Donkey Kong Land
Donkey Kong Land Box Art
Developer(s): Rare, Ltd.
Publisher(s): Nintendo
Platform(s): Game Boy
Release Date: Flag of USA June 26, 1995
Flag of Japan July 27, 1995
Flag of Europe August 24, 1995
Genre Platformer
Ratings ESRB: ESRB K-A Kids to Adults
Mode(s) Single player
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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 Kong 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 DK 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' Game Boy Advance port). 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.



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.


Kong Token

A Kong Token.

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 a life.
  • Banana Bunches are worth ten bananas, and aren't as common.
  • Kong Tokens are new items found in Bonus Level that can be exchanged for more lives.
  • Extra Life Balloons are the basic lives of the game.
  • K-O-N-G Letters do not grant an extra life, as they do in other games. Instead, collecting the KONG letters and finishing a level will save the game.



The Buddy Barrel (also called "DK 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, reviving a lost Kong.
  • TNT Barrels are powerful, explosive barrels which easily clear the path of enemies.



A Hogwash.


Fangfish, a new 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.



Kremlantis, the second world in DKL.

World 1 - Gangplank Galleon Ahoy!

  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. BOSS: Wild Sting Fling (Ship)

World 2 - Kremlantis

  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. Whirlwind Storm (Temple)
  8. BOSS: Sea-bed Showdown (Underwater Ruins)

World 3 - Monkey Mountains and Chimpanzee Clouds

  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. BOSS: Mad Mole Holes (Caves)

World 4 - Big Ape City

  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. BOSS: K. Rool's Kingdom (Blimp)


Logos and Boxarts


Title Screens



  • This is the only Donkey Kong Land-game that has DK Barrels on the ground; the next two 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. 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. 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's pudgy, rounder, darker and jagged fur and slightly more pink skin tone, mature, sophisticated, and wearing a dapper lady-attracting fedora fit for a gentleman (Fedora Kong). 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 the father, or at least a mature, sophisticated, level-headed, and civilized fatherly figure/"The Man's Man"/"The Everyman". His pose is similar to Donkey Kong Jr.'s default/forward facing sprite's pose from Donkey Kong Jr., it's possible that he is an all grown up adult Donkey Kong Jr. in disguise.
      • One of the worlds in DKL is Big Ape City (which DK Jr./Fedora Kong has connections to as he's Cranky Kong's son), there is also a large construction site in the city, hinted to be where Pauline was kidnapped in the original Donkey Kong. The instruction manual for the game 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." It may have been renamed as New Donk City by the time of Super Mario Odyssey in the Metro Kingdom. The name "New Donk City" is a play on of New York City while "Big Ape City" and "The Big Banana" are puns of "The Big Apple", a nickname for New York City.
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