Rambi the Rhino

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Rambi the Rhino
Rambi DKCR.png
Rambi the Rhino, as he appears in Donkey Kong Country Returns.
Species Rhinoceros
First appearance Donkey Kong Country (1994)
Latest appearance Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (spirit cameo) (2018)
“Rambi always likes to go full speed ahead. If you press and hold the Y Button Button, Rambi will take off and run over everything in his path. Just make sure that you keep your eyes open for pits and cliffs. Rambi is a powerful animal and can break his way into most secret doors.”
Donkey Kong Country manual, page 24

Rambi the Rhino is a recurring Animal Friend throughout the Donkey Kong franchise, and he first appears in Donkey Kong Country. Rambi is a strong ally of the Kongs, and has the ability to charge into enemies, use his horn for an attack, and to break open fragile walls leading into a Bonus Level. Rambi only appears in a few select levels in every game that he appears in, or a single location.

Rambi's earliest appearances include the first two titles of both the Donkey Kong Country series and Donkey Kong Land series. Rambi did not return in Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! or Donkey Kong Land III, where he was replaced with Ellie the Elephant.

Rambi's name is a combination of ram ("to break down") and bambi ("child").[citation needed]

History[edit]

Donkey Kong franchise[edit]

Donkey Kong Country[edit]

“Keep your eyes peeled for Rambi the Rhino! He can crash into almost any hidden room.”
Cranky Kong
Rambi as he appears in Donkey Kong Country.
Rambi next to an "F" letter in the Game Boy Color version of Donkey Kong Country.

In Donkey Kong Country, Rambi is the first Animal Friend encountered, and he appears in the first level, Jungle Hijinxs, and later appears in Oil Drum Alley and Manic Mincers.

To ride Rambi, Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong must free him from his Animal Crate. Rambi can use his horn to break open fragile walls, much like barrels. He can defeat most enemies by moving into them, including Zingers. Like other Animal Friends, if Rambi gets hit by a level hazard (such as Mincers or flaming Oil Drums), he runs away.

Rambi is featured on some of the Animal Tokens. When Donkey Kong and Diddy obtain three Rambi Tokens, the player is redirected to the "Rambi Bonus!"; this area is set in a snowy location, where the player controls Rambi individually and must have him collect Mini Animal Tokens.

Donkey Kong Land[edit]

Rambi is one of two Animal Friends to reappear in Donkey Kong Land, the other being Expresso the Ostrich. Rambi retains his actions and role from Donkey Kong Country, and, like the previous game, he also appears in the first level, Jungle Jaunt. He appears in three other levels: Tricky Temple, Pot Hole Panic, and Mountain Mayhem.

Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest[edit]

Rambi in his titular level, Rambi Rumble, in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest

Rambi reappears in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest. Like his two previous appearances, Rambi appears in the first level, Pirate Panic. Rambi acts mostly the same as in Donkey Kong Country, though he can perform a supercharge which allows him to perform a fast charge. This ability is necessary for Rambi to open some walls leading into a Bonus Level. Due to the introduction of Animal Barrels, there are a few levels where Diddy and Dixie transform into Rambi, but there are still levels where they ride on him.

Rambi makes his second level appearance in Barrel Bayou, where his Animal Crate appears near the start. From there, the Kongs can optionally ride Rambi until reaching the No Animal Sign which appears some time after the Star Barrel.

There is a level with Rambi's name in it, Rambi Rumble. During the second half, Diddy Kong and Dixie Kong transform into Rambi, who is chased by King Zing for a remainder of this half. In the original version, during the chase, a theme with Rambi's name plays, "Run, Rambi! Run!". Rambi also appears in Castle Crush and in a segment of Animal Antics.

At Swanky's Bonus Bonanza in Krem Quay, one of the questions that Swanky Kong asks is Rambi's name, with the options being either "Bambam," "Rambi," and "Rambus".

Donkey Kong Land 2[edit]

Rambi makes a fourth game appearance in Donkey Kong Land 2. He can no longer perform his supercharge; consequently Rambi cannot break open walls leading to a Bonus Level, as every one is accessed from Bonus Barrels. Like other Animal Friends, the Kongs can only transform into Rambi from an Animal Barrel because Animal Crates do not reappear. Rambi was changed to be mostly invulnerable except if he falls down an abyss.

Unlike Donkey Kong Country 2, Rambi first appears in the third level, Gangplank Galley. He also appears in four more levels: Redhot Ride, Barrel Bayou, Rambi Rumble, and Animal Antics.

Donkey Kong 64[edit]

Rambi moving around Jungle Japes in Donkey Kong 64

In Donkey Kong 64, an Animal Crate of Rambi appears in Jungle Japes, and it can only be entered by Donkey Kong. By entering it, Donkey Kong transforms into Rambi, which is required for him to obtain a Golden Banana. Rambi has the ability to move around fast and to easily defeat enemies just by moving into them. Rambi is able to destroy the nearby wooden huts and a stone barrier with his face on it. If Rambi goes out of bounds, he transforms back into Donkey Kong.

The player can unlock both the Rambi Arena and Enguarde Arena after the Kongs have taken photographs of six Banana Fairies. The player also controls Rambi in one of Donkey Kong's Hideout Helm challenges, where Rambi must defeat 18 Kritters while avoiding the electrical pylons.

Rambi is mentioned and criticized by Cranky Kong in the instruction manual: "I just hope they've included poor old Winky and Expresso this time instead of that bone-brained rhino that always seems to get in the games."

Donkey Kong Barrel Blast[edit]

In Donkey Kong Barrel Blast Rambi appears in the course Dynamite Run, where the Kongs and Kremlings can ride Rambi by freeing him from his Animal Crate. Rambi increases the players' speed and has the ability to charge through barrels and boulders.

Donkey Kong Country Returns / Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D[edit]

Rambi breaking blocks depicting his face in Donkey Kong Country Returns

Rambi reappears in Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D as one of the two returning Animal Friends (the other one is Squawks the Parrot). Rambi is the only Animal Friend that Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong can ride; to do so, Donkey Kong must first free Rambi by Ground Pounding his large Animal Crate. Rambi has the ability to run over spikes and destroy stone objects and blocks showing an emblem of his face. Rambi can instantly defeat most enemies just by running into them. Rambi's weakness is fire, including the flaming enemies, Flaming Tiki Buzzes and Flaming Tiki Zings. The player loses Rambi if he gets in contact with fire. Due to Rambi's weight, Diddy can only hover for one second when using his Barrel Jet.

Like Donkey Kong Land 2, Rambi first appears in the third level, Tree Top Bop. He appears in a total of four levels, the other three being: Temple Topple, Precarious Plateau, and Smokey Peak.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze[edit]

Dixie and Donkey Kong riding Rambi in Mountain Mania from Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Rambi reappears in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, where he mostly retains the same role as in Donkey Kong Country Returns. He is still vulnerable to fire and flaming enemies, such as Blue Hootz. In addition, Dixie Kong and Cranky Kong can make use of their respective ability while riding Rambi: Helicopter Spin and Cane Bounce. Dixie's Helicopter Spin is less effective while she is riding Rambi. In the Nintendo Switch version, Funky is able to perform a Double Jump while riding Rambi: like Cranky's Cane Bounce, the Double Jump is not affected by Rambi's weight.

Like Donkey Kong Country, Rambi only appears in three levels: Mountain Mania, Frantic Fields, and Meltdown Mayhem.

Mario Kart DS[edit]

Rambi makes a cameo appearance in Mario Kart DS, where a kart called the Rambi Rider appears as one of Donkey Kong's main karts.

Super Smash Bros. series[edit]

Super Smash Bros. Brawl[edit]

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Rambi makes a cameo appearance as a trophy and sticker.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

Rambi makes a cameo as an attack-type, primary spirit in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The spirit also slightly increases speed in battle.

Club Nintendo[edit]

Donkey Kong in: Banana Day 24[edit]

In the Club Nintendo comic Donkey Kong in: Banana Day 24, Donkey Kong is briefly seen riding Rambi to an airport.

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle[edit]

In the Donkey Kong Adventure story of Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, one of Rabbid Peach's Blaster weapons, the Horn-Nosed Needler, is based on Rambi's appearance. The weapon's description mentions it as officially licensed Rambi merchandise.

Profiles and statistics[edit]

Donkey Kong Country series[edit]

Donkey Kong Country[edit]

  • Instruction booklet bio: "Rambi always likes to go full speed ahead. If you press and the Y Button Button, Rambi will take off and run over everything in his path. Just make sure that you keep your eyes open for pits and cliffs. Rambi is a powerful animal and can break his way into most secret doors."

Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest[edit]

  • Instruction booklet bio: "This powerful rhinoceros loves to charge. Press and hold Y Button Button to make him run, using his horn to butt everything out of his path."

Donkey Kong Land 2[edit]

  • Virtual Console manual bio: "Press +Control Pad left or right + B Button to perform a dash attack. Hold Select Button to perform a super dash."

Super Smash Bros. series[edit]

Super Smash Bros. Brawl[edit]

Trophy[edit]
Name Image Game Description
Rambi BrawlTrophy322.png SNES Donkey Kong Country A rhino friend who appears to help the Kongs in their adventures... from a wooden box, even! His destructive power lets his rider plow through enemies and super-dash to break through walls and other obstacles. Know what that means? It means uncovering more hidden bananas and life balloons!
SNES Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest
Sticker[edit]
Image Game Effect
Sticker Rambi.png Donkey Kong Country [Arm] - Attack +13

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS trophy[edit]

Name Image NTSC-U Description PAL Description
Rambi RambiTrophy3DS.png A longtime and trustworthy animal friend. Even the king of the jungle, the lion, fears Rambi's might. Mario would love a lift from Rambi, but he is all Donkey Kong's! His impressive horn can defeat enemies and smash walls, and since Donkey Kong Country 2, he can super-dash! Donkey Kong's trusty Animal Friend. They say even the mightiest lion would be afraid of him, and with good reason! Since Donkey Kong Country 2, Rambi's had a special move that lets him charge right into enemies at high speed. You don't want to be on the wrong side of that!

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate spirit[edit]

Name Image Series / game Type Class Strength / effect(s) How to obtain Spirit battle
Opponent(s) Battle conditions Stage Song
Rambi Rambi DKCR.png Donkey Kong Series Primary (1) Ace Attack
Speed ↑
World of Light (Forest Hill); Spirit Board Donkey Kong
  • The enemy can deal damage by dashing into you
Kongo Falls (Ω) Jungle Level (Brawl)

Game appearances[edit]

Title Description Release date System/format
Donkey Kong Country Playable character 1994 SNES
Donkey Kong Land Playable character 1995 Game Boy
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest Playable character 1995 SNES
Donkey Kong Land 2 Playable character 1996 Game Boy
Donkey Kong 64 Playable character 1999 Nintendo 64
Donkey Kong Country (GBC remake) Playable character 2000 Game Boy Color
Donkey Kong Country (GBA remake) Playable character 2003 Game Boy Advance
Donkey Kong Country 2 (GBA remake) Playable character 2004 Game Boy Advance
Mario Kart DS Cameo as Rambi Rider 2005 Nintendo DS
Donkey Kong Barrel Blast Rideable on certain racetracks 2007 Wii
Super Smash Bros. Brawl Cameo as sticker and trophy 2008 Wii
Donkey Kong Country Returns Playable character 2010 Wii
Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D Playable character 2013 Nintendo 3DS
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze Playable character 2014 Wii U
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS Cameo as trophy 2014 Nintendo 3DS
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze Playable character 2018 Nintendo Switch
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle (Donkey Kong Adventure DLC) Cameo as a weapon 2018 Nintendo Switch
Super Smash Bros Ultimate Cameo as spirit 2018 Nintendo Switch

Gallery[edit]

For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Rambi the Rhino.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese サイのランビ
Sai no ranbi
Rambi (the) Rhino
German Rambi das Nashorn Rambi the Rhino
Italian Rambi il rinoceronte Ranbi the rhino
Russian Рэмби
Rembi
Rambi
Korean 코뿔소 람비
Koppulso Rambi
Rambi (the) Rhinoceros

Trivia[edit]

Donkey Kong riding a Rambi in the canceled Donkey Kong Racing
  • Rambi was planned to be a rideable Animal Friend in the canceled Nintendo GameCube title, Donkey Kong Racing. Early screenshots and the E3 2001 trailer showed Donkey Kong riding Rambi, Diddy Kong riding a gigantic Rambi, and Taj riding a small, red Rambi.
  • Although Rambi never appeared in the animated series, he was featured in a commercial for the Game Boy Color port of the original Donkey Kong Country video game that featured Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, General Klump, and Krusha in their designs from the show's second season, with Rambi presented in a very similar style.
  • In the first level of Donkey Kong Country 2, it is possible for two Rambis to be onscreen at the same time.
  • A street named after Rambi appears in New Donk City in Super Mario Odyssey.