Donkey Konga: This was the GameCube game the Nintendo America boss ‘hated’

Reggie Fils-Aimé, former president of Nintendo America, spoke about some aspects of his previous work. Without the ties of the position, the manager did not hesitate to admit that he did not like the idea of ​​Donkey Konga at all. The GameCube music game was released in 2004, but it wouldn’t have been if Nintendo Japan had listened to the complaints of its North American president.

“I have to say that as a leader I hated Donkey Konga,” he said in an interview with G4TV. “I stood up to our parent company because I thought it was going to hurt the Donkey Kong brand. Personally, I didn’t find it much fun to play. I pushed hard. In the end, the Japanese ignored it and the title was marketed on the Kyoto machine, which has just turned 20 in Europe. “You know something? continues Fils-Aimé. “We released it and the first game sold reasonably well. But come on, I was not a fan. »

Box of the Spanish version of Donkey Konga.

How was Donkey Konga?

The taiko drum is one of the classical Japanese instruments, so it is closely related to the celebration of traditions and omasuri (holidays). In popular culture, and specifically in the video game industry, taiko drums have been used in musical titles. In fact, taiko games have been one of the attractions of Japanese arcades.

Donkey Konga drinks from all this tradition. The video game was developed by the Bandai Namco team in charge of the Taiko no Tatsujin saga, a series of games that had releases on home and recreational systems. The pack came with the game and a very special controller: the DK Bongos, two twin plastic taiko drums. They connect to the GameCube in the same way as any other control device, but are handled very differently. It’s also possible to enjoy it with the GameCube controller, although it loses much of its original appeal.

donkey kong


The developers themed the scenarios with classic Donkey Kong elements, but the gameplay followed a similar path to other products of this style. The European release introduced 31 tracks, many licensed. Others have been taken directly from Nintendo’s own sagas:

  1. Lady Marmalade – Labelle
  2. Canned Heat – Jamiroquai
  3. Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen
  4. Very good – Supergrass
  5. Locomotion – Atomic Kitten
  6. Dancing in the Street – Moms and Dads
  7. For the Rumberos – Carlos Santana
  8. Sing, sing, sing (with a swing)
  9. You can’t rush love – Les Suprêmes
  10. All the Little Things – Blink-182
  11. Hey how are you – Carlos Santana
  12. Louie Louie – The Kinks
  13. 99 Red Balloons – Baby
  14. The Feeling I Got – Powerful and Powerful Bosstones
  15. Busy Child – The Crystal Method
  16. Tubthumping – Chumbawamba
  17. I want you back – Jackson 5
  18. Cosmic Girl – Jamiroquai
  19. Richard III – Supergrass
  20. Wild Thing – Bryan Adams
  21. September – Earth, Wind and Fire
  22. Back for good – Take this
  23. Hungarian Dance #5 in G Minor – Johannes Brahms
  24. Turkish March – WA Mozart
  25. Super Mario Bros theme.
  26. Donkey Kong country theme
  27. The Legend of Zelda Theme
  28. Rainbow Cruise (Super Mario 64)
  29. Opening of Super Smash Bros. Melee
  30. Donkey Konga Theme
  31. rap

The Japanese (32 songs) and North American (37 songs) repertoire varies greatly from the European one. In all cases, the mechanics are the same: as the song progresses, the actions to be performed appear on the screen. Right bongo, left bongo and clap. With these three basic movements, we have the possibility of progressing. And what is the goal? Get the highest score.

Donkey Konga did not stay in a single episode. Namco developed a second video game, which also landed in Europe and the United States. On the other hand, Donkey Konga 3 did not leave Japanese borders. DK Bongos were also used in Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat, a platform game that adapts to these unique controls.

Reggie Fils-Aimé was also not very happy with the launch of the Game Boy Micro. At Netcost, we publish an opinion column in defense of the laptop.

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