Donkey Kong 3

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It has been requested that this article be rewritten and expanded to include more information. Reason: Identify differences between the Japanese and international arcade versions.

This article is about the arcade version of Donkey Kong 3. For the Game & Watch game based on it, see Donkey Kong 3 (Game & Watch). For the microgame from WarioWare: Twisted!, see Donkey Kong 3 (WarioWare: Twisted!). For the microgame from WarioWare: Touched!, see Donkey Kong 3 (WarioWare: Touched!).
"DK3" redirects here. For information about the third installment in the "Donkey Konga" series, see Donkey Konga 3: Tabehōdai! Haru Mogitate 50 Kyoku. For the microgame from WarioWare: D.I.Y. Showcase, see DK 3.
Donkey Kong 3
The cabinet artwork for Donkey Kong 3.
Art of the arcade cabinet
For alternate box art, see the game's gallery.
Developer Nintendo Research & Development 1
Publisher Nintendo
Release date Arcade:
Japan October 21, 1983[1]
USA November 1983
Europe 1983
Japan July 4, 1984
USA June 1986
Europe September 15, 1987
USA April 21, 2003
Virtual Console (Wii):
USA July 14, 2008
Japan July 23, 2008
Europe January 9, 2009
Australia January 9, 2009
Virtual Console (Nintendo 3DS):
Japan March 27, 2013
USA December 5, 2013
Europe December 12, 2013
Australia December 12, 2013
South Korea July 6, 2016
Virtual Console (Wii U):
USA September 26, 2013
Europe October 24, 2013
Australia October 24, 2013
Japan November 6, 2013
Nintendo Switch (Arcade Archives):
Japan April 5, 2019
USA April 5, 2019
Europe April 5, 2019
Australia April 5, 2019
Nintendo Entertainment System - Nintendo Switch Online:
Japan July 17, 2019
USA July 17, 2019[2]
Europe July 17, 2019
Australia July 17, 2019
HK July 17, 2019
South Korea July 17, 2019
Language(s) English (United States)
Genre Retro/Platform
Fixed Shooter
Mode(s) Up to 2 players, alternating turns
Cabinet Upright and cocktail
Monitor Raster, standard resolution
Wiimote Sideways.png Wii Remote (Horizontal)
Wii U:
Wiimote Sideways.png Wii Remote (Horizontal)
Nintendo Switch:
Nintendo 3DS:

Donkey Kong 3 is the third game in the Donkey Kong arcade series. Unlike its predecessors, Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr., it does not feature Mario and instead stars Stanley, having been designed with the Game & Watch game Greenhouse in mind.[3] The game's approach is closer to a shoot 'em up rather than a platformer, further distinguishing it from the previous Donkey Kong games.

Hudson Soft developed a semi-sequel to Donkey Kong 3, titled Donkey Kong 3: Dai Gyakushū, featuring new levels and gameplay. Donkey Kong 3 was ported to the Nintendo Entertainment System under the Arcade Classics Series of games, came out for the e-Reader as part of Series Three, along with seeing a Virtual Console release for the Wii, Nintendo 3DS, and Wii U. The Japanese and international arcade versions were released under Hamster Corporation's Arcade Archives brand on the Nintendo Switch's eShop on April 5, 2019.[4] In addition, an emulation of the NES port exists as an obtainable item in Animal Crossing.


Donkey Kong breaks into Stanley's greenhouse and goes to hang in the rafters where he stirs up nests of bugs, which will destroy Stanley's flowers in revenge. Armed with a Sprayer, Stanley must destroy the bees and chase Donkey Kong away before he eats all five of his flowers. If Stanley is defeated, the insects immediately eat him, though this is removed in the NES port.


Screenshot of the blue greenhouse in the arcade version of Donkey Kong 3
The first stage

The game is very simplistic, requiring the player to gather points as the object rather than have any specific long-term goal in mind. There are three screens per level, and once the player completes all three, they return to the first. Throughout the screens are scattered various enemies: Buzzbees, Creepies, Super Bees, Vine Eaters, Beespies which shatter into stingers when destroyed, Attackers, Kabutomushi, and Butterflies. Buzzbees and Butterflies attempt to steal Stanley's flowers, and must be destroyed before reaching the plants. Donkey Kong himself hangs from two vines at the top of the screen. Spraying him drives him upwards and eventually off the screen to win. In the arcade version, defeating him in the yellow greenhouse causes his head to be pushed into a beehive. Stanley automatically moves out of his way as Donkey Kong falls, where the beehive splits in half. He becomes stunned, and Stanley does a victory dance.[5] In the NES version, the beehive falls on his head, but the rest of the cutscene is absent.[6]

The gray greenhouse never appears in the first round. The yellow greenhouse directly follows the blue greenhouse, but the gray greenhouse is included in all rounds following the first. The blue greenhouse is repeated from the 159th screen to the 255th screen. The game then loops back to the first round which skips the gray greenhouse.

In some stages, a Super Sprayer can be found, attached to the vines Donkey Kong hangs by. When he is pushed up to its levels, it falls, allowing Stanley to equip it for a limited time. It turns his insecticide yellow and it becomes more powerful, even being able to defeat Creepies.


Character Name Information
Stanley from Donkey Kong 3 Stanley (Super Sprayer) from Donkey Kong 3 Stanley The player character, who must use his spray to get rid of Donkey Kong and the insect pests. With the Super Sprayer, he gets more power.
Donkey Kong Donkey Kong The troublesome gorilla. Defeating him is the main objective.

Enemies and obstacles[edit]

Enemy Name Debut Information
Sprite of a beehive from Donkey Kong 3 Beehive Round 1 The source of all the troublesome insects, Donkey Kong's head must be knocked inside one to stop them.
Sprite of a coconut from Donkey Kong 3 Coconut Round 1 Hard fruit thrown by Donkey Kong.
Buzzbee before round 12 in the arcade version of Donkey Kong 3 Buzzbee after round 12 in the arcade version of Donkey Kong 3 Buzzbee Round 1 The most basic insect enemies, which toss spears and try to steal the flowers. After round 12 (9 on NES), their appearance changes.
Creepy from the arcade version of Donkey Kong 3 Gray Creepy from the arcade version of Donkey Kong 3 Creepy Round 1 Inchworms that crawl along vines. Yellow ones go after flowers, but gray ones simply block shots.
Super Bee from the arcade version of Donkey Kong 3 Super Bee Round 1 Speedy, aggressive bees that are the result of a Buzzbee grabbing a flower. They are absent in the NES version.
Vine Eater from the arcade version of Donkey Kong 3 Vine Eater Round 1 Strange insects that bite through Donkey Kong's vines if Stanley takes too long. They are absent in the NES version.
Beespy from the arcade version of Donkey Kong 3 Blue Beespy from the arcade version of Donkey Kong 3 Beespy Round 3 Buzzbee queens that take two hits to defeat and are sometimes escorted by standard Buzzbees. Upon defeat, four spears rain forth.
Attacker from the arcade version of Donkey Kong 3 Attacker Round 6 Thin blue bees that charge at Stanley horizontally.
Kabutomushi from the arcade version of Donkey Kong 3 Kabutomushi Round 18
Round 12 (NES)
Rhinoceros beetles that act as quicker Attackers.
Butterfly from the arcade version of Donkey Kong 3 Butterfly Round 24
Round 15 (NES)
Erratic flyers that go after both Stanley and the flowers.



Main article: List of Donkey Kong 3 staff


Release Reviewer, Publication Score Comment
Wii Lucas M. Thomas, IGN 6/10 "Fans of arcade shooters like Galaga should be the first to consider the 500 Wii Point investment that it would take to download Donkey Kong 3, as, though it's part of the original DK series, it plays more similarly to the alien-invading blaster designs of the early '80s. This VC download is also a more compelling digital purchase than the Virtual Console versions of the first Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr., as well, because it's a more replayable design and didn't lose any content in its transition from the arcade to the NES."
Wii Pedro Hernandez, Nintendo World Report N/A "If you are able to look past the different style of gameplay and strip yourself of the notion that you are playing a "Donkey Kong" game, Donkey Kong 3 is a really fun fast-paced game that provides a nice breath of fresh air when it comes to classic gaming. But those who have been raised on the idea that Donkey Kong doesn't deviate from its first iconic arcade release will see this as being a fun but brief diversion. That's why this is a release best recommended for fans that enjoyed the game during its initial release on the arcade and NES and who are able to enjoy it without letting the different game style be a bother."
Nintendo 3DS Morgan Sleeper, Nintendo Life 6/10 "It's not a timeless classic like the original Donkey Kong, but the great ape's third outing still has plenty to recommend for retro fans. It's very simple fun, with a unique shooter/platformer gameplay mix that feels different from any other DK to date, and quick play sessions that encourage high-score chasing and honing your skills. It's dated and silly short by modern standards, but for old-school arcade fans not bugged by a challenge - and anyone looking to get in on the ground floor with a forgotten Nintendo character before the inevitable Year of Stanley - Donkey Kong 3 is worth a shake."


According to The Ultimate History of Video Games, the arcade version of Donkey Kong 3 moved 5,000 units in North America, representing a steep decline from the previous installments (which sold 60,000 and 30,000 unit respectively, according to the same book).[7] Unlike earlier titles, Donkey Kong 3 never had dedicated cabinets, but was sold only as Nintendo-Pak conversion kits to Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., and Popeye cabinets. This foreshadowed the VS. System, the Nintendo PlayChoice-10, and the Nintendo Super System.

Nintendo eShop description[edit]

Based on the third game in the enormously popular arcade series, Donkey Kong 3 introduces an exterminator named Stanley as he desperately tries to protect the flowers in his greenhouse from Donkey Kong.

Armed only with a can of bug spray, Stanley must force Donkey Kong higher and higher into the greenhouse rafters until Donkey Kong is off the screen and the next stage is reached. But not surprisingly, Donkey Kong isn’t going to move without a fight, so he sends wave after wave of bugs, bees, and other creatures toward Stanley.

Not only must Stanley repel the insects in order to save the flowers, but he’ll have to keep an eye out for projectiles thrown by Donkey Kong himself. If Stanley is good enough, he’ll be able to grab a can of more powerful bug spray and really get Donkey Kong moving.

It all adds up to frantic fun that anyone can enjoy!


For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Donkey Kong 3.



Audio.svg Game Start Theme
File infoMedia:DK3 Arcade Game Start Theme.oga
Audio.svg Blue and Gray Greenhouse Theme
File infoMedia:DK3 Arcade Blue Greenhouse and Gray Greenhouse Theme.oga
Audio.svg Blue and Gray Greenhouse Clear Theme
File infoMedia:DK3 Arcade Blue Greenhouse and Gray Greenhouse Clear Theme.oga
Audio.svg Yellow Greenhouse Theme
File infoMedia:DK3 Arcade Yellow Greenhouse Theme.oga
Audio.svg Yellow Greenhouse Clear Theme
File infoMedia:DK3 Arcade Yellow Greenhouse Clear Theme.oga
Audio.svg Super Sprayer Theme
File infoMedia:DK3 Arcade Power Spray Theme.oga
Audio.svg Game Over Theme
File infoMedia:DK3 Arcade Game Over Theme.oga
Help:MediaHaving trouble playing?


Audio.svg Title Theme
File infoMedia:DK3 NES Title Theme.oga
Help:MediaHaving trouble playing?

References in later games[edit]

The greenhouse in the background

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ドンキーコング3
Donkī Kongu Surī
Donkey Kong 3


External links[edit]