Kongtroversy
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Kongs gone wrong

Cranky imparts words of wisdom to DK.

There's no question the curmudgeonly Cranky Kong is supposed to be the original Donkey Kong who starred in the arcade titles of the 80's. But who is the current Donkey Kong? Most evidence suggests that he is the grandson of Cranky, and therefore not the original Donkey Kong Jr. Every once in a while, however, Rare or Nintendo will refer to him as Cranky's son.

The following chart was originally posted in one of our mailbags from 2004. Note that one quote was added since then. Unfortunately, due to NOE's website relaunch at the end of 2007, one of the sources no longer exists.

Cranky is DK's grandfather Cranky is DK's father Rare/Nintendo didn't really care to keep storylines straight

Donkey Kong Country SNES

Donkey Kong Country 2 SNES

Donkey Kong Land

  • Game manual: "Cranky Kong, ageing video game pioneer and primate patriarch, swayed back and forth in his rocking chair as he harrassed his grandape, Donkey Kong..."
  • Game manual: "Stop your sobbing and come tell old grandpa Cranky your problems..."

Donkey Kong Country GBC

Donkey Kong Country GBA

Donkey Kong Country 2 GBA

  • Game: "You've rescued that lazy grandson of mine, and dumped K.Rool in his own filthy swamp." - Cranky

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

  • Game: "The Donkey Kong who fought that epic battle with Mario was this guy's grandfather." - Otacon in Snake's codec conversation about Donkey Kong

Donkey Kong Country Returns

  • Game: "It's about time you visited your frail, old grandpa!" - Cranky
  • Game: "Glad I could help my grandson overcome this deadly challenge in exchange for a little cash money." - Cranky
  • Game: "Well, you've amazed your old grandpa by getting this far!" - Cranky
  • Game: "You made it all the way to the volcano! You may have some of your grandpappy in you after all." - Cranky
  • Game manual: "Donkey Kong's white-bearded, grouchy grandfather, Cranky Kong, has set up shop in each world to sell items to aid Donkey Kong."

Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D

  • Game: "You made it all the way to the volcano! You may have some of your grandpappy in you after all." - Cranky

Nintendo Co., Ltd.

Donkey Kong 64

  • Game: "Well if it isn't my lazy, good-for-nothing son." - Cranky
  • Game manual: "That darn Donkey has all the luck! His girl Candy waits around in her hut, always willing to offer her musical help to that undeserving son of mine and his fancy polygonal friends."

Donkey Kong Country GBA

Rare

Donkey Kong Country SNES

Donkey Kong Country 2 SNES

Donkey Kong Land 2

  • Game manual: "Even old Cranky charges for his words of wisdom" (This line is a copy-and-paste from the DKC2 manual; Cranky doesn't appear in DKL2.)

Donkey Kong Country 2 GBA

  • Game: (to Diddy) "Come and say hello to your old grandpappy Cranky."

Rare

See also: Diddy Kong info below.

Inconclusive (pappy is commonly used to mean father or grandfather)

Donkey Kong Country SNES

  • Game manual: "Cranky Kong - Donkey Kong's grouchy pappy is actually the original Donkey Kong who starred in the many Donkey Kong arcade classics of the eighties." (However, the other manual reference says granddad.)

Donkey Kong Country GBA

Here is the DK-Cranky relationship in chronological order:

1994: Cranky is DK's father or grandfather

Nintendo Power Donkey Kong Country Exposed video

Nov. 1994: Cranky is DK's grandfather

Donkey Kong Country SNES

Jun. 1995: Cranky is DK's grandfather

Donkey Kong Land

  • Game manual: "Cranky Kong, ageing video game pioneer and primate patriarch, swayed back and forth in his rocking chair as he harrassed his grandape, Donkey Kong..."
  • Game manual: "Stop your sobbing and come tell old grandpa Cranky your problems..."

Dec. 1995: Cranky is DK's grandfather

Donkey Kong Country 2 SNES

Aug. 1999: Cranky is DK's father

Rare Scribes

Nov. 1999: Cranky is DK's father

Donkey Kong 64

  • Game: "Well if it isn't my lazy, good-for-nothing son." - Cranky
  • Game manual: "That darn Donkey has all the luck! His girl Candy waits around in her hut, always willing to offer her musical help to that undeserving son of mine and his fancy polygonal friends."

Feb. 2000: Cranky is DK's grandfather

Nintendo Online Magazine

Nov. 2000: Cranky is DK's grandfather

Donkey Kong Country GBC

Jun. 2003: Cranky is DK's father

Donkey Kong Country GBA

Jun. 2003: Cranky is DK's grandfather

Donkey Kong Country GBA

Nov. 2004: Cranky is DK's grandfather

Donkey Kong Country 2 GBA

  • Game: "You've rescued that lazy grandson of mine, and dumped K.Rool in his own filthy swamp." - Cranky

Mar. 2008: Cranky is DK's grandfather

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

  • Game: "The Donkey Kong who fought that epic battle with Mario was this guy's grandfather." - Otacon in Snake's codec conversation about Donkey Kong

Nov. 2010: Cranky is DK's grandfather

Donkey Kong Country Returns

  • Game: "It's about time you visited your frail, old grandpa!" - Cranky
  • Game: "Glad I could help my grandson overcome this deadly challenge in exchange for a little cash money." - Cranky
  • Game: "Well, you've amazed your old grandpa by getting this far!" - Cranky
  • Game: "You made it all the way to the volcano! You may have some of your grandpappy in you after all." - Cranky
  • Game manual: "Donkey Kong's white-bearded, grouchy grandfather, Cranky Kong, has set up shop in each world to sell items to aid Donkey Kong."

May 2013: Cranky is DK's grandfather

Donkey Kong Country Returns

  • Game: "You made it all the way to the volcano! You may have some of your grandpappy in you after all." - Cranky

Diddy Kong

Diddy's relation to Donkey Kong is another mystery.

Diddy is DK's nephew Diddy is not directly related to DK Inconclusive

Donkey Kong 64

Super Smash Bros.

Rare

Donkey Kong 64

  • Manual: "Diddy Kong: Donkey's little nephew wannabe."

DK and Diddy aren't the same species.

Donkey Kong Country SNES, Donkey Kong Land, Donkey Kong Country GBC, etc.

  • Diddy is repeatedly referred to as "little buddy."

After DKC

After the DKC series had ended, the "new" DK eventually started appearing alongside Mario -- who, unlike Cranky Kong, hadn't aged a bit. Confusing matters even further, DK and DK Jr. appeared together in Mario Tennis (N64). Later on, Diddy and Mario even appeared together as playable characters in Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour and Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, nine years after DKC's release.

From the data presented here, it is clear that Rare and Nintendo aren't concerned with keeping DK's story straight, leaving it up to the fans to decide for themselves.