Super Smash Bros. is any Nintendo fan’s dream game. From characters to stages, to music, to everything else, Smash is the ultimate celebration of Nintendo’s past and present. But what about Smash‘s future? That’s what Challenger Approaching is all about.
Every week, Chris London and I will present our thoughts on new characters, stages, items, and anything else for the next installment in the Super Smash Bros. series. Here at Gamnesia, we’ve completely overhauled the Challenger Approaching format with what is now an in-depth profile for every character. For the very first entry in this revamped series, we’ve assembled a profile for King K. Rool, the psychotic crocodilian king from the acclaimed Donkey Kong series. But don’t think our analysis stops at just the character—there’s plenty more to be seen. Keep reading to see why King K. Rool has earned a spot among Nintendo’s finest in the next game’s roster and what his inclusion would do for Super Smash Bros.
King K. Rool is the most vile ‘dile many of us have seen, best known as the primary antagonist of the Donkey Kong franchise and lifelong rival to its eponymous gorilla. King K. Rool’s role as the lead antagonist in the Donkey Kong games is quite constant, but he has been known to shift his villainous personas upon nearly every appearance. Beginning as a king and moving on to become a pirate, a mad scientist, a championship boxer, and back to a king, K. Rool is well versed in many methods to madness. What many people often seem to neglect is that King K. Rool is perhaps one of the cruelest and most ambitious of Nintendo’s villains, barring Ganondorf, the King of Evil himself.
In the original Donkey Kong Country, King K. Rool pettily stole the Kongs’ banana hoard—why a troop of crocodiles might need them is beyond us. After the Kongs win their precious fruit back, he then goes on to build an amusement park and take over the world. Talk about bizarre motives. With ambiguous inspiration to his ever-present plan to simply annoy the Kong family, King K. Rool boasts more bizarre personality than most other Nintendo characters can claim. With a horribly bloodshot ticking eye and a large belly made of gold, K. Rool is one of Nintendo’s most easily recognizable characters to those familiar.
Being the oldest of Nintendo’s flagship IPs, Donkey Kong is one of the most likely franchises to get a new representative in the next Smash. Most franchises in Super Smash Bros. with fewer than three representatives either have very few games or few recurring primary characters, but Donkey Kong brings with it several familiar faces upon each release. With over thirty years under its belt, the Donkey Kong franchise seems almost guaranteed to get at least one more new fighter when Super Smash Bros. 4 rolls around.
Alongside Metroid, Donkey Kong is also one of two major Nintendo franchises in Super Smash Bros. Brawl to have no playable representation from an antagonistic force. Of all of Nintendo’s commercial powerhouses, Donkey Kong is one of the few franchises in Super Smash Bros. Brawl not to include all of its primary characters. King K. Rool has been featured as the main antagonist in six of the eight games he has appeared in since his 1994 introduction, which makes him one of Nintendo’s most commonly recurring villains. King K. Rool’s ambition and greed would also lend a wonderful hand to the league of evil in Smash 4’s parallel to the Subspace Emissary. Being the primary antagonist and a major player in the Donkey Kong series since his introduction, and being one of the most commonly requested characters from Japan and the West alike, King K. Rool is perhaps this franchise’s most likely candidate.
Being a croc’ of all trades, King K. Rool comes with no shortage of abilities at his disposal. From crown throwing to musket blasting to super speedy sprinting, this reptile knows how to put up a fight. His fat yet brawny body and unusually high agility make him a fierce adversary in regular play, and his sharp claws on those surprisingly long arms can do some serious damage to any Smash veteran. Of course, King K. Rool’s defenses would have to be shockingly low to compensate for such brute force, heavy weight, and moderately fast speed. Despite his intimidating features, his attacks would naturally be somewhat off-beat, due to his literal insanity and the bizarre patterns of movement K. Rool is known for. Grab a Smash Ball, and K. Rool can don his boxing gloves and championship belt in a flash, and quickly beat down fellow fighters with his powerful fists. Even after throwing on a pirate suit and calling himself “Kaptain” as an alternate costume, K. Rool has absolutely no trouble fitting right in with the rest of Nintendo’s smashing crew.
With any new installment of the Super Smash Bros. series, we’re certain to see an abundance of new stages for our favorite characters to spar on. Upon the inclusion of a character with as much unique history as King K. Rool, it would be foolish not to dedicate a stage to the sinister crocodile. What better stage to choose for King K. Rool than his home turf, the Gangplank Galleon? The Gangplank Galleon is the ship on which Donkey Kong and his little monkey pal fight King K. Rool for the very first time in Donkey Kong Country. Despite the rig crashing between the events of Country and its sequel, never to be seen again, his majesty’s illustrious ship has become almost synonymous with K. Rool himself.
Gangplank Galleon as a Smash ring would draw heavily from its original appearances in Donkey Kong Country and Diddy’s Kong Quest, featuring falling cannon balls raining on players from time to time, as well as Neeks passing by every now and then to offer players a little extra trouble. The stage would also feature bumbling Kremlings dropping in to try to have their fair share of fun by placing crates, barrels, and even TNT into the fray (and comedically fail nearly every time). All the while, the ship could tilt ever so slightly back and forth during battles, as if rocking on the waves.
Of course, with a second stage, the Donkey Kong franchise will be in desperate need of another slew of songs for the “My Music” feature of the game. Luckily, the Donkey Kong series is rife with wonderful music for King K. Rool, especially considering how heavily Donkey Kong Country 2 emphasized the Kremlings even over its protagonists, Diddy and Dixie. Here’s a small list of songs that we think would fit perfectly on the Gangplank Galleon stage to represent the various aspects of King K. Rool and the Kremling Krew as a whole.
- Donkey Kong Country — “Gangplank Galleon” (King K. Rool’s Theme) with allusions to “Bad Boss Boogie”
- Donkey Kong Country 2 — “Snakey Chantey”
- Donkey Kong Country 2 — “Mining Melancholy”
- Donkey Kong Country 2 — “Crocodile Cacophony” (Kaptain K. Rool’s Theme)
- Donkey Kong Country 3 — “Big Boss Blues” (Baron K. Roolenstein’s Theme)
- Donkey Kong 64 — “K. Rool’s Theme” and “K. Rool Battle” interwoven with “K. Rool’s Mechanical Island”
In addition to these wonderful songs, the Gangplank Galleon stage would feature “Kremling Medley,” a medley of songs from Donkey Kong Country 2, further emphasizing the role of the Kremlings themselves. This medley would include “K. Rool Returns (Title Theme),” “Welcome to Crocodile Isle,” “Lockjaw’s Saga,” “Klubba’s Reveille,” “Haunted Chase,” “Krook’s March,” and “Boss Bossanova.”
What do you think about King K. Rool’s potential inclusion for the next Super Smash Bros. games? Do you love this reptilian psychopath, or would you rather he stay away from Smash? Who would you like to see included in the roster for the series’ next installments? It’s possible that we may profile one of your most-wanted characters next week, so stay tuned here at Gamnesia for the future of Challenger Approaching!
King K. Rool’s character profile for Challenger Approaching