Retrogaming: great adventures in Donkey Kong Country

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Steven L. Ken
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Among the titles that made the Grande N great there is certainly Donkey Kong Country and we talk about it in this appointment with retrogaming

Originally published on Super Nintendo Entertainment System in November of 1994, and developed by Rareware, Donkey Kong Country immediately recorded a huge success going to confirm itself as one of the most acclaimed retrogaming titles on the console. It is in fact placed in no time at all in the Top Ten of the SNES along with authentic milestones such as Super Mario World e The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past released only a few years earlier. Of course this title of our favorite ape, together with the two games just mentioned, is present in the SNES mini along with other historical titles.



A game in which our primate, together with theinevitable Diddy, played the role of absolute protagonist of his adventure along the varied scenarios of DK's Island. In short, a title that allowed him to enter the Nintendo classics together with esteemed colleagues of the caliber of Super Mario, Link, Samus, Mega Man, Kirby and so on.

Yet this was not exactly the game that first saw him appear on the screens and, above all, not exactly on the side of "good". So how was born the personal saga of the most famous ape in the world? So prepare yourself some banana to peel, gods balloons for the extra lives, a couple of bidoni to be launched and we leave for its discovery.

From the cabin cruiser to the SNES

First of all, in Japan, there was a Nintendo cabinet that was having a huge success in the arcades of the Rising Sun and it was about Radar Scope. An arcade title from the late seventies that, like Space Invaders or Galaga, consisted of defending the planet from an alien invasion aboard a spaceship. The problem is that the American public, unlike the Japanese one, did not seem to like the title very much and so Nintendo thought it well to use the same technology to create another game. If Japan has Astro Boy, America has Popeye, so a title with the strong sailor, the tender Olivia and the rival Brutus seemed like a good idea, but the project did not go through.



The team at the time, also strong in the presence of a very young man Shigeru Miyamoto, created a totally new game and with a title that American gamers could have appreciated right away. It was the 1981 and, after a series of "legendary misunderstandings", our stubborn ape was officially born, but he was not yet as we know him today. In cabin cruiser, in fact, he was an enemy who had kidnapped the girlfriend of a certain carpenter who will leave for his rescue along multiple levels filled with ladders and rolling barrels. Have you already understood who we are talking about?

If you answered Super Mario and Peach, well, you came very close. It is in fact Jumpman, who will later become Mario, and Pauline, we will also find it in Super Mario Odyssey. A situation, and a game, even mentioned in an episode of Griffin where Quagmire thus referred to the Vietnam War. Speaking of war, as you may have understood, this cabinet was inspired by the famous Hollywood ape and Universal sued Nintendo. The Big N, however, had a lawyer by the name of it John Kirby who demonstrated how the story and characters were in the public domain and won the case.

Nintendo, to thank him, gave his name to one of the most famous characters of all time and he even gave him a boat baptized with the name of "the game of discord". The victory therefore allowed Nintendo to export the title also to other consoles of the time, such as the Atari 2600 or the Commodore 64, also creating sequels with even the primate's son. Games where, this time, the parts were reversed and the monkey was held captive by Jumpman!



After the third chapterHowever, Nintendo decided to rely on the British house Rareware to create a more fun, colorful and technologically advanced game. Thus was born the headline for SNES above all thanks to the rendering techniques of the Rareware that allowed to create rather realistic and captivating characters.

We also remember that Rareware, "impersonated" there in the figure of the developer Tim Stamper, collaborated with the Kyoto house for the sequels of these "monkey adventures" and other titles such as foul-mouthed Conker's Bad Fur Day, the fierce frogs of Battletoads, the colorful and fun Banjo – Kazooie, the inevitable GoldenEye 007, the very bad Killer Instinct, the dark one Perfect Dark and many others.

Story and characters - Retrogaming: Donkey Kong Country

The story in question is simple enough, but it won't be easy to get to its conclusion at all. DK's Island has indeed been invaded by the evil King K. Rool who, together with his crew of pirate crocodiles, he stole all the bananas and it will be up to our heroes to save the day. Guided by the wise advice of Cranky, probably the old protagonist of the cabinet, from the save points of the Candy girlfriend and by Funky rocket barrels, our two monkeys will therefore face tons of enemies on various scenarios before fighting the final battle against the leader of the Kremlings.


Jungles with vines hanging from the branches, crazy mine rides aboard trolleys, intricate underwater levels, dark caves and much more is what the game offers along with secrets, bonuses and, of course, a disproportionate number of bananas to harvest!


Game Modes - Retrogaming: Donkey Kong Country

The game mode is quite easy and anyone who has played one arcade, in both 3D and 2D, he knows very well how it was developed. The route from point A to point B it will therefore be made even more dangerous by enemies e alternative routes where, to reach 100%, the character must be carefully selected. In fact, on this title, we can say that we have "two shots"Available that can be" reloaded "if the barrels with the word DK are found. In these, depending on who we are controlling, the big or the small monkey will appear.

these barrels they can still be used as a weapon to strike against enemies, a bit like in the days of Jumpman, while others will be used to save your progress in the level and access small secret areas. Of course, since both we and our enemies are animals, the bonuses will also have such features. Recover three golden effigies belonging to the same animal, for example the ostrich, and go wild in the bonus zone to collect more lives! And, of course, don't miss them either letters that make up the word KONG!

If you do not succeed there is no problem because, scattered around the level, there are bananas and also some small red balloons. Our "equation" will therefore be composed as follows, 100 bananas equals 1 life e 1 red balloon equals 1 life, easy right? In all this, however, pay attention to the enemies because, if you do not have the "companion" with you, just one touch and you will have to start over. To make your way through the levels easier, the game will send you anyway five different animals to help which, with the exception of one, can still be hit by wasps or removed if dropped into a ravine.

  • Rambic (rhino): perfect for ramming enemies and accessing secret areas
  • wait (swordfish): the ideal means of transport to strike and advance underwater
  • Winky (frog): suitable for the most demanding jumps and for all difficult to reach points
  • Espresso (ostrich): He just can't knock out enemies, but he can still run very fast and glide
  • Squaks (parrot): appears in only one level and sheds light along the way

A more than lucky start - Retrogaming: Donkey Kong Country

Given the huge success of the first chapter, what was Nintendo's next move? That's right, two more followed for SNES like Diddy's Kong Quest e Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble! in the following two years. A trilogy that, like the one in 2D and 3D of our favorite plumber, is a real must for fans of the saga. A little less than the animated series of the same name of the nineties which, although it was made with computer graphics, it is not that it was exactly a masterpiece. After all, it was a not uncommon phenomenon, like the upheavals and disappointments, as evidenced by the animated series of characters belonging to the sagas of Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Sonic and Kirby.

However, our apes have also appeared in all other subsequent Nintendo consoles, such as the Nintendo 64 or the Switch, and also in other series such as Mario Kart or Super Smash Bros.! There are also some educational games to learn math, but these are not exactly excellent titles. Also honor yourself with a themed path in the park Super Nintendo World in Japan, the famous primate is mentioned in both pixel than in an episode of Futurama where, in both cases, together with our favorite ape we also find the legendary Pac - Man.

In conclusion

In conclusion, Donkey Kong Country is a game that, despite its own almost 30 years on the shoulders, is still able to entertain, excite and even put players in difficulty. And the same could be said for portable console versions like the one for Game Boy Color e Advance! In any case, it seems that today we are on the eve of the announcement of a new title in the series which, after the years passed since the last Tropical Freeze, it is precisely that kind of announcement that aficionados have been waiting for for quite some time now. In any case, if you own it SNES original or the mini one, you can always think about it, you will not regret it at all!

In conclusion, if you like play his various adventures scattered over time at the right price, click here, while, to be always up to date on video games yesterday and today, we are always waiting for you here on techigames!

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