Real-life inspirations for DKC worlds and levels

Discussion of the DKC series as a whole.
Post here if the theme of your discussion isn't directed at one specific game.

Real-life inspirations for DKC worlds and levels

Postby Toxinz1181 » July 7th, 2020, 5:19 pm

The Northern Kremisphere as a whole from DKC3 is obviously based on Canada and the Northern Hemisphere, and this got me thinking about the world maps and levels from the games in general. Donkey Kong Island might be based on the Congo while Crocodile Isle is based on the Amazon Rainforest or Vietnam.

The swamp levels from DKC2 resemble the bayou in Louisiana, but that makes sense as Crocodile Isle is a fictional location along with DK Island and the Northern Kremisphere. https://www.spriters-resource.com/snes/ ... eet/45273/

I've always found the jungle levels in the three games (particularly the 2nd and 3rd) to be particularly interesting. I can't point my finger as to exactly what real-life jungles they may or may not be based on, but the vicious spike traps in the DKC2 jungle levels give me heavy Vietnam/Viet Cong vibes. https://www.spriters-resource.com/snes/ ... eet/26924/. The DKC3 jungles I can't say much about, other than tropical levels in a Canada-based world isn't very sensical. https://www.spriters-resource.com/snes/ ... eet/45327/

That's all I really have to add for now. Hopefully this post can start up a genuine conversation where people can point out the real-life locations of these levels. These games are incredibly close to my heart, and I've always wanted to visit these worlds. Being able to point out their real counterparts is the closest I can get, but I'll take it :thumbs:
Newcomer
Bananas received 1
Posts: 6
Joined: 2020

Re: Real-life inspirations for DKC worlds and levels

Postby lukefsje » July 8th, 2020, 8:29 am

What always confused me was the jungle levels in DKC3, considering every other aesthetic fits the Canada-esque theme perfectly. The best explanation I can come up with is that they aren't jungle levels at all in DKC3, they're really supposed to be Rainforest levels. There are rainforests on the west coast of Canada (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Bear_Rainforest) but there aren't any Rainforests are characterized by being a lot more dense than jungles and not allowing as much sunlight to reach the ground. When comparing the levels in DKC3 with the jungle levels in DKC2, the DKC3 levels use much darker colors compared to the bright colors and well lit backgrounds of DKC2. The final piece of evidence I have for the fact that DKC3's levels are supposed to be rainforests is that their background is a recolor of the background of the forest levels from DKC1 (https://www.spriters-resource.com/snes/dkc/sheet/45121/), implying the devs wanted to go for a forest aesthetic instead of a jungle one.
Tourist
Bananas received 1
Posts: 12
Joined: 2016

Re: Real-life inspirations for DKC worlds and levels

Postby Toxinz1181 » July 8th, 2020, 10:33 am

lukefsje wrote:What always confused me was the jungle levels in DKC3, considering every other aesthetic fits the Canada-esque theme perfectly. The best explanation I can come up with is that they aren't jungle levels at all in DKC3, they're really supposed to be Rainforest levels. There are rainforests on the west coast of Canada (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Bear_Rainforest) but there aren't any Rainforests are characterized by being a lot more dense than jungles and not allowing as much sunlight to reach the ground. When comparing the levels in DKC3 with the jungle levels in DKC2, the DKC3 levels use much darker colors compared to the bright colors and well lit backgrounds of DKC2. The final piece of evidence I have for the fact that DKC3's levels are supposed to be rainforests is that their background is a recolor of the background of the forest levels from DKC1 (https://www.spriters-resource.com/snes/dkc/sheet/45121/), implying the devs wanted to go for a forest aesthetic instead of a jungle one.


Wow, I actually never noticed that the background of the DKC3 rainforests are a recolor of the DKC ones! Those are some great points, and that biome also fits in with the Canada theme of DKC3! I always found the duller colored foliage in these levels compared to the ones from the original two DKC games to be something that stuck out.
Newcomer
Bananas received 1
Posts: 6
Joined: 2020

Re: Real-life inspirations for DKC worlds and levels

Postby Toxinz1181 » July 8th, 2020, 11:04 am

The jungles from DKC2 notably have venus flytraps in the background, making North Carolina (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Swa ... h_Carolina)) and Florida (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocala_National_Forest) the most likely candidates. It seems to me that the DKC2 jungles are based on the subtropical rainforests of Florida, with liberties taken like the venus flytraps and Viet Cong spike traps. It should be noted that venus flytraps do exist in Florida, but there aren't nearly as many there as in North Carolina.

This image of the background of the jungle levels (https://www.spriters-resource.com/fullview/45271/) has a strong resemblance with this image from Juniper Springs in Florida (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... Forest.jpg). The bottom image of the DKC2 sprites even resembles a waterlogged forest.
Newcomer
Bananas received 1
Posts: 6
Joined: 2020

Re: Real-life inspirations for DKC worlds and levels

Postby Kingizor » July 12th, 2020, 10:19 am

I got more of an Great-American-West vibe from DKC3 than anything to do with Canada. That region has the rocky mountains which is fitting for the cliff levels, and there is plenty of snow-tops in there too. Further west you have the great redwood forests which gives you not only the tree levels but also the (saw) mill levels. Ever seen Twin Peaks? Not sure about the riverside levels though. Closest I can get with that is the Donner party.

The DKC jungles give me a comfortable Africa/Savannah vibe. The DKC3 jungles feel very wild. Not so much an unknown, more a feeling of danger to watch for at every turn, maybe because all those levels are near the end of the game? A foreign monkey feeling. The burnt colours make me think Indian subcontinent. The lushious green Stampede Sprint doesn't follow that rule, but it has an elephant which is still a point for India. Haven't really thought much about the DKC2 jungles, I'd almost forgotten they even exist.

The underwater and waterfall levels feel a bit more Pacific. Not really sure about the boardwalk levels, other than there being a place just like them around 5-10 minutes from where I live, but the same could probably be found in a lot of places. Oh mysteries...

Might be a struggle to tie the caves, pipes or factory levels to any real-life place, unless some archaeologist has recently managed to find an ancient pipe factory inside a cave or something, in Canada no doubt? :huh:

Swamp - Louisiana


Agree on that one. The carribean is a large epicentre of historical piracy, so that might also be a fitting connection.

Spoiler!
I'm really blanking on DKC2 right now. Ship deck, swamp, castle, bramble...those horrible woods...ice, lava...jungle...coaster...honey!...grove?..no, that's the woods again...ship mast, and ship hold with the big boxes? Hopefully that's all of them. Nope, mines. Was thinking about those ones earlier too, hmm...
Trailblazer
Bananas received 61
Posts: 207
Joined: 2010

Re: Real-life inspirations for DKC worlds and levels

Postby Toxinz1181 » July 13th, 2020, 3:35 pm

I think if we were to group the worlds of the three games with real-life locations, the Northern Kremisphere would be Canada/western North America, Crocodile Isle would be the coastal areas of the North America deep south (bayous and subtropical rainforests), and Donkey Kong Island is central and east Africa inspired.

DKC has taiga levels and pine forests. I don't know African geography that well, but I don't typically associate those biomes with Africa.

In that sense, each game involving traveling further west, farther out of the Kong Family's comfort zone.
Newcomer
Bananas received 1
Posts: 6
Joined: 2020

Re: Real-life inspirations for DKC worlds and levels

Postby the_kong_br » July 28th, 2020, 6:29 am

The aquatic stages are also quite different in both DKC1 and DKC3 (DKC2 does not have a "genuinely" aquatic stage, in the sense of nature)

There are two different biomes.
Trainee Trekker
Bananas received 11
Posts: 61
Joined: 2008

Re: Real-life inspirations for DKC worlds and levels

Postby Toxinz1181 » July 28th, 2020, 7:05 pm

The DKC3 aquatic stages are coral reefs, but I can't place my finger on what aquatic biome the DKC aquatic stages are based on.
Newcomer
Bananas received 1
Posts: 6
Joined: 2020


Return to General DKC Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests