Tag Archive: dkc1

Still in World 6, we hit up Misty Mine.  Again, I’m filled with trepidation that it’s a mine cart level, but it to be just another platforming run, and it falls with ease.  The next level however, Loopy Lights, almost gives me an aneurysm.  It’s using the lights-out gimmick again, but this time you have to hit switches to turn the lights back on.  With switch placement, deliberate stretches with no light, and enemies ready to kill you the first misstep, I lose more lives to this level than any before it.  Such rage…  Platform Perils isn’t bad, a level using moving platforms that fade out after a short period.  A few tight spots, but nothing that we can’t get through.  Necky’s Revenge is the boss, and it’s just an amped up re-hash of the earlier Necky boss.


Loopy Lights, you are infuriating. Thank god levels like you exist.

The final world, Gang Plank Galleon, is… oh, wait.  It’s just King K. Rool?  But he’s the last boss!  I thought there was a world to go with him!  Huh.  Well, I guess not!  He’s actually not that difficult either, and after sitting through his fake ending, designed to lure us into a false sense of security, we beat the last few hits out of him and clear the game.  That was… anti-climactic?  Oh whatever, it’s a 1994 platform game.  What am I expecting, Shakespeare?





Continuing into the snow-covered fourth world, we hit Slipslide Ride, which proved the first genuine challenge of the game.  Quite a few lives were lost to the slippery slopes and self-climbing ropes of the second level, which served as a reminder of how the difficulty in the game ratchets up as you hit the fourth world.  Ice Age Alley proved less of a challenge as a more traditional platform level, populated by tight jumping challenges and carefully placed enemies.  Croctopus Chase! ended up being an underwater chase level, and the slightly slower pace helped me blaze through it in one go, despite a few rough spots.  Torchlight Trouble, despite being the introduction of Animal Buddy Squarks the Parrot, was a piece of cake, so it was off to Rope Bridge Rumble.  It turned out to be a treetop level populated by jumping tires and BuzzBees, with a few Kremlings thrown in to mess you up.  A life or two claimed to jumping puzzles, but not as bad as the first level.  The boss, Really Gnawty Rampage, ended up being an amped-up version of the first world boss, and despite his new moves, his predictable patterns led to his downfall.


Those ropes proved tricker than most of the bosses in this game.

The fifth world, Kremkroc Industries Inc., fills me with fear.  I have a slight memory of this place being balls-difficult compared to earlier levels, but I guess we’ll jump in and see what’s happening.  Oil Drum Alley introduces it’s namesake, a flaming oil drum, with a fiendish series of jumping puzzles which end up getting the better of me a couple times.  Trick Track Trek ended up being a moving platform level, with a number of obstacles and enemies being dumped onto the platform with you.  Elevator Antics, despite it’s name, was only hanging rope puzzles for the first half of the level before the elevators came in.  I’m noticing an ongoing trend with vertical platforming in this world as well, which I’m not as good at.  Poison Pond was a step forward for the underwater levels as well, a tip-toe careful maze of enemies and buzzing blades ready to kill you the second you stray off-course.  Mine Cart Madness, the name of which sends a slight shiver of terror down my spine, surprisingly falls in one attempt!  I even accidentally jumped and missed the Checkpoint Barrel, so the last half of the level was sheer luck and nerves getting me through it.  Blackout Basement would be a fairly generic level, if it didn’t black out the screen for two seconds every two seconds.  The addition of limited visibility again turns this level into a creep-forward piece, filled with tight jumps and platforming guesswork.  Boss Dumb Drum was super-easy, just a gauntlet of regular enemies to kill with no twists.


Y’see that level? Neither can I. Welcome to Blackout Basement.

World six is Chimp Caverns.  I have a distinct memory in my head of a mine cart level that almost drove me to drink during this game.  I’m not sure if I’ve already passed it, but every time I see a ‘cave’ name level, I tense up.  Maybe it was Mine Cart Madness, and I already beat it through fluke?  The first level, Tanked Up Trouble, was a moving platform level with a twist, needing me to collect fuel power-ups to keep the platform moving.  The power-ups, of course, are in highly dangerous areas, but I manage to get through on my second time.  I’m seriously running low on lives now, too.  Manic Mincers uses more buzzsaws to create some tricky jumps, and they give you Rambi right at the beginning of the level.  He’s pretty useful in keeping ground enemies from killing you while you’re avoiding saws.



This blew up the eyeballs of every kid who booted it up in their SNES

Because I don’t know what’s good for me, I’m picking up Donkey Kong Country to play as a time-killer.  I just love me some platforming, and I’ve been getting this urge to play a DKC game.  I’ve beaten the first two with friends, but come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever actually beaten them by myself.  Now’s as good a time as any, I suppose.  Also, as the first 32-bit game for the SNES, it’s a little piece of history, and proved that the system still had some kick left in her.  Other 32-bit games would follow suit, and they were just one of the several technical marvels of it’s time the SNES was host to: true 3D implementation in StarFox, 32-bit games in Donkey Kong Country, and even fully voiced sections in later SA-1 chip games.

I’m always a little blown away by the graphics on this one.  I mean, this was Super Nintendo!  It didn’t have 3D graphics!  Those are sprites?  But they look like models!  This game was such an awesome technical achievement for it’s time, and the fact that it’s a kick-ass platformer with excellent level design only makes it better.  Also, the slightly irreverent sense of humour and attitude towards video gaming and the Donkey Kong franchise as a whole is a cherry on top, and Rare proves for the first time that they’re capable of taking a franchise, populating it with rich, fun characters, and pushing it out to a new generation.


3D sprites, weather effects, awesome level design… what’s not to love?

The first world, Kongo Jungle, falls with no problem at all.  That’s probably because I’ve started this game a dozen times only to have it fall by the wayside before the third world.  Still, it’s fun to play through, and see how many of the secrets I remember from previous runs.  The colors and sprites remain lush and fluid, and the soundtrack continues to kick ass, so the first bunch of levels are a romping jive of speedrun as I whip through them.  No deaths though, and I took the opportunity to stock up on lives for later areas.  We also meet Rambi and Enguarde for the first time, and do an Expresso bonus level for a bunch of lives.


Some of the best underwater levels EVER

The second world, Monkey Mines, starts to offer a few challenges, pushing some minecart levels that basically require memorization.  I died once on Mine Cart Carnage!, but recovered handily and finished the rest of the level without issue.  The next level went down easy, but it’s the Stop & Go Station that always throws me.  Like the Eel in Jolly Roger Bay in Mario 64, I seem to have a deep-seated fear of this level.  I don’t know what it is, maybe the mindless rampage of the enemies, or their indestructible nature, but this level gives me the willies.  We burn through it, but I’m screaming inside the whole time.  Millstone Mayhem is much easier, and we manage to pick up a third Enguarde token and grab another 10 lives from his bonus stage.  The world boss, Necky, is a giant buzzard that spits nuts at us.  He kills us once before I cotton to his pattern, but the next time we burn him without getting hit.


Millstone Mayhem gets a little hairy towards the end, but Winky’s there to help us!

The third world, Vine Valley, is where the difficult starts to ratchet up.  Now that we’re getting into the meat of the game, it’s fair to start throwing some tricky levels at us, and force us to think our way around them.  Vulture Culture chucks a bunch of blast barrel puzzles our way, but we manage to get around them and even score the KONG letters, some of which are hidden in secret areas.  Tree Top Town gives more blast barrels, but we miss getting both the complete KONG letters and Winky!  How did we miss Winky?  Forest Frenzy uses rope as it’s primary mechanic, making us scoot up and down a rope that’s constantly moving forward to avoid various flying enemies, and Diddy, being faster, is way better at it then DK.  Temple Tempest brings us back to Millstone Mayhem from World 2, but these millstones are after you!  We burn through the level, losing a life, but making it to the end without too much trouble.  Orang-utan Gang heads back to the treetops, and introduces some mean barrel-throwing monkeys, but not before it gives us the keys to the Ostrich!  Expresso rules this level, and once on his back it’s a quick run to the end of the level.  Clam City! is a typical water level, but with a lot more focus on avoiding attacks from enemies.  We managed to score a third Winky token, though, and grab a bunch of lives in his bonus stage.  The world’s boss, Bumble B Rumble, is a giant bee that we have take out.  Luckily, the level provides us with barrels to throw, but we still have to avoid it’s erratic attack patterns long enough to kill it.  We manage it one go, though, so it’s off to the next world!


Please don’t cut this rope…

Gorilla Glacier is the fourth world, and surprise surprise, it’s all snow and ice.  Despite the whole mechanic of ice messing with mobility being a little bit tired, it trains your platforming to be more precise by necessity  getting you ready for the later worlds.  Snow Barrel Blast starts us off on the wrong foot immediately, killing us three times with between sliding on ice and barrel blasting into enemies.  Guess we’ve gotta take this one a bit slower… what was I saying about precision platforming?  It takes a few tries to get through the blast barrel section at the end, with the fast barrel rotation and quick enemies heightening the tension, but we manage to make it through in the end.