The title pretty much sums it up. I grew up with the original Donkey Kong Country trilogy on the SNES. I adore these games and have played them countless times over the years. And while I have managed to get 102% in the second game and 103% in the third game, motivated to do so by the games’ secret final worlds and hidden endings, I never bothered to finish the first game in all its entirety. Until 2020, when it was released on the Nintendo Switch Online.
This service is especially perfect for me right now, as I’m currently living in a rental, and the majority of my things are packed in boxes, including the Wii U where I downloaded most of my favorite retro titles from the Virtual Console. So naturally, when I learned that one of my most cherished games was going to become available on the Switch, I was ecstatic. Not long after it was released, I made short work of the game, completing it in just under 3 hours. To think, this game used to be so challenging when I was a duckling, and now I can just breeze through it with minimal effort. But in all this time, I had only gotten 70%.
I’m the kind of person who likes to get 100% in most of my games. And yet, seeing as how difficult DKC was when I was young, I think the notion of redoing some of the game’s hardest levels in order to hunt down secrets was kind of intimidating to me. But this time, I was armed with the Switch’s ability to create suspend points at any moment in the game, and I was ready to finally obtain that elusive 101%!
With some, ahem…cheating, of course.
Thanks in large part to YouTuber GarlandTheGreat, I was able to locate every bonus room in the game, with the suspend points serving as a great way of avoiding having to redo a level if I made a mistake. I mean, Orang-utan Gang had a whopping FIVE bonus rooms, and some of these required Expresso the ostrich. Who is hard to control and kept running away whenever I bumped into enemies, forcing me to reload the suspend point I had made over and over again until I could get it right. Then there’s the elusive bonus room within a bonus room in Oil Drum Alley, whose existence I was aware of, but which, frankly, I messed up repeatedly before I finally got right. Again, suspend points came in quite handy here whenever I failed to match up three single bananas or failed to jump as soon as I got the barrel, lest the stage ended before I could break the right wall.
So there you have it, folks. The less-than-exciting tale of how I finally achieved 101% in the original Donkey Kong Country, all of which took 4:05, according to my save file. It’s nice to finally be able to mark this off my bucket list. Now I can’t help but wait anxiously for the other two games to become available!
Lede image © Rare, Nintendo (1994)