SNES vs. NES. I now know what the difference is. And I now know they are not two different kinds of Ness monsters. Like Loch Ness and her little sister Loch Sness. (Although that storyline seems fantastic and I'm calling it for a future blockbuster movie script. Anyone who uses that idea owes me money. Thanks.)
"What do you do in Donkey Kong Country? Do you fight?"
"Oh, you do whatever you want to do," my friend's cousin tells me.
"Do you fling poo at each other like real monkeys?"
I doubt much of what he's saying, but I'll pretend to trust him.
"I never got why he was called Donkey Kong," he ponders.
"It's pretty obvious," my friend says. "Who's the most famous monkey?"
"Donkey!" he says, [thankfully] playing dumb.
"King Kong!" she corrects. "And if you wanted a stupid monkey?"
"Jackass! Ass! Ass Kong!"
For the record, I think more people would play Ass Kong, although I doubt that they would think it is what it is.
There's a grandpa monkey playing a gramophone. And suddenly Donkey Kong jumps onto grandpa monkey (who is apparently named Cranky Kong) with a boombox and starts to dance like a boss.
Well, not like a video game boss.
Like a dancing boss.
Not like a dancing video game boss. Unless there are dancing video game bosses.
Donkey Kong falls out of his house and I have no idea how to get back in. I just keep going into his Banana Hoard where he sadly shakes his head. It takes forever. And after my friend goes back into his house for me, I run out and get killed by a Kremlin (to be honest, it looked like a toothy frog-beaver in the flash of me running straight into it).
This is a team game with me and another slightly more skilled player, who has more natural talent, if we're being honest. I can't jump onto things. I can't run away from things. I can barely pick up barrels. She's just going through like a pro. Getting three swordfish in a row, walking casually as if she owns the place. I am feeling incredibly novice. She may be playing Diddy Kong, but she's far superior. She's like the sidekick who's actually the hero while the hero is a lumbering moron.
And I'm in for a couple seconds before eventually rolling into an armadillo. First of all, I thought I was pressing B, when in reality I was pressing Y. Second of all, I can never see "armadillo" without thinking "Holiday Armadillo!"
And I'm in. And I die. I got to kill an alligator walking on its hind legs with a barrel of TNT.
"It's like watching baboons fling poo," my friend's cousin tells me.
"What? Me playing?"
And there you have it: my DK skills in a nutshell.
There's a lot of swearing going on, so I'm not going to write that down in the dialogue bits. All I know is that I don't stay alive for longer than six seconds. Also, in the hopes of supporting Diddy Kong, every time she grabs a barrel with me in it, I yell "BOUNCE BACK!" And the experts watching us aren't exactly giving us helpful information. There's a barrel below one of the trees that if you fall down, you can get it. But they keep telling us the wrong tree to fall off of.
Suddenly she high fives me into the game and I'm murdered by a hind-leg-walking alligator. The high five of death.
Thankfully she just got three rhinos, which meant she went to a icy wonderland filled with golden rhinos and she got as many as she could – two lives' worth!
Finally! She fell off the right tree! And suddenly we're in rope-banana paradise.
"I hear Amy," my friend says. "Because for some reason whenever you die, you get reincarnated in a barrel. It's a barrel of monkeys!"
I'm just always the one in the barrel. I'm glad we did two player team because Diddy is carrying me through.
"This is where it gets fun," my friend ominously says. "Monkeys swimming."
From what I remember in Planet Earth, monkeys don't really love swimming, or water for that matter.
And that is not an octopus. It's a spinning wheel of death. And now Diddy is riding on a swordfish? What is happening?!
I'm getting slightly frustrated with this game. I cannot jump. Which is bad news for a monkey. And I keep running into the arms of things that kill me. And basically I just want to swear and rip the controller from the antique console. But it's not my controller. And it's not my console. And really, what is the deal with DK? There are a bunch of complicated barrel set-ups punctuated by tires that you jump on when you need to get places. The creatures are called Kremlins (which seems a little, shall we say, of the times). And I really don't think I have the patience to go through these levels over and over and over again – which is what I'm doing since I keep dying.
DK, I've got another letter for you.