Donkey Kong Country
The North American boxart for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System version of Donkey Kong Country.
Developer Rareware
Publisher Nintendo
Release dates SNES
November 26, 1994 (JP)
November 25, 1994 (NA)
November 24, 1994 (EU)
Game Boy Color
January 21, 2001 (JP)
November 4, 2000 (NA)
November 17, 2000 (EU)
Game Boy Advance
December 12, 2003 (JP)
June 9, 2003 (NA)
June 6, 2003 (EU)
Virtual Console
December 12, 2006 (JP)
February 19, 2007 (NA)
December 8, 2006 (EU)
Genre 2D Platformer
Modes Single player, Multiplayer
Platforms SNES, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Virtual Console
Media 128 MB cartridge

Donkey Kong Country is a game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System made by Rareware, and was released in 1994. The game is known for being the first game to use pre-rendered sprites, creating a 3D effect throughout the game. This was also the game that made Rare popular and a beginning a legacy for Donkey Kong.

The game stars Donkey Kong a character who had been out of the spotlight since his last starring role in Donkey Kong 3. In this game, Donkey Kong is a hero, as opposed to the antagonist as he was viewed in the classic arcade Donkey Kong game. This time, his enemy isn't Mario, but King K. Rool and his Kremling Krew, who have stolen his precious Banana Hoard from his home, Donkey Kong Island. With the help of his nephew and friend, Diddy Kong, Donkey must chase K. Rool to his ship, the Gangplank Galleon, and get back his Bananas.

The game also pays tribute to the arcade games in some areas: the concept of DK using Barrels as weapons, Oil Drums which burn and produce enemies, elevator platforms (seen in the level 'Elevator Antics'), and the new character, Cranky Kong, DK's father, is said to be the original DK from the arcade games, while the DK in this game is his son, most likely Donkey Kong Jr.

The game has two direct sequels; Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, and Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble, as well as a pseudo-sequel for Nintendo's Game Boy, Donkey Kong Land.

Two remakes of the game have been released. The first one came out for Game Boy Color in 2000, and sported new features such as mini-games, Game Boy Printer compatibility, and an additional level, Necky's Nutmare. However, this version has been watered down graphically to run on the Game Boy Color. In 2003, a Game Boy Advance remake was released, this one truer to the original version, but with extra features, such as a Diddy-only mode and new mini-games.


The game played much like typical platforming games of the day. One noticeable difference was the inclusion of two characters: Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong. Each Kong could take a hit, and once both were gone, a life was lost. The two had different abilities and strengths; Donkey could slap the ground and unveil secrets, as well as defeat stronger enemies, while Diddy was faster and more athletic. The player could switch between them via a "tag" that would be reused throughout the series. Donkey is best used in Caves, because there are stronger enemies in caves (according to the manual). Diddy is best for "acrobatic" levels.

There were six worlds: Kongo Jungle, Monkey Mines, Vine Valley, Gorilla Glacier, Kremkroc Industries, Inc., and Chimp Caverns (as well as one final level, Gangplank Galleon). Due to the game's graphical abilities, the levels could look quite different from each other, with one being a snowstorm-ridden mountain, and another being a dangerous factory. The Kongs' goal was to get to the end of the level, while collecting bananas (100 would give an extra life), Extra Life Balloons, or Animal Tokens, which would send them to an Animal Buddy themed bonus level. As with Mario, they could beat typical enemies simply by jumping on them. The Kongs can also throw barrels at them, slap the ground to turn enemies into a banana or roll to knock them out. There were normal barrels, partner or DK Barrels (which had a missing partner inside), Steel Kegs which could bounce off walls and be ridden on and TNT Barrels which destroy enemies with a powerful explosion. A prevalent part of the game were barrel cannon courses, where the player had to navigate the Kongs through cannon-like blast barrels.

In this game, five Animal Buddies helped the Kongs:

  • Rambi the Rhinoceros: A powerful Animal Buddy who could charge enemies and destroy hidden walls.
  • Expresso the Ostrich: An Animal Buddy who could "glide" by attempting to fly and run very fast, but could not jump on enemies.
  • Enguarde the Swordfish: An Animal Buddy (obviously only in water areas) who could charge and skewer enemies with his bill.
  • Winky the Frog: A powerful Animal Buddy who could jump very high, and defeat Zingers and other enemies the Kongs cannot touch by jumping on them.
  • Squawks the Parrot: An Animal Buddy who only appeared in Torchlight Trouble and could not be ridden. He held a lantern so the Kongs could get through the pitch-black level.

Also helping them were other Kongs. Cranky Kong (a Kong in his '80s), Donkey's grumpy grandfather, would offer advice amidst his ranting about the glory days of video gaming. (It was revealed in the instruction manual that Cranky Kong is actually the original, arcade, DK who fought against Mario) Funky Kong, a "surfer dude" and Donkey's big brother figure offered the Kongs a ride in his Jet Barrel, allowing them to revisit worlds. Candy Kong, Donkey Kong's girlfriend, offered a Save Barrel that allowed the player to save their progress and view their statistics.

Hidden among the levels were "bonus levels". They could be in hidden barrels or behind weak walls. Some bonus levels were free-range, allowing a player to collect bananas or other items, but most were mini-games and offered a prize if won. Finding all the bonus levels changed the ending of the game very slightly.


In this game, Donkey Kong has to recover his stolen hoard of bananas from King K. Rool and the rest of the Kremling Krew. His Banana Hoard was located in a cave underneath his house. Fortunately, he has the special help of his nephew and best buddy, Diddy Kong a Donkey Kong wannabe. Grandpa Cranky Kong lends some advice along the way. Funky and Candy also lend a hand. It was also the first time Donkey Kong's home environment, Donkey Kong Island, was established.






Kongo Jungle

Monkey Mines

Vine Valley

Gorilla Glacier

Kremkroc Industries, Inc.

Chimp Caverns

Differences from original

Game Boy Color

Another port was released for the Game Boy Color in 2000. The changes are listed below:

Game Boy Advance

Another port was released to the Game Boy Advance in 2003. Notable differences:

  • Saving is possible anytime on the world map, opposing the fact that saving is only possible at the save point in the SNES version.
  • A prologue explaining the purpose of DK's quest is played prior to the start of the game, as well as an epilogue.
  • The Nintendo label on the giant bananas has been removed, and Cranky gives commentary after a boss is defeated.
  • The graphics and overall sound quality have been reduced. Some enemies have tweaked, usually higher pitched effects.
  • Cranky's Cabin has been redesigned to take place indoors and is renamed to "Cranky's Hut".
  • A multiplayer mode is possible, but on the GameCube either player can play as Donkey or Diddy.
  • On the overhead map, a menu was added. In it, Funky can be summoned anytime on the map screen, get access to a scrapbook, save the game and view level stats.
  • Enemies come in more colours.
  • The menu is redesigned with a new mode called DK Attack, and an Extras feature containing Candy's Dance Studio and Funky's Fishing is all added to the menu.
  • More sound effects have been added, along with some returning from Donkey Kong 64.
  • The boss battles have slightly changed. Examples include stuff such as Queen B. now having three Zingers around her after an attack, Really Gnawty makes stalagmites fall from the ceiling, Dumb Drum must have a few TNT Barrels thrown at him to be defeated, and Master Necky helps Master Necky Snr. fight Donkey and Diddy.
  • The world map has been redesigned in worlds and the map is zoomed in more.
  • The barrels that send the Kongs to Bonus Levels are replaced by Bonus Barrels.
  • Starting from Vine Valley, levels have been swapped around.
  • The credits now take place in Gangplank Galleon rather than DK's Treehouse.
  • A Video Game Hero mode has been added where the player plays as a yellow Diddy to complete all levels without Star Barrels and DK Barrels.
  • Candy hosts a dancing game at Candy's Dance Studio.
  • Some Warp Barrels such as the one in Vulture Culture has been eliminated from the game.


Main article: Donkey Kong Country/gallery


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