Donkey Kong (SSBU)
Donkey Kong (ドンキーコング, Donkey Kong) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He was confirmed on June 12th, 2018. Donkey Kong is classified as fighter #02.
Donkey Kong retains his realistic gorilla grunts from Super Smash Bros. 4, although they are slightly less animalistic.
Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4
Donkey Kong received a mix of buffs and nerfs in his transition to Ultimate, but was generally nerfed overall.
One notable buff is that his Giant Punch no longer makes him helpless when used in air, giving him a new edgeguarding option, as well as improvements to his forward throw give him a lot more options out of a grab. Donkey Kong’s already insane KO power got buffed, as most of his moves do more knockback. Donkey Kong also benefits from the universal changes, as his already great mobility has improved from faster walking and dashing speeds. Donkey Kong also benefits from the universal 3-frame jumpsquat change, as it allows for more combo opportunities.
However Donkey Kong has also received some notable nerfs. The up-throw variant of his cargo up throw now has more knockback which, while having great kill potential, severely hampers DK's infamous "Ding Dong" kill confirm of cargo up throw to up aerial. This, along with the nerfs to rage, worsens Donkey Kong's ability to KO at earlier percents. To make matters worse for the nerf to Ding Dong, Donkey Kong is one of the characters who suffers the most from the universal nerfing of grabs. This means it’s much less safer to use a grab for combos, and Donkey Kong will need to find a way to be unpredictable with combos.
In the end, Donkey Kong's nerfs outweigh his buffs, making him fare worse than in Smash 4. It’s currently unknown how these changes will ultimately affect Donkey Kong. He was initially believed to be improved from already his good standing from SSB4, with Donkey Kong doing exceptionally well in tournaments during the first few weeks of Ultimate. This made many professionals believe that Donkey Kong is potentially a top 15-20 character. However, as Ultimate's metagame evolved, his tournament representation went down significantly to the point where his overall representation in tournaments is rather poor, unlike his strong representation in SSB4. Currently the general consensus is that he is a mid-tier character, according to some professionals like ZeRo and VoiD. However, a few professionals paint Donkey Kong as a low-tier character, such as ESAM and Mew2King, both of whom consider him a bottom 10 contender. Until further notice, Donkey Kong’s tier placement remains debatable.
Throws and other attacks
Donkey Kong has been buffed in game updates, although mostly just for fixing inconsistencies like forward aerial not autocancelling properly, an issue that had been present since Brawl, and Giant Punch missing opponents point blank due to the hitbox shifting in the Z-axis.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
In competitive play
Classic Mode: Journey to New Donk City
Donkey Kong's path chronicles Donkey Kong traveling from his home to New Donk City via plane. After defeating Diddy Kong, he becomes Donkey Kong's partner for the rest of the mode.
Credits roll after completing Classic Mode. Completing it as Donkey Kong has Donkey Kong Country Returns (Vocals) accompany the credits.
Note: Every stage until Round 6 plays a track from the Donkey Kong universe, no matter what universe the stage originates from.
Note 2: On Intensity 7.0 and up, Crazy Hand is joined in the battle and the music Master Hand / Crazy Hand is played instead.
Character unlock tree
Donkey Kong's Classic Mode character unlock tree includes the following characters in order:
Each character can be unlocked by clearing Donkey Kong's Classic Mode, or the Classic Mode of any preceding character, if all preceding characters have been unlocked. Once all the above characters are unlocked, clearing Classic Mode with any of them will default to Mario's character unlock tree, starting with Sonic.
Role in World of Light
Donkey Kong was among the fighters that were summoned to fight against the army of Master Hands.
During the opening cutscene, Donkey Kong was present on the cliffside when Galeem unleashed his beams of light. Galeem's light beams vaporized Donkey Kong offscreen, placing him under Galeem's imprisonment along with the other fighters, excluding Kirby.
He can be rescued in a jungle segment of the Light Realm, on a space that looks like the treehouse where he lives on his series.
Donkey Kong's Fighter Spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins. Unlocking Donkey Kong in World of Light allows the player to preview the first spirit below in the Spirit List under the name "???". As a Fighter Spirit, it cannot be used in Spirit Battles and is purely aesthetic. Each Fighter Spirit has an alternate version that replaces them with their artwork in Ultimate.
Additionally, Donkey Kong makes an appearance in a few Primary and Support Spirits.
In Spirit battles
As the main opponent
As a minion
Character Showcase video
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