When thinking of the Donkey Kong Country series, the common villains you think of have gotta be the Kremlings, right? The four original Donkey Kong games made by Rareware (Being the Donkey Kong Country Trilogy and Donkey Kong 64) all had King K. Rool and the Kremling Krew as the main antagonists. So when Retro Studios brought back DKC in 2010, with Donkey Kong Country Returns, why didn’t they use the Kremlings as the bad guys again?
Well, I think it’s a good thing they didn’t. I sure think it is okay to have an antagonist that’s in the majority of games. Look at Ganondorf! When you think of Link, there’s no way to not think of Ganondorf. But sometimes, you gotta have variety. Some Skull Kid here, some Vaati there, and you’re all good. Now, some bosses get overused, like Bowser. Bowser is so popular and recognizable, though, how could you have a Mario game without him? He’s part of the franchise, and one of the most important characters. You might be able to do without Yoshi, maybe Luigi, but Bowser? Seems impossible.
So how does this all relate to the Kremlings, you may ask? Well, let me go back a little. I think what Retro is doing is good. I praise them for the fact that they can create brand new villains without rehashing the old ones. But since K. Rool has been there since day one… Shouldn’t he and his minions get some recognition?
For this, I look back to my second favorite game of all time, Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. In it, Bowser does not appear as the main villain, as that role is taken by the Shadow Queen. But you can’t have a Mario game without Bowser, so… How does he fit in? Well, the developers decided to still add him, and let him be a side character that appears occasionally, usually being incompetent at his job.
I think this is a great way to work around keeping him in the cast without overusing him. Not only does it do that, but it adds tons more comedic relief. So, my suggestion is that they do this with K. Rool. How does a character as big as him, appearing as the main villain four games in a row, and then just disappearing?
I sure hope there’s an explanation for the absence of our favorite evil crocodiles in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. Or at least a cameo. We deserve that, right?
What are your thoughts? Do you want a new villain per game like we’ve been getting, or want our Kremling baddies back? Let me know in the comments below!