Donkey "Cranky" Kong Senior
Cranky Kong TF
Cranky Kong as he appears in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.
Full Name Donkey "Cranky" Kong Senior
Aliases (Arcade) Donkey Kong
Donkey Kong Sr.
D.K. the 1st
Original Big Ape
Grandpa Kong
Old man Kong
Professor Cranky Kong
Commander Cranky Kong
Residence Donkey Kong Island
Family Unnamed great-grandfather (deceased),
Donkey Kong Jr. (son),
Wrinkly Kong (wife; deceased),
Donkey Kong (grandson),
Kong Family (possible other grandchildren),
Diddy Kong (great-grandson)
Species Kong
Gender Male
Affiliates The Kong Family
Powers/Abilities Tremendous Strength,
Unlimited Supply of Barrels,
Numerous Bugs such as Bee-hives with Armies of Bees and Worms
Encyclopedic Knowledge of Video Game History,
Mastery of Science and Inventing
Skilled Bassist
Experienced Shield Wielder (actively trains at his Dojo in preperation for future playable appearances)
Enemies Mario [formerly]
Stanley the Bugman [formerly]
Pauline [formerly]
K. Rool [former friend]
Games Donkey Kong (as Donkey Kong Sr.)
Donkey Kong Jr.
Donkey Kong 3
Donkey Kong Circus
Donkey Kong Hockey
Donkey Kong '94
Donkey Kong Country
Donkey Kong Land
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest
Donkey Kong Land 2
Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!
Donkey Kong 64
Donkey Konga
Donkey Konga 2
DK: King of Swing
Donkey Konga 3
Donkey Kong Barrel Blast
DK: Jungle Climber
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Donkey Kong Country Returns
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Super Mario Odyssey
WarioWare Gold
First Appearance Donkey Kong (game) (as Donkey Kong Sr.) (1981)

Donkey Kong Country (as Cranky Kong) (1994)

Latest Appearance Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (as Donkey Kong Sr.) (2018)

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (as Cranky Kong) (2018)

"He groggily rolled over to see the familiar wrinkled, white-bearded, grouchy face of his old granddad "Cranky Kong" peering down at him. In his heyday, Cranky was the original Donkey Kong who battled Mario in several of his own games."
Donkey Kong Country manual

Cranky Kong (also known as DK SR. or Donkey Kong I or Donkey Kong the First) is a widower and Donkey Kong the Third's crabby, rambling, and complaining, grandfather, husband of Wrinkly Kong, and father of Donkey Kong Junior. Cranky has made numerous appearances throughout the Donkey Kong series. He usually acts as a guide in the games to help his grandson Donkey Kong or his friends along their journey as he has had some enlightening experiences. In the original DKC and other appearances, he is heavily implied to be the violent, bad tempered, and clumsy original Donkey Kong from the classic arcade game (confirmed in the DKC manual) Donkey Kong and Mario, Lady Pauline, and Stanley the Bugman's main adversary in those games. As part of the first generation in the DK Lineage, he now goes by his nickname Cranky after becoming old and cranky. While he is proud of/shares a deep love with/respects his loyal son DK Junior, because of his confirmations to be the original Donkey Kong, he often looks down on his grandson modern day DK and breaks the fourth wall by saying that Donkey Kong will never be as great a character as he was during his prime and that his grandkid knows nothing about the 8-bit gaming days. Cranky is also speculated to be Funky's grandfather.

Donkey Kong 64 created controversy as Cranky seems to claim that Donkey Kong is his "son" (not in the Japanese version as it says grandson) however it's the only game that has claimed this, not only is it common for "son/sonny/my boy" to be short for "grandson", it's also simply used by older people non-literally towards younger males as a common term and a form of endearment whether they're biologically related or not, ("pappy/pops/old man" is generally used for "grandfather"), and it's possible Cranky raised DK "like a son" (confirmed in DKC and DKCR) instead of literally being his son. Another explanation is that Cranky calls DK "that undeserving son of mine" in a pun like sense, DK is his grandson, but as far as Cranky Kong is arrogantly concerned DK is not "grand" at all; hence Donkey being his "good for nothing son".

It should be noted DKC3 and DK64 were developed by a different team at Rare as opposed to the original team that made DKC and DKC2 (later on made the N64 game series Banjo-Kazooie) which can lead to conflicting statements. Additionally, an official Japanese Nintendo Online magazine released around the time as Donkey Kong 64 refers to Cranky Kong as Donkey Kong's grandfather. In the DKC GBA remakes, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Cranky Kong was confirmed and further solidified to be Donkey Kong's grandfather.


The Main Ape

According to the Donkey Kong Country series and one of Snake's Codec Conversations in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros Ultimate, Cranky Kong is the original Donkey Kong from the arcade games. During his youthful prime, Cranky Kong kidnapped Lady Pauline as revenge for being locked up by Mario, was kidnapped by Mario, he even battled Stanley the Bugman in a greenhouse and second time in outer space, and in the stage play retelling kidnapped Pauline again in his tower.

Missin' the Old Days

Apparently, after his defeat by Mario for last time, Cranky migrated to Donkey Kong Island, he was once friends with King K. Rool, he explored Crocodile Isle and has substantial knowledge about it. The Kongs had faced prior conflicts with the Kremlings on Donkey Kong Island between the events of Donkey Kong 3 and Donkey Kong Country, Wrinkly Kong confirmed that at Kong Kollege the only thing the Kremlings wanted to learn was how to defeat the Kongs. Afterwards, he lived his life on DK Isle and grew old and bitter.

Cranky's first appearance as Cranky was in Donkey Kong Country. Here, Cranky lives in a slightly rundown shack known as "Cranky's Cabin". From here, Cranky gives advice on the game's various items and locations to his grandson, Donkey Kong and his little nephew, Diddy Kong while also antagonizing them. He is shown to be sitting in a rocking chair for the whole game. In Game Boy Color version he also runs a mini-game Crosshair Cranky, where Kongs must shoot-out Kremlings.

Though Cranky is not actually in Donkey Kong Country's Game Boy sequel, Donkey Kong Land, he is the one that sets off the events of the game. Cranky, slightly jealous of Donkey and Diddy's success over the evil King K. Rool, tricks them into making a bet with him; if Donkey and Diddy can reclaim Donkey's banana hoard from King K. Rool again, this time on an eight-bit system as Donkey and Diddy haven't been the stars of one, he will admit that they are adequate gaming heroes. Cranky calls on K. Rool to steal the banana hoard. In the end, Cranky ends up eating his words when Donkey and Diddy once again defeat K. Rool and the Kremling Krew.

Monkey Museum Creator

In Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, Cranky sets up his "Monkey Museum" on Crocodile Isle. Once again Cranky will give out information; this time, for a price. In this game, Cranky also scatters several DK Coins throughout the game's various levels. Once Kaptain K. Rool is defeated, Cranky will tally Diddy Kong and Dixie Kong's "hero status" by how many DK Coins they have collected. Donkey Kong Country 2 also introduced Cranky's wife and Donkey Kong's grandmother, Wrinkly Kong. He seems to not be the biggest fan of this game's kidnapping plot saying it's worse than Donkey Kong Country and not being a fan of Dixie being a hero since that breaks the usual mold that he sees, being that heroes are muscular men with loads of guns and various weapons; not girls with long twirly hair.

In the Game Boy Advance remake of Donkey Kong Country 2 Cranky's role remains relatively the same as in the original game. Although a new sidequest involving Cranky was added to the game; it seems with the "fabulous fortune" he made in Donkey Kong Country, Cranky bought a racing ostrich he names Expresso. After bulking up Expresso using feathers, the Kongs can race Expresso for Cranky and try to get trophies for the grouchy old Kong in exchange for rewards.

An Enemy Again!

In Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!, Cranky's appearances are (more or less) cameos. In Swanky's Sideshow, Cranky Kong acts as Dixie and Kiddy Kong's opponent in various ball throwing mini-games. Cranky also appears at the end of Donkey Kong Country 3 to criticize Dixie and Kiddy's victory over KAOS and Baron K. Roolenstein. After Cranky's comment, Dixie and Kiddy decide to beat him up with Cranky saying "you wouldn't hit a guy with glasses", which turns black before he is beaten. If players manage to get the game's "best" ending, Cranky will do a few water-skiing tricks before holding up a sign which says "THE END" in runny ink after Funky's jetski crashes into the lake. He is also at the top of the All-Time Greats list at the end of the game, having beat the game in 04:22 with 103%. If the player beats the game with the TUFST code activated, thereby attaining 105%, they will get a trophy of Cranky Kong in a black belt's outfit and will be named the 'Immortal Monkey!'.

In the Game Boy Advance remake of Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! Cranky runs several dojos, aptly named Cranky's Dojo to prepare for his "first game with the main playable role", "Cranky Kong Country" where he is the star. In Cranky's Dojo, players can gain the ability to play as a shield-wielding Cranky during a Bristles dodging mini-game. Cranky's Dojo mini-game must be beaten at least once to gain a Banana Bird.

Returning to the scene

Cranky returns in Donkey Kong Country Returns as the only other Kong representative other than DK and Diddy. He runs his own shop in which he sells Level Keys to new levels, Balloons, a parrot named Squawks, extra hearts to be used in one level until you finish it, and Banana Juice which gives the player 10 extra hearts and makes the player gold (flash gold when its down to about 4 extra lives), until they die wether they finish the level or not.[1]

The Mad Scientist

Cranky's next appearance would be in Donkey Kong 64. Here, Cranky has seemingly taken up science as a hobby; Cranky's Lab can be found in every area of Donkey Kong 64 except Hideout Helm. At Cranky's Lab, the Kongs can pay for several potions that can give them new powers and abilities. Also, if the Kongs manage to collect fifteen Banana Medals, Cranky will allow them to play Jetpac, an early Rare game. The Kongs must beat the Jetpac game in order to obtain the Rareware Coin. Cranky also acts as the Kongs coach during their boxing match against King Krusha K. Rool.

A very little known fact about Cranky's role in DK64 is that it was one of several themes based on the old Donkey Kong Country TV show, in which Cranky was sometimes seen mixing up magic potions to use on either himself or others to advance that episode's plot.

More Training

In DK: King of Swing, Cranky Kong, along with the ghost of his wife, Wrinkly, teaches Donkey Kong (and thus the player) how to use the games unique controls. Cranky, along with Candy Kong, is the only Kong who is not playable in DK: King of Swing's Jungle Jam mode.

Racing Adventure


Cranky in Diddy Kong Pilot

Cranky was going to be in Diddy Kong Pilot as a playable character, but the game ended up cancelled, making it turn into vaporware. He was going to also have his own mode called "Cranky's Challenge" where the player had to collect all six Banana Coins and win first place themselves in each course.

Even More Training

Cranky once again appears in DK: Jungle Climber where he teaches DK and Diddy how to play the game, and also appears in various levels to teach them moves. Cranky has a very strangely active and good-tempered role in this game, as he follows DK and Diddy and Xananab through the various islands. He also tells the characters what they can do with the various Banana Coins, DK Coins, and Oil Barrels he finds throughout the levels once they are collected.

Barrel Blasting

Cranky appears in Donkey Kong Barrel Blast as a secret character, unlocked by playing Candy's Challenges, Challenge 24, and winning. He has oddly high stats, and is a rival to K. Rool. Contrary to popular belief, this is his not first North American playable appearance, as he was playable in the Cranky's Dojo minigame in the GBA version of Donkey Kong Country 3. He was also playable in the Japan-only Donkey Konga 3.

Donkey Konga

Cranky also appears in the Donkey Konga series, though he is only playable in the series' third installment, Donkey Konga 3.

Becoming a Shop Owner

Cranky reappears in Donkey Kong Country Returns (DKCR). He has no major role in the plot and is only able to be seen in his shop. He sells Donkey Kong and/or Diddy Kong items in exchange for banana coins to help them on their adventure. He sells life balloons (1, a 3 and a 7 bundle). A key which is required to play a level in each world his shop can be found (thus excluding world 9 which only has 1 level). A parrot to help them find puzzle pieces. An extra heart that gives them an extra hit and Banana Juice which makes DK and Diddy gold giving them 10 hits before they start taking damage.

In Super Smash Bros. Series

Cranky makes a small cameo in the background of Jungle Japes in Super Smash Bros. Melee, where he can be seen pacing back and forth in his cabin. He technically makes another minor cameo in Super Smash Bros. Brawl where appears in sprite form as his younger self in the stage 75m, which is based on the original Donkey Kong game.

Trophy Information

A village chief and bitter old codger. Cranky uses his extensive knowledge and wisdom to provide helpful hints. He has also made appearances in a white lab coat as a potion-dealing chemist, granting the Kongs special abilities. Donkey Kong: Barrel Blast features Cranky as a playable character for the first time.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Music songs from his arcade game and the Donkey Kong Jr. arcade game were remixed and appear as selectable stage music.

Cranky makes a small cameo in the background of Jungle Japes, where he can be seen pacing back and forth in his cabin. He technically makes another minor cameo in sprite form as his younger self in the stage 75m, which is based on the original Donkey Kong game. He has two spirits based on his older elderly self and one of his younger self combined with Lady Pauline.

Appearances in Other Media

Cranky was also a main character on the Donkey Kong Country television series. Here Cranky was as old, grouchy, and bitter as he was in the games, he was also Donkey Kong's grandfather. However, he's far less arrogant than he is in the video games. On the show, instead of living in a cabin on the ground like in the games, Cranky instead lives in a cabin on a tree-top village, similar to ones seen in the area Vine Valley from the Donkey Kong Country game. On the show, Cranky was also seen to be adept at potion-making and magic, a trait later carried on into the games, Cranky also stores the mystical Crystal Coconut, a powerful and ancient orb that can grant wishes to anyone and can also name the person in his or her possession future ruler of Kongo Bongo. Cranky Kong of the series is a former friend of King K. Rool; the two used to be notorious practical jokers and daredevils who were always challenging each other; their relationship went sour over one last contest involving walking on the wings of a plane flying through a storm, because K. Rool cheated. One episode involves Donkey Kong and Diddy trying to get Cranky and K. Rool to become friends again, but they are so annoying once they have wreaked havoc on Kongo Bongo, so the two Kongs team-up with K. Rool's goons, General Klump and Krusha in order to break them up, be enemies, and bring everything back to normal again, which is successful. In It's a Wonderful Life, Cranky is portrayed as a minion of Diddy who Cranky fears. Cranky is revealed to be master at pranks and even betrayed his partners, Diddy and Candy by using a joybuzzer and collapsing deck chair on them. Cranky taught Bluster and Eddie the Yeti soccer. He is revealed to be such as tricking K. Rool into drinking a bottle full of bees. Like his video counterpart, Cranky dislikes the Kremilings.

He also appeared in the Club Nintendo comic "Donkey Kong Country". He is the first one to discover that King K. Rool has stolen the Kongs' Banana Hoard, which follows the story of the game. Cranky's appearance in the comic differs slightly from his standard look, as he is wearing a blue shirt instead of a gray or brown one.

In the comic "Donkey Kong in: Banana Day 24", published in the same magazine, he supported Donkey, Diddy, Dixie and Kiddy on their mission to save the Earth from being pulled away from the sun by a giant UFO. It was his idea to carry on negotiations with the aliens so they would release the Earth. The President of the United States puts a space shuttle at the Kongs' disposal, and Cranky is the one to navigate it. He beams Donkey, Diddy and Dixie into the UFO and stays in the Kongs' space shuttle meanwhile. When their mission succeeds, he navigates the space shuttle back to Earth, where the Kongs are being hailed by the people. Euphorically, Cranky tries to kiss a random girl, much to her disgust. After returning to their jungle, Cranky gets in trouble with his wife Wrinkly because of this. During the events of this story, Cranky did not show much of his grouchy traits as often discovered in the games, but instead appears as a helpful person.

Cranky got his own action figure in the late 90's due to the popularity of the DKC TV show.



The cover of Donkey Kong cereal

When Cranky was the original Donkey Kong, Ralston made a cereal because of his popularity.




Note: These files aren't compatible with Internet Explorer

Title Description Composer Game
Cranky Kong (Donkey Kong)
Title Screen
The title theme from the game. Yukio Kaneoka Donkey Kong
Cranky Kong (DKC) 1
The title theme from the game. David Wise Donkey Kong Country
Cranky Kong (DKC) 2
Cranky's Theme
The theme is used in Cranky's Cabin.
Cranky Kong (DKC2) 1
Steel Drum Rhumba
The file select theme from the game. Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest
Cranky Kong (DKC2) 2
Cranky's Conga
The theme is used in Monkey Museum.
Cranky Kong (DKKS)
Cranky's Lectures
His theme in the game. Takashi Kouga DK: King of Swing
Cranky Kong (DKBB)
Cosmic Highway
His theme in the circuit. Donkey Kong Barrel Blast
Cranky Kong (DKJC)
Cranky's Theme
His theme in the game. Yuuichi Kanno
Yoshikata Hirota
Takashi Kouga
DK: Jungle Climber
Cranky Kong (DKCR) 1
Title Screen
The title theme from the game. Minako Hamano
Masaru Tajima
Shinji Ushiroda
Daisuke Matsuoka
Donkey Kong Country Returns
Cranky Kong (DKCR) 2
Cranky Kong's Shop
The theme is used in Cranky Kong's Shop.
Cranky Kong (Mario Rabbids) 1
Before the Battle
An excerpt of the arrangement from his theme. Grant Kirkhope Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle: Donkey Kong Adventure
Cranky Kong (Mario Rabbids) 2
Midboss Melody


  • Real-life Gorillas age 2-3 times faster than humans becoming fully grown around ages 11–15 and reach their elderly years at ages 35–45, and Trudy the oldest gorilla lived to be 61 years old, an age well above the common gorilla's maximum age. Meaning Cranky would comparatively be around those ages, making him significantly older than Mario's parents including Mario himself (Mario's parents would at least be relatively younger than Cranky in human years) explaining the "missing generation" and huge age difference between Cranky and the current day Donkey Kong. Mario would also be younger than DK JR.. It's likely eating the magical Banana Hoard is keeping Cranky alive and have a healthy lifespan beyond the average gorilla.
  • Cranky Kong (as himself and his younger self) in video games and other media has showcased many composite feats.
  • Donkey Kong Country and Donkey Kong Country Returns revealed that Cranky affectionately raised DK "like a son" (Wrinkly didn't raise him due to DK and Wrinkly's somewhat weak relationship) however his in-game dialogue and usual manner of speech to him shows what their relationship is, that of a young boy and his old ranting grandfather.
  • Cranky Kong used to be friends with K. Rool.
  • Cranky, Wrinkly Kong, DK Jr., and Diddy Kong have conjoined eyes whereas modern Donkey Kong doesn't.
  • There has been some confusion and controversy over the years as to whether the current Donkey Kong is the Grandson or Son of Cranky, Cranky Kong has been referred to as Donkey Kong's grandfather in the original DKC games and DKL, but it's quite implied that Rare didn't completely care to keep the storylines perfectly straight, the Rare scribes editor when asked about the Kong's relations/species says "he just works with the material he is given" and Rare Employees Roderick Arbuthnot/Leigh Loveday seem to have misinterpreted the relationship since they once tried to retcon this a few months before the release of DK64 in a 1999 Q&A, however not only is the claim invalid since the Rare scribes editor is merely a staff member rather than the actual game developers, but also Rare left Nintendo with control over the DK characters, the claim was conjecture, it was never clear, definitive, nor conclusive to begin with since it's prefaced with the phrase "As far as I know", then the theoretical phrase "which does indeed make him, and ending it jokingly telling people that if they see evidence that contradicts his statement to "just cover your eyes and hum loudly until it goes away", heavily implying that a few members of Rare were either confused/didn't know the relationships, or had conflicting ideas. Keep in mind that DKC3 and DK64 were developed by a different team at Rare as opposed to the original team that made DKC and DKC2 (later on made the N64 game series Banjo-Kazooie) which can lead to conflicting statements. Nintendo likely believed that the new Donkey Kong's design was too different than that of Jr. (different head shape, face, and fur color) (if anything Jr. would look more like classic DK (except incredibly shorter) rather than modern DK), seeing Junior as a relative arcade icon and viable/relevant property, and with the debut of Baby Donkey Kong they took the opportunity to disprove that they are the same character. With Nintendo and Retro releasing DKCR and DKCTF, they support the original idea, that being Jr. and Donkey Kong are separate characters, hence forth the current Donkey Kong is Donkey Kong III, Jr.'s son, and Cranky's grandson with the releases of the DKC GBC/GBA remakes, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Donkey Kong Country Returns, and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze all supporting this.
    • In the 2017's Playing With Super Power: Nintendo Super NES Classics eGuide, Super Mario Kart 16 Bits Tab, an official book by Prima Games, Prima confirmed the section about the DK Lineage on page 112 is the true official familial interpretation further establishing Jr. as Cranky's son and the father of the modern Donkey Kong, whereas the section on page 192 with the "Donkey Kong Jr., all grown up" statement according to Prima is meant to be written as a metaphor of the older Donkey Kong games to the more modernized Donkey Kong Country games (the gameplay mechanics and strategy of the Donkey Kong Jr. arcade game heavily inspired DKC and it's sequels) rather than be taken as literal; it references how Junior had the playable Kong role instead of DK himself, and said role was now "all grown up" (aka modernized) and redesigned with new moves.
      • Gregg Mayles on Twitter in 2017 confirmed that modern DK is Cranky's grandson, and the statement in DK64 was a mistake and an outlier not to be construed as literal, since "son" is short for "grandson" and is used by older people towards any younger males as a form of endearment. It should also be noted that there is no in-game text nor manual/instruction booklet that ever explicitly states that DK is Jr., debunking the fan misconception.
  • Miyamoto really likes Cranky and the lore behind him being the original Donkey Kong.
    • The old DK's improper social conduct evolved into Cranky's grouchy demeanor and having previous anti-human prejudices.
  • Donkey Kong Jr., Cranky Kong, and Wrinkly Kong are the only known Kongs who know how to do math correctly.
  • Cranky's beard may be a reference to silver-back gorillas.



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