DK! Donkey Kong! He's the leader of the bunch, you know him well! DK marks his debut in Super Smash Bros. as the sixth character revealed, as well as the first one of the second wave. He has starred in countless games with many different roles: the main villain, adventurer in his island (and some others), kart driver and even tennis player. In each game he starred in, DK has shown to be far stronger than any other ape, primate or human, so in Smash he is a heavy, strong but not so slow character.
DK doesn't fall in any character archetype: he has slightly above average dashing speed, very poor walking speed, high air speed and the third highest falling speed (after only King Dedede and Braixen), as well as very powerful moves (he is often considered to be the fourth strongest character in the game, along with Ganon, Bowser and King Dedede). Unlike the other characters, DK is also able to quickly move in the stage and has some very useful true combos, like his cargo up throw into up aerial or his cargo chain grab. DK's metagame is more vertical-based than horizontal, with some strong and fast vertical finishers, like Hand Slap. Barrel isn't very useful, but it's also DK's only projectile. Kongo Supplex can be used for quick KOs, as it goes through shields and can be even used for suicidal KOs. On the other hand, DK's recovery has above average distance, but it's quite predictable. All in all, DK is considered to be among the best characters for beginners, but skilled players usually have some tricks to quickly take him off. However, DK's little but useful combos and strong moves have given him a rather high spot in the tier list, 13th out of 30.
Jab - punches with the left hand, then spins around once, hitting both in front of and behind him. Based on the Primate Punch ability seen in Skylanders: Superchargers, albeit with the last hit omitted.
Forward tilt - kicks with both feet at the same time, while advancing slightly. A very useful tilt, with great spacing abilities as well as a nice horizontal angle. Based on the Dash attack seen in Donkey Kong 64.
Up tilt - sweeps his hand above him, first in front of, then behind. Poor uses aside of occasional anti-air.
Down tilt - sweeps his hand downwards, launching opponents horizontally. Allows DK to edge-guard his opponents.
Dash attack - rolls forward. Considered to be among the best dash attacks in the game due to its speed, launch angle and overall safeness. Based on the roll seen in most Donkey Kong Country games.
Forward Smash - traps his opponent in a barrel that soon explodes. Among the strongest forward Smashes in the entire game, but comes packed with considerable ending lag. Based on the last hit of Primate Punch, a combo used by Turbo Charge Donkey Kong.
Up Smash - a very strong head butt. Has immense strength and can easily considered to be the strongest up Smash in the game (without counting Luigi’s, since the sweet spot is really hard to get). Deals huge shield damage as well, being able to break a shield if fully charged.
Down Smash - jumps in a Barrel Cannon and soon lands on the ground. Has weak base knockback but very high knockback scaling, as well as a deadly horizontal launch angle. Based on the Barrel Cannons seen in many titles.
Neutral aerial - spins once. Has terrible reach but covers DK’s entire hurt-box. Cannot be used for approach however, but it’s best used in defensive phase.
Forward aerial - slams downwards with both hands together. Among the strongest meteor smashes in the entire game, it’s also relatively fast and safe. Based on the aerial attack seen in Donkey Kong 64.
Back aerial - a simple kick. It’s really fast and deals high damage, giving DK a great edge-guarding move.
Up aerial - DK extends his arms upwards and, if grabs someone, launches them diagonally downwards. A useful spike with good reach and speed but mediocre priority, since any attack can break a grab.
Down aerial - quickly falls on the ground while spinning. Can be used to spike opponents but it is very unsafe, like any other stall-and-fall moves.
Grab and throws
Grab - grabs his opponent with both hands.
Pummel - punches with the left hand.
Forward throw - the infamous Cargo throw: DK puts his opponents on his back. While performing this move, he can still move. Has enormous landing lag for the grabbed opponent, allowing to chain-grab. Has a separate set of throws, however any throw releases the opponent at a short distance in the chosen direction.
Back throw - launches his opponents backwards with a single hand. The second best KO throw in the entire game after Mewtwo’s.
Up throw - tosses his opponent upwards. Has high base knockback and non-existing knockback scaling.
Down throw - slams his opponent on the ground with a single hand. Has a diagonal launch angle.
DK pulls out of nowhere a barrel. He can move around freely and throw it. Everybody can pick up the barrel if it is on the ground, but DK is noticeable because he’s the only character in the game to retain the ability to jump even when carrying a heavy item.
2% (grab), 17% (landing), 5% (area impact)
DK grabs forward, leaps upwards and then falls on the ground, inflicting high damage and knockback. DK can move sideways while performing the attack, potentially leading to the Kongocide.
6% (Barrel Cannon), 11% (Auto-Fire Barrel)
DK enters inside a Barrel Cannon that explodes and allows him to jump high. When the barrel explodes, it deals some damage and rather high knockback. There’s a chance that an Auto-Fire Barrel appears instead. The Auto-Fire Barrel deals much higher damage and allows DK to jump higher.
DK slams his hands on the ground, dealing vertical knockback and inflicting good damage. The shockwave created by DK get smaller and smaller each slap. Usually considered to be DK’s least useful attack.
18% (per barrel)
DK jumps in the background on a platform similar to the ones seen in the first Donkey Kong titles. From there, he launches barrels. It’s possible to control the trajectory by moving a column of light. DK can throw up to 7 barrels.
Fighting stance: taken from Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.
On-screen appearance: a DK Barrel falls on the ground, then it explodes and performs a gorilla pose.
Up taunt: beats his chest.
Side taunt: shakes his hands.
Down taunt: plays his bongos.
Smash Taunt: in Grassland Groove, if down taunt is held, DK will play with his 3DS instead.
Winning animation 1: eats a banana, smiling. Similar to an artwork for Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.
Winning animation 2: lies down on a banana hoard.
Winning animation 3: plays his own victory theme with bongos.
Losing animation: claps.
Idle: shakes himself.
Idle: performs an underhand strike.
Idle: punches his chest once.
Walking animation: a monkey-esque walk.
Dashing animation: taken from Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.
Jumping animation: DK's standard jump.
Double jump: the rolling animation seen in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze when DK jumps on an opponent.
Default: DK's default appearance. Brown fur, pink body and red tie.
Yellow: based on a banana's palette. Yellow fur, body and tie.
Pink: based on Junior II from Donkey Kong Jr. Math. Pink fur, pink body and white tie.
Red: based on the original DK from Donkey Kong. Red fur, pink body and no tie.
Black: based on a true gorilla. Black fur and body and green tie.
Light brown: based on Dixie Kong's palette. Light brown fur, pink body and tie.
Green: based on King K. Rool's palette. Green fur, bronze body and golden tie.