- This article is about Donkey Kong's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee. For the character in other contexts, see Donkey Kong.
||An ape with overwhelming girth and power.
|—Melee's instruction Manual
Donkey Kong (ドンキーコング, Donkī Kongu) is a default character in Super Smash Bros. Melee. He returns from the original Super Smash Bros., but with faster moves and agility, as well as an improved recovery.
He is currently 17th on the tier list in the B tier. Donkey Kong, true to being a heavyweight, is tough to KO, which is also aided by his fast falling speed. Donkey Kong is also very powerful in his attacks, and he has excellent range to boot. He is also perhaps surprisingly fast for a heavyweight, and his jumping prowess is also surprisingly good. Donkey Kong also had plenty of options available for him to combo others, aided by his high air speed. However, Donkey Kong himself is easy to combo due to his large frame, and his recovery gives little vertical distance and has no options for extending it; this also makes him extremely vulnerable to meteor smashes and spikes.
Donkey Kong is the 2nd heaviest character in the game, as well as a large target. His attacks are very strong, but many of them also have long startup times. Donkey Kong is faster than one would expect. He has slightly above average dash speed, very fast air speed, fast falling speed, and a high initial jump. On the downside, he has a small shield which invites shield stabbing. Donkey Kong has very high range, but he lacks projectiles and a sufficient defense against them. Donkey Kong's up special, Spinning Kong, serves as his recovery move. It covers great horizontal distance, but poor vertical distance. This leaves Donkey Kong vulnerable to meteor smashes and spikes. Donkey Kong has a great dashdance. When it comes to comboing, Donkey Kong can combo certain characters to high damage percentages with his grab, cradle, up throw, up aerial juggle combo. He also has good combo finishing moves such as his charged giant punch, back aerial, and forward aerial. On the downside, Donkey Kong's very heavy weight, large size, fast falling speed, and very long hitstun leave him extremely vulnerable to combos and chaingrabs.
For a gallery of Donkey Kong's hitboxes, see here.
 Ground attacks
- Neutral attack- Swipe, Uppercut - A swipe, then an uppercut. 4%, then 6% damage.
- Dash attack- Konga Kick - Kicks in front to do 11%.
- Forward tilt- Backhand Slap - Slaps in front of him. Spaces opponents out. 10% damage.
- Down tilt- Slouch Slap - Sweeps with his hand. 7%. Very fast with long range.
- Up tilt- Spider Web Swipe - A fast upwards sweep. 9-11% damage.
- Forward smash- Kong Klap - Claps in front of him for big knockback. Somewhat fast. 20% uncharged, 29% fully charged.
- Up smash- Ape Applause - Claps above him, good knockback. Somewhat slow, not to mention this will not hit a grounded foe at all. 18% uncharged, 24% fully charged.
- Down smash- Twin Beat - Brings his hands high and slams them down. 14-16% uncharged, 19-22% fully charged.
 Other attacks
- Floor attack- Gets up and punches on both sides. 6% damage.
- Ledge attack- Launches his back to the floor with huge range, for a ledge attack. Does 8% damage.
- 100% ledge attack- Gets up and slaps anyone in front of him. 10% damage.
Donkey Kong's aerial attacks
- Neutral aerial- Kong Whirl - Rotates his body, good for close situations. 10-12% damage.
- Forward aerial- Hammer Knuckle - Similar to Mario's, brings his hands together and brings them down. This can meteor smash at his arms as opposed to his hands, which yields good horizontal knockback. 16%.
- Back aerial- Back Kick - Fast kick behind him, good edgeguarder. 9-13% damage.
- Up aerial- Flying Headbutt - Headbutts upward, does 14% damage. Combos into another up aerial.
- Down aerial- Flying Stomp - A Stomp attack. Thrusts his foot down. 13-16% damage. Also a meteor smash.
- Pummel- Karate chops the foe. 2-3% damage, pretty fast.
- Forward throw- Picks the opponent up. If up and A are pressed, tosses foe upward and does 7%, and can chain Fox, Falco and Captain Falcon. If down and A are pressed, throws the opponent like a bowling ball, 6% damage. If the directional button is pushed in the direction behind and A is pressed, tosses opponent behind him for 8%. If the direction button is pushed in the direction in front of DK and A is pressed, launches foe in front of him for 8% damage.
- Back throw- Tosses foe behind him. 11% damage.
- Down throw- Violently shoves the enemy to the ground, does 7% damage. Can chaingrab.
- Up throw- Throws foe above him with one hand. Can chaingrab fastfallers, like his cargo up throw. 9% damage.
 Notable players
- See also: Category:Donkey Kong professionals (SSBM)
 Changes from Smash 64 to Melee
Donkey Kong has received buffs and nerfs, but was overall nerfed.
- He now has faster air speed (went from the slowest in Smash 64 to among the faster air speeds in Melee).
- His attacks are generally faster.
- His new up aerial has better comboing ability.
- Giant Punch charges faster and has less ending lag.
- His new side special move, Headbutt, can bury opponents.
- Spinning Kong now has a trapping effect, goes a slightly longer distance, and no longer has set knockback when it first comes out (now can KO). It also has less ending lag.
- Hand Slap has a little more power added to it and has slightly higher range. It also has less start-up.
- Neutral combo now has a wider hitbox.
- His forward aerial and down aerial have much slower start-up and only meteor smash when hit at the bottom. Additionally, the latter's hitbox length was shortened, but it has more range and power.
- His attacks are generally weaker, such as his forward smash.
- Giant Punch has less reach, damage, and knockback (now deals 30% instead of 36%).
- His new up aerial has less reach.
- His new down smash and back aerial's hitbox length has been slightly shortened.
- Hand Slap has more ending lag as opposed to just none in Smash 64.
- His grab range was reduced, going from the longest non-tether grab in Smash 64 to below average in Melee.
- His falling speed has increased, which makes him more vulnerable to combos.
In terms of cosmetics, DK's hair color was darkened. He still has his voice clips from the previous game, though with better quality. The voice clips when he taunts and is KO'd in SSB are switched in Melee. When he taunts, he makes the grunt noise heard in SSB whenever he gets KO'd; when he dies, he makes a burping sound heard in SSB whenever he taunted. His other costumes has different ties to them (black has blue; red has a slightly darker blue than the black costume; blue has purple; and green, which is no longer just a team battle costume, has a red tie that is very similiar to the original costume, but is a little darker). In addition, his other costumes no longer change his skin color (this is the only game in the series to do this).
 In single-player
Donkey Kong appears in a one-on-one, as an ally, on a team with Fox, in a Giant battle, in a multi-man battle, or in the metal battle. Donkey Kong appears in Kongo Jungle or Jungle Japes except the metal battle, where he appears in Battlefield instead.
Donkey Kong appears in Stage 2 of Melee's Adventure Mode, Kongo Jungle in two parts. In the first part, the player battles two tiny Donkey Kongs on the Kongo Jungle stage and after they are beaten, the player will battle a giant Donkey Kong on the Jungle Japes stage.
Donkey Kong and his allies are fought on Kongo Jungle.
Donkey Kong is featured in the following event matches:
- Event 2: Lord of the Jungle: As a giant DK, the player battles a tiny DK on the Kongo Jungle stage.
- Event 10: All-Star Match 1: DK is the second opponent the player must fight in this series of staged battles. Their character battles him on the Jungle Japes stage, and their character has 2 stock while DK has 1. With a timer of four minutes, the player must defeat him and the other four characters with the overall time and life the player has: Mario, Yoshi, Peach, and Bowser.
- Event 13: Yoshi's Egg: As Yoshi, the player must protect a Yoshi Egg from Fox, Pikachu, and Donkey Kong on the Rainbow Cruise stage for 55 seconds. If the egg breaks, the event ends.
- Event 25: Gargantuans: A scenario designed in homage to old, camp monster movies like Godzilla and King Kong: On the Fourside stage with unlimited time, the player plays as a giant-sized Bowser (symbolically representing "Godzilla") with 1 stock against a giant-sized Donkey Kong (symbolically representing "King Kong") with two stock. Two other characters on the match are a tiny Mario and a tiny Peach, who will be KO'd within seconds of the battle between the two main characters.
 Ending images
 Trophy descriptions
In addition to the normal trophy about Donkey Kong as a character, there are two trophies about him as a fighter, unlocked by completing the Adventure and All-Star Modes respectively with Donkey Kong on any difficulty:
- Donkey Kong (Classic)
- While he now prefers the laid-back jungle lifestyle to construction site mischief, DK is often forced back into action by the Kremling Krew. The great ape is quite fast despite his burly physique, and he keeps his strength up with a steady diet of his favorite food: bananas. His one extravagance (and only piece of clothing) is a monogrammed necktie.
- Donkey Kong (Adventure)
- Donkey Kong is a huge target in a fight, so he hates crowds. When he's in the fray, his Giant Punch deals serious damage to multiple opponents. The big ape's Headbutt hits so hard that it temporarily buries opponent's in the ground. DK is a lot faster than he looks, and he's lethal in the hands of a master. (B: Giant Punch, Smash B: Headbutt)
- Donkey Kong (All-Star)
- Being the strongest simian around, DK has the upper hand once he grabs an opponent. He can even lift his foe up and make him or her an unwilling traveling companion; if DK grabs you, shake your Control Stick as fast as you can to break his grip. His Spinning Kong covers more lateral distance than vertical, so use it quickly to recover. (Up & B: Spinning Kong, Down & B: Hand Slap)
Donkey Kong's changeable clothing in SSBM
- Oddly enough, DK has a hurtbox attached to his necktie. It's assumed this is to prevent thin projectiles or other such attacks from missing a hit due to slipping between DK's arms and ending in the empty space of his standing animation, but it also artificially inflates his overall hurtbox in many other animations.
- Donkey Kong is the only character in the game to have an aerial attack that cannot be autocanceled, being his foward aerial.