Donkey Kong
Series Dk icon
Final Smash Rambi Ride
Appearances Super Smash Bros., Melee, Brawl, Crusade
Tier D (41)


Donkey Kong (sometimes referred to as just DK) is a powerful ape and the star of the Donkey Kong series as well as a prominent character in the Mario universe. He is a member of the Kong species, a race of apes capable of speech and construction. In more recent video game appearances, Donkey Kong is seldom shown without his best friend and nephew Diddy Kong. Created by famed Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto, Donkey Kong was originally designed as an antagonist, though has evolved into more of a heroic character starting with the Donkey Kong Country games for Super Famicom/SNES. Donkey Kong is easily identifiable by his affinity for bananas and his red tie.

Debuting in the eponymous Donkey Kong across arcades in 1981 (often considered a landmark in early game development, and Nintendo's first hit overseas), Donkey Kong remains as one of the most recognizable icons in the video game industry, and part of Nintendo's 4th most successful IP (behind Mario, Pokémon, and The Legend of Zelda).

Changes from Brawl to Crusade

Donkey Kong retains most of his normal and special moves from Super Smash Bros. Brawl, albeit with a different Final Smash, now called Rambi Ride.


DK is the second-heaviest character in the game so far (second only to Porky), but he is not the epitome of a heavyweight fighter. Despite his large size and mass, DK posesses decent mobility, having about the same running speed as Kirby and roughly the same jumping height and air speeds as Mario . His recovery move, Spinning Kong, also has excellent horizontal speed (and better vertical speed than in any previous Smash appearance). Because of DK's speed and recovery ability, combined with his bulk, he is a relatively versatile and tough-to-KO character in terms of sheer knockback. Also, DK has access to great spacing attacks on the ground and in the air. His tilts are all quick and have strong priority, allowing DK to attack from mid-range with ease and safety. His Down Tilt is quite notable for being very fast (having 6 frames of startup) and being able to combo into his Forward Tilt easily at low damage.

DK is also one of the hardest-hitting characters per hit in SSBC. His aerials and Smash Attacks provide him with potent KO moves for every angle. For horizontal KOs, DK can utilize his quick Back Aerial and powerful Side Smash to great effect, and for vertical KOs, Down Smash, Up Smash, and Up Aerial are all strong finishers. He can easily KO average- to lightweight fighters below 100% when using his tools properly. Also, DK has very useful throws for KOs and setups. His Forward Throw is a cargo throw that lets DK carry his opponent a fair distance before chucking them, and his Back Throw has high KO potential. Additionally, DK's famous Giant Punch is one of the best finishers in the game when fully charged, as it has a surprisingly quick startup and Super Armor to allow him to blow through one-hit attacks. Not to mention, the move deals up to 33% damage and devastating knockback.

DK is a powerhouse, but he has weaknesses. First of all, DK's mobility options are limited. He has a fair jump, and his Spinning Kong is fast and covers a large area, but it leaves him helpless. He does posess a fast-moving Dash Attack, but this attack is relatively unsafe to use unless it's a sure hit. A second weakness of DK's is his lack of projectiles. This may seems trivial, as DK's mid-range game is excellent, but characters with a flexible array of projectiles, like Krystal, can effectively play a keep-away game against DK to prevent him from entering his comfort zone. He can cancel out some projectiles reliably using his Down B, Hand Slap, however. Finally, DK is a large target, making him susceptible to combos and edgeguards. He is large and has no quick route to the ground, making juggling DK easy.

Overall, DK is a character with all the close-to-mid-range tools he needs, but a poor long-range game. By captalizing on DK's powerful spacing tools, heavy weight, and high damage, players can easily plow through the competition, taking hits when needed, to get in and deal serious damage.

Donkey Kong's Normal Moves


  • DK first punches(5%), then uppercuts(6%)

Side Tilt

  • DK swings his hand quickly in front of himself.

Up Tilt

  • DK brings swings his hand in a arc over himself.

Down Tilt

  • DK crouches down and swings his hand quickly in front of himself.

Dash Attack

  • DK does a small roll across.

Side Smash

  • DK does a strong punch. Even if the punch does not connect and if the opponent is close enough, it still cause small knock back, like the T.Link ground Up Special.

Up Smash

  • Dk does a strong clap above himself.

Down Smash

  • DK smashes his fist on both sides of himself.

Neutral Air

  • DK spins in the air like his Up Special. This move does not change falling rate.

Forward Air

  • DK uses both fists and attacks in front of himself.

Up Air

  • DK curls into a ball and uses his face to attack above himself.

Back Air

  • DK does a fast jab-like kick behind himself.

Down Air

  • DK uses both legs to kick below himself.

Forward Throw

  • DK will holds the enemy a bit longer. DK will throw the enemy if the attack is pressed.

Up Throw

  • DK uppercuts the grabbed enemy.

Back Throw

  • DK throws the grabbed enemy behind himself.

Down Throw

  • DK throws the grabbed enemy downwards.

Ledge Attack

  • DK first gets up from the ledge then does a attack that is similar to the side tilt.

Donkey Kong's Special Moves

Type Name Description
Neutral Special Giant Punch DK begins winding up to deliver a powerful punch. Pressing B again after the start will cause DK to throw the punch, and pressing Left or Right will initiate a roll-dodge. The charge can be stored for later. Deals 11% to 33% and high knockback when charged. DK gains some Super Armor when the move is charged.
Side Special Headbutt A heavy-hitting attack that pounds foes into the ground. After hitting an adversary, DK can follow up with a move of choice. Deals 11% damage.
Up Special Spinning Kong A whirling attack where DK extends his arms, hitting foes repeatedly. DK may move left and right during this move, and the attack causes DK to float upwards. The initial hit deals 14% on the ground, but in the air it hits several times for up to 19% damage. Has some Super Armor on the ground and some invulnerability in the air.
Down Special Hand Slap A technique during which DK pounds the ground twice in succession, hitting nearby grounded foes. This attack may be repeated by pressing B rapidly. Deals 13% damage per hit. This move does not hit airborne opponents.
Final Smash Rambi Ride DK summons a Rambi Crate, and Rambi the rhino bursts from it, giving DK a ride. Rambi will then stampede continuously, and cannot be stopped! However, the player may change his direction by pressing Left or Right and jump using the Jump button. Pressing A during this attack will briefly boost Rambi's top speed but lower the player's ability to control Rambi.


Notable Appearances