Artwork of the KONG Letters from Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D
|First appearance||Donkey Kong Country (1994)|
|Latest appearance||Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Nintendo Switch) (2018)|
- “Keep your eyes open for those Kong Letters, they might be worth something!”
- —Cranky Kong, Donkey Kong Country Returns
KONG Letters (also formatted as K-O-N-G Letters, K O N G Letters, KONG letters, or Kong Letters), also known as Golden Letters, KONG Golden Letters, or simply letters, are recurring collectable items in the Donkey Kong franchise, first appearing in Donkey Kong Country. They are a set of four square-shaped objects, each displaying a letter of "Kong," and they appear in every level except boss levels. All four letters can be collected for a reward, usually an extra life; in some games, collecting them is mandatory. KONG Letters also serve as loose progress indicators, as the letter K usually appears at the start, the letters O and N appear midway through the level, and the letter G appears near the end.
In the original Donkey Kong Country trilogy, KONG Letters are flat gold-lined objects with a letter stamped onto each of them. In Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (and its Nintendo Switch port), the KONG Letters are redesigned with a more simplistic appearance, resembling plain red panels with yellow letters.
Donkey Kong Country / Donkey Kong Land trilogy
KONG Letters appear in every level except for boss levels. The letters always appear in a specific location, either in plain sight or hidden. In the first Donkey Kong Country, a KONG Letter sometimes appears in a ground cache, and it can be unearthed by landing from above. In Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest and Donkey Kong Land 2, a KONG Letter is sometimes hidden inside a treasure chest, and in the former game, the letter G is sometimes a reward at an End of Level Target, such as in Krockhead Klamber.
In rare cases, there are two of a letter in a level, and by collecting either one, the duplicate letter disappears. For example, in Donkey Kong Country's Snow Barrel Blast, there are two letter G's, each appearing in a path that the Kongs can take. In Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest's Chain Link Chamber, there are two letter O's in the same area. In certain versions of the original Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!, the letter G does not appear in Rocket Rush.
In Donkey Kong Country, yellow letters similar to the KONG Letters appear in the "Spell it Out!" Bonus Level challenges. In them, there are letters spinning around in a circle, and the Kongs must jump at the highlighted letters to spell out a word (such as "RARE" in Vulture Culture's first Bonus Level). In the Game Boy Advance version of Donkey Kong Country, the Kongs are required to collect every letter to add to the 101% completion, and the player can check the statistics for KONG Letters from the overworld map's menu. However, in the latter two Game Boy Advance remakes, collecting every KONG Letter remains optional.
In Donkey Kong Land, the KONG Letters' purpose was changed to saving the player's game progress. To do so, Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong must collect all four KONG Letters in a level and complete it. The KONG Letters have a unique role in one of the levels, Kong Krazy, which has numerous sets of KONG Letters. Shortly after collecting all letters in a set, the active Kong encounters a button, which they must press to form a bridge from the letters, thus allowing them to cross over a gap. Contrarily, in the game's two sequels, Donkey Kong Land 2 and Donkey Kong Land III, the KONG Letters have the same role as in the first three Donkey Kong Country games.
In the original version of Donkey Kong Country, the KONG Letter sprites sparkle and shimmer. In the sequels and Game Boy Advance version, however, they spin instead.
DK: Jungle Climber
In DK: Jungle Climber, KONG Letters were renamed KONG Panels, and they retain their role as collectible items. Like in Donkey Kong Country's Game Boy Advance version, the KONG Panels are required collectibles, and they grant an extra life if all four in a level are collected.
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Donkey Kong Country Returns / Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D
In Donkey Kong Country Returns and its Nintendo 3DS remake, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, KONG Letters are required collectible items. When Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong obtain every letter in a level, an orange pin with a black star appears under the name of the level. When they collect every KONG Letter in a world, Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong unlock a Key Temple featuring one of the Rare Orbs. In Mirror Mode, the letters on the KONG Letters are flipped like the other surroundings. Unlike in the normal mode, it is optional for the player to collect the KONG Letters in a level, though doing so changes the orange pin to blue. KONG Letters do not appear in the Golden Temple or in Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D's other Cloud levels.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
In Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and its Nintendo Switch port, KONG Letters retain their appearance and role from the previous game, Donkey Kong Country Returns. The Kongs must collect every KONG Letter in a world to unlock a temple level, which has a mysterious relic instead of a Rare Orb. On Hard Mode, the KONG Letters are colored blue; collecting them colors the star icon near a level's name from red to blue, although they are not required for 200% completion.
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest
- Wii U Virtual Console manual bio: "Collect the letters to spell KONG and earn an extra life."
- For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:KONG Letters.
Letter K sprite from Donkey Kong Country
Letter O sprite from Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest
Letter N sprite from Donkey Kong Country (Game Boy Color)
Letter G sprite from DK: Jungle Climber
Names in other languages
K O N G no Moji
K O N G no Moji Paneru
"KONG" no Paneru
K O N G Paneru
"K" "O" "N" "G"
|K O N G Letters (Super Donkey Kong)|
K O N G Letter Panels (Super Donkey Kong 2 and Super Donkey Kong 3)
“KONG” Panels (Super Donkey Kong 2, Wrinkly)
K O N G Panels (Donkey Kong: Jungle Climber)
“K” “O” “N” “G” (Donkey Kong Returns and Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze)
- In Donkey Kong Country, in some bonus games, other letters exist in K-O-N-G Letter form. All letters except F, H, J, L, Q, V, and Z are used in-game.
- Donkey Kong Land instruction booklet, page 10.
- Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest instruction booklet, page 17.
- Donkey Kong Country Returns PAL instruction manual, page 24.
- Donkey Kong Country instruction booklet, page 9.
- Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! instruction booklet, page 8.
- Donkey Kong Country Returns NTSC instruction manual, page 19.
- Donkey Kong Land 2 PAL Virtual Console digital manual, section 12
- Donkey Kong Land III PAL Virtual Console digital manual, section 12
- Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze instruction manual (PDF). Section 8
- Nintendo Magazine System (UK) Issue #26 (NMS Special), page 8.
- M. Arakawa. Donkey Kong Country Player's Guide. Page 22.
- Hodgson, David S. J. Donkey Kong Country Prima's Official Strategy Guide. Page 7.
- Donkey Kong Country (Game Boy Advance) instruction booklet, page 13.
- Donkey Kong: Jungle Climber English instruction booklet, page 15.
- Knight, Michael. Donkey Kong Country Returns Prima Official Game Guide. Page 30.
- Knight, Michael. Donkey Kong Country Returns Prima Official Game Guide. Page 31.
- Super Donkey Kong instruction booklet, page 11.
- Super Donkey Kong 2: Dixie & Diddy instruction booklet, page 21.
- Super Donkey Kong 3: Nazo no Kremis-tō instruction booklet, page 29.
- Donkey Kong: Jungle Climber Japanese instruction booklet, page 20.
- Club Nintendo (Chile) La Jungla de Donkey Kong: Edición Especial, page 45.
- TCRF. Donkey Kong Country (SNES)/Unused Object Graphics. The Cutting Room Floor. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
|DK: Jungle Climber|
|Characters||Playable||Donkey Kong • Diddy Kong • Dixie Kong • Funky Kong|
|Non-playable||Candy Kong • Cranky Kong • Wrinkly Kong • Xananab|
|Enemies and obstacles||Bramble • Click-Clack • Flipflap • Flitter • Ghost • Klobber • Kritter • Lockjaw • Mini-Necky • Neek • Puftup • Shuri • Zinger|
|Bosses||Banana Ship • Junklomp • Mega Amp • Draglinger • King K. Rool|
|Items||Banana • Banana Bunch • Banana Coin • Crystal Banana • Crystal Star • DK Coin • Gem • Hammer • KONG Panels • Oil barrel • Torch • Wings|
|Objects||Booster Barrel • Cannon Barrel • DK Barrel • Giant flower • Handle Peg • Iron Barrel • Jack Peg • Peg • Peg Board • Question Barrel • Rock • Spirowarp • Spinner Barrel • Spinning Peg • Switch Peg • TNT Barrel|
|Worlds||Sun Sun Island • Lost Island • Ghost Island • Chill 'n' Char Island • High-High Island • Wormhole • Extra Stages|
|Minigames||Rolling Panic • Banana Grab • Speed Climb • Throw 'n' Crush • Orange Picker • Booster Battle • Banana Bonanza|