Donkey Kong 64
Donkey Kong 64 is a 3D action-adventure platformer game developed by Rare and released for the Nintendo 64 in 1999. It is a follow-up to the original Donkey Kong trilogy for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. In the game, Donkey Kong and his friends go on an adventure to stop King K. Rool from using his doomsday device, the Blast-o-Matic, to destroy Kong Isle.
Donkey Kong 64 is the first and only 3D platformer game in the Donkey Kong franchise. It is the first Nintendo 64 title that requires the Expansion Pak; years later, it was revealed that the Expansion Pak was only used to fix a game-breaking bug.
In April 2015, Donkey Kong 64 was ported to the Wii U's Virtual Console service. The game, along with Super Mario 64, were among the first Nintendo 64 games that were released for the Wii U's Virtual Console.
The story begins with a view of DK Isles, which is the homeland of the Kongs. Meanwhile, the Kremlings and King K. Rool are sailing inside a fortified, technological version of Crocodile Isle, which hosts the doomsday device, the Blast-o-Matic. The device was designed by a weasel engineer named Snide, whom K. Rool later fired out of paranoia. K. Rool puts the Kritters in charge of operating the Blast-o-Matic and manuevering Crocodile Isle, but due to the Kritters' incompetence and laziness, Crocodile Isle crashes into a rock. The Blast-o-Matic becomes heavily damaged as a result. Crocodile Isle docks directly in front of Kong Isle, and K. Rool orders three of his minions, a Klump, a Kritter and a Kasplat, to distract Donkey Kong by stealing his Banana Hoard and imprisoning the other Kongs, to buy them time as they repair the Blast-o-Matic. Klump assures K. Rool that they have already fulfilled his orders.
Meanwhile, Donkey Kong is in his tree house, doing push ups while listening to the DK Rap on his radio. Squawks suddenly flies into his house and tells Donkey Kong that all of his Golden Bananas are gone and that the other Kongs have vanished. Donkey Kong then goes to Cranky's Lab for help, where Cranky Kong, who has the role of a professor, offers homemade potions that each grant a new ability to a Kong. He allows Donkey Kong to have his first potion, the Simian Slam, after he completes the Training Barrels. With the Simian Slam, Donkey Kong exits outside Kong Isle and starts his adventure in stopping K. Rool and rescuing the Kongs.
Donkey Kong goes inside a round, green prison where a giant Kremling, K. Lumsy, is imprisoned. He was locked inside a cage for refusing to help K. Rool in destroying DK Isles. K. Lumsy asks Donkey Kong to retrieve the Boss Keys to unlock his cage and free him. As Donkey Kong recovers his Golden Bananas, he eventually saves Diddy Kong in Jungle Japes, Lanky and Tiny Kong in Angry Aztec, and lastly Chunky Kong in Frantic Factory. Tiny meets the Banana Fairy Princess in the Banana Fairy Island, and she asks Tiny and the other Kongs to capture all of the Banana Fairies with the Banana Fairy's Camera.
The Kongs manage to enter inside of Crocodile Isle and manage to shut down the Blast-o-Matic before its power gets fully restored. After the Kongs obtain the final Boss Key, K. Rool retreats into his King Kruiser II. With the final Boss Key, the Kongs free K. Lumsy from his cage. He then chases after K. Rool, who is flying his airship around Kong Isle. As he chases K. Rool, K. Lumsy accidentally trips over a rock and hits the cruiser, causing it to crash into the water. The Kongs enter the King Kruiser II and engage in a five-round boxing match against King Krusha K. Rool. After the match, Funky Kong appears and launches a boot at K. Rool while Candy Kong distracts him. This results in K. Rool being defeated, and the Kongs and rest of DK Isles celebrate over their victory.
Instruction manual text
The player controls one of the five available Kongs, who must venture into open and vast levels similar to those found in Super Mario 64. Their objective in every level is to obtain the Golden Bananas among other collectibles. Only Donkey Kong is available from the start, and the other four Kongs, Diddy Kong, Lanky Kong, Tiny Kong, and Chunky Kong, are eventually freed and become available during the adventure. The player can use the Tag Barrels, located throughout every level, to switch to another Kong to play as. All five Kongs are required for completing the game because each of them must use their unique abilities to recover the Golden Bananas. There are 25 Golden Bananas in every level, and each of the five Kongs have their own five Golden Bananas to obtain
The gameplay is heavily based upon item collection, and each stage has several items for each Kong to collect. It is not mandatory to collect every single item, but it is required for 101% completion. Many of the collectibles (including Banana Medals, Banana Bunch Coins, bananas, and blueprints) are of a certain color, and can only be collected by a Kong specifically associated with that color:
Banana Bunch Coins are currency used by the Kongs to pay for Cranky Kong's, Funky Kong's, and Candy Kong's respective services. At Cranky's Lab, the Kongs can purchase a potion to learn a unique ability. At Funky's Store, each Kong can purchase their own weapon that fires a certain type of ammo. At Candy's Music Shop, the Kongs can purchase their own musical instrument to perform on a Music Pad. Cranky offers more abilities to the Kongs in the later levels, and likewise, Candy and Funky offer more upgrades in later levels.
DK Isles is the hub area from where the Kongs can access the other levels. Every level has its own lobby on DK Isles and a portal leading into the level itself. At first, the level lobbies are blocked or inaccessible by the Kongs. To unlock a level's lobby, the Kongs must use a Boss Key to open a padlock of K. Lumsy's cage. This results in K. Lumsy happily celebrating and creating a tremor that unlocks access into a lobby (with the exception of the first level, Jungle Japes, which is accessed after Donkey Kong meets K. Lumsy). In every lobby, B. Locker prevents the Kongs from entering a level unless they have at least a certain number of Golden Bananas to meet B. Locker's requirement. The later levels require the Kongs to have more Golden Bananas in order to enter.
A boss appears at the end of every level and is only accessible from the Troff 'N' Scoff location, Here the Kongs feed Scoff with a certain number of bananas, and as Scoff eats them, he progressively becomes larger. Eventually Scoff becomes large enough for Troff's platform to be raised up to the key for Troff to unlock the door leading to the level boss. Each boss can only be fought by a certain Kong, whose face appears on the door just before the battle. The boss battles are constructed around the designated Kong's abilities. After that Kong defeats the boss, the Kongs obtain a Boss Key.
The game features two Animal Friends, Rambi the Rhino and Enguarde the Swordfish, who each have an Animal Crate located in Jungle Japes and Gloomy Galleon respectively. Only Donkey Kong can transform into Rambi and only Lanky can transform into Enguarde. Rambi can attack enemies and smash crates and wooden walls, and Enguarde can attack enemies and smash open chests to reveal hidden items.
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 Professor 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. In addition, collecting blueprints increases the amount of time that the Kongs have to complete the final world, Hideout Helm, by one minute per blueprint collected.
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 and Scoff 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 a few types of switches, which usually affect the landscape when activates. This allows the Kongs to access to new areas and 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 started development immediately after the conclusion of Donkey Kong Country 3's. The original incarnation of Donkey Kong 64 was meant to be more similar in design to the Donkey Kong Country series than the final game, featuring linear levels played through a combination of forward-scrolling and side view sections, similar to Crash Bandicoot. After around 18 months, development as rebooted after Rare took notice of the trend of open 3D games started by Super Mario 64 . Transitioning the series to true 3D proved challenging: graphic artist Mark Stevenson noted that "As an artist who was on the DKC games, I used to build and animate the characters from a fixed side-on view. Being able to see this character from any angle, you'd make an animation, put it in the game, and you'd think it looked good side-on, but awful from every other angle! It was challenging from a technical and design perspective. Donkey Kong 64 was among the first Nintendo 64 game to feature dynamic lightning, although its implementation was faked after the first rendering.
Due to the success of Banjo-Kazooie, one of the first request Rare co-president Tim Stamper made was to include even more collectables. Mechanics such as the 5 playable characters and "thrilling moments" such as mine cart and slide sequences were also deviced to differentiate the game from Banjo-Kazooie. Grant Kirkhope, who had composed the soundtrack to Banjo, settled on a darker tone due to David Wise's work on the original Donkey Kong Country trilogy . Although the realistic gun models sighted in pre-release material were always intended to be placeholder, the final design of the Coconut Gun was only conceived after a mortified Shigeru Miyamoto saw Donkey Kong's shotgun in a demo of the game and immediately drew up a replacement.
Donkey Kong 64 was not initially meant to require the Expansion Pak. Near its release date, Rare was unable to fix a memory leak bug that would cause the game to crash after 30 minutes of gameplay, but found that the issue did not occur when the Expansion Pak inserted. As a result, the game was bundled with the Expansion Pak, a move that took a large toll on the game's profits.
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 are common, most noticeably in Frantic Factory and few other places. To keep the gameplay at a steady pace, the developers implemented a movement speed-to-lag system, where the more lag there is, the faster characters move. Due to this, players can frequently clip through terrain. Orange explosions cause 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, which means some glitches are impossible to perform.
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