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Donkey Kong Land 2

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Title Screen

Donkey Kong Land 2

Also known as: Donkey Kong Land: Diddy's Kong Quest (JP)
Developer: Rare
Publisher: Nintendo
Platforms: Game Boy, Super Game Boy
Released in JP: November 23, 1996
Released in US: September 1, 1996
Released in EU: November 28, 1996

AreasIcon.png This game has unused areas.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
MusicIcon.png This game has unused music.
SoundIcon.png This game has unused sounds.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.

Donkey Kong Land 2 is the second game in the Donkey Kong Land series. All Donkey Kong Land games largely borrow elements from their Country counterparts, so this one naturally is largely based on Donkey Kong Country 2. While many people mistake the game as a GB port of DKC2, it is, in fact, a new game due to the different layouts of the levels. Unfortunately, this game doesn't innovate as much as the first DKL did, but the physics are improved, it is easier to see the screen due to the different graphics, and it is also the only one in the DKL series to include Funky Kong.

Unused Music

Boss Bossanova

Here is an unused piece of music in DKL2: it's the Boss Bossanova theme, but in 8-bit! Anybody who has played DKC2 should be able to recognize this music: there, it's played in all boss stages, except for the fights against K. Rool, which use the Crocodile Cacophony music. In the final version of DKL2, all boss stages use the Crocodile Cacophony music instead. It's unclear why the Boss Bossanova theme isn't used at all in DKL2.

To hear the music, change ROM offsets 0x4037D, 0x40391, 0x403A5, and 0x403B9 to 19. This will cause the Boss Bossanova music to be played in Krow's Nest, Kleaver's Kiln, King Zing Sting, and Kreepy Krow, respectively.

Alternatively, it is possible to change the music for Klubba's Kiosk by using the Game Genie code 195-FF9-91A.

(Source: Blaziken257)

Unused Sound Effect

By going to ROM offset 20B0 (or 20C1 in the Japanese version) and changing its value, the sound effect that is heard from collecting all the stars in any Collect the Stars bonus stage is changed. If this is changed to 02, the Kong Token sound effect from Donkey Kong Land can be heard.

Unused Graphics

Unused Sprites

To do:
Document ROM offsets for these graphics.

Several unused sprites exist in this game. Some of these sprites even remained unused in Donkey Kong Land III. These sprites can be viewed by using any of the following GameShark codes:

  • 01xx0FC1 (Current sprite #1)
  • 01xx2FC1 (Current sprite #2)
  • 01xx4FC1 (Current sprite #3)
  • 01xx6FC1 (Current sprite #4)
  • 01xx8FC1 (Current sprite #5)
  • 01xxAFC1 (Current sprite #6)
  • 01xxCFC1 (Current sprite #7)
  • 01xxEFC1 (Current sprite #8)
  • 01xx0BDF (Player sprite)

The xx should be replaced with the unused sprite's ID. Note that by using these codes, the animation cycle will be based on the sprite that is being replaced.

Unused Rambi Sprite

To do:
There are other frames here as well; rip the entire animated sprite.

Sprite ID: 54

Rambi getting hurt.

Like other Donkey Kong games, Rambi has a sprite for when he gets hurt. However, under normal conditions, it is impossible for Rambi to take damage in this game.

However, the GameShark code 010200DF will allow Rambi to appear in any level. For this code to work properly, it must be used just before entering or exiting a bonus level to properly refresh the sprite (and therefore, its behavior). If Rambi is brought into levels with certain stage hazards, you can see Rambi getting hurt if he touches these hazards. Some of these include:

  • The brambles in bramble levels (Bramble Blast, Bramble Scramble, Screech's Sprint).
  • The roller coaster tracks in roller coaster levels (Target Terror, Rickety Race, Krazy Koaster).
  • The toxic water in Slime Climb and Toxic Tower.
  • The lava in Lava Lagoon.
  • The water in Clapper's Cavern.
  • The spikes in jungle levels (Jungle Jinx, Klobber Karnage, Animal Antics).

Minus Barrel

Sprite ID: 70
Frame: 02

Unused Minus Barrel.
There is a sprite for a Minus Barrel in Donkey Kong Land 2, but it is unused. In Donkey Kong Country 2, Minus and Plus Barrels were used in the level Haunted Hall, which was replaced with Krazy Koaster in this game. Despite that there is a Minus Barrel sprite in this game, there is no corresponding Plus Barrel sprite.


Sprite ID: 7C

DKL2 flame frame 01.png DKL2 flame frame 02.png DKL2 flame frame 03.png DKL2 flame frame 04.png

An unused sprite for a flame. It is unknown what this would have been used for.


Sprite ID: 6F

DKL2 hole.png
An odd oval-shaped sprite which resembles a hole. This may have been intended for breakable walls -- in Donkey Kong Country, Donkey Kong Land, and Donkey Kong Country 2, certain walls could be broken to reveal bonus stages, but no such thing is possible in Donkey Kong Land 2 or in subsequent Donkey Kong games.

Early Kremkoin Sprite

Sprite ID: 39

DKL2 early Kremkoin frame 01.png DKL2 early Kremkoin frame 02.png DKL2 early Kremkoin frame 03.png DKL2 early Kremkoin frame 04.png DKL2 early Kremkoin frame 05.png DKL2 early Kremkoin frame 06.png DKL2 early Kremkoin frame 07.png DKL2 early Kremkoin frame 08.png

An early Kremkoin sprite. This is noticeably smaller than the final Kremkoin sprite. Also, this curiously has the design of King K. Rool instead of Kaptain K. Rool.

Spiky Kannonball Frames

Sprite ID: 75
Frames: 02 and 03

DKL2 Kannonball frame 02.png DKL2 Kannonball frame 03.png

Unused frames for a spiky Kannonball sprite. While Kannonballs, normal and spiky, are used in Donkey Kong Land 2, these frames are not. In Donkey Kong Country 2, in the level K. Rool Duel, K. Rool would sometimes fire Kannonballs that would grow spikes afterwards. These unused frames suggest that the same thing was considered for DKL2 as well, but was later scrapped.

Unused Water Tiles

To do:
The ice stages also have unused water tiles, which are more subtle than the ship hold ones -- upload them here.
Early water tiles for the ship hold stages.
What Lockjaw's Locker would have looked like with the original water tiles.

The ship hold stages (Lockjaw's Locker, Lava Lagoon, and Glimmer's Galleon) were originally going to use different tiles from what the final game uses. These tiles are initially loaded into VRAM at 8DE0-8DFF when first entering these levels, but they are instantly replaced by the animated water tiles, which the ice stages (Arctic Abyss and Clapper's Cavern) also use. (The animated water tiles are uncompressed, and are located at 7C30D-7C38C in the ROM.) Going to offset 7CF21 and changing the value from 01 to 00 will prevent the original water tiles from being overwritten in the ship hold stages; therefore, this restores the unused tiles, as seen on the right.

There are a few possibilities as to why these tiles are never used. The first possibility is that all animated tiles appear in ROM bank 1F, but there is no room in this bank for any more animated tiles (partially due to other data in this bank as well), making it impossible to create additional animated tiles without getting rid of existing ones. The second possibility is that these tiles do not look good with the shading layer that occurs in the lava in Lava Lagoon, since the layer is too low compared to the waves. Finally, it is possible that the early water graphics were considered inconsistent with that of the ice stages, so the developers may have decided to use consistent graphics for the water across all levels.

Placeholder/Unused Bonus Rooms

Unused bonus room in DKL2, with hexadecimal ID 0x24.

Various placeholder bonus rooms exist in Donkey Kong Land 2, suggesting that more bonus levels were planned in the game. These have the IDs of 04, 09, 0E, 13, 18, 1D, 21, 22, 24, 27, and 2C. All of these rooms, except for bonus room ID 24, are copies of the warp room in Pirate Panic and Gangplank Galley with corrupted tiles and sprites.

Bonus room ID 24 takes place in a roller coaster setting, suggesting that it was meant to be used in either Target Terror, Rickety Race (which has no bonus stages), or Krazy Koaster. ROM offset 40222 determines the destination of the first bonus stage in Target Terror, so changing the value of this offset to 24 will make this stage playable. Alternately, the GameShark code 0124AAC5 will change the destination of the first bonus stage of the current level to this unused map, although it only loads properly when the main stage is a roller coaster stage.

The stage itself is a Collect the Stars bonus stage, where 20 stars need to be collected in 25 seconds. Like the Collect the Stars bonus stage that is used in Krazy Koaster, there are more stars than necessary. The bonus stage also involves bouncing over holes in the track by jumping on Flitters.

Likely the reason that this bonus stage ended up unused is because the counter for collecting stars (or bananas) is shared with the counter for defeating enemies (stored at RAM address C5F9). This counter always decrements unless it is already 0 or RAM address C5F7 (which keeps track of the current level type, i.e. one of the bonus room types or a normal room) is set to FF, which is a non-bonus room. Due to this, a bug exists where defeating Flitters actually counts as collecting a star in this bonus stage. Not surprisingly, none of the used Collect the Stars stages have enemies, and none of the used Destroy them All stages have bananas or stars.

In Donkey Kong Land III, the coding for this was altered slightly so that the current level type is checked differently when defeating enemies or collecting bananas/stars, allowing for Collect the Stars stages to have enemies, and for Bash the Baddies stages to have bananas.

Unused Save Data

Banana Coins

This game saves the player's current Banana Coins whenever the game is saved. However, this data is not actually used in Donkey Kong Land 2. Upon loading a save file, the Banana Coin count is read from SRAM address A009 (File 1), A059 (File 2), or A0A9 (File 3), and then stored to HRAM address FFB3... however, when entering the world map screen, this byte (FFB3) is set to 0, which causes the player to lose all their Banana Coins each time a save file is loaded.

Curiously, even though the feature of saving Banana Coins went unused in this game, similar features later appeared in the GBA version of Donkey Kong Country 2, as well as both the SNES and GBA versions of Donkey Kong Country 3, where it was possible to retain Banana Coins or Bear Coins upon loading a save file. However, this feature remains unused in Donkey Kong Land III, due to a similar game engine to that of DKL2.

To prevent the Banana Coin count from being reset to 0, go to ROM offset 14097, and change the two bytes to 00 00. This will prevent the value 00 from being written to FFB3, and will allow the player to keep their Banana Coins across play sessions.

Regional Differences

Title Screen

In a chronologically confused moment, Donkey Kong Land 2 is known as ドンキーコングランド (Donkey Kong Land) in Japan (when the first game was released in Japan, it was titled Super Donkey Kong GB.)

In addition, the Japanese version also has the "Diddy's Kong Quest" subtitle that was present in the English DKC2. This subtitle pushes the rest of the title screen up, causing coloring errors on Diddy and Dixie that weren't present in the international version.

International Japanese
DKL2 UE Title.png DKL J Title.png

Enemy Names

Like in Donkey Kong Country 2, some enemies have had their names changed. Unlike in DKC2, their names are in plain English, as opposed to katakana.

  • Click-Clack is called Beetle in Japan, which is unfortunately less creative.
International Japanese
DKL2 UE Click-Clack.png DKL J Beetle.png
  • Krow has the unique name of Zocky in Japan.
International Japanese
DKL2 UE Krow.png DKL J Zocky.png
  • Interestingly, in Japan, King Zing is called King B instead. This can be interpreted as being in relationship with Queen B in Donkey Kong Country.
International Japanese
DKL2 UE King Zing.png DKL J King B.png

Level Changes

The Japanese version of the game features several level design changes, by and large to make the game slightly easier.

  • In Bramble Blast, there is a section before the Star Barrel where there are two Blast Barrels pointing diagonally down and to the right. In this section, there are two Zingers in the International version, but only one in the Japanese version.
International Japanese
DKL2 UE Bramble Blast.png DKL J Bramble Blast.png
  • In Parrot Chute Panic, in a section shortly after the Star Barrel, two Zingers were removed in the Japanese version. This was probably done to prevent sprite overload -- in the International version, if too many Zingers appear on the screen in this part, the DK Barrel won't appear.
International Japanese
DKL2 UE Parrot Chute Panic.png DKL J Parrot Chute Panic.png
  • In Kreepy Krow, when hitting Krow twice, two hooks appear. In the Japanese version, the top hook appears higher up. The platform above is also higher, and the rope climbing section is a bit shorter.
International Japanese
DKL2 UE Kreepy Krow.png DKL J Kreepy Krow.png

Cheat Codes

In the English version, there exist cheat codes to make the game easier. All of these are done on the file select screen.

  • Hold Left or Right, then press A, A, B, B to start with 50 lives.
  • Hold Left or Right, then press B, B, A, A to start with 40 Banana Coins.
  • Hold Left or Right, then press A, B, A, B to start with 47 Kremkoins.

These cheat codes do not work in the Japanese version. They still exist in the ROM from 1411D to 1412B, and the routine to handle the cheat codes still exists at 140A6, but this code is never executed in the Japanese version, leaving these cheats unused.

Bonus Counter Glitch

In the English version, there is a glitch that involves the counter used in bonus stages. For the Destroy Them All and Collect The Stars bonus stages, the game keeps track of how many enemies (or stars) are remaining in the bonus stage by using a counter. However, when losing a bonus stage, the counter does not reset to zero, so in a main level, this counter can continue to decrease upon collecting single bananas or defeating enemies. When the counter reaches zero, a sound effect is heard, as if a Kremkoin just appeared.

The Japanese version fixes this glitch by resetting the counter to zero every time a main level is entered, so that the sound effect does not play when it should not. Oddly, this change did not carry over to any version of Donkey Kong Land III, suggesting that the coding for that game was based on the English version of DKL2. Therefore, the glitch reappears in DKL3, although the glitch was partially re-fixed so that the counter only decreases when defeating enemies, but not when collecting bananas.

Virtual Console Changes

In Lava Lagoon, Glimmer's Galleon, and Clapper's Cavern, there are certain situations where part or all of the screen flashes for a few seconds (such as when Glimmer's Galleon is about to become dark). The 3DS Virtual Console version reduces the blinking rate to half of the original rate on the Game Boy, likely in an attempt to reduce the risk of seizures. Additionally, since the game is locked in Game Boy mode, the Super Game Boy enhancements are inaccessible.