Donkey Kong Country (series)
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The Donkey Kong Country series is a video game series of the Donkey Kong franchise. Although it usually stars Donkey Kong and his pal, Diddy Kong, Donkey Kong also ends up kidnapped in some games. The series is a platformer-type; levels are shown in a sidescrolling perspective and the heroes must jump and avoid obstacles in order to clear levels. The series was started and produced by Rare, Ltd., 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, the proposal was turned down in favor of making Diddy Kong Racing DS.
The Donkey Kong Country games are sidescrolling platformers. The player plays the role of two Kongs, who must reach the end of each levels while avoiding enemies and obstacles. The Kongs can collect items such as Bananas or Banana Coins to increase their life counts or purchase goods. Various type of Barrels are present throughout the levels, which can be used to defeat enemies or reveal hidden passages. Animal Friends are often found throughout the levels, which can be ridden or provide passive assistance to the player. Unlike the Super Mario series, platforms and obstacles tend to be "naturally" integrated into the levels, although this rule is not always adhered to.
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 allow for a limited degree of exploration.
A key feature of the series is the interplay betwen the playable Kongs. Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong in the original game have different abilities, with Diddy being more agile but unable to defeat some enemies, and Donkey Kong being stronger and holding barrels differently, thus encouraging the player to switch between available Kongs depending on the situation. This dynamic would be retained and expanded in the sequels with the addition of the Team-up move.
The Donkey Kong Country series features an emphasis on item collection and exploration. The original Donkey Kong Country encourage players to find all of the games hidden Bonus Areas, with 100% completion slightly changing the dialogue in the ending sequence. Donkey Kong Country 2 expanded on this concept with the addition of hidden DK Coins and the presence of an entire 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 which extends beyond the game's bonus world.
Retro Studios installments
The Donkey Kong Country games developed by Retro Studios largely stay true to the original Rare trilogy, although a key difference is the implementation of the different playable characters. Rather than being fully-featured playable characters, the Kongs beside Donkey Kong act as powerups expanding Donkey Kong's health and moveset, although they are fully playable in multiplayer and Tropical Freeze's Hard Mode.
Another difference is that 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.
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 such graphics (the Sharp X68000 version of Ys and Viewpoint feature similar pre-rendered sprites, and predate Donkey Kong Country by some 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, in a potshot to the competing Sega Genesis.
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.