Most recent logo of the franchise.
|Developer(s)||Nintendo, Rare, NAMCO, Paon, Retro Studios|
|Genre(s)||Platformer, action-adventure, puzzle, racing|
|Platform(s)||Arcade, Game & Watch, Intellivision, ColecoVision, Atari 2600, TRS-80 CoCo, Atari 8-bit Computer, TI-99/4a, IBM PC Booter, Commodore 64, Commodore VIC-20, BBC Micro, MSX, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Atari 7800, Nintendo Entertainment System, Famicom Disk System, Game Boy, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Virtual Boy, Nintendo 64, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, e-Reader, Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo DS, Wii, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U|
|Platform of origin||Arcade|
|Year of inception||1981|
|First installment||Donkey Kong (1981)|
|Latest installment||Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (2014)|
The Donkey Kong (ドンキーコング Donkī Kongu) universe refers to the Super Smash Flash series' of characters, stages, and properties that hail from the sub-franchise of the famous Mario series that deals with the character Donkey Kong. It is generally agreed on that Donkey Kong and related items count as Mario properties, but DK has appeared in enough of his own games alongside enough original characters, created by second-party developer Rareware instead of Nintendo itself, that many consider him as holding sway over a "sub-universe" of Mario. Donkey Kong is also considered part of his own universe because his smasher's icon consists of the letters DK rather than the iconic image of a Super Mushroom held by other Mario characters.
Nintendo had an arcade game called Radar Scope that was successful in Japan but not very much so in the United States. The Nintendo president of the time, Hiroshi Yamauchi, turned to the young game developer Shigeru Miyamoto and entrusted him with the development of a new game, which would be built from units of the Radar Scope game. Miyamoto came up with the game Donkey Kong, the game that would be the debut for the characters Donkey Kong as the titular antagonist and Mario, then called "Jumpman," as the hero to rescue DK's damsel-in-distress hostage Pauline. The game was a breakthrough hit for Nintendo and helped put the company on the map. Both DK and Mario reappeared in Donkey Kong Junior, but this time the former was held captive by the latter and it falls to DK's titular son Donkey Kong Jr. to save him. And in Donkey Kong 3, DK breaks into a greenhouse to again assume the role of villain, and the player controls Stanley the Bugman to oust DK and his insect minions. In addition, throughout the 1980s, eight Donkey Kong games were released for the Game & Watch platform. Afterwards in 1994, Nintendo produced a Game Boy sequel simply titled Donkey Kong, which was a restructuring and expansion to the first two games.
Donkey Kong was established as its own spin-off franchise when the British company Rareware designed and released Donkey Kong Country for Super NES; the new, main premise of Donkey Kong and the accompanying fictional world were introduced and made specific to the Donkey Kong name. The game itself was a 2-D platformer and a major financial success because it demonstrated then-revolutionary CGI-graphics on the console. Notable introduced elements include DK's homeland, DK Island, of which his home is in the region known as Kongo Jungle; DK's nephew and sidekick Diddy Kong and other Kong cohorts Cranky Kong, Candy Kong, and Funky Kong; and Barrel Cannons are found throughout levels and are used as modes of being transported through stages. The series' villains, the Kremlings, who are mostly reptilians, are introduced and led by the obese, arrogant Kremling King K. Rool.
Rareware expanded its Donkey Kong Country franchise with two SNES sequels. In Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy Kong's Quest, DK is kidnapped by K. Rool and it is up to Diddy Kong and a new character, his girlfriend Dixie Kong, to rescue him; here, other introduced members of the Kong family tree are the grandmotherly Wrinkly Kong and the showbiz Swanky Kong. In Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble, both DK and Diddy have been kidnapped, and it is up to Dixie and her newly introduced cousin, Kiddy Kong, to rescue them. Then, sometime after DK's appearance in Super Smash Bros., Rare created the 3D adventure platformer Donkey Kong 64, in which K.Rool attempts to annihilate DK Island with his own mechanical island, but DK, Diddy, and three more introduced Kongs, the clown-like Lanky Kong, Dixie's younger sister Tiny Kong, and Kiddie's older brother Chunky Kong, thwart the plan. Though Donkey Kong 64 generally received high marks, it has been criticized for being an example of an overt "collect-a-thon". All of these games, like other Rare titles, have a large degree of self-referential humor, contrary to Mario games.
In the meantime, DK has appeared frequently as a character, main and otherwise, in many Mario game series such as Mario Kart, Mario Golf, Mario Tennis, and Mario Party, and also was featured as a main character in Super Smash Bros. Melee. The Donkey Kong Country franchise by Rare seemed to be put on hold, however, when Rare was sold to Microsoft in 2002. All subsequent games that are Donkey Kong-centric are either made by other developers (such as Donkey Konga for GameCube, which was made by NAMCO) or by Nintendo itself (such as the recent Mario vs. Donkey Kong game series for GBA and DS) and conform to a much more Mario style of mannerisms. DK remains an indelible part of the Mario universe.
The following characters are considered both part of their own universe and part of the "Marioverse".
- Donkey Kong: Donkey Kong debuted in demo v0.8a. His move set is similar to the one in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. He has strong attacks which also have rather large reach, and this is meant to offset his general lack of swiftness and his easy-to-strike-as-a-target size.
- Rambi: The first Animal Buddy to be presented in Donkey Kong Country. When summoned, Rambi will charge across the stage, knocking any opponents who get in his way. In addition, his back acts as a platform that any player or item can safely ride on until he eventually disappears.
- Jungle Hijinx: A custom stage based on the first level with the same name from the game Donkey Kong Country, a very simplistic stage with a slope in the middle and a plateaus with a wooded-thin platform. A Barrel Cannon soars above the stage, players can hop into it and depending on the direction the arrow is pointing, they will be shoot in said direction but they may be careful.
- Gangplank Galleon: Based off on the personal ship of Donkey Kong's archenemy, King K. Rool. It poses a simple design with a and is basically a large deck that is sometimes bombarded by a pair of Kremilins whot shot a giant cannonball.