DK Island Swing
"DK Island Swing" is a recurring musical theme most commonly heard within the Donkey Kong franchise. It is first heard in the first level of Donkey Kong Country, Jungle Hijinxs, and was composed by David Wise. The theme has since been synonymous with the franchise as well as Donkey Kong himself.
The theme consists of three distinct portions, beginning with a jungle ambience and a drum beat, followed by the main, upbeat melody, and finally a calmer, slower-tempo melody before looping back to the beginning.
During Donkey Kong Country's development, David Wise was asked to write some demo pieces for a jungle level. He wrote three pieces, under the impression that they would be used just for the tech demo to be sent to Nintendo in Japan. After Wise presented them, he was told to combine them together into one piece, which ultimately became the theme heard in the final game.
In composing "DK Island Swing," Wise took influences from a variety of jungle-styled musical pieces and came up with an original theme, while maintaining the familiar elements that make it "sound like a jungle." The composition process took a long time, with Wise first coming up with a melody and working on it for days until he felt it worked for the level and "breathe[d] quite naturally."
Donkey Kong franchise
Donkey Kong Country
In Donkey Kong Country, "DK Island Swing" is the theme used for every jungle level in the game: Jungle Hijinxs, Ropey Rampage, Barrel Cannon Canyon, and Orang-utan Gang. A slower-paced version of the main melody was also incorporated into "Mine Cart Madness," the theme used for the Mine Cart levels Mine Cart Carnage and Mine Cart Madness.
Donkey Kong Land
As Donkey Kong Land is a Game Boy title based on Donkey Kong Country, the jungle levels in the game (Jungle Jaunt, Simian Swing, Tyre Trail, and Congo Carnage, all of which are located in the first world of the game) use a chiptune arrangement of "DK Island Swing," with the introductory ambience and third portion of the original cut out, and slight variations to the notes leading up to the main riff. This arrangement was also later included in the Game Boy Color version of Donkey Kong Country in the same levels as in the original game.
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest
Though the original theme does not appear in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, the Bonus Area music for the game, known as "Token Tango," uses a more upbeat arrangement of the middle portion of "DK Island Swing," and was also composed by David Wise. In addition, "Krook's March", which plays in castle levels, contains a march-like variation of the main melody of "DK Island Swing" towards the end.
Donkey Kong Land 2
Donkey Kong 64
"DK Island Swing" was arranged by Grant Kirkhope for the first area of Donkey Kong 64, Jungle Japes. It uses the opening drum beat and main melody for the first half, while the second half includes variations of the main melody as well as an original melody. A calmer version of this arrangement also plays past the cave in Jungle Japes, while a slower-tempo, marimba version of the main melody plays inside the cave itself. A horn-heavy, more sinister-sounding arrangement of the main melody also plays in the stormy area of Jungle Japes, and a slower, woodwind-heavy version plays in certain optional caves, as well as the ship floating around the lighthouse in Gloomy Galleon.
The theme's main melody is also used for the Kongs' transformations. A sped-up variation of the Jungle Japes arrangement plays during Donkey Kong's Strong Kong form, a light-hearted arrangement for Tiny Kong's Mini Monkey form, and a slow-paced, tuba arrangement for Chunky Kong's Hunky Chunky form.
Donkey Kong also plays the main melody on his Bongos.
Donkey Kong Country (Game Boy Color)
Donkey Kong Country (Game Boy Advance)
"DK Island Swing" was arranged for the Game Boy Advance version of Donkey Kong Country, with a slightly slower tempo.
Donkey Kong Country 2
"Token Tango" was adapted for the Game Boy Advance version of Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, using less reverberation.
Donkey Kong Jungle Beat
An arrangement of "DK Island Swing" by Nintendo composer Mahito Yokota is used in the first level of Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, Dawn Savanna, consisting of the drum beat, main melody, and an extended version of the melody's final notes similar to Super Smash Bros. Melee's arrangement played on the piano. A shortened variation of the theme also plays in the victory fanfare after Donkey Kong defeats a boss.
DK: King of Swing
Donkey Kong Country 3
"DK Island Swing" partly appears in the Game Boy Advance remake of Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! It can be heard in the level "Stampede Sprint." Shortly into the level, when Ellie is scared by some Sneeks, she runs away at high speed. The song that plays during Ellie's sprint starts with a more frantic rendition of "DK Island Swing"'s main melody.
Donkey Kong Country Returns
Donkey Kong Country Returns features three full arrangements of "DK Island Swing." The first, titled "Jungle Hijinxs," is an arrangement of the entire theme, except the third portion's tempo is sped up to match that of the rest of the theme. It plays in the first and third levels of the game, Jungle Hijinxs and Tree Top Bop, respectively, as well as in the game's E3 2010 trailer. It also returns in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U as one of the Jungle Hijinxs stage's selectable songs and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for any stage related to the Donkey Kong series, only with the intro cut off.
The second arrangement, titled "King of Cling," is an arrangement exclusively of the third portion of "DK Island Swing," using a flute as its main instrument. It plays in the second and fifth levels of the game, King of Cling and Canopy Cannons, respectively, and later in the Forest levels Clingy Swingy and Springy Spores. In Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, the jungle level in the Cloud world, Crushin' Columns, uses "King of Cling" for its music.
The third arrangement, titled "Palm Tree Groove," is a cool jazz-styled rendition of the main melody that plays in two of the game's silhouette levels, Sunset Shore and Foggy Fumes. However, the music that plays in the third silhouette level, Smokey Peak, is a slightly different version, replacing the piano with an electric organ and incorporating a male chorus throughout the duration of the track as well as an electric organ solo straight after the main melody.
Additionally, the credits theme, which in itself uses an arrangement of Donkey Kong Country's credits theme, "The Credits Concerto," incorporates the main riff of "DK Island Swing."
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
David Wise returned to compose the soundtrack for Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and created two arrangements of "DK Island Swing" for the temple levels, 20 years since he composed the original. The first is based on the third portion of the original theme, and plays in Swinger Flinger, Precarious Pendulums, and Platform Problems.
The second is a jazz-styled rendition of the entire theme, with the third portion's tempo matching the rest of the theme (similar to Donkey Kong Country Returns's rendition), and plays in every other temple level: Bopopolis, Spinning Spines, and Slippy Spikes. This arrangement also plays in the game's E3 2013 trailer, and later appears in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U for the Jungle Hijinxs stage and in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for every Donkey Kong stage, though it was erroneously titled "Swinger Flinger" in the English version of both games.
Additionally, the credits theme incorporates the main riff of "DK Island Swing," with slightly different notes. Additionally, the scene after the credits where Donkey Kong obtains the seventh mysterious relic plays the theme's first two bars to end on an A major triad.
Mario Party series
Mario Party 10
Super Smash Bros. series
Super Smash Bros.
Marking the full theme's first use outside of games centered on Donkey Kong, an arrangement of "DK Island Swing" appears in Super Smash Bros. in the Congo Jungle stage, arranged by HAL Laboratory composer Hirokazu Ando. The arrangement is a faithful recreation of the original theme.
The arrangement later appears under the title "Kongo Jungle" for the same stage in Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, for the Jungle Japes stage in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, and for any Donkey Kong stage in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. In 3DS/Wii U and Ultimate, the first portion is omitted.
Super Smash Bros. Melee
Another arrangement was created for Super Smash Bros. Melee for the stage Jungle Japes, sharing its title with the stage. For this rendition, the introduction has been shortened and leads straight to the main melody, and the final notes of the main melody have been extended.
This arrangement later appears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the same stage and in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for any Donkey Kong stage. It was arranged by Shogo Sakai from HAL Laboratory, though the arrangement credits were not revealed until Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, as neither Super Smash Bros. Melee nor Super Smash Bros. Brawl names the arranger for any song and Melee songs, respectively, and the arrangement does not appear in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U. The arrangement also appears under the name "Donkey Kong Country Theme" as a selectable track in Donkey Konga.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Like Super Smash Bros., Super Smash Bros. Brawl features a faithful arrangement of the original "DK Island Swing" simply titled "Jungle Level," this time arranged by Kentaro Ishizaka, also from HAL Laboratory. The song can be played on the Rumble Falls stage. It also plays in The Jungle in the Subspace Emissary, albeit with the first portion omitted.
A second arrangement titled "Jungle Level Ver. 2," arranged by Motoi Sakuraba, also can be played in Rumble Falls. This arrangement is a much faster-paced version of "DK Island Swing."
Both arrangements later reappear in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. "Jungle Level" plays on the Jungle Hijinxs stage, while "Jungle Level Ver. 2" plays on the Kongo Jungle (64) stage. In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, only "Jungle Level Ver. 2" (now renamed "Jungle Level (Brawl)") reappears.
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS
Although a full arrangement of "DK Island Swing" does not appear in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, the arrangement of the Rocket Barrel level theme from Donkey Kong Country Returns, "Gear Getaway," incorporates the theme's main riff in the second half.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U introduces two new arrangements of "DK Island Swing," both of which were arranged by Bandai Namco composer Hiroyuki Kawada. The first, "Jungle Level Jazz Style," plays on the Jungle Hijinxs stage, and features jazz and ragtime music. The theme's third portion is also omitted. The second, "Jungle Level Tribal Style," plays on the Kongo Jungle (64) stage, takes on a more jungle-styled approach similar to the original, and incorporates the entire theme. Both arrangements return in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Counting previous arrangements of "DK Island Swing," Super Smash Bros. for Wii U features a total of seven different arrangements.
Mario Tennis series
Mario Power Tennis
In Mario Power Tennis, a brief arrangement of the main melody of "DK Island Swing" plays during the DK Jungle Court's introduction. Another, fast-paced arrangement plays during a game point. The game's soundtrack was composed and arranged by Motoi Sakuraba.
Mario Tennis Open
In Mario Tennis Open, an arrangement of the first portion of the theme plays during DK Jungle's introduction, while an upbeat arrangement of the main melody plays during the match. Drums are prominent throughout the latter, and a piano solo can be heard towards the end. As with Mario Power Tennis, the music was arranged by Sakuraba.
Mario vs. Donkey Kong series
Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis / Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again!
In Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis, an arrangement plays in the levels of the final floor of the game, Jungle Hijinks. A slightly different variation plays in Special Kit 3 custom levels in the Construction Zone. While the Mini Marios or Mini Donkey Kongs are inactive, only the jungle ambience and drum beat play; after they begin to move, the music cuts to a later part of the theme, depending on which level the player is currently playing. The third portion of the original theme is excluded from both arrangements. In addition, the main melody of "DK Island Swing" is arranged for the music that plays during the encounter on the Roof and in DK's Hideout, where it plays after an arrangement of the 25m theme.
In Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again!, the Jungle Hijinks arrangement is reused for the Normal Mode levels of Jungle Rumble, while the version heard in Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis custom levels is reused for Rooms R-7, R-8 and R-9. A variation of the track that plays in Roof and DK's Hideout levels appears in Room B-8.
Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem!
The "DK Island Swing" arrangement used in the previous games reappears with slight modifications in the first three levels of Jumpy Jungle in Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem!. There are also two additional arrangements based on the Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis version, one used in Areas 2-5, 2-6, and 2-7, and the other in the multi-exit door levels. Both use new melodies while retaining notes of the original theme, although the former uses the March of the Minis arrangement during its first half.
Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move
Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars
All three arrangements from Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem! return in Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars throughout the Jumpy Jungle world as well as in Levels B-3 and B-4. Compared to their Mini-Land Mayhem! versions, these arrangements use slightly more reverberation.
Mario Super Sluggers
WarioWare: D.I.Y. Showcase
Mario Kart series
A fast-paced, jazz arrangement plays in DK Jungle in Mario Kart 7, Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. The first and third portions are absent, although the three-note echo heard at the beginning of the latter was incorporated in the second half of the arrangement. It was arranged by Satomi Terui. In the latter two games, unlike the other retro tracks, the music is the same as the original, although it was given a slight enhancement.
Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
A jazz arrangement appears as in the Wii U version of Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, titled as "Diddy Kong's theme", which is initially heard when playing against Diddy Kong in Rugby Sevens, and is later unlocked as a selectable music track for all Events.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
In Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, which was composed and arranged by Grant Kirkhope, Rabbid Kong's battle theme during the first phase incorporates an orchestrated arrangement of the music that plays in the stormy area of Jungle Japes in Donkey Kong 64, which in itself is an arrangement of "DK Island Swing." The main riff can also be heard in later parts of the music as well as in the second- and third-phase music.
List of Mario appearances