Donkey Kong is the main protagonist of the franchise of the same name, and a recurring character in the Mario franchise. The original Donkey Kong was once a rogue in the Nintendo universe and regularly antagonized Mario (who, in turn, antagonized him back in one game) - however he was revealed to be Cranky Kong in the Donkey Kong Country series. The current Donkey Kong is the protagonist of his own series, first appearing in Donkey Kong Country. He often stops the villain King K. Rool from stealing his banana hoard.
He sometimes appears in the Mario series, playable in spin-off games, such as Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros.. DK also became an ally to Mario in the Mario Party series. Other than spin-off games, Donkey Kong appears as a baby in Yoshi Island DS, and as a primary antagonist in the Mario vs Donkey Kong series.
The current design of Donkey Kong analyzes him as a big brown gorilla with huge muscles wearing a red tie monogrammed with two yellow letters, D and K, standing for his name.
Donkey Kong lives peacefully in the jungles of Donkey Kong Island and enjoys doing fun activities. However, he can also be a loose cannon who does as he pleases and is driven by his own impulses, agenda and pride. A flawed hero, DK is fearless, but greedy, helpful, but vengeful, strong, but lazy. He is also exceedingly possessive, jealously clinging to his banana hoard, and will personally hunt down whoever robbed it from him, then beat them to a pulp unless stopped. The Donkey Kong Country animated series portrayed him as a big eater who was pretty unintelligent and somewhat big-headed. In the video games, Donkey Kong has been shown to share the dimwitted and gluttonous traits of his animated counterpart, but also has an ill temper which may cause him to go on a rampage if lost.
Despite all his flaws, he is still a noble, unwavering, and compassionate hero, who would always look out for his friends, especially Diddy, and adored Cranky Kong, even allowing Cranky to make fun of him at his own expense. DK also loves animals, who love him in return and are willing to aid him on his adventures. He'll rescue others in need, and offers support to anyone who needs it. He also appears to love nature and hate industrialism. As such, Donkey Kong feels uncomfortable in big cities and prefers the wilderness of the jungle. He will even put his love for bananas aside for the welfare of others. In Donkey Kong Country, the Kremlings kidnapping Diddy angered him greatly before he realized his banana hoard was missing. And in Donkey Kong Country Returns, he liberated all the hypnotized animals along the way to again reclaim his bananas. He also seems to have some form of a crush on Mario's friend Pauline.
Appearances In Other Media
- Donkey Kong, alongside other Nintendo characters, is a playable character in the Super Smash Bros. series.
- A monster truck based on the character appeared at Monster Jam 2007.
Donkey Kong is the protector of Donkey Kong Island, defending it from the likes of King K. Rool, the Tiki Tak Tribe, and other villains as well. A strong and powerful ape, Donkey Kong owes his strength to a steady diet of his favourite food bananas, exercising, and going on many adventures. When he isn't adventuring or engaging in other activities, DK is either relaxing or listening to music. He is also the leader of his own crew - known affectionately as the Kongs. However, he is usually seen just hanging out with his eager little buddy Diddy Kong.
Donkey Kong Country
Donkey Kong decided to have Diddy Kong guard his Banana Hoard as part of his "Video Game Hero" training, while DK himself took a nap until Diddy's shift is over. The next day, Donkey Kong realised he had overslept and was then shocked to discover from Cranky Kong that the Kremling Krew had kidnapped Diddy and stolen the entire Banana Hoard. Luckily, it's not long before Donkey Kong is reunited with Diddy and after a big journey across the island, the pair confronted the leader of the Kremlings, King K. Rool, aboard the Gangplank Galleon. The Kongs defeated the royal reptile and return home to find the Banana Hoard completely restored.
In the Game Boy Advance remake of DKC, after Donkey and Diddy defeat K. Rool, the other Kongs board the Galleon to congratulate them. However, K. Rool got back on his feet and threatened to blow up Donkey Kong Island if they don't leave his ship. So DK and the others hop off as the ship sailed away with K. Rool vowing revenge.
Donkey Kong Land
Frustrated by the success of DKC, Cranky Kong gave the Banana Hoard back to King K. Rool and challenged Donkey and Diddy to retrieve it again using an 8-bit format, as he believed that no one will buy the video game without the graphics from DKC.
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest
While relaxing on a beach, Donkey Kong is kidnapped by the Kremling Krew and spent most of the game as a captive of Kaptain K. Rool on Crocodile Island. Diddy and Dixie briefly saw DK tied up atop of K. Rool Keep before being raised into The Flying Kroc airship. DK is then tortured by K. Rool until the Kongs arrive and manage to defeat him in battle. Donkey Kong breaks free from his bonds and gets his revenge by uppercutting K. Rool through the roof of the airship. He later joined Diddy and Dixie in watching Crocodile Island sink to the ocean floor.
Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble
The game's plot revolves around Dixie Kong trying to find Donkey and Diddy who have both mysteriously vanished at the Northern Kremisphere. DK isn't seen until the end of the game when it's revealed that he and Diddy were brainwashed into powering the Kremlings' new robotic leader KAOS, which was built by Baron K. Roolstein.
Donkey Kong 64
Donkey Kong was exercising in his treehouse when Squawks the Parrot alerted him that the other Kongs are missing and his Golden Banana Hoard had been stolen. After completing Cranky's training barrels, DK swam to a small nearby island and met a gigantic Kremling name K. Lumsy, who was imprisoned by King K. Rool for refusing to destroy Donkey Kong Island. DK agreed to help K. Lumsy by obtaining keys to his prison while also searching for the missing Kongs and Golden Bananas.
DK: King Of Swing
While the Kongs were setting up for the Jungle Jam Tournament, King K. Rool appears and steals all the tournament's prize medals that are then scattered across the land. Donkey Kong must retrieve the medals while dealing with any obstacles that get in his way.
Donkey Kong Jungle Beat
When various kingdoms are invaded by villainous Kongs, Donkey Kong takes it upon himself to liberate them. He is aided on his journey by some inhabitants of each kingdom and different animal buddies while collecting large amounts of bananas along the way.
DK: Jungle Climber
The Kong Family are on vacation at Sun Sun Island when a giant banana-shaped spacecraft appears above a nearby mountain. Donkey, Diddy and Cranky Kong go to investigate and discover that an alien named Xananab has been searching for Kremlings who have stolen powerful Crystal Bananas from his home Planet Plantaen. DK and crew decide to help Xananab locate the Crystal Bananas before the Kremlings use their power to conquer the universe. Using special devices, the Kongs are able to travel into different dimensions where DK battles the Kremling’s forces and retrieves the Crystal Bananas before confronting King K. Rool on Planet Plantaen. K. Rool swallows the last Crystal Banana and becomes gigantic with new powerful abilities. However, Donkey Kong still manages to defeat him and is rewarded by the planet's people with countless bananas before returning home.
Donkey Kong Country Returns
A group of mysterious wooden creatures known as the Tiki Tak Tribe emerge from Donkey Kong Island's volcano and hypnotise the island inhabitants into stealing Donkey Kong's Banana Hoard. Immune to the Tiki's hypnotic tunes, Donkey and Diddy track their stolen bananas across the island and eventually discover that the Tikis are using bananas to create more of their own kind. The Kongs then venture inside the volcano's crater and confront the tribe's leader Tiki Tong within his tower. After a tricky battle, the Kongs bested Tiki Tong, causing him to explode with enough force to send the pair flying into orbit. However, the heroes used this to their advantage and knock the moon out from the sky (temporarily) to crush Tiki Tong's Tower, which restores Donkey Kong Island back to normal. Donkey and Diddy Kong later explore the Golden Temple and are transported to a dimension above the clouds.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Donkey Kong Island is taken over by a tribe of snow vikings known as the Snowmads, who use an ice dragon to freeze the island, blowing the Kongs off the island in the process. The Kongs travel across five different islands and eventually make it back to Donkey Kong Island. Going through the frozen fortress, the Kongs eventually confront the leader of the Snowmads, Lord Fredrik. The Kongs defeat Lord Fredrik in a final battle, and Donkey Kong punches him one last time, which sends him flying through the roof of his ship. Exiting the ship, the Kongs watch as Lord Fredrik crashes into the remaining Snowmad ships, destroying them and defeating the entire Snowmad tribe. Donkey Kong then notices that Lord Fredrik dropped his horn during his fall, and catches and blows into it. This transports the Kongs to the bottom of their island, and gets rid of the ice and snow created by the ice dragon, reverting the island to its normal state.
Powers and abilities
Donkey Kong is capable of punching very hard; he can even knock the moon out of orbit using his bare fists, as seen in the ending of Donkey Kong Country Returns. In the intro of the game, it's revealed he is apparently immune to mental assault as one of the Tikis attempted to hypnotize him, but failed to do so.