Welcome aboard! Following the surprise attention a previous Donkey Kong thread recieved both on and outside of the forum, we've decided that discussion and speculation about the past and future of Donkey Kong is deserving of a fancy new home. This thread will be Famiboards' number one stop for everything DK. Share what you enjoy about your favourite Donkey Kong titles; talk about what you'd like to see from the franchise in future installments; and of course, speculate on the large number of Donkey Kong-related rumors going around the internet in recent times.
The 10th anniversary of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, the latest brand new Donkey Kong title, is approaching next year. Thankfully in this dry period between new games, DK and the rest of the Kong Family have been keeping themselves occupied elsewhere: DK and Diddy continue to regularly appear in Mario spin-off titles, joined by Funky and (for the first time) Dixie in Mario Kart Tour; and of course, King K. Rool made his Super Smash Bros. fighter debut in 2018. Video games aren't where Donkey Kong is finding himself busiest right now though, as the property is one of the key figureheads of Nintendo's current multimedia expansion:
Film: The Super Mario Bros. Movie has now released in theatres worldwide, featuring Donkey Kong (played by Seth Rogen) in a prominent role. Cranky Kong (played by Fred Armisen) also has a notable speaking appearance in the film, alongside further cameos from other members of the extended Kong Family (including Diddy, Dixie, Chunky and Swanky) and a ton of all-new Kong extras. Rumors indicate that this is just the start of Donkey Kong's film career, with a solo Donkey Kong movie supposedly entering production at Illumination as well. Which of Donkey Kong's all-star cast members will get to appear on the big screen next? Perhaps Troff & Scoff? Only time will tell.
LEGO: First announced with a brief teaser on Mar10 Day, Donkey Kong joined the LEGO Super Mario course builder theme with four sets released on August 1st 2023: Donkey Kong's Tree House Expansion Set, Diddy Kong's Mine Cart Ride Expansion Set, Dixie Kong's Jungle Jam Expansion Set and the Rambi the Rhino Expansion Set. It remains to be seen if further DK LEGO sets will release after this initial wave; but whether you're looking for fun playsets or nice collector's items, this new sub-theme should have a lot to love for fans of Donkey Kong Country and the whole Kong family.
Theme Parks: Donkey Kong Country will be the first expansion to Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan, and will be arriving at Universal's Epic Universe in Orlando when it opens in Summer 2025; with the land also rumored to eventually open in Universal Hollywood. As leaked / rumored / datamined, the land's main attraction will be the Mine Cart Madness rollercoaster; in addition to a DK mascot meet-and-greet, multiple Power-Up Band activities, a Funky's Fly 'N' Buy shop and more. Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong Power-Up Bands will also join the collection when this expansion opens. Do you think they could demolish the Wizarding World to make space for a Gangplank Galleon attraction...?
The Donkey Kong series has a long storied history that i’m sure most who roll into this thread are well-familiar with. From his humble arcade roots to the Donkey Kong Country series, DK has been seen in a variety of forms over the past four decades and counting. Swinging from pegs, barrel blasting through the sky, bongo drumming all night long, beating up his foes to become the king of the jungle, and even reigniting his rivalry with Mario over a passion for toys; the period between new Donkey Kong Country games following Rare’s acquisition by Microsoft saw an experimental period for the Kong family, being thrown into all sorts of genres by multiple different devs. We can’t say the series has totally found its footing since, as the era of Retro's Donkey Kong Country came and went, leaving us yet again stuck in a hiatus between new game releases. At the very least, we have reason to believe the future is looking bright for DK!
As this thread is a celebration of the past, present and future of Donkey Kong, let’s take the time to reflect on that past, with a timeline of DK’s history courtesy of my good friend @CyberWolfJV:
Notes on the included titles:
What is accounted for?
What is not accounted for?
- Games with any members of the DK family in a starring role.
- Remakes and Ports that are significantly significantly altered, rebranded and/or repackaged in collections.
- Multiple ports of the Arcade trilogy to non-Nintendo platforms (Atari versions kept to represent these).
- Non-Nintendo LCD games (wrist watch games).
- Games with cameo appearances by DK characters (Mario series, Skylanders, Tetris, WarioWare, etc) or crossovers not branded as Donkey Kong games (Super Smash Bros.).
- Rereleases of an existing version of a game (e.g. SNES DKC trilogy rereleased on Virtual Console and NSO).
- Promotional web browser games.
- Competition cartridges.
With this long hiatus between Donkey Kong releases, many rumors about the status of the property have begun to pop up. To not give the people involved any unwanted attention, this section will remain a brief summary of the active DK video game rumors rather than a comprehensive catalog of what individual sources have said and when. I imagine a lot of Donkey Kong fans are well-acquainted with this chatter regardless, so a full play-by-play isn't necessary here. Of course, there's no way to fully verify the validity of any of these rumors, so I welcome users to remain skeptical and question their accuracy with reasonable discussion and arguments.
Most notable of the long-standing DK rumors is of course what is colloquially referred to as 'MonkEPD'. Multiple sources suggest that a new Donkey Kong title is in production internally at Nintendo Entertainment Planning & Development; often speculated to be the Tokyo studio in particular. With said Tokyo studio posting recruitments for both a 3D Action Game and 2D Action Game (in 2019 and 2020 respectively), many have taken that as a sign that they have two seperate projects in production, 3D Mario and 2D DK.
More recently, another Donkey Kong rumor that has been around for awhile has broken into public spaces. These sources suggest that following the appearance of Bowser and DK in Skylanders: SuperChargers, Activison studio Vicarious Visions began planning and early production on a 3D DK installement for NX, under the working title 'Donkey Kong Freedom'. It is said that this title was concieved and shelved within the period of 2015-2017, and the cancellation came down to the reallocation of resources towards Activision-published projects.