Ex-RARE dev explains where the 'Country' in Donkey Kong Country came from
My country tis donkey
The Donkey Kong Country franchise is one of the most beloved in Nintendo’s lineup, and it was definitely a top-tier release for the Super Nintendo. The DKC name has become synonymous with most of Donkey Kong’s adventures, but have you ever stopped to think about where that name came from? The Donkey Kong part is easy enough, but why tack Country on the end? Now we have an answer to that question.
A fan reached out to former RARE dev Kev Bayliss to ask where the Donkey Kong Country name came from, and it turns out the origins stem from the game’s codename.
It was originally code named ‘The Country Project’ because @RareLtd were located in the middle of the countryside - so Nintendo decided to keep it in the name! There you go!
Knowing the origins of the Country name is a neat little bit of Nintendo history, and the way things came together are quintessential Nintendo. There’s just something about the name’s origins and its path to the final name that fits so well with Nintendo and their philosophies. Sometimes the simplest explanations are the best!
Yet they've never actually used "country" over in Japan. It's always been "Super Donkey Kong" for the SNES games and in the case of Returns and Tropical Freeze, they just dropped the "Country" from the name.
I always figured they were using "Country" the way we do "Mario Land" and "Mario World". It seems like a funny way to end up giving the game that name.
I remember when in the Nintendo Power merchandise catalog they were selling the Donkey Kong Country soundtrack CD and they made sure to clarify that the soundtrack did not contain country music.