Donkey Kong 64 is a 1999 video game produced by Rare and Nintendo for the Nintendo 64. It's either a sequel to the renowned Donkey Kong Country trilogy on the Super Nintendo or the fourth installment of said trilogy, depending on how you look at it. The game is a 3D third-person action-platformer set within the continuity of the Donkey Kong Country games; it was also the first of two Nintendo 64 games to require the Expansion Pack to play it (the other being The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, though Perfect Dark was crippled to the point of being barely playable without it), but fortunately it came bundled with the package. Structurally and technically, Donkey Kong 64 is very similar to Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie, especially when it comes to the enormously high amount of items to collect (each stage features, among many other things, five hundred bananas; that's five stages' worth of musical notes in Banjo terms) and in that the player characters must learn special moves before being able to use them by triggering specific button combinations at once.The plot concerns the return of the Kremlings, three years after the end of Donkey Kong Country 3. Once again under the leadership of King K. Rool, the Kremlings have decided that if they can't have the Kongs' Island, nobody can, and so they plan to blast it right off the face of the earth with their secret weapon, the Blast-O-Matic, which is stored within an enormous, high-tech armored warship version of Crocodile Isle that towers eerily over the Kongs' homeland. Though thankfully the cannon is disabled for the time being and undergoing repairs.As expected, Donkey Kong leaps into action, ready to bust some Kremling heads and foil their evil schemes, only to find that four of his best friends have been kidnapped and his hoard of solid-gold giant bananas has once again been plundered. As DK, the player must rescue the four other Kongs (all of whom become additional player characters after rescue) and recover all the stolen bananas before K. Rool gets the cannon working again, meaning it's a race between the Kongs and the Kremlings on who can complete their objective first. Much running, jumping, brawling and dancing ensues, along with a few subplots involving an imprisoned Kong-sympathizer Kremling, a shifty technician named Snide who once worked on assembling the Blast-O-Matic but has come to hate K. Rool, and a magical Banana Fairy whose daughters have mysteriously gone missing. All of these must be resolved in order for the player to achieve 101% completion and witness the true ending of the game.According to the July 2012 issue of the magazine Nintendo Gamer, Hiroyuki Takahashi (the president of Camelot Ltd., which produced the Mario Golf and Mario Tennis series which Donkey Kong has been involved in) has expressed interest in making a sequel to this game. Whether or not it will happen remains to be seen.
Hidden Character Krusha gets Oranges (Grenade Launcher)
Some minigamesnote Krazy Kong Klamour, Kremling Kosh, Peril Path Panic, Searchlight Seek, Teetering Turtle Trouble have you firing watermelons, but only in "Teetering Turtle Trouble" are they actually eaten.
Additionally, one of the shooters, most of the abilities, all of the minigames, and all of the arenas have alliterative names. A couple of arenas do so by using words such as "plinthnote a heavy base supporting a statue or vase" and "palavernote prolonged and idle discussion" instead of anything relevant to the level, the enemies, or fighting in general.
The first phase, Donkey Kong launches himself at K. Rool from a barrel.
The second phase, Diddy Kong uses a jetpack to fly up high and shoot at the lighting fixtures, causing spotlights to fall on K. Rool's head. The fourth time it happens, he can't pull it off on his own.
The third phase, K. Rool still has a spotlight stuck on his head, blinding him. Lanky Kong drops banana peels on the floor, then tricks K. Rool into tripping on it. Four times.
The fourth phase, K. Rool starts off by ground pounding the floor until his butt hurts. While he cringes, Tiny Kong enters through a hole in his shoe and shoots feathers at his toes until he loses his balance and falls over.
Anthropomorphic Shift: In this game, Donkey Kong tiptoes, walks, and runs like a human, but otherwise stands and acts like a gorilla.
Artistic License - Music: Two of the playable characters' instruments don't sound like their real life counterparts. Donkey Kong's bongos are much more melodic than real bongos, but it's particularly egregious with Chunky Kong's triangle. It actually makes the sound of a celesta, a completely different instrument!
Background Music Override: Hideout Helm's climactic theme keeps on playing even when using the Tag Barrel or Transformation Barrels. The only time it stops is if you pause the game, or during Hideout Helm's minigames (Which have their own, different theme anyway).
Badass Adorable: Tiny Kong definitely qualifies for this. Diddy Kong also to a certain degree.
Blackout Basement: One small area in Jungle Japes is a homage to this. Also the interiors of Gloomy Galleon's sunken ships are lit by lantern fish that swim behind you.
Boss Arena Idiocy: For a Donkey Kong Country game (or, hell, a Donkey Kong game in general), this game is very light on barrels to grab and throw. However, every boss in the game that can be damaged by a barrel throw has an unlimited number of barrels in their arena. The worst offenders are Army Dillo and Dodagon; it wouldn't even be possible to hurt them if they didn't expose themselves constantly by taunting you. Even in their rematches they act exactly the same. Other examples include Puftoss, who sits in the center of electric pylons that shock it several times over the course of its fight. The only one who averts it is Mad Jack, because he can't help the location of the fight (he was thrown there from a higher area of the factory).
Boss Remix: All the boss themes (except K. Rool's) take their respective level's leitmotif and escalate it to epic proportions. K. Rool's boss theme is actually an intense version of his own leitmotif.
Convection Schmonvection: Several areas of this game have lava where they probably shouldn't. The "lobby" to Crystal Caves, an ice cave, has lava at one end. The second battle against Dogadon takes place inside a lava-surrounded arena inside a tree. Also, it's unclear if that green stuff in Creepy Castle is Palette Swapped lava, or acid. And the lava in one section of that temple in Angry Aztec with the llama acts just like the quicksand in the main level.
Crack! Oh My Back!: If you lose a round at any point during the final battle, Cranky's attempt to encourage you not to give up ends with this.
Cutscene Power to the Max: K. Rool's surveillance system displays the people he watches as if inside a giant barrel. In one cutscene two Kritters are chasing Lanky, and Lanky just walks up the walls on his hands, something he is unable to do in regular gameplay.
Darth Vader Clone: King K. Rool speaks like the Vader and has Vader Breath. He also has a ship with a huge gun (the Blast-O-Matic, not the Death Star), and he threatens his minions (with Klaptraps, not the Force choke).
Fungus Humongous: Fungi Forest, which has a big mushroom that you can go inside, but not that many mushrooms overall.
Game-Breaking Bug: A late-game bug can cause the mechanical fish to become nearly impossible to beat. This bug can be worked around by disabling the Sniper scope while the fan is spinning; however, this bug is so obscure that most people won't know to do this.
According to former Rare developer Shawn Pile, a bug which would cause the game to randomly crash was the primary reason that the game required the Expansion Pak, as the developers couldn't find a way to remove the bug otherwise.
Gotta Catch 'Em All / Collection Sidequest: What the game is based around. There are 200 Golden Bananas- 100 of which are required to finish the game. There are blueprints, which get you extra time for the final level. In each level you need bananas to access the boss (there are 100 per character per level). The bananas also earn coins, which you give to Cranky so you can play Jetpac (which you need to beat to complete the entire game). There's also a different kind of coins that you collect to buy upgrades from the various characters. And then there are banana fairies to track down to unlock Easter Eggs.
Hyperactive Metabolism: Health is represented by watermelons, divided into four slices. You start with one whole watermelon, and buy two more over the course of the game. Health is frequently regained by touching watermelon slices, which are dropped by some enemies and also found in certain boxes.
Interface Screw: When Chunky boards the sailing ship on the Gloomy Galleon level to get his Golden Banana there, this happens after his dance. The screen wavers wildly, he leans back with his arms down (while walking), and the directional controls are reversed (implying seasickness).
Left Stuck After Attack: If a Kosha tries to attack a Kong with its spiky club vertically, the club will be stuck in the floor and the Kosha will try to pull it. The attacked Kong can then use explosive oranges or a wave attack to defeat it.
Legacy Character: As always, Cranky Kong is the Donkey Kong from the original arcade game
Leitmotif: Every level has one, including the Hub Level. Nearly every track in each level is a remix of its trademark melody.
Lost Forever: Generally averted, but Hideout Helm's Banana Medals (which must be manually picked up after completing each section of disabling the Blast-o-Matic) will disappear once you finish Hideout Helm. Failure to pick them up also makes getting 101% completion impossible, so be wary.
Chunky. On the character selection screen, highlight anyone else and he'll start to taunt the camera; roll over to him, though, and he'll freak out and try desperately to convince you to pick Tiny instead. When you pick a different character, he'll go "whew!".
Made all the funnier if you decide to unlock Chunky before unlocking Tiny, note You need Diddy to beat Angry Aztec and reach the level where Chunky is held. Lanky is the only Kong you need to free Chunky, so you can skip Tiny and get Chunky first so Chunky tries to convince you to pick a character that isn't there.
Money for Nothing: There's a finite amount of coins in the game, but there's still waaaaay more then you'll ever need.
No Fair Cheating: Using any Gameshark code in this game will cause DK to spasm uncontrollably throughout the game. Even in the opening. Also, your cartridge will be permanently damaged if you save. To such level that you cannot pick up any items and you drop dead from taking a single hit.
Nostalgia Filter: As expected of the character, Cranky reminesces about how much better games were in his day.
Replay Mode: The game enables this feature after the player starts retrieving Banana Fairies by taking a picture shot at them. After retrieving two Fairies, the player can replay the unlocked cutscenes of the game. With six, the two Embedded Precursors that reward the player with the Rare and Nintendo coins (Jetpack and Donkey Kong) in the main game can be replayed.note Two all-new minigames are unlocked as well, but they avert the trope since they do not appear in the game itself With ten, it's possible to replay the boss fights.
Ret Canon: Cranky Kong mixing potions like in the CGI cartoon.
Rhymes on a Dime: Any name that isn't alliterative will rhyme (Strong Kong, Hunky Chunky). And sometimes even that! (Stash Snatch)
Shout-Out: One area has you climbing up a tower using platforms that move in and out- the first part of this climb follows exactly the same pattern of moving and stationary platforms as Super Mario 64 did in Whomp's Fortress.
Throw a Barrel at It: Surprisingly, there aren't many barrels you could throw in this game, especially compared to the DKC games.
Timed Mission: Many Golden Bananas involve switches that only remain active for a period of time, and all minigames are timed (Though sometimes you have to survive out the timer, rather than accomplish a goal). The most notable example, however, is deactivating the Blast-O-Matic at Hideout Helm, which you have a timer of anywhere from 10 to 50 minutes during. Then there's the Kremling sniper in certain puzzle rooms, one of which as a timer of one second.
Time Keeps On Ticking: As just mentioned, shutting down the Blast-O-Matic at Hideout Helm. Cutscenes, unskippable animations, minigames, messing up and having to redo a portion, nothing short of outright pressing start to pause the game will halt it.
Toy Time: Frantic Factory, the Kremlings'... toy factory. Though it has more in common with your typical factory area than with a toy factory.
Unblockable Attack: The firewall Dogadon throws at Chunky at one point during their boss battle. The only way to dodge it is by hanging on the edges of the battle arena.
Unexpected Gameplay Change: Not even counting the various races and slides, over half the Golden Bananas have to be earned from Bonus Barrels, which transport you to Bonus Stages, many of which don't even feature you directly controlling the Kongs.
You Have Researched Breathing: Donkey Kong needs a potion before he learns how to pull a lever, Lanky needs one before he can do handstands, Diddy needs one before he can perform a charging headbutt, and Chunky needs a potion in order to throw a haymaker.