Donkey Kong Wiki
Not to be confused with the game it was based off, Donkey Kong Country.
Donkey Kong Land
Donkey Kong Land Box Art.jpg
North American boxart of the game Donkey Kong Land for Game Boy.
Developer(s) Rareware
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Main Development Staff {{{devteam}}}
Platform(s) Game Boy
Release Date(s) USA June 26, 1995
Japan July 27, 1995
Europe August 24, 1995
Genre(s) Platformer
Ratings ESRB: ESRB K-A.png Kids to Adults
Mode(s) Single player
Media(s) Game Boy ROM Cartridge[1]
Input(s) Game Boy Buttons

Donkey Kong Land, known as Super Donkey Kong GB in Japan, was a video game developed by Rareware for the Game Boy. Released in 1995, it was a handheld follow-up of Donkey Kong Country. The game was also one of the few Game Boy games to feature a specially colored cartridge (yellow), which was also used on the sequels, Donkey Kong Land 2 and Donkey Kong Land III. It was also one of the first games to feature Super Game Boy special features, including a rendered jungle border across the television screen.

The game is often mistaken as a Game Boy "port" of Donkey Kong Country. Although this is true in the manner that the two games play the same using the same engine - it is false because not only is the storyline different (if only a little), but Donkey Kong Land has different levels, enemies and bosses than Donkey Kong Country.


The game is set as a pseudo-sequel to Donkey Kong Country. Donkey and Diddy Kong tell Cranky Kong all about their recent Donkey Kong Country adventure. Cranky admits that he underestimated the success of it, but blamed it on the "advanced graphics" and the fact that "kids will buy anything nowadays". Cranky Kong proceeds to ramble about his older games but Donkey and Diddy ignore him, telling him that the gameplay was also a factor.

Cranky, still unsatisfied, arranges a bet for King K. Rool to again steal his grandson's banana hoard and force the Kongs to recapture it on an 8-bit handheld system as they have never been the stars of an 8-bit title. Donkey and Diddy head out once again to get their precious hoard back and to prove Cranky wrong.

Game Overview


Gameplay was based on the original Donkey Kong Country. The game is a sidescrolling adventure game starring Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong, and the two retain their abilities from Donkey Kong Country. As such, the game features the two Kongs available in gameplay, and each can be switched out when the player decides, but due to limitations only one Kong is displayed on a screen at a time (this was carried onto Donkey Kong Country's Game Boy Advance version). They must reach the end of the level in order to proceed to the next, until the end of the area where the boss is fought. Rambi and Expresso return, with their abilities carried over. Not much has changed with the two aside from Expresso's ability to defeat enemies such as Zingers by flying into them.

Artwork of Donkey Kong riding on Expresso the Ostrich.

Animal Buddies

Due to limitations, only two animal buddies appear:

  • Rambi the Rhinoceros, who returns from Donkey Kong Country, also appears in the first level, "Jungle Jaunt". He is needed to break open some bonus level areas.
  • Expresso the Ostrich also returns from Donkey Kong Country, complete with his flying ability, though is oddly quite rare, and is usually found in bonus levels.


The Kongs encounter many types of items in the game, mainly carried over from Donkey Kong Country.

  • Bananas return as the basic "coins" of Donkey Kong Land. 100 gives an extra life.
  • Banana Bunches are worth ten bananas, and are not as common.

A Kong Token.

  • Kong Tokens are common items found in regular stages, used for earning extra lives inside Bonus Rooms with Button Barrels.
  • Extra Life Balloons are the basic lives of the game. They are displayed as hearts at the bottom of the screen.
  • K-O-N-G Letters do not grant an extra life, as they do in other games. Instead, collecting the K-O-N-G letters and finishing a level will save the game.


Artwork of a DK Barrel, also called a "Buddy Barrel".

In addition, there are a few types of barrels found in the game, all carried over from Donkey Kong Country:

  • Wooden Barrels, common, rolling barrels used as a base weapon in the game.
  • DK Barrels function much like they did in Donkey Kong Country, summoning a lost Kong.
  • TNT Barrels are powerful, explosive barrels which easily clear the path of enemies.
  • Button Barrels are Barrel Cannons which the shooting or trajectory is controllable by a button nearby.


Artwork of Hogwash, a flying pig enemy.

Artwork of Fangfish, a new fish enemy.

As with their previous adventure, the Kongs find a variety of enemies in the game. Most are from Donkey Kong Country, though some are new.


Bosses appear at the end of each world.

Worlds and Levels

World 1 - Gangplank Galleon Ahoy!

Gangplank Galleon Ahoy!, the first world in Donkey Kong Land.

  1. Jungle Jaunt (Jungle)
  2. Freezing Fun (Snow)
  3. Simian Swing (Jungle)
  4. Deck Trek (Ship)
  5. Rope Ravine (Snow)
  6. Tyre Trail (Jungle)
  7. Riggin' Rumble (Ship)
  8. Congo Carnage (Jungle)
  9. Arctic Barrel Arsenal (Snow)
  10. Wild Sting Fling (Ship)

World 2 - Kremlantis

Kremlantis, the second world in Donkey Kong Land.

  1. Tricky Temple (Temple)
  2. Kremlantis Kaos (Underwater Ruins)
  3. Reef Rampage (Coral)
  4. Snake Charmer's Challenge (Temple)
  5. Chomp's Coliseum (Underwater Ruins)
  6. Nautilus Chase (Coral)
  7. Swirlwind Storm (Temple)
  8. Seabed Showdown (Underwater Ruins)

World 3 - Monkey Mountains and Chimpanzee Clouds

Monkey Mountains and Chimpanzee Clouds, the third world in Donkey Kong Land.

  1. Pot Hole Panic (Caves)
  2. Mountain Mayhem (Mountains)
  3. Track Attack (Clouds)
  4. Spiky Tyre Trail (Caves)
  5. Sky High Caper (Clouds)
  6. Landslide Leap (Mountains)
  7. Collapsing Clouds (Clouds)
  8. Mad Mole Holes (Caves)

World 4 - Big Ape City

Big Ape City, the fourth and final world in Donkey Kong Land.

  1. Balloon Barrage (Skyscraper)
  2. Kong Krazy (Blimp)
  3. Construction Site Fight (Construction Site)
  4. Fast Barrel Blast (Blimp)
  5. Skyscraper Caper (Skyscraper)
  6. Button Barrel Blast (Construction Site)
  7. Oil Drum Slum (Skyscraper)
  8. K. Rool's Kingdom (Blimp)


Logos and Boxarts

Game Screens

Artwork of Unused Characters


  • This is the only Donkey Kong Land game that has DK Barrels on the ground. The next two titles would only have them floating in mid-air.
  • An animal buddy called Ram Bunkshus was supposed to appear, as seen in an issue of Nintendo Power (see Artwork of Unused Characters in the Gallery section above). He has been stated to be male, be able to climb, and use his horns as a weapon. It is possible he was a considered replacement for Rambi given his horns, but was dropped.
  • Pucka is a dropped underwater enemy also appearing in Nintendo Power (see Artwork of Unused Characters in the Gallery section above). It has been stated to be a "large fish in a small sea", and make water levels tougher for DK and Diddy. It might of been dropped due to the abundance of underwater enemies already in the game.
  • The final unused element is a Kong character resembling Donkey Kong except he is pudgy, rounder, darker and jagged fur and slightly more pink skin tone, mature, sophisticated, and wearing a dapper fedora fit for a gentleman (dubbing him "Fedora Kong") (see Artwork of Unused Characters in the Gallery section above). Nothing else is known about him, not even his name.
    • Men who wear fedoras in the earlier days of film have this demeanor and fashionable hat which are used to depict a mature and level-headed fatherly figure. His pose is similar to Donkey Kong Jr.'s forward facing sprite pose from the game Donkey Kong Jr. It is speculated that he is an all grown up adult Donkey Kong Jr.
    • One of the worlds in Donkey Kong Land is Big Ape City, which "Fedora Kong" may have connections. There is also a large construction site in the city, hinted to be the place where Pauline was kidnapped in the original Donkey Kong game. The instruction manual for Donkey Kong Land itself claims that the area "brings back fond memories". Nintendo Power further pushed this fact with a statement in a caption in a screenshot of the area, "Cranky used to roll barrels at a plumber in the construction site here."[citation needed]

External Links