Wiki Headlines
We've switched servers and will be updating the old code over the next couple months, meaning that several things might break. Please report issues here.

main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
V Ideo Game: Donkey Kong 64

So they're finally here, performing for you
If you know the words, you can join in, too
Put your hands together, if you want to clap
As we take you through this monkey rap

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.

Ooooooh, the Tropes!:

  • Abnormal Ammo: All get orange grenades. Overlaps with Edible Ammunition for all playable characters except Tiny:
    • Donkey Kong - Coconuts (rifle)
    • Diddy Kong - Peanuts (pistols)
    • Lanky Kong - Grapes (Blow Gun)
    • Tiny Kong - Feathers (crossbow)
    • Chunky Kong - Pineapples (bazooka)
    • Funky Kong - The Boot
    • Hidden Character Krusha gets Oranges (Grenade Launcher)
    • Some minigamesnote  have you firing watermelons, but only in "Teetering Turtle Trouble" are they actually eaten.
  • Action Girl: Tiny Kong
  • Alliterative Name: As a hallmark of the series, it sure couldn't be left out here. Just check out the names of the areas, for instance:
    • Jungle Japes
    • Angry Aztec
    • Frantic Factory
    • Gloomy Galleon
    • Fungi Forest
    • Crystal Caves
    • Creepy Castle
    • Hideout Helm
    • 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 " and "palavernote " instead of anything relevant to the level, the enemies, or fighting in general.
  • Amusing Injuries: The final boss fight is a long string of these in the form of a boxing match with five rounds.
  • 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.
  • Bamboo Technology
  • Bedsheet Ghost: They really call it Kritter-in-a-sheet.
  • Big Eater: Troff the pig and Scoff the hippo.
  • The Big Guy: Chunky Kong.
  • Black Sheep: K. Lumsy
  • 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.
  • The Caligula: King K. Rool.
  • Camera Screw: Basically any time you need to make a precise jump (Frantic Factory and Creepy Castle come to mind), expect to spend ten seconds lining up the camera.
  • Canis Latinicus: The "scientific" names of the Kongs' special abilities. To name a few:
    • Simian Slam (Buttus Bashium)
      • Super Simian Slam (Big Buttus Bashium)
      • Super Duper Simian Slam (Bigga Buttus Bashium)
    • Baboon Blast (Barrelum Perilous)
    • Monkeyport (Warpum Craftious)
  • Canon Immigrant: Crystal Coconuts, which originated from the show. Though, there was only one in the show.
    • Cranky Kong's role as mad scientist also originated from the show.
    • Also similar to the show, Klap-Traps now have "dentures". If you try to beat them by jumping, their teeth still come after you.
  • Cash Gate: B. Locker, who hates his job of keeping you out of the levels until you have enough golden bananas.
  • The Chick: Tiny Kong.
  • Choke Point Geography: Justified by the locations of the levels being fairly well hidden, until K. Lumsy dislodges a seemingly innocent boulder.
  • Color-Coded Characters:
    • Donkey Kong - Yellow
    • Diddy Kong - Red
    • Lanky Kong - Blue
    • Tiny Kong - Purple
    • Chunky Kong - Green
  • 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.
  • Creepy Doll: Mad Jack.
  • Crosshair Aware: The Krack-Shot Kroc.
  • 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).
  • Deadpan Snarker: Cranky Kong.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Candy Kong does this to K. Rool while Funky sneaks up behind him with a boot-bazooka. Also happens to some Kremlings in the complete ending.
  • Dumb Muscle: Donkey and Chunky.
  • Easter Egg: DK has a poster of a dolphin in his bedroom. "Dolphin" was the much-publicized working title of the Nintendo Gamecube.
  • Embedded Precursor: The original arcade version of the original Donkey Kong (from Nintendo) and Jetpac (from Rare, then known as ACG/Ultimate); and it's actually required to complete both to complete DK64.
  • Eternal Engine: Frantic Factory.
  • Everything Fades
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Unless you're a Kremling.
  • Expy:
    • Tiny and Chunky for Dixie and Kiddy.
    • Also the Banana Fairies for the Banana Birds in DKC3.
    • In addition, Lanky Kong looks like a silly version of the earlier orangutan Manky Kong. They even have rhyming names.
  • Fartillery: Chunky Kong's special attack from the Banana Fairy involves him making a massive burp.
  • Final Exam Boss: King K. Rool
  • Floating Continent: Creepy Castle is a floating in the sky.
  • 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.
  • Gangplank Galleon: Gloomy Galleon, unsurprisingly.
  • Gentle Giant:
    • K. Lumsy, a colossal Kong-sympathizer Kremling. Also Dumb Muscle.
    • Chunky, bordering to parody. He carries a bazooka and is stronger than DK, yet he plays the triangle and is afraid of heights. Also put the controller down and watch his Idle Animation.
  • Get Out: Played for Nightmare Fuel rather than how this trope usually works. In the Angry Aztec temple (and later in the Creepy Castle greenhouse), once you beat the golden banana mini-game, suddenly Krosshair shouts "GET OUT!" in a deep demonic voice, you see a target on your back with a countdown timer, it zaps you if time runs out. In Crystal Caves, you're given ONE second in the cabins to leave if the light hits you (and very rarely do you actually escape in time). Thankfully you're not sent to the start of the level if you fail but to the entrance of the cabin.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: One of the lines in the DK Rap is "but this Kong's one hell of a guy!" This was later censored to "heck" when the song was carried over to Super Smash Bros. Melee.
  • 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.
  • Guns Akimbo: Diddy Kong
  • Hammerspace: Where do the Kongs keep their guns? Diddy, for one, manages to store two handguns the size of his head somewhere while wearing just a hat and shirt.
  • Heli Critter/Helicopter Hair: Tiny Kong, just like Dixie.
  • Hello, Nurse!: Candy Kong. Even K. Rool goes nuts over her. The fact that her dialogue (sounds like it) contains a lot of innuendo contributes. Her theme song in her store supports this even more.
  • The Hero: Donkey Kong
  • Hilarious Outtakes: Your reward for 100% Completion is a video of the characters auditioning for the next entry in the series on the then-upcoming "Dolphin". (Or you can look it up on YouTube.)
  • Hub Level: The DK Isles.
  • Huge Rider, Tiny Mount: Averted. Whenever Tiny needs a ride from Squawks, she has to shrink herself down first.
  • Ape Cannonball: Naturally.
  • 100% Completion: Goes up to 101%, like the first Donkey Kong Country.
  • 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.
  • Idle Animation
    • Donkey Kong: Swats at and accidentally eats a fly.
    • Diddy Kong: Eats an orange
    • Lanky Kong: Juggles and piles orange grenades
    • Tiny Kong: Juggles one orange grenade and puts it away
    • Chunky Kong: Sees butterflies and lets them land on him, then he scares them away.
    • A few of the enemies have Idle Animations too.
  • 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).
  • Jungle Japes: Trope Namer
  • Kid-Appeal Character: For being so darn-right silly, Lanky Kong takes it.
  • Kill It with Fire: Four of the five level bosses in this game spit or throw fireballs at you, including a giant pufferfish.
  • The Lancer: Diddy Kong.
  • Laughing Mad: Mad Jack.
  • 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.
  • Letting the Air out of the Band: The music falters when the Kremlings have engine trouble in the intro. Percussive Maintenance gets the machine started again and the music back in tune.
  • Lighthouse Point: Gloomy Galleon
  • Live Item: The Banana Fairies
  • 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.
  • Lovable Coward:
    • 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  so Chunky tries to convince you to pick a character that isn't there.
  • Mad Scientist: Cranky Kong
  • Mayincatec: Angry Aztec
  • Minion with an F in Evil: The entire reason why K. Rool had K. Lumsy imprisoned.
  • 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.
  • Obvious Beta:
    • You can swim through walls, dive under islands, and walk around in voids without any cheating device if you manipulate the first-person view. Beaver Bother's mechanics are also quite unpolished.
    • Especially notorious is Hunky Chunky, who can clip through almost anything.
  • Oh, Crap: "GET OUT!"
  • Ominous Floating Castle: Creepy Castle, as evidenced by shooting yourself into the clouds to get there.
  • Pokémon Speak: The Kasplats.
  • Pose of Supplication : Chunky Kong begged for mercy to a big monster to no avail. What followed was... well, let's just say it must have hurt a lot (for the boss monster).
  • Power of Rock: Playing the Kongs' musical instruments will typically defeat all Kremlings and baddies within earshot; there are very few exceptions to this rule.
  • Power-Up Mount: Rambi, Engarde, and Squawks
  • Percussive Maintenance: During the intro cutscene, one of the Kremling technicians uses this to fix the Blast-O-Matic.
  • Precision F-Strike: During the rap, one line says that Chunky's "one hell of a guy".
  • Punny Name: King K. Rool, K. Lumsy, and B. Locker
  • Racing Minigame: There are... well, quite a lot of them.
  • Recurring Boss: Army Dillo and Dogadon are both fought twice.
  • 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  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)
  • Shifting Sand Land: Angry Aztec
  • 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.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Crystal Caves.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Tiny's the only girl out of the five playable characters.
  • Solve the Soup Cans: Any golden banana that doesn't involve a mini-game barrel is usually this. Sometimes they overlap.
  • The Song Remains the Same: The DK Rap does not even have the benefit of Japanese subtitles.
  • Spider Swarm: The spider mini-boss will send groups of smaller spiders (possibly its children) after Tiny Kong.
  • Spirit Advisor: The ghost of Wrinkly Kong.
  • Spiritual Successor: This game owes Super Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie big time for its existence.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Pretty strange that this trope would show up when you consider that this game is based on Super Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie, which both have oxygen meters. As do the spiritual follow-ups Banjo-Tooie, Conkers Bad Fur Day, and every 3D Mario game from Super Mario Sunshine onwards. Even stranger is that the protagonists of this game are monkeys, a species afraid of water in Real Life.
  • Super Title 64 Advance - It's Donkey Kong on the N64.
  • Surfer Dude: Funky Kong
  • Surrounded by Idiots: King K Rool says this in one between level cinematic.
  • Theme Tune Rap: The "DK Rap". Composer Grant Kirkhope would like to make it perfectly clear that the rap was supposed to sound really lame.
  • Third-Person Person: Donkey Kong speaks like this here, nearly verging into Hulk Speak.
  • 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.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Funky Kong, the AMMO store owner. Surfer Dude turned Bad Ass. At the end, while Candy Kong distracts K. Rool, Funky kicks his ass (literally) by shooting a giant boot out of a gun.
  • 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.
  • Vader Breath: King K. Rool.
  • Video Game Flight: Diddy Kong can fly with Rocketbarrels—a jetpack made out of wooden barrels fueled by magical coconut-shaped crystals.
  • 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.
  • Younger Than They Look: Chunky Kong, the biggest one, is actually the youngest.

Donkey KongEveryone RatingDonkey Konga
Donkey Kong CountryCreator/NintendoDiddy Kong Racing
Diddy Kong RacingFranchise/Donkey KongRetro Studios
WiiStop Helping Me!Exposition Fairy
Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!Video Games of the 1990sDoom

alternative title(s): Donkey Kong 64
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy