Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy Kong’s Quest was one of my all time favorite games on the Super Nintendo when I was a kid. But it’s been a very long time since I last played it and I didn’t remember too much about it other than that it was pirate themed.

I was quite pleased to discover that it’s still an amazing platformer that holds up today. I’d say it’s still way better than the new Donkey Kong games on the Wii and Wii U.

But what really surprised me was how spooky this game was, in a fun way. I think this is going to have to be a game I pull out again in the future and play around Halloween.


The Story

There’s not too much here but that’s not important. Basically King K. Rool is back and he’s kidnapped Donkey Kong. So Diddy Kong and his girlfriend Dixie have to go on a quest through 52 levels across 8 different worlds on Crocodile Isle to rescue him.


The Gameplay

The gameplay here is fantastic. It’s a 2D side scrolling platformer and the platforming is super tight and fun.

The levels are very well designed as well with tons of secrets hidden through out each one.

This time each level has a hidden DK coin which doesn’t do too much other than give you a ranking of how great of a hero you are at the end of the game. They’re fun to find and well hidden so they make a nice added challenge.

There are also usually 2 or 3 bonus levels hidden in each level that you access by jumping into a bonus barrel.

Bonus stages are short little time limited challenges where you either have to run to the exit, defeat a bunch of enemies, collect a certain number of stars, etc.

At the end you’re rewarded with a Krem Coin.

In each world there’s a toll both where you can pay a guard 15 Krem Coins to unlock a level in the Lost World. When you unlock and complete all the levels in the lost world you fight the real final boss of the game and get the final ending.

The levels here are the hardest in the game but they’re honestly not that bad.

Then animal companions make a return in this game as well. You’ve got Rambi the rhinoceros who can charge and hit enemies with his horn. Enguarde the sword fish is back and controls just like in the first game. You also get several new companions like Rattly the snake who’s coiled up like a slinky and can jump super high and Squitter the Spider who can shoot webs at enemies and make web platforms to jump on.

There’s also Squawk the parrot who can fly you around the level and Clapper the seal which can cool down boiling hot water so you can swim in it.

Overall these animal companions make a nice little change of pace throughout the levels where they make an appearance.


The World

The world design in this game is fantastic too. You start off on a pirate ship which is keeping with the pirate theme of the game. Next is a volcano world followed by a dark swamp with a sunken ship. After this is a haunted amusement park with roller coaster ride levels and that’s followed by a haunted forest world.

The final area is King K. Rool’s Castle and then a few more levels on top of that to get to his air ship for the boss fight.

And of course the lost world which is jungle themed with an ancient temple inside although it has a variety of different level types.

There are also an assortment of mine levels, frozen ice levels, levels that take place inside of giant bee hives and bramble patches mixed throughout the different worlds.

I recently discovered this awesome website which shows the different worlds and levels if you want to check some of them out.


The Music

This game is known for having some amazing music and it certainly does. The best track and most famous one is probably Stickerbush Symphony:

But some other of my favorites include Forest Interlude:

Flight of the Zinger is excellent:

And here’s the music that plays in the roller coaster levels in the haunted amusement park:

Overall a very diverse and excellent assortment of tracks.


The Spookiness

The game is surprisingly spooky in a fun Halloween sort of way. Nothing in the game is really scary or stuff you’d need to hide kids from. But this is something that I didn’t remember at all and surprised me a little bit. Like I mentioned before, this is the perfect game to bring out for some fun at Halloween.

There’s a haunted amusement park world and a haunted forest world.

The second boss in the game is sort of a lava ghost holding a sword made out of bones. One boss later in the game is the ghost of an earlier boss too.

There’s a level in a haunted library where you take the roller coaster through the old building while running away from crocodile pirate ghosts that are chasing you.

And the whole pirate aesthetic is fun for Halloween as well.


In Conclusion

I’d say this game is still one of my all time top greats and it holds up amazingly well.

As an adult I didn’t find it difficult at all and was able to finish the game and find every secret in about 4 hours.

That makes it pretty much the perfect game to play while handing out candy to trick or treaters one Halloween or to bring out at a Halloween party.

If you haven’t played it yet definitely give it a try. It’s available as part of the SNES games collection on the Nintendo Switch.

Featured image from used under Fair Use