Super Smash Bros. Melee/Donkey Kong

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He is currently 15th on the tier list in the D tier. Donkey Kong, true to being a heavyweight, is tough to KO, which is also aided by his fast falling speed. Donkey Kong is also very powerful in his attacks, and he has excellent range to boot. He is also perhaps surprisingly fast for a heavyweight, and his jumping prowess is also surprisingly good. Donkey Kong also had plenty of options available for him to combo others, aided by his high air speed. However, Donkey Kong himself is easy to combo due to his large frame, and his recovery gives little vertical distance and has no options for extending it; this also makes him extremely vulnerable to meteor smashes and spikes.

"A" Moves Analysis

Ground attacks


Smash attacks

  • Forward smash- Claps in front of him for big knockback. Somewhat fast. 20% uncharged, 29% fully charged.
  • Up smash- Claps above him, good knockback. Somewhat slow, not to mention this will not hit a grounded foe at all. 18% uncharged, 24% fully charged.
  • Down smash- Brings his hands high and slams them down. 14-16% uncharged, 19-22% fully charged.

Other attacks

  • Floor attack- Gets up and punches on both sides. 6% damage.
  • Ledge attack- Launches his back to the floor with huge range, for a ledge attack. Does 8% damage.
  • 100% ledge attack- Gets up and slaps anyone in front of him. 10% damage.

Aerial attacks

  • Neutral aerial- Rotates his body, good for close situations. 10-12% damage.
  • Forward aerial- Similar to Mario's, brings his hands together and brings them down. This can meteor smash at his arms as opposed to his hands, which yields good horizontal knockback. 16%.
  • Back aerial- Fast kick behind him, good edgeguarder. 9-13% damage.
  • Up aerial- Headbutts upward, does 14% damage.
  • Down aerial- Thrusts his foot down. 13-16% damage. Also a meteor smash.

Grabs & throws

  • Pummel- Karate chops the foe. 2-3% damage, pretty fast.
  • Forward throw- Picks the opponent up. If up and A are pressed, tosses foe upward and does 7%. If down and A are pressed, throws the opponent like a bowling ball, 6% damage. If the directional button is pushed in the direction behind and A is pressed, tosses opponent behind him for 8%. If the direction button is pushed in the direction in front of DK and A is pressed, launches foe in front of him for 8% damage.
  • Back throw- Tosses foe behind him. 11% damage.
  • Down throw- Violently shoves the enemy to the ground, does 7% damage.
  • Up throw- Throws foe above him with one hand. 9% damage.

"B" Moves List

Move Analysis

  • Neutral B

Giant Punch is Donkey Kong's neutral special move. By pressing the special move button, DK will start swinging his arm around, charging a punch. Pressing the button once more will deliver the blow, which gains power for every completed swing. If no button is pressed, after ten swings DK will become fully charged and stop winding up; his head will start smoking to indicate this. The fully charged punch can then be delivered at any time by pressing the special move button; the punch is weaker when used in midair.

If the player presses a shield button or presses the control stick left or right while charging, DK will save whatever charge he has and shield or roll. He can then continue charging later. Being hit while charging will cancel out any charge.

  • Side B

Donkey Kong performs a headbutt. This attack can meteor smash an opponent if used in mid-air, or plow them into the ground, rendering them temporarily immobile, if used against opponents on the ground. Headbutt comes out faster in Brawl than in Melee. It can be utilized to break shields.

Headbutt is useful for performing a KO combo. Trapping the opponent and then using a fully charged Giant Punch or side smash can result in a KO. This combo has a higher chance of working if the opponent has a medium to high damage percentage. The higher their damage is, the longer the opponent will stay stuck. Also this can only work in Brawl, as in Melee, nothing can dig out the trapped victim. Does 10% on the ground, 14% in the air.

Almost humorously, the Headbutt can be used as a Cape glide, though slightly inferior to Mario's.

  • Up B

Spinning Kong:In terms of vertical recovery, this move goes a very short distance, but it goes almost as far horizontally as Meta Knight's Mach Tornado, making it a fairly effective recovery move. When used on the ground, the Spinning Kong can be used in a fashion similar to Bowser's Whirling Fortress; it can be used out of the shield, or as a disruptive tactic. The Spinning Kong's first hit, in which Donkey Kong extends his fist to charge up the spin, has decent knockback. The Spinning Kong can also act as a pseudo shield for some projectiles which is helpful when recovering.

The Spinning Kong does up to 36% damage, making it the second strongest up special in the game if all hits connect.

  • Down B

When performing it, Donkey Kong delivers an earth-shaking blow to the ground, sending nearby enemies skyward because of its considerable power, consistent and repetitive damage, and large hitbox. In recent hands-on gameplay, this move can hold enemies in place while it is in action. It is unknown if they will be able to release themselves.


Frame Data




Character Specific

Additional Note


Serious Advantage Match-ups


Advantage Match-ups

Luigi, Y.Link, Zelda, Roy, Yoshi, G&W, Ness, Bowser, Kirby, Pichu

Fair Match-ups

Samus, Pikachu, Link

Disadvantage Match-ups

Fox, Falco, Marth, Puff, Peach, C.Falcon, Ice Climbers, Doc, Ganondorf, Mario, Mew2

Serious Disadvantage Match-ups