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Drool Over This Donkey Kong Country Returns Concept Art

Posted by James Newton

Then throw a barrel maybe

The art style in Donkey Kong Country Returns is pitch-perfect, showing respect to the gorilla's history and containing countless tiny references to his previous outings as well as other Retro Studios titles.

The concept art that went into producing this unique art style is every bit as impressive as you'd expect, particularly the radically different design for DK himself; without his red tie he'd be unrecognisable from his final form, but the art itself completely captures the spirit of the game that will be familiar to players.

These pieces are just a few picked from the gallery available over at, so be sure to check out some of the other pictures available there and be impressed by the game's arty origins.


From the web

Game Screenshots

User Comments (40)



zezhyrule said:

Wow... So beautiful! I especially like the one with DK holding up the Wii remote



Aronos said:

The gallery and many other concept art is available in the game itself if people are wondering.
Also, many of the drawings looked really good, and I was dissapointed that much of it never made it into the final game.
Oh well, maybe in the sequel they will have much more.



NESguy94 said:

These are really nice. Are these some of the pics you get if you beat everything in the game?



Machu said:

Already drooled over these in-game, but yes, they are very nice indeed.



Golgo said:

So cool. I think Retro knows Nintendo almost better than Nintendo knows itself. Please Nintendo, give them another franchise to rescue, something else that you've left to die!



komicturtle said:

Amazing. I'm going to have to really work hard if I ever want to be part of Retro Studios' team. Man, can't wait to start Game Art. This along with the concept art I've seen for Metroid Prime have really inspired me



EdEN said:

And when can we expect and artbook with all of the concept art?



motang said:

Saw that this morning, man I do wish the waterfall level would have made the cut, that looks jaw dropping awesome!



NintyMan said:

They definitely are drool-worthy. They are very beautiful and lush, and the realistic Donkey Kong is a nice touch. My favorite one has to be the "Undersea Adventures" one because it has him swimming underwater. All of them including the retro ones are fantastic though.



Fuzzy said:

If there was a kind of sillhouette level with those waterfalls in the background, that would have been awesome.



JustaGerm said:

This brings me a new respect for the game. I'm getting Brother Bear vibes from the art style. Dopeness.



Monkeh said:

Damn wouldn't mind seeing a DKC on the next Nintendo console with those kind of graphics. Really great concept art.



LordTendoboy said:

Breathtaking. I love Retro!

Retro has some of the best artists in the industry, along with Bungie (Halo) and Sony Santa Monica (God of War).

Check out the Halo Encyclopedia, it has some amazing artwork.



aaronsullivan said:

Hmm... what would a Retro version of Kid Icarus or Star Fox be like on the next-gen Nintendo console? That would be interesting.



LittleIrves said:

@shinesprite et al.: You beat me to the punch. Was gonna highlight the awesomeness of that pic, what with all the console parts and controller ports making up the structure. "Barrel &/or Barrel" - funny. Though that hidden Jumpman is straight ridiculous. Never would've found that. Kudos, Retro.



InsanityPika said:

Woah. Completely beautiful. I know there's places like this in the real world. But you rarely see them. I guess that makes them even more great. sigh Why doesn't life just be like this?

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