Currently published runs for the DKC games are listed here.
There are many tricks/styles of gameplay that overlap for all of the Donkey Kong Country games.
In the DKC series, rolling is one of two of the moves that a normal kong can do besides jumping to attack an enemy. Rolling also gives a slight speed boost, and has many interesting features that at first glance seem basic, but when studied very carefully has many interesting applications/techniques.
First and foremost: at the end of a roll, jump. When speedrunning, you always gain frames by doing a roll and doing a hard or soft jump (difference between holding B or pressing B for one frame) a few frames before your roll comes to a stop. The 4 kongs have different stop animations: Donkey Kong finishes his somersault and pauses; Diddy finishes his cartwheel when his last hand hits the ground; when Dixie finishes her spin and her hair begins to curl; and Kiddy when his somersault finishes, similar to Donkey Kong.
It is important to jump at least 2-3 frames before the kong's roll stops, that way maximum speed can be maintained.
When you roll through an enemy, you can a speed boost, and also you get the chance to do a double roll. Double rolls will be discussed later, but generally it is a good idea to roll through as many killable monsters as possible for fastest movement.
A roll has the chance to either gain more or less ground, depending on what the kong does before hand. If you are sitting still while holding Y, and you let go of Y and move in one direction, you would move faster than if you weren't holding Y when standing still. The Kong's running/moving speed affects the roll that will result; if you are moving faster, either when running or jumping through the air, you'll go faster and gain more distance. This is best seen when rolling off of ledges: you'll gain noticable distance if you hit the corner of a ledge at full speed, see DKC2 102% Topsail Trouble, Castle Crush and Chain Link Cahmber for good examples TODO: Add pictures/animation.
Whenever you roll you will have a stop animation which you can cancel with a jump, but there are many instances where that stop animation does not occur. These are different for each game, but here is some basic extended rolling rules which apply to all three games:
Rolling through enemy: when you roll through an enemy, you gain a speed boost, and your stop animation for the end of the roll is cancelled, no matter what. what it looks like is rolling through the enemy, and once your speed boosted roll through the enemy is done you'll have a normal roll right afterwards with no pause. This saves time and is also aesthetically pleasing.
By holding Y and standing still, without pressing any direction button you can do endless rolls without gaining much distance by letting go of Y and pressing Y again, all without moving in any direction. As long as you don't move press < or > then you will be able to roll forever, without gaining enough ground for speedrunning- useful for showing off in bosses though.
Rolling techniques specific to each game will be addressed per game. A general tip is whenever your in doubt if the end of a roll is extendable or not, just hold Y and keep going through the roll; if the roll animation directly goes to the Kong running at full speed, you'll know that that roll you can extend.
In all DKC games it is faster to jump up the ropes than it is to climb them. The mechanics of jumping are all changed for each game; ironically, there are 3 directions: up on a single rope, diagonal up on multiple vertical ropes, and up on layered horizontal ropes, and each game is the best at one of them: DKC is the best for climbing a single rope, DKC2 is the best at climbing multiple ropes diagonally (although it is also superior in terms of speed compared to DKC1 to climbing a single rope vertically, although in DKC1 there are not other types of ropes that can be climbed as fast. DKC1 is close enough to DKC2 that it can be considered vertical single ropes as its forte, DKC2 is more notable for it's diagonal due to the way jumping off ropes works) and DKC3 is the best for climbing layered horizontal ropes. The reason these three games excel in different areas is that the physics, and the animation the kongs make when jumping off of ropes is different for each game.
Single vertical rope:
- best: DKC2. the diagonal distance that the kongs get in this game can be turned around to ascend a single rope very effectively; see DKC2 102% Chain Link Chamber and Slime Climb for the best examples.
- runner up: DKC1 (very close) DKC1 has the shortest distance away from the rope gained, so the same rope can be grabbed in fewer frames; runner up because the distance that can be gained from jumping off of ropes is the worst.)
- worst: DKC3 (although it is still faster than normal climbing, however like how DKC3 compares to the first two games it is slower in most regards.)
- best: DKC2
- runner up: DKC3 (it would be based on the jump animation, I can't recall any such scenarios in DKC3)
- worst: DKC1. the horizontal distance gained from jumping off a rope is the least. However, see DKC1 tricks for an example of how this can be avoided (in Forest Frenzy.)
- best: DKC3. as seen in the DKC3 any% run, the jumps are much shorter, and there is no pause between grabbing the rope and jumping again, making horizontal rope climbing redicolously fast. See Rockface Rumble in DKC3 any% for example.
- runner up: DKC2. in DKC2 Diddy jumps higher than normal, and he has to wait until he grabs the rope before he can jump again... since his jump makes him go above the rope, he has to wait to fall down to grab the rope.
- worst: DKC1 has no horizontal ropes that can be scaled in such a manner.
Everything in the games seem to work by the 'two frame rule': press the button 2 frames before the action would normally occur i.e. see what frame a kong grabs a rope, and press B two frames before that to jump off at the optmial time. This seems to work for every action in all three games.
Become familiar with the roll jump technique, as well as all the tiny mechanics that make each game seperate. Just because one game behaves a certain way does not mean the other games do the same.
Donkey Kong Country
Enemey Rolling extending
A simple trick, it works simply by letting go of 'Y' when you roll at an enemy and then you don't get your speed increased or start rolling again like you normally would, but later on while you roll you can press 'Y' again and your speed will be increased and roll again just like you would roll at an enemy like normal apart from no 'pause'.
This is different from the normal roll through enemy extended roll in that you let go of Y before your first roll ends; in DKC2 and 3 you generally hold Y throughout the roll to get the extended bonus roll.
Non-enemy extended rolling
While performing a roll you let go of 'Y' button and then next frame you presses downwards, 'B' and Y and next frame again just downwards and at next frame when you press 'Y' you will start rolling again and also you won't have that stop in the end of the roll! The 'extra roll' is often a little slower and will often give the same result as doing a simple roll jump. The trick is usually most useful when you are at the exit.
When rolling up or down a steep incline greater than a certain angle (which angle?) if by holding Y you simply keep rolling and do not stop until the hill ends. See Blackout Basement for best example.
This is a rather odd glitch that makes you to get into the jump animation (if you jumped at an enemy) and make a roll which you won't fall of either. This creates an interesting animation of Diddy/Donkey where the same rolling animation for when you get blasted out of a barrel, you do the same in mid air, at the same speed as a normal roll. you can move back and forth in one spot, or go fowards until you have to jump out of the way of an enemy; you can set it up again if desired. See Mine Cart Madness in the DKC any% and 101%.
Roll in midair
In the Mine Cart Madness level, if you have Donkey as the main kong and he gets hit while riding in a barrel, Diddy will jump out of the cart while in the invincible animation. If you roll after he's jumped out of the cart, he can roll as if catching an invisible ledge in the air; he'll spin downwards since the game now considers him to be in midair, but you can jump up and roll again, as if cathing another invisible platform. It is from here that you can play out the entire level or do jumprolls to go quickly through the level.
This is a neat and useful trick/glitch that works simply that when you're holding a barrel and jumping at a slope on grounds like the one in Snow barrel blast and Slip slide ride your speed increases. It also works if you're holding a barrel and with right timing jumps on the very edge at grounds like the ones in Jungle Hijinxs, Reptile Rumble and Temple Tempest. You can see a lot of this trick at the beginning of Bouncy Bananza. I also discovered that you bounce a little higher on enemys while holding a barrel, and you maintain this increased speed before and after jumping on numerous enemies for a substantial speed bonus.
When you're climbin a rope you can't climb above the visable screen normally but if you simply presses downwards and continue to jump up the rope with optmial vertical rope ascension you can jump above the visable screen and go far beyond the top of the screen, and skip a rope as seen in Forest Frenzy.
TODO: Add more tricks if/when discovered, if anyone spots any discrepencies or incorrectness feel free to comment, possibly add some screenshots or animated .gifs if possible; a picture tells a thousand words.
Currently there's a few more tricks and glitches; Tompa is working to find if any of them have speedrunning potential. --Comicalflop
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest
DKC2 has most of the same extended rolling tricks as DKC; but Dixie gets a unique rolling technique that makes endless rolls possible with her. By waiting 21-22 frames, without holding Y, Dixie will start her roll but, on the first possible frame you start another roll, and Dixie will continue to roll. But, this is repeatable, with no stops, for as long as you are moving in a direction with space, as long as you keep the sequence going by starting a roll at the first possible moment (usually when Dixie stops her roll, and her hair begins to curl.) This is used in Squawk's Shaft, and especially in bosses.
At the beginning of every level or after exiting a bonus, if by Holding Y and right/left before the level starts you can start with a roll, and this roll does not have a stop animation. This can similarly be done with any action that does not require you to hold Y for 21-22 frames; if a barrel blasts you up, not holding Y won't affect anything, so if you can not hold Y for 21-22 frames you can do two rolls.
DKC2 introduced Team-throwing, where one Kong piggybacks the other and can toss that Kong up, forward, or up/backwards, making inaccessible areas possible to reach. The team-throw is very limiting- or is it? When the other Kong is coming back to land on the main Kong, 1-2 frames before he/she lands if you press "jump" you can jump again in mid-air, and perform another team-throw. This is extremely useful for reaching high areas much faster, and makes Castle Crush possible. Also, once a thrown Kong hits a monster both kongs become invincible.
This is a very interesting/difficult trick, where under certain circumstances, your movement before switching Kongs will cause the other Kong to walk backwards. The best feature of this is to enter walls- in some cases, you either shoot straight up really fast of can go through walls with a well placed team-throw. The trick is easy to perform once you know what to do, but moderately hard to execute beneficially- in my test runs of Chain Link Chamber I was able to enter almost every wall, and in only two cases was it useful, both of which are featured in the level (I was either ejected out of the wall or got stuck at all the other places.) The way I perform the second backwards-switch in Chain Link Chamber- mount/dismount the Kong quickly- is the easiest way to get a consistent backwards switch, assuming you are close enough to the wall.
Fun with the Animals
All of the animals behave the way they are supposed to- except in some cases. Rambi has an additional jump featured in his charge. Anytime when you jump in the air while charging, by pressing the opposite direction and jump at the same time on one frame, and the next holding jump and going the other direction, Rambi makes an additional jump, and loses his charge. Squawk's hit detection does not work intuitively- you can be inside dangerous objects/walls without being harmed. Squitter is very complex, and sometimes you can create two web platforms with no wait- very hard to do, and I don't know what lets you do it.
Goal Target Switch
The most featured glitch, the targets at the end of each level are sensitive to a Kong’s height when landing, and this can activate the song sequence which is 4-7 seconds long if you jump on it from too high. But, under the right instance if you perform a switch, and the other Kong would normally appear is on the target, the game freezes for a few brief frames, the Kongs switch and head to the next level, which saves 30ish frames if you would normally have to do another jump from being too high, because a goal-switch does not activate the song at all. This is also an excellent way of switching between two Kongs, because a normal switch takes 66 frames in a level, so strategically if one Kong is better for the next level, a goal switch is very good.
A minor glitch where, instead of jumping into the water, if you slide off the edge and duck, you will fall into the water at normal speed, and by holding 'A' you will rise in the water very fast.
When Squitter or Rattler gets hit, when you are the animal and not riding it, you have an invincibility period where you can take an additional jump.
4 out of the 7 bosses in DKC2 have luck manipulation: Krow, Kleaver, Kreepy Krow, and K. Rool. Alternate which frame you enter the boss to change the variables: egg drops, cannonball placement, and barrel placement. There is also one bonus, in Ganplank Galley that you can manipulate to make the closest chest provide the coin; I do not think that any other bonuses feature luck manipulation, at leats not that I'm aware of.
DKC2 seems to have game physics that open up to very interesting glitches; it'll be nice to see what else can be squeezed out of this game.
Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble
TODO: Add tricks, this is the one I'm least familiar with. Any DKC3 guru- Sami, Nibelung, or someone else- feel free to help me out here.--Comicalflop
- Alex Penev, for making the first good TAS of DKC1 any% and 101%
- Sami, for making the first DKC 2 and 3 TASes, as well as improving the DKC1 101%
- Arne_the_great, for his fantasic current DKC1 any% and 101% TASes, and for discovering practically most of the tricks featured on this page.
- Nibelung, for his current work on DKC3 105%.
- Fix any mistakes that people point out, add new glitches that are discovered, add the DKC3 section, and most important add pictures or animations to help show the glitches and techniques.
- TODO: Add subheadings in the style of most other game-resource pages
- Currently updating this page, getting in table of contents and subheadings as requested. Might want to redo a lot of the text; much of it is Arne's words, which isn't the clearest grammar. Anything else that needs adding?