Donkey Kong Country Gets Remade as a Surreal Vaporwave Art Piece

Donkey Kong Country gets trippy in this vaporwave homage.
Donkey Kong Country gets trippy in this vaporwave homage.
Donkeykong.exe

Vaporwave’s not for everyone. This niche subgenre of electronic music can be described as dreamlike or downbeat, punctuated by the retro sounds of obsolete elements from ‘80s and ‘90s culture. But it’s more than just a sound; vaporwave culture also takes aim at consumerism and the mainstream through a mixture of nostalgia and surrealism. It’s also incredibly esoteric, and outside of its cult fanbase, many may find the whole thing a bit too impenetrable.

Still, despite claims that vaporwave is a dead genre (mainly because it got noticed by people), new projects keep spawning from it. This latest should be an appealing one to anyone who ever picked up a video game controller, as the SNES classic Donkey Kong Country has been transformed into a full-on vaporwave gaming experience.

This game, titled DonkeyKong.exe (or スーパードンキーコング D R E A M A K E), is a hypnotic reimagining of the original, complete with a lethargic version of the game’s memorable soundtrack and a dizzying array of retro screen effects and sounds. As Donkey, Diddy, and Cranky Kong traverse through this freakish experiment, players will notice that this isn’t quite the same game they grew up with.

Characters only have the ability to walk side to side and jump, and many of the title’s staples have been transformed to fit the vaporwave ideology. Memorable locations have been replaced with a neon landscape of geometric vector graphics, and robotic bleeps and bloops stand in for the game’s original sound effects.

One of the most interesting changes is the collectible letters from the original that once only spelled out “Kong.” Here they have much darker messages like “Consume” and “Obey,” as you’ll soon find that all you can really do in DonkeyKong.exe is collect bananas and watch as Cranky falls into an abyss of commercialization. The theme of consumption fits in well with the genre’s cultural outlook. In an interview with Kotaku, the game’s creator, Sebastian Strand, noted that he was drawn to vaporwave because of its "ambivalent relationship to commercialism and the notion of dissecting (often superficial) popular culture and twisting and redefining it into something new just tickles me the right way.”

For the most part, DonkeyKong.exe is beyond a written explanation. If you’re interested in this bizarre take on the beloved Super Nintendo game, you can download it for free.

[h/t Kotaku]

The Mental Floss Store Is Back!

Mental Floss Store
Mental Floss Store

You've been asking about it for months, and today we can finally confirm that the Mental Floss Store is back up and running! Simply head here to find dozens of T-shirts with all sorts of unique designs to choose from, whether you’re in the market for a pi pun, a risqué grammar joke, or something only your fellow bookworms will appreciate. You can even use your new Mental Floss shirt to teach your friends all about scurvy.

Mental Floss Store

If you’re just in the mood to express your love of all things Mental Floss, you can also get our darling little logo on phone cases, tote bags, mugs, baby bibs, and more.

Mental Floss Store

Head on over to the Mental Floss Store to see our entire collection. And if you use the code FLOSSERS at checkout by end of day Sunday, you'll get 20 percent off your order. 

Sign Up Today: Get exclusive deals, product news, reviews, and more with the Mental Floss Smart Shopping newsletter!

22 Creepy Cryptids From Around the World

Belgian painter Pieter Dirkx's interpretation of the Mongolian death worm.
Belgian painter Pieter Dirkx's interpretation of the Mongolian death worm.

According to Merriam-Webster, a cryptid is an animal "that has been claimed to exist but never proven to exist." But as Bigfoot believers and Loch Ness Monster enthusiasts are often quick to point out, it’s pretty difficult to prove that something doesn’t exist. Plus, it’s much more fun to indulge in the idea that giant sea monsters and hairy humanoids are roaming the uncharted corners of the planet.

On this episode of The List Show, Mental Floss editor-in-chief Erin McCarthy is taking viewers across time and space to unearth legends about lesser-known monsters that, again, haven’t been proven to not exist. Take the Mongolian death worm, a lamprey-like nightmare that supposedly lives in the Gobi Desert and radiates a poison so strong that you could die just by standing near it. If you’re an ill-behaved child or a Catholic who scarfs down steak every Friday during Lent, watch out for the Rougarou, a Louisiana-based werewolf that sniffs out those two demographics.

Learn about more fearsome, fascinating cryptids of all kinds in the video below, and subscribe to the Mental Floss YouTube channel for future episodes of The List Show.