Games change a lot from their first idea to final release. A ton of different options are discussed, elements are tweaked or cut altogether, and some content never makes it past the initial pitch. Turns out Donkey Kong Country is a great example of that.
Believe it or not, the original pitch for Donkey Kong Country included Mario and a time machine. Wario ends up stealing that time machine, uses it to get some sort of crazy gun that turns Mario to stone, and Donkey Kong sets out to save the day when he hears about the trouble. It sounds like some sort of off-the-wall fan fiction, but it's all how Donkey Kong Country got started!
You can learn a lot more about that initial pitch, complete with more artwork, in the video above. Thanks to ibbsters for the heads up!