Image from Flickr User: JD Hancock
The world of Donkey Kong 64 was an odd place wasn’t it? It had jungles, fungi forests, crystal caves, a haunted castle…and that’s not even all of them. Most of these regions found in DK Isles made some sort of sense, but what about the ones found on the mechanized K. Rool Island? The haunted castle and gloomy bay areas are weird enough, but it’s Frantic Factory that really stick out here. Really, what was up with that place?
It’s apparent upon first arrival that this factory isn’t just another random world; King K. Rool had this place built for a reason, but what? It’s hard to imagine the King of the Kremlings needed a toy factory, and yet he has an entire wing of the place devoted to R&D. There are some hints to be found: the little race car track, the transformer domino, the burping kiddie keyboard…it’s almost as though he’s really running it like an actual toy factory to develop toys (albeit dangerous ones). What are the toys for though? Certainly not to capture the Kongs or destroy DK Island, he has a cannon and minions to do that. Not to create more minions either, else they would have been seen more often. There was plenty of cargo being manufactured in the main room and plenty stacked up in the storage bay, indicating that whatever K. Rool was up to was going to be big. Whatever is was only K. Rool knew, but I have a theory.
Frantic Factory had nothing to do with K. Rool’s plan to conquer the Kongs. Instead, it was there to prepare for the next step in K. Rool’s plan. After 3 defeats, the Kremling leader decided to get smart. Simply capturing 1 or 2 Kongs to try to get some sort of petty revenge was never going to work, so he decided to pursue a grander plan. One that only needed their participation rather than their destruction, though that probably would have been an excellent bonus. It would have to be done carefully, secretly. Most of the Kremling hoard still wanted nothing more than vengeance, so he would give it to them. This led to the creation of Kremling island, the Blast-O-Matic, and the Frantic Factory itself, all in the name of delivering the vengeance the K. Rool and the Kremlings wanted so badly.
Being slightly insane (probably due to that permanently irritated left eye of his) he poured resources into the creation of the Frantic Toy Factory and set about creating a line of Kremling toys. The key to the plan: The Kongs. Their marketing potential was immeasurable, and he intended to make use of it. His greatest adversaries would be used to as the cornerstone of the Kremling Toy empire! It was almost poetic (well to maybe to him…). All he needed was an “malfunction” in the Blast-O-Matic in order to buy enough time to set the plan in motion; which brings us to the beginning of the game.
The first step was capturing all the Kongs except for DK, since DK was to be his star product. The other Kongs could be useful, but K.Rool needed some footage of DK on his own, all in order to better develop his prototype Donkey Kong video game, which was arguably the most advanced toy in the factory’s R&D department. (come to think of it, that might explain why DK is cast as the villain in that game…) As for having the Golden Bananas stolen, He must have felt DK would need extra incentive to get into action, not to mention he needed an excuse to get his Kremlings out into the field to capture the footage. They would think that hiding/guarding the golden bananas would be their primary objective, but it would just be a means to keep them busy until DK showed up.This would also be why they scattered the bananas around the island rather than securing them in a vault within Kremling Island, he needed DK out and about to get the necessary data/images.
Of course the plan didn’t exactly go as planned, the Kongs were freed and K. Rool wound up losing to them in combat. It didn’t fail though. Kremling Island was still intact at the end of the game, meaning Frantic Factory was as well, so it can only be assumed that K. Rool still got what he came for. We also never see him again after this game; if he had failed he would have just tried something else like he had after every other defeat. So,it looks like K. Rool might have finally won; after all, that Donkey Kong game wound up becoming a pretty big deal…
Only one question remains: Why toys? It’s likely to be a question we’ll never have answered, since the only one who would know is the missing Kremling King himself…
What else could have been the point of the Frantic Factory? Share your theories below!