DKC GBC Tricks & Movement

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Tech Tutorial Video

Character Differences

DK and Diddy are more balanced in this game than in the other two versions of it. They have the same running speed and initial rolling speed. DK has a bigger hitbox and can stomp Klump, Krusha and curled-up Army. He also has the hand slap attack and holds barrels over his head. Diddy is smaller, jumps slightly higher, and maintains slightly more speed during rolls. He holds barrels in front of him like a shield. For some reason DK also swims much slower than Diddy in all directions except up, where his water jump produces slightly more initial upwards speed. Diddy's advantages are small, but enough to make him the optimal choice throughout most of the run. However, DK has a few specific uses in the run, and losing Diddy is usually less of a problem in this game because Donkey is generally not that bad.

Basic Rolling and Jumping

Note that as this is a Gameboy Color game, the A button is used for jumping and the B button is for rolling.

Like all DKC games, the fastest way to travel in this game is rolling. Rolls in this game are incredibly overpowered - they are much faster than running or jumping, last a very long time, and the speed and duration are greatly increased when rolling through enemies. For this reason, the general strategy for this game is to spend as much time rolling as possible, and roll through as many enemies as possible. Hitting enemies does not create any "freeze frames." It's possible to roll through barrels in this game without releasing B as long as right (or left) is also held. Since the duration of a roll is very long, it's usually best to land early and roll immediately. However, there are many interesting nuances and limitations to rolling, which are covered in the next 10 sections.

The other basic move is of course jumping. You can jump out of any roll even if you're in the air, and even casual players know that roll-jumping is the most effective way to achieve great mobility options while maintaining control. Air speed is equal to running speed, while horizontal air acceleration/deceleration is half that of ground acceleration. Air movement is not affected by holding B. After jumping, your vertical speed immediately begins to increase at the rate of gravity each frame, giving you a simple parabolic jump arc. However, holding jump keeps gravity at a lower value, causing you to jump higher.

Speed Lock

This section describes a basic property of rolling which may help players who are familiar with the other DKC games understand how roll mechanics differ in this game. At the beginning of a roll your downwards acceleration is negated, allowing rolls to "float" across gaps. Rolling off flat platforms locks your vertical speed at 0, while rolling off downwards slopes can cause the roll to slant downwards at 1/2 or 1/4 pixel per frame. Flat platforms can be slightly sloped or curved at the end, making sloped rolls possible from the edge of platforms. Speed lock is never restored during a roll, which is why rolls may feel "heavy" in this game. Hitting enemies does nothing to change vertical speed nor acceleration, while landing on platforms resets vertical speed to 0 but does not change acceleration. Therefore, in order to maximize distance from a roll-jump, it's necessary to roll from as close as possible to the edge of a platform, without reaching the slanted part if one is present.

Speed lock lasts for 15 frames for DK, and 20 frames for Diddy, meaning Diddy can float longer after rolling off platforms. Speed lock also negates horizontal deceleration, which is 1 subpixel speed per frame (there are 256 subpixels per pixel). This factor is usually negligible - DK only loses about half a pixel of distance across a full, normal roll.

Dead Rolls and Stamina

If you let a roll expire on the ground without jumping out of it, this is called a "rollover." Sometimes when you rollover you can get a 10 frame penalty where you can't move or jump, this is called a "dead roll." Whether or not a dead roll occurs depends on a variable which is referred to as "stamina." You begin each level with full stamina, and when you rollover your stamina is depleted. Each frame spent walking or standing still recovers 1 stamina up to the maximum of 10, at which point it is fully recovered. If you rollover before recovering all 10 stamina you get a dead roll for 10 frames, and then your stamina is fully depleted again.

On flat ground, it's slightly faster on average to connect rolls with 10 walking frames than with 1 frame jumps (which move faster but last about 27 frames). Stamina does not have to be recovered immediately nor sequentially. Therefore there may be a more advantageous location to take the walking frames instead of immediately after the rollover. Since stamina is reset between level and bonus transitions, it's not necessary to recover it before exiting. Becoming familiar with stamina and being aware of it is highly advantageous since rollovers can be utilized in many places.


There are a number of situations where rolls can be buffered by holding B, allowing many strats to become more consistent. There is no frame window to buffer rolls; after entering a state which allows roll buffering you can press and hold B any time and you will roll as soon as you're back in the normal standing state. The most common situation where roll buffering is encountered is that rolls can be buffered out of rolls - simply release and re-press B and you will roll again the moment your roll ends, provided you have full stamina. If you don't have full stamina, the roll will still buffer after the dead roll. Another state which allows buffering rolls is the "spinning" state, which occurs after bouncing enemies or getting shot out of barrel cannons. In the rare situation that you need to run after coming out of spinning, you have to press B before bouncing or entering the barrel cannon, and hold it until you land in order to not get a buffered roll. Another state that allows buffering is crawling through crawlspaces, and again if you need to run after exiting a crawlspace you must hold B through the entire crawlspace. You can also buffer a roll by re-pressing B after throwing a barrel, and you can even buffer rolls through taking damage as an animal buddy.

It's also possible to buffer jumps out of jumps by releasing and re-pressing A in the air. This typically isn't useful anywhere, but it's a good thing to be aware of to prevent it from happening by accident. It's not possible to buffer rolls out of jumps, which means you can jump and press B in the air if you want to hold B to run without rolling.

Extended Rolls

Rolls normally last for 47 frames unless canceled (usually by jumping), but they can be extended. On the final frame of the roll, the game checks to see if one of the extend conditions is met, and if so then the roll continues into an extended roll until canceled or the next end frame, where the process is repeated. The most natural way to extend rolls is by hitting enemies - this gives you a speed boost of 144 per hit and the roll will be extended as long as B is held through the entire roll. For DK, extended rolls gain an extra 41 frames, while for Diddy extended rolls gain an extra 43 frames.

Rolls can be extended multiple times, each adding another 41 or 43 frames. However, another enemy must be hit after each extended roll starts in order to get another extension - it's not possible to hit two enemies within a single roll segment to cause the roll to extend twice.

Box Boost

Throughout the game there is treasure hidden in the ground, both in visible item boxes which can be broken open by landing on them from a high place, and in hidden troves which can be unveiled this way and with DK's hand slap. If you roll onto hidden treasure from a high enough place you can break open the treasure, but instead of getting put into the "spinning" state as if you had jumped on it, you instead get a boosted and extended roll as if you had rolled through an enemy.

Extended Roll Storage

After rolling through an enemy or getting a box boost, you gain a "credit" telling the game to extend the roll at the next end frame if B remains held since the start of the roll. However, if you jump out of the roll, or release B and rollover, this credit is not reset and the extended roll can be stored and used later. You can only have up to one extended roll credit; hitting enemies when you already have one does not give extras, this applies both to normal and stored extended rolls.

Ledge Extend

If you're in the air on the end frame of a roll, it gets extended automatically. This can often be abused to extend rolls by simply timing them to fall off a small ledge on the end frame. Although ledge extends do not require an extension credit, they will consume one if you have one.


You can change the direction of a roll by simply pressing in the opposite direction. This can be useful for stalling or for simply changing directions when necessary. This also resets the speed of the roll to the starting speed, which is usually undesirable for boosted rolls. Reversing does not affect speed lock or change the camera, but it does consume your extension credit if you have one. Therefore it's necessary to reverse after the end frame if you need the extension.

Camera Lock

When starting a roll, the camera moves forward and locks in place, positioning you towards the back of the screen. However, "forward" is defined by whichever direction you're facing (or turning towards) before starting the roll. By turning left and then rolling to the right, you can lock the camera behind you, putting the Kong at the front of the screen. Since most entities spawn based on the camera's position and not the Kong's position, this can be used to manipulate entities to spawn later in any situation where it would be beneficial. For example, this can be used to stop Zingers or Mincers from getting in the way, or to prevent Kritters from jumping out of the way so you can roll through them. It can also be used to re-position ropes and moving platforms, sometimes making cycle skips possible. The one significant exception to this manipulation is Mini-Necky, for some reason he seems to react to the player's position rather than the camera's position.

This technique is hard to execute efficiently and it's recommended to build some muscle memory. It's possible to tap left for just a single frame, then press right and B on the same frame; however, this approach is risky. If you don't get a camera lock, it means you pressed right before pressing B. If you get a camera locked slow roll, it means you pressed B with left released during the turnaround animation. One suggested approach is to roll briefly to the left and then immediately reverse to the right. Another suggestion is to jump and start the roll from the air, since you can turn around instantly in the air without the turnaround animation.

Krusha Roll

When you go into an extended roll, your hit priority changes from your rolling hit priority to your jumping hit priority for some reason. For Diddy this is a pure nerf since it means he can't roll through Klump during extended rolls. For DK on the other hand it's a pure buff since it means he can now roll through curled-up Army, and strangely enough, green Krusha.

Gravity Glitch

During normal platforming, gravity can be one of two values: 128 or 80. This represents downwards acceleration per frame in subpixels while airborne. 128 is standard gravity, while low gravity occurs during jumps while holding the initial A press, and also during the "spinning" state after bouncing off enemies or being shot out of a barrel cannon. If A is released during the jump, it's not possible to regain low gravity by re-pressing A in midair.

If you hold A through an entire jump, the gravity variable will not be properly reset to 128 and can get stuck at 80 after landing. You can then release A and it will persist while walking and through the next roll, causing this roll to be more floaty than usual. This can be useful for setting up rolls to cross extra wide gaps, or for connecting descending platforms with a single roll.

Gravity glitch does not only apply to rolls. It's possible to run off a platform with gravity glitch active and fall slower, although this isn't really useful at all. Normal jumps can also have their upwards starting speed increased by 48 = 128 - 80 if gravity glitch is active, indicating that jumps are essentially applying gravity on the first frame. This causes normal jumps to go slightly higher, which can make a difference in some situations. Since the Kongs are automatically put into the "spinning" state with low gravity after bouncing enemies, holding jump does not affect how high they bounce, and it's not possible to get gravity glitch after landing from spinning even if A is held the entire time. However, holding jump can cause Rambi and Winky to bounce higher off enemies. Interestingly, gravity glitch applies to mine carts as well, causing them to fall down off the tracks slower.

Switch Glitch

If you hit a level transition or exit from standing, you can press select on the exact same frame that you touch the exit and switch Kongs during the fadeout, saving the 31 frames which are usually required to swap. It's not possible to do it in water levels or at the end of bosses. This is not easy to hit RTA but it can be a harmless thing to go for if you need to swap Kongs and have a transition coming up.

Banana Block/Bonus Block

After touching a level exit or bonus transition, the "level exit" state usually only lasts for 1 frame before the fadeout begins, but the fadeout can be delayed by certain events. The first is if bananas or other items are collecting; the fadeout will be delayed until the bananas or items reach the counter at the top of the screen. There are a few situations where bananas are tactically positioned near bonuses or exits, and it's faster to avoid them to prevent this from happening, especially 10-banana bundles.

The "bonus reveal" jingle that plays when bonus entries in walls are broken open by barrels also delays the fadeout until it's done playing. This makes it faster in some situations to throw the barrel into the wall from afar to start the jingle immediately instead of running the barrel into the wall. It's also possible to switch characters without losing any time during the jingle. The jingle can be canceled by another sound effect, allowing the fadeout to start immediately.

Perfect Overworld Movement

You can hold directions to move immediately on the overworld, and hold A to enter worlds and levels immediately. After beating a level for the first time you are automatically sent to the next level on the overworld and this movement cannot be overridden. In locations where the path splits, the direction is always the same, and this direction is not always "forwards" - after completing Stop & Go Station, Tree Top Town, and Torchlight Trouble, you are will always be sent to Cranky, Funky and Candy respectively. You do not get automatically sent forwards after beating Candy's Challenges.

Random Number Generation (RNG)

The random number generator advances once per frame on the overworld, and advances once each time it is called, which occurs during stop-the-barrel bonuses (like the second bonus in Ropey Rampage) and during Necky and Master Necky. The RNG is also used to create bubbles in water stages. The random number generator normally acts as a linear shift feedback register (LSFR), but in water levels it behaves differently. The RNG is set to 0 at the start of the game and does not advance during normal levels. Utilizing perfect overworld movement keeps RNG consistent.