1. The Theme Song
Honestly, when I heard this myself, my jaw dropped. It's still on the floor as we speak. Sure, Cranky standing on some girders was enough to see that he was actually the original Donkey Kong, but I never quite realized that the original arcade game had exactly that theme he was playing on his old record.
Unbelievable. It's odd when you realize Rare borrowed more from the source material (which is arcade DK) than Retro did (which happens to be DKC)
2. That Wretched Cow
In the Game Boy Colour version of Donkey Kong Country, a strange image appeared in Slipslide Ride. A cow?
Thanks to Donkey King from DKC Atlas for this image!
Just a cow you may think, right? That's what I thought as well. Until I managed to get my hands on Conker's Pocket Tales. Eerily similar-looking cows appeared in Vultureville, behind the place where you fight Evil Acorn.
3. Get that scary king away from me
In the TV show, you may know by now that King K. Rool is quite the Large Ham. Everything he says is comedic gold, really. But alas, not everyone appreciates his character. The King's exaggerated speeches often end up spooking Krusha, who just backs away slowly. Really, pay attention to that next time you decide to watch the series.
Season 1, episode 15: Klump's Lumps, part 3. It's much funnier when you see it in motion.
4. What I've learned from DKC
Believe it or not, some character traits may or may not be based on the actual species' behaviour. Sure, we know monkeys like bananas
For example, in Donkey Kong Country, at the final battle, after jumping on K. Rool's head for the third time, he'll fall to the ground, seemingly defeated, while the credits roll. However, the credits are but phony credits and the crocodilian king rises again for round two. The credits were just to catch you off-guard! He tries this again in the sequel, Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, but without the credits, and is immediately punched out of his airship by a now-freed DK.
Now why is this interesting? Real life crocodiles and alligators will lie perfectly still when stalking prey, giving the impression they're dead. But that, again, is just to catch their prey unaware! However they do it less sophisticated and without fake credits, it deserves some mentioning.
I fail to see the resemblance between this bloke and K. Rool, though. Oh well.
They're also surprisingly caring for their young. While this is only the females and the relevance to this topic is fantalk, I'll keep that for later.
The rideable animal buddies, too, and especially Expresso the ostrich may have been inspired by how it's possible to ride an ostrich. Ostriches, the new horses, but cooler!
5. References to real stuff!
In the games, references abound. Especially in the third installment. More than usual, really...
The Lost World, Krematoa, is a originally-dormant volcano, of whom the name is obviously a pun on Kraketoa, a real volcano. There's also the K3, which, apart from sharing a name with an incredibly annoying Flemish girly musical trio, is a reference to the K2, a snowy mountain. There's also the twin bears Benny and Björn, who seem to share their names with two people from the famous band ABBA. Er... yeah. I suddenly feel like making a Mama Mia parody with Diddy and Dixie now. I hope you're all happy.
Of course, K. Rool says "And I'd have gotten away with it... if it wasn't for you meddling kids!" and he also seems to parody a certain Darth Vader or a different generic villain in Donkey Kong 64. That ominous persona is entirely gone once the player reaches the final battle, however. Meanwhile, that game also referred back to earlier installments in the series, such as showing images of Kaptain K. Rool in the sunken ships in Gloomy Galleon. Cranky, meanwhile, invokes the classic "Crack! Oh my Back!" moment when the player loses a round in the final battle.
This isn't all of it, obviously. I still need to find all of it. Until next time!