Donkey Kong 64
Donkey Kong 64 is an adventure platform video game developed by Rare and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64. It is the fourth installment of the Donkey Kong Country series and serves as a follow-up to the trilogy that was released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
The game originally came bundled with the Expansion Pak accessory.
Why It Rocks
- Tight controls.
- Great and advanced camera controls.
- Amazing graphics for an N64 title.
- It is the first Donkey Kong game (and the only one) to be played in full 3D.
- A cheesy, yet charming, rap song in the intro.
- The game cartridge is colored banana-yellow.
- You can explore huge levels full of enemies, obstacles and platforming elements.
- Enjoyable soundtrack that gives out a Donkey Kong vibe.
- Every level is accessed via an enormous hub world.
- You can play as five different "Kongs" each with their own abilities, instruments, mini-games, and collectibles:
- Donkey Kong - His Bananas, Banana Balloons and Banana Coins are yellow. He is the main character of the game, and because of this, he is the balanced character as far as jumping, running, and strength is concerned. His ammo is coconuts, his instrument is a pair of bongos, his special barrel makes him invincible, his pad lets him play the barrel shooting mini-games, and his miscellaneous ability is pulling levers.
- Diddy Kong - His Bananas, Banana Balloons, and Banana Coins are all red. He is smaller, faster, and weaker than Donkey Kong, but slightly stronger than Tiny Kong. His ammo is peanuts, his instrument is a guitar, his special barrel lets him fly (with a jetpack), his pad lets him jump high by springing on his tail, and his miscellaneous ability is headbutt charging.
- Lanky Kong - His Bananas, Banana Balloons, and Banana Coins are all blue. Lanky is by far the fastest Kong, and has good reach. However, his physical attacks are average. His ammo is grapes, his instrument is a trombone, his miscellaneous ability is handstanding and walking on his hands, his special barrel lets him move extremely quickly while handstanding, and his pad lets him inflate himself and float called Baboon Balloon.
- Chunky Kong - His Bananas, Banana Balloons, and Banana Coins are all green. Chunky is more slow and has a smaller jump, however, is the largest and most powerful Kong. His ammo is pineapples, his instrument is a triangle, he can turn invisible, become giant, and mega punch among other abilities.
- Tiny Kong - Her Bananas, Banana Balloons, and Banana Coins are all purple. Her physical attacks are quite weak when compared to the others, however, she can jump high, and is a little quicker. Her ammo is feathers, her instrument is a saxophone, her special barrel lets her shrink, her pad lets her teleport, and her miscellaneous ability is hovering/gliding by spinning her ponytails
- In each level there are Golden Bananas, which work as this game's Stars just like in Super Mario 64. Along with that, each Kong is obligated to five Golden bananas a level, save for Hideout Helm. Before entering each level you can get a hint on how to find a Golden Banana with each Kong. There is a total of 201 Bananas.
- Not only that, each time that you find a Golden Banana, you get a hilarious "Ohh, Banana!" jingle.
- You only need 100 Golden bananas to reach the final level, so you can skip missions that you find frustrating.
- Along with Golden Bananas are Blueprints. Each Kong is assigned their color Blueprint, which are always gathered after the player defeats a Kasplat and can be given to Snidr. When a Kong hands over a single piece of blueprint to Snide they receive a golden Banana in return. Furthermore, in the game's final area, Hideout Helm, every blueprint returned to Snide will increase the time limit to shut down the Blast-O-Matic (with a base time of 10 minutes and a possible maximum time, if the player returns all of the blueprints to Snide, of 50 minutes).
- In each world there is one battle arena platform, and beating it gets the player a crown. Its usefulness is plentiful. first, the player must collect at least four of them to enter King K. Rool's secret room to retrieve the final key to K. Lumsy's cage. Second, they add to the final percentage score. Finally, the player must have at least one to open the multiplayer modes. There are ten crowns (two crowns on DK Isle, one crown in each of the eight worlds).
- There are two coins that opens the door for the last key: Rareware and Nintendo coins.
- In order to get a Rareware coin, the player has to collect fifteen banana medals and go to Cranky's Lab. He will let the player play the Jetpac game for the Rareware Coin. In order to get the coin, 5000 points must be earned. It is recommended that the player stay on the first stage, as it is harder to beat the later stages.
- In order to get Nintendo coin the player has to know the move Gorilla Grab. They need to go to the Donkey Kong Arcade in Frantic Factory and pull the lever to play it. After getting a Golden Banana after playing the first time, Squawks will appear and tell you to play again for 2 coins. The Nintendo Coin should replace Pauline. Once the arcade game is beaten again, the Nintendo Coin will be acquired.
- By collecting 75 bananas of one color by a playable Kong in each level that Kong will be rewarded a Banana Medal. There are a total of 40 in the game, 8 for each of the five Kongs, and 5 for each level. If the player collects 15 Banana Medals and visits Cranky's Lab, Cranky Kong will allow the player to play Jetpac, Rareware's first game, on his computer.
- In this game, there are five colors of bananas - each color can only be collected by a specific Kong. Donkey Kong collects yellow bananas, Diddy collects red bananas, Lanky collects blue bananas, Tiny Kong collects purple bananas, and Chunky Kong collects green bananas. Bananas are needed to feed Scoff in order to allow Troff to open the door to the stage's boss.
- Returning from Donkey Kong Country 2 is the Banana Coin. In this game, Banana Coins are used to buy certain items and upgrades such as guns, new moves and abilities, and musical instruments. Just like the normal bananas each of the five playable Kongs collect a different color of coin: Donkey Kong collects the regular yellow coins, Diddy Kong collects red coins, Lanky Kong collects blue coins, Tiny Kong collects purple coins, and Chunky Kong collects green coins.
- As said, the banana coins can be used to buy items from returning Kong characters.
- Cranky Kong sells the Kongs potions, which gives them new power-ups.
- Funky Kong sells the Kongs their personalized shooters.
- Candy Kong sells the Kongs their instruments.
- Wrinkly Kong returns as a ghost to give the player tips and save the player's progress.
- Some areas can only be accessed and played with a specific character as well.
- Fun and challenging bosses.
- Boss battles are faced with a different character.
- Many different gameplay modes, such as flying on a big bird, riding minecarts, jetpacks, etc.
- Many new and old enemies and bosses from previous the Donkey Kong games.
- As mentioned, the level "Frantic Factory" has an arcade machine where you can play the 1981 Donkey Kong classic.
- There are two different multiplayer games available, Monkey Smash and Battle Arena. Monkey Smash consists of a choice of three large tactical arenas where the players are in split-screen mode and must try to beat their opponents in different game types. The Battle Arena is a small single-screen arena where players again must beat the other player in the game mode. However, they must do this without falling off the arena as it appears as a large floating coin.
- Monkey Smash
- Survival: Last player standing is the winner.
- Coin Hoard: The player with the most coins at the end of the time limit is the winner.
- Wins: The first player to reach a target number of monkey smashes wins.
- Time: The player with the most monkey smashes at the end of the time limit wins.
- Capture: The player holding the DK Coin at the end of the time limit is the winner.
- Capture Pad: Try to activate the pads while holding the DK Coin. The first player to activate all the pads wins. This mode is not available in the Battle Arena, due to the arena itself being exceptionally small and single-screen.
- Battle Arena
- Wins: The first player to score the required amount of ring outs is the winner.
- Coin Hoard: The player with the most coins at the end of the time limit is the winner.
- Survival: The player who survives the longest wins.
- Capture: The player holding the DK coin at the end of the time limit is the winner.
- Time: The player with the most ring outs at the end of the time limit wins.
- Monkey Smash
- This game requires the Expansion Pak in order to play the game. If the player doesn't have one, he or she will be greeted by a message informing him or her that the Expansion Pak is mandatory in order to play. This is due to a game glitch that can be fixed only by using it. Fortunately, copies of the game mint in the box came bundled with it for the buyers' convenience, and unlike the later game The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask that also requires it to play, this is the only N64 game to come bundled with it.
- Having to constantly switch between Kongs to complete objectives can get tedious because there isn't always a swap barrel nearby which causes TOO MUCH backtracking.
- The Sniper mode upgrade for your weapons causes the framerate to drop when shooting in first person mode. This makes timer based missions that require shooting extremely difficult because the slower framerate slows you down too much while the timer goes as normal. The only solution to this problem is to fire then immediately toggle off the aiming reticle so the framerate returns to normal until you need to fire again, which makes shooting accurately too difficult.
- Towards the end of the game the minigames begin to overstay their welcome because most are repeated multiple times and some are frustrating.
- The first two bosses have to be fought again later on in the game.
- The second fight against Dogadon is really bad, because his new shockwave attacks and earthquake attacks are next to impossible to dodge when you try to get the barrel to throw at him, his fireballs lock on to you when he fires them, no matter how many times you beat him up when Chunky is giant, he just won't die at all, and the worst thing about this fight is that near the end of it, the lava starts rising, and if you waste too much time, the lava will consume the entire area, killing you instantly, rendering this boss fight completely impossible to beat.
- Homing and regular ammunition are separate which is pointless and stupid.
- The Beetle Races are really bad due to its awkward design and its sudden spike in difficulty. Fortunately, there's only two and are optional.
- You need to obtain two special coins in order to unlock the door to collect the final key, those two being the Rare coin and the Nintendo coin, the Rare coin can be found in Jetpac, and the Nintendo coin can be found in the Donkey Kong arcade minigame, due to how the game never tells you that you need these and how the game never tells you exactly where to find them, you wouldn't be able to even know were to find them unless you looked it up.
- All you get for completing at 101% is an ending cutscene were the Kongs play out the game similar to that of a movie director, while it is kind of neat, it would have made more sense if they did that at the beginning of the game.
- The idea of collecting Bananas per character scattered around various places in each level makes the game feel like they're on a treasure hunt, which can make the game feel rather tedious and encourage a longer completion than the average time a player would finish a game.
- Because you must collect literally everything in the game for 101%, the Banana Coins, Rare coin, Nintendo coin, Golden Bananas, Blueprints, and collect every colored Banana, that gives you a total of 3,821 collectibles. This earned the game the world record for most collectibles in a game.
- Ironically, Kongs cannot drown while underwater and their Watermelon gauge doesn't deplete at any time unless hit by enemies. One exception is the water at the Llama's Temple in Angry Aztec that initially has a lava-like surface and if any Kongs attempt to swim in it (before Donkey Kong goes to his Music Pad to get the Llama to to wake up and spit into the water to cool it down), their Watermelon gauge will gradually deplete until they escape from it.
- Players familiar with Dixie Kong from the latter two games of the Donkey Kong Country trilogy initially intended to mistake Tiny Kong for the former due to their similar appearances yet different attire and hairstyles, though it is confirmed that they are both sisters.
- If the player presses the A and B Buttons simultaneously to play Bonus Games at Snide's HQ after collecting all 40 Blueprints, an infamous glitch occurs which transports the player into the Debug Room that appears empty other than that it has four climbable pillars, a floating yellow Banana Balloon (belonging to Donkey Kong) that appears halfway through the floor and a stationary model of Donkey Kong that does nothing other than just blink. If the player attempts to escape, they will be respawned back into it — and on the other hand, the player cannot pause the game from there. The only way out is to simply reset the game or to switch the console's power off and back on.
- Some areas in the game are really dark and make it difficult to see what you're doing, no matter how high you change the brightness of your TV.
- The theme for DK Isle was originally written for Banjo-Kazooie.
Donkey Kong 64 received strong critical response, with an average of 86.74% on review aggregate site GameRankings and won several awards.
- Every Blueprint you get adds an extra minute to the detonator timer in the final world, so make sure you get most or all of them before tacking the final world.
- The level Gloomy Galleon has a Golden Banana obtained with Diddy Kong by going into a giant mechanical fish and shooting its heart's weak points. Make sure you do this mission BEFORE getting the Sniper upgrade. See Bad Qualities #3 why it's important you do.
- Remember where Swap Barrels are in each world so you can quickly swap Kongs when needing without needing to backtrack too much.
- Do yourself a favor and get at least 50 homing ammo before entering Hideout Helm. Especially for Lanky Kong's shooting challenge.