Donkey Kong Country (series)

From the Super Mario Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Ads keep the MarioWiki independent and free :)
This article is about the video game series. For the cartoon, see Donkey Kong Country (television series).
Donkey Kong Country
The logo used for the original three installments in the series.
Logo DKC23.png
The logo used for Donkey Kong Country Returns
The logo used for Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
First installment Donkey Kong Country (1994)
Latest installment Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Nintendo Switch) (2018)
Number of installments 12 (6 main, 5 remakes, 1 canceled)
Parent franchise Donkey Kong
Key staff Tim Stamper, Gregg Mayles, Chris Sutherland, David Wise, Leigh Loveday

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, 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.

The Donkey Kong Country series is also the inspiration for a very similar sub-series created for the Game Boy systems, known as the Donkey Kong Land series.

List of games in the series[edit]

Original titles[edit]

Cover, original release and system Synopsis
Donkey Kong Country
Boxart dkc front.png
USA November 21, 1994
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
The series commenced with a game simply called Donkey Kong Country, released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1994 and known for being the first game to use pre-rendered sprites, creating a 3D effect throughout the game. Here, Donkey Kong is heavily revamped compared to the earlier games, attributed to the new "Donkey Kong" being the grandson of the original, in turn now an aged patriarch known as Cranky Kong. This Donkey Kong is a carefree monkey who spends his time in the jungles of Donkey Kong Island, until a villain named King K. Rool steals his Banana Hoard. Donkey Kong takes his dependable buddy, Diddy Kong, along to stop King K. Rool and get his bananas back.
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest
USA November 20, 1995
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
In this sequel to Donkey Kong Country, Donkey Kong has been kidnapped by King K. Rool (under the alias Kaptain K. Rool). Diddy Kong takes his partner, Dixie Kong, along to save Donkey Kong from Kaptain K. Rool. The game plays similarly to Donkey Kong Country, but also has new gameplay elements and new enemies added.
Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!
DKC3 cover art.jpg
USA November 22, 1996
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
In the third game of the series, Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong both end up getting kidnapped by KAOS, a new leader from the Kremling Krew. Dixie Kong, taking her little cousin Kiddy Kong with her, sets out to save Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong from KAOS, who turns out to be a puppet of King K. Rool under the alias Baron K. Roolenstein. Like Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, this game plays similarly to the original Donkey Kong Country, but has a lot of new elements not seen before in the series.
Donkey Kong 64
USA November 22, 1999
Nintendo 64
Donkey Kong 64 was Donkey Kong's debut into the 3D world. Here, he takes along other friends, Diddy Kong, Tiny Kong, Lanky Kong, and Chunky Kong. King K. Rool is trying to destroy the DK Isles. The five Kongs must stop King K. Rool from doing so, and collect many items along the way to help them on their adventure. This game also features several minigames as well as a multiplayer mode.
Donkey Kong Country Returns
USA November 21, 2010
Donkey Kong Country Returns revived the DKC series as a 2.5D side-scrolling series under the auspices of Retro Studios after a hiatus (excluding remakes) of over a decade. New villains, called the Tikis, raid Donkey Kong's banana stash. In retaliation, Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong set out to retrieve the lost bananas. This is the first Donkey Kong Country series game to not feature Kremlings or underwater levels. There are also some mechanics from the past Donkey Kong Country games that return in this game, such as Animal Friends.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
DKC-TF box.jpeg
Japan February 13, 2014
Wii U
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze was, as with Returns, developed by Retro Studios for the Wii U. Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Dixie Kong, and Cranky Kong are playable characters (with the latter two Kongs having a similar role to Diddy Kong in Donkey Kong Country Returns). The game's antagonists, the Snowmads (which are based off stereotypical vikings), have frozen Donkey Kong Island, and the plot of the game revolves around the Kongs defeating the Snowmads to restore the island back to its initial state.

Remakes and ports[edit]

Cover, original release, and system Synopsis
Donkey Kong Country (Game Boy Color)
Donkey Kong Country GBC US box art.jpg
Europe November 17, 2000
Game Boy Color
Donkey Kong Country was ported to the Game Boy Color in the year 2000. Although it was a port, there were several significant differences such as having only one Kong appearing at a time, extended and exclusive levels, new minigames, and more. However, it still retains the same gameplay mechanics and the same story as the original. This was the only game in the series to be ported to the Game Boy Color.
Donkey Kong Country (Game Boy Advance)
DKC GBA Cover.jpg
Europe June 6, 2003
Game Boy Advance
Donkey Kong Country was remade for the Game Boy Advance in 2003, as the original code had been lost, requiring recoding from scratch and ripping of graphics from the SNES version using emulators. This particular port features new changes not seen in the Game Boy Color port. Changes include bosses made more challenging, redesigned graphics, replaced order of levels, new modes, a scrapbook, and more.
Donkey Kong Country 2
DKC2 GBA Cover.jpg
Europe June 25, 2004
Game Boy Advance
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest also received a remake for the Game Boy Advance in the same way as the previous game. The title was shortened to "Donkey Kong Country 2", and features significant changes such as a new boss, graphical makeovers, more DK Coins to collect, altered and replaced levels.
Donkey Kong Country 3
DKC3 GBA cover art.jpg
Europe November 4, 2005
Game Boy Advance
Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! was also remade for the Game Boy Advance. Like the preceding remakes, major changes has been added, but many elements of the original game have been retained. Such changes include graphical makeovers, exclusive boss fights, a new soundtrack, new and different methods of trading items and new areas, including the new world Pacifica.
Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D
USA May 24, 2013
Nintendo 3DS
Donkey Kong Country Returns received a Nintendo 3DS port, titled Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D. Aside from the graphical change, the remake has additional new content. This includes New Mode (which includes additional items in Cranky Kong's Shop and a third heart added to the life meter), and a new world called Cloud, which features additional levels that are not present in the Wii game.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Japan May 3, 2018
Nintendo Switch
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze was ported to the Nintendo Switch in May 2018, adding a new, beginner-friendly mode where Funky Kong is playable for the first time in the series.


Donkey Kong Country 4[edit]

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.[1][2] 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 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 between 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[edit]

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"[3] 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[4], 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[5].

Major characters[edit]


Character Brief biography
Donkey Kong

Donkey Kong Artwork - Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze.png

Donkey Kong is the main star and our hero of the Donkey Kong Country series. Though he does get kidnapped by the Kremling Krew from time to time, he plays a major role in all Donkey Kong Country games. He is the more powerful but slower of the two apes that the player controls in the Donkey Kong Country games. He often thwarts King K. Rool's raid of his Banana Hoard, but he also gets kidnapped by King K. Rool and plays the part of hostage. In the latest game in the series, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Donkey Kong and his friends are kicked off Donkey Kong Island by a gang of Vikings.
Diddy Kong

Diddy Kong Artwork - Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze.png

Although usually a sidekick, Diddy Kong can also be a main hero of the series if the player wishes to use him as the primary Kong. He is Donkey Kong's most reliable little buddy and always tags up with Donkey Kong on his adventures to stop King K. Rool. While Donkey Kong mainly boasts strength, Diddy Kong trades power for agility and nimbleness. In Donkey Kong Country 2, Diddy Kong is the main star who, along with Dixie Kong, saves Donkey Kong from the Kremling Crew. Eventually, he, along with Donkey Kong, get captured by King K. Rool in Donkey Kong Country 3, where Dixie Kong and her cousin, Kiddy Kong, must save them. He reappears in Donkey Kong Country Returns as a playable character, and again in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.
Dixie Kong

Dixie Kong - Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze.png

Dixie Kong is Diddy Kong's partner in her debut game, Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest. Dixie Kong is slower in terms of mobility, nor can she defend herself properly through the aid of a barrel, but she can glide through the air using her Helicopter Spin. She stars in the game Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!, where she takes her little cousin, Kiddy Kong to aid her on her journey. She also appears in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze as a playable character.
Kiddy Kong

Kiddy Kong art 2.png

Kiddy Kong is Dixie Kong's little cousin, who debuts and stars in the game Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!. Despite his young age, Kiddy Kong shows remarkable strength that even his older cousin Dixie Kong couldn't perform, such as lifting objects with ease and defeating enemies more quickly. However, he is very heavy, unlike Dixie Kong, who boasts superior air mobility and her ability to use her Helicopter Spin.
Cranky Kong

Cranky Kong Artwork - Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze.png

Cranky Kong appears in most Donkey Kong Country games, where he occasionally played some roles. He is Donkey Kong's grandfather and was stated that he is actually the original Donkey Kong that attacked Mario. He usually gives advice to the monkeys and helps them on their quest, and serves as an element of comic relief with his jokes and sarcasm. However, he plays a very minor role in Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!. In the Game Boy Advance remake, he plays a slightly larger role by owning Cranky's Dojo. He runs a shop in Donkey Kong Country Returns, and is playable in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.


Character Brief biography
King K. Rool


King K. Rool is the primary antagonist of the Donkey Kong Country series. He usually steals something belonging to the Kongs in the games, such as Donkey Kong's Banana Hoard or even Donkey Kong himself, but always gets thwarted by the Kongs. In each game of the Donkey Kong Country series where he appears in, he goes by a different alias, such as Kaptain K. Rool in Donkey Kong Country 2 and Baron K. Roolenstein in Donkey Kong Country 3. Although he is the primary antagonist of the Donkey Kong Country series, he and his Kremling Krew haven't appeared since Donkey Kong 64.


KAOS is the main foe that Dixie Kong and Kiddy Kong must face in Donkey Kong Country 3. It is powered by Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong, whom are captured by King K. Rool to power his machine. KAOS is a mechanically powered foe that uses several attacks such as spinning blades and exhaust flames to damage its foes. It is eventually destroyed by Dixie Kong and Kiddy Kong twice, which releases Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong.
Tiki Tong

Tiki Tong.png

Tiki Tong is the main villain of Donkey Kong Country Returns and the leader of the Tiki Tak Tribe. He replaces King K. Rool from previous games, stealing Donkey Kong's Banana Hoard in order to create a Tiki army and hypnotize all the animals on Donkey Kong Island. He resides on the summit of the island Volcano. His hands were created when the juice of Banana Hoard was sprayed on his minions, and he uses them to attack Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong.
Lord Fredrik


Lord Fredrik is the main antagonist of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and the leader of the Snowmads. He replaces Tiki Tong from previous game, instead of stealing the Banana Hoard like antagonists of previous games, he invades Donkey Kong Island with the use of a strange ice dragon which he summoned from a large horn, turning the island into a frosty area with continuous snowfall. He resides at the top of the island throughout the course of the game. When the Kongs get back to their home turf after being blown away due to the aforementioned ice dragon's winds, they make their way to the top of the island, where they ultimately defeat Lord Fredrik and end his reign over the island.

Supporting characters[edit]

Kong Family[edit]

Character Brief biography
Funky Kong

Funky Kong Artwork - Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze.png

Funky Kong appears in all Donkey Kong Country games that were released so far, except for Donkey Kong Country Returns. He helps the apes by providing them with mechanical services, such as lending them the Jumbo Barrel, which enables the monkeys to travel in islands where they already cleared; later games where the vehicles he lends have a similar function. He also hosts minigames that promise certain rewards if cleared, such as Funky's Fishing.
Candy Kong

Candy Kong DKC.PNG

Candy Kong first appears in Donkey Kong Country, where she helps the apes save by managing Candy's Save Point. In the remakes of Donkey Kong Country, she runs several minigames, such as Candy's Dance Studio. She does not have any other major role later in the series, partly because her role of saving the game progress is later occupied by Wrinkly Kong, although she does make cameos in several minigames in the remakes. She appears in Donkey Kong 64, where she runs a music shop. Here, she sells and provides items to assist the Kongs in replenishing health, as well as solving puzzles.
Wrinkly Kong


Wrinkly Kong first appeared in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest. She is Donkey Kong's grandmother and the wife of Cranky Kong. She manages the Kong Kollege in Donkey Kong Country 2 and Wrinkly's Save Cave in Donkey Kong Country 3, proving a save point for the player. Like her husband, she tends to give advice and tasks for the Kongs to complete. She also helps the Kongs by saving Banana Birds they might have obtained during their quest.
Swanky Kong

Swanky Kong DKC3.png

Swanky Kong's role in the Donkey Kong Country series is for Kongs to play minigames and win them to earn rewards. In his debut appearance, Donkey Kong Country 2, he hosts Swanky's Bonus Bonanza where he gives extra lives to the Kongs if they answered the questions correctly. In Donkey Kong Country 3, he hosts Swanky's Sideshow, where, at a certain amount of Bear Coins, compete against Cranky Kong to win rewards. In the DKC3 remake for GBA, he instead hosts Swanky's Dash, a minigame where Dixie must collect stars in a pipe, similar to the special stages from Sonic the Hedgehog 2.


Character Brief biography
Banana Bird Queen

Queen Banana Bird DKC3.png

The Banana Bird Queen first appeared in Donkey Kong Country 3, where she is sealed away by Baron K. Roolenstein. Banana Birds, the birds of the queen, are also sealed away to prevent an escape that the Banana Bird Queen could make, which turned her into a stone contraption. After collecting all possible Banana Birds, the Kongs are then taken by the Banana Birds to their mother, the queen. She would then chase after King K. Rool which makes him flee the Northern Kremisphere.
Brothers Bear


The Brothers Bear help Dixie Kong and Kiddy Kong in Donkey Kong Country 3. They are a group of bears which each own homes and businesses scattered across the Northern Kremisphere. The Kongs need them to trade their Bear Coins for the items they have. These items help the player achieve 100% complete progress in the game, especially the Banana Birds.


Snide is a weasel and former member of the Kremling Krew. He is the one who created the Blast-o-Matic, but after he finished working on it, King K. Rool fired him. When he met the Kongs, he decided to make a deal with them. If they could get him his Blueprints for his machine, he would give them some Golden Bananas and help them defeat K. Rool.
K. Lumsy


K. Lumsy is King K. Rool's gigantic younger brother that only appeared in Donkey Kong 64. Because he refused to destroy Donkey Kong Island, he was locked in a prison attached to Crocodile Isle. When Donkey Kong met K. Lumsy, he immediately decided to help him by getting all of his prison's keys to free him.
Troff & Scoff

Troff.jpg Scoff.jpg

Troff the pig and Scoff the hippopotamus are both characters that made their debuts in Donkey Kong 64. They both appears besides the boss door of each world, trying to unlock the door. Since Troff is too heavy, the Kongs must feed Scoff with Bananas to let Troff unlock the boss door.
Banana Fairy Princess

Banana Fairy1.png

The Banana Fairy Princess first appeared in Donkey Kong 64, where she lives on an island near Donkey Kong Island. 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. For each fairies caught, she will reward the Kongs.


Enemy Brief biography
Kremling Krew

DKC2 Kremlings.png

The Kremling Krew, led by King K. Rool, is the main antagonist organization of the Kong Family. They are mostly made up of Kremlings with different colors, sizes, shape and traits, and many make their appearance as enemies throughout the many levels of the series. They also are the primary cause of the Kong Family members getting kidnapped throughout the games, including Donkey Kong. King K. Rool and his aliases are often the final boss faced in the games, excluding Donkey Kong Country Returns and Tropical Freeze.

Zinger DKC2.png

Zingers are common, wasp-like enemies that appear in most games in the Donkey Kong Country series. They hover in the air, damaging any Kong who happens to come in contact with them. Since they have spikes on top of their body, they cannot be defeated by stomping them. Instead, a barrel or an Animal Friend may be used to defeat it. Red Zingers cannot be defeated at all. In Donkey Kong Country 3, Zingers are replaced with Buzzes, which behave in a similar manner.
Tiki Tak Tribe


The Tiki Tak Tribe is the main organization of enemies in Donkey Kong Country Returns. They resemble wooden masks or musical instruments, many having adornment feathers, and are references to real-life Tikis. Their leader is Tiki Tong. Some Tikis have hypnotizing abilities, and these serve as the cause of the boss battles, hypnotizing creatures into fighting against Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong. Minor Tikis are found as regular enemies throughout the levels; most of them are drum-shaped.

Viking Group Art - Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze.png

Snowmads are viking-like animals who are the main antagonists of the Wii U title Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. Their leader is Lord Fredrik. According to the game's story, Donkey Kong and his friends have been kicked off Donkey Kong Island by the Snowmads, and they must trek their way through five other islands in order to claim back what's rightfully theirs. Snowmad enemies of the game consist of a variety of creatures, such as walruses, penguins, owls, and polar bears. Many of the bosses faced throughout the game are also themed around the Viking stereotype.


  1. ^ DK Vine: Donkey Kong Country 4: Here Comes [REDACTED PUN!]
  2. ^ DK Vine: The Donkey Kong Country GBA Trilogy
  3. ^ The Making Of Donkey Kong Country - NowGamer (accessed February 20 2012)
  4. ^ Donkey Kong Country commercial. Retrived November 05, 2015.
  5. ^ Harris, Craig (June 17, 2010). E3 2010: Kensuke Tanabe and the Metroid Palm Tree. IGN. Retrieved November 05, 2015