Ah, back to the 30-day video game topics. Despite the obvious implication that this is only supposed to span the course of roughly a month, these posts have been taking me years to get through. Well, better get back to it. Right now, we’re only on day 13. The topic: a game I’ve played more than five times. There are a lot of games I could name right now that I’ve played far more times than is sane, but the one I’ve chosen to discuss is Donkey Kong Country 2. By now, many of you are probably more than familiar with the fact that I love this game. Even more of you are probably just familiar with this game due to your own experiences with it and don’t need any explanation for why it’s such a great game. So I’m not getting into that. The game was released in 1995, for crying out loud! That was 21 years ago! Wow, has it really been that long…?
All right, so, instead of telling you guys what this game is all about, why don’t I tell you about five of my most memorable experiences with this amazing game? The first time I really got into playing Super Nintendo games was when my parents had the SNES connected to a TV in the basement. Being out of the way, it made it so much easier to play these games to my heart’s content, unlike the poor Nintendo 64, which was in the living room. (You see, the coaxial cable part of the basement TV was okay, so the SNES worked just fine on it. But the composite…thingies on that TV stopped working, so our N64 only got sound and no picture. That’s why we got a new TV to connect the N64 to, along with all our other newer devices at the time, while the other TV, along with the SNES, got moved into the basement.) We already had about 20 SNES games, and some of my best memories from my ducklinghood involved me spending hours in the basement trying out a whole bunch of games I had never played before.
Back then, I was terrible at video games, so I could only work my way through various games one chunk at a time before finding myself lacking the skills to proceed. I was pretty decent with adventure games like Zelda and Illusion of Gaia, where I could usually reach somewhere around the final boss before getting stuck. I was completely abysmal at Super Mario Bros games and would rarely progress beyond the first world. And the Donkey Kong Country trilogy fell somewhere in between.
DKC3 was the first one I beat, though, back then, I barely got anywhere in the secret world, Krematoa. I got stuck the most in the original game, where I spent years attempting to complete world 3. I think Forest Frenzy was to blame. And then there was DKC2. I got pretty far in this game, all the way to Castle Crush, in fact, before I found myself totally and utterly unable to proceed. It took me years to complete Castle Crush, after which I got stuck next in Chain Link Chamber. There’s just too much madness in these later levels! But after years of trying, I did eventually manage to complete both DKC2 and the original. And I must say, finishing the DKC trilogy is still one of the most satisfying gaming experiences of my life due to the sheer effort it took. I’m glad games don’t take me that long anymore, though….
Though the games remained quite difficult for me for years to come, I never got stuck long-term on any of them ever again after my initial completion of each entry in the DKC trilogy. I played the games many more times in the coming years, with my second memorable experience taking place in the house we lived in next. This time, the SNES was set up in a spare bedroom, and I have fond memories of my mom and I playing the game in the morning before I went to school. There was just something very comforting about this that I couldn’t help but mention it.
And yet, even after multiple playthroughs, the later levels of the Lost World remained ever elusive to me. Either I was unable to find many of the bonus levels, or I was unable to complete them and obtain the coveted Kremkoin. And so, my third experience worth mentioning with this game involved the day I found out about a secret coin that is worth 75 Kremkoins. It was thanks to this cheat that I was finally able to visit, and complete, every level in the Lost World and thus get the secret ending. What a spectacular day that was when, after years of playing one of my favorite games of all time, I was able to witness something entirely new. The scene where Krocodile Isle sinks into the ocean as Kaptain K. Rool escapes into the crimson sunset is one of my favorites in any video game, probably because it took me so long to finally get to see it.
Of course, as grand as it was seeing the secret ending of DKC2, there was something rather hollow about completing the game thanks to a cheat, which brings me to experience four. I decided one day that I would embark on my most challenging DKC endeavor ever (rhyme intended), complete DKC2 without the 75 Kremkoin cheat. And I did. I was finally able to obtain not only every Kremkoin, but every DK Coin in the game, proving I had gained new heights in DKC prowess. Yes, I probably cheated in order to find their locations, but I still did it all on my own, so that still has to count for something, no?
Experience five is the most recent. After years and years of playing this game alone or competing against my parents, it was finally time to share my finely honed DK skills with the world! Nay, perhaps to the moon and beyond! Extraterrestrial life, witness my power! Um…yeah. What I’m saying is…I recorded my gameplay for the game on UWG’s Youtube channel. Sharing one of my favorite games on Youtube was pretty cool, even if my viewers were surely confined to those here on good, old planet Earth. And for anyone who has watched these videos, or plans to (please?), now you know the history behind this game and I. While I started out completely unable to finish the game at all, I finally went on to recording myself getting 100% (or 102%, I suppose). Now that’s something to be proud of!
What about you? What games have you played a whole bunch of times? Let me know in the comments, dear readers!
Ducky Kong Country, My Favorite Platformers
This article was originally published on United We Game on November 22, 2016.