News Article

Feature: When Cranky Kong Took On Twitter

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Madness? Brilliance? Both?

With Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze now on sale in Europe and North America, Nintendo of America celebrated the big launch by having 'Cranky Kong' takeover its official Twitter account. The elderly ape — the original Donkey Kong from the arcade according to lore — has been promoted for his entertaining character, bemoaning the youth of today and similar themes. Nintendo and Retro Studios are clearly rather chuffed with the cane-wielding mascot's inclusion in the game.

With an emphasis on comedy and parody, Cranky's takeover of NoA's 614,000+ followers included quite a lot of tweets. Who knows, perhaps the bearded and grumpy ape will continue leading the account for a while, but at the time of writing seems to have finished and headed back to his tropical island hut. It's full of mock memes, wisecracks at modern games and gamers in general, as well as general slices of comedy in relatively few characters.

We're going to go on the assumption that anyone reading this far is aware that Cranky Kong isn't a real-life bearded ape with a cane, so we're interested in what you think of this as a marketing stunt from the big N in North America. Is this just the kind of humorous, self-referential social media marketing that the company should use more, or are you cringing yourself into spasms and chewing off your own knuckles? For our money it's certainly welcome that Nintendo is infusing personality into some of its marketing efforts, but check out Cranky's efforts (minus retweets) below and let us know what you think in the comments.

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User Comments (112)



Rezalack said:

"Old enough to remember when falling in a pit in a platformer was called “lack of skill” and not “cheap.”"

This was the best comment he could have put out.



Discipledoctor said:

I loved it. The "memes" were hilarious and the comment about dying in a game being "lack of skill" was as awesome as you'd expect from a cranky old guy. Nintendo really did great with this one.



Yoshi said:

Some of these were pretty good.

I'm legitimately curious as to what an animal buddy named "Twitter" would look like.



TwilightV said:

"I chase freeloaders off my property while waving my cane above my head and shouting random nonsensical game tips."

Cranky's living the dream. c:



Thrash13 said:

@Spuratis I agree 100%, that was great. They definitely took a little shot or two at some of the reviews/Nintendo haters out there. Great stuff!



unrandomsam said:

A cheap death used to be what some arcade machines did cheating basically. Nothing to do with difficulty (No cheap deaths in Arcade Ghosts n Goblins regardless of its difficulty).



Einherjar said:

Old enough to remember when falling in a pit in a platformer was called “lack of skill” and not “cheap.”

Just awesome



rjejr said:

Brilliant. All of it. Rickroll, Dos Equis and beating on IGN. They must have been planning this stuff for weeks. Well done.



MJKOP said:

I was lucky enough to catch these on Twitter yesterday I thought they were brilliant!



5ony said:

Yes, yes, I saw these being posted too! As a lot of people have mentioned, they were great! Nintendo's come a long way from their Super Mario 3D World caturday shenanigans.



Action51 said:

Love's self aware and funny.

Lol@ the response to IGN...pointing out how cranky message boards can be!



Gerbwmu said:

Way more entertaining then the normal Nintendo Twitter.....I think they need to do stuff like this more often



banacheck said:

You think I’m cranky? Check out some of the message boards out there!

So true,

Old enough to remember when falling in a pit in a platformer was called “lack of skill” and not “cheap.”




MrWalkieTalkie said:

To think, Nintendo hired someone to make these posts on twitter for them. And they say there's no such thing as dream jobs!



sinalefa said:


This made my weekend. Thank you very much for sharing this, or I would have never known. I really need a Twitter account, it seems.



LavaTwilight said:

When the first DKC came out I loved Cranky! He made the game brilliant - especially his taunts at the end goading me into trying to improve my completion score. I think these Tweets are brilliant.



LavaTwilight said:

That is someone's job. They'll be 'Social Media Executive' or something like that. In charge of not only overseeing Twitter but also Facebook and other websites like that. It's great until they need to fend off complaints and/or media.



2Sang said:

nintendo's just learning what a meme is, but still doesn't fully understand. How cute.



ricklongo said:

Genius. I LOL'd at the meme posts, especially the first one.

I hope NoA does more stuff like that.



Swiket said:

Cranky's just like Nintendo; they didn't learn what the Internet was until 2012



IronMan28 said:

I was skeptical, but I thought this was hilarious. I like this kind of promotion, it's bananas!



Sparx said:

"We're going to go on the assumption that anyone reading this far is aware that Cranky Kong isn't a real-life bearded ape with a cane,"

y-you mean DK Island isn't a real place D: -dreams crushed-

but seriously, I struggled trying not to laugh out loud at these XD



Kelstormborn said:

I was so excited when I saw this happening, but I didn't get to stick around on twitter to watch all the comments and memes. I would definitely pay more attention to the Nintendo twitter account if they did something like this once or month or every other month. It was a smart move



NintyMan said:

I think it's funny. Cranky is a funny old ape and I'm glad Nintendo took advantage of that. His rambling comments always bring a smile to my face!



FriedSquid said:

When Nintendo is busy, Cranky Kong is in charge of the Twitter.

Cranky Kong: "Leave it to me!"



GalacticMario28 said:

As a very cynical person, I loved almost everything Cranky had to say, especially the 'cheap death' bit. I'd be tempted to actually make a Twitter account if Nintendo did this more often.



open said:

Coming from a company that didn't engage in social media until a couple of years ago... Doing much better.



idork99 said:

Anything to get these young "Whippersnappers'" attention and lure them into quality gaming! Not just tapping and sliding gestures at a screen. What fun and skill can come from tapping and sliding? None IMO.

(Gosh, now I'm starting to sound like Cranky )



Dezsi said:

I love Cranky Kong. This actually makes me want to buy the game. Not that I wouldn't buy it otherwise, but it brings back some fond memories. I only wish that Cranky will be showing off his grumpy skills, much like in DKC.



Jampie said:

Lol! This was pretty funny. I loved Cranky Kong's response to IGN and how old he was.



belmont said:

The comments here on Nlife about Cranky in the latest Nintendo Direct chat were very funny. We speculated the announcement of games like Metal Cranky Solid, Cranky Returns: Cranky Fantasy 13, Cranky Kong Country Returns and many more.



unrandomsam said:

@idork99 I really enjoyed Warioware Touched! and that is all that consists of. The fact is though 5 seconds of each is enough. The whole game Fruit Ninja was ripped off from one microgame from Warioware Touched!



idork99 said:

@unrandomsam I, too, enjoyed Wario Ware Touched! My comment was directed at the younger gamers that only play games on a touch screen. I should edit my comment to say: "What fun can come from JUST tapping and sliding? NOT MUCH IMO." There are simple games that benefit from touch screen controls. But I'm old and I am biased towards traditional (joystick and buttons) controls. Just like Cranky



Henmii said:

Good humor! But the remark about animal buddies is of course Trololololol! We REALLY should have gotten more then just Rambi! Just saying!



LetsGoRetro said:

I've come to the realization that Nintendo doesn't know I exist. Nintendo fans don't like when people say it's a company for kids but the sad truth is Nintendo bought into that themselves somewhere along the way.

If a Nintendo representative walked by me in a bar, a 30 year old man drinking some beers with a group of 20 and 30 something's, they wouldn't think there was a chance I was waiting on what their next announcements are. This is why they focus zero of their time and money on wanting to appeal to me.

They seem to not be able to do the simple math to figure out I'm in the generation that grew up on their products. It doesn't cross their minds to make franchise iterations & marketing campaigns to appeal to me because they assume that if i evr did play Nintendo, i've since moved on, so they're going to just focus on another 8 year old and repeat the cycle.

It's really a shame because everyone loses. I want to be excited for what's coming out next, but they make it very hard. They forget that if I continue to love Nintendo, I'm going to pass it on to my kids. They don't factor in that if Nintendo is a distant memory, i'm going to introduce my kids to the new things I'm playing, which then breaks the cycle because Nintendo loses it's biggest strength: The nostalgia factor. If I introduce my kid to non Nintendo stuff as a kid, that becomes his "nintendo". If you didn't play Nintendo as a kid, you're surely not getting into it later in life.

They're relying on the hooks they sank in in my childhood, assuming my kids will go play their new products no matter what i go off and get into, but they've underestimated the influence I can have on what he likes. They also underestimate the money my generation of people that still want to love Nintendo can still generate for them.

It's a shame. I want to love Nintendo again...



ddbangsy said:

Well done Cranky for giving abit back! It's great to see this clever humourous side to Nintendo, and I think it's time we started sticking up for ourselves more often



Senario said:

@yuwarite Ignore him. I think he has a problem with enjoying content that is made for everyone, passing it off as childlike because he treats adult as a term of approval rather than simply a descriptive term.



MJKOP said:

@LetsGoRetro I'm 33 in May, have two children, work full time, love Michael Jackson, football (LFC), and I'm still genuinely excited for what Nintendo do and what they're gonna do next, I still have a love for them and you can bet my kids love them too



Funny_Moblin said:

@LetsGoRetro lol...what do you want, mature games from Nintendo? Mario with guns? Anything different from what Nintendo makes is not Nintendo...geez, you don't even like Smash Bros. then...oh, would you like Smash Bros. with head cutting and and a lot of blood?

Any person who truly loves Nintendo will enjoy their current games as adults, and as a family. I really don't mind you calling Nintendo a kids' company, because you will miss all their games (even though I'm sure you still buy them, you can't resist them), so the joke's on you.



WanderingPB said:

Old enough to remember when falling in a pit in a platformer was called “lack of skill” and not “cheap.”

The best thing i read all day and i wonder if Cranky can read minds because i thought the same thing when i read the reviews who complained about the games difficulty.…well said Cranky well said



Funny_Moblin said:

Guys, look at Nintendo of America's latest post on Twitter! What's the exclusive downloadable content all about?



allav866 said:

My favorite post was the shout-out to the Game & Watch games. I'm a bit of a fan myself. I doubt we share a common love for Donkey Kong Jr. though, since he's the ape that needs rescuing in it.



Zach said:

@LetsGoRetro I was born in 1985 and this appeals greatly to me. I'm pretty sure I'm part of a large demographic. This genuinely makes me more interested in the game. Go figure. Like Gary Oldman always said, "Diff'rent strokes!"



FineLerv said:

@Zach "Like Gary Oldman always said, "Diff'rent strokes!""
Gary Coleman? Gary Oldman was more like "How strange is my Dracula hair?"



Williaint said:

Cranky is still my Favourite Kong.
I'm surprised nobody asked him if he WAS the original Donkey Kong.

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