Donkey Kong Land
Developer(s) Rareware
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Platform(s) Game Boy
Release date Flag of USA June, 1995
Flag of Japan July 27, 1996
Flag of Europe August 24, 1995
Genre Platformer
Rating(s) ESRB: ESRB K-A Kids to Adults
Mode(s) Single Player

Donkey Kong Land, known in Japan as Super Donkey Kong GB, is a video game developed by Rareware for the Game Boy. Released in 1995, it is a handheld follow-up of Donkey Kong Country, and the game's pseudo sequel. The game is also one of the few Game Boy games to feature a specially colored cartridge (yellow), which is also used on the sequels, Donkey Kong Land 2 and Donkey Kong Land III. It is one of the first games to feature Super Game Boy special features, including a rendered jungle border across the television screen.

The game is often mistaken as a Game Boy 'port' of Donkey Kong Country. Although this is true that the two games play the same using the same engine, the storyline is different and Donkey Kong Land has different levels, enemies, and bosses from the ones featured in Donkey Kong Country.

Story Edit

According to the game's instruction booklet, the story takes place after the events of Donkey Kong Country, where Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong are discussing about their latest adventure to Cranky Kong. Cranky admits that the adventure was more successful than he thought, although claiming that it was only because of the "fancy graphics" and that "Kids'll buy anything nowadays". After Cranky goes on about the games of his time, the two other Kongs try to convince him that it was not only fancy graphics that made Donkey Kong Country great, but that it "was just plain fun". However, this did not convince the old monkey, so Donkey and Diddy decide to have an adventure on an 8-bit system, with King K. Rool stealing the Banana Hoard again. Once the bet is decided, Cranky Kong arranges everything and calls King K. Rool to come and take the hoard overnight. Afterward, the two heroes decide to rest for the adventure ahead of them.



Donkey Kong Land is a 2-D platformer, designed for the Game Boy. Because of the Game Boy's limitations, the game offers less than its 16-bit predecessor. On the level select screen, names of the stages are no longer present, and the levels themselves have very few Bonus Levels, usually only having one or two. Additionally, after the Kongs find all the Bonus Levels in an area, an exclamation point appears above the level's circular marker in the overworld.

The game is divided into four worlds, each with seven normal levels, with the exception of the game's first world, Gangplank Galleon Ahoy!, which contains a total of nine. A boss level also appears in each world and must be completed to progress. Though most levels are unlocked after beating its previous level, some levels can be accessed before later levels. This can be done by finding rare, barrel-shaped bombs inside some levels and blasting away large boulders. With these boulders destroyed, a passageway to a certain level can be found. Unlike in Donkey Kong Country, the monkeys will be able to travel freely to any level without any assistance, as they can simply journey world-to-world on foot.

File:Jungle Jaunt 2 65.jpg

Like in most platformer games, the goal is to reach the end of the level, without being defeated by an enemy or falling into a trap. The Kongs must make their way through each level carefully, or else an enemy may attack. When this happens, one of the monkeys in the group will run away. With one hero remaining, the player must be careful, as losing both Kongs can end the level in a loss. Luckily, missing Kongs can be recovered by using Buddy Barrels, common barrels found in every level. A few continue points, usually one or two, appear in levels as well. If touched, the Kongs will appear back at the last continue point upon losing the level. Each level ends with a small portal, which the player should jump into to exit the level. Sometimes, levels may have more than one portal.

Playable Characters and AbilitiesEdit

As in the game's prequel, Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong are the only playable characters. The stats of these apes both vary, just as in the previous game. Donkey Kong, the leader of the group, does not have as much speed as his partner, Diddy, nor can he move quite as fast. He is, however, much stronger and is the only character able to beat the powerful foes, Krushas, without using a TNT Barrel. Diddy, on the other hand, is much smaller than Donkey Kong, and can get through tight areas more easily.

The basic ability, jumping, can be done by both Kongs to defeat enemies, cross pits, or to simply jump to access higher areas. Both Kongs also have the ability to roll or cartwheel into foes. This can defeat the enemies much more easily than jumping on them, and it also gives the heroes an extra speed boost. Sometimes, the Kongs will find themselves requiring to cross a wide abyss too large to jump over. With their cartwheel and roll moves, they can perform a super-jump, making them roll over the gap and jumping in mid-air for an extra boost. Bouncing on a tire can give them an extra boost in the air as well.

File:Rope Ravine.png

Though not used as much as jumping and rolling, the Kongs can also climb ropes and swim through water. To climb, the heroes must simply jump up and touch a rope. Climbing can be useful when crossing large gaps, though it can only be done on ropes. Jumping rope-to-rope is common in some levels, but luckily, the monkeys have no trouble in grabbing onto other ropes. During underwater levels, the apes will also use their ability to swim. Tapping the A button while swimming can make the monkeys move higher as they slowly float downwards. When the Kongs swim, they will not have as much control as on land, and as a result they should be careful.

Animal BuddiesEdit

File:Collapsing Clouds.png

Unlike Donkey Kong Country, Donkey Kong Land is filled with very little Animal Buddies, a total of only two. In fact, Animal Buddies seldom appear in most levels. It should also be noted that the Animal Buddies here are unable to shoot through barrels, and they will suddenly drop to the ground once these obstacles are approached. Still, they can be a big help in the Kongs' quest with their different abilities. Below shows the capabilities and appearances of both Animal Buddies in the game, Rambi the Rhinoceros and Expresso the Ostrich.

  • Rambi the Rhinoceros, first appearing in the level, Jungle Jaunt, is played most during gameplay next to Expresso. He is able to charge into enemies to easily defeat them. Rarely, Rambi is able to break through certain walls to create an opening to a Bonus Level. Because of this, Rambi is quite an important buddy, and he is needed to complete the game 100%.
  • Expresso the Ostrich is the other Animal Buddy in Donkey Kong Land, alongside Rambi. First appearing in a Bonus Level located in Deck Trek, Expresso is able to help the Kongs cross wide abysses with his useful flying abilities. Strangely, this helpful capability is never used to find any Bonus Levels, but is instead used inside them. Out of his four appearances, three of them take place in a Bonus Level.


Levels and Bonus Areas
Gangplank Galleon Ahoy!
# Level Bonus Areas Type of Level
1 Jungle Jaunt 2 Jungle
2 Freezing Fun 1 Snow
3 Simian Swing 2 Jungle
4 Deck Trek 2 Ship
5 Rope Ravine 2 Snow
6 Tire Trail 3 Jungle
7 Riggin' Rumble 2 Ship
8 Congo Carnage 2 Jungle
9 Arctic Barrel Arsenal 2 Snow
10 BOSS LEVEL: Wild Sting Fling 0 Ship
# Level Bonus Areas Type of Level
11 Tricky Temple 1 Temple
12 Kremlantis Kaos 0 Underwater Ruins
13 Reef Rampage 0 Coral
14 Snake Charmer's Challenge 1 Temple
15 Chomp's Coliseum 0 Underwater Ruins
16 Nautilus Chase 0 Coral
17 Swirlwind Storm 1 Temple
18 BOSS LEVEL: Seabed Showdown 0 Underwater Ruins
Monkey Mountains and Chimpanzee Clouds
# Level Bonus Areas Type of Level
19 Pot Hole Panic 2 Cave
20 Mountain Mayhem 2 Mountain
21 Track Attack 2 Clouds
22 Spiky Tire Trail 2 Cave
23 Sky High Caper 1 Clouds
24 Landslide Leap 2 Mountain
25 Collapsing Clouds 2 Clouds
26 BOSS LEVEL: Mad Mole Holes 0 Caves
Big Ape City
# Level Bonus Areas Type of Level
27 Construction Site Fight 2 Skyscraper
28 Kong Krazy 1 Blimp
29 Balloon Barrage 2 Construction Site
30 Fast Barrel Blast 2 Blimp
31 Skyscraper Caper 1 Skyscraper
32 Button Barrel Blast 2 Construction Site
33 Oil Drum Slum 2 Skyscraper
34 BOSS LEVEL: K. Rool's Kingdom 0 Blimp


Many items can be found around Donkey Kong Land, and each help the monkeys complete levels or defeat enemies. Each item has a different purpose.

Item Effect
Bananas Bananas are the most abundant items in the game. They appear all over the game's levels. Collecting 100 of these common items can give the heroes an extra life.
Banana Bunches Banana Bunches appear often in levels. They are just like normal bananas, though they are worth a total of ten bananas, instead of one.
Normal Barrels These wooden kegs are very common items found throughout much of the game. They can be thrown to defeat even the strongest kinds of enemies, as well as bust open walls.
Buddy Barrels Buddy Barrels are the game's most common kind of barrel and have a DK logo on them. If one of the Kongs are missing, likely from being hit by an enemy, these barrels will contain the lost hero. Because of this, Buddy Barrels are very valuable during gameplay.
TNT Barrels Like normal barrels, TNT Barrels are found often in levels and can be thrown at enemies to defeat them. However, these types of barrels are much more explosive, and can blast away strong foes. They can even blast away Oil Drums.
Kong Tokens Kong Tokens are another common type of item in the game. They are found all over every level, mainly in Bonus Levels. Once the monkeys collect some of these special coins, they can exchange them for extra lives in certain Bonus Areas.
Extra Life Balloons Extra Life Balloons are also important items in Donkey Kong Land. If they are collected, the Kongs will gain an extra life, keeping them away from a Game Over. These balloons fly away fast, so the monkeys must make sure they act fast to get them.
K-O-N-G Letters K-O-N-G Letters are one of the game's most vital items. Every level has four of these letters (spelling "KONG") scattered throughout them in order. Each letter must be collected for the Kongs to save their game. Additionally, in the level, Kong Krazy, these items can be used as platforms.

Enemies and HazardsEdit

File:Nautilus Chase.png

Donkey Kong Land is filled with only nineteen different enemies and hazards, although most first appeared in the prequel to the game, Donkey Kong Country. Enemies listed below in bold are those who have already appeared in this previous game in the Donkey Kong series. The table also lists the first and last level that these enemies and hazards have shown up in. Noticeably, many of these foes have stayed in throughout the whole game, not making a final appearance until the levels of the last world, the Big Ape City. It should be noted that Swirlwinds can also help the Kongs on their quest, other than harming them.

Character/Hazard First Level Appearance Last Level Appearance
Army Riggin' Rumble Button Barrel Blast
Chomps Kremlantis Kaos Oil Drum Slum (Bonus Level)
Clambo Nautilus Chase Nautilus Chase
Gnawty Freezing Fun Oil Drum Slum
Fangfish Kremlantis Kaos Oil Drum Slum (Bonus Level)
Hogwash Freezing Fun Skyscraper Caper
Klaptrap Riggin' Rumble Skyscraper Caper
Kritter Jungle Jaunt Oil Drum Slum
Krusha Tricky Temple Oil Drum Slum
Mincer Deck Trek Button Barrel Blast (Bonus Level)
Mini Necky Deck Trek Fast Barrel Blast
Necky Congo Carnage Pot Hole Panic
Nemo Nautilus Chase Nautilus Chase
Oil Drum Landslide Leap (Bonus Level) Oil Drum Slum
Slippa Jungle Jaunt Oil Drum Slum
Slippa Jar Snake Charmer's Challenge Snake Charmer's Challenge
Snapper Kremlantis Kaos Chomp's Coliseum
Swirlwind Snake Charmer's Challenge Swirlwind Storm
Zinger Freezing Fun Oil Drum Slum

Throughout the Kongs' quest, they not only find the enemies listed above, but also several bosses, who require a little more skill to beat. Each boss appears at the end of all the game's worlds, and must be defeated to allow the heroes to progress.

Boss Location Level Name
Wild Sting Gangplank Galleon Ahoy! Wild Sting Fling
Colossal Clambo Kremlantis Sea-bed Showdown
Hard Hat Monkey Mountains/Chimpanzee Clouds Mad Mole Holes
King K. Rool Big Ape City K. Rool's Kingdom


Main article: Donkey Kong Land/Glitches

Beta elementsEdit

Main article: Donkey Kong Land/Beta elements