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Donkey Kong Country

During his days at Rare, Kev Bayliss worked on a number of different projects, including Donkey Kong Country. Bayliss helped determine the direction of the game’s character art.

In a YouTube video today, Bayliss offered up a look at some of his original sketches for Donkey Kong Country. Aside from Donkey Kong himself, we also get a look at Rambi, the Kremlings, and more.

Here’s the video intro from Bayliss:

Donkey Kong Country TV show

Back in 1997, Nintendo and animation company Medialab Technology formed a partnership to produce a computer-animated TV series based on Donkey Kong Country. A total of 40 episodes were ultimately produced.

Writer Simon Racioppa spoke about the experience as part of an interview with Polygon. He noted that the show had a “bible” with basic rules, but there wasn’t much in the way of story restrictions or input from Nintendo.

He said:

Donkey Kong Country had a two-season stint on TV spread out across 40 different episodes. The show naturally had a number of characters, including Cranky Kong.

Aaron Tager voiced the role of Cranky Kong in the show. Sadly, Tager passed away last Thursday at the age of 84.

Tager had a lengthy career in TV and film dating back to the start of the ’90s. You can find a full list of his credits here.


Donkey Kong Country designer Gregg Mayles is back again with more insight into the early days of the game’s development. Earlier today, Mayles shared some art of early Kremling concepts, including “the origins of a far more serious and tough-looking” King K. Rool who went by “Krudd”. Also planned at one point was a military theme, though that was dropped in the end.

Below is the concept art:

Gregg Mayles left a big mark on the Donkey Kong Country series. He served as a designer on the series, and created the likes of Diddy Kong and King K. Rool.

With King K. Rool having been announced for Smash Bros. Ultimate a few days ago, Mayles is taking a trip down memory lane. It turns out that Donkey Kong Country was going to be called Monkey Mayhem, and King K. Rool’s initial name was Kommander.

No April Fools’ Day news story from us, but we do have something that fits in with the festivities…

The Donkey Kong Country series is well known for the high quality of its music. With the atmospheric score of David Wise, the quirky tunes of Eveline Fischer and the unforgettable melodies of that other guy, it’s a franchise full of famous songs. So with that in mind, it’s worth highlighting the finest tracks that formed the soundtrack to our childhoods. Here are ten of the best tracks inspired by the hit video game:

This month’s issue of RetroGamer has an interview with a number of former Rare employees. One section has some staffers reflecting on the studio’s relationship with Nintendo, which was a two-way street.

Chris Seavor told the magazine that Rare came up with jet skis in Wave Race 64 while Shigeru Miyamoto suggested ties in Donkey Kong Country:

“Bottom line, everybody won: Wave Race 64 was originally with boats until Tim suggested Jet Skis and in Donkey Kong Country he didn’t have a tie until Miyamoto added one.”

Another ex-Rare staffer, Chris Sutherland, also noted that Miyamoto’s input was crucial when it came to another element of Donkey Kong Country:

“The ground slap that Donkey Kong performed in the DKC series originated as a suggestion from Miyamoto.”


Update: And here’s a look at Donkey Kong Country 2 (Europe only thus far):

Donkey Kong Country is now available on the New 3DS as a Virtual Console download. Watch some off-screen footage below.

Donkey Kong Country, EarthBound, and Super Mario Kart all launch for the New 3DS Virtual Console in North America tomorrow. Take a look at their trailers below.

Former Rare staffer Mark Stevenson shared a render of Donkey Kong wearing a mining helmet from Donkey Kong Country over on his Twitter account. Originally, the plan was for Donkey Kong to have it on during the cave levels. Stevenson explained that Squawks the Parrot ended up replacing the helmet.

Steve Mayles, another former employee from Rare, answered a question about King K. Rool that some fans have been dying to know:


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