The former creative director of Rare, Gregg Mayles, recently released some photographs on Twitter documenting unused material from Donkey Kong Country. The photos revealed unused characters, ideas for locked up animal characters, and an unreleased level plan.
According to the first photograph, which shows a list of potential characters, we could have had an owl called Hooter (this had a note next to it reading “hope we can use this one!”), a mole called Miney, a Kremling Magician called Kloak, a Statue Kremling called Krumble, and a Robot Kremling called Krocbot.
The second photograph contained ideas for having caged animal characters which the player would then release through the use of keys. Each key would have a corresponding cage (some cages might have had more than one key). The keys were intended to “resemble the animals they are releasing, e.g. rhino key has a big horn on it, bird key has a beak (or is this too Zeldaish)?” The Junior character was described as possibly being either freely available or trapped in a barrel that could be picked up, thrown, or smashed open in some fashion by Donkey Kong or Junior.
The final photograph shows a plan for an unused level. The level is entitled “Factory No 1” and appears to contain multiple spring-based sections. These are most likely intended to be jumped on by Donkey Kong in order to progress through the level.