Kongo Jungle (SSB)
Kongo Jungle (コンゴジャングル, Kongo Jungle) is a stage in Super Smash Bros. (there incorrectly spelled Congo Jungle) that reappears in Super Smash Bros. Melee (as Past Stages: Kongo Jungle on the stage select screen and as Kongo Jungle N64 in Random Stage switch) and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (as Kongo Jungle 64 in NTSC versions and Kongo Jungle (64) in PAL versions). It is one of Donkey Kong's home stages.
This stage is made up of a main large indented platform. Two slanted soft platforms float over its sides, and in the middle two more small soft platforms spin clockwise in a circle. The main platform can be passed through from below, but not from above.
A Barrel Cannon moves back and forth under the stage, spinning. A player who enters the cannon is shot in the direction the cannon is pointing either by pressing a button, or automatically after a while: this can greatly aid recovery, but it can also shoot players offscreen. The barrel can hold only one character at a time.
In Super Smash Bros. Melee, the stage itself is a near-exact copy of the SSB version, only being slightly larger. There also seems to be a short delay when the player is launched from the barrel, which makes it riskier to use.
The main platform of the Ω form is completely flat. The barrel cannon and soft platforms don't appear, and the main platform can not be passed through from below.
In competitive play
The stage's layout does not provide a significant disadvantage for any character, although the slanted structure can worsen certain characters' horizontal combos, such as Yoshi. The Barrel Cannon below may be considered a gimmick, but it is very easy to punish players shooting upwards out of the barrel, and it is also impossible to stall indefinitely in the barrel. However, there were some arguments that circle camping could be a potential problem and that could lead to an eventual ban. It was a rarely played stage, and it was seen the least in tournaments, even if it was more neutral than the one counterpick stage at the time, Peach's Castle. In doubles, though, the stage was much more commonly picked and was generally seen as quite neutral.
In the Japanese ruleset, Kongo Jungle has always been banned. However, no definite reason has been given as to why, outside of potential circle camping due to the platforms being too high for certain characters.
On this stage, certain palette swaps are banned from being used due to the darkness of the stage's background; namely Captain Falcon's black palette swap, Donkey Kong's black palette swap, and Samus's brown palette swap.
Kongo Jungle was usually regarded at first to be a counterpick. Although it had a relatively non-obtrusive stage design, it had a large size, which gave an advantage to faster characters and characters with projectiles, as well as a high ceiling, giving a slightly larger reliance on horizontal finishers. However, the stage is currently banned in singles, since characters such as Peach and Jigglypuff were found to be very powerful on the stage due to the layout allowing easy circle camping. A match between Pink Shinobi and RockCrock at GENESIS is particularly infamous, and commonly regarded as one of the primary reasons why the stage was banned. However, the stage remains a counterpick in doubles due to the 4-character gameplay removing the camping disadvantages, but the stage is seldom picked in tournaments, so much so that it is being phased out of stage selection for doubles tournaments altogether.
Kongo Jungle makes an appearance in Smash 4, though unlike in previous titles it seldom sees tournament play, even in doubles. All the notable aspects of the stage are retained, such as the high ceiling but average side blast zones, the platform layout including two moving platforms, and the barrel beneath the stage. However, characters launched from the barrel now have a hitbox, unlike in previous games. The increased range and general ease of ledge grabbing also makes it easier to recover on this stage.
This stage is loosely based on some levels of Donkey Kong Country, mainly Orang-utan Gang, Blackout Basement, and Platform Perils. This stage's background resembles the sunset backgroud in Orang-utan Gang. In Blackout Basement there are two platforms that oscillate up and down, and in Platform Perils there are platforms with arrows on them that move in the direction the arrow is pointing when the player jumps on them. In this stage the two platforms that go in a circle seem to be loosely based on Blackout Basement and Platform Perils. Also from Donkey Kong Country are barrels that the player could get shot out of either automatically or with the push of a button, which can move in a fixed pattern or rotate in place. Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest added arrows to these barrels indicating the direction of fire. In this stage there is a barrel with an arrow that moves from side to side as well as rotate, and players can press the attack button to launch early, or the barrel will fire automatically; however, in this game, these arrow barrels are always stationary. In the background, a flock of Neckies, vulture enemies from Donkey Kong Country, can sometimes be seen flying across the horizon.
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