Blogging live to you and yours! It’s your boy TWOTALL4UFOOL! As many of you know I participated in The Games That Define Us over on Normal Happenings. Special thanks once again to Matt for letting me participate. It was an honor. Myself along with other bloggers wrote about a video game that defines us. I chose Donkey Kong Country. You can click the link here and checkout the original post I wrote over on Normal Happenings. Also check out everyone else’s work too. A lot of great pieces. On this day 24 years ago is when I got the game for Christmas. So I figured I would share this with you all today. It’s not going to have all the fancy stuff like Matt did on his site. Just a commercial I found on YouTube. So go ahead read through and I hope you all enjoy it.
It was sometime in 1994. I forget the month. It was probably summer when I first saw the commercial. By then I’ve had my Super NES for about three years. I either got it at launch if not launch then definitely my 7th birthday shortly after launch. I did get it sometime in 1991. LOL! Since having it I was having fun with the games I had. Some I had asked for. Other games were given to me as a gift. And then of course the rental games I would play on it from Blockbuster Video. Whatever game I was playing on it I made the best of. But even at a young age I knew some games were definitely better than others. And to be honest when I look back on it I feel the Super NES was just on an even plateau with the Sega Genesis until I saw this commercial. This game was going to change EVERYTHING! Take a look below.
After seeing that commercial. I knew that had to be the next game I got for my Super NES. I didn’t know how I was going to get it or even when I was going to get but I knew that had to be my next game for this console. I instantly fell in love with the game and I didn’t even have it. I didn’t even know too much about Donkey Kong to tell you the truth. I knew that he was the main villain in the Donkey Kong arcade game and that there was GameBoy version of that game that game that came out earlier in the year. And I also knew a character by the name of Donkey Kong Jr. was playable in Super Mario Kart. So I had an idea of who Donkey Kong was. I just didn’t know the whole back story at the time.
This had to be the only game I ever wanted instantly after watching a TV commercial for it! I just wanted it. I didn’t want to rent it. I didn’t want to read reviews on it. I just wanted the box so I could rip that thing open and start playing it and read the instruction booklet before I went to bed. I think the commercial did everything in terms of selling me on the game. The stuff that displayed if you read it. Where you gonna find? Not on Sega! Not on 32x Adapters! Not on CD-Rom! It’s only for Super NES! And if you look at those graphics. During that time those had to be some of the sweetest graphics I had ever seen. Another thing that sold me on the game after watching the commercial. I was blown away by the commercial to say the least. And I was thrilled that it was only for the Super NES! It was a direct shot at Sega I feel. Because it didn’t need any CD adapter or 32x adapter to play a game of this caliber. All you needed was Super NES.
Now if I had gotten this game for my 10th birthday that would make this the perfect story. But since the game came out November 21st (19 days after my birthday) I had to wait a little bit longer. So I got it for Christmas. This had to be the best Christmas gift I ever received as a kid. If I could go back in time I would want to watch a younger me play this game and just watch how much fun I had with this game. I knew beating the game would be no easy task but if I could beat Super Mario World I knew I had a chance at beating this game.
For those of you have never played Donkey Kong Country here is how the game works. It’s a platformer similar to a Mario game. Donkey Kong can either jump or do a roll at his enemies for them to be defeated. However this won’t work on all enemies. For more complicated enemies you can throw barrels at them and they can be defeated. Speaking of barrels if you come across a DK Barrel and you’ll get your sidekick Diddy Kong. You can switch between the two as you please. Going through the level if you got hit once that would be it. But if you have both Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong whoever you are controlling will run off then you take over as the other. If you fall off of a cliff however you had to start the level over even if you had both Kongs. There’s one checkpoint throughout each level so if you died and had past the checkpoint you would be able to resume from there. You start out with 5 lives with the opportunity to get more for every 100 bananas, finding DK Balloons, and reaching bonus levels within each level. Reaching Candy Kong would be the only way to save your game. Funky Kong will allow you to go back to worlds that you had already beaten. And Cranky Kong gives you “helpful” advice on how to get through the game. You also have animal buddies that help you throughout the adventure as well. They are in certain levels throughout the game and can also be used in various bonus levels. At the end of each world you face a boss and after you get through the six worlds you fight the main villain in the game King K. Rool leader of the Kremlings.
Now when I started the first world that was nothing out of the ordinary. I was able to pass the first level and first world with flying colors. It was when I got to the second world is where the trouble began. Mine Cart Carnage! The first level I struggled with during this game. That level is fun but no easy task folks. It takes perfect timing to spell KONG and jump over all the carts and not get hit by Kremlings in other carts coming right at you. The Stop & Go Station was another unique level. The fact that you couldn’t kill those baddies at all and could only go by them when the barrel light was on stop was something very unique and had never been done in any video game at the time.
Moving on the more memorable levels in the game. When I reached the fourth world (Gorilla Glacier) the level Snow Barrel Blast was so complicated. Not only was it slippery because of the ice but thick snow coming down in that level makes it impossible to see. I had to damn near find a secret to beat that level. One I found by accident. The other level in that world that I remember well had to be Torchlight Trouble. The only level where Squawks the Parrot made an appearance by holding the torchlight for you to see. Moving on to the fifth world (Kremkroc Industries) I went through some of the hardest levels the game had to offer. Elevator Antics, Mine Cart Madness and the probably arguably the hardest level in the game Poison Pond. I had met kids who had quit the game because they couldn’t pass Poison Pond. It is a complicated level but with your animal buddy Enguarde the Swordfish he makes it a bit less complicated. He’s useless against those Mincers or wheels that are seen through the level.
In the sixth and final world (Chimp Caverns) there is a level called Loopy Lights. It’s similar to the Stop & Go Station where you have to keep the lights on in the level. Another one that frustrated me quite a bit was Platform Perils. This the last level you do before fighting that world boss. Looking back at the most of these levels they each have a unique stipulation. You didn’t really see that too much in other platformers during that time such as a Mario game or even a Sonic game. Donkey Kong Country sure broke the barriers and I feel rewrote the rules on what a good platformer video game looks like.
Fighting King K. Rool wasn’t the easy. Besides throwing his crown at you had to time his jumps and be in the right place at the right time or you were a goner. I remember when I first thought I beat him and then the credits rolled and after the credits were done rolling he got back up and just killed me out of nowhere. That was so wrong! But I stayed patient and eventually defeated him. What can I say that game was a wild ride. A wild ride that I never get tired of playing. Now I beat the game alone. I never beat it in two-player mode or in two-player contest mode. But I feel beating this game alone was going to be the only way I beat it.
Now how this game defines me. It came out during the prime o my childhood. I saw a commercial for it. Didn’t read reviews, or rent it. Just saw it asked for the game, got it and beat it! It took me a while to beat it but it eventually happened. I never looked at video games the same again after beating Donkey Kong Country. It made me just know that all video games are beatable (with the exception of sports games I guess). It helped me look at some of the games I had played previously and had never beaten. One of those games would Super Mario Bros. 3. I would eventually go on to beat that game (even though I beat it on Super Mario All-Stars) I still beat it. And I don’t think I would’ve had the smarts to get through that game without getting through Donkey Kong Country first.
Overall I couldn’t think of a better game that defines me and my video game playing skills. That game is Donkey Kong Country. That game is one of my all time favorites. Most arguably the best game on the Super NES. When it came out there was no game like it and I don’t think there will ever be another game like it. The only sequel I feel that have comes close is Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest. That game could arguably be better in overall game play than the original. There’s only one thing that it’s missing. Donkey Kong. We love you Dixie but I feel they could’ve found some way to make Donkey Kong playable. And I still think it’s a robbery that that game wasn’t on the SNES Classic Edition. But Nintendo knows they would’ve messed up if they didn’t include the first game on there. If you haven’t played I highly encourage you to do so. And think of your boy as you play!
I hope you all enjoyed that! And after reading that I hope you all see why Donkey Kong Country is the video game that defines me. Blogging live to you and yours! It’s your boy TWOTALL4UFOOL! Remember that TOGETHER EVERYONE ACHIEVES MORE! Thanks for reading folks. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
2 thoughts on “Donkey Kong Country: The Video Game That Defines Me”
Your post made me think what SNES game defines me the most, and I would have to say FF3, but I’m not sure it’s because of the “in the moment” aspect. I played all sorts of SNES games, but the n64 came out when I was in 2nd grade, so I just don’t think I was old enough to REALLY appreciate some of these games and recall the moments like you did for DKC. Replaying FF3 later as an adult (at 18 and 30 just recently) is when I realized how cool that game is even though the adventure aspect was probably all that appealed to me as a kid.
LikeLiked by 1 person