Super Nintendo World Japan Reveals First Look at Donkey Kong Country

Super Nintendo World will be expanding in spring 2024 with new attractions based on the Donkey Kong Country franchise. While this has been known for a while now, Universal Studios has released a trailer offering a look at some of the things attendees can expect to see. Unsurprisingly, the highlight seems to be a ride based on the mine cart stages that were a staple of the original SNES games. The whole trailer is fairly short, but viewers can glimpse several iconic elements from the games, including Funky Kong’s airplane, the Golden Temple, and even DK’s house!

The trailer for the Donkey Kong section of Super Nintendo World was uploaded by Dtimes and can be found below.

The Donkey Kong Country Games

Donkey Kong first appeared in his eponymous 1981 arcade game, where he served as the villain. That game also saw the debut of Mario, and the two would remain enemies in several follow-ups. In 1994, Nintendo and Rare would relaunch Donkey Kong in a brand-new game titled Donkey Kong Country. The original Donkey Kong was now a retired grump named Cranky, and the new DK and his buddy Diddy Kong took over the spotlight. In that game, the two characters set off on a quest to regain DK’s stolen banana hoard, which had been taken by the Kremlings and their leader, King K. Rool.

Donkey Kong Country was a massive success for Nintendo, and two direct sequels released on the SNES. After Nintendo sold Rare to Microsoft in 2002, the Donkey Kong series seemed to lack direction. The character continued to appear in games like Donkey Konga and the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series, but the character’s best days seemed to be behind him. That changed in 2010, when Donkey Kong Country Returns brought the series back to its former glory. A new adventure developed by Retro Studios, DKCR featured the same gameplay that made the SNES titles so beloved. The developer would release another game in 2014 titled Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.

The Future of Donkey Kong

Despite the popularity of Retro’s Donkey Kong Country games, the franchise has once again gone missing, though Tropical Freeze did receive a Nintendo Switch port in 2018. Thankfully, Nintendo seems to be paying more attention to the big ape of late. Donkey Kong played a major role in The Super Mario Bros. Movie, appearing alongside Cranky Kong with a brief cameo by Diddy. A remake of 2004’s Mario vs. Donkey Kong is also slated to release on February 16th. That isn’t quite as exciting as a whole new game, but hopefully it will tide fans over until the next big one the character appears in. With the Donkey Kong Country attraction coming to Universal Studios Japan next year, it might be the perfect time for the character’s next major title.

Are you excited for these new attractions at Super Nintendo World? Would you like to visit Universal Studios Japan? Share your thoughts with me directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp or on Instagram at @Dachampgaming!

[H/T: Andre Segers]