Donkey Kong Country for the Super NES was a revolutionary game in some big ways. Aside from being one of the best-selling games on the console, it was one of the first games to use pre-rendered 3D graphics, which made it look exceptionally good next to other games at the time. Its soundtrack was also highly celebrated, and to this day is considered among gaming’s best.
When listening to DKC’s soundtrack today and hearing how well it holds up, it’s easy to imagine what a big deal it was more than 17 years ago. It still features some of the most iconic and easily recognizable tunes in all of videogames, and deserves a spot in any videogame music lover’s collection.
“Simian Segue” is one of those classic, instantly recognizable tunes full of charm and lighthearted fun. It perfectly captures the spirit and tone of the game while still being a simply brilliant and catchy song. DKC veterans will quickly recognize this song from the world map screen – well, at least for the first ten seconds or so. The majority of players probably never took more than few seconds to select a level, meaning they never heard “Simian Segue” in it’s true, full length glory. How can anyone not love that happy piano part at 29 seconds in?
OK, here we go. Now, if the DKC soundtrack were a mainstream album, then “Aquatic Ambiance” would’ve been the single being played on the radio. Out of the 20 plus songs on the official soundtrack, it’s easily the most renowned. It’s smooth and relaxing without ever being boring, and has kind of a mysterious melody to it, hooking you and drawing you in. Not bad for a videogame song that is almost 20 years old. Fans of remixes will definitely want to check out some the “Aquatic Ambiance” remixes on Overclocked Remix. They’re free!
“Fear Factory” demonstrates DKC‘s musical versatility with a tense and surprisingly ominous track. It even dips into some industrial themes, which is quite in contrast with the rest of the soundtrack’s happy-go-lucky hootenanny and tribal, jungle beats. This withstanding, “Fear Factory” remains amazingly catchy and fits in well with the rest of the game’s soundtrack.
The “Credits Concerto” hits a bit of a soft spot for me, and as you can tell, has a more somber tone to it with a twinge of happiness. Listening to it now makes me think of saying goodbye to my childhood and old friends, and remembering all the good memories as I go in to the unknowing future. Kinda deep, huh? Either way, this theme caps off a great game and a timeless soundtrack.
The soundtrack for the game was released on CD as DK Jamz, but is difficult to find since it’s so old. Buying a used copy on Ebay would probably your best bet if you’re wishing to own a physical copy. Other than that, streaming the album on Internet radio or listening to tracks on YouTube is your easiest option.