Spinning Kong

From SmashWiki, the Super Smash Bros. wiki
SSB64 Icon.png SSBM Icon.png SSBB Icon.png SSB4 Icon.png SSBU Icon.png
Spinning Kong
Spinning Kong in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
User Donkey Kong
Universe Donkey Kong
Article on Super Mario Wiki Spinning Kong
While it doesn't gain much altitude, this move covers a lot of horizontal ground, making it an effective recovery move.
Melee's instruction manual
Poor vertical gain but great for horizontal recovery.
Brawl's instruction manual
Spin for a combo attack. Can move left or right.
Smash for 3DS's foldout
Spins with a whirlwind of punches. Can shift left or right while airborne and forward while grounded.
—Description from Ultimate's Move List

Spinning Kong (スピニングコング, Spinning Kong) is Donkey Kong's up special move.


Donkey Kong rapidly spins with his arms outstretched, dealing multiple clothesline attacks. This move gains very little vertical height, but it goes almost as far horizontally as Meta Knight's Mach Tornado, making it a rather effective recovery move. When used on the ground, Spinning Kong can be used in a fashion similar to Bowser's Whirling Fortress; it can be used out of the shield, or as a disruptive tactic. Spinning Kong can also act as a pseudo shield for some projectiles which is helpful when recovering.

In all games, the aerial version of Spinning Kong does high amounts of damage all hits connect (which is quite difficult to do). It does 12% in SSB, 33% in Melee, 36% in Brawl and SSB4, and 19% in Ultimate, making it the second most damaging up special in the series following Lucas in first with PK Thunder 2, which can do 43%. In Brawl and Smash 4, the grounded version of Spinning Kong grants a few frames of super armor just before the hitbox will come out. The landing lag animation after the helpless animation has also been changed causing Donkey Kong to fall onto his back after finishing the move high up in the air leaving him vulnerable for a moment, but this can be avoided if the move ends close to the ground. An oddity in Brawl will occur if Donkey Kong leaves the ground when using the grounded version of Spinning Kong, the launch resistance will last for the entire move instead of only the few startup frames, but no vertical height will be gained. In SSB4, Donkey Kong can no longer go offstage at the ledge when using the move on the ground. In Melee, it is the most damaging up special move when used aerially.

In Melee, Spinning Kong was especially notable for hitting on Frame 3, while having invincibility on Frames 3-5. In the air it became only stronger, hitting on Frame 2 while still retaining the invincibility frames (2-5 specifically). Thanks to its large range, this made it among the most powerful ways to break combos in the game. The knockback on the grounded version was also quite staggering for its speed, KOing Mario from around 130% on Battlefield center stage with DI.

In Brawl, Spinning Kong also has the extremely rare ability to completely negate all momentum, both horizontally and vertically upon its first frame of activation. If used correctly (combined with good DI and use of his fast back aerial), Spinning Kong can prevent DK from getting KO'd and can survive longer than any character in the game, including Bowser. Bucket brakes's momentum canceling is only considered superior because it does not put Mr. Game & Watch in a helpless state.

In the first three games, the grounded move consists of only one hit dealing 10% damage. It has decent horizontal knockback, being an effective edgeguarding move, out of shield move and combo finisher. Additionally, when DK lands after using the move and he falls off the edge within the first few frames of landing, he will still be in helpless state.

In Smash 4, the grounded Spinning Kong no longer spins horizontally, instead spinning in a slight angle dependent on the direction he starts the move, increasing the attack's vertical range. It also hits multiple times and deals much less damage as opposed to Brawl, doing 7% on the first hit, five 1% hits, and a moderate knockback finisher that does 4% for a total of 17%, making the grounded version a better out of shield move. The aerial Spinning Kong still has its extremely effective horizontal recovery and its weak vertical gain. However, opposed to the reduced damage on the grounded version, the aerial version still does up to 36% damage if all hits connect successfully. Spinning Kong also seems to keep Brawl's very powerful momentum canceling, still being able to negate all momentum to prevent potential KO's and many fatal blows; however, since Smash 4 had changed hitstun canceling, Spinning Kong's momentum canceling is much harder to utilise because if the hitstun is too much, DK will get KO'd before he can even use Spinning Kong to prevent the KO, therefore it is a less effective survival technique than in Brawl.


Special Move customization was added in Super Smash Bros. 4. These are the variations:

1. Spinning Kong 2. Chopper Kong 3. Kong Cyclone
"A whirlwind of punches. You can move left and right while spinning." "Spin high into the air like a helicopter. Doesn't deal any damage to opponents." "Suck opponents in as you spin, and then launch them with a single punch."
  1. Spinning Kong: Default.
  2. Chopper Kong: Launches DK straight up, regardless of whether he is airborne or grounded. Gives better vertical distance and ascends much faster, but horizontal distance is reduced, and the move does no damage.
  3. Kong Cyclone: Creates a tornado around DK that sucks opponents in from all directions. The attack portion of the move is much faster and only deals two hits; a weak attack at the beginning, and a stronger attack with KO potential at the end, and Donkey Kong gains super armor for the duration of the spin. This move also has soft and hard landing lag; if Donkey Kong is very close to the ground once using Kong Cyclone in the air, he receives minimal landing lag; otherwise, he suffers extreme landing lag. The grounded version deals 19% damage and the aerial version deals 15%. When used on the ground, the spin is parallel to the ground like in Melee and Brawl, rather than tilted like the default.


Dixie Kong spinning using her ponytail.

Dixie Kong's ability to spin in midair to slow her descent was introduced in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest; this ability also caused her horizontal movement in the air to dramatically increase, not unlike the ability utilized by Donkey Kong in Smash Bros. While Donkey Kong himself has never used the move prior to Super Smash Bros., the overall animation for Spinning Kong is similar to Dixie Kong's spinning ability, though Donkey Kong instead uses his arms to hover instead of Dixie Kong's ponytail. Tiny Kong also utilized a similar spinning ability in Donkey Kong 64; however, Super Smash Bros. was released prior to Donkey Kong 64. Dixie's own spinning ability is also retained in sequels to Donkey Kong Country 2; notably, in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, it is changed to grant Dixie (as well as Donkey Kong) further vertical distance covered in addition to a somewhat slowed descent, making it somewhat more comparable to the ability utilized by Donkey Kong in Smash Bros.



  • In SSB4, the animation for the grounded Spinning Kong has less spins in the 3DS version than the Wii U version.