List of Donkey Kong 64 pre-release and unused content

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This is a list of pre-release and unused content for the game Donkey Kong 64.

Early ideas[edit]

The internal pitch document for Donkey Kong 64
  • The game was named "Donkey Kong World" in its pitch document[1]. The document mentions the existence of "Cranky coins" used to purchase new moves and skills, a function served by Banana Bunch Coins in the final game.
  • In volume 104 of Nintendo Power, in which Daniel Owsen answered a question from a fan regarding a Donkey Kong Country game for the Nintendo 64, he stated that a listing for "Ultra Donkey Kong" appeared on some unnamed Japanese magazines, albeit without an official announcement.[2] It was even proposed to be for the ill-fated Nintendo 64DD.[3]

Early builds[edit]


  • The game was originally intended to use up to 4 megabytes, but a bug caused this build to randomly crash. Unable to locate the glitch, Rare decided to increase the cartridge size and bundle the N64 Expansion Pak as a quick fix.[4]
  • Early screenshots of Donkey Kong 64 showed that DK's Tree House originally had a shower stall in it with a poster of Banjo and Kazooie on it. Also, the boss Mad Jack was originally known as "Junk-in-the-Box" and was also drastically different in appearance. He was also originally a mini-boss fought by Tiny Kong[5] in the R&D Room in Frantic Factory instead of being a full boss fought at the area's end. The Toy Monster is the mini-boss in the final version, and it is fought by Chunky Kong.
  • The weapons the Kongs wielded in earlier builds looked like real-world firearms instead of the wooded, cartoonish ones seen in the final version of the game.[6] Donkey Kong's Coconut Shooter resembled a double-barreled shotgun while Diddy Kong's Peanut Popguns resembled actual pistols, and reportedly shot bullets with realistic sound effects. The stylization to cartoonish weapons was soon suggested by Shigeru Miyamoto during a test build session by creative director George Andreas,[7] who indicated that it was initially a placeholder that he had simply gotten used to in development.[8]
  • Several enemies were dropped from the game, including a Re-Koil, a vulture, an insect, a robotic fish, an armadillo (possibly Army), and two variants of a Jack-in-the-Box like enemy, one as a clown and another with a boxing glove.
  • Cranky's Lab, Candy's Music Shop, Funky's Store and Snide's HQ all looked slightly different in the pre-release version compared to the final version.
  • By using the glitch to obtain the fifth Boss Key in Angry Aztec and then enter Troff and Scoff's room again, the player can see that the boss door has the DK logo with a green checkmark over it, indicating that the boss has been beaten.
  • A golden Banana Bunch appears as the early HUD icon for the Golden Banana in the kiosk demo; it appears if players win Diddy Kong's Mine Cart mini-game. A single frame of the icon appears in the final game, as the emblem on B. Locker's head.

Not For Resale demo cartridge[edit]

The title screen of the demo.

A demo cartridge was produced to exhibit the game in retail stores. It contains the second Dogadon fight, the Mine Cart-riding sequence in Jungle Japes and a boss fight with Army Dillo. This demo features a few differences from the final build [9][10].

Text and interface[edit]
  • Squawks dialogue after completing the Mine cart minigame is different and shorter.
  • Dogadon has a different sound effect for his spitting attack. The sound effect is used by the Llama in the final version, when Donkey Kong wakes him up inside the Llama's Temple to cool the pool of lava.
  • The theme played after defeating a boss is different from the final build.
  • Army Dillo has a different voice and several fully acted lines cut from the final version.
  • A counter for a silver Balloon item (which act as an extra life) appears to the left of the life counter. The balloon cannot be collected through the normal course of the demo, but it is present in a debug room left on the cartridge [11].
  • For the Mine cart minigame, the player has to collect 70 coins rather than 50 as in the final version.
  • Though fought in Jungle Japes, Army Dillo has the same attack patterns as the Crystal Caves rematch in the final build.

Box art[edit]

Original box art prior to release.
  • The game's original box art before being released depicted only Donkey Kong in a jungle background before being replaced with a group picture of all five Kongs riding on the minecart with King K. Rool in the background. However, the cartridge artwork still retains the original prototype box art.

Unused text[edit]

  • An unused line of menu text reads "Ice Key", which can be seen in the pause menu via a Gameshark code. The Ice Key is one of the elusive Stop 'N' Swop items from Rareware's earlier title Banjo-Kazooie, which suggests that Donkey Kong 64 was originally intended to be compatible with the feature.[12]