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Video Game / Donkey Kong Jungle Beat

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Donkey Kong Jungle Beat is a platform game starring Donkey Kong, made in 2004 by Nintendo for the GameCube (and later released on the Wii). Although superficially similar to the Donkey Kong Country series, the game has little to do with Rare's stint with the character, notable in that it features none of the characters introduced in The '90s. Be that as it may, some elements from Donkey Kong Country, such as riding animals and collecting scattered coins and bananas, do feature in the game.

The storyline is minimal (and even then, it was only added by the Wii version): A kingdom of small monkeys living in the jungle have had their bananas stolen by a group of evil kings, led by the Cactus King, so they call on the big ape to retrieve them and teach the baddies a lesson on their behalf.

Collecting scattered bananas increases Donkey Kong's stamina; as an interesting feature, the more elaborate the acrobatics he uses to reach them, the more stamina they're worth. The stamina comes in handy at the end of every other stage, as Donkey Kong faces off with one of the evil kings.


The original GameCube release had Donkey Kong's moves controlled via a set of bongo peripherals normally used to play the Donkey Konga rhythm games. Said control scheme works much better than it sounds. Meanwhile, the Wii release used more traditional platforming controls, making use of actual buttons and the control stick, but also mimicking the bongo controls to some degree. All of this naturally makes for a very interesting and unusual gaming experience.

Due to its unusually high amount of brutal (albeit bloodless) violence, it became the first game to be rated E10+ by the ESRB.



  • 100% Completion: It is possible to get a platinum crest on every kingdom in the game, including the final bosses. If you manage to do so, the level select music gets an upgrade.
  • 1-Up: In the Wii version, since it is much easier to die and beats are less common.
  • Adaptational Heroism: The plot summary above is actually from the Wii release. The original plot involved DK beating up a bunch of apes just to show he's the king of the jungle.
  • Advancing Boss of Doom:
    • The Iguanadon thing that chases Donkey Kong and Hoofer; they later get an opportunity for revenge, but it is invincible in its initial appearance.
    • Also the blowfish looking enemy that rolls toward you, and you must attack its tongue to defeat it before you're stuck between it and a wall.
  • Animal Mecha: The Tusk bosses.
  • Ass-Kicking Pose: Karate Kong especially.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: The plot of the original Gamecube release has DK beating up other apes to prove he's king of the jungle. The Wii version tones this down by having DK only doing so to take back the bananas they stole from the Party Monkeys.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Asteroid Belt, the second level of the Star Fruit Kingdom (and the last regular level in the game), and the following Sumo Kong battle, though the Sumo Kong match is not as far out of the atmosphere.
  • Battle in the Rain: The fight with Ninja Kong is set in the rain.
  • Big Bad: The Cactus / Ghastly King. In both versions it's mentioned he's hypnotized the Kongs Donkey fights, but the Wii version is the only one where Donkey opposes him on the moral grounds of his actions.
  • Big Eater: The post-stage minigame in most levels involves Donkey Kong eating bananas very quickly. Great performances can have him down 60 bananas in about 4 seconds.
  • Blow You Away: Some pig enemies blow strong wind through their nostrils and the rocs will try to blow you away with their wings if you get too annoying. The giant bees will also try this.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: The warthogs, Sumo Kong, and Donkey Kong himself.
  • Boss Rush: Kong of the Mountain from the New Play Control! version.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Donkey Kong's gold crown after 100% completion in the New Play Control! version, as well as new menu music in all versions.
  • Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": The Iguanadon is anything but.
  • Call-Back: When you get the Cactus/Ghastly King down to approximately 2/3 of his health, the drum beat and grunts from near the end of the Dread Kong battle is added to the music.
  • Captain Ersatz: This game has many characters like this, as none of the characters introduced in the SNES trilogy return. Special mention goes to the Helper Monkeys, who are clearly based on the noticeably absent Diddy Kong and even share the same voice actor as him!
  • Catch and Return: With coconuts and explosive pineapples.
  • Circling Birdies: Most of the creatures you can stun see stars when you beat them up.
  • Companion Cube: Apparently, the director considers the banana a character.
  • Critical Annoyance: Heard when only having one hit left in the Wii version.
  • Cutscene Drop: This is done quite blatantly during the boss fights.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Going from the Bongos in the GameCube version to the Wii Remote/Nunchuks in the New Play Control! version, where backflipping is about the only thing that's easier.
  • Dual Boss: Double Tusk is made up of two elephant robots. One gets more powerful when the other falls.
  • Dumb Muscle: Donkey Kong, especially in the GameCube version, where his motives are simple to the point of instinctual.
  • Electric Jellyfish: And they are completely invincible (except when you're riding on the orca), but the game also has regular, non-electrifying, non-invincible jellyfish.
  • Energy Weapon: Grave Tusk and Torch Tusk shoot lasers.
  • Eternal Engine: The Clock Tower. Not just the clockwork of what must by multiple clock faces on the outside, but conveyor belts too.
  • Every 10000 Points: The Wii version spits out a health upgrade or extra life every 500 beats.
  • Feather Flechettes: Used by the rocs, which are more dangerous in the Wii version.
  • Fisticuffs Boss: The Kong battles are unlike the remaining battles in the game, as they don't involve platforming of any kind and are closer to a Punch-Out!!-esque minigame in essence.
  • Flash Step: Blue Ninjapes, though you can catch them if you clap quickly enough.
  • Floating Water: Sweet Paradise and Cloudy Heights have bodies of water that hover in the air and you have to swim through.
  • Fungus Humongous: Exceptionally large mushrooms are around, which stretch out to serve as bouncy platforms when you clap near them.
  • Giant Mook: Giant Roosters, gale hogs, giant versions of the already giant bees.
  • Giant Spider: They block your punches with their eye lids(?) and attack with their spike-filled legs...they're not really like spiders at all beyond superficial appearance.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality:
    • The GameCube version's story was simply that Donkey wanted to become king of the jungle and was beating up everything that was trying to stop him. The party monkeys supporting him for unknown reasons. The Wii version's story made him a hero who was going after thieves who stole bananas from the party monkeys, making it more like black and white morality.
    • The other Kongs were only attacking Donkey Kong because they were under the influence of Cactus/Ghastly King.
  • Green Hill Zone: Dawn Savanna, the first level, is a grassy plain with a simplistic layout.
  • Ground Pound: A player can start up some combos through clever use of it.
  • Hailfire Peaks:
  • Harmless Electrocution: The ninja monkeys on storm hill who jump into the air and raise their swords in the middle of a thunderstorm still have to be finished off by Donkey Kong after they are shocked. Donkey himself can still be finished by electrical hazards, but is unlikely he will be in the Gamecube version. Both monkey and Donkey have their electrical resistance severely reduced in the Wii version.
  • Harmless Freezing: Averted, being frozen will kill you quick if you don't quickly break out of the ice. That said, you'd have to not be paying attention to die of freezing in the Wii version.
  • Helicritter: The giant bees, not the helibirds, despite what their name suggests.
  • Huge Rider, Tiny Mount: DK and the Helibirds, although the birds do tire out.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: A few enemies, but none are more apparent than the ninjapes.
  • Infinite 1-Ups: Pristine Sea, the ocean stage right before the Karate Kong fight, offers the opportunity for pulling off what's likely the most magnificent instance of Infinite 1-Ups in Donkey Kong history, only short of the rope trick in "Misty Mine" from the original Donkey Kong Country. After reaching the water's edge near the start, don't collect any bananas. Swim until you get to the small island, and perform as many aerial combos off the right shore as possible before falling into the ocean without touching the ground. After that, perform a wall-jump off the eastern wall. Go back to the start (but don't step on dry land!) and collect all the bananas for about six beats apiece. The barrel blast and Orco sections will increase your banana numbers exponentially. When you finally touch dry land, you will have attained well over three thousand bananas!
  • Instant Thunder: Justified; you are the one causing the thunder that precedes the shock the ninja monkeys get.
  • Interesting Situation Duel: All of the Kong battles, with Karate Kong and Sumo Kong being the most outlandish of them.
  • King Mook:
    • Turret Tusk to the smaller elephant turrets.
    • The Rocs and Hogs bosses also have rare regular enemy variants.
  • Kung Fu-Proof Mook: The elephant turrets, which can only be destroyed by explosives or by hijacking one a Ninjape is using and shooting the others.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Grim Volcano, Ancient Foundry, Lava Cavern, and Magma Coliseum.
  • Level Ate: Sweet Paradise, which is composed primarily of a floating Jell-O-like substance that can be swam through like water.
  • Level in the Clouds: Cloudy Heights, where it is possible to rack up a combo of over 3000 beats. Donkey travels across it with the help of extended vines that surround overgrown beanstalks, as well as a bubble that emanates from a special flower called Bubble Shrub.
  • Lost in Translation: The Final Boss, the Cactus/Ghastly King, is enough of a Kaiju that you'd be forgiven for not realizing it at first, but he is in fact yet another Kong. This is better conveyed by his original name in the Japanese version, "Final Kong", which is the same for both encounters with him, unlike in the English version, which may confuse English speakers into thinking they're different characters.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Donkey Kong while using the squirrel parachute and Helibirds.
  • Minecart Madness: The Hoofer stages.
  • Mini-Boss: Tree pigs, arctic gecko/iguanas, five eyed spiders, ballerina pandas, red eyed fish, and rock heads.
  • Mood Motif: The music will pickup more elements when Donkey Kong's combos get longer, with people chanting in the background eventually.
  • Musical Gameplay: Though not so much in the game as most examples, but every bongo tap makes a noise and Donkey Kong's actions are purely through bongo playing and clapping in the Gamecube version, so you are making your own music every time.
  • Musical Nod: The Cactus King's battle music samples sound effects from the original Donkey Kong arcade game. You may recognize its main melody as a remix of the intimidating sounds played when DK climbed the building with Pauline in tow.
  • Ninja: Ninja Monkeys, Ninjapes, and Ninja Kong.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: The Game. Almost anything that can survive more than two hits can also be hit many more times than what is necessary to defeat them to rack up your score.
  • Old Hero, New Pals: With the exception of Donkey Kong himself, none of the characters who appeared in the Donkey Kong Country trilogy on SNES or in Donkey Kong 64 appears in this game. Instead, DK's friends and family have been replaced with the Helper Monkeys, as well as the Jungle Buddies (who are similar to the Animal Buddies from the previous games, but clearly aren't the same). This notably makes this the only post-1994 Donkey Kong game to not feature Diddy Kong in any capacity. Averted with later Donkey Kong games, who would bring back characters from the games developped by Rare.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: Donkey attracts a combo fairy, which look like flying balls of light, every time he performs a new action without his feet touching solid ground.
  • Palette Swap: The hog, roc and tusk bosses can be distinguished by which moves they can do and what color they are, however, one half of Double Tusk is identical to Turret Tusk, despite being more powerful even without its partner.
  • Power Glows: Karate Kong briefly goes purple, to show that he is going to get a little harder.
  • Power-Up Mount: Hoofer, Orco and the Helibirds.
  • Primal Chest-Pound: If you clap while Donkey Kong is standing still and there is nothing for him to interact with nearby, he will produce shock waves by beating his chest. Dread Kong, Ninja Kong and Cactus/Ghastly King do this before they decide to fight harder.
  • Punched Across the Room: Many potential combos with the Cactus/Ghastly King end with Donkey Kong sending him flying until he crashes into the wall.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Preformed by rapidly beating the bongos after clapping by most creatures you can catch.
  • Reaching Towards the Audience: Well, punching towards the audience, that is.
  • Recurring Riff: The hogs, rocs, and tusks each have a reoccurring theme.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The first two Kong bosses, Dread Kong and Karate Kong.
  • Shockwave Clap: Donkey's most-used tool while platforming in this game.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Quite a lot of them. You even ice skate through them instead of running.
  • Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom: Unlike many other games, being smashed isn't instantly fatal; Donkey Kong's strong enough to push the walls back apart at the cost of some beats. Not true in the new play control version though, which also adds more of them.
  • Space Zone: The entire Starfruit kingdom is outside of any planetary atmosphere.
  • Spikes of Doom: Besides the prickles and thorns common to Donkey Kong games, there are also ice formations, sharp crystals, spiny fish, and even some furry mammals that serve as them. Subverted in the Gamecube's clock level, where the spikes can't hurt you because they are in the background. The Wii Version adds cacti.
  • Story Breadcrumbs: In the New Play Control! version.
  • Super Spit: The rock heads, red eyed fish, and latter three rocs can spit some kind of spore stream Donkey can solidify and send back at them. The rocs can also spit flaming rocks. Ghastly King belches green stuff (cactus juice?) at you.
  • Super Strength: Donkey Kong shows it more than in previous games where you played as him, as well as the Super Toughness that comes with it. The latter trait is significantly toned down in the Wii version.
  • Tennis Boss: Gets more difficult later on by adding environmental distractions while you try to return volleys. Also different than most examples as it is a homing projectile that returns on its own rather than the boss hitting it back. You have to hit it hard enough to send it back at the boss until it breaks on the enemy.
  • The Spiny: Puffer fish and spiked toads. Donkey Kong beats them by reaching inside their mouths and slapping their tongues against their bodies.
  • Theme Naming: The boss Kongs are all named for their fighting style, except for Dread Kong. He is instead named for his dreadlocks.
  • Throat Light: The Ghastly King has a pink one.
  • Token Human: The Chopperbird is not an actual bird, but rather a human in a red bird suit that resembles the Helibirds encountered frequently in the game.
  • Under the Sea:
    • Pristine Sea is the first water level. Jellyfish and pufferfish appear as enemies, and DK eventually rides an orca back to the surface. The deeper parts of the level have the music cut out for the sake of atmosphere. Overlaps with Palmtree Panic.
    • Arctic Plunge is a ice-flavored variant. It features all of the aquatic foes encountered in Pristine Sea, as well as some new ones.
    • Deep Sea Sprint is an undersea race against some turtles.
  • Unusual User Interface: Walk, run, jump, shimmy, and swim by beating on bongos and clapping.
  • Updated Re-release: The New Play Control! version.
  • Use Your Head: How Donkey Kong defeats the Rocs and how the giant roosters attack. DK can also do this to get an edge on Sumo Kong.
  • Variable Mix: The boss themes for hogs, rocs, tusks and kongs change when they become vulnerable.
  • Wall Jump: Useful for combos; there are even conveyor belts on the clock tower walls to facilitate it.