Donkey Kong 64 (1999)

by Christopher
8 minutes read


Donkey Kong 64 is celebrated for its expansive 3D world, innovative gameplay, and memorable characters. Despite criticisms regarding collectibles and camera work, it remains a defining platformer of the N64 generation.


Embark on a 3D adventure with Donkey Kong 64, a game that set new standards for platforming on the Nintendo 64. Join Donkey Kong and his friends as they battle K. Rool to save their island and recover the precious Golden Bananas.


Donkey Kong Blasts Back in a Banana Bonanza: A Look at Donkey Kong 64’s Plot
Donkey Kong 64, released in 1999 for the Nintendo 64, wasn’t just a jump into 3D platforming for the beloved ape. It was a sprawling adventure filled with banana-hoarding, Kremling-stomping, and a healthy dose of rescuing friends. Let’s peel back the layers and take a bite out of the plot that had Donkey Kong swinging into action.

The story sets the stage on the idyllic DK Isles, home to Donkey Kong and his primate pals. But trouble stirs on the horizon, or rather, it sails in on a menacing mechanical island. This villainous vessel is none other than King K. Rool’s latest invention: a mobile fortress packing a doomsday device known as the Blast-O-Matic. K. Rool, the ever-ambitious villain, desires nothing less than to obliterate DK Island with this nefarious machine.

However, K. Rool isn’t exactly known for his meticulous planning. During his not-so-grand entrance, Crocodile Isle crashes into a giant rock, causing malfunctions in the Blast-O-Matic. Forced to improvise, the Kremling king hatches a new plan: steal Donkey Kong’s precious hoard of Golden Bananas and kidnap his friends – Diddy Kong, Lanky Kong, Tiny Kong, and the newcomer, Chunky Kong. These bananas, apparently, hold the key to powering up the Blast-O-Matic and finally achieving K. Rool’s island-crushing dreams.

Our hero, Donkey Kong, awakens to the chaos and immediately smells trouble (probably banana-scented trouble). He soon discovers the kidnappings and the missing bananas, and with a mighty roar, sets off on a quest to rescue his friends and thwart K. Rool’s plan.

Donkey Kong 64 breaks away from the traditional level-by-level progression. Instead, the game offers eight expansive worlds, each with unique themes and challenges. From the lush jungles of Jungle Japes to the fiery depths of Frantic Factory, Donkey Kong explores these diverse landscapes, collecting Golden Bananas and battling Kremling foes.

Here’s the twist: each of Donkey Kong’s friends possesses a unique ability that becomes crucial for progressing through the game. Diddy Kong’s jetpack soars to high places, Lanky Kong stretches across vast distances, Tiny Kong shrinks down to access secret areas, and Chunky Kong’s strength smashes through obstacles. To truly succeed, players must strategically swap between these characters, utilizing their individual strengths to solve puzzles, collect bananas, and ultimately, unlock the cages imprisoning their friends.

Donkey Kong 64 isn’t just about platforming and collecting. The game throws in a surprising amount of variety with its minigames. These bite-sized challenges range from barrel racing to DK Rap contests, offering a break from the main adventure while rewarding players with even more Golden Bananas.

The game also features a collecting frenzy beyond just the bananas. DK Coins, musical notes, and blueprints are scattered throughout the worlds. These collectables unlock additional content, from bonus levels to new moves for the Kongs.

As Donkey Kong collects bananas and frees his friends, K. Rool becomes increasingly desperate. He throws increasingly difficult challenges and Kremling hordes at the ape, but Donkey Kong perseveres. The journey leads to confrontations with K. Rool’s top lieutenants, each with their own unique personalities and battle styles.

Finally, with all his friends rescued and his banana hoard (mostly) recovered, Donkey Kong confronts K. Rool in a final showdown. The fate of DK Island hangs in the balance as Donkey Kong utilizes his newfound skills and the combined might of his friends to put an end to K. Rool’s banana-fueled ambitions.

Donkey Kong 64’s plot may be a classic tale of good versus evil, but it’s the charming characters, quirky humor, and expansive environments that make it a beloved classic. The emphasis on collecting and exploration, combined with the strategic use of each Kong’s abilities, creates a unique and engaging gameplay experience. Whether you’re swinging through the jungle canopy or navigating a rickety factory, Donkey Kong 64 offers a delightful adventure that keeps players coming back for more bananas (and maybe a little Kremling-stomping fun).


The game features Donkey Kong and his friends: Diddy Kong, Lanky Kong, Tiny Kong, and Chunky Kong, each with unique abilities and personalities. Antagonists include King K. Rool and his legion of Kremlings.


Donkey Kong 64 offers a rich blend of platforming, puzzle-solving, and combat across multiple interconnected worlds. Each character’s unique abilities are essential for completing specific challenges and accessing new areas, making character switching a key gameplay element.


Donkey Kong 64 stands as a monument to the era of 3D platforming on the Nintendo 64, offering a memorable adventure filled with creativity, humor, and challenge. Despite its flaws, it’s a cherished part of the Donkey Kong legacy.

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