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DK Coins (originally known as Cranky's Video Game Hero Coins) are first introduced in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. They are generally well-hidden, and are mainly used to increase the file's completion percentage.
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest / Donkey Kong Land 2
In Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, Cranky Kong has hidden them in each level for Diddy Kong and Dixie Kong to find. Some of the places that these coins are hidden include secret passages, as an end-of-level prize (in two levels), or even within a level's bonus stage. There are 40 coins total. A DK Coin symbol appears next to the level name after the player has found the DK Coin in that level.
When the game is completed, Cranky will tally up all the DK Coins that have been collected and will then rank the Kongs on how many they have obtained.
In the Game Boy Advance remake of Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, 28 new DK Coins were added, making a new grand total of 68 DK Coins. To earn these new coins, the following must be done:
The remaining forty coins are located in the same spots as they were in the original game.
DK Coins also make an appearance in Donkey Kong Land 2. In Donkey Kong Land 2, there are forty DK Coins to be found like in the original version of Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest; each level has one hidden DK Coin in them.
Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!
In Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!, the DK Coins make a return. They are each hidden in a level like in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, but with one difference. An enemy known as Koin uses a DK Coin as a shield, as Koins must be defeated to obtain it. To defeat a Koin, the Kongs need to throw a Steel Barrel over it, then wait for the barrel to hit the wall behind it and come back to hit the Koin. In some levels there is no wall involved however, so the Kongs will have to find another way to defeat Koin.
If the player fails to defeat a Koin with a Steel Barrel, a new keg will usually regenerate in most levels. However, in levels that the Steel Barrel is a reward for something, only one chance is given to defeat the Koin. There are a total of 41 DK Coins in this game. When a DK Coin has been collected in a level, a yellow pennant will appear on top of the Level Flag of that level on the world map.
Only one DK Coin is not guarded by a Koin. It is earned by completing the level Knautilus.
Once the player has found all the DK Coins, they can go over to Funky's Rentals and trade them in for a Gyrocopter which will allow players to fly around the Northern Kremisphere. This will give access to the last three Banana Bird Caves that are only accessible by using the Gyrocopter.
Donkey Kong Land III
In Donkey Kong Land III, there are 42 DK Coins hidden in the game. The DK Coin is usually seen guarded by the Koin in all levels except those in undersea levels (where they are seen floating and spinning, as in Donkey Kong Country 2 and Donkey Kong Land 2). Exclusive in this game, DK Coins can also be obtained by playing a card game in the Sheepy Shop in each world. A certain number Bonus Coins are needed to play this card game. The object of the card game is to match two pairs and keep on doing that until all pairs are found. There is also a time limit too and the game will end if players fail to find all the pairs when time is up.
DK Coins in Donkey Kong Land III are used to enter the Lost World after Baron K. Roolenstein is beaten in Tin Can Valley. All DK Coins will need to have found in all the levels between the first one and the duel with Roolenstein. DK Coins are also used to battle Roolenstein for the last time by gaining the remaining DK Coins in the Lost World levels as well as all of the Stop Watches.
Donkey Kong 64
DK Coins reappear in Donkey Kong 64, were they appear as collectibles during two of the Training Barrel challenges and certain minigames, namely, Stash Snatch, Splish Splash Salvage, Speedy Swing Sortie, all three Mine Cart Rides, the two races against the Mini Car and the Beetle and the race against the Seal. In the foremost three, the player needs to collect a certain amount of them before time expires. During the minecart rides, the player needs to collect 50 of them (25 in Creepy Castle's version) before reaching the finish line, and during every race, a certain amount of them and simultaneously beat the character the player faces during the race. Completing the criteria in any of these minigames will reward the player with a Golden Banana.
DK: King of Swing
DK Coins also appear in DK: King of Swing. Here, they were to be the prizes for the upcoming Jungle Jam tournament. Unfortunately all the DK Coins are stolen by King K. Rool before the tournament could begin. Donkey Kong ventured throughout Donkey Kong Island to reclaim the coins.
DK: King of Swing, along with having the golden DK Coins, also introduces smaller silver and bronze ones. Both of these types of DK Coin are lesser in value and more common than large gold ones.
DK: Jungle Climber
DK Coins return in DK: Jungle Climber and are used to unlock some cheats. There is one found in every level.