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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Not Your Father's Donkey Kong

By RAWKHAWK2010 - (...or anyone else's, apparently.) 

I've always been a fan of the greater Donkey Kong series lore. Unlike Mario which literally retcons the latest game out of existence with every new installment, Donkey Kong and its children series (Banjo, Conker, etc.) seem to present themselves in a more comic-like continuity, where a rich mythos is established and consistency is held sacred above all else.

...So when a mistake does happen, it's going to be a big one.

For those who may not be enlightened, the current Donkey Kong you know and love is not the same one from Donkey Kong Arcade. After mustached menace Mario got a new nemesis in the King of Koopas, Arcade Donkey Kong's sense of purpose grew dim and he aged into what is now the modern-day Cranky Kong -- with the modern-day Donkey Kong being another character entirely. This represents a changing of generations, so to speak, and is also why Cranky Kong is so critical of modern video games. And, well, modern anything.

It's times like these that Diddy is thankful his parental units got hit by a bus.

And you may be wondering, "Well if the Arcade Donkey Kong became Cranky Kong then wouldn't it make sense if DK Jr. from Donkey Kong Jr. and Donkey Kong Jr. Math became the modern-day DK?" Well, yeah, it would -- and in many ways I believe that's what was intended (at least by someone), but Rare had a bit of a problem in that they simply could never decide if they wanted Cranky Kong to be DK's father or grandfather. Over the years source material would jump from one relation to the other, only for Leigh Loveday (AKA Rare's writer and top authority figure as far as Rare story and characters go) to eventually come out and state that, despite the inconsistency, the official stance was that Cranky is indeed DK's dad. For many years we took that as The Word of God, but then Super Smash Bros. Brawl came out and once again referenced Cranky Kong as a grandpa in his trophy description. So we said "But Brawl also thought King K. Rool, Kaptain K. Rool, and Baron K. Roolenstein were all brothers so what the fuck do they know?" However, in 2010 we were at last graced with the long-awaited Return of the Donkey Kong Country series proper, where Cranky makes numerous references to HIMSELF as DK's grandpa. (You can tell Brawl's trophy-writers to go jump off a cliff, but you tell that to Cranky Kong and your ass is getting whooped into next week.)

So, with it being nailed into our brains once and for all that Cranky Kong is DK's grandfather, just who is Donkey Kong? In many ways it seems thematically..."correct" that the current Donkey Kong would be an older DK Jr., with how Donkey Kong becomes playable in Mario Kart 64 right after Donkey Kong Jr. was playable in Super Mario Kart. (And the way music from Donkey Kong Jr. plays during DK's golden banana-induced acid trip in Donkey Kong Country Returns, implying some sort of terrifying psychological childhood relapse.)

Despite the heavy suggestion, there's a conflicting point that DK could never be DK Jr. since a biological grandfather choosing "Jr." instead of "III" as his grandson's name suffix makes no sense (and is probably illegal). But what if the missing link was such a gigantic loser that Cranky didn't even want to acknowledge him as part of the Kong lineage? What if the missing link was some lazy deadbeat that abandoned his son to go fuck around in the woods, spit dip, and guzzle moonshine for the rest of his days?
Appropriately placed between parent and offspring on the never-released Diddy Kong Pilot's character select screen, Redneck Kong is such an absentee father that he couldn't even stay in the game as it transformed from alpha to beta. It's also worth noting that in Returns, one of Cranky's many cantankerous quips towards Donkey is "I didn't raise you in a barn!", clearly referencing the crude, inconsiderate, sister-fucking ways of his long-disowned son.

Redneck Kong Bumpkin Kong Diddy Kong Pilot
"You shore got a purdy mouth, Dixie."

Or maybe DK's long-lost father is actually Commuter Kong, who left DK Island at a young age to go work for Bain Capital. Who knows. I just hope Tropical Freeze's fourth playable Mystery Kong finally puts this age-old question to rest, or else we may have to take drastic uncouth measures and do a DK-themed episode of The Maury Show.

(Brought to you by Swanky Kong, of course.)

Does the blame rest with Larry the Cable Kong or is the guilty son of a bitch still out there? Let your thoughts be known by loudly broadcasting them at RawkHawk2010 on Miiverse or Twitter!

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