Last week I kicked-off my segment of Rare Scares month with the Temple Guardian from DK64. I was pretty sure at the time that that would be my only entry from the Donkey Kong games, but here we are with another one, and from Donkey Kong Country 2 no less! DKC2 is probably my absolute favorite Donkey Kong game. I’ve practically memorized it to the point where I know where all the secrets are and can get through most levels without dying (except the Sqwauks section of Animal Antics. I really hate bit). And yet, I somehow forgot the single creepiest Donkey Kong enemy Rareware ever dreamed up: Kackle, haunter of nightmares.
Like most of the Kremlings, Kackle doesn’t have anything resembling a backstory; he’s just a spooky pirate ghost hanging out in an old library, and that’s all there is too it. He won’t even do anything to the Kongs if they navigate his course correctly. He’ll float behind them in a menacing manner and then send them on their way without making so much as a sound. Make a mistake though, and he’s on them in a second, belting-out his namesake cackling laugh all the while. It’s easy to understand why he was named after it, that laugh has a tendency to stick around in one’s head for awhile.
Younger Hatm0nster absolutely hated hearing that laugh, as it was a mixture of two parts scary and one part mocking. It drove me to get really good at the game really quickly. So, I don’t think I’ve actually heard that laugh during a playthrough in many years now, but I can still remember it clearly. That’s the kind of impression it made.
Seriously though, what’s the story with these guys? They definitely don’t need to be taking orders from K. Rool. They’re absolutely massive, and they’re ghosts! Why would a gigantic and powerful ghost work for a little idiot like K. Rool? The answer: Maybe they don’t. These Kremlings were giants in life, and they’re still giants in death. They only appear in one specific place on Kremling Island, so perhaps it’s more a case of them just happening to be there rather than working against the Kongs under orders from K. Rool. It might just be that other Kremlings avoid them too. These terribly powerful ghosts are out for blood, and one gets the sense that they don’t particularly care about who’s on the receiving end of their wrath…which might explain why no other enemies are encountered in the Haunted Hall.
Man, the more one thinks about these games, the more creepy stuff one finds. I don’t think I’ll be returning with another DK scare next week, but this is Rare we’re talking about here. There are plenty of scares to be found if one looks hard enough.
Did Kackle freak you out as a kid? Anything else from the Donkey Kong games come across as scary too you.