Donkey Kong Country
North American boxart of Donkey Kong Country for SNES.
Developer(s): Rareware
Publisher(s): Nintendo
Platform(s): Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Virtual Console
Release Date: SNES
Flag of USA November 21, 1994
Flag of Europe November 24, 1994
Flag of Japan November 26, 1994

Game Boy Color
Flag of USA November 4, 2000
Flag of Europe November 17, 2000
Flag of Japan January 21, 2001

Game Boy Advance
Flag of Europe June 6, 2003
Flag of USA June 9, 2003
Flag of Japan December 12, 2003

Wii Virtual Console
Flag of Europe December 8, 2006
Flag of Japan December 12, 2006
Flag of USA February 19, 2007
Flag of South Korea May 26, 2008

Wii U Virtual Console
Flag of Europe October 16, 2014
Flag of Japan November 26, 2014
Flag of USA February 26, 2015
Genre Platformer
Ratings ESRB: ESRB K-A Kids to Adults
Mode(s) Single player, Multiplayer (2)
Media SNES ROM Cartridge[1], GBC ROM Cartridge, GBA ROM Cartridge, Downloadable Media (Nintendo eShop[2])
Input SNES Controller, GBC Buttons, GBA Buttons
"I'll hunt them down through every part of my island, until I have every banana from my hoard back!!"
Donkey Kong in the Donkey Kong Country Instruction Booklet[3]

Donkey Kong Country (スーパードンキーコング, Sūpā Donkī Kongu in Japan) is a popular game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System that was released in 1994. The game is credited for its successful spin-off debut of Nintendo's very first game antagonist Donkey Kong from a decade before the game's release, as well as starting a new franchise entirely based around new characters and gameplay. While Rare had made some popular games in the past, such as Battletoads[4] for NES, Donkey Kong Country is credited with making them well-known in the industry.

The game is known for being the first game to use pre-rendered sprites[5], creating a 3D effect throughout the game. The graphics were made with expensive Silicon[6] 3D graphic models and compressed for 2D SNES. This allowed them to have more detail in animations, for a 16-bit console[7], which was revolutionary at the time.[8]

The game was very successful, since it sold over 8 million units and spawned a sub-series in the Donkey Kong franchise making several sequels, the Donkey Kong Land trilogy, Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! and Donkey Kong 64. It is often viewed as a cult classic. Years later, this sub-series would be taken over by Retro Studios and they have so far made two new games in the series, Donkey Kong Country Returns (with its 3DS version by Monster Games[9]) and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.


The beginning is based on the Donkey Kong Country Instruction Booklet[10]. It would be later used as the Game Boy Advance remake's opening. The opening can be viewed here.

On a dark and stormy night in Donkey Kong Island, Diddy Kong, Donkey Kong's nephew has taken the weighty responsibility of guarding Donkey's precious banana hoard for one night, as a part of his "hero training". Donkey entrusts Diddy with protecting the hoard until midnight, when he would be relieved, while Donkey himself goes to sleep as he is tired.


Diddy Kong hearing some mysterious noise while guarding the banana hoard at night in Donkey Kong Country for GBA.

Everything seems to go smoothly in the hoard until Diddy hears some noises. Diddy hears some voices outside and gets scared, asking who's there. King K. Rool, who had commanded his Kremling minions to steal the bananas. Two ropes drop from above and suddenly two Kritters appear. Diddy cartwheels them both easily, but then a Krusha (Klump in the instruction booklet) comes in as backup. As Diddy is not strong enough to defeat Krusha by himself, he is overpowered and defeated by the Kremling. The lizars seal Diddy inside a barrel and then throw it in the bushes.

Donkey's grandfather, Cranky Kong, rushes inside the treehouse to tell Donkey Kong to wake up so he may tell him what happened. He then tells Donkey to check his Banana Cave. Donkey Kong is infuriated, exclaiming that the Kremlings will pay for stealing his banana hoard and kidnapping his little buddy. Donkey goes on to say that he will hunt every corner of the island for his bananas back.


Revisiting the Banana Cave in the stage Jungle Hijinxs after completing the game once as seen in the SNES version.

After eventually finding Diddy and releasing him from the barrel, the Kongs' quest would take them all over Donkey Kong Island. They travel through Kongo Jungle, the ruins of the Monkey Mines, the forests of Vine Valley, the snowy tundra of Gorilla Glacier, the polluted area of Kremkroc Industries, Inc., and finally, the Chimp Caverns. After that, Donkey and Diddy Kong face King K. Rool on the ship Gang-Plank Galleon.

Once King K. Rool is defeated, Cranky asks Donkey to check his banana hoard as he is in for a big surprise. Once Donkey and Diddy Kong go into their Banana Cave, all of their bananas are seen returned.


General Gameplay


Artwork of Donkey and Diddy Kong.


Artwork of Diddy Kong cartwheeling.

Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong work together in the adventure to get their bananas back. The gameplay in the game introduces a unique "tag team" element into play, unseen in most platformer games such as Super Mario World, which was popular at the time. For example, if one Kong was to be harmed, he would run away, and was out of play until a DK Barrel was throw. Once both are defeated or either falls into a pit, a single exra life is lost.

Diddy and Donkey Kong follow each other throughout the adventure, with their own unique attributes. Diddy can move slightly faster, can climb and swim faster, can cartwheel, can jump higher and farther, and hold barrels like a shield. Diddy is considered the best to use to get Bonus Rooms and other goodies to be found. Though Diddy cannot handle some enemies by himself, namely Krusha (unless he uses a barrel to defeat the enemy). Additionally, his cartwheel can also defeat Klump. Donkey Kong runs a little slower, and his rolling does not go as far as Diddy's cartwheel, though Donkey Kong has his own special move called "Hand Slap", which can defeat regular enemies instantly and produce bananas. The optional move can also reveal hidden items on rugged pieces of horizontal surfaces. By jumping on, Donkey can defeat some enemies an unarmed Diddy could not, such as Krusha. Both Kongs can use their roll attacks to defeat multiple enemies in succession, while keeping momentum. It is also possible to roll into pits and jump at any moment during the move. This optional move, dubbed "Roll-Jump", allows players to safely collect items inside pits and jump across longer distances.


In the "Select a Game" screen of the SNES version of Donkey Kong Country, the player can choose between three game files or erase game files. After the player picking a new game file, the game has three main modes.

  • Single Player: where one player controls both Donkey and Diddy Kong in the quest.
  • Two Player Team: where player one controls Donkey Kong and player two controls Diddy Kong. Both can tag each other throughout a playthrough, but only the current main player can make inputs in the game and change positions. If one character is defeated, the game will pause and wait for the other player to continue on by pressing the "Y" or "B" button, and he/she can summon the other character with a DK Barrel. By losing one extra life, positions will change automatically even if both characters are not present. Completing a stage will not change the positions of characters. Also, the game will keep track of the amount of completed stages by each character.
  • Two Player Contest: same as the two player team, except each player controls a Kong duo of different colored clothes by taking turns per stages. The player one controls two characters dressing red, and the player two controls two characters in yellow. Completing a stage or losing one extra life will change players' turns. This mode is a contest to see who can complete the game first.

The later versions of Donkey Kong Country added new options and modes.

  • Game Boy Color version:
    • Adventure: the main game mode, where the player can choose and manage three game files.
      • Candy's Challenge: a minigame present in each world where a certain challenge has to be completed to get a Banana Coin. There are only six challenges in the Adventure mode and after completed, they cannot be played again.
    • Bonus: mode where the player can play minigames, access the game's hi-scores and check Banana Coins collected in the Adventure mode.
      • Funky Fishing: a fishing minigame where the Kongs have to fish for certain types of fish or items.
      • Crosshair Cranky: a minigame where the player must shoot-out Kremlings and avoid Kongs.
        In the overworld map of Donkey Kong Island, variations of the minigame can be accessed. Completing all minigames unlocks Make Banner option in the Print menu.
        • Kremlings and Kongs
        • Barrel O' Kremlings
        • Kremling Krackdown
        • Buddies Beware
        • Wanted
        • Galleon Gunner
    • Print: option where the player can access the Sticker Book with unlockable stickers, and use the Game Boy Printer[11] to print these stickers. After unlocked, the Make Banner option allows the player to create a banner sporting a message.
    • Options: where the player can manage music and sound effects in the game. It is also possible to desactivate DK Barrels and Star Barrels in the Adventure mode after completing the game once with a rate of at least eighty-one percent (by completing every stage, every Bonus Room, and getting all six Banana Coins at Candy Kong's Challenges in the Adventure mode).
      • Hard Mode: this mode is activated after disabling Star Barrels and/or DK Barrels in the Options menu. Completing the game after desactivating Star Barrels and DK Barrels, not necessarily in the same playthrough, will raise the completion rate percentage.

The mode selection screen of the Game Boy Advance version.

  • Game Boy Advance version:
    • Start: the main mode where the player can manage game files and change language in the game. After picking a file, the player must choose between the modes 1 Player, 2 Player Team or 1 Player Hero, and input a name by using until three letters.
      • 1 Player: very similar to Single Player in the SNES version, one player controls both Donkey and Diddy Kong in the main game.
      • 2 Player Team: similar to Two Player Team in the SNES version. However, after one of the playable characters is harmed or they change places, the game will pause and prompt the player to press "Start" to continue, probably waiting for the current player to pass the GBA handheld away to the next one. Completing a stage will not change the positions of characters, but losing one extra life will change positions even if both characters are not present. The game will also register the number of completed stages by each character.
      • 1 Player Hero: where the player can only play as Diddy Kong wearing yellow clothes, with no Star Barrels and DK Barrels are replaced by Vine Barrels. This mode is unlocked by completing the game once with a rate of ninety percent, at least.
    • DK Attack: a mode where the player has to get to the end of the stage under fifty-nine seconds. Extra seconds can be collected, and points are earned by collecting items and defeating enemies in succession. The player will always start stages only with Donkey Kong, but he/she can summon Diddy Kong by finding and throwing DK Barrels. If the last Kong is harmed, the player will lose twenty seconds, but he/she will able to continue on. The player will fail instantly by falling into pits. A rank from "D" through "S" will be given for the final score in a completed stage. Every stage in the game can be played, except boss stages. Bonus Rooms are still accessible, and it is possible to restart or quit stages by pausing the game.
    • Extras: option where the player can play minigames from the main mode.
      • Funky's Fishing: a fishing minigame very similar to the one in the Game Boy Color version. The minigame is unlocked after it played at any of Funky Kong's locations in the main game mode. In each world location, collecting at certain number of fish or items within the time limit will earn the Kongs a Photograph for the Scrapbook.
      • Candy's Dance Studio: a rhythm minigame[12], where the player must use good timing to press the command prompts at the top of the screen. Each music of the minigame is unlocked after it is played at specific Candy Kong's locations in the main game mode. In each world location, by hitting button prompts with very good timing and moving the cursor to the zone next to the "Perfect" on the gauge at the bottom of the screen, the heroes will get a Photograph for the Scrapbook.


Kong Allies


Artwork of Cranky Kong.

In the game, Donkey and Diddy Kong are assisted in their perilous quest by a few members of the Kong Family.

  • Cranky Kong: is Donkey Kong's grandfather, and antagonist from the original Donkey Kong game. Cranky is the first Kong ally seen in Donkey Kong Country. The old primate comments about how he likes the games from his time better and makes fourth wall[13]-breaking jokes. He can also give hints of stages in the current world to the Kongs when they drop by his cabin. Cranky narrates and congratulates the Kongs in the ending of the game. In the Game Boy Advance version, his cabin is renamed Cranky's Hut, and he also appears to give commentary after defeating the bosses.
  • Funky Kong: makes his first appearance halfway through Kongo Jungle, in the Funky's Flights in the SNES and Game Boy Color versions of the game, and Funky's Fishing in the Game Boy Advance version. He freely lets the Kongs use his Jumbo Barrel in the rest of the worlds. The Jumbo Barrel allows them to quickly jump to the overworld map and navigate worlds the heroes have finished (otherwise done by defeating the boss stage) or simply navigate the area faster, with Funky Kong's unique theme. In the Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance versions, he also hosts a fishing minigame.
  • Candy Kong: allows the players to save their progress at her save point, Candy's Save Point in the SNES version. Getting to her point is often viewed as a big accomplishment due to the fact that getting to her location is usually far in a world. In the Game Boy Color version, she is present in the Candy's Challenge, where she offers a challenge for a Banana Coin. In the Game Boy Advance version, she can be meet in the Candy's Dance Studio, where hosts a dancing rhythm minigame[12].

Animal Buddies


Artwork of Enguarde the Swordfish.

The Kong Family are not the only ones to aid Donkey and Diddy Kong in their quest, the wildlife also help. Each animal buddy is prisoner in a crate with their symbol on it.

  • Rambi the Rhinoceros: is first found halfway through the first stage in the game. He is capable on rampaging through Kremlings and opening entrances to Bonus Rooms in walls by using only his powerful horn.
  • Enguarde the Swordfish: is exclusively found in underwater stages. Enguarde is a swordfish with a large bill. With it, he can defeat practically any underwater enemy (with a few exceptions), while the Kongs cannot. Enguarde also allows the Kongs to swim faster and not sinking in the water.
  • Winky the Frog: has a very high jumping ability, nearly three times higher than the normal Kongs'. With this ability, he can reach Bonus Rooms or simply avoid foes. He can defeat most enemies by jumping on them, including Zingers.
  • Squawks the Parrot: is the only non-rideable animal buddy in the game, and he only appears once in the Gorilla Glacier stage Torchlight Trouble. There, he carries a bright lamp to illuminate the way forward in the otherwise dark stage. Squawks returns in the game's sequels with more important roles.
  • Expresso the Ostrich: is the tallest and fastest animal buddy. With his height, he can completely avoid small foes, commonly the Klaptraps. Expresso has no means of attack, but can glide good distances to find secret barrel cannons to Bonus Rooms.



Artwork of Kritter, foot soldiers in the Kremling army.


Artwork of Zinger, a pestering bee-like enemy.

Many enemies, all of whom are grunts under King K. Rool's army, will stand in the Kongs' way. The enemies are very varied in Donkey Kong Country and some, in one shape or another, return in the sequels and a few later games. A majority of these enemies, such as Gnawty and Kritter, are very common, though a few are rare, such as Chomps. The enemies mostly consist of generic, animal-based foes.



The background of the typical boss arena in the SNES version. Though the size and length vary per boss stage.

Bosses in this game are found at the end of each world. Bosses are usually enlarged versions of regular enemies. The bosses guard a large portion of Donkey's and Diddy Kong's Banana Hoard. In fact, the arena where each boss is fought is comprised of portions of the banana hoard. Defeating a boss will earn the Kongs a Giant Banana. The bosses in the game are, in order of appearance:

Items and Objects


Artwork of a banana, the most common item in the game.

During their adventure, Donkey and Diddy Kong will run in a variety of collectibles and other usable items. There are a variety of items.

  • Banana: collecting 100 bananas will earn one extra life to the player.
  • Banana Bunch: each banana bunch contains ten bananas. In the GBC version, green banana bunches indicate the location of stickers.
  • Extra Life Balloons: are colored balloons shaped after Donkey Kong's face and they represent the player's extra lives. There are three types of extra life balloons to collect. The red balloon grants one single extra life; the green one, two extra lives; and the blue one, three extra lives. In the SNES and GBC versions, the number of extra lives is never saved in the game files. The player will always start or continue a game with only five extra lives. This issue is not present in the GBA version, where the player can continue a previously saved game with his/her current number of extra lives.
  • K-O-N-G Letters: collecting all four letters during a stage will earn one extra life to the player.
  • Tires: are used by the Kongs to bounce and reach high places. Most of the tires in the game are half-buried in the ground. However, in some occasions, it is possible to find tires to push around the stage and use them to reach items and barrel cannons to Bonus Rooms.
  • Animal Tokens: during a stage, collecting three of the same type of animal tokens will send the player to a special Bonus Room. There, the player will able to control the animal buddy of the token and collect small animal tokens within a time limit. After the time limit is up, the total of small tokens collected is counted, and the player will receive one extra life for each 100 tokens. After the special Bonus Room, the player will immediately return to the beginning of the stage or checkpoint in the Star Barrel.
  • Mine Carts: are vehicles used by the Kongs to move over tracks in some mine stages. Careful timing is necessary to jump over pits, and avoid obstacles and enemies on the tracks.
  • Stickers: are exclusive unlockables in the Sticker Book of the Print menu in the GBC version. There is a total of eighteen stickers, being found buried in the ground nearby green Banana Bunches. The stickers are revealed by falling from high heights or hand-slapping the ground in their locations. Stickers must be collected in the first game playthrough, and during harder playthroughs with Star Barrels and/or DK Barrels desactivated. They also have effect in the completion rate percentage of the game.
  • Photographs: are exclusive collectable items to the Scrapbook of the GBA version. There is a total of fifty-two photographs to collect. They are hidden in some stages, they are earned by defeating some enemy types in specific ways or completing the required tasks in the minigames Funky's Fishing and Candy's Dance Studio in each respective location. The Scrapbook can be accessed in the menu revealed by pressing "Start" in the game maps. The photographs contain official artwork of characters from the game. These items are necessary to increase the completion rate percentage.



Artwork of a Star Barrel.

The concept of barrel throwing is re-imagined in Donkey Kong Country. Much different from the initial Donkey Kong concept, as now barrels are not only a weapon, but also serve many other useful purposes:

  • Wooden Barrels: are basic, symbol-less barrels that can be thrown and rolled. They a basic weapon against enemies, including stronger foes imune to jump attacks, such as Zingers and gray Krushas. These barrels can be used in walls to reveal secret entrances to Bonus Rooms. Wooden barrels are the basis for other barrels.
  • DK Barrels: they can be throw to summon a defeated Kong. They can also be used as weapons or to reveal Bonus Rooms like wooden barrels. However, in comparison to wooden barrels, they are more fragile barrels, breaking upon contact with anything. In the GBC version, after breaking a DK Barrel, an icon will appear at the bottom left of the screen, allowing to change between Donkey and Diddy Kong. It is due to the GBC's hardware limitations of showing only one playable character on the screen at a time. After completing the game once, DK Barrels can be also desactivated in the Options menu, allowing to play the Adventure mode in harder difficulty. Homever, the player will always start or continue a stage with both playable Kongs at his/her disposal. In the 1 Player Hero mode of the GBA version, DK Barrels are replaced by Vine Barrels.
  • Vine Barrels: are a type of wooden barrel. The most notable difference is the fact that they break upon contact with anything, even the ground.
  • Steel Kegs: can be thrown and they roll on the ground and also bounce against walls. If the kongs able to catch them and jump over them, the primates will move along the steel kegs.
  • TNT Barrels: are rare, powerful barrels full of explosive TNT[14]. After they are throw, they will create a short wave of fire, defeating all enemies nearby. If the player picks a TNT barrel up, and put it back on the ground peacefully, the barrel will explode after a few seconds.
  • Star Barrels: are the game's checkpoints. The player must jump towards the barrel to break it and activate the checkpoint. The latest checkpoint will keep activated even if the player exits the current stage. In the GBC version, Star Barrels can be desactivated in the Options menu after completing the game once. In the 1 Player Hero mode of the GBA version, there are no Star Barrels.
  • Barrel Cannons: are the only mean of transportation in some stages sections. After the Kongs get inside a barrel cannon, the player must make a input to launch the primates. Most of the regular barrel cannons will move, demanding good timing from the player to progress, and avoid enemies nearby and fall into pits.
  • Autofire Barrels: barrel cannons that fire almost immediately upon the Kongs landing inside. These barrels are also used to reach some Bonus Rooms. Some invisible autofire barrels can warp the Kongs towards the end of stages.
  • Bonus Barrels: replace some autofire barrels in the GBA version, sending the primates to Bonus Rooms.
  • Warp Barrels: replace some autofire barrels in the GBA version, shooting the heroes to areas near the exit of stages. Some new invisible Warp Barrels were added in the same version.
  • Funky Barrel or Jumbo Barrel: is an airplane shaped-barrel that is the main way of transportation provided by Funky Kong in the Funky's Flights/Funky's Fishing. It is the only way to get out the current world without defeating the boss.
  • Stop & Go Barrels: are encountered exclusively in the Monkey Mines stage Stop & Go Station. Touching these barrels will temporarily turn all of the lights red and keep Rockkrocs, indestructive enemies, from moving and harming the primates in the stage.
  • On & Off Barrels: are used temporarily to turn on the lights only in the Chimp Caverns stage Loopy Lights.
  • Fuel Barrels: are a one-time usage barrel collected to keep platforms on limited fuel moving. In most of the cases, the Kongs must avoid to miss these barrels or the moving platform will fall down and drop the primates inside a pit, losing one extra life.

Worlds and Stages

Kongo Jungle Overworld

The access to Kongo Jungle in the overworld map of Donkey Kong Island as seen in the SNES version.

In the SNES version, the world resembling Donkey Kong's treehouse and located before Kongo Jungle on the overworld map cannot be accessed. Donkey Kong is shown to start off his journey by leaving this area and heading to Kongo Jungle. Each world contains a single location related to Cranky, Funky and Candy Kong, respectively. An exclamation mark after the name of a stage (and a world, in the GBA version) indicates all Bonus Rooms in the area have been found. In the GBC version, finding all Bonus Rooms inside a stage is indicated by a red font at its name in the map. Many stages have been swapped around in positions in the GBA version starting from the Vine Valley world.

Kongo Jungle GBA

Kongo Jungle as seen in the GBA version.

Kongo Jungle

Monkey Mines GBA

Monkey Mines as seen in the GBA version.

Monkey Mines

Vine Valley GBA

Vine Valley as seen in the GBA version.

Vine Valley

Gorilla Glacier GBA

Gorilla Glacier as seen in the GBA version.

Gorilla Glacier


Kremkroc Industries, Inc. as seen in the GBA version.

Kremkroc Industries, Inc.

Chimp Caverns

Chimp Caverns as seen in the GBA version.

Chimp Caverns

Gangplamk Galleon

Gang-Plank Galleon as seen in the GBA version.

Gang-Plank Galleon

This pirate ship is not a world, but the stage of the final boss battle against King K. Rool in the game. The ship can actually be seen approaching closer and closer each time a world is complete until it is finally accessible after beating Chimp Caverns. It is less evident in the GBA version due to how the screen in the overworld map of Donkey Kong Island is zoomed in.

Shooting Minigames (Game Boy Color version only)

In the GBC version of Donkey Kong Country, variations of the minigame Crosshair Cranky can be accessed in the overworld map of Donkey Kong Island. The first minigame can be reached at the beginning of the Adventure mode by going left of the Kongo Jungle world.

  • Kremlings and Kongs
  • Barrel O' Kremlings
  • Kremling Krackdown
  • Buddies Beware
  • Wanted
  • Galleon Gunner

Version Differences

See also: Donkey Kong Country/Version differences

Regional Differences

See also: Donkey Kong Country/Regional differences

Differences between SNES, GBC and GBA versions

Game Boy Color

The game was remade to the Game Boy Color in 2000. Differences include:

  • Three alternate title screens are shown: the first being underwater, the second being in the jungle and the third in a mining area.
  • The mode selection screen from Donkey Kong 64 is reused.
  • Two minigames have been added in the Bonus menu: Funky hosts a fishing game known as Funky Fishing (which would be later reappear in the Game Boy Advance version) and Cranky oversees a shooting game called Crosshair Cranky.
  • Much like Donkey Kong Land series games, only one playable Kong appears on the screen at a time.
  • The game automatically saves after completing a stage.
  • Candy now runs a challenge area where a certain challenge has to be completed to get a Banana Coin, also added in the game version.
  • Finding all Bonus Rooms inside a stage, and completing a Candy's Challenge is indicated by a red font at their names in the maps.
  • The Game Boy Printer[11] can be used to print unlocked stickers from the Sticker Book.
  • The Kongs do not ride the animal buddies, rather, the primates transform into them.
  • Over half the music in Donkey Kong Land was reused.
  • The Monkey Mines stage Winky's Walkway is extended.
  • The Warp Barrel is removed from the Monkey Mines stage Mine Cart Carnage.
  • The stages Stop & Go Station, Misty Mine, and Loopy Lights now play the theme song Mine Cart Madness instead of Misty Menace, despite the fact these stages are not Mine cart stages.
  • A new stage called Necky Nutmare has been added in the Chimp Caverns world.
  • The credits can be seen showing various screenshots instead of it being inside Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong's Treehouse, like in the SNES version.
  • The game possesses the unlockable options in the Options menu of removing DK Barrels and Star Barrels, respectively, in the Adventure mode, increasing the main game difficulty.

Game Boy Advance

Donkey Kong Country Gameboy Advance print ad NickMag June july 2003

Print advertisement for the GBA version of Donkey Kong Country in the Nickelodeon Magazine[15], in 2003.

Another remake of Donkey Kong Country was made for the Game Boy Advance in 2003. The changes for this one include:

  • An opening cutscene based on the story in the instruction booklet.[10]
  • Candy hosts a dancing rhythm minigame[12] at Candy's Dance Studio, replacing the Candy's Save Point. The game can be saved any time in the maps or when exiting the game.
  • The map screens have a hidden menu prompted by the "Select" button. From this menu, the game can be saved at any time, the Funky Barrel can be summoned after meeting Funky Kong once in any world, and players can access a Scrapbook and stages stats of found Bonus Rooms and collected K-O-N-G Letters.
  • In the maps, it is possible to quit and save the game by pressing the "Start" button.
  • Unlike the SNES and GBC versions, saving the game will save the number of extra lives the player currently has. However, only in the SNES version, it is possible to the player to collect more than ninety-nine extra lives, even if the maximum counter only shows ninety-nine.
  • A Scrapbook was added, in which players had to collect fifty-two hidden Photographs throughout the game in order to add pictures to it.
  • Finding all Bonus Rooms inside a stage or a world, and collecting Photographs in a location of the Candy's Dance Studio or Funky's Fishing is indicated by an exclamation mark after their names in the map.
  • In-game graphics and some sound quality were scaled down.
  • The music is the same but was rearranged due to GBA's hardware limitations.
  • The game has more voices and sound effects reused from Donkey Kong 64.
  • Bonus Rooms can be accessed multiple times in the same playthrough of a stage. The Bonus Rooms are also preceded by artwork and text showing the main objective in the room, feature used in the two direct sequels of the SNES version.
  • The autofire barrels that sent Kongs to Bonus Rooms were replaced by the Bonus Barrels used in the SNES sequels. Some these Bonus Barrels now just teleport the heroes to Bonus Rooms, the barrels do not shoot them.
  • The autofire barrels that warp Kongs through stages were replaced by the Warp Barrels used in the sequels. Some new invisible Warp Barrels were also added to the GBA version.
    • In similar way to some Bonus Barrels, the Warp Barrels never shoot the primates, the barrels just teleport the Kongs. And the Warp Barrels do not send the heroes directly to their destination. First, they must walk across a small room with the word "Warp" written by bananas.
  • The DK Attack, a time and score mode, has been added.
  • A new unlockable mode called 1 Player Hero, also known as "Hero Mode", has been added. In this mode, the player controls a yellow-clad Diddy Kong and he/she will never encounter DK Barrels or Star Barrels.
  • All the maps have been completely redesigned.
  • The following Kong now sticks more closely with the leading Kong, as well as riding with them on an animal buddy at the same time.
  • In the Monkey Mines stage Stop & Go Station, the Rockkrocs can now be defeated by using Donkey Kong's hand slap move.
  • Starting from Vine Valley onwards, a few of the stages have been placed in a different order. For instance, Temple Tempest became the sixth stage in Vine Valley, rather than the fourth.
  • Squawks' crate in the Gorilla Glacier stage Torchlight Trouble is missing. The animal buddy automatically appears at the beginning of the stage.
  • Some enemies have new different colors, such as Kritters and Zingers.
  • Some bosses were made stronger with different attack patterns: Queen B. now has three Zingers surrounding her, Really Gnawty can make stalactites fall, Dumb Drum requires a TNT Barrel to be thrown at it, and the battle against Master Necky Snr. is against both him and Master Necky simultaneously.
    • Very Gnawty and Really Gnawty swapped color schemes: Very Gnawty now has brown fur, and Really Gnawty has green fur.
  • After defeating each boss, a giant banana wiil drop. In the SNES version, it had a Nintendo logo on it, but the logo was removed in the GBA version.
  • The credits took place in Donkey Kong's treehouse in the SNES version. They now take place on the Gang-Plank Galleon.

Beta Elements

The preview video, Donkey Kong Country Exposed[16], contains a few beta elements that never made it into the final game, such as a few instances where binary digits were seen underneath the lives counter, which may have been a debug menu[17] of some sort. Also, in this build, it was possible to exceed one hundred bananas, whereas in the final game, the banana counter would reset once it reaches that number. Lastly, Donkey Kong was unable to defeat the regular Krusha by jumping on him. Unlike the final, Krusha will laugh after Donkey Kong does so, as he would if Diddy had done that. This also applies to Klump.

In an old Scribes page on the Rareware website, a giraffe animal buddy was mentioned to appear in Donkey Kong Country. This giraffe character was dropped for unknown reasons, though one of his mentioned abilities was that he would allow Donkey Kong to crawl up his neck and reach high items and secrets.[citation needed]
Giraffes, however, did appear in cutscenes and level backgrounds from Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D.

There are unused sprites in this game, such as a Puftup, who would later appear in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, and a jungle plant (see gallery right below). Donkey and Diddy Kong also have unused sprites. Additional letters similar to the K-O-N-G Letters appear in some Bonus Rooms, though not all letters in the alphabet are used, and the game appears to have the entire alphabet left in the game's coding. Slippa has unused sprites as well. Croctopus has an unused sprite, likely a defeated animation, and a thunderbolt. Cranky Kong apparently was able to walk in a beta version (later used in the Game Boy Advance remake).

Reaction and Sales

When Donkey Kong Country was unveiled in the CES[18] 1994, guests in the show floor mistook the game footage by a rumored new Nintendo console title due to its graphics.[19] At the time of its release, Donkey Kong Country was extremely acclaimed by critics and audiences alike. Praise went to its graphics, music, and overall fun and addictive gameplay.

Sales were more than expected, since the game was released at the peak of the 16-bit era, but when the Sega Genesis[20] was at the height of its popularity, and the SNES witnessed its rise.[8] The game had a successful first day at the stores, and sold 8.5 million copies worldwide, second on the SNES to Super Mario World. To date, it is the best selling Donkey Kong game and the best seller by Rare.[citation needed]

Although it won 1994's game of the year by EGM[21], it was later placed on their list of 10 Most Overrated Games[22]. It has mixed reactions today, but is still well received by fans.


Logos and Boxarts


Animal Buddies


Game Screens



  • In the SNES version of Donkey Kong Country, there are some secret codes. If the code inputs are correct, the player will hear certain sound effect.
    • During the starting cutscene with Cranky and Donkey Kong, by pressing "Down", "Y", "Down", "Down" and "Y" buttons in that order, the player will access a cave where Donkey Kong can collect three Animal Tokens of the same type and test all special Bonus Rooms with animal buddies. However, it is not possible to leave the area without restarting the game.
    • By highlighting "Erase Game" at the selection screen of game files, and pressing "Down", "A", "R", "B", "Y", "Down", "A" and "Y" buttons in that order, the player will access the sound test where he/she can hear all theme songs from the game. By pressing the "Select" button at the same screen, the player can circle through the songs in certain order.
    • By highlighting "Erase Game" at the selection screen of game files, and pressing "B", "A", "R", "R", "A" and "L" buttons in that order, the player can start or continue a game file with fifty extra lives.
    • By highlighting "Erase Game" at the selection screen of game files, and pressing "B", "A", "Down", "B", "Up", "Down", "Down", "Y" and "A" buttons in that order, during the Two Player Team mode, the player following the current main player will be allowed to press the "Select" button to change character positions at any time.
  • In the GBA version of Donkey Kong Country, there are also similar secret codes. All inputs must be done at the selection screen of game files. If the code inputs are correct, the player will hear somebody say "Not Bad".
    • By holding "Select" and pressing "B", "Up", "B", "B" and "A" buttons in that order, the player will access a cave where Donkey Kong can collect three Animal Tokens of the same type and test all special Bonus Rooms with animal buddies. It is possible to leave the area by using the exit on the right side of the cave.
    • By holding "Select", then pressing "B", "A", "L", "L", "A" and "Down" buttons in that order, the player will access the sound test where he/she can hear all theme songs from the game.
    • By holding "Select", then pressing "B", "A", "R", "R", "A" and "L" buttons in that order, the player can start or continue a game file with fifty extra lives.
  • The Gnawty enemy is pictured as blue on the North American boxart for SNES while they were green in-game. They eventually became blue in Donkey Kong 64 and the GBA version of Donkey Kong Country.
  • This game has an adaptation in the Super Mario-Kun manga[25] with some changes. In the volume 14 of the manga, Mario and Yoshi land in the Donkey Kong Country world by mistake, and Cranky Kong asks them help Donkey and Diddy in their task to find the bananas and stop King K. Rool.
  • Donkey Kong Country and Donkey Kong Land are Donkey Kong's only playable appearances until Donkey Kong 64, despite both games' sequels bearing the Donkey Kong name.
  • This game marks the only playable appearance of Winky the Frog (outside of cameos and remakes). Expresso was in Donkey Kong Land and technically playable in a minigame in the Game Boy Advance version of Donkey Kong Country 2.
  • Donkey Kong Country and Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest are the only games where the playable characters do not talk at all. This only accounts for the SNES versions.
  • In the overworld map of Donkey Kong Island of Donkey Kong Country for SNES, Donkey Kong's head icon is displayed on his treehouse. In the Japanese version, this is not the case. Also, the text is shown in yellow.
  • In the Japanese boxart of Donkey Kong Country for SNES, the official artwork shows Donkey Kong carrying Diddy Kong, implying a Team-Up mechanic, even though that command does not exist in this game like it does in the two direct sequels (see Boxarts and Logos in the Gallery section above). The "A" button in the SNES version of this game was used for switching positions between two Kongs, the same as using the "Select" button in all three Donkey Kong Country games for SNES.
  • This is the only game in the original Donkey Kong Country trilogy where the "X" button is never used while playing through a stage in the SNES version. That button's functionality was added on in the following two SNES games, but only used to dismount animal buddies. Originally, in this game the player would use the "A" button to dismount an animal buddy until that command was shifted to the "X" button in the SNES direct sequels whilst the "A" button introduced the ability to charge an animal buddy's special move, a command not present in this game.
  • According to Gregg Mayles[26], the lead designer of Donkey Kong Country, there was originally going to be a "Cranky Kong Mode" where Cranky Kong would be playable, however this was scrapped.
  • On August 10, 2018, Gregg Mayles tweeted an early naming sheet of when Donkey Kong Country was originally going to be called Monkey Mayhem, it had four categories: DK FAMILY, GOOD GUYS (Animal Buddies), KREMLINGS, and BADDIES.[27] On it shows that:
    • Expresso could have been an emu[28] instead an ostrich.
    • Two animal buddies that got dumped named Hooter the Owl and Miney the Mole.
      • Not mentioned why the two animal buddies got dumped, but for Hooter, it possibly to avoid copyright from the restaurant establishment called Hooters[29] for their logo is an owl. For right beside the dumped animal buddy name have this: "(Hope we can use this one!)".
    • Four dumped Kremlings named Kloak (Kremling Magician), Krumble (Statue Kremling), Klanger (Green Kremling), and Krocbot (Robot Kremling).
      • The Kremling in the list named Kloak would be later used for Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, but instead of being a magician he would be a pirate ghost Kremling in a coat, though he still has magician-like traits, as he can magically summon objects to throw at the Kongs.
      • Though the dumped robot Kremling named Krocbot was never used again in any of the later Donkey Kong Country games. In Donkey Kong 64, there is a robot Kremling that resembles a wind-up toy whose name is similar to Krocbot and that would be Krobot.
    • Slippa originally was named Mr. Hister.
    • Puftup and Shuri was originally going to appear in this game first instead of Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest.
    • There was originally going to be two fish enemies named Bloop (Fish 1) and Gloop (Fish 2) but got dropped and replaced by Bitesize and Chomps Jr..
    • Squidge was originally named Mr. Squidge.
    • Clambo was originally named Ms. Clamity.
    • Four dropped baddies named Fizzle (Fireball), Veedub (Nasty Beetle), Frozone (Yeti (Iceman)), Mobo (Eel (Moray)).
    • King K. Rool was named Kommander K. Rool (Chief Kremling) on the list (a name he used in the fake credits in the final game).
  • On August 13, 2018, Gregg Mayles tweeted a very early concept of King K. Rool who was named "Krudd" and was going to be more serious and tough-looking, alongside that tweet, Greg showed concept art of other Kremlings such as Krash, another Krash named Kaptain Krash, and Korporal Krizzle. Also Gregg mentioned the game was going to be more military themed.[30]
  • On August 21, 2018, Gregg Mayles tweeted two early concept/idea sheets of a Kremling named "Kremling Soldier" who would have been doing various military themed attacks like using a bazooka[31], charging with a bayonet[32], throwing grenades[33], a rifle[34], a blunderbuss[35], hides in a big helmet and charges at the player, uses a throwing knife[36], a mortar[37], a jet pack[38], carries TNT[14] and can either be a suicidal bomber[39] by walking with it until it explodes or throws it. He hides in the background and leaps at the player, uses a huge shield, out of nowhere falls on the player, grabs the player and following up with a push, a throw, or drop the player, either down a pit, or use a laser guided gun on the player. Of course all of it was dropped from the game, but some of the ideas do appear in later games. In the tweet, Gregg states the Kremlings were going to be more serious and military themed than they eventually turned out, later he questions himself on what he was thinking.[40]

See Also

  • DK Jamz, Donkey Kong Country's official soundtrack album.

External Links


  1. ROM cartridge on Wikipedia
  2. Nintendo eShop on Wikipedia
  3. Donkey Kong Country Instruction Booklet, page 6 on Nintendo Japan
  4. Battletoads on Wikipedia
  5. Pre-rendering on Wikipedia
  6. Silicon Graphics on Wikipedia
  7. Donkey Kong Country Instruction Booklet, page 32 on Nintendo Japan
  8. 8.0 8.1 How Donkey Kong Country Changed the Video Game Industry on DK Vine
  9. Monster Games on Wikipedia
  10. 10.0 10.1 Donkey Kong Country Instruction Booklet, pages 4-7 on Nintendo Japan
  11. 11.0 11.1 Game Boy Printer on Wikipedia
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Rhythm game on Wikipedia
  13. Fourth wall on Wikipedia
  14. 14.0 14.1 TNT on Wikipedia
  15. Nickelodeon Magazine on Wikipedia
  16. Donkey Kong Country Exposed: The Making of Donkey Kong Country on YouTube
  17. Debug menu on Wikipedia
  18. Consumer Electronics Show on Wikipedia
  19. The Donkey Kong Country 25th Anniversary Interview Documentary on YouTube
  20. Sega Genesis on Wikipedia
  21. Electronic Gaming Monthly on Wikipedia
  22. 10 Most Overrated Games on 1UP (saved on Wayback Machine)
  23. Boombox on Wikipedia
  24. Girder on Wikipedia
  25. Manga on Wikipedia
  26. Gregg Mayles on Wikipedia
  28. Emu on Wikipedia
  29. Hooters on Wikipedia
  31. Bazooka on Wikipedia
  32. Bayonet on Wikipedia
  33. Grenade on Wikipedia
  34. Rifle on Wikipedia
  35. Blunderbuss on Wikipedia
  36. Throwing knife on Wikipedia
  37. Mortar on Wikipedia
  38. Jet pack on Wikipedia
  39. Suicide attack on Wikipedia
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