- “My bananas and my buddy, Diddy, they are gone! The Kremlings will pay! I'll hunt them down through every corner of my island, until I have every last banana from my hoard back!”
- —Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Country
Donkey Kong, also known as DK, is a powerful hero Kong from DK Island. He is a carefree ape who spends his days collecting Bananas and spends time with his friends, particularly his buddy Diddy Kong. However, when trouble arises, DK jumps headfirst into the action to help his friends and protect his island. Cranky Kong was the original Donkey Kong, but he relinquished the name to his replacement sometime before the events of Donkey Kong Country.
Donkey Kong's character design was created by Shigeru Miyamoto for the Donkey Kong Arcade game, in which the big ape kidnaps Mario's (originally Jumpman's) original girlfriend, Pauline. Miyamoto says that he chose the name "Donkey" to reflect the character's stubbornness, while "Kong" was considered a generic term for large scary apes in Japan.
Donkey Kong's exact role in the Mario series is somewhat hazy. His original appearance portrayed him as a villainous or confused ape with unequaled strength. In these games, Donkey Kong didn't wear a tie. The 1994 Game Boy Donkey Kong was the first game to feature the tie (a red tie with the letters "DK" printed in white, later changed to yellow), but otherwise Donkey Kong is the same as he was in the original.
However, with the release of Donkey Kong Country later that same year, Donkey Kong was given a new personality and a new home. Donkey Kong Country also saw the appearance of the elderly Cranky Kong, who was the original Donkey Kong from the older Arcade games. Indeed, this new Donkey Kong was a character built for a new generation.
Donkey Kong also seems to be based off King Kong. Both apes terrorise someone, and both are on some kind of tower at some time in the story.
- Main article: Baby Donkey Kong
When Donkey Kong was a baby, he was stolen from his treetop home by Kamek and his evil Toady army during their massive kidnapping spree. However, DK met the Yoshis and greatly helped them in their quest to defeat the Koopa Troop. When riding on a Yoshi's back, Donkey Kong helped them perform many special moves, such as the vine climb and shoulder charge. It is now aware that this Baby Donkey Kong is the current Donkey Kong and was strong as his adult self.
Super Smash Bros. series
Donkey Kong is playable in all four Super Smash Bros. games. Donkey Kong is always one of the strongest characters in the game. 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.