Donkey Kong Country

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Donkey Kong Country
System Super Nintendo Entertainment System,
Wii Virtual Console,
Game Boy Color (port),
Game Boy Advance (port)
Release Date North America: November 25, 1994
Europe: November 24, 1994
Japan: November 26, 1994
Publisher Nintendo
Genre Platformer, Sidescroller
Rating K-A for Kids to Adults
Players Single player, Multiplayer
Controller Pak
Expansion Pak
Link Cable
Xbox Live
Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection No

Donkey Kong Country is a 2D side-scrolling platformer game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, the later receiving remakes for the Game Boy Color and the Game Boy Advance. It is the first Donkey Kong series game developed by Rare Ltd., and the first one not designed by the creator of the Donkey Kong character, Shigeru Miyamoto.



Donkey Kong leaves his best friend Diddy in charge of guarding the Kong's Banana Hoard one night so he can get some rest. The Kremling Krew, lead by the demented King K. Rool, storm the horde that very night, and Diddy is outnumbered and overwhelmed by them. They steal all of the bananas and stuff Diddy into a barrel, tossing him out into the jungle. The Kremlings take the bananas to Crocodile Isle, leaving a trail behind. The next morning, Donkey Kong is awoken by shouts from outside. He scrambles out of bed and finds Cranky Kong outside, who angrily informs him that the bananas and Diddy have both gone missing, chiding Donkey Kong for shirking his guard responsibilities. Donkey Kong frantically heads out and manages to find Diddy in a DK Barrel. The two then set off together to defeat K. Rool and get the banana horde back from the Kremlings.


The gameplay of Donkey Kong Country is much like other 2D platformers. However, one of the things that makes Donkey Kong Country unique is the inclusion of two simultaneous playable characters, Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong. The player begins the game with just Donkey Kong, but Diddy is soon found in a DK Barrel in the first level. The Kongs, when together, can be switched between with a press of the Select button. If one of them is hit by an enemy while they are together, he runs off and is "kidnapped" by the Kremlings and a DK Barrel must be smashed to reclaim him. If one of them is hit by himself, a life is lost. Donkey and Diddy have varying abilities, Donkey Kong being stronger and Diddy Kong being weaker but faster and more athletic. The duo's main attacks are jumping, Donkey Kong's roll and ground pound, and Diddy's cartwheel, all of which can be used to defeat enemies. They can both also pick up and throw barrels, which can be used to attack enemies and find hidden Bonus Rooms in the levels. If the player finds an Animal Crate, their current Kong can ride one of the Animal Buddies, such as Rambi and Enguarde, who can move quickly and attack enemies efficiently. Players' percentages in the game are rated according to how many Bonus Rooms they have found. When all the Bonus Rooms in a level have a been found, a "!" follows its name on the map screen.

In addition to the typical platforming, there are also mine cart stages during the Monkey Mines world. These stages are fast-paced autoscrolling levels where jump timing is required to be far more precise in order to avoid pits, broken-down mine carts, and Kremlings attempting to crash into the player's mine cart.


  • Donkey Kong — The eponymous main character of the game, Donkey Kong is a large gorilla whose biggest attribute is his immense strength. He is the son of Cranky Kong, the boyfriend of Candy Kong, and the best friend and "uncle" of Diddy Kong.
  • Diddy Kong — Diddy Kong is a young monkey, the best friend and honorary nephew of Donkey Kong, whose biggest attributes are his speed and athleticism. Diddy looks up to DK, and wants to be just like him.
  • Cranky Kong — An aged old gorilla, Cranky Kong is the father of Donkey Kong, known for his constant complaints and yearning for the "good old days" of video games. He is the "original" Donkey Kong from the Nintendo arcade games.
  • Funky Kong — Funky Kong is a gorilla obsessed with being cool and hip. Friend to Donkey and Diddy, he runs the Funky's Flights service, which allows them to ride a Barrel Plane back to any world they have visited previously.
  • Candy Kong — Candy Kong is Donkey Kong's girlfriend. She runs the save points in the game, where players can save their progress in the game.
  • King K. Rool — The demented ruler of the Kremlings. King K. Rool organizes the plot to steal the Kongs' banana horde, and is the final boss fought in the game.
  • Kremlings — The Kremlings (most of whom are part of the Kremling Krew) are the underlings of King K. Rool. They are the foot soldiers and drones who are sent out to make sure the Kongs don't make it to King K. Rool. There are many different varieties of Kremling.

This section only deals with the major characters in the game. For a complete listing of every character in the game, see Donkey Kong Country characters.


There are six main "worlds" in the game, each which contain their own levels, as well as a final level where the boss fight against King K. Rool takes place. For a full description of each world and a listing of all levels within, see their respective articles.




Donkey Kong Country was very well received upon its release. It was praised for its ACM rendered graphics and its music and gameplay. However, it has received some controversy in recent years, with GameSpy and EGM both listing in their "Most Overrated Games of All Time" lists.[1][2] Though it also received a spot in Nintendo Power's list of top 200 games on a Nintendo system in 2006.

  • EGM: 9.25/10[3]
  • Gaming Age: 98/100[4]
  • Nintendo Power: 4.5/5[5]
  • IGN: 8.5/10[6] (Retro Review)
  • Game Informer: 9.5/5[7]

Donkey Kong Country currently has a 90% on review aggregator GameRankings.[8]


Donkey Kong Country sold over 9.3 million copies worldwide, making it the second-best selling game on the SNES, after Nintendo's Super Mario World.


Donkey Kong Country has been ported to the Game Boy Color and the Game Boy Advance both of which feature quite a few differences from the original game. It is also available on the Wii's Virtual Console service, unchanged from the original version.


Donkey Kong Country's rampant success lead to two direct sequels: Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest in 1995, starring Diddy Kong and Dixie Kong, and Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! in 1996, staring Dixie Kong and Kiddy Kong. A fourth game in the series followed in 1999 on the Nintendo 64, Donkey Kong 64, which starred Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Tiny Kong, Lanky Kong and Chunky Kong as playable characters.

In addition to these sequels, Diddy Kong's popularity earned him a spinoff on the Nintendo 64 in 1997, Diddy Kong Racing, which was later ported to the Nintendo DS in 2007 as Diddy Kong Racing DS.

Retro Studios developed a direct revival of the Donkey Kong Country series for the Wii, titled Donkey Kong Country Returns, which was released in November 21, 2010.

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