Cult Followings
Stupid Characters, Insane Underground Popularity

In almost every facet of entertainment, there are certain things that develop a "cult following," or something that's popular among a certain group of people, usually those who buck against what's the norm. The Donkey Kong Universe is no exception, and that's why we thought we'd take a look at some of the characters that will probably never reach the status of someone like DK or Banjo, but still have a place in the hearts of many. Keep in mind that these are in no particular order, and that the characters featured here were derived from what we've observed during our one plus year online so far.

1: Squitter

The spider that was first introduced in Donkey Kong Country 2 has been in limbo ever since DKL III, but according to many is still the best animal buddy. What attributes to Squitter's popularity? Maybe it's the fact that the entire concept of riding a giant spider from the jungle that can bring down crocodile men with his webs is so absurd that it's simply genius. And yet, Squitter hasn't been used since 1997. Love the spider.

2: Klungo

While we're not sure if the obsession with Klungo is as wide spread as the others on the list, we here at the Vine love the stout little bastard. Klungo is another bizarre oddity, half warlock and half mad scientist; with a touch of stupidity thrown in for good measure. His faithful devotion to Gruntilda is another interesting part of his character, and one has to wonder why it took him more than two years to figure out how to move a giant boulder (actually, Klungo doesn't even move the rock himself). Unlike many other characters on this list though, Klungo's role will actually expand when Banjo-Tooie comes out later this year.

3: Tiptup

You knew he'd be on here. Tiptup is the most infamous of all the cult characters on the internet. The obsession can probably be traced back to Scribes at Rarewhere, where many the folk started to write in to complain that Tiptup didn't have his own game. Soon more people caught the Tiptup fever, and then the full blown explosion started. Tiptup was suddenly a hot commodity. Of course, this may have done more to hurt his career than help it, as he hasn't been seen in a video game since. Leigh Loveday doesn't seem to be particular fond of him either, but how could you not? He has the voice of Paul Reubans on crack, and he has the finesse of Balki from Perfect Strangers. Bronson Pinchot and Pee-Wee Herman, rolled into a turtle! While it's safe to say we'll never see Heaven and Shell: Tiptup 64, one can always dream that he'll continue to cameo in more games.

4: Winky

Winky was perhaps the very first cult character in the DKU, or as we simply called it back then when things were simple, the DKC series. Winky was impressive because he could take out Zingers like Rambi yet jump high like no other character on the game. Winky is also a rare case of a character not starting out as "cult," but as an actual mainstream popular character. When DKC was hot, you could ask any gamer who their favorite animal buddy from DKC was, and the majority would probably say Winky. Yes; we all expected Winky lunchboxes, a Winky television show, and even Winky chastity belts. While he wasn't included in Donkey Kong Land, we didn't think that he wouldn't have a prominent role in DKC2. Of course, we all know now that he was put in perhaps the most pathetic role in the game (that of a motionless object in the Monkey Museum). When it comes down to it, we haven't seen Winky in a game since 1995. Did Rare think the character wasn't popular? It's a known fact that they did research while making Killer Instinct 2 to find out who was the most and least popular characters. If they did this for Donkey Kong Country 2, they must have asked two people, and one of those had to have been a Squawks fan. At least Winky is finally returning this November in DKC for GBC, but that's only because he pretty much has to since it's basically a conversion of the original DKC to Game Boy Color. Rare, we want Winky in Donkey Kong GAMECUBE. That's a fact. Or our opinion. That's a fact that it's our opinion. Yes, there we go.

5: Dixie Kong

Yes, and finally we have Dixie Kong. Dixie is perhaps the most recent cult character, as her omission from DK64 has sparked a widespread "we want Dixie" cry from Iceland all the way to Antarctica. We didn't hate Tiny Kong, but after listening to the many DK fans out there, Tiny is in fact hated for one reason and one reason only: She was put in the game instead of Dixie. Dixie was a very popular character when DKC2 came out, as it was the first real female hero that Nintendo had since Samus Aran (and to be honest, many casual fans don't know that Samus is a woman). While we've heard Rare's reason for not included her or Kiddy in Donkey Kong 64 (they wanted to include characters from the original DKC only, but then made a few exceptions to the rule with Wrinkly and some drones), it's certainly not enough to satisfy the fans. It's safe to say that as the outrage grows everyday (seriously, check out any Donkey Kong message board to see the anti-Tiny tirades that fill them...even ours has plenty), Rareware will pretty much have no choice but to include Dixie in Donkey Kong GAMECUBE. At least, we'd hope so anyway.

So there you go. Those were our five main picks for which characters have the greatest cult following. However, we want to hear from you and find out your opinion. Send a letter to either Slush or Chad and give us your opinion on who's a cult character. We'll post them in this very Feature in a future update. Until then, don't forget to wash where the sun don't shine.