DK Vine: What is the Donkey Kong Universe?


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You've probably heard people talking about "The DKU", and games being "DKU" or "not DKU" and possibly "DKU again" or whatever other bullshit we talk about, but have you ever stepped back and thought to yourself, "What the fuck is wrong with these people" "What does that mean?" Well look no further, ol' chum, I'm about to 'splain it to ya REAL SLOW LIKE.



See, the term Donkey Kong Universe is often mistaken for meaning the shared universe that these games take place in. And that even makes sense; Banjo and Conker and DK logically share a universe, and our site is all about this connection and the others that we can extrapolate from the same idea. But the DKU is more than that (er, actually LESS). See, if you follow THE ROOLS, a lot of games are left out-of-the-loop that logically exist in DK's Universe. For instance, Sabreman made a cameo appearance in Banjo-Tooie, so logically the Sabreman series (and specifically Sabre Wulf GBA) should be DKU, right? WRONG. YOU FUCKING IDIOT.

"Foul!", you might cry. "Sabreman is in DK's world, but alas 'tis not DKU! Your site is a sham and you are all lying twatburgers!" Well, hold your horses muchacho. See, "The DKU" doesn't actually refer to this concept of a shared universe. Games are "DKU" or "not DKU" depending on whether they follow THE ROOLS, and nothing else. It doesn't matter what argument you make, no matter how sound, that a game MUST exist in DK's world (sandwiched right between Willow Woods and the Isle O' Hags), if it doesn't follow THE ROOLS it's not DKU.


Save me, Sabreman!

The reason being, "DKU" is just the name of this silly concept defined by THE ROOLS in order to decide the most important games that should be covered by this site, and it is NOT the physical shared universe the games logically reside in. THE ROOLS are meant to narrow down the shared universe to just the games that we deem to be semi-relevant. (They don't always work, but they're all we've got left man!)

Following a shared universe train of logic, all the DK arcade games would be DKU. "Well, that doesn't sound so bad!", you say. "Why wouldn't they be?" Well, who else debuted in those games? Oh yeah, MARIO. "So, I guess every single Mario game ever would also be DKU? ...All right that kinda makes sense..." And who else does that imply? Oh, right I guess all the Wario games. And Yoshi games... and Luigi's Mansion... and Super Princess Peach... and Don Bongo's School of Fellatio...

"All right, I kinda see your point. But that kinda makes sense! Mario and DK are close-ish series anyway. Not like there's any other random series you could connect to this." You bet your fuzzy ass I can! What about other references and cameos inside these games? That'd include The Legend of Zelda, because obscure character Bazaar Bear referenced Link in Donkey Kong Country 3, not to mention the numerous other cameos in the DK and Mario series. If Link is part of this shared universe, then that's only about another... twenty or so games.

Those Mario Kart arcade games had Pacman in them. Let's see that's... 35 more games not counting compilations or mulitplatform re-releases. Uh-huh. Mario Hoops 3-on-3 had Final Fantasy characters, it's not like there are a ton of Final Fantasy games, right? [...] Oh, yeah there's actually over a hundred of those fucking things, including the spin-offs. "Ooooh. You're right, I guess I was just stupid."

I'm not done with you yet!. Examining some other cameo games, I could bring in Sonic the Hedgehog, Dragonquest, the other Punch-Out games, Tamagotchi, Pikmin, and more. And all these examples so far are from games directly featuring Donkey Kong, we haven't even gotten into spin-offs of spin-offs territory yet.

"Oh god."


I don't know about you, but I've already pre-ordered.

Let's see, Crocomire from the Metroid series was in the background of Foggy Fumes from Donkey Kong Country Returns... Samus from Metroid was in Kirby's Dream Land 3, hmm... Kirby was advertising on some billboards in Stunt Race FX, which also had an Arwing in it from the Star Fox series... smart bombs from Star Fox crop up in Kid Icarus Uprising... and Pit from the Kid Icarus series appears on the ending screen of Tetris alongside other Nintendo characters including... oh! Donkey Kong! See that little loop-de-loop thing I just did? I could do that over and over again with different games and always find my way back. Forever. "My head hurts, make it stop!"

Exactly. Do you see what I'm getting at here? My point is that the loose terms of a "shared universe logic-track" has already racked us up to literally thousands of different games by my count, and that's without even bothering to delve into the mega-crossovers like Super Smash Bros., Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, or Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition. I listed a lot of Nintendo IPs here, but we could get really fucking out there with this; wanna link Megaman? Castlevania? Fucking Starcraft?? "Please god, no." It's a hell of a lot easier than you'd think. With a little deeper digging, we could tie this universe to every major video game franchise ever.

So perhaps you're right. Er, whoever you are. It is a little lame that we don't cover Sabreman. The dude probably lives right up the stream from DK and crew, and we won't dispute that. But being "DKU" is more than just existing in DK's neck of the woods; it has to meet some specific ROOLS we made to weed out the more obtuse connections to the Donkey Kong series. If including Sabreman meant covering Tony Hawk's Pro Skater and God of War: Ascension, then sorry man inside my head, we're going to stick with THE ROOLS.

I have no mental health problems, thanks for asking.

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