Donkey Kong (universe)
The Donkey Kong universe refers to the Smash Bros. series' collection of characters, stages, and properties that hail from the sub-franchise of the Mario series that deals with the character Donkey Kong. It is generally agreed on that Donkey Kong and related items count as Mario properties, but DK has appeared in enough of his own games alongside enough original characters, created by second-party developer Rareware instead of Nintendo itself, that many consider him as holding sway over a "sub-universe" of Mario. Donkey Kong is also considered part of his own universe because his universe symbol consists of the letters DK, rather than the iconic image of a Super Mushroom held by other Mario characters.
 Franchise description
The character Donkey Kong was introduced to the fledgling video game industry at the same time as Mario, in the hugely successful 1981 coin-op arcade game named after him that defined Nintendo's future business as a video game company. The game was named after the de facto villain, a gorilla (which was named after the classic 1933 movie monster King Kong), instead of the player-character Mario (or "Jumpman", as he was named at the time), because designer Shigeru Miyamoto had felt Donkey Kong to be the strongest character in the love triangle displayed onscreen - the game used then-innovative techniques to tell the on-screen story of how the stubborn pet gorilla of "Jumpman" the carpenter steals away his girlfriend, Pauline, and it is up to the hero to save the damsel in distress. The success of the game prompted Nintendo to release two arcade follow-ups: Donkey Kong Jr. in 1982, where the gorilla's son Donkey Kong Jr. goes on a similar quest to free Donkey Kong from the cage Mario (in his only "villainous" appearance ever in a video game) keeps him trapped inside, and Donkey Kong 3 in 1983, where Donkey Kong invades a greenhouse to eat vegetables and stirs up flower-devouring insects in the process, and a one-time character and protagonist, Stanley the Bugman, must shoot bug spray both at the bugs and Donkey Kong to keep both the flowers and vegetables intact.
While Donkey Kong rivals Mario relatively closely as one of Nintendo's most popular characters today, what was essentially an eleven-year hiatus awaited the character following the release of Donkey Kong 3, as he never made a new "official" appearance in a release during that time period that was not some kind of port or compilation of the original games. Evidently, this was due to Nintendo's newfound focus on nurturing Mario's new NES-based franchise that exploded onto the public spotlight as a result of the world-famous, industry-defining Super Mario Bros. for the NES in 1985. Given that the seminal side-scrolling platformer had singlehandedly defined Nintendo's future styles and practices as a video game company more strongly and specifically than Donkey Kong had four years earlier, Donkey Kong was, for a time, treated as a relic of Nintendo's past; in fact, in Super Mario Kart for the SNES in 1992, Donkey Kong Jr. was one of the eight playable racers, chosen over his father. The hiatus was only partially alleviated in June 1994 when a Game Boy game titled Donkey Kong was released; while technically a remake of the original coin-op, it retooled the gameplay and provided an enormous increase in stage count (from 3 to 100), making it a project in its own right, and it is acclaimed as one of the best Game Boy games.
The hiatus for Donkey Kong was definitively ended later that year, however, thanks to the efforts of the British developer Rare. Rare sought out a partnership with Nintendo as a second-party developer and appealed to them with their work at Silicon Graphics, Inc. in the field of pre-rendered three-dimensional graphics in animated sprite form, and Nintendo consented to Rare developing a new game centered on Donkey Kong using this technology. Rare adopted the trademark name "Rareware" and released Donkey Kong Country for the SNES in November 1994. The side-scrolling platformer received widespread critical acclaim and became the second best-selling SNES game in the system's lifespan, and was revolutionary for being one of the first games for a mainstream home video game console to use pre-rendered 3D graphics. Rareware debuted the familiar modern-day design of Donkey Kong with the game, which included his trademark red necktie (though this was actually introduced in the aforementioned Game Boy Donkey Kong), and introduced a full supporting cast of side-characters and enemies that were owned by Rareware themselves during their affiliation with Nintendo. The most well-known of these new side characters is Diddy Kong, which was originally intended to be a redesign of Donkey Kong Jr., but Rareware decided he would be a separate character when Nintendo expressed disapproval of how much of a radical change it was from Donkey Kong Jr.'s established design. (Donkey Kong Jr., oddly enough, was forever relegated to extremely occasional cameo appearances in future Mario games following this.)
Some retrospectives express doubt on whether the success of Donkey Kong Country necessarily reflected the actual quality of the gameplay itself, but Rareware released two sequels on the SNES: Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, starring Diddy Kong and his newly-introduced girlfriend Dixie Kong, and Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble, starring Dixie Kong and a gorilla toddler named Kiddy Kong, both of which were reviewed as improvements. Rareware then created the highly-acclaimed and successful Diddy Kong Racing for the Nintendo 64 in 1997, and then created the 3D adventure-platformer Donkey Kong 64 in 1999, in a similar vein to their previous work on Banjo-Kazooie. Meanwhile, Donkey Kong's thoroughly-established resurgence in the Nintendo lineup guaranteed he would forever appear in either starring or side-roles not only in future Mario games, but in the Nintendo crossover series Super Smash Bros.. But then, in late 2002, Microsoft bought out 100% of Rareware's shares, turning Rare into a first-party developer for the Xbox line of consoles and leaving the Donkey Kong Country aesthetic and related characters under Nintendo's ownership (and incidentally letting their last planned console game, Dinosaur Planet for the Nintendo 64, get revised and released as Star Fox Adventures for the GameCube).
Donkey Kong remained a regular in Mario games as always, and his contributions have included the full Mario vs. Donkey Kong series of puzzle games that pay homage to the original Donkey Kong coin-op's scenario. And the characters and setting originally introduced by Rareware and associated with the Donkey Kong Country brand have made fairly regular appearances in games published by Nintendo but, for the most part, are developed by a variety second-party developers: the Paon Corporation developed the Game Boy Advance puzzle game DK: King of Swing and its Nintendo DS sequel DK: Jungle Climber, as well as the Wii racer Donkey Kong Barrel Blast; Namco, meanwhile, developed all three titles in the Donkey Konga series of GameCube rhythm games that use a unique bongo drum-themed peripheral for input (a peripheral also used as a controller for the Nintendo-developed GameCube platformer Donkey Kong Jungle Beat); and most recently, the "official" return of the side-scrolling gameplay style of Donkey Kong Country was the 2010 Wii title Donkey Kong Country Returns, which was developed by Retro Studios (previously famous for bringing forth the revival of the Metroid franchise with the full Metroid Prime subseries). A Wii U sequel, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, is slated for November 2013.
The modern-day Donkey Kong seen in all Mario and Donkey Kong games since Donkey Kong Country is stated by the games featuring Rareware's extended Donkey Kong cast and setting to be the son (or grandson) of the "Donkey Kong" that was featured in the classic coin-op arcade games, and this original "Donkey Kong" is depicted in the Rareware-originated series as an elderly curmudgeon named Cranky Kong. (Nintendo has sometimes ignored Rareware's decision on this matter in the past, but nowadays counts this as part of the Mario canon.) Donkey Kong's extended family and friends, all of them simians, are collectively referred to as the Kong Family, living on an island shaped like Donkey Kong's head named Donkey Kong Island, and in every Kong Family-centered game their enemies are an expansive army of humanoid crocodilians called the Kremling Krew. They and their ruler, the comically obese and cantankerous King K. Rool, constantly try to steal the Kong Family's enormous hoard of bananas for unspecified reasons, and to this end they have allies of different species such as vultures and giant spiked wasps; Donkey Kong, his nephew Diddy Kong, and certain other Kong Family members embark on quests to defeat the Kremling Krew and safeguard their bananas, and the Kongs sometimes call on animal allies of their own.
 In Super Smash Bros.
If treated separately from the Mario universe, the DK universe is only about as big as most of the other franchises represented in Super Smash Bros., with one character, one stage, and one item.
The following character is considered both part of his own universe and part of the "Marioverse."
If the Donkey Kong universe is counted as separate from the rest of the Mario universe, Super Smash Bros. features one DK-themed stage:
Likewise, only one item can be said to represent the Donkey Kong universe.
 In Super Smash Bros. Melee
While Super Smash Bros. Melee features an abundance of new content, the Donkey Kong franchise is still only represented by one character. Two new stages are introduced, however, with one returning from Super Smash Bros. Also included are one new item as well as a returning item, and a few trophies.
Super Smash Bros. Melee features three DK-themed stages, however, compared to the two-at-most stages for many other franchises (Mario and Kirby being the only exceptions):
Like several other represented franchise, the DK sub-universe features a couple items:
 Full Trophy List
 In Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Players who hacked the game found a package for Dixie Kong, prompting speculation that she was intended to be in the game as a playable character.
On the final character select screen (after all characters are unlocked), DK and Diddy share a column with fellow Mario side series characters Wario and Yoshi.
While the Barrel Cannon is removed (A stage element similar to the Barrel Cannon exists in the Subspace Emissary however), the Spring is added. Also note that the Banana Peel introduced in Brawl counts as part of the general Mario universe instead of here.
 In Super Smash Bros. 4
 Games with elements from or in the Super Smash Bros. series
 Donkey Kong (game)
Mario and Donkey Kong, the characters who starred in this game became part of the Smash Bros. gang since the original Super Smash Bros. In addition, the Hammer from this game, as well as the tune that goes with it, is an item in all three Super Smash Bros. games. A section of Donkey Kong's Target Test in Super Smash Bros. Melee resembles the first level of the game. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, a stage known as 75 m is based directly on the third level in the game. Also, in Brawl, in Mario's Down Taunt, Mario spins around and falls to the ground. Mario did something like this whenever he dies in this game. In addition, DK's red costume may be a reference to his original sprite from this game. It also appears as a Masterpiece. It starts the player on the level 75 m takes place on.
 Donkey Kong Jr.
Donkey Kong Jr. appears as a trophy in Super Smash Bros. Melee. He appears as a sticker in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Mr. Game & Watch's down aerial is based on the Game & Watch version of Donkey Kong Junior. The main menu music for this game is part of the Famicom Medley played on the Mario Bros. stage in Brawl.
 Donkey Kong Country
The first area in the game, the Kongo Jungle is a stage in both Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros. Melee. The music for the first level of the area was also used and remixed for both games. The K. Rool Ship Deck theme and Map /Bonus Theme music was featured in the Rumble Falls stage in Brawl. Various characters, animal buddies, and enemies cameo as trophies and stickers in Brawl. Diddy Kong, who made his first appearance in this game, is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. DKC was originally intended to be included as a Masterpiece, the reason for its removal is unknown. Many references are made to DKC in the form of movements, attacks and victory poses, as well as a remix of the "Boss defeated" and "bonus room win" fanfare for both the Kong's victory theme.
Its two sequels have additional characters that cameo as stickers or trophies. (i.e. Dixie Kong)
 Donkey Kong 64
The DK Rap, the infamous song in Donkey Kong 64’s opening sequence, is the theme song for the Kongo Jungle stage. Also, the Jungle Japes is a stage in Melee, which takes its appearance from this game. All but one of Diddy Kong's special moves come from this game. His neutral special move, the Peanut Popguns, are one of his main weapons in the game, and this becomes his projectile weapon in Brawl. The peanut ammunition used in the move therefore also originated from Donkey Kong 64. Diddy Kong's Final Smash, the Rocketbarrel Barrage also came from this game. Donkey Kong's forward aerial originates from this game. Konga Beat is Donkey Kong's Final Smash, which is similar to if not the same as Donkey Kong's musical attack from Donkey Kong 64 (Bongo Blast). Lanky Kong, Chunky Kong, Tiny Kong, Donkey Kong, and Diddy Kong, playable Kongs in the game, appear as stickers.
 Donkey Konga
The drums, or bongos, that first appeared in this game as the controllers are used in Donkey Kong's Final Smash, and the strength differs depending on whether the player hits the drums at the right time or not, similar to the scoring system in Donkey Konga. The opening theme for Super Smash Bros. Melee is a playable song in the PAL version of the game.
 Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat
The Rumble Falls stage in Brawl is based on the area with the same name from the Pineapple Kingdom. The technique to perform Donkey Kong's Final Smash, Konga Beat, is based on the gameplay from Jungle Beat.