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Are Donkey Kong and Bowser Friends?

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Have you ever wondered if Donkey Kong and Bowser were friends? Maybe because Donkey Kong was a villain and bowser is a villain that someone suggested they were friends? Well, in this article we will go over everything you need to know about DOnkey Kong and Bowser. 

Are Donkey Kong and Bowser Friends?

Both Donkey Kong and Bowser, although not rivals, are however, not friends either. If you go in depth into the backgrounds of the storyline, each character will shed light on what they have in common and why it is safe to say they are not friends. 

If you would like to know more about Donkey Kong and Bowser, you will definitely want to keep reading this article. 

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Donkey Kong Game

Both Donkey Kong and Bowser were created by Nintendo’s creative game producer Shigeru Miyamoto who designed many of Nintendo’s best selling game characters. Donkey Kong was released four years earlier than Bowser, who debuted in the mid-1980s. Both characters became a success for the game company even until recent times. 

The whole series involving both characters grossed huge profits for Nintendo even in the early 1990s. Donkey Kong and Bowser were popular among contemporary games produced around the same time frame and even later.

The Donkey Kong game first came out as an arcade game. The storyline was such that in its first release, Donkey Kong was the enemy and opponent who had Mario’s girl in custody, while the subsequent versions had a somewhat different storyline. 

An example of this is the 1982 version, where the game was renamed Donkey Kong Jr, and a modification in the story sufficed also. The modified new version spotlighted Donkey Kong Jr, trying to save his father from a cage where Mario held him. Donkey Kong has to do so by evading a lot of obstructions on the path until he gets to his father in order to release him.

More identities appeared along the line as newer editions of the story were developed. Candy Kong was featured as the girlfriend, and a few other Kong characters in the publications were created later.

Bowser As A Character

Bowser, known as the Koopa’s king or as a demon king in Japan is the king of his clan. Since Bowser’s debut, his primary enemy remains Mario. Bowser has been featured in many editions of Nintendo games, and his voice has been done by many individuals, in both the Japanese and English versions. 

Bowser has always been a major enemy that abducts the popular princess known as Peach and aims to defeat not just Mario, but the whole of the Mushroom Kingdom. He is a fierce enemy that Mario has to battle at the end of almost every single game. Even in the original Mario Bros. game, Mario had to avoid the throwing axes of Bowser and get past him to drop the bridge. Dropping the bridge would make Bowser fall into the laval and the level would end. 

Bowser had more encounters with Mario than Kong, who also had numerous encounters with the enemy.

Unlike Donkey Kong that takes the form of an ape, Bowser looks very much like a turtle. As the series progresses, Bowser continually gets stronger and more fierce looking. He also has more enemies to defeat Mario as well as new weapons to defeat him.

A Common Enemy

Mario is a popular character and another creation of the famous Nintendo producer Miyamoto. The character, alongside his brother Luigi, fight and jump on and off obstacles in the first series in order to destroy enemies. In other series, the games are also multiplayer enabled, which gives users the opportunity to control both Mario and Luigi.

The Infinite Series of the game continues to feature Mario and Bowser in a fight. In a particular sequence, Mario, alongside his brother, fights against the Koopa to save Princess Peach.

Another series sees players battling with the head of the Koopa clan as he breathes fire and throws objects while the brothers dodge and attack. The rivalry between Mario and Bowser continues in the 1990 edition of Super Mario Bros 3, where the players will have to defeat Bowser by direct attack, or by using the subtle approach of creating a hole in the bricks until the enemy falls into the abyss. The arch-enemy Bowser turns into a big beast in the 2009 edition, where Bowser can chase and spit fireballs.

Mario has not only battled Bowser, his great antagonist, but Donkey Kong was also an enemy of Mario as well. An earlier edition saw the exchange between Donkey Kong fighting Mario as he held Pauline in custody. In the next version that was released, the tide is turned and we see Donkey Kong Jr fighting to save his father from Mario.

Another edition featured Donkey Kong as a civilian who enters and destroys a toy shop and gets away with some toys. Mario chases Donkey Kong in this version until he can retrieve the stolen toys from him. The rivalry continues even in a puzzle edition of the series.

From the different game editions, it is easy to spot the rivalry between Mario and Donkey Kong, and also Mario and Bowser, the head of the Koopas.

Rivals Or Friends

For emphasis, Donkey Kong and Bowser are not friends. They haven’t fought together in any series. However, they have not battled each other in the series as well. One thing is for sure, they both have battled the same enemy, and have been portrayed as villains in many editions of the game series.  If you  logically consider these facts, one might regard them as a friend to each other from the angle of having a common enemy. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Many users and enthusiasts have an interest in Bowser and believed he was more of a vicious enemy than Donkey Kong, while some call Bowser a good guy overall.


This analysis of Bowser and Donkey Kong has touched on the similarities of the role both characters have played in the many editions of the game developed at varying times over more than 30 years. 

In most cases the conclusion for both Bowser and Donkey Kong is that they are villains. This analysis has also shown that before you can get into the actual relationship between these game characters, you have to do a lot of in-depth study about them,and their storyline, and even more so how their creators actually designed them.

The characters have battled with a similar enemy, Mario, and not just in one edition, but in many editions. They have even at times been on the receiving end of some mischief, especially for Donkey Kong. 

It is especially evident that Donkey Kong and Bowser never fought against each other in all of the infinite series of games. Although most gamers tend to put them against each other based on their capabilities and the difficulty posed in different Mario series, they have to remain adversaries of the famous Mario. If you want to refer to them as a friend to each other, well, that will be up to each player since the developers never portrayed them as such. No matter how you view them, they are both great characters for Nintendo that everyone loves!