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DK Coins, also 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. Cranky Kong has hidden them in each level in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest for Diddy Kong and Dixie Kong to find. Some of the places that these coins are hidden include a room that has a secret passage to access it, as an end of the level prize, or even in a bonus stage. There are forty coins total. A DK symbol appears next to the level name after the player has found the DK Coin in that level in Donkey Kong Country 2, and a yellow pennant appears in Donkey Kong Country 3.
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest/Land 2
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 remake of Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest for the Game Boy Advance, twenty-eight new DK Coins were added making a grand total of sixty-eight DK Coins. To earn these new coins, the following must be done:
The remaining forty coins are located in the same spot as 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 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!/Land III
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 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 be over it with a Steel Keg, then the player will have to throw it and wait for the barrel to hit the wall and come back to hit the Koin.
If the player fails to defeat a Koin with a Steel Keg, a new keg will usually regenerate in most levels. However, in levels that the Steel Keg is a reward for something, only one chance is given to defeat the Koin. There are a total of forty-one 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.
In Donkey Kong Land III, there are forty-two coins hidden in the game. The DK Coin is usually seen guarded by the Koin in all levels except those in sea settings (where they are seen floating and spinning). Exclusive in this game, DK Coins can 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 collected to unlock some cheats.