Released in November 1994, Donkey Kong Country was the first appearance of the classic Donkey Kong character on Super Nintendo. But you don't actually play as that same Donkey Kong; he's old and cranky now. Instead, you play as his son, the new Donkey Kong, who goes on an adventure to find his stolen banana collection.
Timing note: Runs are timed in real time from the large skips run and forward.
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Single-segment with large-skip glitches 0:08:26 by 'NewAgeRetroHippie'.
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Hippie here. So as you can see, this route is a lot different than the 20-ish minute run that TJP submitted to SDA years ago. You're probably wondering what on Earth is going on, but before I explain that, I'll give you some history.
Tompa and Arne found the original Wrong Warp to create the warp to World 4 that TJP used in his old warp run. However, Arne suspected that more warps were possible, and it eventually led to the warp to World 6 that is used here. A TAS of this route was made in 2011. You can see that and read more about the history here: http://tasvideos.org/3075S.html
In 2013, a few runners started picking up any% and putting some serious work into it. Klosty was the first, I believe, and there was some back-and-forth between him, Kerahime, and Tackblossom, a Japanese runner, for the best time. Around the end of 2013, Wooke got an 8:29 and the category stagnated.
I learned the category a few months later, and set out to improve the time with some new tech. I soon learned that the category was a monster, and after a month or two of grinding runs, I eked out an 8:28 with one minor mistake. There's a decent amount of very minor tech that I didn't use in this run that exists in the TAS, and Wooke claims it can go down to at least 8:20, though I think 8:23 or 8:24 is a bit more realistic. For now, though I'm happy with this run; outside of losing half a second to a tiny wall, it's a solid effort throughout.
Shoutouts to Arne for discovering the category; to Tompa for helping with every question I could think of over the 2 years I've been running this game; to Garrison, Reflected, Grav, Wooke, Kerahime, Kloster and Tack for making the run what it is now; to TJP for inspiration to get good at DKC; and to PuchieDarcy for getting me into the game in the first place.
Now, with all that nonsense aside:
HOW/WHY DO YOU DO _______??????
Here are the list of glitches used in DKC any%Z
Fanfare Skip: In versions 1.0 and 1.1 of DKC (US only; the Wii VC version was 1.2) you can press buttons to skip the victory dance that the Kongs do about halfway through. This saves more time in other categories, but it is still relevant here. Not sure if it was intended, but I have no idea why they removed it in 1.2, anyway.
Mapwarp: When you reach a corner in-between stages on the map (only seen in World 1), you stop for 1 frame (1/60th of a second in DKC). If you only have 1 Kong, or you are in Funky's plane, you can press a button (A, B, X, Y or Start) on this frame to warp to a different stage. This "works" presumably because the game thinks that you are trying to enter a stage because you aren't moving and pressing a button at the same time. This is the most popularly known glitch that a lot of people found out just by impatiently mashing B to get to the next stage.
Split-up glitch: By exiting a stage after you have tossed a DK barrel--but before it hits the ground--you confuse the game a bit. It expects you to have your second Kong (Diddy, in this case), but you don't. As a result, if you get hit immediately after doing this, the game hangs waiting for him. However, if you get hit over a pit, it overrides that and kicks you out of the stage. What happens at this point is that the game assumes you should be controlling Diddy, and as such, when you get the next DK barrel, you will end up controlling both Kongs at the same time.
Holding air: This is a fun one. If you ride a steel keg, then pick it up and walk it into a halfway barrel, you end up holding a glitched sprite that, explained simply, is treated as the next sprite that is loaded onto the screen at any time. In the run, I use this to "hold" the bonus opening so that I can enter it without actually having a barrel.
Holding barrels with animals: This is actually unrelated to the wrong warp. Simply ride a steel keg and hop onto an animal. Hold Y as you ride and press A as you intersect with them. Expresso is only needed in this run because Donkey cannot reach the bonus by himself while holding the glitch sprite.
Ghost Kong: you only see this for a few frames in the video, but this is what happens after you do the above glitch and throw the barrel. Donkey is seen riding a darker version of himself. Useless by itself, but amusing.
The wrong warp itself:
Everything done before the warp is to set up changes to the value that determines where the bonus sends me when I exit. The first change is the glitch sprite. I do a quick left-right to make the bonus opening appear when I throw the sprite. It has to be done in a certain spot before I actually reach the wall, or else I'll end up somewhere else. More specifically, the x-value of the sprite when I throw it determines where I end up. Too soon and I'll walk right back into the bonus. Too late and I'll end up in 1-1. I believe there are a few other locations you can warp to, but those are the only ones I accidentally reach.
Next is the end of the split-up glitch. This bonus is chosen because there are only two bonuses with DK barrels in them, and this is the only one that achieves the desired warp. The barrel must be thrown in such a way that both Kongs exit at the same time. This changes the value to what is needed for the warp. If only DK goes through, I end up in 1-1. If only Diddy goes through, the game crashes. Shown in the video is the fastest way (non-TAS) to get them both into the door at the same time.
As the game still thinks we are only controlling Diddy, he ends up being the only one in 6-2. Donkey is presumably lost to the Deep Darkness. Expresso follows us (this only works in stages where there is normally an animal buddy already; Rambi, in this case), which is convenient, as he makes the stage a lot faster and a bit easier as well. After 6-2, the rest of the game proceeds as normal. There are no lingering effects from the glitch.
Dankspin (a.k.a jumproll):
This is a glitch that can be done pretty much anywhere you can walk off an edge and hit an enemy, but it is only faster than typical movement in a few places. It is done twice in the run; in Misty Mine, it saves about 80 frames. In Platform Perils, it saves a whopping 13-14 secconds, as otherwise you have to jump between all those slow-moving platforms. The glitch is performed by tapping Y (roll) on the same frame that you land on an enemy. As you can't roll during a jump, this can typically only be done when there is an enemy near the ledge that you can bounce on by running forward.
During the glitch, you pass through all enemies except for Zingers (I have no idea why). If there are two flashes when you start the spin, you can roll out of it. Otherwise, you can only jump. That's why I jump out of it in Misty Mine, even though rolling from the dumb drum would obviously be faster.
The dankspin is a very difficult trick to do consistently, due to the 1/60th of a second window to press Y. Because it saves so much time, though, most high-level DKC runs are over if you miss it. You can keep going, but since runs with the trick have already been pulled off, you won't have a record time. In any%, the game is only 8 minutes, so this isn't a big deal. However, in All Stages and other categories, you can lose a good run nearly half an hour in.
That one Klap Trap in Loopy Lights:
In the 1.0 or 1.1 version of the game, this guy can be rolled through. He's the only Klap Trap in the game that doesn't walk, so I guess they messed up the coding a bit. If you run or jump into him, he'll hit you, but unlike his brethren, he's vulnerable to rolling primates.
Hopefully that answered all of your questions! If you have any questions about the route, the answer is either "that's the only way it works" or "because it's faster." The only exception is getting stuck at that one point in Manic Mincers. I'm still cringing at that mistake.
Single-segment 0:31 by Timothy Peters.
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I admit -- I've been lazy. After my 2010 23 min. glitch warp run, I liked watching speedruns and, more recently, streams rather than working on actual runs. I'd always been improving my DKC strategies, using all the cutting-edge jumprolls and other precise tricks, but I'd never gotten the urge to actually try for a recorded submittable run. I actually loathed working on recording again. It took some friendly competition to get me off my butt and try recorded attempts. Even then it's been slow. Well, I'm finally there. This run is still beatable, but beats my old segmented 0:32 run. I NEVER thought I could beat my segmented time when I first tried to be the game in one segment. Now it's obsoleted. I -might- try to improve this later, and definitely will if it gets obsoleted... The overall feel I have about this run is that there are quite more small mistakes than I might have wanted (even a death), but I got pretty much all the critical tricks I wanted, including the jumproll in the last level, Platform Perils. I feel that I had to trade in small mistakes to get a run without major deaths, as this game is brutal. Many if not most mistakes result in lots of time, so I was happy to get what I got.
Anyway, notable level-by-level info:
Note: When I have a "---" by the level, I just mean that I didn't notice anything special compared to my previous submissions.
Jungle Hijinxs: I flubbed the super extended roll after the midway, but that doesn't even waste a second because I just extended roll through the vulture and continue on my merry way. I honestly don't think it's enough to reset, except for a segmented run...
Reptile Rumble: I messed up the first extended roll through the Kremlings, which just loses <1 sec.
Coral Capers: I save < 1 sec over my segmented run by going around the right side of the Croctopus near the 1-up balloon and charging through him.
Barrel Cannon Canyon: ---
Winky's Walkway: Saved 3 sec over the segmented with better rolling and an extended roll at the beginning.
Minecart Carnage: ---
Bouncy Bonanza: This is the level that gave me a lot of problems to learn. I had thought that getting the top route was a TAS-only feat until just late last year when I finally figured out how to do it. Saves ~2 sec. over the segmented.
Millstone Mayhem: The first milestone in the run, as accidentally dropping the tire into the pit is an instant reset.
Vulture Culture: ---
Tree Top Town: ---
Forest Frenzy: I save 4 seconds with the jumproll at the beginning. This jumproll requires me to be at just the right spot when that Kremling approaches so I can start the roll right when I'm about to land on him. This setup is simple, but precise and my success rate is usually 20%.
Temple Tempest: It's only 1-2 sec. faster to forgo using Expresso in this level if done perfectly. I make a small mistake of not doing an extended roll through the Kremlings at the midway point and only end up saving .5 sec.
Orangutan Gang: I save 2 sec. over the segmented run by not having to switch from DK to Diddy and a more optimized route.
Clam City: I save 1 sec. over the segmented by more optimized movement around the sharks near the end.
Queen B: Diddy can juuuust reach the bee with a barrel for only a few frames when the battle first starts. I'm glad I got the trick this time.
Snow Barrel Blast: Cool, I save 5 sec. over the segmented by using the barrel boost trick just before the midway. When you jump off a slope with a barrel in hand, you boost forward and any enemy land gives you extra height than a normal enemy-jump would give you.
Slipside Ride: Ugh, my first bad mistake, which costs me 8 seconds at the beginning. I jump just a little too early on the Kremling. I do, however use a rope trick to reach the warp barrel with Diddy by holding down-right/left on the top of the rope to trick the game into letting me climb the rope above the top of the screen. There is an inexplicable platform above the screen which I roll off of into the warp barrel. Normally, only DK can jump high enough to reach that barrel...
Ice Age Alley: ---
Croctopus Chase: Actually a cool-down level for me before I get to the "halfway point" of the run which happens to be:
Torchlight Trouble: Aggghhh! My one and only death in the run. Thankfully, I didn't lose toooo much time in-game over it -- only ~9 sec. The rest of the level goes well.
Rope Bridge Rumble: And it was going to be so cool, too. I finally figured out how to manipulate the tires near the end to avoid waiting for the tire platforms to come before I do tire jumps past those Zingers. Unfortunately I miss the tire and land on the platform instead, placing my face right into the butt spike of a Zinger and losing me Diddy :/ I lost ~6-8 seconds because of that. I recover smartly by getting Diddy and losing DK so I don't have to partner swap (doesn't save time, but whatever).
Really Gnawty Rampage: ---
Oil Drum Alley: Phew, no problems here, as this could definitely have been a run-killer.
Tanked Up Trouble: ---
Elevator Antics: ---
Poison Pond: Thankfully I didn't have any problems in this level.
Minecart Madness: Jumproll #2 here!. I gain 4 sec. over my last glitch warp run, and 12 seconds over the old segmented run.
Blackout Basement: No problems here, and this level hasn't caused me too many problems lately.
Boss: --- Easy Cheesy.
Tanked Up Trouble: This level... There's a jumproll in this level that could have saved me 50 sec., but it's incredibly precise, a one minute time waster if I die, and soo late in the run. So, I don't go for it this run.
Manic Mincers: Another mistake level -- I lose ~8 sec. from losing Rambi in a spot I don't usually lose him it *sigh*.
Misty Mine: I gain 2 seconds over my previous single-segment with more optimized movement.
Loopy Lights: I messed up at the end by not rolling through the Mankey at the end.
Platform Perils: I save 9 seconds over my previous runs with the final jumproll of the game. This super-convenient trick makes the end of the level a breeze as I don't have to do anything except jump at the end!
I'd like to move onto other games as main projects now. I'm glad I could finally pull it together for this submission. Still, DKC in the future isn't totally out .. of .. the .. question...
Single-segment 100%: 0:44 by Adam Sweeney.
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So much for a theoretical limit of 47 minutes.
Here's a 101% speedrun for Donkey Kong Country, SNES version. Finishes in 00:44, according to the in-game timer. The run is single-segment; it was done without saving the game.
DKC has always been one of my favorite Super Nintendo games. Playing the Competition Cartridge with my little sister in Blockbuster's competition a decade ago is one of my favorite gaming experiences. By the way, she's probably a lot better at this game than you are. >_>
Getting "101%" in DKC means not only completing every level in the game, but visiting every bonus area. There are two "bonus areas," however, that don't count towards the percentage. They're commonly believed to be bonus areas, but they aren't. These rooms appear in Bouncy Bonanza and Manic Mincers. If you're wondering why I skipped these rooms, that's why.
There are two things about the in-game timer I'd like to mention. First, a lot of slowdown is created in the Torchlight Trouble level, but I believe this also slows down the in-game clock, rendering the slowdown irrelevant. Next, the timer doesn't run on the world map. One could take a five-minute break on the world map, go and get a drink, come back, and not have lost any time. I did no such thing, but I could have if I wanted. There was a point where I accidentally beat Master Necky Jr too early, and had to backtrack back to Monkey Mines to visit the bonus areas for Millstone Mayhem, then use Funky Flights to proceed to the Vine Valley levels. While this looks odd, this did not cost me any time, because of the way the timer works.
This speedrun was done on SNES version 1.1 (or maybe it's 1.2) of the game. I'm aware of two major changes to this version from the original: First, I believe it's impossible to skip the world map "celebration" by mashing buttons. I haven't had any luck getting it to work on this version of the game. Not that this makes any difference, as the timer doesn't run on the world map. Next, the popular warp glitch that allows for warping to Orang-utan Gang from World 1, is fixed. So not only did I not use said glitch in this run, I couldn't have if I wanted to.
This run went very well, apart from a sloppy performance in Vulture Culture. A time of 00:43 is possible, but it would require using a more aggressive, riskier route than the one I used. It would be very difficult to achieve.
Enjoy the run.
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