The Duck’s first silly scoundrel debuted in 1994 with Rareware’s Donkey Kong Country. This was the first game where we were introduced to Donkey Kong’s newest enemies, the crocodilian Kremlings, led by none other than King K. Rool, a large croc with a golden belly and a swollen eyeball. Now that’s a name you should run away from! And fast!
Earlier in the series, the Kremling King proved himself to be a worthy opponent to the Kong family, considering he successfully pilfered DK’s banana hoard in the first game and kidnapped various Kong’s in later installments. But as K. Rool is repeatedly defeated, his sanity starts to slip.
You see, K. Rool has an odd penchant for playing dress up. He is a regal king in the first game, and in the second, he appears as a fierce pirate captain (my favorite version). But by the third game, he has lost the trust of his Kremling subjects after having sunk their entire island, and we discover that he’s now taken on the role of a mad scientist, complete with the ridiculous name of Baron K. Roolenstein, some sort of helicopter jetpack, and…a wig…for some reason. Oh, how the mighty have fallen! (Or not, as he’s still in possession of a castle and a submarine. So don’t feel too sorry for him!)
By the time K. Rool returns in Donkey Kong 64, he’s somehow a king again, but he seems more insane and reckless than ever as he and his Kremling subjects ride around in a sad artificial replica of their old island. No longer does K. Rool only care about stealing potassium-laden fruit, for his new goal revolves around outright destroying Kong Island with the Blast-O-Matic! And when he’s confronted by his furry foes at the end of your adventure, only one option remains.
A boxing match.
That’s right, apparently K. Rool has been a king, a pirate captain, a mad scientist, and…a boxer. Now that would certainly make for an interesting resume!
K. Rool has remained one of my favorite silly scoundrels since I was a duckling, so I was decidedly delighted by his triumphant return in Super Smash Bros Ultimate, where much of my time was spent pummeling my enemies with cannonballs launched from his mighty blunderbuss. Now that K. Rool has stumbled into a more modern title, I can only hope this means we’ll be seeing more of this silly croc soon. And most importantly, I can only speculate on what his newest costume is going to be! (For all we know, this guy has been indulging in his apparent love of cosplay during his long retirement!)