Between the release of Donkey Kong Country 3 and Donkey Kong Country Returns, fans of the series had to wait 14 long years. We were all excited to see the Donkey Kong Country series get revived on Wii, but many were surprised to see King K. Rool and the other Kremlings left in the past.

Wondering why those classic baddies didn’t make the cut for Donkey Kong Country Returns? Former Retro dev Bryan Walker spoke to Shinesparkers about the topic, finally shedding some light on the decision.

While we were of course fans of the original, there were simply too many fantastically talented artists at Retro to simply do a rehash of the previous art style. The Tikis were a brainstorm of one of our character artists, Quinn Smith if I recall correctly, and we quickly glommed onto them as a way to modernize the art style of the game while still remaining very true to the spirit of the original. I really love how they turned out.

[Former Retro dev, Bryan Walker]

While the Tikis certainly brought some style to Donkey Kong Country Returns, I’m not too sure they managed to outshine King K. Rool and his crew. Even today, I think fans would love to see the classic Donkey Kong villain return, so here’s hoping King K’s inclusion in Smash Bros. Ultimate points to more appearances in the future.

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Comments (3)


2y ago

I actually think the artists at Retro are BETTER than the 90's Rare artists. I don't mind that they gave us some new DK enemies, but I think if they did work on the Kremlings, they'd be better-looking than the ones we remember.


2y ago

King K. Rool and his kremling army are my favorite Nintendo villains. So when they didn't return for Returns OR Tropical Freeze as well as being shafted in Jungle Beat I was hurt and disappointed. I personally did not care for the Tikis at all. I thought they were very generic. HOWEVER I feel Retro stepped their game up tremendously with Tropical Freeze. Not only creating the best 2D platformer of all time but actually giving the Snowmads actual cool designs and personality. They reminded me of the Kremlings so much (despite Lord Fredrik just being a Walrus K.Rool).

Hopefully with K.Rool being in Smash Ultimate it cements his legacy within the DK franchise for good. So hopefully if we ever get a new DK game (going on 9 years Nintendo since TF, come on!) K.Rool and the Kremlings will be there and stay there.


2y ago


I've seen people compare Lord Fredrik a lot with K.Rool, but I never saw any resemblance other than their body type. K.Rool has much more personallity (despite how much I home the Snowmads).

I have high hopes that the Krembligs may return in a future installment.