How to Play Donkey Kong on Nintendo 64

by Carlos Soto ; Updated September 22, 2017

Decades after his first appearance in arcades, Donkey Kong remains one of Nintendo’s most popular characters. The lovable ape started out as Mario’s arch nemesis before eventually becoming a heroic character in later games. “Donkey Kong 64” for the Nintendo 64 lets players take control of Kong and his relatives in a 3-D action-adventure. Players must rescue the kidnapped Kongs and save Donkey Kong Island from the nefarious king K. Rool and his evil minions.

Getting Started

Move your character with the control stick. Press it lightly to walk and fully to run.

Press the “A” button to jump. The longer you hold the button, the higher your jump.

Press the “B” button to attack.

Press the “Z” button to crouch. Use the control stick to turn while crouching.

Press the left and right “C” buttons to rotate the game camera. Press the down “C” button to change the camera zoom.

Press the up “C” button to enter first-person view mode. Use the control stick to look around in first-person mode. Press the up “C” button again to return to normal view mode.

Press the “R” button to center the camera behind your character.

Press the “Start” button to open the pause menu.

Playing the Game

Travel through the game world and complete levels to collect golden bananas. The more golden bananas you have, the farther you can progress in the game. Enter DK portals to transport to new levels.

Explore each section of the game thoroughly. Golden bananas may be hidden in caves, on top of ledges or behind secret walls. Activate any switches you find to open new areas. Inspect any conspicuous environmental features, since these often lead to new areas.

Use your attacks to break open barriers and defeat enemies. Approach enemies with caution, and make sure you do not sustain damage from them. Every time you are damaged, a slice of your health watermelon will disappear. If the entire watermelon disappears, you will have to restart the level.

Collect any items you find in a level. Collect melon pieces to restore your health and small bananas to earn banana medals. Collect explosive oranges to lob at enemies. Collect coins to purchase new weapons and abilities.

Speak to characters to learn important information and open new areas. If a character offers a weapon or ability for sale, purchase it as soon as you can. Many areas of the game can only be reached with upgraded abilities.

About the Author

Based in New Mexico, Carlos Soto has written video gaming and technology articles since 2005. His writing has appeared on popular websites such as GameFAQs and Destructoid. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dramatic writing from New York University.