swing
Cover art for DK: King of Swing
For alternate box art, see the game's gallery.
Developer Paon
Nintendo SPD Group No.4
Publisher Nintendo
Platform(s) Game Boy Advance, Virtual Console (Wii U)
Release date Game Boy Advance:
Europe February 4, 2005[1]
Australia March 17, 2005
Japan May 19, 2005
USA September 19, 2005[2]
Virtual Console (Wii U):
Japan November 19, 2014
USA November 20, 2014
Europe January 22, 2015
Australia January 23, 2015
Genre Puzzle
ESRB:E - Everyone
PEGI:3 - Three years and older
CERO:A - All ages
USK:0 - All ages
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Wii U:
Digital download
Game Boy Advance:
Game Pak
Wii U:
Wii Remote (horizontal)
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 it has been re-formatted in aspects to provide more of an adventure game feel. In the game, Donkey Kong must quest across five worlds to recover the Jungle Jam medals that King K. Rool has stolen and scattered across the levels. DK: King of Swing is the first Donkey Kong franchise game to be developed by Paon. A sequel, titled DK: Jungle Climber, was released for the Nintendo DS in 2007.

DK: King of Swing was re-released for the Wii U's Virtual Console in Japan and North America in November 2014 and in Europe and Australia in January 2015.


King K. Rool
A screenshot from the intro, where K. Rool steals all the medals

The game takes place during the Jungle Jam, where a huge festival held occurs. During the tournament, medals are given 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 appears and steals all the medals before the tournament commences, proclaiming himself the jungle hero. Donkey Kong goes on an adventure after King K. Rool to recover the medals. After traveling through four different world, gaining the stolen medals dropped by K. Rool, Donkey Kong enters the final world, K. Kruizer III. At the end of the last world, Donkey Kong is confronted by K. Rool, who challenges him to both a climbing race and battle for the last medal. After defeating K. Rool, Donkey Kong leaves the location using a small, green aircraft while the King Kruizer III explodes and falls from the sky.


The single Flitter of Banana Bungalow in DK: King of Swing.
Donkey Kong climbing across some Peg Boards in the first level, Banana Bungalow

Like Clu Clu Land, the gameplay consists of Donkey Kong swinging and climbing across many pegs. Donkey Kong's goal is to climb, swing, and even blast his way to the top of the level. Donkey Kong cannot battle the world boss without completing every level prior. When Donkey Kong defeats the boss, he can continue to the next world.

There is either a bronze or a silver medal hidden in each level. In every boss level, Donkey Kong is rewarded a gold medal if he defeats the boss. Medals are usually found inside a barrel located in detours of the main path, or in hard to reach areas.

Crystal Coconuts are another collectible item in the game, and they are often hidden inside a crate, a barrel, or as a reward for completing a Bonus Barrel challenge. Sometimes, Donkey Kong must defeat an enemy to obtain the Crystal Coconut. While they are not required to complete the adventure mode, the Crystal Coconuts allow the player to unlock more content. If Donkey Kong obtains all twenty of them, the player unlocks Wrinkly Kong in the single player Jungle Jam Tournament.

After completing the game and obtaining every medal, the player unlocks the Diddy Mode, where they play as Diddy Kong during the adventure mode instead of Donkey Kong. A few things were removed from Diddy Mode, including the tutorial level, the Crystal Coconuts and thus the Bonus Barrels, and most bananas were removed except for those that can be obtained from defeating enemies or breaking crates. Diddy is able to jump higher than Donkey Kong.


The game mainly uses the L Button and R Button buttons, which moves Donkey Kong left and right respectively. Unlike most games, the +Control Pad is rarely used, except when selecting an option on the main menu or a level from the world map. While Donkey Kong is holding on a peg, the player can hold the L Button or R Button buttons to make him spin in a counterclockwise or clockwise direction respectively. If the player releases either button, Donkey Kong jumps in the direction that he is facing. While Donkey Kong is in midair, the player can press L Button or R Button to make him grab with his left or right hand respectively. When Donkey Kong is on the ground, the player can make him move quickly from left to right by pressing the respective L Button and R Button buttons. If they simultaneously press the buttons, Donkey Kong jumps up into the air. If the player holds down both the L Button and R Button buttons, Donkey Kong clutches on the pegs and builds up energy for performing a charge attack. When Donkey Kong is glowing red, the player must release the buttons to make Donkey Kong spin into a ball and charge in the direction he is facing.

By pressing the B Button button, the player can use ten of Donkey Kong's collected bananas to restore one of his heart units. By pressing A Button, the player can use twenty of Donkey Kong's bananas to have temporarily invincible and perform the Going Bananas move. The move also allows him to jump higher. The moves do not work if Donkey Kong does not have the necessary number to perform either move.

Game modes[edit]

The games modes in the main menu
The list of modes

Time Attack mode[edit]

The player can unlock the Time Attack mode after completing the Adventure mode. When the player selects the mode, they are given a list of every level, each with its own best time that the player can beat. Three other times also exist in the high scores list that the player can beat. The times are optional and do not allow the player to unlock any new mode or item.

During the mode, Donkey Kong has three hearts like in the regular adventure. If he loses all three of them, the player must restart the level. Donkey Kong can still find bananas around the level, although he is not given any to start with. When Donkey Kong completes a level, the player can record their time if it beats a score on the high scores list.


Playable in all modes
Image Name Description Stats
Donkey Kong in DK: King of Swing. Donkey Kong Donkey Kong is the main protagonist and the playable character of Adventure mode. He is also playable in the Jungle Jam mode, and has the most balanced statistics of the other characters. Jump: 3/5
Attack: 3/5
DKKingofSwing-DiddySprite.png Diddy Kong Diddy is playable in the unlockable Diddy Mode, where the player plays as Diddy instead of Donkey Kong. Diddy is also playable in the Jungle Jam mode, where he has a high jumping ability but has a low-average attack. Jump: 4/5
Attack: 2/5
Playable in Jungle Jam
Image Name Description Stats
Dixie Kong in DK: King of Swing. Dixie Kong Dixie Kong is Diddy Kong's girlfriend. She is one of the four starter characters of the Jungle Jam mode. Out of all the characters, Dixie has the highest jumping ability, but has the weakest attack. Jump: 5/5
Attack: 1/5
Funky Kong Funky Kong Funky is one of the four starter characters of the Jungle Jam mode. His statistics are switched from Diddy's, as he has an average-high attack, but a low-average jumping ability. Jump: 2/5
Attack: 4/5
Unlockable in Jungle Jam
Image Name Description Stats
A sprite of a Kritter, from DK: King of Swing. Kremling Kremling one of the unlockable characters in the mode. It is a Kritter, but is named "Kremling" in the game. The player can unlock Kremling by obtaining six gold medals in the Jungle Jam. Its statistics are the same as Donkey Kong's. Jump: 3/5
Attack: 3/5
Wrinkly Kong Wrinkly Kong Wrinkly Kong can be unlocked after Donkey Kong obtains all 20 Crystal Coconuts. Wrinkly is tied with Dixie for highest jump ability. She has a low-average attack power, slightly higher than that of Dixie's. Jump: 5/5
Attack: 2/5
A sprite of King K. Rool, from DK: King of Swing. King K. Rool King K. Rool is unlocked after earning 12 gold medals in the Jungle Jam. He has a maximum attack power, but his jumping ability is very weak. Jump: 1/5
Attack: 5/5
A sprite of Bubbles from DK: King of Swing. Bubbles Bubbles is unlocked after the player completes Diddy Mode from collecting all 24 medals. This is her first and only appearance in a Donkey Kong game. She has the highest balanced stats of the characters. Jump: 4/5
Attack: 4/5
Image Name Description
Cranky Kong in DK: King of Swing. Cranky Kong Cranky Kong's main role is in Cranky's Lectures, where he teaches the controls to Donkey Kong along with providing some advice.
Candy Kong in DK: King of Swing. Candy Kong Candy Kong has minimal involvement in the story, only appearing in the opening, when K. Rool steals the medals, and the ending, when Donkey Kong returns with them.


Image Name Description First level appearance Last level appearance
Click-Clack in DK: King of Swing. Click-Clack Click-Clacks are uncommon enemies that walk around Peg Boards. They are invulnerable to frontal attacks due to their pincers, but they can be defeated from behind. When they notice Donkey Kong in the area, they make a clicking noise and follow him. Cactus Woods Cactus Woods
Flip-Flap in DK: King of Swing. Flipflap Flipflaps are blue bats that appear mostly in cave levels. They fly above Peg Boards or hover below to the ground. Their attack pattern involves them flying back and forth, either horizontally or vertically. Donkey Kong can defeat them with a charge attack. Contraption Cave Kremling Kamp
Flitter in DK: King of Swing. Flitter Flitters are blue dragonflies that are common in the Jungle World. They move back and forth like Flipflaps, except they do not move in a zigzag pattern. They can only be defeated from a charge attack. Banana Bungalow Cactus Woods
Ghost Ghost Ghosts are enemies that only appear in one level, Ship of Souls. They can go invisible and move through objects. If a ghost becomes visible, it can injure Donkey Kong by contact. They can only be defeated by a charge attack while they are invisible, but their silhouettes are still perceivable. Ship of Souls Ship of Souls
Kritter in DK: King of Swing. Kremling Kremlings are one of the most common enemies, as they are in at least one level of every world. Kremlings can do a variety of actions which include climbing around peg boards, throwing rocks, or repeatedly pulling down on a Jack Peg. Contraption Cave K. Kruizer III Hull
Lockjaw in DK: King of Swing. Lockjaw Lockjaws are another enemy that return from Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest. They are piranhas encountered in underwater and waterfall levels. If a Lockjaw notices Donkey Kong, it does a biting call and then charges at him. In Lockjaw Falls, they are the main and titular enemy, who attack Donkey Kong by jumping at him from the waterfalls. Risky Reef Underwater Ruins
Mini-Necky in DK: King of Swing. Mini-Necky Mini-Neckys most often appear in the Wild West World, and they attack by either spitting a coconut at Donkey Kong or by swooping at him. Necky's Canyon Booster Barrel Skyway
Neek in DK: King of Swing. Neek Neeks are rats who scurry around Peg Boards in cave-themed levels. They can be heard making a squeaking noise as they move around. Neeks can be defeated by a charge attack. Contraption Cave Madcap Mine
Shuri in DK: King of Swing. Shuri Shuris are starfish that appear in underwater levels. They have no fixed movement, as they just bounce off the wall. Risky Reef Underwater Ruins
Zinger in DK: King of Swing. Zinger Zingers are bees that make a buzzing sound as they move up and down or side to side. They can only be defeated from the front because of the spikes and a stinger on their back. Cactus Woods Booster Barrel Skyway


Image Name Description Level Appearance
Congazuma in DK: King of Swing. Congazuma Congazuma is a large Kremling statue and the first boss encountered by Donkey Kong. He attacks by slowly jumping toward him. Donkey Kong can attack Congazuma by performing a charge attack into him. He must do this four times to defeat Congazuma. Congazuma's Castle
Fire Necky in DK: King of Swing. Fire Necky As his name suggests, Fire Necky is a large Necky engulfed in flame. He attacks by spitting flames which crystallize into rocks shortly after. Donkey Kong must throw seven rocks at Fire Necky to defeat him. Fire Necky's Nest
Davy Bones in DK: King of Swing. Davy Bones Davy Bones is the undead skeleton of an eel. It attacks 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 Davy Bones' tail and swing it into the spikes on the edges. When Davy Bones is hit against the spikes enough times, it is defeated. Davy Bones' Locker
Sassy Squatch in DK: King of Swing. Sassy Squatch Sassy Squatch is a massive sasquatch who chases Donkey Kong up a mountain. Donkey Kong can attack Sassy Squatch by throwing bombs into its large mouth. After taking a hit, Sassy Squatch shoots out crystalized pegs for Donkey Kong to continue up to the next section. When enough bombs are thrown into Sassy Squatch's mouth, it gets defeated. Sassy Squatch's Lair
A sprite of King K. Rool, from DK: King of Swing. King K. Rool K. Rool is the fifth and final boss of the game. He and Donkey Kong first engage in a Climbing Race. If Donkey Kong wins, the king challenges him to an Attack Battle. If Donkey Kong also defeats K. Rool at the attack battle, the game ends, and Donkey Kongs recovers all the medals. King K. Rool

Worlds and levels[edit]

There are five worlds, each with four regular levels and a boss level at the end. There are a total of 25 levels in the game.

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 One 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 Five Bananas Banana bunches are found in most levels and add a total of five bananas to Donkey Kong's stash.
DKKOS 10Bananas.png Ten 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.
Sprite of a Crystal Coconut from DK: King of Swing. 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.
Spike Spike Spikes are common obstacles throughout some levels. They cause Donkey Kong one heart of damage if he makes contact with them. Spikes can be found lining the floors, walls, or ceilings, or appear as floating balls. Floating spikes can be stationary or move in set patterns.
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-Neckys 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.
A Question Barrel in DK: King of Swing. 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 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 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


While playing around with a Game Boy Advance, Paon employee Atsushi Kaneko had an idea to make a game that used the system's shoulder button to simulate the action of grabbing with one's left and right hands, being inspired by the hobby of free climbing.[3] The Paon team made the initial pitch to Nintendo with an original character, but afterwards producer Toshiharu Izuno suggested to make it star Donkey Kong as to give the game more international appeal and because he thought Donkey Kong best conveyed the visual of a character climbing with his feet dangling.[3] The game started development in earnest on the summer of 2003 but it took the Paon developers about half a year to create proper visuals for Donkey Kong.[3] Nintendo heavily supervised Donkey Kong's design and portrayal, explaining to the developers that the character has a "warm image and a bit of a laid-back feel."[3] The game was originally made for the Nintendo GameCube in mind until halfway through development after which the target system changed to the Game Boy Advance.[3]


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
DK: King of Swing beta This screen shows five heart points, while in the final, there are 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 floating spikes were not found in this area in the final game.
DifferentArea.jpg This area does not exist in the final game.

Nintendo eShop description[edit]

King K. Rool has stolen the medals to be used in the Jungle Jam Tournament just as the festivities are ramping up, putting a damper to everyone's good spirits. With Cranky's blessing and techniques, Donkey Kong sets off to bring those medals back to their rightful place!

Grab, climb, and swing on pegs as you charge and bash through enemies that block your way. Collect bananas and Crystal Coconuts in the five worlds of Adventure mode, or play some puzzling levels in Single-player Jungle Jam mode.

Find those medals, and let the festivities begin!


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.
Help:MediaHaving trouble playing?

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ぶらぶらドンキー
Burabura Donkī
Hanging Donkey

Chinese (simplified) 摇摆森喜刚[4]
Yáobǎi Sēnxǐgāng
Swing Donkey Kong

German DK: King of Swing


  • It is the first game where Funky Kong, Wrinkly Kong, Kritter, and King K. Rool are playable.
  • It is the first and 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.
  • A promotional browser game was released in 2005 called DK: King of Swing -- Hurling for Distance.


  1. ^ (March 2005). Nintendo Official Magazine Issue 150 (UK). EMAP. Page 2.
  2. ^ Games : DK: King of Swing. (American English). Archived June 8, 2007, 21:09:36 UTC from the original via Wayback Machine. Retrieved May 12, 2024.
  3. ^ a b c d e Nintendo Online Magazine Interview. Nintendo. Archived November 2, 2005, 03:37:38 UTC from the original via Wayback Machine. Retrieved May 12, 2024.
  4. ^ From the unreleased iQue version.

External links[edit]