Donkey Kong Killed Mario's and Luigi's Father Edit
OK, this just might be the nerdiest thing I've ever typed but I just gotta get it out.
While bored today, I started thinking about how the Mario games connect with each other. Obviously these are games that are not really made with continuity in mind, and only really focus on a complicated plot in rare occasions. But I was looking into it today and I think I've made a few revelations about the universe of everybody's favorite Italian plumber.
I know these fan theories often have holes in them, and I'm sure mine will have some too so feel free to point them out but I'll present my argument by bolding everything that I've found to be fact in the Mario universe and elaborating on these facts with analysis and sources.
Cranky Kong of "Donkey Kong Country" was the original Donkey Kong from the Arcade Game, making his son, the present Donkey Kong, actually Donkey Kong JuniorEdit
This is something that was well established in the Rare Donkey Kong games. The opening scene of Donkey Kong Country is Cranky standing on top of the original setting of the Donkey Kong arcade game's first level, getting pushed out of the way by DK. Cranky makes several references to being the original Donkey Kong through the course of the game. While the relationship between Cranky and Donkey Kong varies, the strongest indicator is the fact that Cranky himself refers to DK as his son in "Donkey Kong 64." If DK were Cranky's son, this makes the case that the DK from "Donkey Kong Country" to today is actually the original Donkey Kong Jr. all grown up.
Mario and Donkey Kong are the Same AgeEdit
Seen in "Yoshi's Island DS", the Yoshi's get help from many different babies to save Baby Luigi in a prequel to the main Mario games. These babies include Peach, Wario, Bowser, Mario, and DK, making them all around the same age.
If we know this to be true, it would be impossible for adult Mario to share a game with Donkey Kong Jr. outside of Kart and Sport games, which often have baby versions of characters.
But if this is true, then how does the game "Donkey Kong Junior" work? Known as the only game where Mario is the antagonist, whipping Cranky Kong in a cage while DK climbs to save him, it features a fully mustached Mario with a very young Donkey Kong. There could really only be one explanation for this.
The Mario from the Donkey Kong Arcade Game is NOT the Same Mario from the Main SeriesEdit
It actually makes a lot of sense. Mario is a plumber who lives in the Mushroom Kingdom and loves Princess Peach while Jumpman is a carpenter who lives in New York and loves his girlfriend Pauline. So either Mario made a TON of dramatic life changing choices after Donkey Kong Jr. or, more simply, they are not the same person.
We are also to assume that is would be impossible for the Pauline of the "Mario VS. Donkey Kong" games to be the same Pauline of the Donkey Kong arcade game, due to the fact that Pauline would have to age the same as Cranky Kong, making her elderly.
This explanation is also a little nicer when you think about it. Jumpman is triumphant in winning Pauline's heart at the end of Donkey Kong, while Mario is innocent of evil crimes that Jumpman committed in Donkey Kong Jr.
This is where more theory comes in. If Jumpman and Mario are not the same person, do they have a relationship? Well, at the end of Yoshi's Island, it is shown that Mario and Luigi have two parents. While a good look is never given for these two figures, they could very possibly be Jumpman and Pauline.
So Mario and Donkey Kong have parents who we've met before, and Donkey Kong has even shared a game with Mario's possible father! That's pretty nice, right?
Well... not for everybody.
The Antagonist in Donkey Kong Junior Dies at the End of the GameEdit
OK, hear me out.
In Donkey Kong, after getting hit with an obstacle on your way to the top, you do a couple spins and finally fall to the ground with a halo around your head. You died. You have lives that could bring you back to life, but in that instance you did die.
Now, when you beat Donkey Kong (or Donkey Kong 3) Cranky falls to the ground, hits his head, and looks very dizzy. As we know, he also returns in more games well into his old age.
This is the end of Donkey Kong Junior:
Jumpman falls to the ground and lies down with a halo floating above his head. He's dead. As the antagonist of the game, he has no extra lives. Because it's impossible for this to be the Mario of games separate from the DK arcade games, he has never come back in a story that takes place after this. Even Donkey Kong 3, which takes place right after DKJ, doesn't feature him.
TL;DR: Donkey Kong kills Jumpman, who may in fact be Mario & Luigi's father.
Donkey Kong Country is Anti American PropagandaEditOn the surface, Donkey Kong Country documents the journey of a well-dressed gorilla across 40 epic levels as he seeks to reclaim a hoard of bananas stolen from his family by a crocodile monarch who saw fit to leave them strewn across an entire island continent rather than keep them in a single giant fruit basket.
As explained in this video from the Game Theorists, Donkey Kong Country is secretly a piece of anti-American propaganda about the Banana Wars of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As that is one of the most baffling sentences in history, it requires a bit of explaining.
You see, after the Spanish-American War, the United States gained control of Cuba and Puerto Rico, giving the U.S. military a foothold in the Caribbean that it used to freely police several Caribbean states, such as Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Haiti. It frequently intervened on behalf of the United Fruit Company (now known as Chiquita Brands International), who illegally overthrew local businesses in those states to gain virtual domination of the banana trade (this is where the term "banana republic" comes from, which would later be used to unironically sell expensive clothes to yuppies).
The theory goes that Donkey Kong Country is supposed to symbolize one of those Caribbean states (probably Nicaragua or Honduras), and all of its bananas are being stolen by an invading military force. Check this out: King K. Rool, the leader of the evil crocodiles, doesn't even like bananas, so that would suggest he's stealing them for some economically strategic reason rather than joyous gluttony. Same thing with the United States -- Americans don't love bananas so much as they love trade monopolies. And the president at the time of the Banana Wars was Teddy Roosevelt, a man often compared to a king, who had absolutely no problem beating the juggling Jesus out of any country that stood in the way of American imperialism, particularly those in the Caribbean. Roosevelt is King K. Rool -- even their names look similar when you put them side by side like that.
The game eventually has you fighting King K. Rool on a pirate ship, which seems odd (since he isn't a pirate) until you realize that the United Fruit Company and the U.S. military had a habit of enforcing their will with fleets of naval vessels. You're actually doing battle with Teddy Roosevelt aboard a U.S. Navy frigate.
Certain enemies in the game more clearly represent the U.S. military:
A later level reveals that the crocodiles are turning large portions of Donkey Kong Country into desolate oil fields, which is such a thinly veiled reference to American foreign policy that the final boss might as well be a giant neon cowboy in a huge pickup truck.
In actuality, the boss is a giant oil drum amid mountains of stolen bananas. So, pretty much the same thing.