The DKU notably begins with Rare's Donkey Kong Country but, would you believe it, that was not the start of the character Donkey Kong. Plus, certain spinoffs also had a history before becoming intermingled with the DKU, such as Star Fox. In this section we'll deal with what came before, a prologue if you will. We've never denied that these games are accepted as backstory for our beloved characters (and some of the rubbish ones as well), but it's been a lower priority to fit them into our nebulous DKU sphere-of-coverage. We'll break it down by franchise, talk about the main games that tell the pre-DKU story, and briefly outline any cameos those characters had in other games that don't qualify for DKU status.
2A: Donkey Kong Precursors
Although they're not quite as fanatically exalted as the Country series is 'round these parts, DK's original arcade outings are still very popular within Nintendo and in the wider world. The games represent Nintendo's first immature steps into the even-more-immature video gaming world, securing not just the future of that whole company, but FAR MORE IMPORTANTLY, of the DKU! These are the arcade games (Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., and Donkey Kong 3), their spinoffs, and any appearances of Cranky's younger self or DK Jr. (of the vest-wearing pudgy-faced variety) in other games.
2B: Dinosaur Planet (Star Fox) Precursors
Before the famous and important Tricky appeared in Star Fox Adventures, Fox and his wacky anthro friends had other adventures too. It's true! Although we're primarily interested in any games featuring Tricky or Krystal, here we'll talk about those earlier games before they were adopted into the series, and any other cameos that didn't include them.