The Man Himself — Donkey Kong!

So, Let's talk about the man ape himself.


Yeah. Donkey Kong. Senior, that is. The original, you might say!

First appearing on the scene in 1981 with Pauline under arm and flinging barrels at Mario, our beloved ape was an instant star. Hell, that damn game was named after him. He spawned not just one franchise, but a whole family of them, as well as a video game juggernaut.

Obviously, he's a hell of a guy.

Donkey Kong Sr spent his formative year or so slinging barrels across a variety of systems across arcades, home consoles, and even a few portable devices. He was Kong of the mountain, at least for a little while.

And then He let his guard down.

In 1982, Mario finally caught up with him, locking him up and throwing away the key. Sr was relegated to the role of damsel ape in distress a cage and it was up to Jr to save the day.

Senior would be Mario's constant prisoner for much of the next year, again across various versions arcade, console, and handheld.

After finally being rescued and reunited with his son, Sr went off to harass a fumigator in 1983's Donkey Kong 3.

Taking only a brief brake to school his kid a bit...

Sr spent much of the year and part of the next sicking bees on poor Stanley before his eventual defeat. The environment never fully recovered from Sr's failure to stop the spread of Stanley's monstrous plants.

Sr briefly returned to his circus roots in 1984, but rightly got tired of putting up with Mario's shit...

This time opting to settle the matter like men apes, in a game of hockey.

Done with Games for the time being, Sr continued to bumm around the world in cartoon form, first in the above seen Saturday Supercade...

...and then later as an occasion guest villain star in Captain N as the roaring 80's drew to a close.


Donkey Kong Senior exploded back onto the video game scene after his stint in show biz with 1994's Donkey Kong for the (Super) Game Boy. And this time, he'd done something with his hair on put on a tie!

Ostensibly a remake of the original, the game contains a full eight sets of levels beyond the classic four, and each world is roughly double or triple the size of the original game! Hot Damn. While the game is new and hugely expanded, Sr stuck to what he knows best, running of with Pauline and hurling barrel after plucked-from-hammerspace barrel at the little Italian fellow.

Unfortunately for Sr, this was more Jr's time to shine. While the (not so) little guy with the J jumpsuit went to cameo in a host of Mario titles, Sr in his new duds and do appeared only a handful of times.

He was in Game & Watch Gallery 2, re-enacting his glory days with Mario and Jr...

...spent time behind bars letting Jr have his fun in Game & Watch Gallery 3...

...and continued doing much of the same in the meta-series' fourth iteration.

For all his rebranding, the big galumph really only got the one shot to strut his stuff again one last time...

or did he?


In Donkey Kong Country, we learn that our heroic hero is now an old'un, going by the moniker Cranky Kong, Jr having inherited the tie and dropping the suffix. Our boy Cranky tells it like it is, letting DK know he could do it better and demonstrating he already knows everything worth knowing by giving his progeny advice on damn near everything in the game.

In DKC2 Cranky did much of the same, except this time he realized he could charge for his help, and started raking in the coin as Diddy and Dixie came crying to him for help over and over and over again (honestly he should have just taken out the pirates himself, but how would the younger generation learn anything that way?)

In DKC3 we see Cranky retraining his famous arm at Swanky's Sideshow, once again showing those whippersnappers how it's done.

And in the GBA remake, he's even opened a dojo! He's obviously trying to regain some of that upper body strength from his youth.

For a brief while, the Kongs took a break from games. Cranky returned to the small screen where he co-starred in the Donkey Kong Country animated show for a few years.

After his brief return to stardom, Cranky started futzing around with chemicals, cooking up all sorts of strange concoctions in his lab. Oh and there was some bullshit with Jr and his bananas, but Cranky's potions soon sorted the whole problem out.

During the Paon years, Cranky took on a variety of roles, from Bongo performer, to old sage, to being really good at rocket barrel racing (who knew?)

In 2010's Donkey Kong Country Returns, Cranky amped up the potion lab and expanded his wares, once again raking in the big bucks while the younger generation ran around making fools of themselves and buying keys off of him.

Most recently, Cranky had to prove the old adage of "If you want something done right, you've got to do it yourself." as he dusted himself off and starred in the latest addition to the Donkey Kong Country Series, caring not for pitiful jump heights or dangerous spikes and just generally taking to task the vikings who thought they could get away with rousting the retired champ from his rocking chair.

I really can't wait to see what he does next.