Donkey Kong 64
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Donkey Kong 64 is a 3D action-adventure platformer game developed by Rare and released for the Nintendo 64 console in 1999. It is a follow-up to the original Donkey Kong Country trilogy for the Super Nintendo console, taking place after the events of Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!. The game requires the use of the Expansion Pak in order to function and was the first Nintendo 64 game to do so. In the game, Donkey Kong and his friends set off in a quest to stop the evil King K. Rool from destroying the Kongs' homeland, Donkey Kong Island, with a powerful machine called the Blast-o-Matic, which is located in a mechanical version of Crocodile Isle. So far, the title is the first and only 3D platformer game in the Donkey Kong franchise. The game was originally nicknamed Ultra Donkey Kong by the press (although Leigh Loveday denied the game was ever named that internally) and was rumored to be for the Nintendo 64DD.
“Left!” rasped a voice to his left.
The story begins in the peaceful Donkey Kong Island, which is the homeland of the Kongs. The Kremling Krew is shown sailing a fortified, technological version of Crocodile Isle to the Kongs' island. King K. Rool is planning on destroying the island using the Blast-o-Matic. It was designed by a weasel engineer named Snide, who switched sides after a paranoid King K. Rool kicked him out. Due to Snide's absence, Kritters are charged with operating the Blast-o-Matic and piloting the island, but they are shown to be quite inexperienced and work lazily, which causes the island to crash into a rock in the way to Donkey Kong Island, and the Blast-o-Matic to become heavily damaged as a result. Crocodile Isle ends up directly in front of Donkey Kong Island, so K. Rool orders three of his minions, a Klump, a Kritter and a Kasplat, to steal Donkey Kong's Banana Hoard, which consists of two hundred Golden Bananas, and imprison the other Kongs, so as to buy time and distract Donkey Kong while the Kremling Krew repairs the damaged Blast-o-Matic.
Meanwhile, Donkey Kong is in his tree house, doing push ups while listening to the DK Rap on his radio. Squawks then suddenly appears in the house and tells Donkey Kong that all of his precious Golden Bananas are gone, and the other Kongs have vanished. Donkey Kong then goes to Cranky's Lab, where Cranky Kong offers homemade potions that give him and the other Kongs different abilities needed throughout the adventure, but only if Donkey Kong completes his training barrels first. Once Donkey Kong gains the new ability from Cranky's potion, he is able to start his quest to save the other Kongs and claim his Banana Hoard. At the beginning of his quest, Donkey Kong finds a mysterious island with a cave on it. Inside this cave is K. Lumsy, a giant Kremling that was kicked out from the Kremling Krew and trapped inside a cage for refusing to help K. Rool in his schemes. K. Lumsy asks Donkey Kong to release him from the cage by defeating various bosses and retrieving their keys. As Donkey Kong collects Golden Bananas, he eventually saves Diddy Kong in Jungle Japes, Lanky and Tiny Kong in Angry Aztec, and lastly Chunky Kong in Frantic Factory. The Kongs also meet the Banana Fairy Princess, who lives in the Banana Fairy Island and asks the Kongs to catch all the Banana Fairies with the Banana Fairy's Camera.
After the Kongs dismantle the Blast-o-Matic in three sections and collect the final boss key at Hideout Helm, K. Rool tries to desperately escape using his King Kruiser II. The Kongs, however, use the boss key to finally unlock the cage and free K. Lumsy, who starts to chase K. Rool's cruiser as it flies by Donkey Kong Island. During the chase, however, K. Lumsy accidentally trips over a rock and hits the cruiser, causing it to fall in the water. The Kongs then enter the King Kruiser's remains and battle K. Rool in a five-round boxing match. After the match, Funky Kong appears and launches a boot at K. Rool while he is distracted by Candy Kong, who pretends to flirt with him. K. Rool is finally defeated by the Kongs, and peace is restored to Donkey Kong Island.
The player controls one of the five available Kongs, and must venture into open and vast worlds similar to those found in Super Mario 64. Only Donkey Kong is available from the start, and the other Kongs are unlocked as part of the storyline. Unlocking all the Kongs is mandatory for completing the game, as the bosses can only be defeated by a certain Kong, with the exception of King Kut Out and K. Rool himself, as they are battled by all the Kongs. Each Kong has a unique set of abilities that are learned when the player purchases potions from Cranky Kong at his lab. The player can select between available Kongs by entering the various Tag Barrels located around the worlds.
The gameplay is heavily based upon item collection, and each stage features several items for each Kong to collect. It is not mandatory to collect every single item, but it is required if the player is aiming for 101% completion. All of the collectibles are of a certain color, and they can only be collected by a Kong whose color matches the color of the item. The most important items are the Golden Bananas, obtainable by accomplishing certain tasks, but there are various other types of collectibles for each Kong to find, such as Banana Medals, Banana Bunch Coins, Blueprints, etc. Each world features a certain number of items that can only be collected by a certain Kong, often making use of their unique abilities.
Donkey Kong Island acts as the hub world of the game, from which the player can access other areas. The first world of the game, Jungle Japes, can only be accessed when Donkey Kong talks to K. Lumsy at his island. When the Kongs collect a new Boss Key from the boss of a world, K. Lumsy starts to happily jump in his cage, causing a tremor that unlocks the passage to a new world. However, the only way to access new worlds is by collecting the amount of Golden Bananas displayed on B. Locker, who blocks the entrance to the world. When the Kongs have the appropriate amount of Golden Bananas, B. Locker disappears, allowing access to the world. The amount of Golden Bananas needed to unlock each world increases as the Kongs progress through the game.
Found at the end of each world is a boss that can only be accessed when the Kongs feed Scoff with a certain amount of bananas. The amount of bananas required to fight the boss increases as the Kongs progress through the worlds. When the Kongs feed Scoff with the appropriate amount of bananas, he becomes heavier and allows Troff to reach the key that unlocks the door to the boss. Each boss can only be fought by a certain Kong, whose face appears in the door before the battle. If another Kong tries to head through the door, it closes immediately. The boss battles are constructed around the designated Kong's abilities. By defeating the bosses, the Kongs gain Boss Keys that are used to unlock K. Lumsy's cage.
Donkey Kong is the main and starting character. Donkey Kong is a powerful character, with good attacking strength, but is slightly slower than Lanky. He can execute a kicking attack if the player presses the button, and he can also use a double-handed punch while in the air by pressing the button while jumping. Donkey Kong's weapon of choice is the Coconut Shooter, which he can use to shoot coconuts that can press certain switches. Donkey Kong is the only character who can access Baboon Blast challenges through the use of his Pad Move, and later on he gains the ability to pull rusty levers with his strength. Donkey Kong can collect yellow Bananas, Banana Bunch Coins and Blueprints, and his instrument is the bongo.
"He's the only ape who still cares enough to wear a tie. DK may not be the most powerful Kong - or the quickest - but he applies a strong blue-collar work ethic to the business of Kremling Crushing. That may be why he's the leader of the Kong Clan."
Diddy Kong is the first character to be unlocked, and the second Kong overall. Diddy Kong is unlocked in the first world of the game, Jungle Japes, where he is found imprisoned in a cell in a mountainside. Once he is freed, he becomes a playable character. Diddy Kong's attacks are not as strong as the other Kongs, such as Donkey, Lanky and Chunky Kong, but he is much faster and more agile. He is the second fastest Kong, losing only to Tiny Kong. Diddy's main attack is his trademark cartwheel which can be used to attack enemies, and he also has a tail attack done by pressing the button while he is in the air. Diddy Kong's weapon of choice is the Peanut Popgun, which can shoot peanuts that can hit certain switches. His instrument is the guitar, and he can collect red Bananas, Banana Bunch Coins and Blueprints.
"You'll probably recognize his familiar furry mug from past adventures. A mere bantamweight in bulk, this courageous chimp is the heavyweight champion of hard-core attitude. Whether he's rocking out on a six-stringed, amplified guitar or rocketing through the sky, he's always giving it 100 percent - Diddy Style."
Lanky Kong is one of the unlockable characters. He is unlocked in the second world, Angry Aztec, but the player can unlock Tiny first. Lanky is the most balanced Kong, having balanced speed, strength and agility, with good range on his attacks courtesy of his long arms. Lanky can stretch his arms to attack enemies by pressing the button, and he can also use his long arms to activate switches. During the game, Lanky learns how to inflate and float like a balloon when he stands on pads with his face on them, and he also learns how to walk around on his hands using the Orangstand and Orangstand Sprint, both allowing him to move climb up steep slopes and the latter making him move very fast. His weapon of choice is the Grape Shooter, a blowgun that can fire grapes to hit certain switches and attack enemies. His instrument is the trombone. Lanky Kong is able to collect blue Bananas, Banana Bunch Coins, and Blueprints.
"This knuckle-dragging Kong looks like a clown, and it's more than just a coincidence. Think of him as a twisted twig on a distant branch of the family tree. Kremlings and Klaptraps may snicker at his goofy gait as he ambles in their direction, but there's nothing funny about a hyper extended sucker punch."
Tiny Kong is the fourth unlockable character, and is the only female Kong to be playable. She, along with Lanky, can be unlocked in Angry Aztec, the second world of the game, and she can be unlocked either after or before Lanky, depending on if Diddy was rescued beforehand. Tiny is the fastest and most agile out of all the playable characters, but she has the weakest physical attacks among the Kongs. Her most prominent move is the Pony Tail Twirl, which allows her to float in the air and reduce her falling speed. Tiny can also shrink herself to access certain places once she learns the Mini-Monkey ability. Her main attack is using her hair to beat up enemies, done by pressing the button. She uses the Feather Bow as her weapon of choice, allowing her to shoot feathers that can hit certain switches and defeat enemies. Her instrument is the saxophone, and she can collect purple Bananas, Banana Bunch Coins and blueprints.
"Dixie's VERY little sister brings a big dose of flower power to the Kong's campaign. You'll find her pigtails perfect for pugilism and not too bad for a helicopter ride from the treetops. Tiny never shrinks from her responsibilities - even when she shrinks herself physically for a mouse's eye view of the action. "
Chunky Kong is the one of the Kongs to be unlocked, and he is found in the third world of the game, Frantic Factory. Chunky is the strongest Kong, which allows him to easily lift boulders and other heavy objects, as well as attack enemies with powerful punches. However, he is the slowest and least agile Kong, and has the lowest maximum jump height of all the characters. His main attack is spinning rapidly, attacking enemies close to him. Throughout the game, Chunky also learns to become invisible when he stands on a pad with his face on it, and he also learns to become giant upon entering a barrel with his face on it. Chunky Kong's weapon of choice is the Pineapple Launcher, which can fire pineapples that are used to hit certain switches and defeat enemies. His instrument is the triangle, and he can collect green Bananas, Banana Bunch Coins, and Blueprints.
"He's big. He's bad. He plays the triangle. Chunky is something of a primate paradox: brutal when the situation demands it, yet almost meek at other times. He's also not the sharpest knife in the drawer, so he'll need all the help you can give him. If there's heavy lifting to be done, however, Chunky is the Monkey to see."
Rambi the Rhino
Rambi the Rhino is one of the two playable Animal Friends in this game. He can use his strong horn to smash crates, attack enemies, and break huts and wooden walls with his face on them. Rambi appears in the first world, Jungle Japes, and also makes an appearance in one of Donkey Kong's minigames in Hideout Helm. Rambi has an unlockable arena where he makes an appearance. Donkey Kong is the only character that can transform into Rambi by entering his Animal Crate.
Enguarde the Swordfish
Enguarde the Swordfish can use his pointy bill to smash open treasure chests and reveal hidden items. He can also leap out of water to pass through DK logos floating in the air. Enguarde appears only in the world Gloomy Galleon, and in his unlockable arena. Lanky Kong is the only character who can turn into Enguarde.
Krusha is a Kremling originating from Donkey Kong Country, and is a character playable only in the game's Multiplayer mode. He is unlocked once the player collects fifteen Banana Fairies. He has similar attributes to Chunky Kong, as he is one of the strongest characters physically but lacks in speed and agility, although he has a few unique attacks, such as a fast sliding punch. His weapon of choice is the Orange grenade launcher, which is used to launch Oranges.
Klaptrap is a regular enemy that appears in various locations throughout the game, but he is playable in a minigame, "Beaver Bother". He must bark to scare away the numerous Gnawties into the hole in the middle of the arena before the time runs out.
Banana Fairy Princess
The Banana Fairy Princess is the princess of the Banana Fairies and lives in a fairy shaped structure on an island surrounding DK Isles. Only Tiny Kong can visit her, and when she does, the Banana Fairy Princess will request that the Kongs search for and return her Banana Fairies to her. The Banana Fairy Princess will then give away the Banana Camera Film and also gives the Kongs the ability to do a shockwave attack that can defeat almost any enemy in one hit.
K. Lumsy is a large Kremling who is first seen locked up in a large cage on an island beside Crocodile Isles. Unlike the other members of the Kremling Krew, K. Lumsy is a kind hearted Kremling who refuses to destroy DK Isles, which resulted in King K. Rool locking him up. The Kongs agree to collect the keys to K. Lumsy's prison and set him free, which is one of the game's main tasks.
Wrinkly Kong appears in the lobbies to each world (save for Hideout Helm) where she appears as a ghost, having died prior to the start of the game. Here she gives the Kongs hints towards one of their Golden Bananas in each level. The Wrinkly Doors are color coded to match each of the Kong's main colors.
Troff and Scoff
Troff and Scoff are a pig and hippopotamus, respectively, that appear in each boss portal. They appear standing beside each end of the boss door, with Troff trying to reach the key to unlock it and Scoff on the other end. The Kongs must feed Scoff in order for Troff to reach the key to open the boss door.
Snide is a weasel character who was once the chief technician for King K. Rool. However King K. Rool threw him out because he found him untrusting. Snide set out for revenge against him by asking the Kongs to locate the blueprints to the Blast-O-Matic and helping them with destroying it. Snide's HQ can be found in every level (excluding Hideout Helm) as well as DK Isles where the Kongs can exchange blueprints for Golden Bananas, as well as play bonus games after returning all the blueprints.
Throughout the game, the Kongs meet various characters within certain worlds. These characters often don't appear outside said world, with a few exceptions.
Buildings and Abilities
Cranky's Lab is a location that Cranky Kong resides in, and it appears in every area of the game, with the exception of Hideout Helm. Cranky has seemingly taken up science as a hobby, and in his lab, the player can buy different potions in exchange for Banana Bunch Coins to learn new techniques and abilities needed to progress throughout the game. Also, if the Kongs visit Cranky at his lab with at least fifteen Banana Medals, Cranky allows them to play a game called Jetpac (an early Rare game). The Kongs must get 5000 points in the game in order to obtain the Rareware Coin.
There are three kinds of potions that are available for the Kongs and each type of potion gives them a different ability. The types of abilities are as follows:
There are also shared potions which give all the Kongs the same ability - to press Kong Switches with their face on them.
Potions and prices
Funky's Store is a shop owned by Funky Kong where the Kongs can buy and reload their weapons. Each Kong has his or her own personalized weapon. They can use these weapons to shoot a variety of fruit-based projectiles to attack enemies, hit certain switches that have a certain fruit emblem on them, and hit Banana Balloons. Initially, the Kongs can have 50 rounds of ammunition, but this amount increases when the Kongs buy Funky's upgrades. The prices of his upgrades are as follows:
Candy's Music Shop
Candy Kong owns a music shop where she provides the Kongs with powerful instruments that they can use to make a variety of things happen. At certain points of the game, Candy also gives the Kongs an extra melon, increasing their health. Usually, when the Kongs play their instruments on certain locations, doors open or areas that were previously impossible to reach become accessible. The power of the instrument can also defeat all the enemies on the screen, but playing it reduces its energy. The Kongs can touch Candy's Headphones to replenish their instruments' energy, or visit Candy to reload the energy. The instrument, however, does not lose any energy if the Kongs play it when they are standing on a Music Pad.
Over the course of the game, the player may find Kasplats holding pieces of blueprint. If the player takes them to Snide's H.Q., Snide will trade the blueprints for Golden Bananas. There are a total of 40 blueprints in the game, 5 per world along with 5 in DK Isles. If the player delivers all of Snide's Blueprints, he will then allow the Kongs to play the various Bonus Stage games.
Wrinkly Doors are found in the lobby of each level (excluding Hideout Helm). As the name suggests, Wrinkly Kong will come out of each door if a Kong approaches it and give the Kong advice on one of their Golden Bananas hidden in each level. The doors are color coded for each Kong; yellow for Donkey Kong, red for Diddy Kong, purple for Tiny Kong, blue for Lanky Kong and green for Chunky Kong.
Troff the Pig and Scoff the Hippo guard the doors that lead to the bosses who hold seven of the eight keys to K. Lumsy's cage. By feeding Scoff a certain number of bananas, it allows Troff to reach the key to open the door. The players need to feed Scoff more bananas each progressed level and the combined total of all the Kongs' bananas can be pertained. Once all the bananas reach to 0, the key opens the door and a roulette spins, determining which Kong is going to battle against the Boss. Only the designated Kong can enter the door. The door will close if a different Kong tries to go inside the door at any time. Once the correct Kong enters the door, the door slams shut, and evil laughter can be heard before the screen fades to the Boss Battle.
Note: The final boss, King K. Rool, does not involve help from Troff & Scoff.
There are only three mini-bosses in the game:
There are several types of barrels that the Kongs encounter during their adventure. They have varing effects, although most of them are helpful. The standard, wooden barrels from previous Donkey Kong Country games also appear in this game, and have the same purpose - the Kongs can grab them and throw them at other enemies to defeat them. Once thrown, the barrel rolls in the direction it was thrown and breaks when it hits something. There are also various types of different barrels:
Another aspect of the gameplay Donkey Kong 64 are the various switches found in the game's worlds. There are several types of switches, and they usually affect the landscape of the location they are found in, allowing access to new areas or collectibles. The switches are either found on the ground, or in the walls, requiring a special ability to hit them. There are three types of switches:
When the players manage to collect a certain amount of Banana Fairies in any file, the Mystery option will be unlocked in the main menu. Depending on the number of Banana Fairies collected, the players will unlock the following things:
Similarities between Donkey Kong 64 and Banjo-Kazooie
As both Donkey Kong 64 and Banjo-Kazooie were games made by Rare, huge similarities were inevitable, to name a few:
References to other games
References in later games
Donkey Kong 64 was developed by Rare Ltd. and published by Nintendo. The game's core development team was largely formed of people who had no involvement with Rare's previous Donkey Kong games, although several Donkey Kong Country veterans such as Gregg Mayles and Chris Sutherland are credited as support staff.
The game's soundtrack was composed by Grant Kirkhope. Initially meant to assist Eveline Fischer, Kirkhope ended up composing the entire soundtrack (including the DK Rap) and also provided the voice of Donkey Kong.
Donkey Kong 64 was the subject of universal acclaim at release. Critics praised the game's length and large amount of content, the variety brought about by the game's tasks and different player characters, and the graphics, although multiple outlets expressed disappointment that Donkey Kong 64 did not feel like a massive technological leap over the developer's previous work on Banjo-Kazooie despite requiring the Expansion Pak accessory. A reoccurring criticism of the game was that Donkey Kong 64 was derivative of Super Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie, and not a revolutionary step like the critics judged Donkey Kong Country to be.
In a 1999 interview, Shigeru Miyamoto said of Donkey Kong 64 that Rare "really perfected the art" of making 3D action games and that "I bet you that it turns out to be the absolute best 3D action game available on any hardware - even including Dreamcast.", although he ultimately judged that Donkey Kong 64 would not be a game that would attract new players to the Nintendo 64.
In later years, critical reception to Donkey Kong 64 has been more mixed. Modern retrospectives of the Donkey Kong series and reviews of the game's Wii U rerelease have criticized various aspects of Donkey Kong 64's design such as the excessive gating of collectables and switches by characters, the tedium of having to backtrack to switch characters through the Tag Barrel, and the low quality and frustrating nature of many of the Bonus Stages. Publications such as Electronic Gaming Monthly blamed Donkey Kong 64 as one of the factors in the decreasing fortunes of the 3D platformer genre. Former Rare employee and Donkey Kong 64 composer Grant Kirkhope was quoted as saying the game and fellow Rare platformer Banjo-Tooie were "too much", and the game's lead tester Gavin Price mocked its high amount of collectibles in an interview.
Pre-release and unused content
Early screenshots show that DK's Tree House was meant to have a shower stall with Banjo and Kazooie on it. The Kong's weapons originally resembled actual weapons, such as Donkey Kong's Coconut Shooter resembling a double barreled shotgun.
Donkey Kong 64 contains a variety of glitches, to a degree that the game is often considered to be one of the most broken games on the Nintendo 64, lag issues were very common, most noticeably in Frantic Factory and few other places, the developers noticed that, and implemented a movement speed-to-lag system, where the more lag there is, the faster characters move. This led to there being a lot of wall clips in this game. Oranges explosion causes massive lag, and the fact that the player can enter first person mode and throw oranges faster allowed the use of many more sequence breaks and wall clips. Most of the lag issues were fixed in the Virtual Console release of the game, but due to this, timed challenges in the game were considerably harder, because there was less lag. The first person mode allows even more glitches, like swimming through most walls, and clipping through stairs.