Donkey Kong

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Donkey Kong
Donkey Kong SSBU artwork.png
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate artwork
Franchise Mario, Donkey Kong
First appearance Original:
Donkey Kong (1981, overall)
Doubutsu no Mori (2001, Animal Crossing-related media)
Donkey Kong Country (1994, overall)
Super Smash Bros. Melee (2001, Animal Crossing-related media)
Latest appearance Mario Strikers: Battle League (2022, overall)
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (2018, Animal Crossing-related media)
Latest portrayal Takashi Nagasako (2004–present)
Species Kong

Donkey Kong (also shortened to DK) is the main and titular protagonist of the Donkey Kong franchise. He is the grandson of Cranky Kong, the son of Donkey Kong Jr., and the uncle of Diddy Kong.[1] While Donkey Kong made his debut appearance in Donkey Kong Country, the "Donkey Kong" title was first used by Cranky, who debuted in the arcade game Donkey Kong.

Animal Crossing appearances[edit]

Neither Donkey Kong nor Cranky Kong have directly appeared in the Animal Crossing games, though the latter appears in every Donkey Kong game for the Nintendo Entertainment System, in which he bears the "Donkey Kong" title. In Doubutsu no Mori, both Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr. Math are featured as playable games in the form of furniture items. They retain this purpose in Doubutsu no Mori+ and its two variations, Animal Crossing and Doubutsu no Mori e+, which additionally include the other two Donkey Kong games for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Donkey Kong Jr. and Donkey Kong 3, as furniture items. As such, Cranky, as Donkey Kong, technically appears in these Animal Crossing games.

One of the villagers, Louie, resembles Donkey Kong.

Crossover appearances[edit]

Donkey Kong appears in some games with Animal Crossing representation, most notably the Super Smash Bros. series, Mario Kart 8 (since Animal Crossing × Mario Kart 8), and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

Super Smash Bros. series[edit]

DK Emblem.png
Super Smash Bros. character
Donkey Kong
Donkey Kong SSB4 artwork.png
Game appearances
Super Smash Bros.
Super Smash Bros. Melee
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Special moves
Standard:  Giant Punch
Side:  Headbutt
Up:  Spinning Kong
Down:  Hand Slap
Final Smash:  Konga Beat (Brawl, for 3DS / Wii U); Jungle Rush (Ultimate)
Battle entrance
Donkey Kong explodes out of a DK Barrel.

Donkey Kong is playable in every Super Smash Bros. game. As is expected from a heavyweight, Donkey Kong is one of the strongest characters. When he picks up a character, he also has the power to carry them a short distance, which is something that none of the other characters can do. He can also carry large objects, such as barrels and crates, without having his speed hindered.

Donkey Kong's special moves are Giant Punch, a punch that can be charged to increase its power, Headbutt, which has him headbutt his opponents into the ground, Spinning Kong, which has him spin and lets him momentarily float, and Hand Slap, which has him repeatedly stamp on the ground. For his Final Smash, he uses Konga Beat, pulling out two bongos and tapping them in time to the beat of Donkey Kong Country's first level, with each tap sending shockwaves that deal damage to opponents.

Donkey Kong is unique from other heavyweights; though he is unsurprisingly strong, he is also fast for a character of his weight. His combination of power, speed, and good range from his size and long arms contributes to making him arguably a versatile character to use throughout the Smash games.

Even though Donkey Kong is a Mario franchise character, his emblem is the DK symbol, which represents his own franchise. Unlike in the Mario series titles, Donkey Kong is given a gorilla voice for the Super Smash Bros. series. This is even more noticeable in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

Super Smash Bros. Melee[edit]

In Super Smash Bros. Melee, Donkey Kong is a playable fighter, and is available from the start.

In Adventure mode, the player must first fight two Tiny Donkey Kongs and then fight Giant Donkey Kong at Jungle Japes. By picking up a Super Mushroom, Donkey Kong can become larger briefly, before reverting to normal. In Giant Melee, the player can play as Giant Donkey Kong or fight against him. Similar to Super Smash Bros., Donkey Kong is one of the possible giant opponents who appears in stage 5 of Classic Mode, and is fought at Jungle Japes.

Giant Donkey Kong appears in two events:

  • In Event 2, the player plays as Giant Donkey Kong, whose objective is defeating Tiny Donkey Kong
  • In Event 25, the player must defeat Giant Donkey Kong using Giant Bowser.

Donkey Kong's weight is decreased from 141 units to 114, no longer making him the heaviest character in the game; instead, that title goes to fellow heavyweight Bowser. As compensation, however, Donkey Kong's movement and attack speed are both much faster, while his moveset receives a mix of buffs and nerfs. Starting from Super Smash Bros. Melee, Donkey Kong is a speedy heavyweight with decent combo ability.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl[edit]

A screenshot of Donkey Kong carrying Zelda in Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Donkey Kong reappears as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. His moves are carried over from Super Smash Bros. Melee, and he, like other characters, is given a Final Smash, his being the Konga Beat, most likely inspired by the games Donkey Konga and Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat. Some even go as far to say Donkey Kong's Final Smash is based on his instrumental attack from Donkey Kong 64, in which he uses a pair of bongos to create a shock-wave that can defeat any enemy on which it is used, except bosses (mainly because they cannot be used in any boss battles). Donkey Kong also gets a new white recolor. Donkey Kong's weight is slightly increased to 116 units from 114.

An 8-bit Donkey Kong appears on the 75 m stage (which is based on the third level of the original Donkey Kong). Touching him will harm the player.

Donkey Kong appears in several events, usually in giant form.

  • In Event 9: "The Monster beneath the Earth", Giant DK is a hidden opponent. If the player does not KO the two Diddy Kongs fast enough, Giant DK must be fought as well.
  • In Event 22: "Monkeys Unite", Giant Donkey Kong is Diddy Kong's partner in a fight against Sheik and Lucario.
  • In Event 27: "Three-Beast Carnage", Giant Donkey Kong is among the three giant opponents fought by R.O.B., along with Giant Bowser and Giant Charizard.

Like Super Smash Bros. Melee, Donkey Kong briefly turns larger from using a Super Mushroom. In Giant Brawl, the successor to Giant Melee, the player can either play as Giant Donkey Kong or fight against one.

Ironically, despite his common appearances in Super Smash Bros.'s 1P Game as well as Super Smash Bros. Melee's Classic Mode, Donkey Kong does not appear in Classic Mode as a giant opponent. He shares this trait with the Zelda characters and Diddy Kong.

Adventure Mode: The Subspace Emissary[edit]
Donkey Kong's snapshot in The Subspace Emissary

The Koopa Troop and Bowser steal Donkey Kong's banana hoard. As a Hammer Bro drives a car which contains all the bananas of Donkey Kong's, Donkey Kong watches it from a cliff. Hammer Bro and the Goombas aboard the car spot Donkey Kong and shoot Bullet Bills at him. However, Diddy Kong comes out from a bush, and, with his Peanut Popguns, shoots the Bullet Bills. Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong then follow the Hammer Bro to retrieve the banana hoard. After finding their bananas, Bowser appears from behind with a Dark Cannon. As Bowser charges the cannon, Donkey Kong, realizing the danger, charges his Giant Punch. He then launches Diddy to the sky and out of harm's way, sacrificing himself in the process as Bowser shoots him with the Dark Cannon and turns him into a trophy. Later, Diddy Kong, who (forcefully) enlisted the help of Fox McCloud and Falco Lombardi, sees a ship carrying Donkey Kong's trophy form to a mysterious floating island. Falco then follows it with his Arwing and takes the little Kong with him. He then drops him, and Diddy gets on his Rocket Barrel, takes out his Popguns, and shoots the ship. After seeing this, Captain Falcon and Captain Olimar decide to help him and jump to the ship. Diddy frees Donkey Kong, and all four fight the Primids and other enemies.

The ship takes them inside a factory producing Subspace Bombs, and they encounter various R.O.B.s that live on the island. They later meet up with Pikachu and Samus Aran and see the Ancient Minister and a plethora of R.O.B.s. After Ganondorf manipulates the R.O.B.s into activating all of the Subspace Bombs, the Ancient Minister is shown to be R.O.B., the leader of all the lesser R.O.B.s who were forced to work for the Subspace Army. R.O.B. then fights alongside the others. Donkey Kong carries R.O.B., who refuses to leave his kind behind to perish, as they all flee to escape the doomed island on Captain Falcon's summoned Falcon Flyer. Meta Ridley then appears and follows behind to impede group's escape, forcing DK and his group to fight him. After that, they all meet up with the other heroes.

Donkey Kong and the other smashers enter Subspace and meet Tabuu, who turns everyone into trophies with his Off Waves. However, King Dedede had anticipated this and created badges that revived certain fighters back into their original forms without having to touch them. With his team, consisting of Luigi and Ness, Dedede rescues Donkey Kong and most of the others, although some of them are rescued by Kirby. They also recruit Bowser, Ganondorf, and Wario after they are informed about Tabuu. At the end of the Great Maze, Sonic the Hedgehog shows up and helps weaken Tabuu's Off Waves so that Donkey Kong and the others are able to beat him.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U[edit]

Donkey Kong in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

Donkey Kong returns as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. His moveset has remained largely intact, but has nevertheless received a few noticeable changes, most notably his unique forward throw and Final Smash; Donkey Kong's weight is also increased from 116 units to 122. Like the majority of the cast (DLC fighters notwithstanding), each of Donkey Kong's special moves now possess two variants. Giant Punch has Lightning Punch and Storm Punch; Headbutt has Jumping Headbutt and Stubborn Headbutt; Spinning Kong has Chopper Kong and Kong Cyclone; and Hand Slap has Focused Slap and Hot Slap.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

Classic Mode victory photo
Donkey Kong's stock icon

Donkey Kong appears as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He has a new Final Smash, Jungle Rush, which involves him rapidly punching an opponent, as a reference to his attack method in Donkey Kong Jungle Beat. Donkey Kong is more expressive; when he charges his Giant Punch, he starts scowling, and using it in the air no longer makes him helpless. He is heavier, tying with King Dedede in weight, and Headbutt now gives Donkey Kong super armor for a short time. His recovery is also extended by the reintroduction of directional air dodge, can use any ground attack out of a run, and use any aerial attack while holding on the ladders officially called a "ladder attack". However, Giant Punch has more ending lag and Aerial Spinning Kong is weaker. His Classic Mode is titled "Journey to New Donk City". Donkey Kong's down tilt is officially nicknamed the Slouch Slap while his forward throw is referred to as Kong Carry. His weight has been further increased; however, he is no longer the second heaviest fighter in the game, instead giving up that title to his arch-nemesis, King K. Rool. Donkey Kong is tied with King Dedede for the third heaviest fighter.

Owing to King K. Rool's ties to Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong appears alongside Diddy Kong in K. Rool's debut trailer for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Specifically, Donkey Kong lounges lazily in his tree house after eating some bananas while watching various video game heroes confronting their respective nemeses on his TV, only to be startled by quakes before looking outside with Diddy to investigate. They then see an ominous and familiar shadow, only for it to be revealed to be King Dedede wearing a cape and King K. Rool's mask, to their surprise. King Dedede then proceeds to laugh at the practical joke he played on them, only for him to be smacked upside the head and knocked away by the actual King K. Rool, much to Donkey and Diddy Kong's horror, with King K. Rool roaring. In the ending of the trailer, Donkey Kong is knocked backwards, only to proceed to charge at his arch-nemesis on all fours, with King K. Rool doing the same in kind before proceeding to have their fists make contact with each other with enough force as to cause a shockwave to be emitted throughout the jungle.

Similarly, Donkey Kong also appears in Banjo & Kazooie's reveal trailer. Much like the King K. Rool trailer, Donkey Kong lounges around in his tree house eating bananas and watching TV, with Diddy Kong and a sleeping King K. Rool also present. A Jiggy bounces past the three, catching the Kongs' attention. After Diddy wakes King K. Rool up, the three look outside and see what appear to be the silhouettes of Banjo and Kazooie, but turn out to be Duck Hunt playing a prank on them, to their surprise. Duck Hunt proceed to laugh at this joke played on the Kongs and Kremling, only for the dog and duck to be knocked away from above by the real Banjo and Kazooie, holding their respective namesake instruments. This causes the Kongs and King K. Rool to celebrate. Near the end of the trailer, Donkey Kong can be seen in the background as Banjo and Kazooie perform a victory pose.

In the Adventure Mode, World of Light, Donkey Kong is present when he and other fighters oppose their ultimate enemy, Galeem. Although Donkey Kong is not shown to be hit by Galeem's beams directly, he, like many other fighters, except Kirby, is imprisoned in the World of Light. Donkey Kong is found in the jungle segment of the Light Realm, on a space that looks like the treehouse he lives in. Donkey Kong, upon being defeated, joins the party and fight Galeem.

A giant Donkey Kong based on the one from the original Super Smash Bros. also appears as the final opponent of Jigglypuff's route, due to its route being a callback to the original game.

Classic Mode route[edit]

By completing Donkey Kong's Classic Mode route, it is possible to unlock Bowser, Pokémon Trainer, Rosalina & Luma, King Dedede, Sheik, Greninja, Diddy Kong, and Duck Hunt.

Donkey Kong's Classic Mode route initially has him fight Diddy Kong, who joins him as a partner in all subsequent battles. Together, they fight opponents who live in urban settings, with their penultimate battle being against the Mario Bros. The penultimate battle alludes to the rivalry between Donkey Kong and Mario.

On a side note, before the version 3.0.0 update, Donkey Kong was the only character to face Master Hand and Crazy Hand as their Classic Mode route's final boss on the Ω form of a stage different from Final Destination. As of version 3.0.0, however, this trait is now shared with Joker and Sephiroth, as their final rounds take place in the Ω form of Mementos and Northern Cave.

Journey to New Donk City
Round Opponent(s) Rule Stage Song
1 Diddy Kong Kongo Jungle Jungle Level (64)
2 King K. Rool Team Battle
(Ally: Diddy Kong)
Kongo Falls Gang-Plank Galleon
3 Wario, Captain Falcon Team Battle
(Ally: Diddy Kong)
Pilotwings Gear Getaway
4 Ness, Lucas Team Battle
(Ally: Diddy Kong)
Onett The Map Page / Bonus Level
5 Inkling Girl, Inkling Boy Team Battle
(Ally: Diddy Kong)
Moray Towers Donkey Kong / Donkey Kong Jr. Medley
6 Mario, Luigi Team Battle
(Ally: Diddy Kong)
New Donk City Hall New Donk City
Final Master Hand, Crazy Hand (intensity 7.0 or higher) Team Battle
(Ally: Diddy Kong)
New Donk City Hall (Ω) Master Hand
Master Hand / Crazy Hand (intensity 7.0 or higher)


  1. ^ Playing with Super Power: Nintendo Super NES Classics Prima Games, p. 112 - "THE DK LINEAGE: Super Mario Kart is the only Mario Kart game to feature Donkey Kong Jr. Due to the success of Donkey Kong Country, all future Mario Kart entries featured Donkey Kong, who is actually Donkey Kong Jr.'s son, with Cranky Kong, aka Donkey Kong Sr., canonically being the character featured in the original Donkey Kong game. Make sense, right?"