Donkey Kong Country
Image: Nintendo/Rare

Donkey Kong Country was a landmark title for Nintendo. The 1994 platformer from Rare re-established the classic arcade character Donkey Kong as one of the company's most beloved and gave the Super Nintendo another system seller to join the likes of Super Mario World and Star Fox. But have you wondered why the game was called Donkey Kong Country, to begin with?

Well, if you're like us, you probably naively assumed that it was just an extension of the naming convention established on games like Super Mario Land and Super Mario World, but according to former Rare artist Kev Bayliss that isn't actually the case. Or at least, not entirely.

Instead, he claims the name stems from the project's original codename "The Country Project", which came about because Rare was based in the middle of the countryside. Nintendo apparently saw something in the name, and so when it came time to give it a proper title, the "Country" part stuck. And there you have it!

Interestingly, this isn't the first time this story has been shared. In 2018, when asked about the origin of the name, Donkey Kong Country designer Gregg Mayles also gave a similar account.

If you want more trivia like this, it's worth noting that Bayliss has a Twitch channel, where they regularly talk about their work on old Rare games like Star Fox Adventures, Battletoads, Diddy Kong Racing, and Killer Instinct. We recommend following them there, for more info on the company's impressive back catalogue.