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As reported in VGC’s Super Nintendo World review, which we covered during three days of early access to the Osaka-based attraction, Super Nintendo World features a locked door hidden towards the north of the park with a very DK-esque design.
While Universal is yet to officially announced a Donkey Kong expansion for Super Nintendo World, information alluding to the potential plans have circulated as far back as 2019. As reported in our review, the park’s mobile app also occasionally refers to the Mario area as Super Mario Land, separating it from Nintendo World itself.
Images showing a concept model for Super Nintendo World first suggested the park was planning to add a Donkey Kong area. The images showed a new world themed on the more modern Retro Studios Donkey Kong Country games, including a mine cart rollercoaster ride.
Then last year, Bloomberg’s Kurumi Mori claimed that Universal was “already building” the rumoured Donkey Kong world next door to Super Nintendo World.
The report is seemingly corroborated by the existence of the DK door at Super Nintendo World, in addition to Donkey Kong-related assets that were datamined from the Universal Studios Japan mobile app in December.
The assets include various collectables from the Donkey Kong Country series, as well as the titular apes themselves. The images match the visual style of Super Nintendo World’s Stamps, suggesting that similar Achievements-style challenges will be added to the future expansion.
Super Nintendo World is set to open officially in Osaka, Japan on March 18, but VGC was able to visit the park early for three days as part of a technical rehearsal.
The Osaka-based world – which was originally due open ahead of last year’s postponed 2020 Olympic Games – will follow strict health and safety guidelines, according to Universal Studios Japan, including a cap on the number of people allowed into Nintendo World and numbered tickets with specific entry times.
Following the Japan opening, Super Nintendo World is scheduled to come to Universal’s Orlando, Hollywood and Singapore parks.
Florida’s version of Super Nintendo World has reportedly been delayed until 2025, while construction has resumed on the Hollywood version, which is said to be smaller in scale than the others and will likely open sooner.
Nintendo World Japan is set to put an emphasis on the interactivity of its experiences, with each visitor using a wearable wristband in conjunction with a mobile phone app to gamify the park.
As demonstrated in a Nintendo Direct last year, various keys are hidden around Super Nintendo World, which players must solve puzzles to obtain, such as by punching a POW block in time with a moving shell, in order to have it hit the key.