K-O-N-G Letters

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K-O-N-G Letters[1][2][3] (also formatted as KONG Letters[4][5][6][7] or K O N G Letters[8][9]), also known as Golden Letters[10], are common collectable items in the Donkey Kong franchise. They are a set of four items that can be collected in a level to obtain extra features, most commonly extra lives.

History[edit]

Donkey Kong Country series[edit]

The complete K-O-N-G Letters from Donkey Kong Country

In their original appearances, KONG letters resemble flat, gold-lined objects with either of the K, O, N, and G letters stamped on them. They are found in every level of the games, except boss battles. Some are out in the open, and some are hidden through the stage or in Bonus Areas. Their main function is granting an extra life to the player once all four are collected in a level, which is seen in the first three Donkey Kong Country games.

Their role was changed in Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D. They were redesigned to appear more simplistic, resembling plain orange panels with yellow letters. In these games, collecting all KONG Letters in one world unlocks a Key Temple stage, which conceals one of the magical orbs that are required to enter the Golden Temple, thus contributing to the game's 200% completion. When all letters are collected in a level, the game acknowledges it by adding an orange pin with a black star under the name of the level. While playing the game in Mirror Mode, the letters on the KONG Letters are flipped as they would appear in a mirror. Collecting them again in this mode does not contribute to the game's completion, but the orange pin will be replaced by a blue one for each level where this is done.

In Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, they serve the same function as in its predecessor, unlocking a temple level once all of them are collected in a world. Each temple now holds a relic required to unlock the Secret Seclusion. They have the same design introduced in Donkey Kong Country Returns in normal gameplay, but become blue when playing in Hard Mode.

Donkey Kong Land series[edit]

In Donkey Kong Land, KONG Letters play a completely different role, where they must be collected to save game progress. If the players miss any letters in a level, they will be unable to save their progress up to that point. The level Kong Krazy contains multiple sets of KONG Letters; after a set is collected, a button must be pressed in order to form all currently collected letters into a bridge that helps the Kongs cross a gap. Such buttons are always encountered shortly after the end of each set.

In Donkey Kong Land 2 and Donkey Kong Land III, KONG Letters retain their role from the original Donkey Kong Country, in that they simply grant an extra life upon collecting them all in a level.

DK: Jungle Climber[edit]

KONG Letters, now referred to as KONG Panels,[11] make a reappearance in DK: Jungle Climber, where they have the same role as in the original three Donkey Kong Country games.

Gallery[edit]

Trivia[edit]

  • 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.[12]

References[edit]

  1. Donkey Kong Country instruction booklet, page 9.
  2. Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! instruction booklet, page 8.
  3. Donkey Kong Country Returns NTSC instruction manual, page 19.
  4. Donkey Kong Land instruction booklet, page 10.
  5. Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest instruction booklet, page 17.
  6. Donkey Kong Country Returns PAL instruction manual, page 24.
  7. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze instruction manual (PDF). Section 17
  8. Donkey Kong Land 2 PAL Virtual Console digital manual, section 12
  9. Donkey Kong Land III PAL Virtual Console digital manual, section 12
  10. Nintendo Power Issue 66, pages 10-17.
  11. Donkey Kong: Jungle Climber instruction booklet, page 15.
  12. https://tcrf.net/Donkey_Kong_Country_(SNES)/Unused_Object_Graphics