It seemed as though peace had finally returned to Donkey Kong Island: the nefarious King K. Rool and his Kremling army were defeated for what appeared to be the last time in Donkey Kong 64, and the Kongs’ expansive banana hoard was recovered completely intact. Life slowed to a leisurely pace, and the Kongs, revelling in the island’s newfound tranquility, retired from adventure. Given the island’s history, however, the threat of danger was always near at hand, and as was to be expected, the peace did not last– Diddy awoke one morning to find that his uncle and the banana hoard had gone missing.
None of the telltale signs of another Kremling invasion were present, making Donkey Kong’s disappearance all the more mysterious. A full investigation, spearheaded by Diddy himself, was launched, though leads were initially slow to materialize; only after enlisting our services and taking the search to the internet did the first solid clues begin to emerge.
The most promising of these had come from an anonymous source in Lakewood, a forest community some several thousand miles east of Donkey Kong Island. According to the email we received, our missing gorilla was in actuality a resident of the town and had been for quite some time. We immediately contacted our correspondent and scheduled a rendezvous.
The town’s small size and remote location made it inaccessible by airplane, and we had to land at the nearest city in order to continue our journey by train. After a two-hour ride, we finally arrived at our destination.
At first glance Lakewood was a far cry from the Kongo Jungle, certainly not the type of place where you would expect to find the world’s most famous simian: the trees, while plentiful, were much too small for a gorilla to climb, and the temperate climate felt cold in comparison to the tropical lushness of the island. Above all else, there was not a single banana tree in the town, which made Donkey Kong’s alleged residence there begin to seem suspect.
Still, there was a sleepy charm to Lakewood that made it easy to see why one would choose to live there, and it was this general tranquility– especially in light of the dangers of the jungle– that made it a likely refuge for someone looking to disappear in secrecy.
Our correspondent, a longtime resident of the town, claimed to have only recently discovered that Donkey Kong was in his midst.
“I’ve played a lot of Donkey Kong Jr. back at home, but I never would’ve recognized him all grown up. It was only after I saw your website that I realized how similar he and my neighbor Louie looked.”
“Louie,” as he claimed to be called, was the most recent addition to the community, and despite his informal mannerisms, his beachside property suggested a degree of wealthiness. The physical similarities between he and Donkey Kong were remarkable: both gorillas were of a muscular build with brown fur, and their facial features, right down to their thick eyebrow folds, were identical. If Donkey Kong were really living in Lakewood under an assumed identity, it would likely have been a measure taken to protect his anonymity; likewise, his willing residence in such a remote town would all but confirm an attempt to escape the dangers of jungle life. Lakewood would more than have made a suitable retreat: here Donkey Kong’s banana hoard would be safe from marauders, and he would at last be free from the threat of another Kremling invasion.
We were able to schedule an interview with Louie, but unfortunately, it proved to be inconclusive: he claimed ignorance of our investigation and denied any relation to Donkey Kong.
“Oh, dude, you’re saying I look like a game star? Sweet! No, but yeah, I’m not him. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to do some squat-crushers back at my home gym, toots.”
Unperturbed, we returned to Lakewood the following day to schedule a second interview; when we arrived, however, we found his plot of land to be completely vacant. We immediately contacted our correspondent, who shared with us the letter he had received that morning.
“So, I bolted to begin a long journey of discovery. When will I be back? Never! But turn that frown upside down– I am who I am! You be you, and life’ll be fine! Keep it real, Louie”
Louie had moved at the height of our investigation. At a dead-end and with no further leads, we had no choice but to declare the case closed. Louie’s sudden departure, however, was a telling indication that we were on the right trail, and the “journey of discovery” he alluded to in his farewell letter uncannily parallels Donkey Kong’s restless genre jumping after his reemergence into the public eye in the years following our investiagtion. Thankfully he seems to have made a permanent return to the Kongo Jungle, and his much-anticipated reunion with Diddy looks to have rekindled his spirit for adventure.