- "Sure looks like I'm Mr. Popular today, yes siree!"
- —Cranky Kong
Cranky Kong is a widower and Donkey Kong's constantly complaining and rambling grandfather, who has made numerous appearances throughout the Donkey Kong series. He usually acts as a guide in the games to help his grandson Donkey Kong or his friends along their journey as he has had some enlightening experiences. In some appearances, he is indicated to be the original Donkey Kong from the arcade game, Donkey Kong and Mario's main adversary in the game prior to his retirement. Because of his claims to be the original Donkey Kong, he often looks down on his grandson and breaks the fourth wall by saying that Donkey Kong will never be as great a character as he was during his prime. Cranky is also Funky's grandfather.
It should be noted that in Donkey Kong 64, Cranky claims Donkey Kong is his "son" however "son" can be short for "grandson".
The Main Ape
According to the Donkey Kong Country series and one of Snake's Codec Conversations in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Cranky Kong is the original Donkey Kong from the arcade games. During his youthful prime, Cranky Kong kidnapped Pauline, was kidnapped by Mario and even battled Stanley the Bugman in a greenhouse.
Missin' the Old Days
Apparently, after his defeat by Stanley the Bugman, Cranky migrated to Donkey Kong Island. Shortly afterwards, he was a part of The Great Ape War as a lead organizer for the Ape Alliance. Once the war was over he lived his life on DK Isle and grew old and bitter.
Cranky's first appearance as Cranky was in Donkey Kong Country. Here, Cranky lives in a slightly rundown shack known as "Cranky's Cabin". From here, Cranky gives advice on the game's various items and locations to his grandson, Donkey Kong and his little pal, Diddy Kong. He is shown to be sitting in a rocking chair for the whole game.
Though Cranky is not actually in Donkey Kong Country's Game Boy sequel, Donkey Kong Land, he is the one that sets off the events of the game. Cranky, slightly jealous of Donkey and Diddy's success over the evil King K. Rool, tricks them into making a bet with him; if Donkey and Diddy can reclaim Donkey's banana hoard from King K. Rool again, this time on an eight-bit system, he will admit that they are adequate gaming heroes. Cranky calls on K. Rool to steal the banana hoard. In the end, Cranky ends up eating his words when Donkey and Diddy once again defeat K. Rool and the Kremling Krew.
Monkey Museum Curator
In Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest Cranky sets up his "Monkey Museum" on Crocodile Isle. Once again Cranky will give out information; this time, for a price. In this game, Cranky also scatters several DK Coins throughout the game's various levels. Once Kaptain K. Rool is defeated, Cranky will tally Diddy Kong and Dixie Kong's "hero status" by how many DK Coins they have collected. Donkey Kong Country 2 also introduced Cranky's wife and Donkey Kong's grandmother, Wrinkly Kong.
In the Game Boy Advance remake of Donkey Kong Country 2, Cranky's role remains relatively the same as in the original game. Although a new sidequest involving Cranky was added to the game; it seems with the "fabulous fortune" he made in Donkey Kong Country, Cranky bought a racing ostrich he names Expresso. After bulking up Expresso using feathers, the Kongs can race Expresso for Cranky and try to get trophies for the grouchy old Kong in exchange for rewards.
An Enemy Again!
In Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!, Cranky's appearances are (more or less) cameos. In Swanky's Sideshow, Cranky Kong acts as Dixie and Kiddy Kong's opponent in various ball throwing mini-games. Cranky also appears at the end of Donkey Kong Country 3 to criticize Dixie and Kiddy's victory over KAOS and Baron K. Roolenstein. After Cranky's comment, DK and Diddy decide to beat him up with Cranky saying "you wouldn't hit a guy with glasses", which turns black before he is beaten. If players manage to get the game's "best" ending, Cranky will do a few water-skiing tricks before holding up a sign which says "THE END" in runny ink after Funky's jetski crashes into the lake. He is also at the top of the All-Time Greats list at the end of the game, having beat the game in 04:22 with 103%. If the player beats the game with the TUFST code activated, thereby attaining 105%, they will get a trophy of Cranky Kong in a black belt's outfit and will be named the 'Immortal Monkey!'.
In the Game Boy Advance remake of Donkey Kong Country 3, Cranky runs several dojos, aptly named Cranky's Dojo to prepare for his "First" game, Cranky Kong Country. In Cranky's Dojo, players can gain the ability to play as a shield-wielding Cranky during a Bristles dodging mini-game. Cranky's Dojo mini-game must be beaten at least once to gain a Banana Bird.
Returning to the scene
Cranky returns in Donkey Kong Country Returns as the only other Kong representative other than DK and Diddy. He runs his own shop in which he sells Level Keys to new levels, Balloons, a parrot named Squawks, extra hearts to be used in one level until you finish it, and Banana Juice which gives the player 10 extra hearts and makes the player gold (flash gold when its down to about 4 extra lives), until they die wether they finish the level or not.
The Mad Scientist
Cranky's next appearance would be in Donkey Kong 64. Here, Cranky has seemingly taken up science as a hobby; Cranky's Lab can be found in every area of Donkey Kong 64 except Hideout Helm. At Cranky's Lab, the Kongs can pay for several potions that can give them new powers and abilities. Also, if the Kongs manage to collect fifteen Banana Medals, Cranky will allow them to play Jetpac, an early Rare game. The Kongs must beat the Jetpac game in order to obtain the Rareware Coin. Cranky also acts as the Kongs coach during their boxing match against King Krusha K. Rool.
A very little known fact about Cranky's role in DK64 is that it was one of several themes based on the old Donkey Kong Country TV show, in which Cranky was sometimes seen mixing up magic potions to use on either himself or others to advance that episode's plot.
In DK: King of Swing, Cranky Kong, along with the ghost of his wife, Wrinkly, teaches Donkey Kong (and thus the player) how to use the games unique controls. Cranky, along with Candy Kong, is the only Kong who is not playable in DK: King of Swing's Jungle Jam mode.
Cranky was going to be in Diddy Kong Pilot as a playable character, but the game ended up cancelled, making it turn into vaporware. He was going to also have his own mode called "Cranky's Challenge" where the player had to collect all six Banana Coins and win first place themselves in each course.
Even More Training
Cranky once again appears in DK: Jungle Climber. He teaches DK and Diddy how to play the game, and also appears in various levels to teach them moves. Cranky has a very strangely active and good-tempered role in this game, as he follows DK and Diddy and Xananab through the various islands. He also tells the characters what they can do with the various Banana Coins, DK Coins, and Oil Barrels he finds throughout the levels once they are collected.
Cranky appears in Donkey Kong Barrel Blast as a secret character, unlocked by playing Candy's Challenges, Challenge 24, and winning. He has oddly high stats, and is a rival to King K. Rool. Contrary to popular belief, this is his not first North American playable appearance, as he was playable in the Cranky's Dojo minigame in the GBA version of Donkey Kong Country 3. He was also playable in the Japan-only Donkey Konga 3.
Becoming a Shop Owner
Cranky reappears in Donkey Kong Country Returns (DKCR). He has no major role in the plot and is only able to be seen in his shop. He sells Donkey Kong and/or Diddy Kong items in exchange for banana coins to help them on their adventure. He sells life balloons (1, a 3 and a 7 bundle). A key which is required to play a level in each world his shop can be found (thus excluding world 9 which only has 1 level). A parrot to help them find puzzle pieces. An extra heart that gives them an extra hit and Banana Juice which makes DK and Diddy gold giving them 10 hits before they start taking damage.
In Super Smash Bros.
Cranky makes a small cameo in the background of Jungle Japes in Super Smash Bros. Melee, where he can be seen pacing back and forth in his cabin. He technically makes another minor cameo in Super Smash Bros. Brawl where appears in sprite form as his younger self in the stage 75m, which is based on the original Donkey Kong game.
A village chief and bitter old codger. Cranky uses his extensive knowledge and wisdom to provide helpful hints. He has also made appearances in a white lab coat as a potion-dealing chemist, granting the Kongs special abilities. Donkey Kong: Barrel Blast features Cranky as a playable character for the first time.
Appearances in Other Media
Cranky was also a main character on the Donkey Kong Country television series. Here Cranky was as grouchy and bitter as he was in the games, he was also Donkey Kong's grandfather. However, he's far less arrogant than he is in the video games. On the show, instead of living in a cabin on the ground like in the games, Cranky instead lives in a cabin on a tree-top village, similar to ones seen in the area Vine Valley from the Donkey Kong Country game. On the show, Cranky was also seen to be adept at potion-making and magic, a trait later carried on into the games, Cranky also stores the mystical Crystal Coconut, a powerful and ancient orb that can grant wishes to anyone and can also name the person in his or her possesion future ruler of Kongo Bongo. Cranky Kong of the series is a former friend of King K. Rool; the two used to be notorious practical jokers and daredevils who were always challenging each other; their relationship went sour over one last contest involving walking on the wings of a plane flying through a storm, because K. Rool cheated. One episode involves Donkey Kong and Diddy trying to get Cranky and K. Rool to become friends again, but they are so annoying once they have wrecked havoc on Kongo Bongo, so the two Kongs team-up with K. Rool's goons, General Klump and Krusha in order to break them up, be enemies, and bring everything back to normal again, which is successful. In It's a Wonderful Life, Cranky is portrayed as a minion of Diddy who Cranky fears. Cranky is revealed to be master at pranks and even betrayed his partners, Diddy and Candy by using a joybuzzer and collapsing deck chair on them. Cranky taught Bluster and Eddie the Yeti soccer. He is revealed to be such as tricking K. Rool into drinking a bottle full of bees. Like his video counterpart, Cranky dislikes the Kremilings.
He also appeared in the Club Nintendo comic "Donkey Kong Country". He is the first one to discover that King K. Rool has stolen the Kongs' Banana Hoard, which follows the story of the game. Cranky's appearance in the comic differs slightly from his standard look, as he is wearing a blue shirt instead of a gray or brown one.
In the comic "Donkey Kong in: Banana Day 24", published in the same magazine, he supported Donkey, Diddy, Dixie and Kiddy on their mission to save the Earth from being pulled away from the sun by a giant UFO. It was his idea to carry on negotiations with the aliens so they would release the Earth. The President of the United States puts a space shuttle at the Kongs' disposal, and Cranky is the one to navigate it. He beams Donkey, Diddy and Dixie into the UFO and stays in the Kongs' space shuttle meanwhile. When their mission succeeds, he navigates the space shuttle back to Earth, where the Kongs are being hailed by the people. Euphorically, Cranky tries to kiss a random girl, much to her disgust. After returning to their jungle, Cranky gets in trouble with his wife Wrinkly because of this. During the events of this story, Cranky did not show much of his grouchy traits as often discovered in the games, but instead appears as a helpful person.
Cranky got his own action figure in the late 90's due to the popularity of the DKC TV show.
RalstonWhen Cranky was the original Donkey Kong, Ralston made a cereal because of his popularity.
|Baby Donkey Kong | Baby Kong | Bink | Bluster Kong | Cactus King | Candy Kong | Chunky Kong | Cranky Kong | Diddy Kong | Dixie Kong | Donkey Kong | Donkey Kong Jr. | Dread Kong | Eddie | Funky Kong | Giant Donkey Kong | Ghastly King | Karate Kong | Kiddy Kong | Kong Fu | Lanky Kong | Ninja Kong | Robot Candy Clone | Sumo Kong | Swanky Kong | Tiny Kong | Wrinkly Kong|
|Types of Kong|
|Chained Kong | Guerilla | Kong | Manky Kong|
|Donkey Kong Barrel Blast Characters|
|Donkey | Diddy | Dixie | Lanky | Tiny | Funky | Wrinkly | Cranky|
|Kritter | Kip | Kass | Klump | Kalypso | Kludge | Kopter | King K. Rool|
|Donkey Kong • Diddy Kong • Lanky Kong • Tiny Kong • Chunky Kong|
|Cranky Kong • Funky Kong • Candy Kong • Wrinkly Kong|
|DK Jungle Climber Characters|
|Donkey | Diddy | Dixie | Funky|
|Candy | Cranky | Wrinkly | King K. Rool | Xananab|
|DK: King of Swing Characters|
|Donkey | Diddy | Dixie | Funky | Wrinkly | Kritter | King K. Rool | Bubbles|
|Candy | Cranky|