There are two things I really want to tell you about Donkey Kong Country.

The first is that Cranky Kong is quite seriously my favourite video game character ever. For some reason I just can’t put my finger on, I really identify with a guy who’s best years are behind him and he just talks about how all the old games were the best and everything they make today is rubbish. Weird, huh?

The second is that this was the first game we got really good at. I got the game for a birthday and my brother and I devoured every room for every secret we could find, unlocking that fabled 101% completion on the save file. We memorized maps. We collected coins. We rustled rhinos, etc. A few weeks later Nintendo were having Donkey Kong Country contest in local Toys ‘R’ Us stores and I went to enter, only to be told that I was too old to enter a video game competition. Mongrels! So I ran home, grabbed my brother and hauled him into the competition. All the weeks of training paid off because not only was he excellent at the game (I think they were basing it on fastest completion of a level, and we knew all the hidden barrels to warp through it super fast) but man oh man did all the other local kids just completely suck at video games. I remember some twelve year old kid was crying he sucked so bad.

We won! Well OK my brother won but I’m claiming it as a group victory.

The prize? Uh…a copy of Donkey Kong Country. D’oh!