Donkey Kong Wiki
For other uses, see Donkey Kong (disambiguation).
Donkey Kong III
Donkey Kong the Third's artwork from the game Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.
Full Name Donkey Kong the Third
Alias(es) Donkey,
Star Child,
King of the Jungle,
Donkey Kong III,
D.K. the 3rd,
Big Monkey,
Bodacious Beast,
Prime Primate,
Thrilla Gorilla,
King of Swing,
(Super) Donkey Kong[1]
Homeland Donkey Kong Island

Residence(s) Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong's Treehouse
Family Kong Family,
Baby Donkey Kong (past self),
Diddy Kong (nephew),
Cranky Kong (grandfather),
Wrinkly Kong (deceased grandmother),
Uncle Kong (possible older brother),
Candy Kong (girlfriend)
Donkey Kong Jr. (father)
Species Kong
Sub-Species Gorilla
Gender Male
Affiliation(s) Kong Family,
Animal Buddies,
Powers/Abilities Tremendous strength,
Hand Slap/Ground-Pound,
Skilled climber,
Rolling attack,
DK Bongos,
Producing destructive soundwaves through claps (only in DKJB),
Blowing gusts of wind (only in DKCR and DKCR 3D)
Enemies King K. Rool,
Kremling Krew,
Manky Kongs,
Ghastly King,
Eddie the Mean Old Yeti (formerly),
Kamek (as Baby Donkey Kong),
Tiki Tong,
Tiki Tak Tribe,
Lord Fredrik, The Snowmad King,
Kaos (Skylanders)
Game(s) Every Donkey Kong game (excluding Donkey Kong Land III, only mentioned in said game, as well as the arcade Donkey Kong games where Cranky was Donkey Kong),
Super Smash Bros. series,
Mario Kart series,
Yoshi's Island DS,
Mario Party series,
Skylanders: SuperChargers
First Appearance Donkey Kong Country (for SFC/SNES) (1994)
Latest Appearance Mario Strikers: Battle League (2022)
Voice Actor/Actress Grant Kirkhope[2] (in DK 64),
Takashi Nagasako[3] (2004-present),
Richard Yearwood[4] &
Sterling Jarvis[5] (in the DKC TV series)
"The king of swing, the thrilla gorilla, the prime primate; it's Donkey Kong! But this isn't your father's Donkey Kong![6] Although he is a relative[7] of the classic arcade character, Country's Donkey Kong is a totally new character, with a new look, new moves, and a new attitude."
Donkey Kong Country Instruction Booklet[8]

Donkey Kong, Donkey or DK for short, is the main protagonist of the Donkey Kong series; the laid-back, stubborn, yet trustworthy hero of Donkey Kong Island and the leader of the Kong Family. He is also a main racer in the Mario Kart series since Mario Kart 64 as well as the protagonist in the Donkey Kong Country animated series and a recurring character in the Mario Bros. game series and spinoffs.

Though known as Donkey Kong, he is actually a brand-new character (as explicitly mentioned in the Donkey Kong Country Instruction Booklet[8]) and a descendant[9] of both the original Donkey Kong (Senior) and DK Junior; making him part of the third generation in the DK Lineage, and successor of Donkey Kong Senior and Junior after the former retired due to his numerous defeats at the hands of Mario and Stanley the Bugman.

The current Donkey Kong is designed by Rare, specifically Kevin Bayliss who also designed Diddy Kong.

He is currently voiced by Takashi Nagasako[3] in most of the games as of 2004, although he was voiced by Grant Kirkhope[2] in the game Donkey Kong 64. In the Super Smash Bros. series, Donkey Kong was given realistic ape grunts and roars, instead of being voiced by the respective voice actors from the Donkey Kong main series, where Donkey Kong was given a cartoonish voice. In the English version of the Donkey Kong Country animated series, he was voiced by Richard Yearwood[4] for his speaking voice, and voiced by Sterling Jarvis[5] for his singing voice.


Donkey Kong Circus

Taking place before the events of the first game, in the game Donkey Kong Circus, Donkey Kong Sr. (later known as Cranky Kong) is a gorilla juggling fruits during a circus act, while avoiding flames being throw around. Jumpman, the carpenter, watches the show, and he laughs at Donkey Kong when he gets hurt by the fire. That is the implied reason why Donkey Kong Sr. escapes from the circus.

Donkey Kong

Artwork of Donkey Kong Sr. and Lady from the game Donkey Kong.

Donkey Kong Senior's first appearance was in the Arcade game of the same name, where he was the main antagonist. In the game, Donkey Kong Sr. made off with Jumpman's (at the time) girlfriend, the Lady and carried her to the top of a high construction site. He was pursued by Jumpman and attacked him by throwing barrels and assisted by living fireballs. He was eventually pursued to the top of the construction site, where Mario caused the bars supporting him to crash, sending him to the ground.

It is speculated exactly why Donkey Kong Sr. tried to kidnap the Lady: while some sources say that he took her for revenge against Jumpman (later known as Mario) laughing at him during the circus act in Donkey Kong Circus, others says that Donkey Kong fell in love with the damsel-in-distress.

Donkey Kong Jr.

In Donkey Kong Jr., Jumpman reappears and has imprisoned Donkey Kong Sr., perhaps to keep him from kidnapping his girlfriend again, and stood guard next to his cage. In this game, Donkey Kong's son, Donkey Kong Jr., is the leading character, and his objective is to rescue his father from Jumpman by traversing many environments through vine climbing.

Donkey Kong 3

Stanley the Bugman attacking Donkey Kong Sr. as seen in the game Donkey Kong 3.

In the game Donkey Kong 3, Donkey Kong Sr. was once again a main antagonist, although this time he did not fight Mario. In this game, Donkey Kong Sr. has gone on a rampage inside a greenhouse that belonged to a local exterminator called Stanley the Bugman, who rose up to defeat him (along with other bugs destroying plants in the greenhouse). Donkey Kong Sr. would use a system of ropes to lower himself to the greenhouse floor. When he reaches the floor, the game ends and Donkey Kong Sr. is able to destroy the rest of the greenhouse. After Stanley sprays Donkey Kong Sr. with insecticide three times to keep him off the greenhouse floor, he runs away.

Donkey Kong '94

During the game Donkey Kong for Game Boy, Donkey Kong Sr. kidnapped Pauline (formerly known as the Lady) again, running away to a construction site (similar to one seen in the game Donkey Kong for Arcade). Mario tries to rescue his current girlfriend by going through four stages. However, at the end, Donkey Kong Sr. is able to escape, taking Pauline again. Mario pursues Donkey Kong Sr. and Pauline through nine worlds and 97 new stages, facing new challenges and enemies, including Donkey Kong Jr. being capable of operating devices by using levers. At the top of a tower, Mario faces a giant Donkey Kong Sr. After the gorilla is defeated, Mario recovers his usual size. During the credits cutscene, Mario, Pauline, Donkey Kong Sr. and Junior as seen taking a photograph together, implying that they have put their grudge aside.

The First Adventure

Donkey Kong the Third's artwork from the game Donkey Kong Country.

Presumably, at some point after the events of the games Donkey Kong 3 and Donkey Kong '94, Donkey Kong Sr. migrated to the Donkey Kong Island, establishing it as his homeland. Donkey Kong Sr. eventually grew old, adopting the nickname "Cranky Kong", and his grandson, Donkey Kong the Third, has taken over as the leader of the Kong Family.

In the game Donkey Kong Country, Donkey Kong entrusted Diddy Kong to guard the Banana Hoard until midnight as part of his video game hero training. However, during the night, the Kremling Krew arrived at Donkey Kong Island and broke into the hoard's cave. Diddy was able to defeat a handful of Kremlings, but it was not until Krusha arrived that he was overpowered. Krusha knocked Diddy aside and sealed him in a barrel before the Kremlings stole the entire stash while Donkey overslept in his treehouse.

The events enraged Donkey Kong upon being informed that his hoard was gone, and he set out to reclaim his bananas and rescue Diddy. DK rescued Diddy from his barrel prison along the way, and the two Kongs traveled throughout Donkey Kong Island and defeated the Kremling forces, with the aid of Candy Kong, Funky Kong, and Cranky Kong.

Eventually, Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong found King K. Rool, the leader of the Kremlings, aboard the Gangplank Galleon. After defeating the king, the Kongs reclaimed the Banana Hoard and returned home.

A False Fight

In the game Donkey Kong Land, after returning home, Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong told Cranky about their adventure. Cranky, though, was jealous, believing that video games had become easier the more technology progressed and argued Donkey Kong would not be able to defeat K. Rool had the events been chronicled on an 8-bit system instead of the 16-bit Super Family Computer/Super Nintendo Entertainment System as Donkey and Diddy have not starred in 8-bit titles. Cranky challenged Donkey Kong to defeat King K. Rool on the Game Boy.

After Donkey Kong agreed, Cranky Kong contacted K. Rool and arranged for the adventure to be repeated. Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong defeated King K. Rool and the Kremlings again, proving they were heroes.

Captured by the Kremlings

Artwork of Donkey Kong caged in the K. Rool's Keep, from the game Donkey Kong Country 2.

During the game Donkey Kong Country 2, after his two long adventures, Donkey Kong decided to rest on the beach. Cranky approched him complaining about Donkey's lack of activity, to which Donkey Kong stated that even heroes get a break and told his elder to leave him be. After Cranky left and with no one in sight, the Flying Krock appeared over the beach. The Kremilings descended on the beach, ambushing Donkey and tying him up while leaving a message behind for his friends. Their leader, Kaptain K. Rool (an alter-ego of King K. Rool), demanded the Banana Hoard if the Kongs wanted Donkey back. Diddy refused to adhere to the villain's ultimatum, so he and his girlfriend, Dixie Kong, traveled to the Kremiling Krew's hideout and home, Crocodile Isle, to rescue DK.

Near the end of the game, Diddy and Dixie briefly find Donkey inside K. Rool's Keep, before he is whisked away up to the Flying Krock, forcing them to chase after the ship. When Diddy and Dixie get to the command bay, they see Donkey being abused by Kaptain K. Rool, who engages with them in battle when they arrive. After his defeat, K. Rool prepares to blast them away before Donkey breaks free of his bonds and gives him a powerful uppercut out of the ship and into the island's seas.

After Diddy and Dixie defeat Kaptain K. Rool for the second and final time by sending him flying into the island's core, Donkey watches with them as Crocodile Isle sinks into the ocean. But they see a ship sailing away and hear an ominous laugh, signifying that K. Rool had survived and escaped.

The Revival of Crocodile Isle

In the game Donkey Kong Land 2, having brought Crocodile Isle back to the surface, the Kremlings lured Donkey Kong there by using Kaptain K. Rool as bait. While there, he was captured once more. Diddy and Dixie Kong saved Donkey Kong from the Kremlings, defeated K. Rool and sunk the island again.

Captured (again) in the Northern Kremisphere

During the game Donkey Kong Country 3, Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong went on a fishing trip to the Northern Kremisphere. While there, they were overpowered and captured by the Kremlings, who claimed to now be lead by an unusual mechanical being named KAOS. Back home, Dixie Kong grew suspicious when the Kongs did not return. She and her baby cousin Kiddy Kong set out to investigate, eventually discovering that Baron K. Roolenstein, another alter ego of K. Rool, was behind the entire plot. Defeating him, Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong were released. When Cranky criticizes Dixie and Kiddy, Donkey and Diddy watch as the duo walk over to give him a beating.

A Reckless Adventure

Donkey Kong does not appear in the game Donkey Kong Land III. However, according to the game story, shortly after being rescued, Donkey and Diddy Kong heard of a contest to discover The Lost World of the Northern Kremisphere. Once there, they set out to find the special area. Under their noses, the Kremlings began anew the KAOS plot. However, Dixie and Kiddy, who also entered the contest, were able to defeat them.

King K. Rool's Revenge

At the start of Donkey Kong 64, Donkey Kong was working out in his house before he was interrupted by Squawks. He was informed that all of his Golden Bananas had been stolen and four of his friends kidnapped: Diddy Kong, Lanky Kong, Tiny Kong, and Chunky Kong. DK went to Cranky Kong who instructed him to go through his Training Barrels before giving him a potion to enhance his abilities. Making his way to the island's exterior, Squawks reported to Donkey Kong that King K. Rool had returned, meaning the Kremlings were responsible for the disappearance of the hoard and the Kongs.

Donkey Kong went into a floating isle attached to K. Rool's mechanical island, where he found K. Lumsy, an enormous disobedient Kremling, had been locked up for not destroying the island out of fondness for primates. Donkey Kong promised to find the keys to free him from the cage, making K. Lumsy jump for joy and indirectly open up a pathway to Jungle Japes. Once there, DK found Diddy Kong and freed him after acquiring the Coconut Shooter from Funky Kong. Along with Funky and Cranky, Donkey Kong also found other allies: Snide, Troff and Scoff. Snide revealed King K. Rool intended to use a weapon called the Blast-O-Matic to destroy Donkey Kong Isles and offered help in sabotaging the weapon if he was brought the blueprints, exchanging a Golden Banana for each one. Meanwhile Troff opened the door to the bosses (K. Rool's toughest henchmen who possessed the keys to K. Lumsy's cage) when Scoff was given enough bananas. In Angry Aztec, Candy Kong also joined in the campaign, gifting Donkey Kong with a set of bongos.

As Donkey Kong freed the rest of his friends, they in turn helped him find his Golden Bananas and the keys to K. Lumsy's cage. With one key remaining, K. Lumsy opened a passageway to Hideout Helm, where the control center for the Blast-O-Matic was located. With the blueprints they all collected, Snide was able to delay the weapon from firing for up to fifty minutes. Donkey Kong and the crew managed to shut down the Blast-O-Matic and found the last key to unlock K. Lumsy's cage in K. Rool's throne room, despite the fiendish reptile vacating the room before they entered. Finally freed, K. Lumsy prevented K. Rool from escaping in the King Kruiser II, knocking it out of the sky. The Kongs went into the wreckage to confront K. Rool for a final showdown, discovering a boxing arena within it. Donkey Kong was the one to fight King Krusha Rool (K. Rool's boxer alias) in the first round, blasting out of barrel cannons into him. After losing to all five Kongs, K. Rool was dealt the final blow by Funky Kong. After receiving a beating from K. Lumsy, K. Rool fled the island.

During the credits, while everyone celebrated the defeat of the Kremlings, Donkey Kong delivered the Golden Bananas back to his hoard. Noticing Cranky Kong coming, Donkey Kong waited for him to arrive. After an extended amount of waiting, Cranky arrived in time to witness Donkey throw the last banana in the hoard. Donkey then helped his elder exit the cave by carrying him on his back. In the epilogue, Donkey, Diddy, Lanky, Tiny, Chunky, and Candy played with a swimming K. Lumsy, with DK situated on his tail.

Donkey Kong's special ability in this game is Strong Kong. In order to use it, he must enter a special barrel with his face on it. He will then be surrounded by sparkling lights and is granted immunity to damage and can walk on quicksand and lava (similar to the Starman from the Super Mario series). The player can return to normal by pressing the Z button and the left C Button. Donkey Kong is the only one who can pull levers.

Theft by Tikis

At the beginning of the games Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, it is one peaceful day on Donkey Kong Island. The island's volcano erupted and released the malevolent Tiki Tak Tribe, who mesmerized the animals with their hypnotic music in order pilfer every banana around the island. The banana hoard was also stolen by the tikis, which Diddy discovers and pursues the thieves. Donkey comes out of the tree house, furious upon noticing the theft before one of the tikis, Krazy Kalimba, forces him back in. However, his attempt to control Donkey Kong fails. After beating Kalimba inside the house and punching it out (or Diddy kicking it out in two-player), Donkey and Diddy set out to reclaim their bananas. The duo get some help from Cranky, who sells them items; Tutorial Pig, who guides them on their movement controls and saves their progress at checkpoints; Rambi, who bashes spikes and boulders; and Squawks, who guides them to puzzle pieces.

In the Jungle world, DK and Diddy come across Mugly, who is eating bananas. Kalimba, angry with the Kongs for kicking it out of the tree house, possesses Mugly to destroy them. DK and Diddy defeat Mugly and beat Kalimba once again before heading to the Beach world.

After riding on whales, progressing through cannon fire, storms, and tidal waves, K and Diddy arrive at the crab pirates' hideout to see Captain Greenbeard and his Skurvy Crew enjoying some bananas. However, they also see the Maraca Gang, who possess the pirates. DK defeats the pirates and the Maraca Gang to advance to the Ruins world.

After going through many crumbling temples, DK and Diddy come across a giant egg in one temple. A Tiki named Gong-Oh appears and drops the egg into a cauldron before possessing its hatched form, Stu. After throwing bombs at the bird and breaking the cauldron, Stu's body is exposed and Gong-Oh emerges dazed. The tiki is punched out of the ruins, and Donkey and Diddy head to the Cave world.

After riding levels of mine carts and rocket barrels, DK and Diddy see mole guards filling mine carts with bananas. Banjo Bottom, overseeing the operation, sees the two apes and starts the train before possessing Mole Miner Max. After defeating the mole guards, Donkey and Diddy precede to face and defeat Mole Miner Max, and punch Banjo Bottom out of the caves. The Kongs resurface into the Forest world.

DK and Diddy find the Tikis on circular platforms and a Mangoruby resting. As it awakens, Wacky Pipes decides to use the beast to rid the simians' interference. After destroying its segments, the Mangoruby is knocked out while Wackey Pipes is delivered a series of punches by DK.

Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong make their way across the Cliff world, crossing tar pits and canyons as they avoid boulders and fossilized enemies. Soon, they arrive in the den of Thugly, who gorging on bananas. A Tiki named Xylobone appears in a Tiki Airship and possesses Thugly, using much of the same tactics as Mugly, along with new ones. Thugly is knocked cold while Xylobone appears dazed and is delivered a punch. Donkey and Diddy find the Factory world.

After progressing through mechanical hazards, DK and Diddy finally discover why the Tikis took all the bananas. They encounter Colonel Pluck smashing bananas to make new Tikis using his Stompybot 3000. Cordian appears from behind and posseses Colonel Pluck in an attempt to smash tthe Kongs with the robot. Destroying Stompybot 3000 and defeating Colonel Pluck, Cordian is launched out of the Factory, shutting down the tiki production. Donkey and Diddy then venture into the final world, the Volcano, where the tikis' conspicuous hideout is located.

After making their way through the lethal areas of molten lava, Donkey and Diddyreach the lair of the Tiki Tak Tribe. They ride a rocket barrel to the top of Tower, crashing as they enter through the mouth opening. After awakening, they discover their banana hoard. Just as they rejoice, all of the tiki operatives they encountered reveal themselves, as well as their leader, Tiki Tong. The Tiki instruments load all of the bananas into Tiki Tong, who then vomits an enhanced substance over them as DK and Diddy stare in confusion. Completely covered, the Tikis fuse to form hands for Tiki Tong before he engages Kongs in a final showdown. After delivering the final blow to the tiki leader, DK and Diddy are launched into space by the explosion from Tiki Tong's defeat and begin falling towards the moon.

Donkey Kong goes through three different scenarios depending on whether he and Diddy Kong win together or separately. If together, Donkey gets an idea and beckons Diddy to him, using his friend's barrel jet to increase their fall speed to punch the moon out of its orbit and onto Tiki Tong Tower. The tower is crushed under the moon's weight and the volcano spews out all the stolen bananas. The defeat of the tikis releases the animals from their spell as bananas rain down over the island. As Donkey tends to his reddened hand, Diddy gets them safely to the ground. If Donkey finishes alone, he will still follow through on his plan with the same result. However, while tending his glowing hand, he realizes he is falling to the ground at an alarming speed. Luckily, Diddy returns and saves him. In Diddy's solo victory, bananas pour out of the volcano while Diddy is falling unconscious from his cranial collision with the moon. Fortunately, Donkey catches him in his arms. Regardless, the two Kongs happily rejoice at the sight of raining bananas, likely rebuilding their banana stash.

The Snowmad Invasion

In the game Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Donkey Kong is celebrating his birthday with Diddy Kong, Dixie Kong, and Cranky Kong. As he prepares to blow the candle on his banana-topped cake, a gust of wind diminishes the flame before a snowflake extinguishes it. The four Kongs exit the tree house to see a fleet of vikings called the Snowmads sailing toward the island as an ice dragon flies ahead. The powerful winds of the creature blows Donkey Kong and his friends into the distance off the island. With the Kongs dealt with, the Snowmads seize the island.

Landing within a plane wreckage in Lost Mangroves, Donkey Kong embarks on a journey with the others to reclaim their home from the frosty invaders. Travelling from island to island, he receives some aid from Funky Kong (acting as a shop owner in Cranky's place), Professor Chops, Rambi, and Squawks. On each island, Donkey Kong liberates it the Snowmads' reign by defeating the high-ranking lieutenants stationed.

After traversing the islands Lost Mangroves, Autumn Heights, Bright Savannah, Sea Breeze Cove, and Juicy Jungle, respectively, the Kongs finally returns to Donkey Kong Island, now covered in snow and ice. Trekking through the freezing landscapes, Donkey Kong enters the Snowmads' volcano fortress and confronts their leader, Lord Fredrik, The Snowmad King. The Kongs and Lord Fredrik battle within the depths of the volcano for the fate of the island.

Sending Lord Fredrik flying after delivering the final blow, Donkey Kong emerges from crumbling fortress with Diddy, Dixie, and Cranky to see him falling towards his fleet of ships, decimating them in a massive splash. With the Snowmads defeated and gone, Donkey Kong uses Lord Fredrik's horn to return the island to its original climate. In the epilogue, Donkey Kong uses the horn in a band with Diddy Kong, Dixie Kong, and Cranky Kong.

Spin-off Appearences

Donkey Konga series

Donkey Kong's artwork from the game Donkey Konga for GameCube.

While Donkey Kong had previously used bongos as an offensive weapon, his fascination with the instrument truly began in Donkey Konga when he discovered a magical set of DK Bongos on a beach. Once Cranky Kong realized his grandson's potential for being a professional, Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong set out to become famous. On their travels, they revisited many locales and played popular songs through cooperative performances and musical face-offs.

Donkey Kong Jungle Beat

While it was never clear what compelled Donkey Kong to travel to the Banana Kingdom and its sister lands in the game Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, the ape set out on a mission to take down the possessed Dread Kong who ruled it. Upon doing so, he set out to the other nearby kingdoms. Utilizing his great strength, Donkey Kong hoofed it alone through sixteen such kingdoms, eventually conquering the evil Cactus King and then the wicked Ghastly King. After the fight, Dread Kong, Karate Kong, Ninja Kong, and Sumo Kong met Donkey Kong, now free of Ghastly King's curse. Presumably, Donkey Kong allowed them to resume their duties as ruler of their respective kingdoms.

DK: King of Swing

Donkey Kong's artwork from the game DK: King of Swing for GBA.

During the game DK: King of Swing, it was time for the annual Jungle Jam, a festival for the Kongs. However, King. K. Rool crashes in and steals all of the medals needed to have the festival. Donkey Kong goes after him to get them back, traveling through the different regions where K. Rool drops the medals before boarding the King Kruizer III. In the end, he defeats K. Rool, and the festival is celebrated.

Donkey Kong Barrel Blast

Donkey Kong's artwork from the game Donkey Kong Barrel Blast for Wii.

In the game Donkey Kong Barrel Blast, Donkey Kong and his Kong friends and Kremling foes compete in the races where everyone rides on barrel rockets; Donkey Kong's having his initialed logo. His rival is a Kritter, who shares his all average stats, and attacks with punches. On the selection screen, Donkey Kong can be seen speeding around the course on his own in Free Run, battling for the lead with Kritter before Diddy briefly overtakes them both in Jungle Grand Prix, and having a stand-off with Dixie Kong, Lanky Kong, and Tiny Kong against their respective Kremling rival in Single Race.

  • Donkey Kong's character stats:
    • Boost: ☆☆☆
    • Speed: ☆☆☆
    • Agility: ☆☆☆

DK: Jungle Climber

During the game DK: Jungle Climber, Donkey Kong, along with Diddy, Dixie, Cranky, Wrinkly, Funky, and Candy, were resting and relaxing on Sun Sun Beach on Sun Sun Island, when Diddy noticed a giant Banana on the island's mountain. Donkey, Diddy, and Cranky went up to the top to find a Banana Spaceship. Donkey Kong fought this spaceship, and found Xananab. They found out that K. Rool and the Kremlings escaped with his five Crystal Bananas and he needs them back. Donkey Kong and friends agree, and the four traveled through the islands, going through wormholes and other lands, such as Glass Labyrinth, Toybox, and Veggie Patch. At the end of each island, Donkey Kong fought one of K. Rool's four henchmen, and eventually when Donkey Kong defeated the third Kremling, K. Rool fled to the King Kruiser IV. Donkey Kong chased them, and eventually reached K. Rool's spaceship. K. Rool went through a wormhole with the remaining Crystal Banana after his final Kremling and Mega Amp were defeated. Donkey Kong followed, and they landed on the Planet Plantaen, Xananab's home planet. Confronting K. Rool in a difficult two-way battle, Donkey Kong triumphs. As a thank you for retrieving the Crystal Bananas and saving Plantaen, Xananab rewards the Kongs with a heap of bananas as they resume their vacation.

Other Game Appearances

Yoshi's Island DS

Artwork of Baby Donkey Kong helping a red Yoshi climb vines, from the game Yoshi's Island DS for DS.

In the game Yoshi's Island DS, when Donkey Kong was a baby (his first chronological appearance retroactively), he was taken from his treetop home by future King Bowser, future Kamek, and his Toady army after they time traveled to the past during their massive kidnapping spree for the Seven Star Children.

Through unknown means, Donkey Kong escaped his kidnappers and met the Yoshis, greatly helping them in their quest to defeat the Koopa Troop. When riding on a Yoshi's back, Donkey Kong helped them perform many special moves, such as the vine climb and shoulder charge. Once future Bowser was defeated, all the babies, including Donkey Kong, were returned. Baby Donkey Kong was also revealed to be one of the Seven Star Children.

Mario vs. Donkey Kong series

Artwork of Donkey Kong stealing the Mini Mario toys, from the game Mario vs. Donkey Kong for GBA.

During the game Mario vs. Donkey Kong, after enjoying the life of a traveling musician, Donkey Kong returned home. Once there, he saw a television commercial for the new Mini Mario toys. Brainwashed by the commercial's subliminal messages and infatuated with the new fad, he rushed to the nearest toy store, only to find that other ravenous fans of the products had bought every last one. In frustration, Donkey Kong succumbed to his violent nature and broke into the Mario Toy Company where he made off with a sack full of Mini Marios. However, Mario was hot on his trail, and while in pursuit, Mario used the toys dropped by the ape as allies. Eventually, Mario caught Donkey Kong and destroyed his robot, but rather than make the same mistake as was made with Cranky Kong, Mario forgave his old friend and they continued their lives and gave the crying Donkey his own Mini Mario Toy as well as make him an employee at his company.

In the game sequel, Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis, he now works in the Mario Toy Company. Donkey Kong kidnaps Pauline, the V.I.P. guest, when she chooses Mario's Mini Mario toy over his Mini Donkey Kong toy. It is likely that he made the Mini Donkey Kong toys, and perhaps he created the monkey-like enemies that appear in the game. It is revealed later in the game that Donkey did not actually cause Pauline harm and instead gave her cake and presents (two of her favorite things). DK, remorseful, is glad that Pauline actually likes his toy and makes up with Mario.

In the game Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again!, he is shown wating in line to but a ticket, but he finds out the tickets are sold out. Donkey Kong becomes furious over this, and therefore decides to break in while taking Pauline with him. Mario brings out his Mini Marios and chases Donkey Kong through all the theme park's floors. When Paulene gets saved Donkey Kong turns off the lights and takes her upstairs.


Donkey Kong is a secret boss in the game Punch-Out!! for Nintendo Wii, earned by beating at least one opponent in Little Mac's last stand mode. He likes to taunt a lot in this game, and will counter punch if the player attacks while taunting. He will try to trick the player into dodge to the left or right, only to slam on top of them if they do either. When he taunts, there is a chance to knock him out completely, or get a star punch for Little Mac.

Skylanders: SuperChargers

Turbo Charge Donkey Kong as seen in the game Skylanders: SuperChargers for Wii U.

Donkey Kong is a playable character exclusively in the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Wii U versions of the game Skylanders: SuperChargers, here being called Turbo Charge Donkey Kong. Alongside Hammer Slam Bowser from the Mario series, his interactive figure is also an Amiibo[10] with a simple switch of the base. His character was created by Vicarious Visions[11] and his moves were modeled based on the Donkey Kong games. According to the story from the comic Skylanders: Unexpected Allies, Donkey Kong and Bowser came out of a rift which took them to the Skylands universe. At the time, the dimensional rifts were not stable because of the game's main antagonist, Kaos, causing one rift to rip between a world of unknown origin.

Mario Spin-Off Appearances

Donkey Kong has appeared (sometimes along with Diddy) in all of the Mario spin-off game series, including Mario Kart, different Mario sports and Mario Party series. His father, Donkey Kong Jr., appeared in the game Super Mario Kart. In sports titles, he is usually portrayed as a slow but powerful character. He often takes unconventional approaches to certain sports, like swinging a golf club one-handed or using a boxing glove for a baseball bat. The most interesting of these is the fact that he regularly uses his hands when playing soccer, to the point of holding the ball in one hand as he prepares to punch it with the other.


Donkey Kong's artwork from the game Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour for GameCube.

In NES Open Tournament Golf[12], a monkey looking exactly like Donkey Kong, except for the fact that it was wearing white clothes, appeared. It is presumed this monkey is Donkey Kong. Donkey Kong, tells the player, how much money he or she has. In later golf games, such as Mario Golf, Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour, Mario Golf: Advance Tour, Mario Golf: World Tour and Mario Golf: Super Rush, he would appear as a playable character.


Except for Mario's Tennis[13], Donkey Kong has appeared as a playable character in every tennis event held in the Mario Tennis series games, including Mario Tennis for Nintendo 64, Mario Tennis for Game Boy Color, Mario Power Tennis and Mario Tennis Aces.


Donkey Kong's artwork from the game Mario Hoops 3-on-3 for DS.

Donkey Kong has appeared in the one time game, Mario Hoops 3-on-3, as a playable character along with Diddy Kong and Dixie Kong. There he is ranked in the Powerful class because of his low speed and high stealing power. He also had his own court, DK Cruiser. His special shot is the Konga Dunk, in which he starts dribbling the ball in a rough M shape, with the ball glowing yellow. He tosses the ball straight up and slams his hands on the ground three times. He will then catch the ball and shoot it. Donkey Kong will catch the ball in midair, do a flip, and dunk the ball in the basket while accompanied by a small yellow explosion.

If performed outside the 3-point line, he will hurl the ball with its yellow trail toward the basket for a teammate to make the dunk. The yellow explosion appears afterward.


Super Mario Strikers

Donkey Kong's artwork from the game Super Mario Strikers for GameCube.

Donkey Kong is also playable in the Mario Strikers series. He is a captain in the game Super Mario Strikers, his team number is 55, his captain type is aggressive, and his special strike is the Power Fist Strike. After charging, the screen is surrounded by a green and yellow lightnings (or sprites) halo, which Donkey Kong makes an electrical strike to the goalkeeper. His kicking style is punching the ball with anger.

  • Donkey Kong's character stats:
    • Legend: Donkey Kong's talent can slip even the best players.
    • Entrance Donkey Kong begins to pound his chest and the ground trying to intimidate his opponent.
    • Team Number: 55
    • Captain Type: Aggressive
    • Super Strike: Power Fist Strike

Mario Strikers Charged

Donkey Kong's artwork from the game Mario Strikers Charged for Wii.

Donkey Kong is again a playable team Captain in the game Mario Strikers Charged. Here, he takes on the appearance of everyone else, with a new suit design. His Super Ability is the Thunder Wham, in which he will slam the ground, and send a large shock wave across the area. It has a huge radius, and can blast away many players, even if they are not close to Donkey Kong. It also makes the field tilt for a few seconds. Donkey Kong can then proceed to do a Mega Strike. A similar move is Daisy's Crystal Smash! move, except Thunder Wham! has a larger radius and takes longer to perform. Thunder Wham! was seen briefly in the intro movie.

  • Donkey Kong's character stats:
    • Character Type: Power
    • Mega Strike: Once in the air, he gathers electricity in his arms and claps the ball, hurling it towards the goalie.
    • Super Ability: Thunder Wham!
    • Deke: DK pounds his chest, creating small soundwaves around him that knock out nearby opponents.
    • Uniform: DK wears golden armor with green and red accents.
    • Alt. Uniform: Purple
    • Team Emblem: Signature “Donkey Kong” emblem with a lightning bolt in the middle.
    • Team Number: 55
    • Away Entrance: Donkey Kong pounds his chest, smashes a fist into the ground and then makes gorilla sounds.
    • Home Entrance: Falling from the sky, DK shakes the field upon impact and stares down his opponent while baring his teeth.
    • Theme: African drums[14]


Donkey Kong's artwork from the game Mario Superstar Baseball for GameCube.

Donkey Kong is in the Mario Baseball Series, including Mario Superstar Baseball, and Mario Super Sluggers. His special ball is the Banana Ball. His bio states: "A gorilla known for raw power, Donkey Kong lives a carefree jungle life... unless someone messes with his bananas, in which case he just loses it. His ancestor, Cranky Kong (grandfather; the original Donkey Kong) wore no necktie. His talents lead in beating on primate foes and kart-racing. Fear his Banana Ball."

Mario Kart

Donkey Kong's artwork from the game Mario Kart 64 for Nintendo 64.

Donkey Kong was playable in all of the Mario Kart games except Super Mario Kart (this game instead had Donkey Kong Jr., as a playable character). He also appeared in the game Mario Kart 64 as a heavyweight second only to Bowser. The same applies to the game Mario Kart: Super Circuit.

  • Donkey Kong's character stats:
    • Weight: ☆☆☆☆
    • Top Speed: ☆☆

In the game Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Donkey Kong is partners with Diddy Kong. His special item is the Giant Banana and his kart is the DK Jumbo. He also gets his own course, DK Mountain.

In the game Mario Kart DS, Donkey Kong has two of his own karts: the Rambi Rider and the Wildlife. He was also playable in Mario Kart Arcade GP and Mario Kart Wii, the latter also features Diddy Kong and Funky Kong.

Donkey Kong is a playable in Mario Kart Arcade GP 2. In all of these games, he was a heavyweight driver.

Olympic Games

Donkey Kong appeared in the game Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games as a brand new character. His main rival is Knuckles the Echidna.

Donkey Kong returns as a playable Power-type character in the Wii version of Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games, where he appears in the opening with the other athletes as well as competing in beach volleyball.

Mario Party series

Donkey Kong has been playable in all Mario Party series games, until Mario Party 5, where he leaves the game and starts hosting his own space. He is basically the opposite of Bowser, since when a character lands on his space, something good happens. In Mario Party 6, he helps the player during the day. He also is the third party board in Mario Party DS. Donkey Kong has been turned to stone by a Dry Bones while he and Diddy were running to Bowser's Castle for the banquet he was hosting (which was really a trap). The player has to beat the Dry Bones to free Donkey Kong. Afterwards, he and Diddy Kong then run off to the castle. Donkey Kong unintentionally restores the crew to their normal size when he barges into the castle, bumps into Bowser, and breaks his Minimizer. At the end, he is seen with Diddy enjoying the meals Bowser had prepared as traps for the crew. Donkey Kong returns to being playable in Mario Party 10, Mario Party: Star Rush, and Super Mario Party.

Super Smash Bros. series

Super Smash Bros.

Donkey Kong's artwork from the game Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 64.

Donkey Kong has been a playable character in all Super Smash Bros. series games to date. In the game Super Smash Bros., he is a default character. In one-player mode, the player must fight Giant Donkey Kong. This is the only fight where the player is given two partners to help them instead of one. Giant DK can stand about 350 damage before being knocked off the stage.

  • Profile Information: "Donkey Kong and Mario started out as arch-rivals, but they've patched things up in recent years. These days Donkey Kong spends his time searching the jungle for bananas instead of kidnapping beautiful maidens. In the past few years, other members of the Kong family have cashed in on Donkey Kong's fame as well, including his favorite nephew, Diddy."

Super Smash Bros. Melee

Donkey Kong returns as a playable character in the game Super Smash Bros. Melee. Once again, he is a default character. In the new one-player mode Adventure, the player must first fight two tiny Donkey Kongs, and then fight Giant Donkey Kong in the stage Jungle Japes. By picking up a Super Mushroom, Donkey Kong can transform into Giant Donkey Kong for a few moments. Donkey Kong is still one of the strongest characters in the game. When he picks up a character, he also has the power to carry them a short distance, something no other character in the game can do.

  • Trophies Information:
# Name First Game/
4 Donkey Kong
Donkey Kong
Arcade 1981
While he now prefers the laid-back jungle lifestyle to construction site mischief, Donkey Kong is often forced back into action by the Kremling Krew. The great ape is quite fast despite his burly physique, and he keeps his strength up with a steady diet of his favorite food: bananas. His one extravagance (and only piece of clothing) is a monogrammed necktie.
5 Donkey Kong [Smash]
B: Giant Punch
Smash B: Headbutt
Donkey Kong is a huge target in a fight, so he hates crowds. When he's in the fray, his Giant Punch deals serious damage to multiple opponents. The big ape's Headbutt hits so hard that it temporarily buries opponent's in the ground. Donkey Kong is a lot faster than he looks, and he's lethal in the hands of a master.
6 Donkey Kong [Smash]
Up & B: Spinning Kong
Down & B: Hand Slap
Being the strongest simian around, Donkey Kong has the upper hand once he grabs an opponent. He can even lift his foe up and make him or her an unwilling traveling companion; if DK grabs you, shake your Control Stick as fast as you can to break his grip. His Spinning Kong covers more lateral distance than vertical, so use it quickly to recover.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Donkey Kong reappears as a playable character in the game Super Smash Bros. Brawl. His moves remain the same from Super Smash Bros. Melee and his Final Smash is the Konga Beat, likely inspired from the games Donkey Konga and Donkey Kong Jungle Beat. Diddy Kong joins DK as a playable character starting with this game. An 8-bit version of Donkey Kong appears as a hazard on the 75m stage, which is based on the third stage of the original Donkey Kong game.

  • Trophies Information:
# Name First Game/
3 Donkey Kong Donkey Kong

Arcade Game 1981

A carefree jungle dweller with the charisma of a natural leader. He keeps busy by foiling the plans of the Kremlings and their boss, King K. Rool. As his physique suggests, this ape is a powerhouse. He's got speed to match too, and his love for bananas is second to none. His famous necktie is adorned with his initials, DK.
4 Konga Beat Donkey Kong about to go to town with some bongos! His performance is so magnificent and upbeat that it creates damage-inducing sound waves. Press the buttons in time to the music, and the sound waves may grow stronger. Donkey Kong's invulnerable when launching this attack, but he's also immobile, so be careful using it on scrolling stages.

Subspace Emissary

During the The Subspace Emissary adventure mode, a Koopa Troopa and Bowser steal Donkey Kong's Banana Hoard as a Hammer Bro. drives a car which contains all the bananas of Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong watches him from a cliff. Hammer Bro. and the Goombas aboard the car spot Donkey Kong and shoot Bullet Bills at him. However, Diddy Kong comes out from a bush with his Peanut Popguns and he shoots the Bullet Bills. Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong then follow the Hammer Bro. to retrieve the Banana Hoard. After following him, they see Bowser with a strange type of gun called a Dark Cannon, revealing that he is working for the Subspace Army. When Bowser charged the cannon, Donkey Kong charges his Giant Punch and launches Diddy out of the way, sacrificing himself as he is turned into a trophy from the blast and claimed by Bowser. Later, Diddy Kong, Fox McCloud and Falco Lombardi chased a ship which was carrying Donkey Kong's trophy to a mysterious floating island. Falco then helped Diddy by following it with his Arwing and having the little Kong with him. He then drops him and Diddy gets on his Rocket Barrel and takes out his Popguns and shoots the ship. After seeing this, Captain Falcon and Olimar decide to help him and jump to the ship where Diddy frees Donkey Kong then all four fight the Primids and other enemies.

The ship takes them inside a factory producing Subspace Bombs, and encounter various R.O.B.s that happen to live on the island. They later meet up with Pikachu and Samus Aran where they see the Ancient Minister and a whole lot of R.O.B.s. After Ganondorf controls the R.O.B.s into activating all of the Subspace Bombs, the Ancient Minister is shown to be R.O.B., the leader of all the lesser R.O.B.s who were forced to work for the Subspace Army. R.O.B. then fights with the others. When trying to escape Captain Falcon calls for his Falcon Flyer and tries to leave the cave when Meta-Ridley appears and they must fight him. After that they all meet up with the others.

Donkey Kong and the other heroes enter Subspace and meet Tabuu, who turns everyone into trophies with his Off Waves. However, King Dedede had anticipated this and created badges that revived certain fighters back into their original form. With his team consisting of Luigi and Ness, Dedede rescues Donkey Kong and most of the others. Although some of them were rescued by Kirby, they also recruit Bowser, Ganondorf, and Wario when they learned about Tabuu. At the end of the Great Maze, Sonic the Hedgehog shows up and helps weaken Tabuu's Off Waves so Donkey Kong and the others would be able to defeat him.

Solid Snake Codec Conversation about Donkey Kong

From the game Super Smash Bros. Brawl in forward, the character Solid Snake, from the Metal Gear game series, can execute a secret taunt move in the stage Shadow Moses Island. If the player is successful, Snake will interrupt the match, use the codec to contact his support team and talk about the current opponent.[9]

  • Solid Snake's codec conversation transcription:
    • Snake: "Otacon, there's a gorilla wearing a tie here. He's huge."
    • Otacon: "That's Donkey Kong. As you can tell, he's got strength to spare. He may be king of the jungle, but he lives in a house just like you or me. And he seems pretty smart—well, for an ape, anyway. The Donkey Kong who fought that epic battle with Mario was this guy's grandfather."
    • Snake: "That was a long time ago. What about this Donkey Kong? Does he get along with Mario?"
    • Otacon: "Nope, they're still at it. Seems like they're always competing in something—kart racing, sports, you name it."
    • Snake: "A chip off the old block..."

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U

Donkey Kong returns once again as a playable character in both versions of the game Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. His moves are mostly the same as in previous games, but with a few changes. His dash attack was changed to the roll attack from Donkey Kong Country, his down special attack can now be performed in the air, being able to meteor smash, and his up special attack has a new animation and angle on the ground. His cargo down throw was also changed. DK's moves in general have smoother animations compared to Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Donkey Kong is also a playable character in the game Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He appears to be similar to his 3DS/Wii U iteration. However, the Konga Beat final smash has been retired. Donkey Kong's new final smash is a barrage of punches inspired by Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat.

Special Moves

  • Standard (B) - Giant Punch: Donkey Kong will swing his arms back and forth, getting faster with each swing. The more time the player spends winding up DK's arm, the stronger the punch will be. Donkey Kong can walk with his punch loaded. However, when the B button is pressed again, the move will be released, sending a strong punch to whoever is in front of Donkey Kong.
  • Side (B →) - Headbutt: When executed, Donkey Kong will swing his head forward dealing minor damage to enemies. This move will also plow a character into the ground. The foe will be unable to move once caught, leaving him open for a barrage. The grounded player can get up by rotating the Control Stick (or by just waiting). A good strategy is to bury the foe in the ground with Headbutt, and then using a fully charged Giant Punch.
  • Up (B ↑) - Spinning Kong: As the name suggests, Donkey Kong is spinning in this attack. He can use this when falling off a ledge, or use it to attack players. As a lot of Donkey Kong's moves take a while to use, and usually hit one player, Spinning Kong can be used as a last minute resort when Donkey Kong is surrounded by foes.

Donkey Kong using his Hand Slap move, as seen in the game Super Smash Bros. Brawl for Wii.

  • Down (B ↓) - Hand Slap: Originating from the game Donkey Kong Country, Donkey Kong will slap the ground, severely damaging any characters near him. The attack is very useful when Donkey Kong is surrounded by opponents. However, the attack takes a while to get put into action, but once used, all the player must do, is hold control stick down and continuously tap the B Button. Donkey Kong will keep using the attack over-and-over, and will not stop until the player stops tapping B, or an opponent hits him. Hand Slap is very useful to use in the Multi-Man Melee challenges. However, the move could not be executed in mid-air until the game Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U (but only for a short time).
  • Final Smash - Konga Beat: Donkey Kong will put out two Bongos and start jamming. The player can make the attack stronger by pressing the buttons with each beat of the song. Donkey Kong is invincible during the move. Unfortunately he is also unable to move, making the move very risky to use on scrolling stages that requires the player to keep on moving. (Ironically this is a requirement in one of Donkey Kong's very own stages in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Rumble Falls).

Appearances in Other Media

Saturday Supercade animated series

Donkey Kong, along with Mario and Pauline appeared in several episodes of the Donkey Kong segment of the Saturday Supercade[15] animated serie. Here, Donkey Kong was a gorilla who had escaped from the circus and was now traveling the across country, with Mario and Pauline on his tail. Donkey Kong Jr. was also featured in a few of episodes of the Donkey Kong Junior segment of the same series. On the show DK Jr., along with his pal Bones traveled across the globe searching for Donkey Kong.

Captain N: The Game Master animated series

Donkey Kong Sr. made occasional appearances in the animated series Captain N: The Game Master[16]. Here he was, more or less, a giant, bestial, monster. Oftentimes on the show Donkey Kong was manipulated by Mother Brain and her minions to do evil. Donkey Kong also appeared in the Captain N comics.

Donkey Kong Country animated series

Donkey Kong was also one of the main characters on the Donkey Kong Country animated series. He was voiced by Richard Yearwood for speaking and Sterling Jarvis for singing in the English version. Here, he was the future ruler of the Kongo Bongo Island and the guardian of the Crystal Coconut, oftentimes Donkey Kong and his pals would need to defend the Crystal Coconut from the Kremling Krew and Kaptain Skurvy and his minions. On this show, Donkey Kong was, like in Donkey Kong Country and Donkey Kong Land games, somewhat of a slacker who loved bananas above all else.

Club Nintendo's Donkey Kong Country comic

Donkey Kong as seen in the comic Donkey Kong Country.

He is also the main character in the Club Nintendo comic Donkey Kong Country, which tells the story of the game of the same name - together with Diddy Kong, he tries (and manages) to fetch the Banana Hoard back from King K. Rool.

Super Mario in Die Nacht des Grauens comic

During the events of the comic "Super Mario in Die Nacht des Grauens", published in the same magazine, he lives in a skyscraper in Brooklyn together with many other Nintendo characters. Due to a contract signed by Wario, the skyscraper is invaded by several monsters. One of them, Chuckie, invades the Kongs' room, while Donkey and Diddy are watching TV. They are terrified by the evil doll, but get rescued by Mario, Link and Kirby. Afterwards, however, Donkey claims that Diddy and him defeating the monsters would have taken only "half of the time".

Donkey Kong in: Banana Day 24 comic

He once again appears as the main character in Donkey Kong in: Banana Day 24. The Kongs have to save the world from freezing, since a giant UFO is pulling the Earth away from the sun. Together with Diddy, Dixie, Kiddy and Cranky, Donkey enters a space shuttle and flies into space, in order to talk to the aliens. As it turns out, the reason for them pulling away the Earth is that they mistook the planet for a giant coconut. When the Kongs bring them some bananas, they agree to return the Earth to its original position. In the comic, Donkey appears as the bravest of the Kongs, as he is the one to start talking to the aliens.

Doors to Doom

Donkey Kong appeared in the book Doors to Doom in a recreation of the original game (though Mario and Luigi were trying to reach the top to rescue Princess Peach instead of Pauline). Assuming the Mario Brothers successfully reach the top of the tower, Donkey Kong is ultimately sent plummeting out of sight when Peach jabs in the backside with her crown.


See also: Donkey Kong/Profiles

Donkey Kong 64 Game Manuals

"About time that lazy good-for-nothing went adventuring again. He's the leader of this mangy bunch and tells me that he has learned a whole new bunch of "mean, reptile-stomping" moves. I doubt whether they will be any better than his old ones, but we shall see, shan't we?"
—Cranky Kong in the Donkey Kong 64 Instruction Booklet, page 7[17]
"He's the only ape who still cares enough to wear a tie. DK may not be the most powerful Kong—or the quickest—but he applies a strong blue-collar work ethic to the business of Kremling crushing. That may be why he's the leader of the Kong clan."
Donkey Kong 64 Player's Guide, page 5[18]

German Donkey Kong 64 Website

Donkey Kong's description from official German Donkey Kong 64 website.


"Sometimes the apple falls far from the tree. Donkey Kong's father, Cranky, was extraordinarily successful in his younger years as a video game wrongdoer. Since the end of his career he has been trying to make Donkey his successor. But he had no desire to kidnap innocent girls as an [sic] notorious fiend just to have them rescued by another hero. Donkey preferred to be the hero himself, and has long since made a name for himself in this respect. Proudly he wears the highest medal of the DK Islands that is awarded for exceptional service in the name of the Kong clan: the red necktie. Thanks to his muscular strength, Donkey is the most important defender when the Kremlings once again have nothing better to do than to steal the entire banana supply of the Kongs."

Physical Appearance

Donkey Kong Sr.'s design concept

Donkey Kong's design has changed over the years. The original Donkey Kong character design was created by Shigeru Miyamoto for the Donkey Kong arcade game. His first design showed him as a bulky gorilla with brown fur and no clothes.

In the original Donkey Kong Country game trilogy, the original DK seemed to have aged to become the new DK's grandfather, Cranky Kong. Due to this confirmation, the present day DK's true and actual first appearance was in Donkey Kong Country. His first chronological appearance as a baby was in Yoshi's Island DS. In Donkey Kong Country, DK heavily resembles his former, having brown fur and a bulky build, and his signature red tie with his initials on it. Only occasionally does DK change his looks, such as in the Mario Strikers series, where he wears a green numbered shirt, with added armor in Charged. For his cameo appearance in the Wii version of Punch Out!!, he is given red gloves with his initials on them, and in Skylanders: SuperChargers, he wears a yellow jump suit with his tie. In Yoshi's Island DS, he appeared wearing a red bib with yellow edges and his initials on it.

Donkey Kong's more modern design concept.

Throughout the development of several titles Donkey Kong has changed his physical appearance slowly, at first he was shown savage, slow, and muscular, much like his grandfather, however, he has been shown to be more agile, such as in Donkey Kong Jungle Beat where he is faster in movement and more athletic able to perform backflips, aerial kicks and dodge at high speed. DK has remained the powerhouse in other games such as Mario & Sonic Olympic games and Super Smash Bros. Brawl where he is stated to be a "balanced" character. DK's size also seems to change slightly from game to game; for example, DK seems much larger compared to Diddy Kong in Donkey Kong Country Returns and later games as compared with past titles, like the original Donkey Kong Country and Donkey Kong Land trilogies.


Donkey Kong tends to be very energetic and wild, and as a result can be reckless and irresponsible at times, such as getting aggressively excited during his victories in Mario Strikers Charged, but he can and will act brave and heroic if the situation calls for it, and he's especially protective of his island and banana hoard. He also enjoys spending his days relaxing, collecting bananas, and spending time with his friends and family, particularly his nephew, Diddy Kong. He also has an affinity for nature and hates having his peace and quiet disrupted, and is popular with even non-primate animals. Though not normally a villain, he is capable of being antagonistic as shown in the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series, but he will always come to good terms in the end. It should also be noted that contrary to his name, DK is still intelligent, and is considered very smart for his species.

Powers and Abilities

Donkey Kong has a wide range of powers and abilities that he uses throughout games.

  • Hand Slap/Ground-pounds: Donkey Kong's most common ability is ground pounding, which can also be done by various other Kongs. His pounding, combined with his immense strength, is capable of causing massive damage to environments and enemies alike.
  • Climbing skill: Donkey Kong is also skilled in climbing and traversing dangerous terrain, but his size can make him slow compared to other Kongs.
  • Donkey Kong 64 arsenal: In Donkey Kong 64, Donkey Kong was given various abilities through Cranky Kong's potions, used a Coconut Shooter given to him by Funky Kong, and a set of bongos given to him by Candy Kong. The bongos specifically have gone on to make appearences in other games as part of DK's moveset, such as in the Super Smash Bros. series.


Love Interest(s)


Pauline was kidnapped by Donkey Kong Sr. in the original Donkey Kong game, and later by Donkey Kong III in the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series. While DK Sr. kidnapped Pauline as revenge against Mario, DK III seems to have an unrequited crush on her, and is evidently jealous of her affection towards Mario, thus flying into childish rages and kidnapping her.

While Pauline is frightened by Donkey Kong when he kidnaps her, he never hurts her and she does not bear him ill-will as a result of his impulsiveness, being quick to forgive him after he is subdued by Mario. DK shows remorse for his actions, and gives her presents and cake. Aside from the kidnapping incidents, the two get along well, and while Pauline does not return Donkey Kong's affections, she does find his gestures sweet. In some instances, Pauline also plots alongside Donkey Kong for the latter to "kidnap" her in order to test the abilities of the Mini Mario line and luring Mario to a surprise party.

Candy Kong

Donkey Kong Country introduces Candy Kong, the beautiful and extremely personified girlfriend of Donkey Kong. It is said that Donkey Kong could later marry Candy (however in her opinion, Donkey Kong is currently not ready to get married). In the game Donkey Kong Country, she blows a kiss at Donkey Kong when he comes to her Save Points, though she does do this with Diddy as well. Despite its officiality, Donkey and Candy's relationship has not been given much development or presence in the main games, other than small hints and simple confirmation.


Diddy Kong

Diddy Kong is Donkey Kong's nephew and best friend. They have gone on many adventures together, often looking out for each other, and DK being a role model to Diddy. They have a bond like brothers, and both tend to be reckless and a bit airheaded (DK may be a bad influence on Diddy in this case), but act as heroes when they need to. DK has expressed his care for Diddy, such is shown during Subspace Emissary mode in Super Smash Bros. Brawl when Bowser threatens DK, and he launches Diddy to safety before being turned into a statue.

Cranky Kong

Cranky Kong is the current Donkey Kong's crabby grandfather. He has usually found a way to help Donkey Kong out in his adventures, though it usually entails giving out advice. In the games Donkey Kong Country, Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, Cranky is said to be Donkey's grandfather and says to have raised him, but while he tells fondly of his son Donkey Kong Jr., he consistently looks down on his grandson, saying things like "he'll never know what it's like during the 8-bit days". Cranky affectionately raised DK "like a son", 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. Despite this, they do love and care for each other.

Son/Grandson Debate

The first two Donkey Kong Country games and Donkey Kong Land originally described Donkey Kong as Cranky's grandson[19], which has remained the most consistent storyline throughout the games, he is called a "prior video game hero", also as the original Donkey Kong arcade game revolutionized the video game industry and Cranky was the original DK, his grandson directly inherits his legacy, his title of video game hero could have also been based on unseen/offscreen events or simply how the Kongs view him.

Controversy started with the game Donkey Kong 64, where DK was stated to be Cranky's son instead of grandson (except the Japanese version of the game says grandson; as does an official Japanese Nintendo Online Magazine that came out around a similar time mentions it[1]; as that remains accurate to every other in-game reference that came out before and after Donkey Kong 64).

The Nintendo 64 title (being the odd one out/outlier/exception to the rule) may have claimed DK as Cranky's son, however it is the only game that has claimed this. Not only is it common for "son/sonny/my boy" to be short for "grandson", it is also simply used by older people non-literally towards any younger males as a common figurative term (for a vague example: "son of the Kong Family" could be more akin to a title) and form of endearment whether they are biologically related or not ("pappy/pops/old man" is generally used for "grandfather"), and it is possible Cranky raised DK "like a son" (as confirmed in the games Donkey Kong Country, Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D) 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 him being his "good for nothing son".

It should be noted: the games Donkey Kong Country 3 and Donkey Kong 64 were developed by a different team at Rare as opposed to the original team that made Donkey Kong Country and Donkey Kong Country 2 (the original team had moved on and were making the Banjo-Kazooie game series) which can lead to conflicting statements.

In terms of the grand majority of references, the original Donkey Kong Country trilogy games and its respective Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance versions[20], Donkey Kong Land trilogy, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze[21], Cranky Kong was confirmed[22] and further solidified to be Donkey Kong's grandfather[23].

Leigh Loveday's non-definitive/inconclusive statement made in 1999 is an outdated/invalid source since he admits that he did not write Cranky's dialogue[24], the majority of Cranky's text was done by Gregg Mayles (and sometimes Tim Stamper)[25] and that Loveday has a bad memory[26], making it feasible for him to be wrong about the lore of the Donkey Kong Family Tree five years after Cranky Kong was made, making Gregg Mayles have the more prominent role in the his character creation and the most reliable/credible source.

Leigh Loveday did write parts of the DK manuals and handle a few FAQs, however he had no involvement with the overall storylines of the games, the game design, the characters, nor the character relationships between the Kongs, unlike the actual official statements made by Gregg Mayles who primarily created the concept of Cranky, his in-game dialogue and manual quotes, and his lineage. Other cases such as Nintendo of UK/Europe's website and/or outsourced/obscure/unoffical material such as old guides are outdated, untrustworthy and inaccurate as they are directly debunked by the games, Nintendo of Japan, and Nintendo of America.

Donkey Kong Jr.

Donkey Kong Jr., is the son of the original Donkey Kong Sr. (Cranky). Because of this, it is presumed that Junior is the father of the current Donkey Kong. Both characters were seen as teammates in the game Mario Tennis for Nintendo 64, but aside from that, DK Jr. has never been seen in any games from the original Donkey Kong Country trilogy and thus his relationship with his son is non-existent. It can also be inferred from Cranky claiming to have raised DK that Jr. (for unknown reasons) was not involved in his son's life.

Wrinkly Kong

Wrinkly Kong is Donkey Kong's grandmother. Unfortunately, the two have a mostly non-existent relationship, since DK was absent in the two games where Wrinkly appeared alive.

Friends & Allies

Funky Kong

Funky Kong is a friend and ally of Donkey Kong, and has assisted him in many of his adventures. It is speculated that Funky Kong may actually be Donkey Kong's brother[23], due to their near-identical appearance (without his sunglasses and bandana, Funky Kong looks exactly the same as Donkey Kong, aside from Funky having a lighter shade of fur). Donkey Kong when he was younger had a monkey tail, Funky in both games Donkey Kong Country 2 and Donkey Kong 64 calls himself a monkey. Aside from that, the two Kongs seem to have a warm relationship, regardless of their true familial relation.

Dixie Kong

Donkey and Dixie Kong have a good friendship, akin to that of DK and Diddy's. Dixie has saved DK from the Kremlings and helped him out on his adventures, which he is thankful for. In Mario Superstar Baseball and Mario Super Sluggers, the two of them have good chemistry. In Mario Super Sluggers's challenge mode, there are several conversations between them.

In the Donkey Kong Country animated series, they retain a good relation. In episode Kong for a Day, Dixie is the only one that goes with Donkey Kong to the jungle when he is prohibited to return to the village.

DK Crew

The DK Crew consists of DK, Diddy, and their Kong allies from Donkey Kong 64, Lanky Kong, Tiny Kong, and Chunky Kong. The group all get along well and make an excellent team in defeating the Kremlings and K. Rool.

Animal Buddies

Donkey Kong has had many animal buddies that have aided him on his adventures, including Squawks, Rambi, Expresso, and Enguarde.


Donkey Kong and Mario have a positive relationship, unlike his grandfather Cranky who was antagonistic and negative towards the plumber (at the time he was a carpenter known as Jumpman) and considers him his arch-enemy similar to how Donkey sees K. Rool[27].

However, the new spin is that they also have a friendly rivalry as shown in the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series and seemingly in the sports and kart-racing games. But in some games Donkey Kong and Mario have been good friends and are on great terms, as evident in the Mario Party series and the game Mario Super Sluggers.



Donkey Kong has had an undying antagonism towards the Kremlings and King K. Rool. DK was enraged when the Kremlings first stole his banana hoard, and scaled his island just to take them back. Afterwards, DK was taken hostage by them twice, until he finally fought back against them when they threatened to destroy his island.


See also: Donkey Kong/Quotes


Artwork & Renders



Music Themes

Note: These sample files are not compatible with Internet Explorer browser.

Donkey Kong's theme is the second part from the track known as DK Island Swing.[29]

Title Description Composer Game
DK Island Swing Second part from the jungle theme. David Wise Donkey Kong Country
Mine Cart Madness An arrangement of Donkey Kong's theme in mine cart stages.
Token Tango The theme plays during the Bonus Rooms from this game. Donkey Kong Country 2
Krook's March An arrangement of Donkey Kong's theme in the world K. Rool's Keep.
Jungle Jitter An arrangement of Donkey Kong's theme in jungle stages. Eveline Fischer[30] Donkey Kong Country 3
Kongo Jungle An arrangement of second part from DK Island Swing. Yasunori Mitsuda[31]
Kenta Nagata
Koji Kondo[32]
Super Smash Bros.
DK's Jungle Adventure The theme plays in DK's Jungle Adventure. Hirokazu Ando Mario Party
Jungle Japes An arrangement of the second part from DK Island Swing. Hirokazu Ando
Shogo Sakai
Super Smash Bros. Melee


  • Shigeru Miyamoto chose the first name "Donkey" because it invoked the idea that he sounded "stubborn/stupid/dopey" and the last name "Kong" because it invoked the idea that he was an ape.
  • Donkey Kong also made a cameo as plush doll in the game Banjo-Tooie. It happened because the games of the original Donkey Kong Country trilogy, Donkey Kong Land series and Banjo-Kazooie series were developed by Rare.
  • Donkey Kong the Third could be considered the Nintendo's equivalent to the character Sonic the Hedgehog from the Sonic the Hedgehog game series as they both share '90s attributes, they made their debut on 16-bit consoles and act like free-spirited young and hip teenagers with attitude, have child sidekicks (Diddy Kong and Tails, respectively) that have affinity for brains/wits/technology, capable of flight and become heroes themselves, and fight an obese antagonist (King K. Rool and Doctor Eggman, respectively) that has access to advanced technology.
  • Donkey Kong when he was younger has a tail (albeit a tiny one) but it seems to have disappeared, making it possible that despite his ape appearance, Donkey Kong may also be a monkey type Kong.
    • It should be noted that on multiple occasions Donkey Kong has been referred to as a monkey such as in Donkey Kong Country 2 by Kaptain K. Rool.
  • Although he and Mario have a friendly rivalry, unlike his grandfather, the original Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong the Third appears to be well liked in the Mushroom Kingdom.
  • Donkey Kong's head is shaped like a coconut, while his eyes/eyebrow shape was inspired by Zitz's eyes/eyebrow shape, one of the toad protagonists from the Battletoads game series, also created by Rare, the developer of Donkey Kong Country. Funky Kong's sunglasses are possibly taken from Rash, another main character from the same series.
  • Cranky Kong, Wrinkly Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., and Diddy Kong have conjoined eyes whereas modern Donkey Kong does not.
  • According to the game Donkey Kong 64, Donkey Kong weighs 800 pounds. His height is 6 feet and 1 inch when on his knuckles (7 ft. and 10 inches when standing fully upright).[citation needed]
  • In the game Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, an undead/reanimated skeleton Kong named Bink bears an uncanny resemblance to Donkey Kong.
  • Super Mario Strikers is the first game in which Donkey Kong has worn something other than the tie that he has worn since Donkey Kong Country.
  • Donkey Kong's speech is changed throughout many games. During the game Donkey Kong Country, he spoke with good grammar and proper English. In the game Donkey Kong 64 he (like Chunky Kong) used improper grammar and broken English, and spoke in a third person view, for example saying "Donkey all confused....". In both games, he only has two lines, and speaks in the very beginning of the game. In all later games, Donkey Kong does not speak at all and just makes unintelligible noises. However, in the Mario Party series games released after Mario Party 4, he speaks with proper grammar, where all of the Mario Party games before that, as well as Donkey Kong Country Returns, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze where he only made gorilla noises.
  • In the game Donkey Kong Country Returns, if the player does not make any inputs inside a level, Donkey Kong will eventually pulls out a Nintendo DS and plays it. During a similar idle animation in the game Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze for the Nintendo Wii U, he pulls out a Nintendo 3DS. In the Nintendo Switch version of the same game, Donkey Kong plays a Nintendo Switch, instead.
  • Donkey Kong, along with Birdo and a few others, were originally going to appear as playable characters in the game Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, but were scrapped before the final product was finished for unknown reasons.
  • As seen in the episode "Bad Hair Day" from the Donkey Kong Country animated series, Donkey Kong's signature hair curl/cowlick/tuft is not really a curl at all, but rather a coconut shaped deformity in his head (i.e. his skull is shaped like that).
  • According to the episode "Legend of the Crystal Coconut" from the Donkey Kong Country animated series, Donkey Kong says that King Kong[33] is his idol.
  • A monster truck based on Donkey Kong appeared in the event Monster Jam[34] from December 2007 up until 2010. It was driven by Frank Krmel and Kreg Christensen. It appears to use most of Donkey Kong's facial features, with more protruding eyes, which also blinked with the windshield, as well as the truck having a big mouth on the front. The truck used the credits theme from the game Donkey Kong Jungle Beat as its theme song, which was fitting for the time.
  • Donkey Kong appears in the game Nintendo Monopoly. He replaces Marvin Gardens, and costs $280.
  • Donkey Kong in video games and other media has showcased various feats.[35][36]


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