main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
YMMV: Donkey Kong Country
    open/close all folders 

     The games 
  • Accidental Innuendo: The name of the first game's second boss' level: Necky's Nuts.
    • Though since this IS a Rare game, 'accidental' is debatable...
    • Another debatable "accidental" innuendo (from the second game): Klampon. Think about it.
  • Broken Base: The soundtrack of Donkey Kong Country 3, composed mainly by Eveline Fischer (now Eveline Novakovic), was rather divisive among fans of the series for its noticeably different tone from the other games. Some enjoy it for its dark, ambient quality, while others consider it too quiet and/or a bunch of random notes warped to sound ambient. Similarly, the entirely new GBA version's soundtrack, composed entirely by David Wise (who did most of DKC1 and all of DKC2,) was also divisive. Some loved it for being more energetic and melodic than the original's, and others hated it for not having the ambient and profound feeling of the original soundtrack.
    • Also, fans either view the original as a classic, or an overrated Mario clone.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Enough for its own page.
  • Demonic Spiders: Kabooms from Donkey Kong Country 2. If you're even a second late from jumping, they run right into you and explode. Black/dark gray Klobbers steal lives away from you on contact. Their cousins, the Klasps, which are found in both Donkey Kong Country 3 and Donkey Kong Land III also qualify. Cat o' Nine Tails sweep you away into a Bottomless Pit or into brambles with great accuracy. Thankfully, they're not in Donkey Kong Land 2.
  • Disappointing Last Level: Chimp Caverns, the last world of the original game, features nothing much new you haven't already seen before. It looks kind of... shoveled onto the end of the game after some cool settings.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The first game is starkly pared down compared to the latter two (which may explain the Seinfeld Is Unfunny mentioned below). In addition to having the animal-buddy-token bonuses unseen in any other installments, the first DKC game lacked hero coins and a secret world. Also, unlike the latter two games (and Donkey Kong 64), which forced you to win each bonus challenge to win every bonus prize, the first game simply expected you to find all the bonuses in order to get 100% Completion.
  • Ear Worm: Most of the songs in DKC1, DKC2, and both versions of DKC3.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Funky Kong and Dixie Kong.
    • Rambi proved the most popular of the animal buddies, likely since in the original game he was the most useful, and continued to make the most appearances of all of them.
  • Even Better Sequel: DKC1 did things with graphics that no one had seen before, but DKC2 streamlined that gameplay (for the most part), fixed what minor problems there were, got much more creative and fair with the bonus stage locations, included about a half dozen Platform Hell levels and a Bonus Boss for players dedicated enough to go for 100% Completion, and in general made it seem less of a Super Mario World clone and more of its own game.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The Japanese love Funky Kong.
    • The series itself may not be a complete example because Donkey Kong originated in Japan, but the Donkey Kong Country games did very well in Japan despite their Western developers. The third game actually sold significantly more in Japan than it did in America, probably because it was an SNES game released after the Nintendo 64, and unlike America, Japan tends to continue supporting consoles even after their successors come out.
  • Goddamned Bats: Zingers and Buzzes.
  • Good Bad Bugs: A glitch in the first game's level can cause Rambi's sprites to be mistakenly replaced with a copy of the player's character with a messed-up palette. This can be combined with another glitch which causes Donkey Kong to get stuck in a certain animation while riding "himself", making the situation resemble something else...
    • There's another glitch in DKC2 where you can avoid the difficult Bramble Race against Screech. If you come up right behind Screech to where the race will not start yet, and you fly upwards (you must have both characters at this point for this to work), you will then hit the the ceiling and hurt yourself causing yourself to blink. Quickly, while you are still blinking, pass Screech and head off to the rest of the level without having to worry about doing it in good time.
  • Hell Is That Noise: Misty Menace. Makes a couple of already disturbing levels, such as the infamous Stop N Go Station, several times worse.
    • The cave level theme gets really creepy at one part in particular.
  • It's Short, so It Sucks : A common complaint about the first Donkey Kong Country. It is more often the main complaint about Donkey Kong Land 1 and 3.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: The games are all well designed and very fun to play to this day, but it's obvious that the then-jaw dropping (and still quite appealing) pre rendered sprites played a big role in making the game such a hot seller. Some critics even used this against the game, saying they wouldn't have been as loved without the cutting edge art. Then Donkey Kong Land for Game Boy was brought out just to silence those critics.
  • Memetic Badass: Diddy Kong; and DK himself to a lesser extent.
  • Memetic Molester: Donkey Kong (see Memetic Mutation below)
  • Memetic Mutation: If you don't buy this game, you are stupid! Yes, I know that's insulting, but it's also the truth.
    • Expand Dong: The art of chopping up letters in the various Donkey Kong logos (along with various other letters on the packaging) and rearranging them ransom note-style to say sexual things has become a thing on Tumblr. It's done with other video game characters, but Donkey Kong is especially popular thanks to his goofy facial expressions.
    • To a lesser extent on Tumblr, "Do not forget this ape."
  • More Popular Spin-off: More people seem to be familiar with this series than the original Donkey Kong.
  • Most Annoying Sound: Courtesy of the Game Boy Advance port of DKC3. "NAAA-HAAA-HAAAAA...!"
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The "AAWNK" noise that some enemies make when being defeated is always good for a laugh. Especially when it echoes.
    • Also, when you have one Kong, and you are traversing a tough level, the sound of a Kong in a DK barrel makes a great Hope Spot.
  • MST3K Mantra: It's probably best not to ask how a parrot can fly around while holding two apes in his claws.
  • Never Live It Down: Shigeru Miyamoto will never live down saying "Donkey Kong Country proves that players will put up with mediocre gameplay as long as the art is good." He said this because he was working on Yoshi's Island at the time, and there was a lot of pressure for him to make it look like DKC (the game still turned out awesome-looking though). He stated in a 2010 interview that he does like DKC, saying that he worked closely with Rare on the project.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Tiny Kong from Donkey Kong 64, who is pretty much Expies of Dixie.
    • Ellie the Elephant from DKC3, who replaced the series' most iconic animal buddy, Rambi the Rhino. Doubles as a Creator's Pet; note that she appears far more often than the other animal buddies and has a much larger skill set.
    • Kiddy Kong. Aside from holding things in front of him instead of over his head, being able to bounce off of water, and having tag actions (which weren't possible in DKC1), he plays exactly like Donkey Kong. There were those who wondered why Donkey Kong was only playable once in a series named after him and felt that there was no excuse to not have those changes applied to Donkey Kong instead of creating an entire new character. Some even felt as if it made him look less badass since he got kidnapped twice in a row by the same villain, whom he's already been shown to be able to beat. Chunky, who replaced Kiddy 64, was better received since he played the bruiser role without replacing Donkey Kong.
    • The Tiki-Tak Tribe from Returns, who replaced the iconic Kremlings as the villains. Their goofy, unimposing appearance didn't help. They have become so hated that certain parts of the fandom refuse to acknowledge the existence of Returns.
    • An example of Replacement Scrappy music. Opinions on the soundtrack from the GBA version of DKC3 are mixed, some think it's better, some worse, but almost everyone agrees the music to the tree and ice stages are a significant downgrade to the originals, if not outright awful.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Squawks went from being pretty much useless in DKC1 to fulfilling a vital role in DKC2.
    • It must run in the family because Squawks' purple Palette Swap (named Quawks, according to Donkey Kong Barrel Blast) goes from being basically a prop in DKC2 (and blue) to a playable character with a separate, equally useful moveset in DKC3, able to grab barrels and use them instead of shooting eggy-nut dealies.
    • In Returns and Tropical Freeze, Squawks can hint the player on where hidden puzzle pieces are. For many beginning players and completionists, Squawks is frequently purchased in shops.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Happens in all games except Donkey Kong 64 (more commonly occurring in the Donkey Kong Land trilogy due to hardware limitations), when any of the character(s) fall down from a great height faster than the game can keep up with them. The game mistakenly thinks you fell down a bottomless pit, resulting in you losing a life. Have fun repeating part of the level again due to Fake Difficulty!
    • This was fixed in the GBA ports, since the GBA has a more powerful processor than the SNES.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny/Deader Than Disco: While generally well-received even today, the original game has suffered this in some circles. In particular, the excessive critical praise heaped upon the game for its visuals when it first dropped (Electronic Gaming Monthly all but typed out a 2-page orgasm for their review) has aged very poorly, as the pre-rendered "wave of the future" graphics it showcased became outdated almost instantly when console gaming made the leap to 3D shortly afterward.
  • So Bad, It's Good: The little-known novel adaptation of the first game (dramatic reading available here). While nobody expects a children book based on a mostly plotless videogame to be a great work of litterature, it doesn't make the stiff dialogue and repetitive plotting any less amusing.
  • That One Boss: A handful of them may qualify. A notable example is Krow's Ghost in DKC2, as half of the fight consists of climbing across ropes to chase after him, all the while having eggs shoot at you from multiple directions. If you're Diddy, you can speed past the ropes with some skill. If you're stuck with the slower Dixie, you're pretty much screwed.
    • K. Rool in the original game manages to pull this off simply because unlike the other bosses in the game, his difficulty is more scaled to the point you actually fight him.
  • That One Level: "The Squawks part of Animal Antics" could easily be the laconic entry for the article. You play as the flying Squawks in a bramble level (the walls and floor hurt you), and there's a wind gimmick. If you fly in the same direction as the wind, you fly really fast, and possibly into danger. The secret here is to not fly with the wind and go slowly.
    • What makes that part worse is that it's somewhat easy to screw up a jump over a spike pit in the ensuing Rattly area. If you have only one hit left after Squawks' area (and you likely do) and screw up, you have to start the Squawks area all over again.
    • Web Woods from the second game also qualifies for this in spades. It's extremely long and most of it requires you to set up temporary platforms across long expanses as Squitter the Spider while fending off flying enemies on your way. What's really awful though is that the Hero Coin, needed for 100% Completion, is located on the goal roulette, and appears for only a split second. If you mess up the timing, you have to start the entire stage over.
    • Bramble Blast. It's a long, drawn out maze of barrels that you can't tell which way they fire until you enter them and see they go in every direction except the way you want to go. Also some of the barrels pivot 360 degrees and if you mess up the timing, you are launched into the spiked wall or floor.
      • Compounded with a DK coin hidden in a place you could never look unless you are really, really, really Genre Savvy. The game even teases you with it by placing it behind a wall if you wander to the right location. note 
    • Toxic Tower in 2 and Lightning Lookout in 3 are also potential examples. Toxic Tower is a Rise to the Challenge level and Lightning Lookout involves dodging lightning bolts that actively try to hit you. The source of the lightning even leads the bolts if you are running (the lightning is slow and telegraphed, and if you run nonstop the lightning will aim ahead of you so you run right into it). Also, if you are underwater when lightning strikes, you get hit.
      • In Donkey Kong Land 2, Toxic Tower isn't particularly hard...but the earlier, similar level, Slime Climb, is almost impossible. It's also a Rise to the Challenge level where falling into the water leaves you scrambling to get away from an invincible and souped-up Lockjaw.
    • The third game has more than its share of brutal levels:
      • Koindozer Klamber in the third game, with Palette Swapped Koin Kremlings. Unlike Koin, there are many of them, they don't carry the DK coin, and they run very fast in an attempt to Koindoze you into Bottomless Pits.
      • Poisonous Pipeline, which reverses your control of the characters, making an already difficult level even more difficult.
      • Oh yes, and every one of the Lost World levels also count, especially the last one.
      • If you're going for the highest possible percentage of 105%, which requires inputting a code at the start of the game that eliminates all save points and all DK barrels, if you claim to get through the aforementioned Lighting Lookout on one try, you are lying.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Donkey Kong Country 3 on the Game Boy Advance has received flack from fans for having a new soundtrack that sounded nothing like the original.
    • Similarly, the SNES DKC3 itself was divisive over its music having more of a darker theme than that of the original two games.
    • Also, DKC3's GBA version has a much shortened credits sequence with no cast of characters.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks: This is what quite a bit of both reviewers and gamers feel about the original game. Not so much the second and third, since they incorporated ideas that made it seem less of a Mario clone.
  • Uncanny Valley: A DKC2 promo image from a Rareware company overview book featuring Mario features the portly plumber looking a little... off.
    • Candy Kong, to some people.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Back in the day, the graphics were absolutely amazing, and they still hold up remarkably well today.

     The cartoon 
  • Accidental Innuendo: In some of the songs.
    Diddy: Yes means no and no means yes, it should be rather obvious!
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Many fans likes to view Krusha's Genius Bruiser personality from "Speed" as his true self.
    • In "It's a Wonderful Life", Diddy is the future tyrant of Kongo Bongo without Donkey Kong around. Fans started to view Diddy's selfish behavior in previous episodes ("Kong for a Day" especially) as his evil side slipping into view.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: "Bug A Boogie", when after Cranky laughs about the Snipe Hunt he sent Donkey and Diddy Kong on, we cut to Skurvy's ship, where a song and dance routine is taking place. People tend to remember the song before the context.
    • The songs themselves can be seen as big lipped alligator moments on their own.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome:
  • Ear Worm: Several (if not all) of the songs featured in the show.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: King K. Rool and the rest of the Kremlings on the show. To The Annotated Series, Bluster Kong counts as well.
  • Evil Is Cool: Ask any fan of the show about Kaptain Skurvy. Go ahead, ask. Or better yet, just listen: Pirate's Scorn and Booty Boogie.
    • King K. Rool, Klump, Krusha... let's just say the crocs completely steal this show.
  • Foe Yay: K. Rool using a love potion to turn DK and Candy into his servants.
  • Fridge Horror: In the pilot episode, Krusha is considerably more intelligent than he in all other episodes. Since the last we see of him in that episode is getting beat up by DK, it's possible that the beatdown gave him brain damage.
    • It gets better. A later episode gives an x-ray of his body. His brain is actually missing from his skull, being down by his gut instead. It's possible that it got dislodged during the beatdown, seeing as this is a cartoon.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The show was so popular in Japan that it spawned its own unique merchandise line over there, including a collectible card game.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In "Vote of Kong-fidence", DK briefly imagines himself in a boxing ring, wearing red boxing gloves, just like in his appearance as the Bonus Boss in the Wii version of Punch-Out!!
  • Ho Yay: Several jokes implying that the crocs are gay pop up in "Four Weddings and a Coconut".
  • Memetic Mutation: K. Rool screaming "WHYYYYY NOOOOTTTT!!!???" from "Bug a Boogie".
    • A video called "OH MY GOD WATCH OUT DK" features a snippet from "Kong for a Day" with DK singing "I don't know what's happening to me" edited to look like a plane crashes into DK. There are variations that either have a character dubbed with DK's voice suffering similar disasters or people's reactions to the original video.
    • A minor meme is to include a picture of Donkey Kong sitting on the edge of a dock in a way that makes his butt look prominent with the caption "Its not like I'm sexually attracted to Donkey Kong"
    • I'll shower you with coconut cream pieeeees~
    • I'm gonna be a star!/WE'LL BE DRIVING AROUND IN A FANCY CAR
    • The show as a whole has reached minor memetic status, thanks to the bizarre animation, expressions and storylines, and the rampant insanity of the show in general, having spawned several Youtube Poops.
  • Nightmare Fuel: DK's description of the bog monster.
  • Painful Rhyme: Since the show pumped out two songs per episode, this was bound to happen at least once.
  • Rooting for the Empire: As noted above, K. Rool and his minions completely steal the show.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: While the CGI, especially the bizarre expressions and body gestures of the characters, is made fun of nowadays, it's worth noting that back in 1996-1997, it was really quite a big advance in the field of CGI animation for television.
  • So Bad, It's Good: See Seinfeld Is Unfunny.
  • Special Effects Failure: Oftentimes, a character's mesh will end up clipping with itself (especially noticeable with the model used for General Klump/Captain Skurvy).
    • The animators also seem to have taken a page from Beast Wars and made the body parts separate from each other.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The last few measures of "Metalhead" sound a lot like Daft Punk's "Around the World."
  • Tear Jerker: Donkey Kong's song in "Kong For A Day", where K. Rool's machinations gets him alienated from his friends.
    I don't know what's happening to me
    I'm getting all the blame for things I didn't do
    Can anybody tell me just what I did wrong?
    I'm all alone and all so confused
    I don't know what everyone wants me to be
    I only know how to be me
    Once I was the ape of the hour
    They think I'm a coward
    An absolute zero
    I'm nobody's hero
    An absolute zero
    I'm nobody's hero
    I'm nobody's hero...
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: For it's time, the CGI was quite something to behold.
  • What an Idiot: 90% of the problems occur or because of Donkey Kong's own stupidity. A great example is "Legend of the Crystal Coconut" where he believes that for him to learn the Crystal Coconut's secrets, he'll have to give it away. Who does he give it to? General Klump.
    • King K Rool, in many episodes he had the Crystal Coconut in his hand for hours worth of time and doesn't even try to make a wish during any of that time until Donkey Kong takes it back.
  • The Woobie: General Klump is generally the Butt Monkey of the show, and tends to get this reaction. "The Kongo Bongo Festival of Lights" cemented this status.

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