Donkey Kong (universe)
|Donkey Kong (universe)|
Arcana Software Design
Rare (Diddy Kong Racing)
Gregg Mayles (Donkey Kong Country)
|Console/platform of origin||Arcade|
|First installment||Donkey Kong (1981)|
|Latest installment||Arcade Archives Donkey Kong 3 (2019)|
|Article on Super Mario Wiki||Donkey Kong (universe)|
The Donkey Kong universe (ドンキーコング, Donkey Kong) refers to the Super Smash Bros. series' collection of characters, stages, and properties that originate from the subset of Nintendo's Mario franchise that is focused on the character Donkey Kong. In this case, it is a series that was initially established by developer Rareware, then a second-party developer for Nintendo, to feature Donkey Kong alongside an extended simian cast, crocodilian enemies, and a setting separate from the primary Super Mario games. The Super Smash Bros. series therefore saw fit to categorize Donkey Kong and these related properties with its own series symbol, rather than the iconic image of a Super Mushroom assigned to the "main" Mario series - much like the other Mario sub-characters, Wario and Yoshi. The first two Smash Bros. games featured Donkey Kong as the series' only playable fighter, but then would include Diddy Kong in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and subsequent Smash games, while King K. Rool would debut in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
By the beginning of 1981, Nintendo had developed a series of cabinet arcade games that were moderately successful in Japan, but its efforts to market them to Western audiences had fallen flat. In the most spectacular representation of this performance, thousands of units of an arcade shooter named Radar Scope, the first game Shigeru Miyamoto ever helped develop, were left sitting in warehouse storage. The president of the newly founded Nintendo of America division, Minoru Arakawa, faced financial disaster, so he pleaded with Nintendo CEO Hiroshi Yamauchi to provide him with a new game that he could install as a replacement into Radar Scope machines. Miyamoto agreed to the task of "fixing" the game so it would appeal to gamers, and instead of tweaking the original, he designed an entirely new coin-op game out of the Radar Scope hardware, and created new characters that could then be marketed and used in later games. Miyamoto initially wanted to develop a game based on Popeye franchise, but Nintendo could not acquire the license to do so in time, so he combined the dynamic of Popeye, Bluto and Olive Oyl with the feature film King Kong. This game eventually released as Donkey Kong.
In this seminal entry, then-innovative techniques were used 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 game became an unprecedented critical and financial success for the company, especially in international markets where they previously struggled to get a foothold in. This caught the attention of Universal Pictures, the rightsholder of King Kong at the time, who sued Nintendo for copyright infringement. Nintendo won the case due to being different enough to avoid plagiarism, and this court case is still being used as precedent for infringement cases to this day.
The success of the game prompted Nintendo to release two arcade follow-ups. The first, Donkey Kong Jr. in 1982, involves the gorilla's son Donkey Kong Jr. embarking on a similar quest to free his father from the cage that Mario (in his only truly "villainous" appearance) keeps him trapped inside. Donkey Kong 3, in 1983, sees Donkey Kong invade a greenhouse to eat vegetables and stir up flower-devouring insects in the process; a one-time protagonist, Stanley the Bugman, must shoot bug spray both at the bugs and Donkey Kong to protect the flowers and vegetables. Donkey Kong would also appear in other media like Game & Watch titles, television series, and many forms of merchandise.
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, Super Mario Kart, a 1992 release for the SNES, features Donkey Kong Jr. as one of the eight playable racers rather than 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 4 to 100), making it a standalone title that is considered to be one of the best Game Boy games of all time.
The hiatus for Donkey Kong was definitively ended later that year, however, thanks to the efforts of the British game developer Rareware. Rare sought out a partnership with Nintendo as a second-party developer and appealed to them with their work at Silicon Graphics using pre-rendered three-dimensional sprites. Nintendo acquired 25% of Rare's stake (which gradually grew to 49%) and commissioned Rare to develop a new game centered on Donkey Kong using this technology. Rare would go on to release Donkey Kong Country for the SNES in November 1994. This game was a bold reinvention of the Donkey Kong universe; a 2D sidescrolling platformer that received widespread critical acclaim and became the third best-selling SNES game in the system's lifespan. It was also groundbreaking for being one of the first games on a home console to utilize pre-rendered 3D graphics, in addition to a widely praised score by British composer David Wise. Rare debuted the familiar modern-day incarnation of Donkey Kong with this game, which included his trademark red necktie (which was actually introduced in the aforementioned Game Boy Donkey Kong), and introduced a full supporting cast of expressive side-characters, animal buddies, and enemies all created by Rare during their affiliation with Nintendo. The most well-known of these new side characters is Diddy Kong, Donkey Kong's "little buddy" and partner. Originally intended to be a redesign of Donkey Kong Jr., the character came into his own after Nintendo expressed concern with how drastically different his design had become. Together, the Kongs must traverse their new homeland, Donkey Kong Island, and retrieve their stolen banana board from the clutches of the Kremling leader, King K. Rool.
Some retrospectives express doubt on whether the success of Donkey Kong Country necessarily reflected the actual quality of the gameplay itself, but regardless Rare essentially became the sole shepards of the Donkey Kong franchise during the rest of the 1990s, which included two sequels on the SNES: Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest in 1995, starring Diddy Kong and his newly introduced girlfriend Dixie Kong, and Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! in 1996, starring Dixie Kong and a gorilla toddler named Kiddy Kong, both of which were reviewed as improvements. All three Country games were each accompanied by their respective Game Boy counterparts, the Donkey Kong Land games. This was a subseries of interquels translating the pre-rendered visuals of the SNES titles onto the original Game Boy. Moving into the Nintendo 64 era, Rare would first develop Diddy Kong Racing in 1997; the game was retooled from an N64 reboot of the R.C. Pro-Am series and featured a host of original characters starring alongside Diddy Kong, some of which would later headline their own video game series. Following this, Rare released the first fully-3D Donkey Kong title, Donkey Kong 64 in 1999, a game cut from a similar cloth 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 spinoffs, but in the Nintendo crossover series Super Smash Bros.. However, in September of 2002, Nintendo sold 100% of Rare's shares to Microsoft and left the Donkey Kong Country brand and characters under Nintendo's full ownership. Several games Rare was planning to develop, including Donkey Kong Racing for Nintendo GameCube and Donkey Kong Coconut Crackers for Game Boy Advance, were either retooled into different original titles or canceled outright.
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, particularly building on the foundation of the 1994 Game Boy version. The characters and setting originally introduced by Rare and associated with the Donkey Kong Country brand also made fairly regular appearances in games published by Nintendo, but are largely developed by a variety of second-party developers: Paon 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).
Throughout the 2000's, the mainline Donkey Kong series was on hiatus not unlike the buildup to Rare's SNES trilogy. This second hiatus for the Donkey Kong franchise came to an end when Texas developer Retro Studios was approached by Nintendo and Miyamoto to produce a new Donkey Kong Country game. Having concluded their saga with the original Metroid Prime trilogy, along with several core staff leaving the studio to pursue other interests, Retro jumped at the chance to revitalize another dormant Nintendo franchise. The result of these efforts was Donkey Kong Country Returns, a return to the sidescrolling gameplay style of the Donkey Kong Country games released for the Wii in 2010. Critical reception to this game was incredibly positive, with points of praise going to the level design and challenge while criticism was aimed at the sometimes disruptive motion controls. A port of Returns by Monster Games was released for the Nintendo 3DS in 2013 featuring an easier difficulty option and additional exclusive levels. Following the Wii version's success, Retro Studios felt there were many opportunities to seize on with a sequel on more powerful hardware. As such a direct sequel, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, was released for the Wii U in February 2014. Reception was far stronger to Tropical Freeze than it was to Returns, with points of praise going to the more ingenious level design, impressive visuals, and musical score by original series composer David Wise. The game was re-released for the Nintendo Switch in May 2018 with a new easier difficulty and featuring Funky Kong as a playable character. Since the Switch port's release, Retro Studios has no plans for a third Donkey Kong Country game as the team has since shifted focus to developing Metroid Prime 4 for the Nintendo Switch.
The modern-day Donkey Kong seen in all Mario and Donkey Kong games since Donkey Kong Country is said to be the grandson of the original "Donkey Kong" that was featured in the classic coin-op arcade games, who is currently depicted as an elderly curmudgeon named Cranky Kong. 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. In many games focused around the Kong Family, they square off against a group of humanoid crocodilians known as the Kremling Krew. Under the leadership of their demented monarch, King K. Rool, the crew constantly plots 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, Diddy Kong, and many other Kong Family members embark on quests to defeat the Kremling Krew and protect their bananas, and the Kongs sometimes call on animal allies of their own.
At the time, the Donkey Kong Country series was very popular. As such, the Super Smash Bros. series treats Donkey Kong and his series of games as its own universe, separate from the Mario universe. This includes the three Donkey Kong arcade games, where Mario played a large role. The Donkey Kong universe is represented with one playable character, one stage, and one item.
- Donkey Kong (Starter): Donkey Kong is one of the most famous video game mascots in history. He is a descendant of the original Donkey Kong from the arcade games, now known as Cranky Kong. Unlike Cranky, he is the hero of the franchise, and consistently appears in many Mario spin-offs as a "big, strong, and slow" archetype. This carries over into Smash 64, where he is the biggest, heaviest character in the game, and one of the slowest. He has a unique grabbing and throwing game, in which he is the only character who can carry his opponent around on his back. His neutral special, Giant Punch, is a chargeable and very powerful punch attack. His up special is the Spinning Kong, a move where Donkey Kong spins his arms around, propelling him slightly upward. His down special is his Hand Slap from Donkey Kong Country, a maneuver where he strongly slaps the ground with the palms of his hands to cause small earthquakes.
- Congo Jungle (Starter): This stage features visuals, audio, and layout designed in direct homage to the fifteenth level of Donkey Kong Country for the SNES. It is named (albeit with a misspelling) after the first world of said game, Kongo Jungle. The stage is made out of a large, solid, wooden platform with two small semi-solid platforms on the top corners, and a pair of small rotating semi-solid platforms in the center. There is a Barrel Cannon moving horizontally below the stage which can be used by fighters to save themselves from falling.
- Hammer: A giant mallet from the original arcade Donkey Kong that could be picked up by Mario and compel him to swing it uncontrollably, pulverizing any obstacles in his way. It is used the same way in Smash 64, picking it up forces the user to uncontrollably swing it for the next ten seconds, unable to discard it. This hammer deals massive damage and knockback.
- 6: Congo Jungle Stage: A remix of the first level music heard in Donkey Kong Country. It is heard in Congo Jungle, and both the music and the stage were reused in Super Smash Bros. Melee.
- 16: D. Kong Wins: The victory theme of Donkey Kong is an orchestration of the "Boss Defeated" music or the theme played after clearing a Bonus Level, first heard in Donkey Kong Country for SNES.
- 26: Hammer: Sped-up chiptune music that occurs when a player picks up the Hammer, in homage to the music that would occur when Mario would pick up a hammer in the original Donkey Kong.
While Melee features an abundance of new content in general, the Donkey Kong franchise is still only represented by one returning character. However, what stands out about the franchise's representation is that it has a total of three stages, two brand new, and one ported from the previous game. The franchise also has two items, gaining a new one from Smash 64.
- Donkey Kong (Starter): Donkey Kong returns as a starter character, once again based on his appearance from Donkey Kong Country. Donkey Kong gains Headbutt as his new side special, which inflicts the new Buried condition - immobilizing the target in the ground. DK has gained a general increase in movement and attack speed, but at the expense of some of his exemplary power and reach. DK is considered to be neither buffed or nerfed from Smash 64 because of this but he is now ranked slightly better in Melee compared to Smash 64.
- Kongo Jungle (Starter): This stage does not represent any specific location in any Donkey Kong game, but is instead a general representation of one type of location in Donkey Kong's home jungle environment, which is on multiple wooden platforms built into the edge of a waterfall near a cabin. One type of Kremling enemy, a Klap Trap, sometimes flows down the river and snaps at players as it falls off the waterfall. Like in Smash 64, there is a Barrel Canon underneath the stage moving from side to side.
- Jungle Japes (Starter): This stage, though sharing the name of the first level of Donkey Kong 64, more closely resembles the jungle level tileset from Donkey Kong Country. It is set on multiple wooden platforms built on top of a fast-flowing jungle river, a river that makes it hard for characters to recover from if they fall in. The silhouette of Cranky Kong is seen passing by the window of a cabin in the background. Klap Traps that swim and jump out of the water to bite at players amount to very powerful stage hazards.
- Past Stages: Kongo Jungle (Unlockable): The original Congo Jungle stage from Super Smash Bros. is one of three such stages to have been ported to Melee; besides a correctly spelled name, it is seemingly an exact replica of the stage, with a slightly larger size and a slight delay to the launch process of the Barrel Cannon that is underneath the stage.
Bold italics denote an item new to the Smash Bros. series.
- Hammer: Returns from Smash 64 somewhat powered down. There is now a one-out-of-eight chance that the hammer's head will fall off its stick, forcing the player to be swinging a non-damaging stick helplessly for the entire duration. The discarded hammer head, meanwhile, can be picked up by a separate character and thrown as a powerful projectile until it disappears.
- Barrel Cannon: A portable version of the many empty barrels in the series that Donkey Kong and other characters can launch themselves out of like cannons. In Melee, a player can pick up a Barrel Cannon and throw it at another to trap them inside it, and the victim must wait until the barrel faces a proper direction before they can shoot themselves out of it with a button press.
- Kongo Jungle: A cover band performance of the "DK Rap" made infamous in the opening sequence of Donkey Kong 64, with a much different assortment of instruments and rhythms from its original appearance. It is heard in the Kongo Jungle stage. This is also used in one of Donkey Kong's credits theme. It is notable for being the first track with vocals to appear in Smash as well as the only one in Melee. It is Song 3 on the Sound Test.
- Jungle Japes: A calm and atmospheric remix of the standard "Jungle music" in various stages of the original Donkey Kong Country. It is heard in the Jungle Japes stage. This is also used one of Donkey Kong's credits theme. It is Song 4 in the Sound Test.
- Kongo Jungle N64: The Smash 64 remix of the standard "Jungle music" heard in the original Donkey Kong Country. It is heard in the same stage, Past Stages: Kongo Jungle. It is Song 27 in the Sound Test.
- DK's Victory: The victory theme of Donkey Kong is an orchestration of the "Boss Defeated" music or the theme played after clearing a Bonus Level, first heard in Donkey Kong Country. It is Song 39 in the Sound Test.
- Hammer: Sped-up chiptune music that occurs when a player picks up the Hammer, in homage to the tune that would play when Mario would pick up a hammer in the original Donkey Kong. It is Song 76 in the Sound Test.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl debuts the second playable character from the Donkey Kong series; these two characters occupy a column on the game's roster shared with the stars of the other two Mario subseries, Yoshi and Wario, which neighbors the column devoted to the core Mario series itself. Diddy Kong and Dixie Kong were originally planned to be a tag-team fighter that the player can swap between the two during battle like in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest. However, this idea was scrapped due to technical issues and Diddy Kong was left as a solo fighter.
- Donkey Kong (Starter): Donkey Kong returns from his Super Smash Bros. Melee appearance with a more natural look to his fur, but with no particular changes to his attack and movement patterns otherwise. His Final Smash is the Konga Beat, in which he enters an invincible, immobile mode and slaps on bongo drums to the beat of the DK Island Swing theme from Donkey Kong Country - for each successfully timed button input by the player during this process, DK emits a large damaging shockwave. These drums are a replica of the bongo drum controller peripheral used for the GameCube games Donkey Kong Jungle Beat and Donkey Konga, which in turn was based on an "ultimate musical attack" DK could use in Donkey Kong 64. As a fighter, Donkey Kong has regained a good degree of power and force in his attacks, has better mobility and as a result, he is now a mid-tier character; despite this, the different Brawl environment and his ever-present weaknesses against projectile-using characters in high-level play causes him to remain in the mid tier in the competitive community.
- Diddy Kong (Starter): Diddy Kong, a monkey, was introduced as Donkey Kong's nephew and best friend in Donkey Kong Country, and in that game and many games to follow he has become the most prolific "secondary" playable character to Donkey Kong in the latter's games, even being the main character of some of his own games. Due to his introduction in a British-developed title, Diddy Kong is the only character made outside of Japan in the Brawl roster. His special move arsenal includes generating and tossing Banana Peel items that trip opponents, as well as some technology from his playable role in Donkey Kong 64 - his Peanut Popguns give him a second projectile, while his Rocketbarrel Boost is usable for recovery. His final smash, Rocketbarrel Barrage, combines these two implements into a temporary flying mode that shoots very powerful explosive projectiles downwards. While this utility, together with Diddy's good overall speed, is offset in concept by his weak smash attacks and weak KO moves, the greatly versatile capabilities of his banana peels - useful for offensive maneuvers, defensive maneuvers, and stage control alike - more than make up for his shortcomings and manage to cement him as one of the game's best competitive character choices.
- Rumble Falls (Starter): Based on the game Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, Rumble Falls is a large level, filled with ladder-like layers of platforms, in which the camera and the blast boundaries continuously scroll upwards, forcing combatants to constantly climb up while fighting, much like the Icicle Mountain stage from Melee. The stage is one of few in the game to include ladders that characters can climb, and also has various traps and buttons that can be hit to activate them. Once the top of the waterfall is reached in the background, the stage background fades into the starting waterfall and restarts itself.
- 75m (Unlockable): An almost perfect recreation of the elevator stage in the original Donkey Kong arcade game, rendered in an identical 8-bit style. Another of a few stages that contain climbable ladders, the unorthodox, platform-packed stage includes many stage hazards: mobile fireballs, bouncing jacks across the long top platform, and the original arcade-style Donkey Kong himself at the top left.
- Melee Stages: Jungle Japes (Unlockable): The Jungle Japes stage makes a return appearance as part of Brawl’s collection of Melee Stages, with one primary difference: characters are now buoyant in the rushing river underneath the platforms because of the new swimming mechanic. While the river is still dangerous and carries off characters very fast, it is possible for a character that falls into it on the right side of the screen to be able to jump back out and recover.
Bold italics denote an item new to the Smash Bros. series.
The Barrel Cannon is removed as a traditional item, despite a black, metallic variation on it now appearing as a common stage element in various levels of the Subspace Emissary adventure mode. Meanwhile, the Peanuts that Diddy Kong can create are not available as items that can be switched off or on in matches, but while the Banana Peels he creates are official items in and of themselves, they are counted as representative of the core Mario universe instead of Donkey Kong, representing the item from the Mario Kart series.
- Hammer: The Super Smash Bros. Brawl version of the Hammer is virtually unaltered in function or specifics from its Melee version, besides some slightly altered damage values for a hurled Hammer head.
- Spring: This item's design is taken directly from the second level of Donkey Kong Jr., as well as the sound that plays when it is jumped on, though the concept of a spring that can be carried and hurled more closely resembles Super Mario World. As an item, this is a fairly weak throwing projectile, but while grounded, its purple-facing side can propel away characters that bump into it, whether the spring is left lying upright or on its side.
- Jungle Level Ver. 2 - A fast-paced, jazzy, rock-tinged arrangement of the "DK Island Swing" music from Donkey Kong Country. It is the theme of the Rumble Falls stage.
- Jungle Level - Another remix of "DK Island Swing". This remix is taken directly from the Donkey Kong Country soundtrack. It is used on the Rumble Falls stage.
- King K. Rool / Ship Deck 2 - A completely redone version of the song used during the battle against King K. Rool in Donkey Kong Country. It is used on the Rumble Falls stage. This theme is also played during both Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong's Classic Mode credits.
- Bramble Blast - From Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, where it was known as "Stickerbush Symphony," this is a faster remix of said song, which played in all of the bramble-filled levels. It is used on the Rumble Falls stage.
- Donkey Kong - A techno arrangement of the themes from the original Donkey Kong arcade game, composed by the original game's sound effects producer, Hirokazu Tanaka. It is the theme of the 75m stage.
- Opening (Donkey Kong) - A remix of several themes from the original Donkey Kong arcade game. It is used on the 75m stage.
- Jungle Japes (Melee) - Taken directly from Melee. A calm and atmospheric remix of "DK Island Swing". It is the theme of the Jungle Japes stage.
- Kongo Jungle (Melee) - Taken directly from Melee. A cover band performance of the infamous "DK Rap". It is used on the Jungle Japes stage.
- Battle for Storm Hill - Music for the first stage of the Durian Kingdom named "Battle for Storm Hill", taken directly from Donkey Kong Jungle Beat. It is used on the Rumble Falls stage.
- DK Jungle 1 Theme (Barrel Blast) - Taken directly from the recently released racing title Donkey Kong Barrel Blast, it is used on the Rumble Falls stage.
- The Map Page / Bonus Level - A combination of two themes taken directly from the Donkey Kong Country—the world map and Bonus Levels. It is used on the Rumble Falls stage.
- 25m BGM - The music of the first level of the Donkey Kong NES port. It is used on the 75m stage.
- Victory! Donkey Kong Series - A whimsical-sounding remix of the victory theme played in Donkey Kong Country after defeating a boss or successfully completing a bonus level.
The Donkey Kong franchise continues to be well represented within Super Smash Bros. 4. While there are no new characters, other content within the games has been updated to reflect such recent titles like Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. Both Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong return.
- Donkey Kong (Starter): He has once again received a furrier appearance than his prior game appearance. While most of his moves are the same, many of them have been buffed. For example, his Spinning Kong now spins at an angle when used on the ground and Hand Slap can now be used in midair. His dash attack has also been changed to the Roll Attack from the Donkey Kong Country games. He sports more exaggerated facial expressions while performing attacks. When Donkey Kong is launched, his eyes will bulge out of his head.
- Diddy Kong (Starter): He's back again and about time too and this time he's in the mood. He was revealed to promote the Western release of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. His proportions have been tweaked to match his recent appearances, like his head being smaller. Due to his arms and legs stretching while performing attacks, several of his moves involving his limbs now have longer range in general. A significant nerf is that he can now only have one Banana Peel out at a time. Much like Donkey Kong, his general expressiveness has been exaggerated.
for Nintendo 3DS
- Jungle Japes (Starter): Staged before Cranky's Cabin in the eponymous forest from Donkey Kong 64. The cabin is positioned above a rapidly-flowing river filled with Klaptraps that snap at the players. Due to the limitations of the 3DS hardware, water is not swimmable, making the stage function the same way it did in Melee. This is one of the possible stages to appear in Level 1 of All-Star Mode as a home stage for Donkey Kong. Its Ω form is a floating platform like Final Destination.
for Wii U
- Jungle Hijinxs (Starter): Staged in the first level of Donkey Kong Country Returns. The stage has two layers, allowing a player to travel between the foreground and background areas via Barrel Cannons. After doing so, the player will be covered in non-damaging flames. Attempting to use a barrel while in flames will cause an explosion, preventing stalling. While in the background, attacks will cause more knockback to compensate for the further distance from the blast lines. Occasionally, the middle part of the foreground will crumble away. Screaming Pillars occasionally appear on the right side of the stage between the foreground and background. Blasting into it from the one side will cause it to fall toward the other side and damage anyone it hits. Only its Ω form can accommodate 8-Player Smash, which is columnar.
- Kongo Jungle 64 (Unlockable): A wooden complex in a jungle canopy from Donkey Kong Country at sunset. A Barrel Cannon hovers back-and-forth underneath the stage and will launch fighters that fall into it. A flock of Neckies flies in the background. This stage is large enough to accommodate 8-Player Smash and is one of the possible stages to appear in Level 3 of All-Star Mode as a home stage for Diddy Kong. Its Ω form is columnar. Its Ω form is a floating platform. It is one of four stages from the original Super Smash Bros. to be in SSB4, with the other three being Peach's Castle, Hyrule Castle, and Dream Land. Of the four, Kongo Jungle 64 is the only stage available in the base game.
- 75m (Starter): A construction site from the original Donkey Kong. The eponymous ape periodically moves into the foreground and summons bouncy pixelated springs that cause damage on impact. Unlike in Brawl, the beams in the upper right corner of the stage are not walk-off platforms, removing the opportunity to camp. It is one of the largest stages in the game and supports 8-Player Smash. Its Ω form is a floating platform like Final Destination.
- Hammer (battering): A large mallet from the original Donkey Kong. The player who picks it up enters a state of constantly swinging it, inflicting damage to opponents who make contact with its head. However, the Hammerhead occassionally falls off, leaving the user vulnerable as they swing a useless stick. Other players can pick up the Hammerhead and throw it as a powerful projectile. The length of the attack is much shorter than it was in Melee and Brawl.
- Spring (throwing): a purple spring from Donkey Kong Jr. It is a bouncy projectile the fighters can hop on. If it falls on its side after being tossed, it will bounce opponents from the side, like the Bumper item. The base and top of the Spring is more stylized than before, with a yellow ring-like pattern on it.
Smash Tour items
- Hammer (Red): A large mallet from the original Donkey Kong. The user starts battle with a Hammer.
- DK Barrel (Red): A wooden barrel with the "D.K." symbol on it from Donkey Kong Country. It allows the user to have one of their characters as a CPU ally.
- Zinger (Blue): An aggressive wasp from Donkey Kong Country. The user places a trap on the board that can launch an opponent.
- Dixie Kong (Red): A pony-tailed ape from Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest. It adds an extra jump to the user's number of midair jumps.
- Kritter: One of King K. Rool's crocodile cronies from Donkey Kong Country. It lumbers around the stage and will attack nearby opponents. Its design derives from its more recent appearances in Donkey Kong Barrel Blast and Mario Super Sluggers. There are two varieties of Kritter:
- Green Kritter: A run-of-the-mill Kritter with green scales. It bites three times, and can turn around between each snap.
- Blue Kritter: A Kritter with blue scales. It strikes opponents with a multi-hitting spinning tackle, which it can also perform while jumping.
- Tiki Buzz: A flying tiki drum from Donkey Kong Country Returns. It drops down on opponents that walk underneath it. Like a Goomba, it can be defeated by jumping on its head. Doing so launches the player skyward.
- King K. Rool Outfit (DLC): This outfit is based on King K. Rool, the reoccurring antagonist of the early Donkey Kong Country games and Donkey Kong's rival. He has been a highly requested fighter among fans since Melee, but a big collective push from the community resulted in him being a very popular candidate on the Smash Bros. Fighter Ballot. The outfit was released with a corresponding hat in K. Rool's likeness on July 31, 2015 as downloadable content. The costume is covered in crocodile scutes, has a tail, and features a gold-platted belly. These are characteristics that have not been part of K. Rool's design since Donkey Kong 64.
Nine of the nineteen tracks included are derivative of "DK Island Swing" from the original Donkey Kong Country, including three of the new music tracks.
- Jungle Level Jazz Style: A jazz-influenced orchestration of "DK Island Swing" from Donkey Kong Country. It plays on Jungle Hijinxs.
- Jungle Level Tribal Style: An arrangement of "DK Island Swing" from Donkey Kong Country led by a shakuhachi flute. It plays on Kongo Jungle 64.
- Gear Getaway: An arrangement of "Gear Getaway" from Donkey Kong Country Returns and "DK Island Swing" from Donkey Kong Country. It plays on Jungles Japes and Jungle Hijinxs.
- Donkey Kong Country Returns (Vocals): A vocal remix of the title theme of Donkey Kong Country Returns, itself an arrangement of "Theme" from Donkey Kong Country. The chorus is uncredited and the vocals are nonsensical. It plays on Kongo Jungle 64.
- Kongo Jungle: A remix of "DK Island Swing" from Donkey Kong Country. It plays on Jungle Japes and Kongo Jungle 64.
- DK Rap: an arrangement of "DK Rap" from Donkey Kong 64 sung by James W. Norwood Jr. The piece was abridged in Smash for Wii U. It plays on Jungle Hijinxs.
- Donkey Kong: An electronic dance-influenced medley of pieces from the original Donkey Kong, including "Radar", "25m BGM", "75m BGM", and "Game Start". It plays on 75m.
- Opening (Donkey Kong): An arrangement of "Title Theme" from Donkey Kong. It plays on 75m.
- Jungle Level: A faithful orchestration of "DK Island Swing" from Donkey Kong Country. It plays on Jungle Hijinx.
- Jungle Level Ver. 2: An arrangement of "DK Island Swing" from Donkey Kong Country with a faster tempo and a chorus. It plays on Kongo Jungle 64.
- King K. Rool / Ship Deck 2: A remix of "Gang-Plank Galleon" from Donkey Kong Country. It plays on Kongo Jungle 64.
- Stickerbush Symphony: An arrangement of "Stickerbush Symphony" from Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest. It plays on Smash Run and Jungle Hijinxs.
- 25m Theme: "25m BGM" from the NES port ofDonkey Kong. It plays on 75m.
- Battle for Storm Hill: From Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat. It plays on Jungle Hijinx.
- Donkey Kong Country Returns: Though sourced from Donkey Kong Country Returns, it itself is an arrangement of "Theme" from Donkey Kong Country. It plays on Kongo Jungle 64.
- Jungle Hijinx: Though sourced from Donkey Kong Country Returns, it itself is an arrangement of "DK Island Swing" from Donkey Kong Country. It plays on Jungle Hijinx.
- Mole Patrol: From Donkey Kong Country Returns. It plays on Jungle Hijinx.
- Mangrove Cove: From Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. It plays on Jungle Hijinx.
- Swinger Flinger: "Bopopolis" from Tropical Freeze, itself an arrangement of "DK Island Swing" from Donkey Kong Country. It plays on Jungle Hijinx. The name of this piece is misapplied in Smash.
- Victory! Donkey Kong Series: A flourished fanfare of the victory theme from Donkey Kong Country, after Donkey Kong defeated a boss or completed a bonus level. It is sourced directly from Brawl.
The Donkey Kong series has received a considerable boost in representation, with the Donkey Kong Country games receiving greater representation. In addition to the returning two veterans, King K. Rool makes his debut as a newcomer along with the first Assist Trophy in the series. This is the first title to have unlockable Donkey Kong fighters.
- 02. Donkey Kong (Starter): The leader of the bunch returns once again as a starter fighter, this time with a new Final Smash called Jungle Rush.
- 36. Diddy Kong (Unlockable): Donkey Kong's little buddy returns as an unlockable fighter after being a starter in Brawl and Smash 4. During the transition, Diddy Kong received a new Final Smash called Hyper Rocketbarrel.
- 67. King K. Rool (Unlockable): The leader of the Kremlings and nemesis of the Kongs, King K. Rool makes his debut as an unlockable newcomer, sporting a design that combines his modern appearance with his original look from Donkey Kong Country. He uses his Blast-o-Matic from Donkey Kong 64 for his Final Smash.
- 75m (Starter): The sound effects present in the stage have been changed to match the original arcade version.
World of Light Sub-World
- DK Island: Based on the Kongo Jungle world map from Donkey Kong Country, DK Island appears as a sub-world in The Light Realm. The player progresses through the map much like the original game, with all spirit battles hailing from the Donkey Kong universe. Once the player gets to the banana horde, they can unlock Diddy Kong.
- Hammer (battering): A large mallet from the original Donkey Kong game, functioning largely the same as it did in previous games. Aesthetically, the music that plays when a character picks up hammer now sounds closer to the original arcade game's corresponding theme, and if a hit connects, the corresponding sound and visual effects are shown.
- Klaptrap: A recurring enemy in the Donkey Kong games. When summoned, Klaptrap latches onto the opponent and bites on them, dealing damage.
- Donkey Kong / Donkey Kong Jr. Medley: A medley of tracks from Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr., including "Game Start", "25m", "Hammer Theme", "Bonus Running Out", "Stage Clear", "100m", and "All Clear" from Donkey Kong, and "Game Start", "Stage 1", "Stage 4", "Ending", and "Stage Clear" from Donkey Kong Jr.
- The Map Page / Bonus Level (Remix): A medley of "Simian Segue" and "Bonus Room Blitz" from Donkey Kong Country.
- Snakey Chantey: A new remix of Rattle Battle's music from Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest.
- Gang-Plank Galleon: A new fast-paced funk remix of Gangplank Galleon's music from Donkey Kong Country.
- Crocodile Cacophony: A medley consisting of a techno remix of "Crocodile Cacophony", Kaptain K. Rool's boss theme, and "K. Rool Returns", both from Donkey Kong Country 2.
- Jungle Level (64): An arrangement "DK Island Swing" from Donkey Kong Country, the music played in jungle levels, returning from the original Super Smash Bros.
- DK Rap: A remix of the "DK Rap" from Donkey Kong 64, sung by James W. Norwood Jr. Returns from Melee.
- Jungle Level (Melee): Another arrangement of "DK Island Swing" from Donkey Kong Country, returns from Melee.
- Opening Theme - Donkey Kong: A medley of songs from the original Donkey Kong, containing the title theme, the tune played when Donkey Kong appears, and the Hammer theme. Returns from Brawl.
- Donkey Kong: An electronic dance-influenced medley of tracks from the original Donkey Kong, including "Radar", "25m BGM", "75m BGM", and "Game Start". Returns from Brawl.
- Jungle Level (Brawl): A third arrangement of "DK Island Swing" from Donkey Kong Country, with a faster tempo and a chorus. Returns from Brawl.
- King K. Rool / Ship Deck 2: An arrangement of the music that plays on Gangplank Galleon and King K. Rool's theme from Donkey Kong Country. Returns from Brawl.
- Stickerbrush Symphony: An arrangement of "Stickerbrush Symphony from Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest. Returns from Brawl.
- Gear Getaway: An arrangement of the music in Gear Getaway from Donkey Kong Country Returns, and "DK Island Swing" from Donkey Kong Country. Returns from Smash 4.
- Donkey Kong Country Returns (Vocals): A vocal arrangement of the title theme from Donkey Kong Country Returns. Returns from Smash for Wii U.
- Jungle Level Jazz Style (for 3DS / Wii U): A Jazz-influenced arrangement of "DK Island Swing" from Donkey Kong Country. Returns from Smash for Wii U.
- Jungle Level Tribal Style (for 3DS / Wii U): An arrangement of "DK Island Swing" led by a shakuhachi flute. Returns from Smash for Wii U.
- 25m BGM: the music that plays in the first level of the original Donkey Kong, now using the original arcade theme. Ripped directly from that game.
- The Map Page / Bonus Level (Original): "Simian Segue" and "Bonus Room Blitz", ripped from Donkey Kong Country.
- Jungle Hijinx: The theme of the first stage, Jungle Hijinx, which itself is a remix of "DK Island Swing" from Donkey Kong Country, ripped from Donkey Kong Country Returns.
- Swinger Flinger: The theme of Bopopolis, which itself is a remix of "DK Island Swing" from Donkey Kong Country, ripped from Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, though still misnamed from Smash 4.
- Ice Cave Chant: The music featured in the level "Slipslide Ride", ripped directly from Donkey Kong Country.
- Funky's Fugue: The music played at Funky's Flights, ripped directly from Donkey Kong Country.
- Battle for Storm Hill: The music for Battle for Storm Hill, ripped from Donkey Kong Jungle Beat.
- Boss 2 - DK: Jungle Climber: The music that plays during the second boss, ripped from DK: Jungle Climber.
- Donkey Kong Country Returns: The main theme of Donkey Kong Country Returns. Ripped directly from that game.
- Mole Patrol: "Lift-Off Launch", ripped from Donkey Kong Country Returns.
- Mangrove Cove: The theme that plays in Mangrove Cove, ripped from Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.
- Victory! Donkey Kong Series: An arrangement of the theme played when beating a boss or a bonus stage in Donkey Kong Country, unchanged from Brawl and Smash 4. Used by Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong.
- Victory! King K. Rool: An arrangement of the first part of "Gangplank Galleon" from Donkey Kong Country.
Games with elements appearing in the Super Smash Bros. series
The Donkey Kong universe has media represented throughout the Super Smash Bros. series with a total of 32 games. The latest game represented in this universe is Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, released on February 13, 2014.
- In Ultimate, Pauline is now classified as part of the Mario universe instead of the Donkey Kong universe, unlike past Smash games; Pauline is represented with her appearance from Super Mario Odyssey. However, her appearance from the Donkey Kong arcade game (as Lady) is classified as part of the Donkey Kong universe.
- The Donkey Kong universe is the first franchise in Smash Bros. history to have more than one playable character created outside of Japan.
- The Donkey Kong universe is one of three universes that currently have multiple playable characters without any semi-clones or Echo Fighters, the others being Kirby and Final Fantasy.
- The Donkey Kong series was the first universe to introduce a music track with vocals, that being the DK Rap in Melee.
- The Donkey Kong universe is the only series to have all of its fighters not have traditional voice actors, but instead realistic animal noises for their voices.
|Donkey Kong universe|
|Fighters||Donkey Kong (SSB · SSBM · SSBB · SSB4 · SSBU) · Diddy Kong (SSBB · SSB4 · SSBU) · King K. Rool (SSBU)|
|Boss||Giant Donkey Kong|
|Stages||Kongo Jungle · Kongo Falls · Jungle Japes · Rumble Falls · 75m · Jungle Hijinxs|
|Items||Hammer · Barrel Cannon · Peanut · Spring|
|Enemies||Kritter · Tiki Buzz|
|Other||Dixie Kong · DK Barrel · DK Island · Pauline · Zinger|
|Trophies, Stickers and Spirits||Trophies (SSBM · SSBB · SSB4) · Stickers · Spirits|
|Music||Brawl · SSB4 · Ultimate|