Donkey Konga video: Four full combos in 4-player “Quartet Mode” — by myself! (Pokemon Theme)

October 22, 2006 Off By Tommy Gun

donkey-konga-125.jpgProbably everyone who’s ever played Donkey Konga has had the idea to play more than one bongo at once. I bet a lot of people have tried it. I figured I could do it, and it would make a good video. I realize this is nothing compared to a Pop’n Music video, but keep in mind that DK wasn’t designed for this. In this video I play the Pokemon Theme in Quartet Mode (4-player) by myself, and get four full combos.



Donkey Konga: Serious Business


You can watch this video at any of the sites below. Please see this FAQ entry for more information on these sites.

Choose a Site: GameTrailers | GameSpot | YouTube

Download Hi-Res: Check the Downloads page.

A Few Notes About the Game:

Colored Notes: If you haven’t played the game before, here are what the notes mean:

Yellow: Hit left bongo
Red: Hit right bongo
Pink: Hit both simultaneously
Spiky Blue: Clap

Drum rolls: These are the long notes. You don’t get any points for drum rolls, and they don’t count as misses. They’re meaningless, score-wise. In single player (“Street Performance”) you earn coins for doing them, but in multiplayer, nothing. They don’t show up on the results screen or anything.

Even though you don’t get points for them, I still did them in this video. They’re part of the song, and it’s stupid that they don’t give you any points.

Clapping: When I clap, all of the bongos pick it up, as they should. In some spots I have to hit a note and clap at the same time, but I only hit the note, because it’s enough vibration/noise to also trigger the clap sensor. What’s the sound of one hand clapping?

Trophy: At the end of the video you’ll see a trophy appear over P2. All that means is that P2 had the highest combo, but they were all full combos (no bads, no misses), and P2 just had more notes than the rest.

The Song — Pokemon Theme:

Quartet mode is meant for four people to play at once (obviously), and as such, the note charts are designed to overlap. The really hard songs overlap a lot more with more variation, and you really can’t do them alone (well I’m sure some insane person out there could with a lot of practice). If the song is too easy, you’re basically just playing single player but split up between bongos (i.e., notes on P1, then notes on P2, etc. instead of at the same time). The Pokemon theme was just right, which is why I chose it. It overlaps enough to make it fun, and somewhat difficult, but not insane. I wanted to be able to hit all the notes, including drum rolls.

Shortcuts and Exploits:

It’s definitely possible to do harder songs. I can do a lot of the songs this way, but probably not get full combos (despite what people say, I actually do have better things to do than practice stuff like this all day long). Here are some tips for harder songs:

  • Ignore claps that are at the same time as notes — just hit the notes and the clap sensor should trigger.
  • Ignore ALL rolls (drum and clap rolls). You don’t get points, they don’t matter. Only do them for fun.
  • Double hit as much as possible (hit two bongos with one hand). If P1 and P2 have the same notes, hit them both with the same hand. That way it’s just like playing single player. (Which is why I specifically avoided that in this video and used both hands when I could.)
  • Use your arm to hit all four drums if necessary. Sometimes there are pink notes on all players — you can get them.
  • Diagonal hits — use your thumb on one pad and your fingers on the other, like I did for the very first note. More of a press than a hit.


pitt_norton commented on GAF: “That’s not how you play a music game…This is how you play a music game” and gave a link to a Pop’n Music video. My answer might clarify it a bit for other people also, so I’m posting it here too:

DK is weird to play this way for a few reasons — the bongos aren’t connected so they slide around and change positions. Reaching them all isn’t exactly easy, as you see I stand at an angle so I can move to the side when I need to hit P1 and P4 at once. Pop’n Music has separate columns for each note, so it’s easier to read, and you can adjust the scroll speed, etc. DK certainly isn’t harder, but it’s weird to play.

I guess my point is that you’re right, that’s not how you play, which is the whole reason I did it.

Update 2:

This was mentioned in NGamer magazine!