Creepy things we found in the Donkey Kong games

Nintendo's Donkey Kong games have provided hours of joy throughout the years, whether it's the classic titles from the '80s or Rare's amazing Donkey Kong Country trilogy. For that matter, the more current games have been a blast too, particularly Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze on the Nintendo Switch.

But upon closer inspection, there are some moments within these games that come across as rather … creepy. That's not to say they'll scare your kids silly when they come across them at first glance. But they'll certainly make you think twice the next time you come across them as a full-grown adult.

Proceed with caution and enjoy this look at some of the darker moments in the history of the Donkey Kong franchise. Maybe leave the lights on in the banana hoard for this one.

Mario's unexpected turn to villainy - Donkey Kong Jr.

After defeating Donkey Kong and rescuing Pauline in the original Donkey Kong, Mario snapped. That's the only explanation for his behavior in the follow-up, Donkey Kong Jr., as he's locked up his adversary in a cage, forcing his son Donkey Kong Jr. to attempt to rescue him. But if that's not enough, the former hero also calls upon other creatures to do his bidding in an effort to stop the young DK's attempts to rescue his dad.

It's a hard thing to watch, as it really makes you wonder what happened to Mario to make him flip like this. Maybe Pauline left him? Or perhaps just defeating Donkey Kong wasn't enough? Whatever it was, it was just temporary, as the plumber went back to his heroic ways just a few years later with Super Mario Bros. Whew! That was a close one.

Donkey Kong's fascination with bees - Donkey Kong 3

Talk about a strange turn of events. After escaping captivity in Donkey Kong Jr., the big ape went back to his villainous ways, tormenting a kid named Stanley in Donkey Kong 3. But instead of throwing barrels and stomping around, he climbed up onto some ropes and decided to force bees and worms to follow his commands.

While the gameplay is fun enough, it does beg the question how DK was able to gain the ability to command bees. And, for that matter, what kind of background horror story came to pass when he attained this knowledge. Was he sitting in his island cabin studying books, Silence of the Lambs-style, learning how to make bees attack poor Stanley however they saw fit? The game clearly didn't want you to think too hard about this one, because if you do, you come to some very disturbing possibilities indeed.

Stanley meets a very hideous death - Donkey Kong 3

All Stanley wants to do is keep Donkey Kong from stealing his plants. But with an army of bees and worms at DK's beck and call, it's only a matter of time before the poor kid succumbs to his evil forces. And when he does, boy, is it a rough watch.

That's because when Stanley is hit, he falls to the ground. Immediately after, all the bees that are flying through the air surround him and practically eat him up, leaving only his sprayer behind. That's a terrifying way to go — and apparently Nintendo thought the same thing. They altered the home release so that, if Stanley lost, he merely fell to the ground, defeated but not eaten.

That said, the Switch re-release of Donkey Kong 3 still has the, ahem, devouring in place. You were warned.

Cranky Kong sure does like being mean to his younglings - Donkey Kong Country

In the original Donkey Kong Country, Cranky Kong is a dependable source of information. Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong can visit him to learn more about the boss battle that lies ahead, in between his complaints of how spoiled gamers are these days. But as he spews out his advice, we can't help but notice that he's just a little too aggressive when he speaks to his grandson Donkey Kong.

During their conversations, Cranky likes to swing his cane at DK, forcing him to cover his head as a result. It's a mild swing, mind you, but it really has us concerned about what kind of bitterness he truly has against the young lad. He kind of does the same thing to Diddy as well. Maybe he was just mad that he wasn't a playable character — though Nintendo did eventually remedy this with Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze on the Wii U and Switch.

Still, save that anger, Cranky. Maybe take it out on someone that deserves it. Like King K. Rool.

The Ripsaw Rage stage is terrifying - Donkey Kong Country 3

Though Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble isn't as good as the first two games, fans still enjoy its platforming antics, as well as the tag team camaraderie between Dixie and her cousin Kiddy. They're on a mission to save Donkey and Diddy Kong from the evil King K. Rool, who will do anything to keep them in his custody. And we do mean anything — like murder two young kids with a giant saw blade.

In a stage called Ripsaw Rage, Dixie and Kiddy have to keep moving as a giant saw slices up from the bottom of the stage, cutting through everything it touches. It's a well designed stage, but the idea that K. Rool wants to shred these two kids really makes us question his sanity. Calm down, man. Are bananas really worth it?

The soundtrack is straight from the dark side - Donkey Kong 64

Where the Donkey Kong Country soundtracks were upbeat and vibrant, the Donkey Kong 64 soundtrack … simply isn't. That's not to say it doesn't carry the Donkey Kong vibe, because it does in the beginning. But for the most part, a majority of its soundtrack just seems to be on the dark and gloomy side — and we don't just mean what's heard in the Gloomy Galleon stage.

It just doesn't seem to be on the same level as what fans were used to before. Granted, things eventually bounced back when Donkey Kong Country Returns came around a few years later. But Donkey Kong 64 left a few fans perplexed by what was happening to their ears.

And then … there's the DK Rap. And it takes on a whole level of ridiculous. Like Vanilla Ice ridiculous.

The stop and go creatures - Donkey Kong Country

While most of the enemies that Donkey and Diddy Kong come across in Donkey Kong Country are easy to defeat, there is one that can't be hurt at all. That would be the Rockkroc, which has a tie in with the stations in the Stop & Go stage. Here, the characters must hit switches to keep them lit green so that the Rockkrocs remain in their harmless rock forms. If the light flicks back to red, they turn into their monstrous crocodile forms, moving at an incredibly fast pace.

Now, with their speed and bloodthirsty appearance, they're frightening enough. But Rare managed to add a nerve-shattering growl to these creatures that's hard to shake. It's like you can hear them stalking you as you frantically hunt down one of the barrels to turn green, so that they'll become harmless again.

Thanks a lot, Rare. Now we'll have nightmares for days.

The Donkey Kong Country computer animated series

While the Donkey Kong Country games are vibrant and beautiful and still a joy to look at these days, the Donkey Kong Country animated series … is not. Yes, there was an animated series, and, as you might have guessed, it has not aged well.

The series was originally produced to air overseas in 1997 before it made its way onto Fox Family in 1998, where it lasted for around 40 episodes before being taken off the air. Although its storytelling tried to follow the DK storyline, many fans questioned the quality of its animation — which was poor, to say the least. Its production values … well, let's say this show is definitely no Reboot. Honestly, we'd rather watch Super Mario Bros.: The Movie than this. Any day.

The fireballs have a life of their own - Donkey Kong

There are some things that just defy logic in the original Donkey Kong. Sure, we can accept the fact that the big ape can take over a pie factory. But how do fireballs have a life of their own? They seemingly come to life after either landing in an oil drum or simply popping out of nowhere in one of the later stages of the game.

And what's more, they've evolved very quickly. They're able to walk around on their own, and even climb ladders (without burning them, natch) as they relentlessly pursue Mario in the hopes of burning down his hopes. We're not sure what black arts Donkey Kong may have studied, but this is beyond explanation. And just a bit spooky, if you ask us.

Donkey Kong may be far more wicked than we ever realized. Just don't mess with him, players.

Is that even an ape? - Donkey Kong (Atari 2600)

It's true that, at the time of its release, the Atari 2600 was a limited piece of gaming hardware. Atari couldn't even give players a proper port of Pac-Man at the time. But surely Coleco could've done something with Donkey Kong's treatment, right? Well, not exactly.

When the game came out in 1982, it did resemble the arcade game to a certain extent — but with limitations. But perhaps the biggest one of all was that Donkey Kong didn't even look like an ape anymore. In fact, he kind of looked like Chewbacca more than Donkey Kong. Or perhaps even a brown-ish Cookie Monster. Or maybe even a gingerbread man that was on a rampage, mainly because he didn't have any fingers or toes.

Mario fared slightly better, keeping his trademark looks intact. However, he did seem to develop a bit of a weight problem, with a slightly larger belly. So a bigger Mario, but still recognizable nevertheless.

The "Get Out!" moment - Donkey Kong 64

Donkey Kong 64 is filled with all kinds of exploratory moments in which you can find some great secrets. But you'll also run into some real menaces, including Kroc. You may recall seeing (or rather, not seeing) this offscreen character in Donkey Kong Country 3, where he attempts to shoot characters with a cursor and fireballs. Well, he returns in the N64 sequel — and with a much more terrifying approach.

As your character enters the "Angry Aztec" stage and snags the Golden Banana with Donkey Kong, the cursor appears once again, with Kroc on the hunt. Only this time, he has something to tell you, in the most harrowing voice possible: "GET OUT!"

Kroc eventually shows up in Creepy Castle's greenhouse, if you can make it that far. But the effect he leaves in the earlier portion of the game is definitely hard to shake. Remember, players, just "GET OUT!"