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YMMV / Donkey Kong

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For individual games and the Country subseries in general:

Donkey Kong franchise in general

  • Base-Breaking Character: Candy Kong. There are those who find her appealing, while others don't. She does have credit with some fans for being one of the original Kongs, but there are also plenty who don't really look forward to see Candy again due to her questionable role and design.
  • Broken Base:
    • Nintendo's tendency to reduce Donkey Kong back to sub franchise for the Mario series, especially after Rare's departure (see Dork Age below). Some believe it strips away Donkey Kong's new found identity as an independent series and limits the use of proper Country series follow ons, while some enjoy playing as Donkey and Diddy in Mario titles and different gameplay genres. At the very least some are willing to give the Mario spin offs more credit after the Donkey Kong Country series was revived by Retro Studios, as Donkey Kong now had his own series running again.
    • Unrelated to her status as this in DK64, a few fans miss Tiny Kong's old kid design, while others much prefer her aged up redesign. You will rarely find a person who likes both designs.
  • Dork Age: After Nintendo sold off Rare in 2002, the franchise struggled in finding a new identity for itself. Donkey Kong stopped starring in platform games and went into quirky spinoff titles that while they have their share of fans, were unimpressive and lacked memorability. It came to an end in 2010, when Retro Studios took over and developed Donkey Kong Country Returns, which was was released to wide acclaim and brought in a new legion of DK fans.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Stanley has a bit of a fanbase despite his obscurity.
    • Cranky Kong and his fourth wall-murdering quips have always been beloved by the fandom, to the point he eventually got Promoted to Playable in a main DKC game.
    • Funky Kong has always had a big fanbase, despite being one of the many side characters found in the Country games.
    • Chunky and Lanky were fairly popular additions in DK64, but outside of a few sporadic appearances, they've largely been missing for around two decades. Chunky even more so, as Lanky at least featured in Barrel Blast as a playable character.
    • As the more recent games have put him and his race off the spotlight, K. Rool and the Kremlings have become this, especially for older fans. Before finally making his triumphant return in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, K. Rool's last major appearance was in Mario Super Sluggers released 10 years prior to Ultimate.
  • My Real Daddy:
    • Rare is generally considered to be the true shaper of the Donkey Kong franchise for introducing DK's unique supporting cast, setting, and enemies, as otherwise the original games would have been a footnote in the history of the Mario series. Cementing this further is the Dork Age the franchise suffered from 2002 to 2010, the time between when Rare left the helm, and before Retro Studios took over the franchise.
    • While the fans have not forgotten Rare even after their buyout by Microsoft, they have also embraced Retro Studios as a "second" daddy for their work on Donkey Kong Country Returns and winning back the fandom for the then-suffering franchise.
  • The Scrappy: Kiddy Kong is not really well-liked, no thanks to his rather ugly design, being another Mighty Glacier (thus shelving Donkey Kong for the second time in a row) and having little personality of his own besides being a baby. No wonder he has never shown up in another game ever since Donkey Kong Country 3. Tellingly, while Tiny Kong was initially a Replacement Scrappy for her sister Dixie, fans had the opposite reaction to Kiddy's brother Chunky.

The original arcade game

  • Accidental Innuendo: "HOW HIGH CAN YOU GET?"
  • "Common Knowledge": Tons.
    • No version of the game paints Mario and/or Pauline as being Donkey Kong's abusive owners.
    • Donkey Kong is only an escaped circus ape in the cartoon.
    • Donkey Kong Circus is not meant to be a prequel and doesn't even take place in a circus. The circus name is a leftover due to being a Dolled-Up Installment of a licensed Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck game, with DK as the former and Mario as the latter.
    • There's no evidence that Stanley is Mario's cousin. Evidently, fans believe everyone who wears overalls has to be related somehow.
  • Fandom-Enraging Misconception: Go ahead and say that the girl in the original game is Peach. We dare ya. Not helped by Peach actually replacing Pauline in the Modern version of the G&W version in Game & Watch Gallery 2.
  • Follow the Leader: The game was endlessly ripped off by other Japanese games companies, both straight clones and also variations - one of which, the 3D-isometric Congo Bongo, was foreshadowing-ly made by Sega. It also had home version clones, one of which was Miner 2049er.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The original appears to be more popular in the U.S. than in its home country of Japan. Nearly all of the notable world records are set by Americans, and not a single one by a Japanese player.
  • More Popular Spinoff: The entire Super Mario Bros. series.
  • Newer Than They Think: The game's theme tune, which would later be memorably updated into the theme for Donkey Kong Country, actually wasn't in the arcade original. It was added for the NES port.
  • Nightmare Fuel: In Donkey Kong 3, when Stanley loses a life, all the enemy bugs on the screen swarm his lifeless body, and when they leave, nothing is left but his spray bottle. This only appears in the arcade version.
  • Porting Disaster:
    • The Intellivision version with its blocky graphics, limited number of screens, and terrible controls. So bad that it was purposely blocked from being played on the updated Intellivision II by its hardware. Carl Mueller Jr. created an updated version with better graphics, more screens, and even additional characters you can play as.
    • Even the NES version was infamously lacking, omitting the 50m stage and some cutscenes and animations. Donkey Kong: Original Edition is essentially an authorised Game Mod reinstating some of these elements into the NES version while keeping it's own bells and whistles, leaning it more as a Polished Port, though it still lacks certain parts like the introduction cutscene.
  • Sequelitis: Donkey Kong 3 switched up the gameplay from a platformer to a shooter, and replaced Mario with an exterminator named Stanley. It ended up being far less popular than its predecessors, so Nintendo focused on the increasingly popular Mario Bros. game instead.
  • Sequel Displacement: Many people born in modern times think that Mario debuted with Super Mario Bros.. Likewise, there exists a small group of people who think, or at least once thought, that Donkey Kong made his debut in Donkey Kong Country. Technically they're right, but it was the current Donkey Kong, with the original Donkey Kong debuting as Cranky Kong.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: The original arcade game was created after Nintendo failed to license Popeye.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The music played during Kong's initial climbing resembles the theme from Dragnet. The music while Mario is swinging a hammer less closely resembles Rocky's theme.
    • Donkey Kong, Jr's. main action screen theme bears more than a few tonal similarities to the 1960's classic "I Will Follow Him" by Peggy March.


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