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The rebirth of Donkey Kong through the Rare games

It is true that Donkey Kong starred in several games before reaching the hands of Rare. However, due to its importance, impact and legacy, it is usually considered that the modern history of the character began with the British developer. For this reason, today it is impossible to speak of the «phenomenon Donkey Kong» without directly referring to this company.

Thanks to her, the best-known gorilla in the world of video games went from being a charismatic character to one of the most loved in the industry. And, although he had already starred in several adventures – some as a hero and others as a villain – years before, none were up to the task. what it meant Donkey Kong Country for gamers all over the world.

For this reason, today we are going to tell you how the gorilla with the red tie and eccentric movements managed to win the hearts of an entire sector. And, as you will see below, he achieved it thanks to titles that came to arouse the envy of Shigeru Miyamoto himself (although, over the years, est has qualified his words).

The most important trilogy of Donkey Kong games

The last days of the NES gave way to its most immediate successor: Super nintendo. “The Brain of the Beast”, as it was known at the time, had among its catalog some of the best titles in the company’s history. Thus, adventures like Super Mario World either The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past remain in the memory of any user of the system. And, along with these, along with frenetic bets and authentic technological marvels, was placed a unique trilogy.

It was 1994 when Rare released Donkey Kong Country, his first work with the character. In it, players roamed the DK Island in search of King K. Rool, the main villain of this title who, much to the annoyance of Donkey Kong and his friends, had seized all the bananas. However, do not be fooled by this crude and bland premise: the game was able to rival a titan like Mario.

Back then, talking about “excellence” when it came to platforms was synonymous with making a speech with plumber games as a base. However, the gorilla with a tie managed, thanks to its refined technical aspect, its incredible playability and its funa twist on the usual formula of these debates.

Thus, although the attacks on Mario did not stop, Rare managed, thanks to the three titles of Donkey Kong Country that the world would talk about a small British company able to achieve the impossible: to emulate —or at least come close to— the quality of the plumber’s deliveries.

The success of risk

If the gorilla-centric Donkey Kong titles were characterized by anything, it was “the desire to take risks.” Although they experienced their heyday during the Super Nintendo era, a console that could change the current future of the industryit would be unfair to say that subsequent titles were not, to say the least, remarkable products.

Donkey Kong 64, for example, is a perfect example of the work of the British developer. In it, they said goodbye to the lateral movement that had given them so much joy and bet heavily on an open world full of collectibles. The result, several decades later, is a great memory among players and a title that is among the best in the system. However, this aggressive evolution of the formula was only a continuation of what we knew.

Although the first installment of the SNES starred Donkey Kong, the rest of the releases were marked by the “absence” of this. Thus, the gorilla went from being in the foreground to giving the witness to Diddy Kong and Dixie Kong respectively (in the second and third games of Donkey Kong Country). And this, far from upsetting the players, enchanted by the possibilities it offered.

By introducing various members of the family and giving them the leading mantle, users were able to better connect with them. Thanks to this decision, those interested in gaming Donkey Kong they knew the characters, they lived their story and, with each new installment, they discovered what they could do with them. Without a doubt, this was one of Rare’s best decisions.

A legacy for history

Unfortunately, the story of the gorilla and the company took a 180º turn when Microsoft acquired Rare. Outside the protection of these, the license was stumbling without finishing settling. In GameCube, successor to Nintendo 64, the character starred in several rhythm games that passed without more pain than glory. And on laptop, ground where he once conquered hearts, he joined forces with Mario in a franchise that ended up in the trunk of memories.

Luckily for the character and his followers, the situation turned around again with the launch of Donkey Kong Country Returnsthe Wii adventure that emulated the golden age of the character: the Rare trilogy for SNES. This was later followed Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Wii U game that landed on Switch in its first years of life. And, thanks to these, the gorilla regained the status it had lost.

Source: Nintendo USA

And you, do you think that the Rare games represent the golden age of Donkey Kong? What is your favorite title of the character? We read you in the comments.


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