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Rambi the Rhinoceros
RambiRhinoDKCR

Rambi's artwork from the game Donkey Kong Country Returns for Wii.
Gender Male
Species Rhinoceros
Homeland Donkey Kong Island
Powers/Abilities Great strength allowing him to break through solid barriers and reveal secret entrances on walls,
High endurance to bounce on and defeat even enemies too strong for the Kongs,
Possessing a very sharp horn capable of ramming through most of the enemies
Allies Animal Buddies,
Kong Family
Enemies Kremling Krew,
Tiki Tak Tribe,
Snowmads
Game(s) Donkey Kong Country,
Donkey Kong Land,
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest,
Donkey Kong Land 2,
Donkey Kong 64,
Donkey Kong Barrel Blast,
Donkey Kong Country Returns,
Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D,
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
First Appearance Donkey Kong Country (for SNES) (1994)
Latest Appearance Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (for Switch) (2018)
"Keep your eyes peeled for Rambi the Rhino! He can crash into almost any hidden room."
Cranky Kong

Rambi the Rhinoceros is a long-time recurring Animal Buddy and ally of the Kong Family in the Donkey Kong Series. He is the first Animal Buddy to appear in the franchise and has the second most appearances in the Donkey Kong Country games, before Squawks the Parrot.

Skills[]

When Rambi is facing them, he can defeat most of the regular enemies, such as Gnawties and Kritters, by using his horn and easily running through them. He is also capable of smashing boulders, walls and blocks to find hidden entrances to Bonus Rooms and open paths forward. Rambi can also defeat stronger enemies Donkey Kong could not, such as Zingers and Krushas/Krunchas, and bounce on them safely, ability not possessed by the Kongs in their regular states.

In later games, Rambi is vulnerable to fire, so he cannot attack fire-flinging enemies directly, such as Flaming Tiki Buzzes, Flaming Tiki Zings, Tiki Bombers and Tiki Torches. If he gets touched by fire, he will dismount the Kongs, move a small distance and stop, making the primates to lose a heart.

Physical Appearance[]

Rambi is a large grey rhinoceros with a large horn. He has four rather stubby legs and a short tail. He often has a grumpy expression.

History[]

Donkey Kong Country[]

Diddy-rambi

Artwork of Diddy Kong riding on Rambi from the game Donkey Kong Country.

Rambi can be found inside Animal Crates sporting his symbol. After opening the crate and releasing him, the Kongs can ride Rambi by jumping on his back. The rhinoceros is considered one of the more useful Animal Buddies due to his incredible power to move through a stage, taking down every enemy in his way, including the feared Zingers. Any regular enemy directly in front of him will be defeated by his horn, but he can also simply bounce on them. Despite the brute strength, after being harmed once, Rambi will dismount the primates on the spot and try to flee away.

In the Game Boy Color version of Donkey Kong Country, by breaking open a Rambi Crate, instead of mounting him, the primates will transform into Rambi instantly. Any harm received by him in this game version will turn back to the heroes immediately. However, the Animal Crates will always keep available inside the current stage during the same visit to it, allowing the player to transform back into Rambi unlimited times.

Donkey Kong Land[]

Rambi reappeared alongside Expresso the Ostrich in the game Donkey Kong Land. Despite he appearing in slightly more stages than in Donkey Kong Country, he no longer possesses a dedicated button for horn attacks. But he still easily rams through enemies and can break open secret entrances to Bonus Rooms on the walls with his horn. Rambi will also not flee after being harmed by enemies, and he will only dismount the Kongs immediately.

Donkey Kong Country 2[]

Rambi also makes his appearance in the first stage of the game Donkey Kong Country 2 named Pirate Panic. His function is also similar to the previous games, though he now has a "super charged attack", allowing him to charge at high speed through most groups of enemies that come in direct contact. The most major change is now that Rambi must use his charge attack to break open secret entrances to Bonus Rooms on walls. However, these same entrances are far less common due to the introduction of Bonus Barrels.

Except for angry Krunchas and bosses, such as King Zing, who will always harm the Animal Buddy upon contact, Rambi is capable of bouncing on and defeating most of the enemies in the game with his horn attack. And despite being unable to defeat red Zingers, Rambi still can bounce on them safely.

Rambi also has his own music theme, "Run Rambi, Run!", in a stage named after him: Rambi Rumble, heard when he is chased by King Zing. The same music theme is no longer present in the same stage of the Game Boy Advance version of Donkey Kong Country 2, but it can still be heard by accessing the Sound Test menu.

Donkey Kong Land 2[]

Rambi is also featured in the game Donkey Kong Land 2. Because of the lack of Animal Crates in the game, Rambi is only present as a transformation by the Kongs using Animal Barrels. As opposed to Donkey Kong Land, Rambi now possesses a dedicated button to horn attacks, however the super charged attack from Donkey Kong Country 2 is missing. He can also easily dispatch all enemies from every direction, even when he is not facing them directly, making Rambi virtually invencible in the stage sections where he appears.

Donkey Kong 64[]

Rambi64

Rambi as seen in the game Donkey Kong 64 for Nintendo 64.

In the game Donkey Kong 64, he reappears and is exclusive to the two levels and can only be used when playing as Donkey Kong via an Animal Crate with Rambi's symbol on it. In Jungle Japes, the player must use him to destroy stone barriers and huts. If the player goes too far from Rambi's area, a red "no" symbol, accompanied by King K. Rool's laugh will appear and Rambi will change back into Donkey Kong.

Later on, inside Hideout Helm, Rambi must defeat eighteen Kritters while avoiding electric pylons within the time limit of thirty seconds.

Rambi is also controllable during an optional minigame called "Rambi the Rhinoceros" in the Mystery menu of the game, unlocked by the heroes collecting six Banana Fairies.

If the player waits for a few moments at the main menu screen of the game, Rambi can be seen running and pursuing some Gnawties between the two edges of the screen behind Donkey Kong.

Donkey Kong Barrel Blast[]

Rambi is only found during a short section of the race track Mt. Dynamite in the game Donkey Kong Barrel Blast. Here, the Kongs and Kremlings can ride him via freeing him from an Animal Crate. He will then proceed to smash any obstacles in his path, similar to Enguarde the Swordfish.

Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D[]

Rambi makes his return in the games Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D being the only ridable Animal Buddy. He is found in a large Animal Crate that requires a ground-pound to break open. Rambi is known to be very destructive and helpful, he can smash down blocks with his symbol on them and can charge through hordes of enemies and even break wooden spikes. His known weakness is fire. His first appearance is the third level, Tree Top Bop, being optional in order to clear it. However, Rambi must be used in other levels, such Temple Topple and Smokey Peak, where there are stone barries on the way of the Kongs. Fortunately, many crates are spread inside both levels, usually near Tutorial Pig's checkpoints so the player can ride Rambi once again after being defeated. When Diddy Kong is also present or riding alone on Rambi he can use his jetpack to make the Animal Buddy hover briefly in the air. However, the hover time is ever shorter than normal because of Rambi's weight.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze[]

Rambi is again a ridable Animal Buddy in the game Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, behaving very closely to the two previous games. Similar to how Diddy Kong could carry Rambi along when hovering with his jetpack, Dixie Kong can also take him when executing her aerial boost before dropping down again. Cranky Kong can also use his Cane Bounce attack when riding Rambi, however, both Dixie's and Cranky's moves are less effective when riding the rhinoceros.

Other[]

Donkey Kong in: Banana Day 24[]

In the Club Nintendo comic "Donkey Kong in: Banana Day 24", Donkey Kong rides Rambi to reach an airport.

Mario Kart DS[]

In Mario Kart DS, Donkey Kong's first car is called Rambi Rider. The vehicle is a kart with a Rambi head in front and wooden-box sitting area in the back. The kart has moderate speed and poor handling and acceleration, however, the drift and item quality are quite high.

Super Smash Bros. series[]

BrawlTrophyRambi

Rambi's trophy as seen in the game Super Smash Bros. Brawl for Wii.

Rambi cameos as a collectible trophy and sticker in the game Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

  • Sticker information: "Donkey Kong Country [Arm] Attack +13 All"
  • Trophy description: "A rhino friend who appears to help the Kongs in their adventures... from a wooden box, even! His destructive power lets his rider plow through enemies and super-dash to break through walls and other obstacles. Know what that means? It means uncovering more hidden bananas and life balloons!"

In the game Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Rambi is featured as a spirit.

Stages[]

Donkey Kong Country[]

Donkey Kong Land[]

Donkey Kong Country 2[]

Donkey Kong Land 2[]

Donkey Kong 64[]

Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D[]

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze[]

Gallery[]

Artwork[]

Screenshots[]

Sprites[]

Trivia[]

  • In the games Donkey Kong Country and Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, if the player releases Rambi from an Animal Crate, does not mount him and waits for a few seconds, he will eventually stare at the screen and humorously show his tongue, panting like a dog (he even wags his tail).
    • In the games Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Rambi will catch his breath for a few moments after being dismounted by the heroes. Similar animation is missing in the game Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D.
  • The sound of Rambi attacking in the original SNES version of Donkey Kong Country is shared with K. Rool when he gets back up after the first phrase of the final battle.
  • Curiously, when Rambi is harmed in the original Super NES versions of the games Donkey Kong Country and Donkey Kong Country 2, he will use the same sound effect of most of the Kremling enemies (including K. Rool in the former) when they are defeated.[1]
  • Rambi did not reappear in the games Donkey Kong Country 3 and Donkey Kong Land III. Instead, he has been replaced by Ellie the Elephant.
  • The instrument of Rambi's music theme in the game Donkey Kong 64 is a trombone, which is also Lanky Kong's instrument.
  • The sounds of Rambi in Donkey Kong 64 are actually stock sound effects of a gorilla breathing (when he jumps or attacks) and a hippopotamus vocalizing (when he charges) from Hanna-Barbera Sound Effects Library. When Donkey Kong transforms into him, the roar of King Kong can also be heard.
    • While real-world rhinoceroses can make low-frequency calls similar to hippos, they also make high-pitched squealing sounds much like a dog or elephant when in pain or distress.
  • Rambi was going to appear as an item in the canceled racing game Diddy Kong Pilot. It would allowed the player to become invincible temporarily and harm opponents when touched.
  • Multiple Rambis were going to appear in the canceled game Donkey Kong Racing as rideable creatures. They come in various colors and sizes. Taj the Genie can also be seen riding a Rambi in the trailer for the game.[2]

References[]

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