Out of the many excellent non-Super Mario platformer titles for the Super Nintendo, there’s one that stands head and shoulders above everything else.
Donkey Kong Country not only revitalised a beloved gaming icon for a new generation, but is rightfully regarded as one of the finest games from that era.
Here’s a look at 5 of our favourite levels from the game…
We kick things off with the game’s very first level. Firing out of the treetop cabin, players are quickly introduced to the lush scenery of Kongo Jungle. With plenty of secrets hidden in the cabin and across the treetops, Jungle Hijinxs is a brilliant way to start off a brilliant game.
Also, who can forget the first time they enter a disappointingly empty Kong’s Banana Hoard?
Let’s face it, for the most part, underwater levels are pretty terrible. Gamers will forever remember the panic they feel upon the possibility of drowning in Sonic The Hedgehog games, while levels such as Tomb Raider 2‘s “40 Fathoms” level still makes me uncontrollably rage.
Fortunately for Donkey Kong Country though, Coral Capers is one of the most memorable levels in the game for all the right reasons.
Soothing, ethereal atmosphere? Check.
The ability to ride Enguarde the Swordfish? Check.
An unforgettable synth-heavy soundtrack? Check!
What the level lacks in bonus rooms, it makes up for in secret areas that will have you testing every edge of the level, while trying to avoid enemies such as Bitesize, Croctopus, Chomps Jr., Chomps and Clambo.
Mine Cart Carnage!
Changing the pace (and intensity) from the aquatic serenity of Coral Capers is the madness of Mine Cart Carnage!
The stabs of MIDI brass and frantic bassline playing in the background as you try desperately to time your jumps perfectly makes for one hell of an experience. I mean, sure, there’s a hidden shortcut halfway through, but where’s the fun in that?
Many a controller has been broken to this type of level, and rightly so.
The first of the temple levels introduces an absolute dickmove of an enemy type, Gnawty in a spinning wheel. Timing jumps to clear them, or cartwheels/forward rolls to go underneath them was tricky stuff when I was younger, but never tarnished how much fun I was having.
Clearing this to reach the second boss level, Necky’s Nuts, was always a quiet accomplishment for me as a kid, and remains one of my favourite experiences of Donkey Kong Country.
Trick Track Trek
Finally we have Trick Track Trek. While not as instantly memorable as levels like Winky’s Walkway, Trick Track Trek introduces a moving platform element to the mix, making an already slightly stressful experience a little bit harder.
Again, the soundtrack to this level is amazing, with the drips of the cavern ever-present and the calm synth-backed pan flute music that is strangely fitting for a level of this type.
In fact, the music for this game is so good, it deserves its own article (watch this space!).
So there you have it, our top 5 levels from the legendary Donkey Kong Country! What levels do you love from this game? Leave a comment below or send a tweet our way!