Those of you familiar with the Donkey Kong series will likely also be familiar with the Coconut Gun, an iconic weapon wielded by Donkey Kong in Donkey Kong 64.
What some might not know however is that in early builds of the game, this weapon was originally a realistic shotgun that fired proper bullets instead of coconuts. Footage of the build with the shotgun can be seen in some early promos of Donkey Kong 64, such as the one below:
In an interview with Gamesradar, Donkey Kong 64‘s creative director George Andreas recounted the story about how the Coconut Gun came to be, as a result of the legendary Shigeru Miyamoto’s horrified reaction to seeing Donkey Kong blasting enemies apart with a shotgun.
“Miyamoto-san, Iwata-san, and Howard Lincoln – chairman of Nintendo America at the time – came to our new studio. We switched on the game, they saw the rap, and then I started running around as DK. I swung on some vines, collected bananas, and they were beginning to really smile.
And then I pressed the button to pull out the gun. It wasn’t a textured gun that you might expect but a realistic shotgun with bullets flying out and with horrifying sound effects. You get so used to things being in development, even if it is a placeholder, and I completely forgot that it was in there. I’m shooting beavers, turned to my side, and see this look of horror on Miyamoto’s face!
Then he smiled and, taking some paper and a pencil, drew a coconut gun in front of us. It had leaves on it and he handed it to me. I looked at it and said ‘Oh yeah, that’s cool, we’ll put that in’ and the coconut gun was put in after that.”
Aside from this interesting tidbit about the Coconut Gun, the full feature with Gamesradar also contains a number of other cool insights into the creation of Donkey Kong 64. If you’re interested in finding out more, you can find the interview here.
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