Donkey Kong 64

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

So they're finally here, performing for you
If you know the words, you can join in, too
Put your hands together, if you want to clap
As we take you through this monkey rap

The DK Rap

Ooooooooh, BAH- NAH- NAH!

I've been waiting a long time for this moment. Soon, Donkey Kong and his pretty little island... will be NO MORE!
—King K. Rool

Donkey Kong 64 is a 1999 video game produced by Rare and Nintendo for the Nintendo 64. It's either a sequel to the renowned Donkey Kong Country trilogy on the Super Nintendo or the fourth installment of said trilogy, depending on how you look at it. The game is a 3D third-person action-platformer set within the continuity of the Donkey Kong Country games; it was also the first of two Nintendo 64 to require the Expansion Pack to play it (the other being The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, though Perfect Dark was crippled to the point of being barely playable without it), but fortunately, it came bundled with the package. Structurally and technically, Donkey Kong 64 is very similar to Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo Tooie, especially when it comes to the enormously high amount of items to collect (each stage features, among many other things, five hundred bananas; that's five stages' worth of musical notes in Banjo terms) and in that the player characters must learn special moves before being able to use them by triggering specific button combinations at once.

The plot concerns the return of the Kremlings, that Exclusively Evil race of reptilian humanoids that have been a pain in the Kongs' sides since the original Donkey Kong Country, three years after the end of Donkey Kong Country 3. Once again, under the leadership of King K. Rool, the Kremlings have decided that if they can't have the Kongs' Island, nobody can, and so they plan to blast it right off the face of the earth with their secret weapon, the Blast-O-Matic, which is stored within an enormous, high-tech armored warship version of Crocodile Isle that towers eerily over the Kongs' homeland.

As expected, Donkey Kong leaps into action, ready to bust some Kremling heads and foil their evil schemes, only to find that four of his best friends have been kidnapped and his hoard of solid-gold giant bananas has once again been plundered. As DK, the player must rescue the four other Kongs (all of whom become additional player characters after rescue) and recover all the stolen bananas. Much running, jumping, brawling and dancing ensues, along with a few subplots involving an imprisoned Kong-sympathizer Kremling, a shifty technician named Snide who once worked on assembling the Blast-O-Matic but has come to hate K. Rool, and a magical Banana Fairy whose daughters have mysteriously gone missing. All of these must be resolved in order for the player to achieve 101% completion and witness the true ending of the game.

Tropes used in Donkey Kong 64 include:
  • 100% Completion: Goes up to 101%, like the first Donkey Kong Country.
  • Abnormal Ammo: All get orange grenades. Overlaps with Edible Ammunition for all playable characters except Tiny:
    • Donkey Kong - Coconuts (rifle).
    • Diddy Kong - Peanuts (pistols).
    • Lanky Kong - Grapes (Blow Gun).
    • Tiny Kong - Feathers (crossbow).
    • Chunky Kong - Pineapples (bazooka).
    • Funky Kong - The Boot.
    • Hidden Character Krusha gets Oranges (Grenade Launcher).
  • Action Girl: Tiny Kong.
  • Alliterative Name: As a hallmark of the series, it sure couldn't be left out here. Just check out the names of the areas, for instance:
    • Jungle Japes
    • Angry Aztec
    • Frantic Factory
    • Gloomy Galleon
    • Fungi Forest
    • Crystal Caves
    • Creepy Castle
    • Hideout Helm
  • Amusing Injuries: The final boss fight is a long string of these in the form of a boxing match with five rounds.
  • Anthropomorphic Shift: In this game, Donkey Kong tiptoes, walks and runs like a human, but otherwise stands and acts like a gorilla.
  • Ape Cannonball: Naturally.
  • Artistic License Music: Two of the playable characters' instruments don't sound like their real life counterparts. Donkey Kong's bongos are much more melodic than real bongos, but it's particularly egregious with Chunky Kong's triangle. It actually makes the sound of a celesta, a completely different instrument!
  • Badass Adorable: Tiny Kong definitely qualifies for this. Diddy Kong also to a certain degree.
  • Bad Boss: King K. Rool is portrayed as one. He does give Army Dillo a second chance though.
  • Bamboo Technology: The Kongs' weapons are made out of wood.
  • Big Eater: Troff the pig and Scoff the hippo.
  • Blackout Basement: One small area in Jungle Japes has homage to this. Also the interiors of Gloomy Galleon's sunken ships are lit by lantern fish that swim behind you.
  • Black Sheep: K. Lumsy.
  • Boss Arena Idiocy: For a Donkey Kong Country game (or, hell, a Donkey Kong game in general), this game is very light on barrels to grab and throw. However, every boss in the game that can be damaged by a barrel throw has an unlimited number of barrels in their arena. The boss of Gloomy Galleon even has electrical pylons that can electrocute it hidden beneath the water. The only one who averts this is Mad Jack because he can't help the location of the fight (he was thrown there from a higher area of the factory).
  • The Caligula: King K. Rool.
  • Camera Screw: Basically, any time you need to make a precise jump (Frantic Factory and Creepy Castle come to mind), expect to spend ten seconds lining up the camera.
  • Canis Latinicus: The "scientific" names of the Kongs' special abilities. To name a few:
    • Simian Slam (Buttus Bashium)
      • Super Simian Slam (Big Buttus Bashium)
      • Super Duper Simian Slam (Bigga Buttus Bashium)
    • Baboon Blast (Barrelum Perilous)
    • Monkeyport (Warpum Craftious)
  • Canon Immigrant: Several elements from the Donkey Kong Country cartoon:
    • Crystal Coconuts, though there was only one in the show.
    • Cranky Kong's role as mad scientist also originated from the show.
    • Klap-Traps now have "dentures". If you try to beat them by jumping, their teeth still come after you.
  • Chokepoint Geography: Justified by the locations of the levels being fairly well hidden, until K. Lumsy dislodges a seemingly innocent boulder.
  • Color Coded for Your Convenience:
    • Donkey Kong - Yellow.
    • Diddy Kong - Red.
    • Lanky Kong - Blue.
    • Tiny Kong - Purple.
    • Chunky Kong - Green.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Several areas of this game have lava where they probably shouldn't. The "lobby" to Crystal Caves, an ice cave, has lava at one end. The second battle against Dogadon takes place inside a lava-surrounded arena inside a tree. Also, it's unclear if that green stuff in Creepy Castle is Palette Swapped lava, or acid. And the lava in one section of that temple in Angry Aztec with the llama acts just like the quicksand in the main level.
  • Crack! Oh, My Back!: If you lose a round at any point during the final battle, Cranky's attempt to encourage you not to give up ends with this.
  • Creepy Doll: Mad Jack.
  • Crosshair Aware: The Krack-Shot Kroc.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Cranky Kong.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Candy Kong does this to K. Rool while Funky sneaks up behind him with a boot-bazooka. Also happens to some Kremlings in the complete ending.
  • Dumb Muscle: Donkey and Chunky.
  • Easter Egg: DK has a poster of a dolphin in his bedroom. "Dolphin" was the much-publicized working title of the Nintendo GameCube.
  • Embedded Precursor: The original arcade version of the original Donkey Kong (from Nintendo) and Jetpac (from Rare, then known as ACG/Ultimate), and it's actually required to complete both to complete Donkey Kong 64.
  • Eternal Engine: Frantic Factory.
  • Everything Fades: All of the enemies fade in and out when you beat them.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Unless you're a Kremling.
  • Expy:
    • Tiny and Chunky for Dixie and Kiddy.
    • Also the Banana Fairies for the Banana Birds in Donkey Kong Country 3.
    • In addition, Lanky Kong looks like a silly version of the earlier orangutan Manky Kong. They even have rhyming names.
  • Fartillery: Chunky Kong's special attack from the Banana Fairy involves him making a massive burp.
  • Final Exam Boss: King Kut-Out and King K. Rool.
  • Five-Man Band: The five player-character Kongs.
  • Floating Continent: Creepy Castle is a floating in the sky.
  • Fungus Humongous: Fungi Forest, which has a big mushroom that you can go inside, but not that many mushrooms overall.
  • Game Breaking Bug: A late-game bug can cause the mechanical fish to become nearly impossible to beat. This bug can be worked around by disabling the Sniper scope while the fan is spinning; however, this bug is so obscure that most people won't know to do this.
  • Gang Plank Galleon: Gloomy Galleon, unsurprisingly.
  • Gentle Giant:
    • K. Lumsy, a colossal Kong-sympathizer Kremling. Also Dumb Muscle.
    • Chunky, bordering to parody. He carries a bazooka and is stronger than DK, yet he plays the triangle and is afraid of heights. Also put the controller down and watch his Idle Animation.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: One of the lines in the DK Rap is "but this Kong's one hell of a guy!". This was later censored to "heck" when the song was carried over to Super Smash Bros. Melee.
  • Gotta Catch Em All/Collection Sidequest: What the game is based around.
  • Guns Akimbo: Diddy Kong.
  • Hammerspace: Where do the Kongs keep their guns? Diddy, for one, manages to store two handguns the size of his head somewhere while wearing just a hat and shirt.
  • Heli Critter/Helicopter Hair: Tiny Kong, just like Dixie.
  • Hello, Nurse!: Candy Kong. Even K. Rool goes nuts over her. The fact that her dialogue (sounds like it) contains a lot of innuendo contributes. Her theme song in her store supports this even more.
  • Hilarious Outtakes: Your reward for 100% Completion is a video of the characters auditioning for the next entry in the series on the then-upcoming "Dolphin". (Or you can look it up on YouTube.)
  • Hub Level: The DK Isles.
  • Huge Rider, Tiny Mount: Averted. Whenever Tiny needs a ride from Squawks, she has to shrink herself down first.
  • Idle Animation:
    • Donkey Kong: swats at and accidentally eats a fly.
    • Diddy Kong: eats an orange.
    • Lanky Kong: juggles and piles orange grenades.
    • Tiny Kong: juggles one orange grenade and puts it away.
    • Chunky Kong: sees butterflies and lets them land on him, then he scares them away.
    • A few of the enemies have Idle Animations too.
  • Interface Screw: When Chunky boards the sailing ship on the Gloomy Galleon level to get his Golden Banana there, this happens after his dance. The screen wavers wildly, he leans back with his arms down (while walking), and the directional controls are reversed (implying seasickness).
  • Jungle Japes: Trope Namer.
  • Kill It with Fire: Essentially every boss in this game spits/throws fire balls at you, including a giant pufferfish.
  • Laughing Mad: Mad Jack.
  • Legacy Character: Cranky Kong is the Donkey Kong from the original arcade game
  • Leitmotif: Every level has one, including the Hub Level. Nearly every track in each level is a remix of its trademark melody.
  • Letting the Air Out of the Band: The music falters when the Kremlings have engine trouble in the intro. Percussive Maintenance gets the machine started again and the music back in tune.
  • Lighthouse Point: Gloomy Galleon.
  • Live Item: The Banana Fairies.
  • Lovable Coward: Chunky. On the character selection screen, highlight anyone else and he'll start to taunt the camera; roll over to him though, and he'll freak out and try desperately to convince you to pick Tiny instead. When you pick a different character, he'll go "whew!".
  • Mad Scientist: Cranky Kong.
  • Mayincatec: Angry Aztec.
  • No Fair Cheating: Using any Gameshark code in this game will cause DK to spasm uncontrollably throughout the game. Even in the opening. Also, your cartridge will be permanently damaged if you save.
  • Nostalgia Filter: As expected of the character, Cranky reminesces about how much better games were in his day.
  • Obvious Beta: Largely averted, but it does have a few cracks:
    • You can swim through walls, dive under islands, and walk around in voids without any cheating device if you manipulate the first-person view. Beaver Bother's mechanics are also quite unpolished, leading to Scrappy Mechanic.
    • Especially notorious is Hunky Chunky, who can clip through almost anything.
  • Oh Crap: "GET OUT!"
  • Ominous Floating Castle: Creepy Castle, as evidenced by shooting yourself into the clouds to get there.
  • Percussive Maintenance: During the intro cutscene, one of the Kremling technicians uses this to fix the Blast-O-Matic.
  • Pokémon-Speak: The Kasplats.
  • Pose of Supplication: Chunky Kong begged for mercy to a big monster to no avail. What followed was... well, let's just say it must have hurt a lot (for the boss monster).
  • Power of Rock: Playing the Kongs' musical instruments will defeat all Kremlings and baddies within earshot.
  • Powerup Mount: Rambi, Engarde and Squawks.
  • Precision F-Strike: During the rap, one line says that Chunky's "one hell of a guy." Censored to "heck" when Nintendo rerecorded the rap for the T-rated Super Smash Bros. Melee.
  • Punny Name: King K. Rool, K. Lumsy and B. Locker
  • Racing Mini Game: There are... well, quite a lot of them.
  • Ret Canon: Cranky Kong mixing potions like in the CGI cartoon.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Angry Aztec.
  • Shout-Out: One area has you climbing up a tower using platforms that move in and out: the first part of this climb follows exactly the same pattern of moving and stationary platforms as Super Mario 64 did in Whomp's Fortress.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Crystal Caves.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Tiny's the only girl out of the five playable characters.
  • Solve the Soup Cans: Any golden banana that doesn't involve a mini-game barrel is usually this. Sometimes they overlap.
  • Springy Spores: Fungi Forest's mushrooms
  • Spirit Advisor: The ghost of Wrinkly Kong.
  • Spiritual Successor: This game owes Super Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie big time for its existence.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Pretty strange that this trope would show up when you consider that this game is based on Super Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie, which both had oxygen meters. Also, Banjo-Tooie, Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy would have them.
  • Surfer Dude: Funky Kong combines his surfer persona with a drill sergeant's.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: King K Rool says this in one between level cinematic.
  • Theme Tune Rap: The "DK Rap". Composer Grant Kirkhope would like to make it perfectly clear that the rap was supposed to sound really lame.
  • Timed Mission: Deactivating the Blast-O-Matic at Hideout Helm. Then there's the Kremling sniper in certain puzzle rooms....
  • Took a Level in Badass: Funky Kong, the AMMO store owner. Surfer Dude turned Badass? At the end, while Candy Kong distracts K. Rool, Funky kicks his ass (literally) by shooting a giant boot out of a gun.
  • Toy Time: Frantic Factory, the Kremlings'... toy factory. Though it has more in common with your typical factory area than with a toy factory.
  • Unblockable Attack: The firewall Dogadon throws at Chunky at one point during their boss battle. The only way to dodge it is by hanging on the edges of the battle arena.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Oh so very many. Not even counting the various races and slides, over half the Golden Bananas have to be earned from Bonus Barrels, which transport you to Bonus Stages, many of which don't even feature you directly controlling the Kongs.
  • Vader Breath: King K. Rool.
  • Video Game Flight: Diddy Kong can fly with Rocketbarrels: a jetpack made out of wooden barrels fueled by magical coconut-shaped crystals.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: Donkey Kong needs a potion before he learns how to pull a lever, Lanky needs one before he can do handstands, Diddy needs one before he can perform a charging headbutt, and Chunky needs a potion in order to throw a haymaker.
  • Younger Than They Look: Chunky Kong, the biggest one, is actually the youngest.