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Proto:Donkey Kong 64

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This page details one or more prototype versions of Donkey Kong 64.

The kiosk demo of Donkey Kong 64 came to stores in September of 1999, two months before the release of the final game. It's based on an earlier build and contains quite a few differences, as well as some content that was cut from the retail version.

To do:
(Release info: IGN)


Early Script
DK64 proto map10 medal.png
Level Differences
Donkey Kong's world as it existed at a slightly earlier point in time.
Dk64 giraffehead.png
Early Objects
Level props that were memory-holed from the final game.
Unused Strings and Debugging Text
Can't Blend into Blend, you fool!

Demo Events

The demo contains three playable portions of the game: the second Dogadon fight, a harder version of the Jungle Japes mine cart minigame, and the second Army Dillo fight. After completing an event, the game cuts to an "Available Christmas 99" screen, and eventually loops back to the intro, where you'll then be able to play the next event.

Dk64 thanksforplaying.png

The choice of events is very odd, as they're nearly unwinnable for a novice. Rareware may have chosen these events to make the game more exciting and appealing to potential customers.

Dogadon #2

  • There is no light source near Chunky during the intro cutscene, making him harder to see against the background.
Prototype Final
DK64 dogalighting proto.png DK64 dogalighting final.png
  • Dogadon's sound when he spits fireballs sounds pretty hideous. It was thankfully toned down in the final, though the original sound can still be heard when the llama splits at lava in Angry Aztec.
  • After Dogadon is killed and the key appears, the boss music continues to play rather than the victory music.
  • Chunky has an extra punch attack after doing his standard punch twice that was removed in the final. It can be seen in some early footage.
  • Chunky's animation for when he's carrying the TNT barrel is slightly different.

Mine Cart

  • This is the mine cart minigame in Jungle Japes, with the difference being that you have to collect 70 coins, as opposed to 50 in the final. With the rather strict coin requirement, this makes the minigame very, very difficult.
  • After successfully completing the minigame, the HUD is shown and it looks somewhat different: the Golden Banana count is shown as a vertical column of banana symbols, and the counter at the bottom uses a banana group symbol rather than a single banana as in the final.
  • Squawks' text is different and much more generic.

Army Dillo #2

  • The fight takes place in Jungle Japes, rather than Crystal Caves. This may have been due to the arena not being finished in time for the kiosk demo.
  • Army Dillo uses quite a bit of voice acting at this point, a stark contrast to the final where his only voice clip is "Uh-oh!". His voice is different as well, and rather unfitting.
Audio Subtitle
You dare challenge me?!
Ah ha ha ha!
Then I must crush you!
You can't beat me!
You'll never defeat K. Rool!

General Differences

Dance, monkey, dance.


  • The intro is slightly different.
  • The playback demo on the title screen is absent. Interestingly, it still exists in the game, it's just not used.
  • The HUD for collecting a Golden Banana is very different: it only shows how many Bananas your current Kong has, and uses a removed "5 Golden Banana bundle" icon.
  • Only C-up and C-down exit first-person mode, while in the final game A and B also work.


Many differences exist outside the demo's limited scope, and can only be seen by hacking:

  • Banana Medals are separate pickups instead of being tied to regular bananas. They make the Nintendo/Rareware Coin sound when picked up and don't stop your character to dance, but otherwise behave the way they do in Hideout Helm.
  • All Kasplats have red hair. Instead, the temples of their sunglasses (along with their shockwaves) are the color-coordinated bits. This makes it hard to tell from a distance which blueprint one is carrying, so it's easy to guess why it was changed.
    • Also, their walk cycle is faster, and the "numph numph" sound is a slower version of the Klaptrap chomp.
  • The Kongs are not named in the Tag Barrel.
  • Most Banana Balloons bob up and down. In the final game all of them move from side to side, save for a purple balloon in Crystal Caves that retains the old behavior.
  • Z can't be used to drop from vines.
  • In the blast courses, only Z fires DK out of the barrels. The final game adds A and B as options.
  • Infinite counters read "IN" rather than ∞ as in the final.
  • R can't be used to center the camera while climbing.
  • The Animal Buddy transformations work on a timer, which can't be stopped at will (you must wait for it to run out). Rambi's timer is 65 seconds long, while Enguarde's is 45.
    • The detransformation sequence also has no graphical effects, which looks somewhat odd.
  • The "quickdraw" feature (Z + C-left twice) is not implemented.
  • Since there are no level lobbies, B. Locker and Wrinkly are nonexistent.
  • The Rainbow Coin is not implemented. Neither are the Nintendo and Rareware Coins (as objects), but their sprites exist.

The Lives System

DK64 proto HUD.png
Pickup HUD
Dk64 1upballoon.gif DK64 lifeballoon HUD.gif
Sound Effect

One notable difference is the sight of a balloon counter under the healthbar. Extra Life Balloons, a Donkey Kong Country staple, were set to appear in this game (and can be spotted in several prerelease clips) but didn't make the cut, presumably because the jump to 3D made lives a bit superfluous. The final game did away with them entirely, but this version, which evidently predates that decision, has the lives system intact.

As none of the demo segments have Life Balloons in them, the collectible itself goes completely unseen. It can be found in several of the early maps, where it plays a short harp jingle (also used by the sun ring in Angry Aztec) when picked up. Interestingly, it features the same star design as the barrel spawner pads.

DK64 proto balloonpop.gif

There are also what look to be graphics of it bursting. A pop can be heard if your Kong is killed while the counter is still onscreen (an easy way to do this is to set the warp value to 56 and run headfirst into the maze), but no sprite is seen, as the HUD disappears during the death sequence. Use the GameShark code 816981A2 3320 to view it in place of the DK Coin icon during the minecart segment.

DK64 OldLifeIcon.png
DK64 prerel HUD.png

And lastly, tucked away in the ROM is this even older icon for the counter, seen in the earliest prerelease footage. This Diddy head was lifted from a pre-existing render, and was probably always meant to be a placeholder-- the balloon was already in its spot by the time E3 rolled around.

(Source: Runehero123 (code), IGN (prerelease shot))

Graphical Differences

Prototype Final
DK64 dialoguefont proto.png
DK64 dialoguefont final.png

The dialogue font had brackets and a percent sign added in the final game.

Prototype Final
DK64 menufont proto.png DK64 menufont final.png

Next to the copyright symbol in the menu font are a crossed-out N and O that were replaced with the infinity symbol and some inverted punctuation.

Prototype Final
DK64 moon proto.png DK64 moon final.png

The moon texture is transparent in this version. A black background fill was added to make it pop out a little more.

Prototype Final
DK64 clockhand proto.png DK64 clockhand final.png

The hands on the file select clock have a slightly different design.

Prototype Final
DK64 Logo proto.png DK64 Logo final.png

The trademark symbol was moved down from the corner, so that it comes after the "Kong" rather than the "Donkey".

Unused Graphics

The kiosk demo has a few sprites and models that don't appear to be present in the final game.

Dk64 goldbananabunch.gif

A Golden Banana bunch, which is used in this build if you win the Mine Cart game. A single frame survives in the final game, as the emblem on B. Locker's head.

Dk64 jblock.gif Dk64 ablock.gif DK64 startile.gif

Spinning tiles with designs matching those found on the unused jack-in-the-box enemies.

Dk64 flamingblock.gif

A spinning, flaming alphabet block intended for the Mad Jack boss fight. He can be seen throwing it in pre-release footage.

Dk64 discoball.gif

A disco ball.

DK64 proto NinLogo.png DK64 proto RareLogo.png

Earlier renditions of the opening logos. Smaller versions were later used in the Rambi and Enguarde Arenas as billboards.

DK64 proto GameOver.png

High-res versions of the menu font exist for the letters G, A, M, E, O, V, and R, in that order. All of them are separate textures, with the "E" only stored once so it could be duplicated. This was obviously intended for the game over screen, but the final game uses the normal low-res font instead.

DK64 proto ShopIcons.png

Icons from a possible early shop interface. Yes, that's a realistic handgun.

DK64 UnkGroup2.png DK64 OldBanana.png

Leftover graphics of... something, along with some beakers, an arrow, and a single sprite of a banana. The banana is a bit smaller and darker compared to the one used in both versions:

Early Final
DK64 OldBanana.png DK64 NewBanana.png

DK™! Donkey Kong™!

A trademark graphic is present after the DK letters used for the DK Rap, which is missing from the final ROM.

DK64 proto LightningBolt.png

A lightning bolt, or a frame of animated electricity, or a leftover of some larger graphic that was removed. Hard to say. It's located in between the textures for the HUD and the lens flare/sun.

Dk64 Dk64logo3D.png

A 3D version of the game's logo. A similar model was used in early footage instead of the static 2D logo, and was animated.

Early Models

Several models have gone through changes from the prototype to the final game.


Proto Final
Whose lab was it? Oh, his lab.

Cranky's lab received quite an update in the final game. The sign was overhauled to give context that the lab indeed belongs to Cranky, and an electrode was removed from the roof (though the Kiosk version fits better). The wooden texture and the shading was given an overhaul, and there is no floor under the doorway.

Proto Final
What exactly does this building imply? The drum wasn't enough to tell that it's a music shop.

Candy's Music Shop is a lot simpler than in the final game. The sign was changed to help give a musical theme, and there aren't any decorations.

Proto Final
ARMOURY, ARMORY? What's the difference? "ARMORY" was not reverted back in the European version for... reasons.

Funky's Armory has no satellites or flooring. The "ARMORY" sign was changed from British English to American English. Some changes were also applied to the text's color, possibly to make the wording stand out less.

Proto Final
Incomplete security. Why is there a keypad when there isn't even a door?

Snide's HQ has a pipe connected to a barrel, and a different antenna. The final version removes the barrel and the receptors on the antenna, but adds a keypad and security camera. As usual, the final version adds flooring to the doorway.


Proto Final
Dk64 dkisland.png
Ahem... graph.
Dk64 dkisland-final.png

The paintings in the prototype are a render of CG giraffes on a savanna, and a render of the DK Island from Donkey Kong Country. The latter was replaced with a picture of this game's DK Island.

Unused Enemies

Several enemies were cut and aren't in the final game's data.


This game is full of BUGS.

A weird multicolored bug with no animations. It may have been an early version of the racing beetle.


Re-Koil from Donkey Kong Country 3. Nowhere to be seen in either the demo or the final.



A very angry-looking Army, likely meant for Jungle Japes since similar enemies appeared there in Donkey Kong Country.

I wouldn't mess with him.

DK64 ArmySprites.png

A HUD sprite for this enemy (as well as a skeletal variant) also exists in the texture data.


Two jack-in-the-boxes meant for Frantic Factory. The clown appears in the unused early boss map for that level, while the boxing glove can be seen in E3 footage.

Hey kids!

Jack in the PUNCH!


Dk64 snakehead.png

A giant snake head with a diamond necklace. He very briefly appears in the E3 1999 trailer, shooting lasers at Diddy in what appears to be the old version of map 11. Based on this, as well as the fact that map 11 plays Angry Aztec's boss theme when the removed tracks are restored (see the video below), it can be assumed that he was originally going to be the Aztec boss instead of Dogadon (who would have been confined to Fungi Forest). Statues of his likeness can still be found during the level's slide race in the final game.

DK64 SnakeSprites.png

Like with the Army above, HUD sprites of him can also be found buried in the ROM.

Scrapped Areas

To do:
Flesh these out and add textures.

A few maps exist that ended up being repurposed into other locations in the final game. They can be accessed using the Map Modifier GameShark code, where "??" is one of the IDs below:

Map 03

In the final version, this is Lanky's maze minigame in Hideout Helm. Here, it's a room consisting of two Tiny pads and a stationary copy of Tiny, who has collision and animation data. The pads appear to be non-functional, even when Tiny is hacked in with the Monkeyport. Soft resetting with the code active results in a bizarre camera sequence focusing on the clone as she stands motionless.

Map 0B

An early, unfinished copy of Angry Aztec. The temple doors are in completely different spots, and there are various tiles and platforms that don't exist in the final level. Other features include moving pillars, the llama having a generic floor switch above his cage, and a(nother) strange pedestal with no discernable purpose. While this became a Stealthy Snoop (that itself went unused) in the final game, the Aztec objects were never actually taken out, and as such can still be seen by going out of bounds.

(Final game discovery: Isotarge)

Map 11

What would become Hideout Helm was originally an odd room containing several torches, Zingers, and the mermaid from Gloomy Galleon standing in a T-pose. Likely the original boss room for Angry Aztec.

Map 1C

Use the code 815C8F00 2005 815C8F02 0000 to keep this room from crashing on load. This is the old boss arena for Frantic Factory, back when the fight was structured more like Army Dillo and Dogadon. The normally unused jack-in-the-box clowns are used here, where four of them spawn from the doors at the sides. This also became Hideout Helm (specifically, the version used for non-Intro Story cutscenes).

Map 22

The final DK Isles map is instead... Puftoss swimming endlessly inside what looks to be an earlier version of the entrance area in Jungle Japes. Notably, all of the trees in this map can be climbed, including the ones that normally shouldn't, suggesting there was a change at some point in development.

Map 32

The level select room from E3 1999, which was used to show off various areas of the game, is still present. The doors still open and close and the camera pans out as you approach them, although they won't take you anywhere. Two Life Balloons can be collected here, and there seems to be a Banana Fairy just outside of bounds.

Map 34

To do:
This is actually still the treestump (exiting via the barrel cannon that shows up takes you to the same spot in Fungi Forest). It should be moved to Level Differences once Forest has a subpage.

A room where multiple Rareware logos chase you. If you survive long enough, the game rewards you with a Golden Banana... which is impossible to get. In the final game, this is the inside of the treestump in Fungi Forest.

Animation Differences

There are a lot of animations in Donkey Kong 64 which were changed between the prototype and final releases. A lot of the differences go unseen in the 3 demo sections, however, this doesn't mean that they cannot be accessed.


  • The backflip works the way it does in Super Mario 64-- it automatically pushes the Kongs backwards instead of straight up and cannot be steered, which makes it much harder to use. In the final game, backflipping works like in Banjo-Kazooie.
  • The Kongs are launched out of Tag Barrels and Bonus Barrels from the top rather than dropped out the bottom, using unique animations that aren't in the final version.
  • All standing attacks are 3-hit combos, meaning you had to press B thrice to execute the entire set. In the final game the first two hits were combined into one (requiring only two B presses) for all Kongs except Lanky, who is unchanged.
  • All Simian Slams lack the colored shockwave effect. The Super Simian Slam also lacks the cartoony stars.
  • The Shockwave move doesn't require Coconuts (or even unlocking, apparently). The charging effect uses multicolored stars instead of orange embers.
  • The Kongs do the vine-hanging animation when grabbing onto a climbable object (however, this fixes itself as soon as you start moving). They also jump off it at a straight 180° angle, unlike in the final game where the jump angle can be controlled a bit.

Donkey Kong

  • DK comes to a standstill at the end of the rolling animation. In the final releases, movement speed became more fluid.
  • DK's kick is significantly slower, and doesn't go as far.
  • During an aerial attack, DK's arms are angled further down
  • Jumping within a certain window of time without inputting any direction on the stick will preserve the roll speed and allow you to cover large distances in a short amount of time. This mechanic was removed before the final releases.
  • Whilst shooting in 3rd person, DK has his coconut gun further up so that his eye meets the barrel of the gun.
  • The slapping animation is sped up.
  • His shockwave shakes the camera more in the prototype compared to the final releases.
  • DK's "Super Simian Slam" and "Super Duper Simian Slam" animations are different, with his hands and head being slammed to the ground
  • His Tag/Bonus Barrel exit animation is also used when jumping out of a DK Barrel.
  • His animation for idling in a shop is much longer than in the final version.

Diddy Kong

  • Diddy's "Chimpy Charge" move has a more cartoon-like sound effect attached to it
  • Diddy has a different animation for his stationary tail attack
  • Diddy's Aerial attack has a different animation and is much shorter in length.
  • Diddy's shockwave shakes the camera more in the prototype compared to the final releases.
  • Diddy's "Super Duper Simian Slam" animation is slighly different, since he jumps automatically after slamming.
  • Diddy's skid animations are different
  • Rocketbarrel Diddy works a bit differently: Instead of holding his arms out in front of him, they move freely at his sides, swaying with movement direction. By default the guns do not appear with the jetpack; jumping into a Diddy Barrel with them out will make them appear, but this does not affect the arm position. Pressing B while flying will make peanuts shoot from his hands regardless of whether or not he has the guns out.

Lanky Kong

  • Lanky has an 'unusual' sound effect attached to his moving ground attack
  • Lanky also has an additional animation upon landing from a long jump which has some similarities to a backflip
  • Grabbing up from a ledge will produce a small 'wiggle' animation before Lanky lands. The sound effect for this animation is also slightly earlier than what it should be.
  • Lanky's aerial attack is slightly faster in the prototype than in the final releases.
  • Lanky's shockwave shakes the camera more in the prototype compared to the final releases.
  • Lanky's "Super Simian Slam" and "Super Duper Simian Slam" animations are different. His "Super Duper Simian Slam" animation is significantly longer.

Tiny Kong

  • Like DK's rolling animation, Tiny's speed comes to a standstill at the end of her kickslide animation.
  • Tiny's "Super Duper Simian Slam" animation is significantly longer
  • Has an extra pose for idling in a shop that isn't in the final game.

Chunky Kong

  • Chunky's regular punch animation is different
  • Chunky's body proportions change signicantly during a "Primate Punch".
  • Lacks his butterfly idle animation.


  • Rambi's Charging animation is faster & longer than in the final. Due to the increase in speed, he can easily clip through walls