Donkey Kong Country(JP) (also called DKC or Super Donkey Kong in Japan) is a game in the Donkey Kong series, and is the first Donkey Kong game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1994 that is developed by Rare and published by Nintendo. It is also the first game in the original Donkey Kong Country trilogy. The Donkey Kong Country game managed to be a huge success to the Nintendo industry and was game of the year when it was first released. Donkey Kong Country also had a certificate of Player's Choice on the box cover a year later. It is the first game to feature Donkey Kong's current design and have him reformed from being no longer a villain. Donkey Kong Country was followed by two sequels: Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest and Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! in 1995 and 1996.

The game is considered by many Donkey Kong fans as one of the best games in the series, and would later spawn many sequels by Rare. Once Rare left Nintendo, Nintendo gave the rights of Donkey Kong to Paon, a second party developer who has so far currently made DK: King of Swing, DK: Jungle Climber, and Donkey Kong Barrel Blast.

It was the first Donkey Kong game to feature Donkey Kong as a playable character. Donkey Kong Country was the second best-selling SNES game (second only to Super Mario World) and the first to use 3D pre-rendered graphics on a SNES game. Some magazines even said that it could compete against the newest PSX games.

Later in 2000, there was a remake for Donkey Kong Country on the Game Boy Color and later in 2003, a remake was made for the Game Boy Advance. In late 2006/early 2007, Donkey Kong Country was released on the Wii's Virtual Console. On November 25, 2012, for reasons unknown, Donkey Kong Country and both its sequels were delisted from the Wii's Virtual Console worldwide except in South Korea,[5] but on October 30, 2014, the games were relisted only in Europe and Australia. Around the same time, the games were released on the Wii U's Virtual Console in Europe and Australia, in Japan on November 26, 2014, and in the United States and Canada on February 26, 2015. For handhelds, Donkey Kong Country was ported exclusively over to the New Nintendo 3DS's Virtual Console in March 2016. It is one of the 21 games included on the SNES Classic Edition and was made avaliable on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System - Nintendo Switch Online application for the Nintendo Switch on July 15, 2020.


Note: The first two paragraphs are based off the starting cutscene in the Game Boy Advance version of Donkey Kong Country.

One rainy night, Donkey Kong had told Diddy Kong to guard his banana hoard as part of his "hero training". Shortly after, Diddy was hearing some strange noises (Kremlings) and asking whom it is in a scared manner. All of a sudden, two Kritters come up on which Diddy defeats and then send a blue Krusha, (Klump according to the original game's manual), as backup, overpowering Diddy and then seal him inside of a DK Barrel.

The next morning, Cranky tells Donkey to wake up as he is in for a big surprise. After seeing what has happened to Diddy and his bananas, he plans to go on a journey to retrieve his bananas and save Diddy on the way.

As the two travel through Kongo Jungle, Monkey Mines, Vine Valley, Gorilla Glacier, Kremkroc Industries Inc., and Chimp Caverns with assistance from Funky, Cranky and Candy, the two finally reach the one who was responsible for this scheme, King K. Rool. They battle him on Gangplank Galleon for a fight to retrieve the bananas for the Banana Hoard back. Once the two win, they go back to Cranky's Cabin where Cranky tells them that they should go to the banana hoard as they are in for a "big surprise". Once the two head there, they can see that all of their bananas have been retrieved, ending the story.


The gameplay of the game is similar to typical platforming games of its time. One noticeable difference is the inclusion of two simultaneous main characters: Donkey and Diddy. When a Kong takes a hit, he runs away offscreen. Once both are defeated, a life is lost. The two have different abilities and strengths; Donkey Kong can slap the ground and unveil secrets, as well as defeat most Krushas, while Diddy Kong is faster and more athletic but can't defeat stronger enemies. The player can switch between them via a "tag" feature that would be reused throughout the series.

There are six worlds: Kongo Jungle, Monkey Mines, Vine Valley, Gorilla Glacier, Kremkroc Industries Inc. and Chimp Caverns and a final boss battle on Gangplank Galleon. Because of the game's graphical abilities, the levels all look quite varied from each other, with one being a snowstorm-ridden mountain, and another being a dangerous factory. The Kongs' goal is to get to the end of the level.

Throughout the levels, bananas must be collected (with 100 giving an extra life). The same goes for K-O-N-G Letters and Extra Life Balloons (green ones give two lives while blue ones give out three). Animal Tokens are another item which send the monkeys to an animal ally-themed bonus level. The tokens come in the shape of the four different animal allies. For them to gain access to a bonus level, they must collect three of the same type of token to be sent to the appropriate animal-themed level.

Similarly to the Mario series, the Kongs can beat typical enemies simply by jumping on them. They can also throw barrels, or somersault/cartwheel to knock them out. There are normal barrels, DK Barrels which have the 'kidnapped' partner inside and act as normal barrels if the player already has both Donkey and Diddy, Steel Kegs which will bounce off walls and can be ridden on, blast barrels which launch the character like a cannon, Star Barrels that feature white stars on the side of the barrel and which allow the player to start at the location of the barrel instead of the beginning of the level when they lose a life and, and TNT Barrels which destroy enemies and certain walls with a powerful explosion. A prevalent part of the game are barrel cannon courses, where the player must navigate the Kongs through cannon-like blast barrels, also seen in the game Super Smash Bros. Brawl.



Animal Buddies[]



Worlds and Levels[]

Other Media[]

A CG animated show of the same name was created and ran on Fox Family from 1997-2000.


The game was revolutionary as it was one of the first games to use pre-rendered 3D graphics, which was also used in Rare's Killer Instinct. Many later 3D video games would also use pre-rendered 3D together with fully 3D objects. Rareware took significant financial risks in purchasing the expensive Silicon Graphics equipment used to render the game's graphics. Both Nintendo and Rare refer to the technique for creating the game's graphics as "ACM" (Advanced Computer Modeling).

Shigeru Miyamoto once criticized Donkey Kong Country, stating that "Donkey Kong Country proves that players will put up with mediocre gameplay as long as the art is good." Miyamoto later apologized, saying he had been too harsh due to Nintendo's pressuring him at the time to make Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island more like Donkey Kong Country. However, this has been asserted to be a mistranslation[6].


Changes from the original[]

Game Boy Color[]

Another port was released for the Game Boy Color in 2000 (2001 in Japan). The changes are as listed:

  • There are three alternate title screens; one takes place underwater, another in the jungle and another in a cavern.
  • The Japanese version of the game is now called Donkey Kong 2001(JP).
  • Only one Kong appears at a time on screen, much like in the Donkey Kong Land games.
  • The Game Boy Printer can be used to print out certain photos from the album.
  • Winky's Walkway, the first level in Monkey Mines, has been extended.
  • A new level called Necky Nutmare has been added in Chimp Caverns, the last world in the game.
  • The Kongs don't ride the Animal Buddies. Instead, they turn into them.
  • Two new minigames have been added, Funky Fishing and Crosshair Cranky.
  • Two new difficulties have been added; one removing the Star Barrels and the other removing the DK Barrels.
  • Most of the music from Donkey Kong Land has been reused to replace the ones from the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. However, some of the original's music was reused but downgraded to the Game Boy Color's sound limitations.
  • The Warp Barrel in Mine Cart Carnage is removed from the game.
  • Candy runs a challenge area instead of a save point.
  • The credits instead show various screenshots instead of taking place in the treehouse.
  • The select screen from Donkey Kong 64 is reused.
  • The game automatically saves after a level is completed.

Game Boy Advance[]

Another port was released to the Game Boy Advance in 2003. Notable differences:

  • Saving is possible anywhere rather than save points.
  • A prologue explaining the purpose of Donkey's is played prior to the start of the game, as well as an epilogue.
  • The Nintendo label on the giant bananas has been removed, and Cranky gives commentary after a boss is defeated.
  • The graphics and overall sound quality have been reduced. Some enemies have tweaked, usually higher pitched effects returning from Donkey Kong 64.
  • Cranky's Cabin has been renamed to "Cranky's Hut" and has been redesigned to take place indoors.
  • A multiplayer mode is possible, but on the GameCube, either player can play as Donkey Kong or Diddy Kong.
  • On the overhead map, a menu was added. In it, Funky can be summoned anytime on the map screen, get access to a scrapbook, save the game and view level stats.
  • Enemies come in more colors.
  • The menu is redesigned with DK Attack and an Extras feature added to the menu.
  • More sound effects have been added.
  • The boss battles have slightly changed when they are attacked with Queen B. now having three Zingers around her, Really Gnawty makes stalagmites fall from the ceiling when making a high pounce, Dumb Drum must have a few TNT Barrels thrown at him to be defeated and Master Necky helps Master Necky Snr. fight Donkey and Diddy.
  • The map has been redesigned in worlds and the map is zoomed in more.
  • The barrels that send the Kongs to Bonus Levels are replaced by Bonus Barrels.
  • Starting from Vine Valley, some of the levels have been swapped around.
  • The credits now take place in Gangplank Galleon rather than in Donkey Kong's Treehouse.
  • A Video Game Hero mode has been added where the player plays as a yellow Diddy to complete all levels without Star Barrels and DK Barrels.
  • Candy hosts a dancing game at her own dancing studio.


  • Chosen as Favorite Video Game at the 1995 and 1996 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards.



  Main article: Donkey Kong Country/gallery




  • The large bananas that appear after a boss is defeated originally had the Dole logo on them, but were later replaced with Nintendo logos.
  • The game was featured on the cover of Nintendo Power V66.
  • The game won 6 awards in the 1994 Nintendo Power Awards: Best Graphics and Sound (SNES), Best Theme and Fun (SNES), Best Play Control (SNES), Best Hero (Donkey Kong), Worst Baddie (Rockkroc), and Best Game Overall.
  • Robin Beanland didn't originally write the soundtrack for this game, a song that he wrote for Killer Instinct, was put in as the theme for Funky's Fugue.
  • The character Cranky Kong, according to Rareware, is the original Donkey Kong from the 1981 arcade game, setting up the confusion among the fanbase and later games since whether or not the modern Donkey Kong is the original character. Nintendo, DK's original creator, initially did not support this as seen in Super Smash Bros., but it now seems to agree with Rare's decision.


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