[[caption-width-right:256:And the [[foldercontrol]]
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font makes it a thousand times worse.]]
%% The page image is a notorious example: if you really must change it, remember to update the entries referencing it as "see above" or "see the page image" among the ones below. %%
Being a series from Nintendo, VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry sure as hell doesn't lack the others' mood-swings from [[SugarBowl cheery and childish]] to [[NightmareFuel genuinely frightening]]. Enjoy - FromACertainPointOfView - Rare's use of the hardware capacities.
[[folder: In order for Nightmare Fuel tabs to survive, a new writing style is going to be used, nicknamed '''Example Lobotomy'''. Basic rules: just list facts as they are, don't just say "character X" or "the X scene" (such Administrivia/zero context examples will be zapped), spoiler policy to be determined on a case-by-case basis, italics to be applied to works' names only and not to give emphasis on what tropers say. "X scared me" is already implied by the mere addition of that example by the troper. ]]
[[folder:Examples for Donkey Kong Country 1-3]]
* The ''Donkey Kong Country'' games had shockingly depressing Game Over screens. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-U5e9LR6E4 The first one]] shows DK and Diddy horribly beaten down in a dark void, with a morbid font and depressing music playing (as you can see from the page image), [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAPxbnL4a7E the second one]] shows Diddy and Dixie locked up while depressing music plays and the GameOver message hovers down to taunt you (with the whole screen slowly turning blood red), and finally, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3-6g7p56lQ&feature=related the third one,]] shows Kiddy and Dixie in a baby crib, while a [[IronicNurseryTune creepy Music Box plays depressing music]] (ButtonMashing allows you to play along) until [[LastNoteNightmare you hear someone slam a door]].
** Oh and to make things worse? The first game's game over screen DOESN'T GO AWAY until you press a button on your controller. Even when the music ends, it will stay there to haunt you forever [[spoiler: until you mash the "A" button so that you can be relieved to see the opening again.]]
** The game over screen from the [=GBC=] version [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1YPcRhZLGs can be even worse.]]
*** As if the image wasn't enough, the music was changed to a [[DarkReprise quite depressing version of the Jungle Hijinx theme]].
** As if the game over screens weren't horrifying enough, this [[FearlessFool man with no fear at all]] decided to multiply the Nightmares by adding the G-Major effect to the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97Ig1I7hBh0 first game]], the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpPYBXpqtAE second game]], the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3eVVvkmgrk third game]], and the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1K3EUfNbsf0 first game on the Game Boy Color]].
** The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85zufbN_qBI death music]] from the second game is pretty scary, too. In fact, the LastNoteNightmare for the death against the final boss was so scary, it was DummiedOut.
** The Game Over screen in the second game is deliberately ambiguous, depending on your interpretation of the fade-to-red: it either represents the young kongs being simply screwed, or [[FridgeHorror implies their "prison" is actually an oven.]]
** ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountryReturns'' continues the tradition. This time, Donkey and Diddy land in a spotlight amid pitch darkness, first expressing frustration, then hanging their heads in shame. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUq0zOwaN_s The music]] is the same as in the original game, except it's followed immediately by dark ambience similar to a tribal funeral march.
* Can't forget King K. Rool in ''Donkey Kong Country'' where after you "beat him", [[spoiler: he summons fake credits and then he gets back up to fight once more]], relying a lot on the element of surprise.
** K. Rool worsens by the end of [=DKC2=], where he is actually shown beating DK and shooting him with his gun; he also shoots gas from his gun which either freeze, slow down, or reverse the control of your characters.
* ''Donkey Kong Land III'' - after beating the game with the normal ending (but not yet getting OneHundredPercentCompletion) attempting to enter the Lost World will result in suddenly being hit with the "You Need However Many Coins To Enter" screen, which is a digitized render of Baron K. Roolenstein against a black background while the [[SoundtrackDissonance super-happy credits music]] plays.
* [=DKC1=]'s [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0GhpHKOBEw cave music]] can make several kids want to get cave stages over with soon. Specifically, before the music hits the 1:38 mark.
** That's nothing compared to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRg69vtX3FA Misty Menace]] and its [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyMoO0SesGk invincible zombie Kremlings]].
** The "Stop & Go Station" stage from [=DKC1=] and "Haunted Hall" from [=DKC2=], essentially acting as Nintendo's response to the [[AnimationAgeGhetto Kiddy Gaming Age Ghetto]], especially "Haunted Hall", the Kackle enemy found inside it, and its EvilLaugh. As for "Stop & Go Station", [[ItMakesSenseInContext did you ever crap your pants after seeing a green light?]]
** Let's not forget [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuF1hvF3A6c Ship Hold]] from DKC 2.
* In the level "Rambi Rumble" in Donkey Kong Country 2, you were transformed into Rambi the rhino and had to make your way through a level inside a Zingers' nest. Near the end of the level, you had to jump over a [[InvincibleMinorMinion red Zinger]] and fall down a short tunnel. The second your feet hit the ground, the music switched from the mellow "I'm in a Zinger nest" [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0v2WJi6RHj4&feature=related music]] to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXv2y5vrLBI&NR=1 "Run, Rambi, Run!"]] and King Zing (who was a giant, currently invincible Zinger) slowly bears down on you while you have to run away.
** Zingers in general can do it if you're horrified of bees and wasps. They aren't just your normal wasps/bees, though. They're covered in spikes, and have to be killed with either an animal helper or some kind of object ... as long as they're yellow zingers. The red zingers are ''completely invincible!'' This can spell doom for you in a lot of situations.
** In the Zinger hive stages, you can see baby Zingers sitting in the honeycombs. You are also killing Zingers. These babies are watching you kill their families.
* Thorn-fearing kids had a lot of trouble with the bramble stages, that are literally covered in them; anyone else should fear the PlatformHell.
* ''[=DKC3=]'' features the "Ripsaw Rage" stage, a forest stage involving a giant ripsaw ''cutting through the level'' with creepy music (save for the GBA verion, where the soundtrack is replaced with lighter and softer tone) playing.
** [[SoundtrackDissonance Soundtrack Dissonance]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEoeYxWwDlg at its best.]]
* The factory stages in ''[=DKC=]'', especially the TropeNamer for BlackoutBasement: as per the trope, you can ''barely'' see what you're doing in there.
* You don't need to be an environmentalist to be afraid of a [[http://www.mariowiki.com/wiki/Dumb_Drum sentient toxic waste drum]] with glowing red eyes. Especially when it tries to ''crush you to death''.
* ''[=DKC2=]'' and ''[=DKL2=]'' have a castle with acid [[RiseToTheChallenge rising up to kill players]], aptly named "Toxic Tower".
* Any stage with "Hot Pursuit" playing in ''[=DKC3=]''. Everybody remembers them as the sled stages where touching ''anything'' means death.
* In the [=GBA=] remake of [=DKC2=], Rare fans may notice that when Kloak dies, he makes the same laugh as Baron Samadi from ''VideoGame/GoldenEye1997''.
* [=DKC=] example: "Millstone Mayhem" has evil Gnawties in giant stone wheels trying to run you over, with lonely-sounding ominous music playing, and the sound of [[HellIsThatNoise the millstones' clacking]].
** In Temple Tempest, said millstones actually ''chase players''.
** Even worse: if, on the off chance that you manage to find a "safe spot" out of the way of the millstones or jump over them, they will ''freeze'' and wait for you to start moving forward again.
* Kerozene in the remake of [=DKC2=]: you arrive in Stronghold Showdown expecting to simply walk out like the original, only to find a new boss named Kerozene, who is ThatOneBoss to those not expecting it.
* The really bad pirated [=NES=] [=DKC2=] which featured the game over screen from the SNES version for an ending.
* K.Rool Duel: the final boss (well, the first final boss, anyway). For starters, the overmap of the final world is an enormous HellishCopter made to look like a crocodile (it is aptly called The Flying Kroc). Second, when you go to face him for the first time, he's [[ColdBloodedTorture torturing a tied-up Donkey Kong by pelting him with cannonballs.]] Additionally, K. Rool is now wearing pirate gear (including a [[BadassLongcoat red overcoat]]), which actually makes him look badass and menacing. Then, there's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9_RnUZf9n4 the music]] and the lack of death music, given that, as mentioned, the original death music was likely cut for being too scary due to its LastNoteNightmare (hear it [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85zufbN_qBI#t=1m48sec here]], if you dare).
* ''[=DKC=] 2'' also has Kleever, a living sword wielded by a creepy red hand coming out of the lava. When hit three times, Kleever slowly falls down, only to rise back up again with nothing gripping its hilt shortly afterwards. Ever wanted to meet whoever could withstand drowning in lava while wielding a 10 foot tall sword? In the GBA port you fight Kerozene, who summons several Kleevers and breathes tons of fire.
* Krow, the first boss of ''[=DKC2=]'', is sacrificing his own young in the fight, as he uses his eggs to attack you; [[TennisBoss the same ammo must be used against him.]] The later boss fight with Kreepy Krow implies the ghost birds are the souls of the ones died as eggs in the first fight.
* ''[=DKC3=]'''s [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2IXKsYHGJ0 underwater music]] (already pretty creepy) becomes more jarring in the level Floodlit Fish. When you hit Gleamin' Bream, a creepy gothic moaning accompanies the music.
* In ''[=DKC=] 2'', there's a set of Kremling enemies called Klobbers that dash at you in barrels bumping into you:
** The green ones bump you around, not even damaging you, and can even be jumped on to be thrown as weapons.
** Yellow ones cause you to drop bananas when they bump into you, more annoying and a bit startling at first, but if you don't pick them back up it isn't a huge loss.
** Red ones in TNT barrels (called Kabooms) are a bit annoying, blowing up on contact.
** The rare black Klobbers are the worst: they do the same thing as the yellow ones do...oh, except instead of making you drop bananas, you drop ''lives''. Not even K. Rool can do more than make you lose one life at a time. It's even possible to go below ''zero lives'' with the black Klobbers.
* The [[http://www.mariowiki.com/images/e/e6/Bananabird.jpg official artwork]] of Banana Birds.
* In Donkey Kong Country 2, they give you Lockjaw and Snapjaw. If you get too close to Lockjaw, it swims really fast towards you and tries to bite you. However, Snapjaw ''follows you'' on the surface of the water, and if you so much as put one toe in it's jaw grows three times in size and it bites you.
* [=DKC2=]'s [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1D95R9h7Jqw infamous Castle Crush glitch:]] a GameBreakingBug that can also wipe save files. Thankfully the glitch no longer destroys the game in the VirtualConsole re-release.
* While DummiedOut, [=DKC2=] was originally supposed to have sprites for [[http://www.unseen64.net/wp-content/gallery/donkey-kong-country-2/dkc2_unused_diddy.png Diddy]] [[http://www.unseen64.net/wp-content/gallery/donkey-kong-country-2/dkc2_unused_dixie.png and Dixie]] mourning.
** It may have been a losing stance for when a bonus challenge was lost, so [=Subverted=] to a degree.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhZVYuLUc7A Screech's Sprint.]] A horrifying crow-thing whose race, if lost, costs players a life[[note]]A possible [[FranchiseOriginalSin Company Original Sin]] for Nintendo, as this nonsensical cause of death later pops up in SuperMarioSunshine, SuperMarioGalaxy and SuperMarioGalaxy2.[[/note]], and also the accompanying music has a spooky moaning noise. It is also another [[SpikesOfDoom bramble]] level, thankfully the final one in the game.
* Pretty much all of ''[=DKC2=]'' was much DarkerAndEdgier than the original. ''DKC'' was colorful and upbeat with (mostly) pleasant ambient music, while in the sequel you're all alone in a completely hostile environment where everything is against you, and the music is (with one or two exceptions) wistful at best, flat-out depressing at worst. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]], however: the first game was set in the Donkey Kong Island, the second in the Kremlings' native country.
* The aforementioned "game over" screens were also used as error screens, which doubled as the anti-piracy screens: in some SNES games, a screen would show if the cartridge detected some kind of anti-piracy measure. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epENwYY4pB8 DKC 2]] simply showed you the screen with a message (deliberately interrupting your game near the end and wiping your save data, no less), but [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0bHrfPa7uo DKC 3]] brings the fright with A) the "Game Over" screen B) with the error/pirated device message C) while playing the game's boss music in a minor chord with the bass pounding in your head. More than anything else, it makes you feel like the game is watching you.
* ''[=DKC=] 2'' featured the truly terrifying haunted hall level - a mine cart race. Except this time, you're running FROM Kackle, the ghostly crocodile from Hell, who [[HellIsThatNoise laughs when he catches you]]. Not to mention the panicking music and the TIME LIMIT!!
* DKC 2's Glimmer's Galleon: The entire stage is underwater. It's also very dark, only illuminated by a cone of light from your animal buddy Glimmer.
* Another example of hydrophobia fuel: DKC 1's Poison Pond, in which [[GreenAesop the water also happens to be clouded by what is presumably the waste produced by the nearby Kremkrok Industries]]. Thankfully, the water turns out to be harmless and the Kongs' SuperNotDrowningSkills are still in effect, but the whiteness of the water is still quite unsettling.
* The Game Boy Advance port of DKC 3 adds a new boss to Razor Ridge, the Kroctopus. It's supposed to be a play on "[[XtremeKoolLetterz K]]rockodile" and "Octopus", but instead it's blob-like entity with appendages that lives in green water and has [[OffModel an art style that clashes against the rest of the game's visuals]] and goes straight into UncannyValley.
* Barbos from DKC 3 is a giant sea urchin, fought in an underwater coral area with a menacing red color scheme.
[[folder:Examples from Diddy Kong Racing]]
* While DiddyKongRacing seems to have a lighthearted feel, it (like any other great game by Rare and Nintendo) still wasn't free of things that frightened many young gaming children back in the day: one example is when you collect all the pieces of the Wizpig Amulet the next time you go into the main hub (after leaving one of the mini hubs on the last of the four worlds you earned it on or if you quit the game and get back on after having earned the last part of it) the statue of him lets out an EvilLaugh and then fades away. It can be seen [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZH82T3Ht4M here]].
[[folder:Examples for Donkey Kong 64]]
[[caption-width-right:350: Hi, I'm [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Mad Jack]], [[Film/ChildsPlay and I'm your friend to the end. Hidey-ho ha ha ha...]]]]
* Mad Jack from VideoGame/DonkeyKong64: a giant Jack-in-the-Box resembling a demented cyborg crocodile with DonaldDuck's voice and part of its paint job chipped off, revealing a glowing red eye. If it isn't all that scary, [[ItMakesSenseInContext it ought to be.]] What'll really get to you is his introduction: he drops out of the reject chute ([[EvenEvilHasStandards in a factory already creating "evil toys", no less]]) pops out, does the standard boo scare, then laughs snidely at you. Not only, this WakeUpCallBoss has everything: a dark room, small platforms raised to great heights, a MonsterClown CreepyDoll, and EvilLaughter every minute. In other words, every single childhood phobia in the book in one single boss.
** The DA Nintober event put Mad Jack on their list, and part of his description was: "In a toy factory [[NoOSHACompliance where health and safety are not a concern]], it takes a very special toy to end up in the reject bin...".
* K. Rool himself from [=DK64=]. The ominous music is a bonus, but the voice acting in the intro is a bit of NightmareRetardant given its similarities to Dr. Claw from InspectorGadget.
* Dogadon in Fungi Forest: after dealing a certain amount of damage to him, he starts making the platform sink, as the music gets faster and faster as the platform gets lower.
* The wind-up Kremlings from Frantic Factory are Nightmare Fuel incarnate. Everything about them is unsetting: glowing red eyes, circular walking pattern when not seeing you, squeaky noises when seeing you.
* "Creepy Castle" in Donkey Kong 64 had ''rotting hands'' as platforms. Inside the actual castle, there's a torture chamber after a dark maze and a very realistic skull-shaped portal leading to a red maze made completely out of bones.
* Creepy Castle had [[NothingIsScarier an unseen individual]] [[HellIsThatNoise moaning constantly.]]
* Angry Aztec is an eerie temple with ominous music that just makes you feel uncomfortable, and once you grab the banana at the end, a voice suddenly shouts "[[GetOut GET OUT!]]" and aims at you with some sort of gun. You then have 25 seconds to get out of there before being shot down. Said "GET OUT!" comes from an assassin who tries to kill you once you get the bananas. In certain Crystal Caves challenges and in the greenhouse in Creepy Castle, he returns if you fail a challenge and gives you only 10 seconds to escape this time.
** One Chunky Kong challenge in Crystal Caves has you avoiding lights. Hit a light, and you get killed instantly after one second!
* [[SlippySlideyIceWorld The Crystal Caves]] seem like a relatively calm place at first, it's very ambient and you're just walking around gazing at the serenity of the area until [[HellIsThatNoise a scary noise]] accompanies stalactites falling everywhere.
** [[spoiler: Good news: it's possible for Tiny Kong to locate the source of the falling stalactites. The bad news: it's a gigantic Kosha, which is about ten times her size! He still goes down normally, but YEESH!]]
* The fact that the entire Hideout Helm level was timed, considering that if time runs out, all of DK Isles gets destroyed.
* The Game Over screen (thankfully skippable, though) has the evil laughter K. Rool showing the Blast-O-Matic about to blow DK Isles up, which was pretty intense for some back when they were children, joining the ranks of BanjoKazooie in the "save and quit is not an option" territory.
* The Golden Banana where you have to swim into the giant mechanical fish. Not helped by the fact that a late-game glitch renders the banana almost impossible to obtain after getting the Sniper Scope if you don't know how to circumvent it.
* Anytime you asked Wrinkly - Cranky's dead wife - for hints, she would always enter with her wailing.
** Wrinkly is heavily implied to have died between Donkey Kong Country 3 and [=DK64=].
** The constant crying of the Banana Fairy is unnerving as well.
* The EvilLaughter that occurs throughout the game is nerve-wracking, especially when you least expect it, like when using a barrel ability or an animal pal ability where it's not allowed.
* The Green Klap Traps in Angry Aztec don't die right away. If you defeat them, their teeth survive and come after you.
* Fungi Forest at night is pretty scary to those unfamiliar with the level layout.
* Creepy Castle's mine cart section. It's bad enough with the loud chase music and random sirens going off constantly, but how about the tombstones that fly out the ground as you approach or the giant skeleton demon thing shooting explosive fireballs at poor DK?
* The tunnels in Jungle Japes and Gloomy Galleon have whispers echo throughout.
* The secret cavern reached in Jungle Japes by pounding a large X as Chunky has a narrow path above a BottomlessPit lined with massive torches and a giant creepy face at the end. The music certainly doesn't help matters.
** Said creepy music is reused in a beehive within the same level, and the ghost ship in Gloomy Galleon.
* As Donkey Kong, you have to complete a few Barrel Cannon challenges that are set in the sky, while a windy and lonely rendition of the aforementioned cave music plays. These challenges tend to invoke feelings of acrophobia.
[[folder:Examples for Donkey Kong Country Returns]]
* It's been said that Retro Studios dedicated themselves to doing the series justice. They were right: as mentioned above, the GameOver screen has kept the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUq0zOwaN_s original music from DKC1]], but after the twenty-second mark, it just keeps playing its sad drum beat, like a tribal funeral procession.
* Tidal Terror. It's got ominous music, dark clouds overhead, ambient noises, and a colossal tidal wave that swallows everything in its path and [[OneHitKill kills the Kongs in one hit]].
* Stage 4-5 in the Cave world is called "Crowded Cavern" for a reason, what with all the [[GoddamnedBats bats]] that chase after you in the cavernous dark. Their freakish screeches of terror, along with their unnatural faces, and with a few of the big bats breaking out of the floor or ceiling attempting to bite you non-stop.
* Stage 5-8 in the Forest world. "Muncher Marathon". [[PrimalFear Players afraid of spiders shouldn't even try it.]]
* "Stormy Shore". It has the same atmosphere as the aforementioned "Tidal Terror", but instead of tidal waves, it features a vicious kraken that attacks you from the background for most of the stage.
* In the final boss fight, Tiki Tong transfigures all the Tikis you fight in bosses throughout the game into [[GiantHandsOfDoom huge wooden hands]]. After destroying these, they explode in a burst of light, to reveal bananas: [[AndIMustScream they've been formed into inanimate bananas, with no way to move or do anything ever again]]. The only thing they can look forward to now is getting eaten. Nevermind the unpleasantness of being turned into hands to begin with.
'''''[[StalkedByTheBell GET]] [[VideoGame/DonkeyKong64 OUT!]]'''''