Self Demonstrating: Cranky Kong
(The following article should be best read while listening to this.) Zzz... *snort* Huh—what?! Who started up that music again? Can't an old ape get any peace and quiet around here?! Oh...it was one of you tropers again, eh? Jumping from page to page all day and night—drives an old ape to tears, really... Hold up - so you're actually here to learn about my history now, are ya? Well, it's about time, if I do say so m'self! Right—where to begin... Guess I'll start with my name. See here, most people these days know me as Cranky Kong—can't rightly imagine why, though. Thing is, the ape you're looking at was the original Donkey Kong - back when all it took was four frames of animation and an infinite supply of barrels to strike terror into the hearts of game players. Look at my no-good son, what with his tie-wearing, his bongo playing, his peg-swinging...! Sorry, sorry—lost my head there for a second. Let me start over from the beginning. So! It all began at the beginning of The '80s (that's nineteen 80's, if you didn't realize), the era where the video arcade was alive and thriving! Pac-Man was gorging himself on ghosts, dots, and cherries, the Space Invaders were upsetting the availability of Japanese yen, and...Radar Scope was crashing and burning—the latest in Japanese videogame developer Nintendo's attempts to break into the North American market. Things were getting desperate, so the president of the company—the late Hiroshi Yamauchi (may he rest in peace) asked Shigeru Miyamoto, who had been working at the company for just a few years on at that point, to design a game that the unsold Radar Scope units can be converted into. What the company needed (among other things) was their actual own stable of characters, after attempts to secure the Popeye license fell through. And that's where I come into this, finally! I was dreamed up by Mr. Miyamoto as an antagonist that's "nothing too evil or repulsive" (hmph), so I ended up in the form of an ape. Everything's Better with Monkeys, or so I keep getting told. Well, that's all fine and dandy. But how did I get named Donkey Kong? Monkeys aren't donkeys, after all. Well...he was over there in Japan, where they don't always speak English s'good. He wanted a name that gave the the "stupid ape" impression (not going to say anything, nope nope nope), and he had a dictionary. Well, one thing lead to another, and Mr. Miyamoto used my name as the game's title, since I was the strongest character of the game. 'Course he did! Donkey Kong was a smash hit all over the world — and all because of me! I was what the kids called "OG" - Original Gorilla! I...sorry, lost myself again. The game itself was an exemplar of the great values of the old days of video gaming, where my rolling barrels, throwing jumping jacks, and...running a pie factory somehow...made the player, who controlled a goofy little character named "Jumpman", work and sweat and dump in quarter after quarter to get to the end of each level and the game. Yeah, yeah, he won, I lost. I took my beating like a champ, and always was ready for the next round, with the obstacles a little faster, the timer a little shorter, and hapless sucker in a near-constant state of dread, hunched over the joystick and the buttons like a—nevermind. After the success of my first game, I found myself a little woman to settle down with, and we had a son — my boy, Junior. For some reason, though, when Nintendo naturally called me back in to make the inevitable sequel to my first game, they decided to make me the Distressed Dude by having that Jumpman character stick me in a cage, and make Junior the star! Pah, no respect, even then... still, I suppose the kid didn't do too bad a job for his first and only ever outing — poor Junior just couldn't hack it in the gaming industry. Yes, there was a third game I took my shot at. No, I don't want to talk about it! Anyway, I was starting to feel my age at that point, and Nintendo just wasn't returning my calls, so I decided to pack up my family and move back to my home on Donkey Kong Island. We lived there without incident for a while; Junior grew up, married a local girl, and had himself a son that they named after his granddaddy. Of course, by that time, they were starting to call me Cranky Kong and the name kind of stuck. Pah! Kids, no respect for their elders, I tell you... At some point, my wife up and left me to live on another island and run herself a school for the residents. I think it's because I started calling her Wrinkly Kong — hey, she called me Cranky first! Anyway, life on Kong Island was pretty decent. Then came the first Kremling war. Some no-good, slimy, scaly pirate crocodiles calling themselves the Kremlings invaded our island in the dead of night; they stole all of the Kong clan's precious bananas and beat up my grandson's pal, Diddy Kong. Useless great lug slept through the whole thing. Of course, he tried to redeem himself the next morning by going on to rescue his buddy, beat up the bad guys, and get back our yummy yellow treats. I graciously offered him advice and hints that were essential for him to progress through the game. Of course, the stupid young lug didn't learn, and wound up getting himself kidnapped by K.Rool. Luckily for him, Diddy Kong and that girlfriend of his decided to chase the Kremlings back to Crocodile Isle and get the great oaf back. I decided to see how good they were, and challenged them to recover a series of golden Hero Coins that I hid all over the island. Lucky for the little snots that my wife had set up her school here, on Crocodile Isle, and the soft-hearted old thing was willing to help save their game. She even went and offered tips for them — that was supposed to be my job! ...Then again, she was smart enough to charge them coins for it. Wish I'd been that smart... never you mind! After the little kids rescued that big kid grandson of mine, the whole clan decided to head to the North Kremisphere for some well-earned vacations. My wife closed down her school and moved into some nice caves. Me? I decided it was time to get out some and do some training for my next game; if those punk kids could handle it, why, so can I! I went all over the Kremisphere in Swanky Kong's new amusement park. Apparently, DK and Diddy got kidnapped by the local Kremlings, so Dixie and her baby cousin Kiddy had to rescue them. Pah! What useless wimps. Still, I graciously deigned to let the two of them challenge me whenever they dropped by Swanky Kong's place. ...My wife... she passed on sometime after that. Shut up! I'm not crying! Some time after that, K.Rool showed up again, this time planning to blow up our island! My grandson, Diddy and three others of the clan went out and saved us — but they couldn't have pulled it off without the special ability-enhancing potions I brewed up for them! Eventually, some living instruments hypnotized the animals and stole my dumb grandson's bananas again. Him and his little buddy did some platforming stuff, while I converted my house into a flying shop to offer useful items. For a modest fee, of course. Then, just as we were settling down, some blasted Arctic hooligans kicked us out of our home! It was time I showed those horned whippersnappers a thing or two about invading an old ape's island. I made several cameos in those Smash Bros. games, too. I even appeared in the third and fourth games as my younger self in the 75m stage. My movement may have been limited, but it was fun smacking around the likes of Jumpman, my grandson and that nephew of his, that fire breathing turtle, that magic princess, that pigman, that green-haired hoity-toity goddess, that loudmouthed, birdbrained galoot, that walking marshmallow, that blue upstart, that other blue upstart, that sparky yellow varmint along with that sideshow who can move things with his mind, that strong swordsman who called me a Laguz, whatever that is, that time-traveling tomboy, Ol' Dot Muncher himself, and that karate fighter. I'll bring some real action next time 'round, just you see! Well how about that, Jumpman himself's got a page of his own! Ha! Wonder what he's been up to after all this time. Hopefully he's not giving that grandson of mine too much trouble. Maybe I'll go pay him a visit and see if he remembers little ol' me. Now, I'm not in the mood to divulge any further on my past right now, so the rest of my tale will have to wait another day. Let's just get these tropes over and done with, alright?
Tropes that apply to me:
- Abnormal Ammo: Those dentures sure have bite to them.
- Badass Grandpa: I may be old, but I still got a lot of fight left in me!
- Cane Fu: Think it's just for show? Guess again.
- Cool Old Guy: Oh, you flatter me.
- Deadpan Snarker: Oh, really? I can't imagine why.
- Demoted to Extra: I played Swanky's Sideshow against those twerps Dixie and Kiddie in Donkey Kong Country 3...and who you calling "extra"?!
- Grumpy Old Man: Who you calling "grumpy", you disrespectful hooligans?!
- He Knows About Timed Hits: Someone told me that if you hold down the Y Button in Donkey Kong Country, you can run!
- Hidden Depths: I may not look like it, but I've got a pretty good singing voice. But not good enough for those chumps over at Nintendo to bother putting in their games, apparently.
- Hint System: In Donkey Kong Country I'd give my no good grandson some advice as to how to get extra lives and discover some secrets.
- Mad Scientist: I was concocting potions in Donkey Kong 64! Wait... who you calling "mad"?! We used to respect our elders back in my day!
- Mighty Glacier: Sure, I'm not as spry as I used to be, but in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze , I'll bring plenty of attacks in!
- Nostalgia Filter: You whippersnappers don't know how good we had it back in my day! Our video game controllers weren't battery-powered — they plugged right into the console. And we liked it that way! And we didn't need the game to explain to us how it worked. That's what instruction manuals are for!
- Promoted to Playable: So you think I'm all talk, eh? Well, go play Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and see how you'll think of me then!
- Retired Badass: You youngins probably don't know this, but I was the original Donkey Kong in the arcade games.
- This Cannot Be!: I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw those youngins get over 2000 points on my Jet Pack game!
- You Know What They Say: "...all graphics and no game play!"
I could tell you yarns about the old days all day long, but I'm getting tired. Gotta get my rest. Make sure to shut the gate on your way out. Were you raised in a barn?!