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“Avoid touching the stinging spikes on Zinger's back!”
Zingers are large wasps that are commonly-encountered enemies in the Donkey Kong Country series. Steve Mayles, who was involved in character design for Donkey Kong Country and Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, confirmed via Twitter that he dislikes wasps in real life, and designing the Zinger enemy scared him.
Donkey Kong Country/Land series
Donkey Kong Country
The Zingers first appear in Donkey Kong Country, where they are one of the most common enemy type. As Zingers are covered in spikes, they hurt on contact and can only be defeated by having an object (such as a barrel) thrown at them or by being attacked by an Animal Friend. Zingers appear in four different palettes (yellow, orange, pink, and green), which indicate their flight pattern; they will either fly vertically (yellow), horizontally (orange), in a circular path (pink), or in a U-shaped path (green). Queen B., a giant Zinger, is the boss of Vine Valley.
Zingers reappear in Donkey Kong Country's sequel Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest. They are found in a majority of the levels in this game except those taking place underwater. This time Zingers only come in two colors, the standard yellow variety, and the invincible red variety. According to the game's credits, Zingers belong to the "Lazy Landlubbers" enemy class. Another giant Zinger, King Zing appears in this game as the boss of Krazy Kremland.
Zingers did not appear in Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble or Donkey Kong Land III. They were replaced by a similar enemy, the robotic Buzzes.
Donkey Kong Country novel
A single Zinger appears as an antagonist in the Donkey Kong Country novel. Upon entering the Kremling's factory, Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong and Cranky Kong eavesdrop on Zinger complaining to his co-worker Klap Trap about King K. Rool's absence. Klap Trap then notices the group and Zingers lunges at Donkey Kong, only to be defeated by being hand slapped. The Kongs destroy the factory shortly after.
Club Nintendo comic
A Zinger appears in the Club Nintendo comic "Donkey Kong Country" as an enemy of Donkey and Diddy Kong. However, it does not attack the pair until Donkey Kong swears at the wasp. Ultimately, Donkey defeats the Zinger (which, like every enemy in the comic, is able to speak) by doing a special rolling move and then kicking the enemy. When defeated, the Zinger claims that its stinger is deformed.
Zingers return in Donkey Kong 64. In this game they are less common than in previous titles and are easier to defeat. In DK Isles and the earlier levels, some of them will simply dive-bomb on sight (there is only one Zinger in Gloomy Galleon inside the mechanical fish, that will drop Oranges at the player), but they are easy to avoid. Other Zingers will drop green Oranges on sight. The Kongs can simply blast the wasp with one of the weapons they can purchase from Funky Kong, play their musical instrument, or throwing Orange grenades at it. In Fungi Forest, Zingers appear during the day, and are replaced by Flip-Flaps at night.
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Donkey Kong: Barrel Blast
In Donkey Kong Barrel Blast, Zingers appear as enemies on the racetracks DK Jungle, DK Jungle Falls, DK Jungle Sunset, Scorching Canyon and Cranky's Temple. They fly around in a set pattern, and one hit will defeat them. They also appear in two of Candy's Challenges, were Donkey Kong needs to beat a set amount of Zingers on the Training Course before time expires. In this game, they are larger than they were previously.
Zingers also appear in Donkey Konga.
Some early promotional material showed that Zingers were going to be rideable in the now canceled game Donkey Kong Racing. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, a Zinger appears as a Sticker. It raises resistance to slashing attacks (such as Link's sword) by five points, and the sticker can be used by any character.
Additionally, one of 18-Volt's microgames from WarioWare: D.I.Y. Showcase, namely DK Country, featured a Zinger which must be avoided by the hero. This is the first time in the entire Mario universe the wasp enemy appears outside the Donkey Kong franchise series, though it should be noted that the microgame in question is based on existing assets from Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy Kong's Quest.
Donkey Kong Country
Donkey Kong Land
Donkey Kong 64
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U trophy
Names in other languages