Donkey Kong Country (series)
The Donkey Kong Country series is a video game series of the Donkey Kong franchise. Although it usually stars Donkey Kong and his sidekick, Diddy Kong, Donkey Kong also ends up kidnapped in several games. The series is a platformering series. The series was started and produced by Rare, until they were bought by Microsoft. Remakes are included in the Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, and Nintendo 3DS handhelds. The series was later revived by Retro Studios and their game, Donkey Kong Country Returns. The Donkey Kong Country series also has well-received reviews and has greatly impacted future titles.
List of games in the series
Remakes and ports
Donkey Kong Country 4
According to Rare employee Paul Rahme, it was internally suggested at Rare to make a Donkey Kong Country sequel on the Nintendo DS, as remaking the trilogy for the Game Boy Advance gave the developers experience and a good basis for making a sequel. However, this was never made.
The Donkey Kong Country games are sidescrolling platformers. The player plays the role of two Kongs, who must reach the end of each level while avoiding enemies and obstacles. The player can collect Bananas and Extra Life Balloons to gain extra lives. Various types of Barrels are present throughout the levels, which can be used to defeat enemies, reveal hidden passages, or traverse through levels. Animal Friends often appear throughout the levels, which can assist the player, be ridden, and transformed into by the player.
The Donkey Kong Country games are divided into worlds, all containing a variable number of levels, friendly Kongs who provide services such as saving, tips and minigames, and a boss battle that marks the end of the world. Worlds tend to be linear, although Donkey Kong Country 3's map allows for a limited degree of exploration.
In the original trilogy of games, the player can switch between two Kongs, and use a team up move in the latter two games. In all three games both Kongs act differently, are sometimes required to reach certain areas. If the player takes damage, the Kong that they are playing as runs off the screen and the player is required to use the other Kong until they get them back, usually with a DK Barrel. With one Kong the player cannot use a team up move. If the player takes damage with one Kong, they lose a life. In the games developed by Retro Studios, rather than being fully-featured playable characters, the Kongs besides Donkey Kong acts as powerups expanding Donkey Kong's health and moveset, although they are fully playable in multiplayer and Tropical Freeze's Hard Mode. When the player loses the health gained by the additional Kong, the player loses the Kong. While the original trilogy only allowed the player characters to take one hit in a deliberate effort to reduce clutter on the screen, Donkey Kong can now take multiple hits, with a visible indicator showing his remaining health.
In a certain level, vehicles are used. In all games in the series, the player can ride on Mine Carts, Roller Coasters, or Toboggans. These automatically move through a stage and depending on the game and level the player can either jump out of the vehicle or make the vehicle jump. Toboggans can also jump on Buzzes and latch onto railings. In Donkey Kong 64, Mine Carts appear in the minigame Minecart Mayhem and during Mine Cart Ride challenges. In the former minigame, the player can switch lanes at junctions. During the latter challenges, the player can jump out of the Mine Cart or lean left or right in it. In Donkey Kong Country Returns, Mine Cart which the player can only jump out of having crystals in them. In Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, the player can switch tracks in a third-person view in the level High Tide Ride. In Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble, a Rocket Barrel appears in the level Rocket Rush. The player controls the Rocket Barrel by moving left and right and exhausting fuel, which they can restore with Fuel Barrels. The Rocket Barrel goes upward at the end of the level. Depending on the version of the game the Rocket Barrel can defeat different types of Buzzes. Rocket Barrels reappear in Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, where they automatically move right, do not use fuel and can be moved up or down. At a certain level in Donkey Kong Country Returns, Rocket Barrels automatically move up and can be moved left and right. In Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, the Log Canoe appears which automatically moves right, can jump, and can sink into the water after jumping. The player can defeat enemies while jumping using the Log Canoe.
The Donkey Kong Country series features an emphasis on item collection and exploration. Four K-O-N-G Letters appear in each stage giving the player an extra life if they collect all four. The original Donkey Kong Country encourages players to find all of the game's hidden Bonus Areas, with 100% completion slightly changing the dialogue in the ending sequence. Bonus Areas are found usually by breaking a wall or going inside a hidden Barrel Cannon. Each Bonus Area contains a room with a minigame or platforming room. Donkey Kong Country 2 added Kremkoins which are rewards for beating each Bonus Room's objective, and DK Coins which are hidden in each level and are rewards for the Bonus Rooms in the Lost World, which is a new post-completion world with a final boss battle, which can only be accessed by finding and successfully completing the game's bonus areas. Donkey Kong Country 3 features a similar hidden world and again expands the mechanic by featuring another item collection sidequest that extends beyond the game's bonus world. The games developed by Retro Studios include Puzzle Pieces, which replace Kremcoins as the reward for beating Bonus Rooms, and also are collectibles in the main parts of stages. They give access to pictures. In these games, K-O-N-G Letters give access to secret levels once all K-O-N-G Letters in a world are completed.
Donkey Kong 64's gameplay that is different than the rest of the series. In this game, the player switches between five Kongs using Tag Barrels. The player collects a large number of items such as Golden Bananas, which must be collected with a certain Kong. The player can learn new abilities and purchase weapons and musical instruments, which have limited uses which can be restored by collecting Supply Crates and Candy's Headphones. The player can also use the Banana Fairy's Camera to take pictures of Banana Fairies. The player can also throw Oranges. Instead of going through linear levels, the player explores levels, and moves to the next level by beating the level's boss, collecting their Boss Key, bringing the Boss Key to K. Lumsy, and meeting B. Locker with enough Golden Bananas. Instead of losing a Kong when the player takes damage, the player has a health meter in the form of Melons. The player loses a slice of their Melon when they take damage and can restore their Melon by finding slices of Melon. Crystal Coconuts can be collected to use Cranky's Kong Barrel abilities.
The first Donkey Kong Country is famed for its usage of pre-rendered 3D sprites, which were rendered on then-cutting edge Silicon Graphics workstation. Although not the first game to use these graphics (the Sharp X68000 version of Ys and Viewpoint feature similar pre-rendered sprites, and predate Donkey Kong Country by several years), Donkey Kong Country was the first mainstream game to be extensively marketed around its pre-rendered graphics, with commercials for the game playing up that the SNES was able to output a game of its visual fidelity without needing expensive add-ons, mocking the Sega Genesis.
The Retro Studios installments use rendered-on-the-fly 3D models. In an interview, it was noted that Donkey Kong Country Return's levels featured three time as much polygons as a room in the studio's previous game, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.
The Donkey Kong Country series has received critical acclaim. On GameRankings, every game in the series have scored 78.61% to 87.87%. On Metacritic, the series' games that were reviewed received 77% to 90%. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, was nominated for several awards by news sites such as IGN and Gamespot.
The game Jet Kave Adventures was influenced by Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.
Appearances in other series
Several characters from the Donkey Kong Country series and locations based on the series have appeared in other series.
In the Mario Tennis series, several courts based off the Donkey Kong Country games appeared. In Mario Tennis, the Donkey Kong Court appears which is set in a jungle with barrels in the background. In Mario Tennis for the Game Boy Color, the Jungle Court appears. In Mario Power Tennis, the DK Jungle Court appears which contains Klaptraps and Kritters. In Mario Tennis Open, the DK Jungle appears. This court takes place in a jungle, and the banana hoard and DK's Tree House appear in the background. The court's music is a remix of DK Island Swing.
Several tracks based on the Donkey Kong Country series appear in the Mario Kart series. In Mario Kart 64 and Mario Kart Wii, DK's Jungle Parkway appears which resembles the jungles in the Donkey Kong Country series. In Mario Kart Arcade GP and Mario Kart Arcade GP 2, the DK Cup appears which contains DK Jungle and Bananan Ruins, which are both based off locations from the Donkey Kong Country series. In Mario Kart Arcade GP DX, this cup reappears with the tracks Bananan Labyrinth and DK Jungle. In Mario Kart 7 and Mario Kart 8, the course DK Jungle appears, which is based off Donkey Kong Country Returns. In the background DK's Tree House appears, part of the track takes place inside the Golden Temple, and several enemies from Donkey Kong Country Returns appear on the track, such as Frogoons and Tiki Goons. The course's music is a rearrangement of DK Island Swing.
Several stages based on the series appear in the Super Smash Bros. series. In Super Smash Bros., Super Smash Bros Melee, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the stage Kongo Jungle appears. This stage takes place in a jungle from Donkey Kong Country, and has a Barrel Cannon under the stage. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros Brawl, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the stage Jungle Japes appears where Cranky Kong can be seen in the background and Klaptraps are stage hazards. In Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the stage Kongo Falls appears. This stage contains Klaptraps, a Barrel Cannon. DK's Tree House can be seen in the background. Several themes and characters from the Donkey Kong Country series appear in the Super Smash Bros. series a piece of music or Trophies. In Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, the stage Jungle Hijinks appears which is based on the level with the same name in Donkey Kong Country Returns. On the stage, the player can travel between the foreground and background layer with Barrels Cannons. Screaming Pillars appear on this stage.
The Mario Golf series contains two courses based on the Donkey Kong Country series. In Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour, Congo Canopy appears which contains DK Barrels at the start of each hole. In Mario Golf: World Tour the course DK Jungle appears which is based on Donkey Kong Country Returns. DK's Tree House, Screaming Pillars, Chomps, Barrel Cannons, and TNT Barrels appear on this course.