Animal Friends, also known as Animal Buddies, are friendly animals that help the Kong Family on their adventures. They are usually found inside crates and can perform different abilities that can defeat tougher enemies or reveal hidden secrets. Aside from crates, the Kongs can also transform into Animal Buddies by hopping inside Animal Barrels. In a few Donkey Kong Country games, Animal Buddies can only be taken so far into a level until they reach a No Animal Zone which will cause them to disappear.
List of Animal Buddies
Rambi the Rhinoceros
- Main article: Rambi the Rhinoceros
Rambi is one of the most well known Animal Buddies. He can use his powerful horn to charge through various obstacles and find hidden doorways. In Donkey Kong Country Returns and its sequel, Rambi developed a weakness to fire.
Squawks the Parrot
- Main article: Squawks the Parrot
Squawks has helped the Kong Family on numerous occasions. In Donkey Kong Country Squawks will carry a lantern to light up dark caves and in the games the next two sequels he will carry the Kongs over hazards instead while firing eggs from his mouth at enemies. He will act as a guide plus also retrieve Golden Bananas in Donkey Kong 64 and can help the Kongs find secrets in Donkey Kong Country Returns and Tropical Freeze.
Enguarde the Swordfish
- Main article: Enguarde the Swordfish
Enguarde can allow the Kongs to swim faster underwater and can use his long nose to destroy obstacles. If Enguarde gets stuck on land, he can only inch himself forward with his charge attack until he gets back into water.
Expresso the Ostrich
- Main article: Expresso the Ostrich
Expresso's long legs can allow him to move very quickly and walk by Klaptraps unharmed, but at the cost of not being able to jump onto enemies. Expresso can also use his wing to glide down large chasms. In the GBA remake of Donkey Kong Country 2, the player can help Cranky Kong raise another ostrich called Expresso II and have him participate in races.
Winky the Frog
Winky can only move forward by hopping but is able to leap very high and defeat Zingers by jumping on them. He made a cameo in Donkey Kong Country 2 as one of the exhibits inside the Monkey Museum.
Squitter the Spider
- Main article: Squitter the Spider
Squitter has the ability to produce webs that can be used as temporary platforms and harm enemies. He has appeared in the second and third Donkey Kong Country games as well as the Super Smash Bros series in some form.
Clapper the Seal
- Main article: Clapper the Seal
Clapper will make hazardous water safe for swimming but the effect is temporary. Unlike other Animal Buddies, Clapper is not found in crates and will appear at different points in certain levels.
Rattly the Rattlesnake
Rattly uses his curled up body like a spring to hop around and bounce up high. His abilities are similar to Winkys except Rattly can also perform a charged super jump. In Donkey Kong Country 2, Rattly lived on Crocodile Isle before it's destruction.
Glimmer the Angler Fish
Glimmer can be found in deep dark waters and will light up a portion of the area ahead. He will stick with the Kongs for an entire level until they leave the water.
Quawks the Parrot
Quawks looks exactly like Squawks except with purple feathers and he has the similar role of carrying the Kongs passed hazards in Donkey Kong Country 2. However Quawks cannot fly upwards while holding the heroes nor fire eggs from his mouth. The Kongs can transform into Quawks during Donkey Kong Country 3 and he is able to fly upwards plus carry barrels, but is still unable to fire eggs.
Ellie the Elephant
- Main article: Ellie the Elephant
Ellie can use her trunk to perform a number of abilities. She is able to attract, pick up and throw barrels as well as store water and squirt it at enemies. Some of these techniques can be utilised to get passed rats which Ellie has an irrational fear of. She can also swim across bodies of water.
Parry the Parallel Bird
Parry will fly directly above the Kongs and collect items that are out of reach. If Parry is hurt, he will flee and will not appear again until another animal crate containing him is opened.
Lightfish is an aquatic creature that resembles a giant tadpole. Like Glimmer, Lightfish will appear in dark places underwater and will light the way ahead for the Kongs. In offical artwork of Lightfish, his face bares a resemblance to Glimmers.
List of Jungle Buddies
Donkey Kong Jungle Beat has its own variety of friendly animals known as Jungle Buddies which have similar roles to Animal Buddies.
- Main article: Hoofer the Wildebeest
Hoofer is a Wildebeest that can run rather fast and charge through obstacles similar to Rambi. Upon reaching a levels goal, Hoofer will perform a mighty leap which can earn Donkey Kong more Beats depending on the distance they travel before hitting the ground.
Flurl appears to be based off the Japanese flying squirrel and will act as a parachute for Donkey Kong so he can gently glide down chasms. Flurl can gain extra lift using updrafts but he must be careful not collide with anything otherwise he will vanish and return to his perch. In European regions, Flurl is known as Ressar.
Orco, also known as Shachee, is an Orca that swims swiftly through the water. Donkey Kong can grab onto Orco to get passed strong currents, smash through obstacles and reach up high when they leap out of the water.
Helibird can fly Donkey Kong pass hazards similar to Squawks. However he can only ascend left or right due to the games control scheme. If they collide with any obstacles or if Donkey Kong touches the ground, Helibird will disappear and return to his perch.
Other helpful animals
Professor Chops is a pig who first appeared in Donkey Kong Country Returns and provides hints for the Kongs when they need it. He also acts as a checkpoint during levels.
Helper Monkeys are seen throughout Donkey Kong Jungle Beat and can help Donkey Kong by throwing him through the air from floating bushes or swinging him across one area to the next. They are also known as Party Monkeys.
Tawks the Parrot
In the Switch version of Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze while playing Funky Mode, Tawks will take Funky Kong's role of running the Fly n' Buy. He will try to act like Funky and sell items to the player, but he will also give a special discount if Funky is the one buying.