List of Donkey Kong Country pre-release and unused content

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This article is under construction. Therefore, please excuse its informal appearance while it is being worked on. We hope to have it completed as soon as possible.

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

Early iteration[edit]

Donkey Kong vs. Super Wario
  • During September 2015, Donkey Kong Country designer Gregg Mayles posted many pieces of concept art and early pitches for the game, including a binder named Donkey Kong vs. Super Wario.[1] No other media of the pitch was posted and when asked about its content, Mayles responded "Didn't get much beyond Wario and some kind of time machine as I recall."[1] Eventually, he posted an actual storyboard of it to Twitter, showing Wario stealing a time machine Mario invented and turning him to stone using a "futuristic beam gun" in order to "rule Nintendo Land," with a parrot seeing this and going to Donkey Kong for help.[2]. According to Gregg Mayles, this pitch was not pursued because Nintendo wanted the villains to be new characters.[3]
  • Mayles posted another pitch titled Donkey Kong and the Golden Bananas, which is more similar to the final game. From the four pages posted on his Twitter, the storyline in the pitch shows Donkey Kong guarding the Golden Banana while relaxing. A lanky blue Kremling named Korporal Krizzle defeats DK and steals the Golden Banana. Grandpa Kong (an early version of Cranky Kong resembling a white-furred DK) finds Donkey Kong and urges him to get back the artifact. Donkey then calls Donkey Kong Junior, whose design is nearly identical to Diddy Kong, albeit without a tail.[4]
  • Mayles revealed on August 10th, 2018, that a working title for Donkey Kong Country was Monkey Madness around March 1994.[5]

Early concepts[edit]

Diddy Kong's original look
  • The SNES version was planned to have an introduction cutscene, showing Diddy being stomped by Krusha while patrolling. Krusha then smashed the wall leading to the Banana Hoard and Kremlings loaded the bananas in carts, followed by Donkey Kong waking up and Cranky explaining to him the bananas have been stolen.[6] A very similar intro would be used in the GBA remake.
  • Donkey Kong Jr. was originally meant to be Donkey Kong's sidekick during the concept phase, but Nintendo felt that Rare's redesign was too different and mandated them to either revert to Donkey Kong Jr.'s original appearance or change the name of the character. Rare felt that the design fit Donkey Kong Country's new aesthetic more, leading to Diddy becoming a separate character.[7]
  • Several names were then considered for Diddy during Donkey Kong Country's production, including "Diet DK", "DK Lite" and "Titchy Kong". Rare had originally settled on "Dinky Kong", but the name was later dropped due to legal considerations.[7] It would later become Kiddy Kong's Japanese name.
  • Donkey Kong originally had a helmet light for mine stages, which could be seen on many of the marketing materials. In the final game, Squawks the Parrot replaces the helmet’s intended functionality.[8][9]
  • The concept for the King K. Rool battle is largely similar to that of the final game, except that K. Rool was planned to only endure three hits for each phase of the battle.[6] Additionally, he was originally named “Krudd”.[9]
  • Early during the pre-production phase, it was considered to have the Animal Friends trapped in cages, with the player being required to find a Key item to free them.[10]
  • Some animal helpers that did not make the final cut included a dolphin, an owl (named Hooter[5]) that would give players information, a fox that would reveal secrets, snakes that could be used as vines, a giraffe whose long neck would help the Kongs reach high areas, a flying pig,[11] and a mole named Miney.[5] The giraffe was revealed to a fan that happened to ask about a giraffe in a new game in an old Scribes page on the Rareware website, where it was mentioned that he would allow Donkey Kong to crawl up his neck and reach high items and secrets. The flying pig may have been repurposed into a similar-sounding enemy in Donkey Kong Land.
  • Cut Kremlings include a magician Kremling named Kloak (potentially the enemy of the same name which later appears in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest), a statue Kremling named Krumble, a green Kremling named Klanger, and a robot Kremling named Krocbot.[5] Graphics for a robotic Kremling can be found in the game's data, which may be Krocbot.[12]
    • Of note is that "Klanger" is not crossed out on the list and that "Kritter" is referred to as a "little" Kremling (which it is not in the final), suggesting they may have been combined into one for the final.
    • Other cut enemies used in later games include Puftup, Shuri, and Gloop. Other enemy names listed are for a fireball called Fizzle, a fish called Bloop (likely a counterpart for Gloop; of note is that Bitesize and Chomps Jr. are not mentioned), a "nasty beetle" called Veedub, a yeti or iceman called Frozone, and a moray eel called Mobo.[13]
    • Rockkroc was originally known as "Krocrock," keeping with the "K" theme.[5] Slippa was known as "Mr. Hister," Squidge as "Mr. Squidge," and Clambo as "Ms. Clamity." King K. Rool is referred to as "Kommander K. Rool;" this early rank may be referenced in the final, where "Kommander" is listed as his role in the fake "kredits."

Early builds[edit]

The preview video, Donkey Kong Country Exposed, also contains a few elements that never made it into the final game, such as a nighttime version of Jungle Hijinxs. There were also a few instances where binary digits were seen underneath the lives counter, which may have been a debug menu of some sort. Also, in this build, it was possible to exceed one hundred bananas, whereas in the final game, the banana counter would reset once it reaches that number. Lastly, Donkey Kong was unable to defeat the regular blue Krusha enemy by jumping on him. Unlike the final, Krusha will laugh after Donkey Kong does so, as he would if Diddy had done that. This also applies to Klump, hinting there might have not been character differences in the early game.

Unused data[edit]

Bananas in an arrow shape

There are many unused sprites in this game, such as a Puftup that was later used (with more defined fins) in Donkey Kong Country 2, a jungle plant,[14][dead link] various poses and animations for Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong (including a pushing sprite, an action not performable in the final game),[15][dead link][16][dead link] and a few enemy palette swaps.[17] Also of note is an early Necky that is roughly the size of the Mini-Neckies in the final game, but colored like the adult ones; its animations indicate that it would attack like the ground-based adults in the final, and as such, this may be an early design that both were derived from.[17]

There are a few unused sprites for Puftup, who would later be an enemy in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest. There are also unused sprites for both Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong. Additional letters similar to the K-O-N-G Letters appear in some bonus rooms, though not all letters in the alphabet are used, and the game appears to have the entire alphabet left in the game's coding. The letters F, H, J, L, Q, V, and Z are never used in the game. Slippa has an unused death animation. There is an unused lightning bolt sprite that was presumably meant for Ropey Rampage, which included a lightning effect. There is an unused animation of Cranky being able to walk, which was later added into the Game Boy Advance remake.

The ROM includes a partial English script, which seems to be from an earlier period of development. Differences include Cranky Kong's dialogue being much friendlier than he is in the final game and the Slippa enemy being named "Hister."[17]

Game Boy Color prototype[edit]

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On September 9, 2020, a Game Boy Color prototype for Donkey Kong Country leaked to the internet.[18] The file is timestamped July 17, 2000, four months before the retail release of the Game Boy Color version. The prototype has several differences from the retail version.


  • Only the Adventure and Option modes are accessible, suggesting that the Link-Up and Bonus modes were not yet or in the process of being implemented.
  • Like the original Super Nintendo version, accessing every bonus room in a level adds an exclamation mark after the level's name. In the retail Game Boy Color version, the level name is highlighted red instead.
  • Diddy's victory animation involves him throwing his cap up once rather than repeatedly.
  • In the prototype build, Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong can roll through crawlspaces. This was fixed in the retail version.
  • Candy's Challenge is inaccessible.
  • In Very Gnawty's Lair, Very Gnawty's starting position is closer to the Kongs than in the retail version.
  • The moment that Very Gnawty is defeated, the Giant Banana and Kongs' victory animation is shown. In the retail version, this is only shown once Very Gnawty pants repeatedly and faints. After this, the game resets.
    • Even after resetting the game and reopening the game, Monkey Mines is inaccessible, but like the retail version, once Kongo Jungle is completed, Gangplank Galleon is shown from a distant view on the world map, and Kongo Jungle is marked by a Kong head instead of a Kremling head.
The notice displayed when Donkey Kong Country'"`UNIQ--nowiki-00000000-QINU`"'s Game Boy Color prototype is booted in Game Boy mode
The notice displayed when Donkey Kong Country is booted in Game Boy mode

The message that is shown when booting the game in Game Boy mode is longer in the prototype than in the final version.

The options menu for Donkey Kong Country'"`UNIQ--nowiki-00000000-QINU`"'s Game Boy Color prototype
The options menu for Donkey Kong Country'"`UNIQ--nowiki-00000000-QINU`"'s Game Boy Color remake

The prototype version has a Title option in the Options menu. Selecting it changes the option to Title 2, 3, 4, and lastly 5 before switching back to Title 1.

The location of Jungle Hijinxs' Sticker Pad in the prototype of Donkey Kong Country'"`UNIQ--nowiki-00000000-QINU`"'s Game Boy Color remake
The DK Sticker Pack location in Jungle Hijinxs in the Game Boy Color port of Donkey Kong Country.

The sprite for a Sticker Pad is much smaller in the prototype. When either Kong collects a Sticker Pad, it is not added to the total, but instead floats up and offscreen.

Ropey Rampage's second bonus room in Donkey Kong Country'"`UNIQ--nowiki-00000000-QINU`"'s Game Boy Color prototype, in which the question marks are  not shown after the Red Balloon alternates between the barrels
Ropey Rampage's second bonus room in Donkey Kong Country'"`UNIQ--nowiki-00000000-QINU`"'s Game Boy Color remake, after the Red Balloon has stopped moving between the barrels

In a Stop the Barrel! minigame, after the prize stops alternating between the barrels, the red question mark sprites do not appear on-screen.



Concepts and designs[edit]

Donkey Kong vs. Super Wario[edit]

Donkey Kong and the Golden Bananas[edit]



Bonus room maps[edit]


External links[edit]