Nintendo Was Worried Donkey Kong Country Was ‘Too 3D’

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Nintendo Was Worried Donkey Kong Country Was ‘Too 3D’

This week marks the 25th anniversary of the classic and beloved Donkey Kong Country. To celebrate this milestone, some of the developers behind the game took part in a series of interviews about the game, its development and its release. And according to one developer who worked on the game, Nintendo was actually worried the game was “too 3D” and that it would be too overwhelming for players and they would be unable to actually play it.

Released on Nov. 21, 1994 for the SNES and developed by Rare, DK Country was a 2D platformer built using 3D-looking assets. In a new video 1 hour interview and documentary from Shesez, best known for the popular Boundary Break videos, we learn a bunch of interesting information about the development of this classic game.

For example, did you know that the design of Donkey Kong was just a big gorilla with the eyes from a Battletoad slapped on it? OR that the Kremlings, enemies in the game, were actually originally part of a different failed project?

And yes, Kranky Kong is the original Donkey Kong from the arcade games. Though Rare didn’t promote this too much in the game or in ads because they were worried Nintendo would change or remove the character if they did.

The whole video is just over an hour-long, so you might want to grab some snacks and a drink before you start watching. But for fans of Donkey Kong Country and or folks who love learning more about old games, this video is worth watching.

Comments

  • I can imagine this, the amount of 3D images and promotional stuff they put out there around that time was a hell of a lot different to what we were used to back then.

    The 3D Donkey Kong posters from Nintendo magazine were hugely popular in my town though.

  • And yes, Kranky Kong is the original Donkey Kong from the arcade games. Though Rare didn’t promote this too much in the game or in ads because they were worried Nintendo would change or remove the character if they did

    What? This is just wrong. It was promoted everywhere – in the game itself, in the instruction manual, in official guides. It was established very early that Cranky (spelled with a C by the way, not a K) was the original DK from the arcade games, and he was always talking about his battles with Mario and how games “back in his day” were different.

    Don’t believe me? Take a look at the manual:

    https://www.nintendo.co.jp/clvs/manuals/common/pdf/CLV-P-SAALE.pdf

    First paragraph page 6: “In his heyday, Cranky was the original Donkey Kong who battled Mario is several of his own games.”

    Middle of page 7: “You’ll never be as popular a character as I was! Why, in my heyday, kids lined up to play my games! The quarters were stacked on the machine as they waited their turn!”

    Page 12: “But this is not your father’s Donkey Kong! Although he is a relative of the classic arcade character, Country’s Donkey Kong is a totally new character, with a new look, new moves and new attitude.”

    Page 27: “Donkey Kong’s grouchy pappy is actually the original Donkey Kong who starred in the many Donkey Kong arcade classics of the eighties. He considers those games the pinnacle of game design, and will have nothing to do with the newfangled graphics, sound and multiple-button controllers of today’s Nintendo mega-hits.”

    Four examples pulled straight form the manual right there, plus Cranky himself constantly talks about the old games throughout the entire DK Country series, and even the DK Land series that was on the Game Boy.

    Sorry for the longish post but this struck a nerve and I don’t like seeing incorrect information being spread around.

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