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WarningThis page contains theoretical information based on the research and speculation of one or several other users. It has not been officially verified by Nintendo and its factual accuracy can be disputed.

The Great Ape War was a war between the Kongs (aka the Primate Alliance) and the Kremlings (aka the Kroc-Army) alluded to in various Donkey Kong games. It's thought to have taken place sometime between the classic arcade game Donkey Kong 3 and Donkey Kong Country, however it's never directly spoken of.

Kongs

Funky Kong

Funky Kong

Funky pictured in his Donkey Kong 64 army attire.

Funky Kong was known as the "Brown Baron" for being the greatest pilot in the war, though he lost his tail after General Klump shot him down during a dog fight. This is why many people believe Funky Kong is an ape, but he is actually half monkey, half ape due to dominate genes from Donkey Kong Jr., his father, and recessive genes from an unknown female monkey for a mother.
Biplane Barrel JC

Biplane Barrel

After the war, he tried to live a more peaceful life, possibly turning to Buddhism, though he repaired his Biplane Barrel to help his friends with transportation and owns a Rental Shop. In Donkey Kong 64, Funky began selling weapons to the rest of the Kong Family as the Kremling menace became a greater threat.

Cranky Kong

Before war, Cranky was in New Donk City causing trouble with his owner Mario, Pauline and Stanley when he was younger. Giving up villainy after his loss against Stanley the Bugman shattered his hopes and dreams, Cranky still looking for adventures explored an entire mainland for 5 hours and 15 minutes[1]. The war started when Cranky explored Crocodile Isle and learned all of it's secrets[2], on the day that K. Rool inaugurated his reign on Crocodile Isle.

During The War, he was the main Commander and Lead Organizer of the Ape Alliance. The Great Ape War is likely (specifically fighting General Krusha in a long drawn out fight) what took the biggest toll on his health, giving him a hunchback and requiring a cane to walk. It is assumed that Cranky was still in top shape during The War, as he brought it to an end for some time after defeating General Krusha in a final battle. When Klump and Krusha invaded Donkey Kong Island establishing a factory, Cranky trusted his grandson to protect their treasured and magical bananas at treehouse because of his old age.
Fedora Kong

A dropped unnamed Kong character from Donkey Kong Land, who appeared in volume #69 of Nintendo Power.

Donkey Kong Jr.

Donkey Kong Jr. likely fought in The War in order to keep his son (the new Donkey Kong) and family safe. His wife was either killed or went missing. It is thought that his disappearance in the games prior to Donkey Kong Country is linked to the war. It's unknown if DK Jr. survived the war or simply disappeared.

Fans speculate that the fedora wearing Kong is a disguised DK Jr. due to the fedora symbolizing fatherhood. He has a similar appearance to Donkey Kong. His pose is similar to Donkey Kong Jr.'s default/forward facing sprite's pose from Donkey Kong Jr.

Kremlings

Klump Show

A Klump from the DKC TV Series (wears military equipment that was likely left behind by humans).

General Klump

General Klump is K. Rool's loyal right-hand, general of the Kroc-Army,[3] and lead pilot during The War when Kremling Krew became a pirate crew for paramilitary force. Klump was chief of Kremkroc Industries, Inc. leading an amount of Kritters, resulting in deforesting a part from Donkey Kong Island.

Krusha

KrushaGBA

Krusha artwork from Donkey Kong Country (GBA) (wears military equipment that was likely left behind by humans).

Krusha is K. Rool's personal bodyguard and Klump's recruit in the Kroc-Army, which contrasted greatly with his low intelligence. He would often be sent on reconnaissance mission to retrieve the Banana Hoard from the Primate Alliance along with his colleagues. He had a long drawn out fight with Cranky Kong (when he was still in top shape), but was eventually defeated.

Kommander K. Rool

Kaptain K Rool

Kaptain K. Rool

In the days before The War, formerly K. Rool was a pirate mate of a galleon wrecked in Krem Quay[4] of the inaugurate Kremling Krew (and during The War was a high-ranking General/Commander). K. Rool is responsible for ordering both Generals Klump and Krusha on various missions which almost always failed. K. Rool owns many pieces of Technology such as The Flying Krock, KAOS, and the Blast-O-Matic.

K. Rool isn't actually a King, it's simply a role he likes to role-play as because it makes him feel powerful. It's possible that his gold crown & double gold bracelets are part of stolen valuables in chests. Fans have speculated that K. Rool may have multiple personality disorder, evident with his many disguises and blood shot eyes as well as hatred towards the Kongs and constantly attempting to steal their magical Banana Hoard to starve them to death despite K. Rool himself hating Bananas as revealed in DK: Jungle Climber. In Donkey Kong Country during the "Fake Credits" part of the King K. Rool fight, he is referred to as "Kommander K. Rool".

Mr. X

Mr. X

Mr. X

It's possible Mr. X (a beta character that appears to be a Military Leader/Top Commander) may have been the one of Kremling Kuthroats leaders and appears in Haunted Hall in Gloomy Gulch. During the The War he was assassinated and becomes an undead ghost skeleton known as Kackle.

Internal-Army conflicts

MankyKongImage

Manky Kong artwork from Donkey Kong Country (SNES).

Manky Kong Betrayal

When the future was looking bleak for the Primate Alliance, certain groups started questioning whether the war could truly be won. One specific group, the Manky Kongs, began to prioritize the survival of their kind alone, resulting in a rebellion against the Primate Alliance and joining the Unknown Enemy/Kremlings, the Mankys may have assisted the Kremlings in attempting to steal the Banana Hoard. The Alliance did not forgive them for this and the Manky race remained Kong Family Rejects throughout history. While uncertain, it is speculated something similar may have happened with the Minkeys.

It is unknown how Lanky Kong, being a reject orangutan, was accepted into the Kong Family later on. It's possible that he was too young to understand or be involved in the betrayal, or he was more close with the Kong Family.

They own an endless supply of barrels in DKC. It's speculated that they joined the Kremlings during the Kremean War and got their supplies from the industrial factories and mills.

Chained Kong and the Smithy Gang

ChainedKongSMRPG

Chained Kong, a prisoner of war.

Chained Kongs thought to be Prisoners of War after it ended for some time, they were captured and taken to the Mushroom Kingdom for safe keeping, they appear serving the Smithy Gang against their will in Super Mario RPG as slaves. The Smithy Gang's primary goal is world domination.

It's speculated that the Smithy Gang helped the Mysterious Enemy/Kremlings during The War.

Human Involvement and Technology/Alchemy

KremkrocIndustriesAdvance

Kremkroc Industries, Inc.

DKCDumbDrum

Dumb Drum

Donkey kong country tropical freeze mangrove cove by matiz1994-d8bojjr

Donkey and Diddy near the crashed WWII propeller plane in Mangrove Cove

As the Kremlings are too stupid and primitive to build Technology on their own and still stuck in the Pirate Age as everything they make is still made of wood, same with the Viking Snowmads who are also primitive (despite their relatively higher intelligence compared to the Kremlings). Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze showcase levels having fresh modern age ruins featuring bricks and mortar, clear glass windows, conveyor belts, airplane parts, and they still getting a limited source of power (including the freshly/recently crashed World War II-era cargo propeller plane having enough power to keep multiple Television screens on and running in Mangrove Cove), suggesting that in some form, The War is still continuing without the Kongs being directly involved as well as being recent events during the stories across all the games.

Humans likely had involvement on Donkey Kong Island leaving leftover supplies, advanced tech, giant metal oil factories, and a soul attached Oil Drum behind for the Kremlings to find and use (since the Kremlings themselves are not alchemists), including military equipment (such as in Krematoa), weaponry (such as KAOS), army helmets, ammo belts, and military uniforms. In Trunk Twister there are plenty of crashed propeller planes even some that are either still on fire or partially running suggesting that these are very recent events.

Mario's Bombs Away

Super Mario Bombs Away

Mario's Bombs Away released for the Game & Watch

Mario Bombs Away

Mario's Bombs Away Official Description

Mario appears as an army soldier fighting in a war, his military mission involves delivering explosives to his troops so they will use them to defeat their enemies.

Since Veteran Mario and his comrades wear a certain style of soldier uniform, and their battle takes place in the jungle, it is thought that the war the game takes place in is The Vietnam War.

Bazooka Bear and the Kremean War

BazookaBear

Bazooka Bear

Bazooka Bear is a veteran of the Kremean War, and now still lives in a barracks stationed in Mekanos.

It is unknown exactly how Bazooka's army was connected to the Great Ape War and what happened to the rest of his squad. In Donkey Kong Country 3, Bazooka tells the Kongs "We were trapped on a clifftop surrounded by... Oh, sorry."

The name Kremean War is a pun on the real-life Crimean War that Russia was a part of and Bears (like the Brothers Bear) are the national animal of Russia. It's speculated that the Kremlings (who supposedly parallel Russia) were involved in the Kremean War against Bazooka's army. The Crimean War is cited as being the first "modern war", which in terms of the Kremean War adds to its significance in DK's world, suggesting that the Kremlings, Kongs, and Bears, have collided before.

Like "Kremean", the names Northern Kremisphere, Kremwood Forest, K3, and Krematoa all allude to the Kremlings, these locations were possibly named by them during it's colonization. "Krematoa" was possibly the Kremling military's primary military base in the region, as well as their base of operations, which, either they sunk following the Kremean War to destroy evidence, or, a natural event caused its sinking (which possibly hurt their war effort).

Although "Kremisphere" is a pun on hemisphere, it might not have anything to do with a physical sphere, but rather the Kremling's sphere of influence. It's possible the "Kremisphere" was initially a political term coined by the Kremlings to describe their own territory, and over the course of time has been used to describe "the territory they think they rightfully own even though they don't anymore".

K3 name is a pun on K2, which in real-life is the world's second tallest peak (after Mt. Everest). However K3 (in-universe) isn't the third highest peak in the world, unless it's meant to be the third highest peak in the Kremisphere.

Additional Info

  • Most of the known/playable Kongs are children (Diddy, Dixie, Kiddy, Tiny, Lanky, and Chunky (Kongs like DK, Funky, Swanky, and Candy are relatively young adults)) than there are adult/parental Kongs. It could be that many of the adult/parental Kongs went to fight in The War.
  • In Donkey Kong Country 2, K. Rool refers to DK as "the big monkey" and DK's younger self from Yoshi's Island DS does indeed have a tail. Funky has called himself a monkey at least twice such as in Donkey Kong Country 2 and Donkey Kong 64.
  • It's very possible Donkey Kong Jr. (Fedora Kong) could have survived as he appears as a cameo at the end of the Aqueduct Assault level in the background in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze inside a Wii U GamePad held high by the original Donkey Kong. His fedora symbolizes fatherhood and serves as part of his disguise.
  • It is unknown what happened to Donkey Kong Jr.'s wife. It is speculated that she was either killed or she went missing during The War.
  • The Kremean War within the context of DK's world could be parallel to the real life Crimean War in terms of it's events and structure, and akin to World War 1 in terms of after effects.
    • The Kremlings' occupation of the Brothers Bear's (now current) territory had to have happened at some point in the past, but not as far back as the occupation of DK Island (as there are no Kremling ruins). However, the occupation ended at some point (presumably to Bear independence), and the Kremlings left but bitterly consider it rightfully theirs. Fast forward to slightly before the Kremean War, and at this point, private Kremling companies start building mills and factories in the Bear's land, much to the chagrin of the Bears (and the Kongs, who were anti-Kremling). Tensions rose, and the Kremlings began installing troops "for security of their economic interests", and eventually in a massive territory grab took over most of the place, starting the Kremean War. The Bears (in alliance with the Kongs, which aided in troops and resources) ran a guerrilla warfare campaign, even taking to using the Kremlings pipelines to sneak troops around.
      • Following the war, the allied forces (Kongs, Bears, and possibly others) put severe restrictions on the Kremlings economically and militarily, causing a decline in the empire and their overall quality of living. These conditions eventually lead to the rise of K. Rool's regime, and the invasion of DK Island in DKC (see: Aftermath of World War I; Causes of World War II).
  • The DKC trilogy could have referenced the Banana Wars (in which the militarized occupying force of the United States sought to subject tropical countries and exploit them for its own enrichment. Sounds a little like the Kremlings, an industrialized belligerent group of conquerors who invade Donkey Kong Island to steal the Kongs’ prized and magical bananas, leaving them starved to death).
    • It's speculated by fans that K. Rool either represents North America or works for them, aside from similarities to common real-world grievances, it also has small references to World War II, Bay of Pigs Invasion, and the Dominican Civil War such as the crashed World War II-era Cargo Propeller Plane (as Jets were not used yet, and all of those are wars in which America involved themselves in) found at the start of Mangrove Cove that Donkey Kong and his pals destroy upon arriving (it still has enough energy to keep multiple TV screens on).
      • In Donkey Kong Country during the "Fake Credits" part of the King K. Rool fight, he is referred to as "Kommander K. Rool".
    • Wrinkly Kong confirmed that at Kong Kollege the only thing the Kremlings wanted to learn was how to defeat the Kongs[6][7].
  • The Kremlings have met the Kongs, being well aware of each other and had conflicts with them prior to Donkey Kong Country since Donkey Kong is constantly guarding his bananas every night, as well as thievery the Kremlings have shown when they robbed Donkey's Kong's magical Banana Hoard to starve the Kongs to death and kidnap Kong Family members.
  • Cranky and K. Rool used to be friends (in Donkey Kong Land, after Cranky and DK made their bet, Cranky calls K. Rool to steal Donkey Kong's bananas again).
  • In Donkey Kong Country 2 Wrinkly reveals that Cranky explored Crocodile Isle and learned all of it's secrets.
  • As the Kremlings such as Kritter, Klump, and Krusha are only partially equipped for the military, and K. Rool owning great Technology like the Flying Krock, it's likely that the humans left Donkey Kong Island leaving the Kremlings only with their scraps/leftovers, fully militarily clothed Kremlings are more spread out, and most Kremlings have a body type very different from human men and women.

Video

DK Theory- The Great Ape War - Gnoggin X Treesicle

DK Theory- The Great Ape War - Gnoggin X Treesicle

References

  1. Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! Player's Guide, Nintendo, 1996, p. 4
  2. Wrinkly's words: "Have you been to see my husband Cranky? He complains a little, but he does know everything about this island." - Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest
  3. Story Intro: "Klump waddled over and put a consoling arm around his distraught leader." - Donkey Kong 64 Instruction Booklet, Nintendo, 1999, p. 5
  4. About Krem Quay: "K. Rool proves he's a pirate and no a sailor with yet another wrecked ship. Be careful or you'll get sunk in this swamp along with it!" - Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest Player's Guide, Nintendo, 1995, p. 20
  5. Wrinkly's words: "When you see Kaptain K. Rool, can you ask him if he has done his homework?" - Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest
  6. Wrinkly's words: "Those naughty crocodiles! All they want to learn is how to fight and squash monkeys, Tsk!" - Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest
  7. Wrinkly's words: "I hope you're better behaved than those reptiles. Why, I even caught one sharpening his sword in class yesterday!" - Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest