Video Game: Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest

Girl heroes in video games, pah. I can't believe it! The main character should be really muscle-bound and carry a gun, not twirl their hair round!

The second game in Rare's Donkey Kong Country trilogy for the Super Nintendo, released in 1995. A port was released for the Game Boy Advance in 2004.

While relaxing at the beach Donkey Kong is kidnapped by Kaptain K. Rool (an alter ego of the first game's villain, King K. Rool) and held for ransom for the Kongs' banana hoard. Instead, Diddy, accompanied by his girlfriend Dixie, decides to go after K. Rool and rescue DK themselves, starting by invading the Kremlings' ship and venturing through Crocodile Isle to get him back.

Diddy's Kong Quest significantly adds to the mechanics introduced in the first game. Bonuses are no longer simply free ways to gain bananas and lives, but challenges in and of themselves, offering kremcoins as rewards, used for another introduced mechanic: A secret world. In addition, this is the game that first introduces "hero coins," giant coins with the word "DK" on them, one of which is found in each level.

Like its predecessor, Diddy's Kong Quest received a follow-up on the Game Boy in the form of Donkey Kong Land 2, the second game in the Land series. This game is unique in that it kept the names of all but two of the levels in Diddy's Kong Quest (the two levels in question instead had their names combined), but otherwise the levels were completely different from its SNES counterpart.

Followed a year later by Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!.

Tropes featured:

  • Action Girl: Dixie Kong. Diddy is slightly more agile, but her hair spin makes her just as capable.
  • Advancing Boss of Doom: King Zing in Rambi Rumble. Haunted Hall combines this with Stalked by the Bell, where the player is chased by a slowly advancing Kackle and has to collect plus sign barrels to add to the time limit and push him back.
  • Airborne Mook: Zingers, Mini Neckies, and Kloak.
  • Alluring Anglerfish: Glimmer.
  • Ash Face: Happens to Kaptain K. Rool in the final boss battle when his blunderbuss explodes. Multiple times.
  • Back from the Dead: In Gloomy Gulch, the fifth world, you fight the ghost of Krow, the first world's boss.
  • Background Boss: Kerozene, the K. Rool's Keep boss added in the GBA version.
  • Badass in Distress: Donkey Kong.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: Considering its name and level theme, K. Rool's Keep leads one to believe its boss will be K. Rool. Instead, the player gets just a cutscene in the SNES version and a different boss for the GBA version, while K. Rool waits in a secret world afterward.
  • Battle Couple: Diddy and Dixie Kong.
  • Benevolent Architecture: In many of the boss battles, weapons you need in order to hurt the boss conveniently fall near you after a certain amount of time has passed.
  • Blackout Basement: An underwater version in Glimmer's Galleon.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: The Lost World. Access to a level can be bought for each world at 15 Kremcoins each from Klubba's Kiosk. They are much harder than the regular levels, which is saying much. Specific levels of note:
    • "Animal Antics" because of the infamous area forcing you to fly through tight bramble passages as Squawks while the constantly shifting wind keeps blowing you forward and back.
    • "Klobber Karnage", which forces you to move over large pits of spikes in barrels, trying to time the tilting of the barrel and when to shoot into another barrel to avoid hitting bees, requiring tight timing.
  • The Cameo: Cranky's Video Game Heroes Hall of Fame (if the player doesn't collect enough DK Coins to bump any of them out of the top three) includes Mario, Yoshi and Link. Sonic the Hedgehog's shoes and Earthworm Jim's blaster can be seen next to a trashcan in the corner marked "No Hopers".
  • Chest Monster: In addition to the regular ones that bump you around and the TNT versions that explode on contact, this game also has yellow Klobbers that knock bananas out of you and black Klobbers with red eyes that can even bump lives out of you.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: During the first fight against Kaptain K. Rool in the Flying Krock, K. Rool is seen beating Donkey Kong with the butt of his blunderbuss, followed by shooting three (comically large) cannonballs point-blank.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Crocodile Cauldron, to the extent that some crocodiles can apparently lie in the lava with only their heads above the surface while Diddy and Dixie have no problem hopping on their heads, inches away from the lava. Hell, in Redhot Ride hot air balloons can sink halfway under the lava.
  • Cool Airship: The Flying Krock.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Donkey Kong manages to take out K. Rool in a single punch.
  • Darker and Edgier: Noticeable from the very beginning. Just compare the map screen of crocodile island, with its darker palettes and foreboding music to the original game's brighter jungle and jauntier music.
  • Difficulty Spike: Worlds 3 and 4 are often viewed as the time the game starts getting difficult, most notably with Slime Climb in the former and Bramble Scramble in the latter. On a larger scale, this game is considered to be harder than both its prequel and its sequel.
    • The Lost World levels are also notably difficult. The K. Rool boss fight, on the other hand...not so much, since he only requires one hit.
  • Dummied Out: Diddy and Dixie's mourning sprites, as well as death and victory themes made especially for the final bosses.
  • Elevator Action Sequence: Castle Crush could arguably be an example—except, as the name indicates, the player fights more against the various walls and ceilings trying to squish the player against the rising floor.
  • Evil Weapon: Kleaver, the boss of Crocodile Cauldron, is a living variety of this.
  • Feathered Fiend: Krow and Screech.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: There's a bug in Castle Crush that crashes the game, and from there can generally end in three ways: option one is nothing important happens, option two is all of your saves getting deleted, and the third option, if luck isn't on your side, can render the game cartridge itself pretty much screwed over beyond repair—thus being a literal game-breaking bug.
    • People experimenting with the bug have reported it's capable of corrupting emulators - it's not outside the realm of possibility it could have bricked an entire SNES if it did something to the ROM chips. The virtual console release, which stores ROM information as read-only, seems immune to this effect (though not the save file corruption/erasure).
  • Giant Hands of Doom: Kerozene in the GBA remake.
  • Gimmick Level: As with the other Donkey Kong Country games...
    • Gusty Glade: In addition to the Trope Namer itself, there's the vertical-based Windy Well (which arguably also counts as Gravity Screw) and Animal Antics, which mixes this with Squawks and brambles.
    • Minecart Madness: Carnival versions in Target Terror and Rickety Race and a haunted version in Haunted Hall.
    • Rise to the Challenge: Slime Climb and Toxic Tower.
    • Timed Mission: The second half of Screech's Sprint, which kills you instantly if you don't make it to the end before Screech.
  • The Goomba: Neek, the rat enemy and first enemy you encounter.
  • Guide Dang It:
    • The hero coin in Bramble Scramble, which expects you to jump through a fake wall of brambles. Only a stray banana and the subtle movement of the camera tips the player off.
      • You'll find the exit to this secret area later in the level, blocked by a one-way barrel. It's possible to enter between the barrel and the bramble, but you'll likely sacrifice a Kong in the process.
    • The second bonus in Chain Link Chamber, in the door behind the Kannons. Not only does it seem just like a background element, even if you see it you have to find a certain walk-through wall in order to reach it.
    • The cheat to unlock all 75 Kremcoins is so obtuse it wasn't discovered until several years after the fact. Somewhat justified in that it seems to be a leftover debug tool.
    • The hero coin in Kannon's Klaim, which is hidden not in the main level but a bonus level (and is the only coin hidden like this).
  • Hailfire Peaks: Krem Cauldron, a mix of Crocodile Cauldron and Krem Quay, from Donkey Kong Land 2.
  • The Hedge of Thorns: The Bramble levels: Bramble Blast, Bramble Scramble, and Screech's Sprint.
  • Hints Are For Losers: The manual has a section called "Cranky's Hints". There, Cranky just berates you for being so naive and tell you to buy the upcoming Nintendo Power guide instead. It also didn't help that the credits show that the manual was made by Nintendo Power as well.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • You ultimately beat K. Rool by clogging his gun with his own cannonballs.
    • And Krow is first beaten by the very eggs he tries to throw at you.
  • Interface Screw: One of the ghost types Kaptain K. Rool fires from his blunderbuss reverses the controls if touched. Other weapons will freeze the Kongs, and a third type puts the Kongs into slow motion.
  • Jungle Japes: Though no world proper, Jungle Jinx and Klobber Karnage from the Lost World are these. Some parts of Animal Antics have this, as well.
  • Lava is Boiling Kool-Aid: The red hot water in Lava Lagoon, which you must cool before taking a swim.
  • Left Stuck After Attack: Kutlass will sometimes get his cutlasses stuck in the ground after attacking, giving you a brief period of time in which he can be Goomba Stomped. Green Kutlasses recover almost immediately, though.
  • Mini-Game: Swanky's Bonus Bonanza, where successfully beating quiz games can gain you lives.
  • Mook Maker: Kloak is a temporary example, who sometimes throws Spinies.
  • Never Say "Die": Klubba says "Try that again an' it's Davey Jones Locker f' ye! A-harrh!" if you choose to fight him at any Klubba's Kiosk.
  • Nintendo Hard: Often considered the hardest of the trilogy, which says a lot. Even the commercial boasts, "it's even tougher than the original one".
  • Obvious Beta: Not a huge example, but you can tell very easily that the hitboxes and physics are off in the GBA version compared to the original, such as stars in Collect the Stars bonuses being easier to get (not so bad) and some cannons in Bramble Scramble not firing you where they're supposed to (a little more overt, but still not as bad as it could have been).
  • Pirate Pegleg: Klomps hobble around on one. There's also Kaboings, who jump around on a pair of pogo-stick peg legs.
  • Rule of Three: Each level setting is used exactly three times.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: Inputting B, A, RIGHT, RIGHT, A, LEFT, A, X (BARRAL AX) in the cheats menu makes all DK barrels disappear.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Cat-o'-9-Tails is possibly one: it looks similar to a hedgehog (especially since its tails are easy to mistake for spines unless you really look at it,) and has a color palette suspiciously like Sonic the Hedgehog's.
    • On the "Cranky's Video Game Heroes" screen, you can see that Mario, Yoshi and Link ranked in respectively 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. In the original SNES version, you can also notice Sonic the Hedgehog's shoes and Earthworm Jim's gun, laying next to a trash can labeled as "No Hopers".
  • The Spiny: Literally named "Spiny." Can still be defeated, however, by rolling into them from the front.
    • Kutlasses are also immune to the Goomba Stomp unless they get their swords stuck in the ground.
    • Don't roll into a Klampon. Ever. They will turn around immediately to prevent back attacks, too.
  • Stealth Pun / Pun-Based Title: Diddy's Kong Quest—"conquest."
  • True Final Boss: Krocodile Kore, which is unlocked after completing every level in the Lost World.
  • Underground Level: The various mine levels: Kannon's Klaim, Squawk's Shaft, and Windy Well.
  • Under the Sea: Interestingly, Glimmer's Galleon is probably the closest this game gets to a full example, almost every other water level being a mix of land and water gameplay.
  • Unique Enemy: Quite a few—usually to serve as the particular level's gimmick:
    • The invincible Snapjaw, who serves as the enemy who hurts you if you fall in the water of Slime Climb and Clapper's Cavern.
    • Kackle, who hurts you if you mess up too much in Haunted Hall.
    • Klank, the rollercoaster enemy in the only two coaster levels, Target Terror and Rickety Race.
    • Ghostly Mini-Neckies, found only in the boss fight against Krow's ghost.
    • Faster pink Krushas in Castle Crush and Clapper's Cavern.
    • The extra-life-stealing black Klobbers in Chain Link Chamber and Black Ice Battle.
  • Video Game Settings:
  • Warp Zone: Every level in the first two worlds has a hidden barrel that warps you to the end of the level, making pretty much the entire first and second worlds skippable.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: When you arrive at Stronghold Showdown, you'd be expecting a grand battle. However, all you see is Donkey Kong tied up, and you'll get a Kremkoin as if you've already won. Donkey Kong is quickly taken away by Kaptain K. Rool and you're forced to go through one more level until you can take on the Kaptain himself. By the way, the free Kremkoin is only for the original SNES version. In the GBA re-release you will have to defeat Kerozene before earning that Kremkoin.

Cranky Kong: "Now, go ahead and switch that cartridge off, so I could get some sleep! I reckon I've earned it!"