Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze lead designer may have returned to Retro

What will he be working on

Stephen Dupree, the lead designer of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, left Retro two years ago. He spent those two years at Playful Corp working on New Super Lucky's Tale, but now it seems like his time at that studio has wrapped as well.

Reports have come in stating that Dupree has returned to work at Retro, where he should feel right at home. Besides Tropical Freeze, Dupree worked on Donkey Kong Country Returns and Mario Kart 7. This time around, Dupree will be serving as a principle game designer, although we don't know what project he's working on.

Super Nintendo World's layout for Universal Studios Orlando, Florida revealed

This area is massive!

Thanks to a round of a new round of permits for Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, we have a new look at the layout for the Super Nintendo World part of the park. As you can see, there's Super Mario Land & Yoshi, Mario Kart, and Donkey Kong areas. The Donkey Kong area is the one spot we know the most about, as matching it up with previous artwork and diorama pics shows us that it'll include an inside coaster area, outside coaster area, queue, meet and greet area, gift shop area and interactive elements. All in all, these sections of the park look like they're going to be pretty massive!

Donkey Kong 64 originally had a realistic shotgun that horrified Shigeru Miyamoto

Donkey Kong's boom stick

Throughout the course of a game's development, numerous elements get added, tweaked, yanked, and changed altogether. That's what happened during the creation of Donkey Kong 64, but there was one early element in particular that apparently horrified Shigeru Miyamoto.

In an interview with GamesRadar, Donkey Kong 64's creative director George Andreas said that Miyamoto went to RARE's offices to see an early build of Donkey Kong 64. As he was running through the build, Miyamoto spotted an in-game weapon that just didn't fit with the universe.

"Miyamoto-san, Iwata-san, and Howard Lincoln – chairman of Nintendo America at the time – came to our new studio. We switched on the game, they saw the rap, and then I started running around as DK. I swung on some vines, collected bananas, and they were beginning to really smile. And then I pressed the button to pull out the gun. It wasn't a textured gun that you might expect but a realistic shotgun with bullets flying out and with horrifying sound effects. You get so used to things being in development, even if it is a placeholder, and I completely forgot that it was in there. I'm shooting beavers, turned to my side, and see this look of horror on Miyamoto's face! Then he smiled and, taking some paper and a pencil, drew a coconut gun in front of us. It had leaves on it and he handed it to me. I looked at it and said 'Oh yeah, that's cool, we'll put that in' and the coconut gun was put in after that."

I think Miyamoto was in the right here. A coconut gun, while absolutely silly, makes a lot more sense than Donkey Kong toting a realistic shotgun. I'm not quite sure how the team thought that was a good idea!

Former RARE devs answer more Donkey Kong Country questions (rendering time, struggles, and more)

Burning questions answered

We're back with even more questions and answers for the original Donkey Kong Country development as part of our 25th anniversary celebration! And this time, they're from our Patreon backers and we cover a range of topics including stories of DKC being "Too 3D!," render times sabotage, and tons more!

Donkey Kong 64 was originally going to be "more 2.5D" until it was rebooted

Well that would have been interesting...

Donkey Kong 64 took the Donkey Kong Country series and expanded it in all dimensions, including from 2D to 3D. The 3D platformer is notorious for being absolutely huge in many ways, including a plethora of collectibles and places to explore. Turns out that wasn't always going to be the case, though. In an interview with Nintendo Life, former RARE dev Mark Stevenson talks about how Donkey Kong 64 was originally going to be a 2.5D affair.

"It was a monumental task, a massive game, a massive amount of work. Also it was in development for around 3 years, the team that created DKC3 moved onto it after shipping that game, but about 18 months into development it was rebooted, the team was changed up with the leads on design and software getting replaced and the game changed from being a more 2.5D platform to what it turned out to be more in line with the Mario and Banjo structure of open 3D level that got a lot of reuse. The original plans of trying to recreate the DKC format of tonnes of A-B levels just wasn’t going to be feasible from a production point of view."

Former RARE dev celebrates the 25th anniversary of Donkey Kong Country with new art

Happy 25 years, Donkey Kong!

Somehow, 25 years have passed since the release of Donkey Kong Country. I still remember seeing first footage of the game on a QVC segment, and having it absolutely blow my mind. To think that so much time has passed is crazy!

Multiple former RARE devs are celebrate the game's anniversary on Twitter with trips down memory lane, but Steve Mayles in particular took the time to work up a gorgeous piece of art. The gang never looked better!

David Wise discusses the legacy of Donkey Kong Country's soundtrack, how he composed his tracks, and more

A timeless and hugely influential soundtrack

Donkey Kong Country is nearly 25 years old! So David Wise, the game's main composer, joined us to discuss the soundtracks legacy, and a ton of behind-the-scenes details including the story behind his favorite tracks such as Aquatic Ambiance and Stickerbush Symphony, how he made the music sound so good on SNES, what his favorite track is, and whether he might work on a future DKC! All this and tons more in our 25th anniversary interview with David Wise!

How DKC's Funky Cheat Codes Secretly Turned the SNES Controller Into a Keyboard

Did you know Donkey Kong Country spells out cheat codes using Super Nintendo inputs? Join us as we take a look back on the game's 25th anniversary to see exactly what these secret cheats do!

Talking with RARE's Creative Director for Donkey Kong Country's 25th Anniversary (Cut Content, Wario Plot, & More)

Donkey Kong Country is nearly 25 years old! So the lead designer, Gregg Mayles from Rare, joined us to discuss the game's legacy, and a ton of behind-the-scenes details including talk of a cut co-op mode, how the development process worked, and why DKC's story originally involved...Wario?! All this and tons more in our 25th anniversary discussion!

Donkey Kong Country OST and the companion CD "DK Jamz" get reimagined for "Banana Jamz 199X" vinyl release

Jamming to the classics

New music from Donkey Kong Country. 20+ tracks from the original 1994 Super Nintendo release. Over 40 minutes of music based on the incredibly memorable Donkey Kong Country soundtrack for the Super NES.

33 1/3 RPM
Reimagined music from the Original Donkey Kong Country Soundtrack
Pre-orders Available Now!
Projected Ship Date: February 2020
Includes Digital Download of “Jungle Groove” (upon purchase or pre-order)
First Pressing: 500 copies
Jungle Green Vinyl
199X OBI strip + sticker
Pressing by Smashed Plastic, Chicago, IL
Music arranged, produced, and performed by Josh Willis

Check out samples from the album and buy your copy here


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