YMMV: Donkey Kong Country

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     The games 
  • Accidental Innuendo: The name of the first game's second boss' level: Necky's Nuts.
  • Awesome Music: Enough for its own page.
  • 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.
    • A few fans miss Tiny Kong's old DK 64 design, while others much prefer her aged up redesign.
  • Critical Dissonance:
    • An interesting case, there are actually a substantial number of professional reviewers who dislike Diddy Kong, whereas among fans he is an extremely popular character.
    • In a similar vein, the DK Rap from the 64 game is frequently lambasted by critics for sounding bad despite being its intention while fans properly view it as it was intended, with many even enjoying it without a sense of irony.
  • 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.
  • Ear Worm: Most of the songs in DKC1, DKC2, and both versions of DKC3.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Funky Kong and Dixie Kong, while 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.
  • Fandom Berserk Button: People will often mistake Diddy and Dixie for siblings. They're supposed to be an Official Couple. This bugs fans, especially shippers.
  • 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 overseas, probably because it was an SNES game released after the Nintendo 64, and unlike everywhere else, 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: While the SNES trilogy has always been loved for its super-fun gameplay, it's obvious that the main draw of the series in its heydey (and the obvious key to its staggering success) was the superb pre-rendered CGI sprites, which were nothing short of jaw dropping for a SNES game, and all without any add-ons or even a Super FX chip. This ironically became a criticism of the game, saying it wouldn't have been as loved or fun without the graphics—-which prompted Nintendo to release the Donkey Kong Land series on Game Boy (and later successfully porting the first DKC onto Game Boy Color) which kept the solid gameplay of the consoles intact, in spite of the inevitable downgrade to 8-bit (but still first rate for handheld) graphics, which silenced those critics. In hindsight, while the graphics are dated now, the series (particularly the first two) are still acclaimed as legitimate platformer classics, once again owing to their still first-rate gameplay, and the appealing cartoon art has helped take the burden off the dated CGI.
  • Magnum Opus: Either Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest or Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze depending on the fans. They do agree in the opinion that these are the finest entries for their respective developers (Rare and Retro Studios).
  • Memetic Badass: Diddy Kong; and DK himself to a lesser extent.
  • Memetic Molester: Donkey Kong (see Memetic Mutation below)
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Memetic Sex Goddess: Candy Kong, especially in Donkey Kong 64 where she uses her charms to distract King. K.Rool after the final boss battle for Funky to deliver the finishing blow.
  • 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.
    • The chimes you hear when you reach the goal of a level also count.
    • When you beat the bosses in Donkey Kong Country Returns with the right timing, you can flail wiimote like crazy, which causes DK to massively pummel the Tiki controlling the boss. The more punches he gives, the more awesome it sounds.
  • MST3K Mantra: It's probably best not to ask how a parrot can fly around while holding two apes in his claws.
  • My Real Daddy: While Miyamoto created Donkey Kong, it is the work of Rare and to a smaller degree Retro Studios that undeniably made Donkey Kong into what he's known for and made this series and its creations such as Diddy Kong iconic to the character and turned him into a hero.
  • 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.
  • Popularity Polynomial: The series was huge in the mid-90's, with both critics and gamers praising it to no end. And, while DKC 3 may not have had the impact the first two games hadnote , the series remained very relevant well into the Turn of the Millennium. Sometime during the mid-2000's, Hype Backlash set in, and it became trendy among critics and gamers to badmouth the series. Most retrospectively attribute this to spite over Rare's decision in late 2002 to leave Nintendo for Microsoft, while others point to a well publicized quote by Shigeru Miyamoto proclaiming that the series was all graphics and no gameplay . Either way, the Donkey Kong Country series found its way onto many "Most Overrated Games Of All Time" lists and was seen as a prime example of all that was wrong with the mid-90's shift to 3D. Fortunately, the backlash subsided greatly after Donkey Kong Country Returns became a massive critical and commercial success. And the series' reputation has, since, returned to greatness among critics and gamers.
  • Replacement Scrappy:
    • Tiny Kong from Donkey Kong 64, who is a Suspiciously Similar Substitute of Dixie.
    • Ellie the Elephant from DKC3, who replaced the series' most iconic animal buddy, Rambi the Rhino.
    • 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. This was averted with the Snowmad Tribe from Tropical Freeze, which were much better received.
    • 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.
    • Tiny Kong, thanks to her complete redesign in Diddy Kong Racing for the Nintendo DS which earned her quite a few fans in the process. Though averted with some who liked her cute younger design, and were rather unsettled at seeing a kid character suddenly fanserviced up.
  • 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: While the games are generally well-received even today, the excessive critical praise heaped on their visuals in the mid-90's (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.note 
  • 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.
  • Squick: Tiny Kong's redesign, to some. The aging and fanservicing up of a child character understandably disturbed a few fans.
  • Sweet Dreams Fuel:
    • The song for the Enchanted Wood level from DKC2.
    • "Aquatic Ambiance" from DKC1 is also often a big favorite among fans for its relaxing nature. Special mention goes towards the remix from Tropical Freeze, which, thanks to modern technology, David Wise was really able to give the song its proper due as a really relaxing piece. Listen here.
  • That One Boss: A handful of them 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. He's even tougher in the second game, and takes this Up to Eleven there.
  • 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. It's not too tough with Dixie if you're good with her helicopter hair, but god help you if you only have Kiddy.
      • 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 Rocket Rush.
      • 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. It didn't help that 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 and post redesign Tiny 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. And more amazing is that the games didn't use any add-ons, or even the SNES Super FX chip; everything you see on-screen is done on the actual hardware!

     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.
  • Awesome Music:
  • 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 these moments.
  • Crazy Awesome: Leo Luster, who is Bluster's alternate identity in one episode. Also, Funky Kong.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In one episode, K.Rool and the Kremlings try to sabotage DK's life. Which one of their plans is throwing a banana peel on the ground where Candy is walking, causing her to trip. Immediately assuming Donkey Kong left it there, she immediately breaks up with him before he can even defend himself, despite everyone eats Bananas.
  • Ear Worm:
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: King K. Rool and the rest of the Kremlings on the show.
    • The Annotated Series counts Bluster Kong as well.
    • Also Dixie Kong, who maintains her popularity from the games.
  • 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.
    • Also Alternate Diddy Kong in It's a Wonderful Life.
  • Evil Is Sexy: The Candy Kong robot used to weaken DK by cutting his hair.
  • Foe Yay: K. Rool using a love potion to turn DK and Candy into his servants.
  • Fridge Brilliance: The fact that Klump and Skurvy have the same model makes perfect sense when you realize that Scurvy was based off of the in-game enemy from Donkey Kong Country 2 named Kannon which was essentially Klump from the first game with a cannon. This is taken Up to Eleven when you also learn that Skurvy is Klump's big brother.
  • 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. A later episode then 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!!. He can also fight King K. Rool in a boxing ring in Donkey Kong 64.
    • During the memetic "I'm gonna be a Star" sequence, Donkey Kong sings about wanting to drive around in a big fancy car. With Mario Kart 8 getting a Mercedes-Benz as DLC, he's finally getting his chance.
    • In the opening scene of "To the Moon Baboon", DK briefly inquires whether there are bananas on the moon.
    • "It's a Wonderful Life" has Diddy being the villain instead of King K. Rool. Maybe that tidbit serves as decent inspiration for this.
    • A Kong with martial arts skills named Kong Fu appears in one episode of the same name. Nearly a decade later, another martial arts-based kong (Karate Kong) is an enemy in Donkey Kong Jungle Beat.
  • Ho Yay: Several jokes implying that the crocs are gay pop up in "Four Weddings and a Coconut".
  • Jerkass Woobie: King K.Rool occasionally treaded around this territory.
    • Bluster Kong also.
    • Eddie the Mean Old Yeti deconstructs this considering that he is mean, it's highly implied that his time alone on the White Mountains has made him Go Mad from the Isolation which actually makes him a woobie at the same time.
  • Memetic Mutation: K. Rool screaming "WHYYYYY NOOOOTTTT!!!???" from "Bug a Boogie".
    • WEEEELLLLLL LISTEN HERE WHILE I MAKE IT CLEAR
    • 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.
  • Memetic Sex Goddess: Candy Kong, just like in the games. Bluster tries to win her over numerous times over DK, and K. Rool has some Foe Yay moments with her.
  • Narm/Narm Charm: Depending on who you ask, some of the songs fall into this category.
  • 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. Notably, it used the same Motion Capture technology used in the video games, years before it was more commonly used outside of that medium.
  • Sick and Wrong: In "Kong For A Day" Krusha imitates DK's voice and makes passes at Dixie behind their back, which cause her to think DK is hitting on her. Obviously Diddy is pretty pissed about this whole incident.
  • So Bad, It's Good: See Seinfeld Is Unfunny and Narm Charm. The show and songs both qualify as this.
  • 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) during the first season. The second season, while having noticeably stiffer looking movements and was overall much brighter, generally avoided this.
    • 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:
    • "Nobody's Hero", which DK sings after K. Rool's machinations get him alienated from his friends.
    • "Klump's Lumps," as well as Klump's song in the episode.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Dixie Kong, despite her overall popularity had the least amount of scenes in the show out of all the main characters.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: "Kong For A Day". In the episode, DK gets framed for several incidents by K. Rool. A piece of evidence DK's friends use against him is a banana peel at the scene. While it's DK's Trademark Favorite Food, every other ape on the island eats bananas, so a peel in the vicinity doesn't prove anything. However, DK gets banished to the White Mountains, and now Diddy must protect the Crystal Coconut. Diddy holding down the fort could have made an interesting plot if DK's sentence wasn't flimsy.
  • Uncanny Vally: The CGI has not aged well at all.
  • 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.
    • In many episodes, King K Rool has the Crystal Coconut in his hand for hours worth of time and doesn't use it until Donkey Kong takes it back.
    • The Crystal Coconut grants unlimited wishes, they could easily wish K.Rool to go away forever, except Cranky's "So powerful it must never be used" note  insistence, averts any of that.
  • The Woobie:
    • General Klump is generally the Butt Monkey of the show, so it's intended he gets this reaction. "Klump's Lumps" and "The Kongo Bongo Festival of Lights" completely cemented this status.
    • Also Dixie Kong in most of the scenes she's in qualifies for this.
    • Donkey Kong can also hit this status, especially in "Kong For A Day" and "Its A Wonderful Life".
    • Baby Kong in every important scene he's in.