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DK Coins (originally known as Cranky's Video Game Hero Coins, or simply 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 Area. There are 40 DK Coins in total. A DK Coin symbol appears next to a level's name after Diddy and Dixie find 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 it.
Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!
In Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!, DK Coins make a return. There is one per 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. The Kongs must defeat the Koin to obtain the DK Coin. To defeat the enemy, the Kongs need to throw a Steel Barrel over it, then wait for the barrel to rebound against the wall and hit the Koin. However, some levels do not have a wall to bounce the Steel Barrel off of, so the Kongs must find another way 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 for 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 grants 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 guarded by Koin in all levels, except 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 of Bonus Coins are needed to play this card game. The object of the card game is to match pairs until all pairs are found. There is also a time limit, and the game will end if players fail to match all the pairs when time runs out.
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 and Stop Watches need to be found before the last fight with Baron K. Roolenstein.
Donkey Kong 64
DK Coins reappear in Donkey Kong 64, where 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, 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 are to be the prizes for the upcoming Jungle Jam tournament. However, all the DK Coins are stolen by King K. Rool before the tournament can begin. Donkey Kong ventures 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.