Donkey Kong Was Originally Going to Wear a Mining Helmet in Donkey Kong Country

Some of the best levels in Donkey Kong Country were easily those that took place underground in caves and mines. Whether it’s barreling down the tracks in mining carts or exploring the creepy unknown with only a slimmer of light, they added a nice flavor to the typical jungle proceedings of the title. Believe or not, however, they were¬†originally designed slightly differently.

While the adorable Squawks the Parrot shows up to light the way when needed in the final version of the game, former Rare lead artist Mark Stevenson today confirmed that Donkey Kong was originally going to wear a mining helmet in Donkey Kong Country:

The mining helmet wasn’t simply cosmetic, however, and was actually the way these dark areas were to be lit up instead of Squawks:

This has long thought to be the theory behind the mysterious mining helmet, which has surfaced through concept art throughout the years:

AguZCZ8 Dkc_mine_cart_artwork_2In fact, former Rare designer Gregg Mayles has the original concept art framed:

It’s nice to finally have an end to this mystery.

Images: NeoGAF (StingX2, Glowsquid)