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Bongos FAQ by Crazyreyn

Version: 1.2 | Updated: 03/26/05

DK Bongos FAQ
Nintendo GameCube
Version 1.2, Last Updated - 26/03/2005
By Crazyreyn (crazyreyn_faqs@hotmail.com)
Copyright (c)2005 Matthew Reynolds. All rights reserved.

2. Introduction

1. Legal Notice
2. Introduction
3. What are the DK Bongos?
4. Compatible Titles
5. Use with other titles
6. Frequently Asked Questions
7. Version History
8. Conclusion, Thanks and Contact Details

1. Legal Notice

This may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal, 
private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed 
publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other 
web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a 
violation of copyright.

All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their 
respective trademark and copyright holders.

HOSTING INFORMATION - If you want to host this FAQ on your site, then feel
free to do so, although you MUST leave this FAQ unchanged and in it's
original format, plus I must be given full credit. If you are going to host it
then an email would be great, but if you cannot then no worries. You will
always find this latest version of this FAQ at http://www.gamefaqs.com.

2. Introduction

Hello and welcome to the DK Bongos FAQ. This guide will give you a lowdown
on what the bongos are, and when to use them, with some frequently asked

Thanks to Tom Carter for pointing out that this was missing in the last
version. >_>

3. What are the DK Bongos?

Basic Introduction
The DK Bongos is a controller for the Nintendo GameCube that replicates a
pair of bongos. You can interact with games by tapping the bongos, and also
by clapping (thanks to the built in microphone hidden between the two
bongos). This game is primarily used for Donkey Konga, a music rhythm game
where you must tap or clap according to the symbols on screen (like DDR).
Here is a rather crude ASCII diagram of the bongos, from the side.

               L          R
             ______     ______        L - Left Bongo
            |      |_M_|      |       P - Right Bongo
            |------|   |------|       M - Microphone location
            |------| S |------|       S - START/PAUSE button
            |      |¯¯¯|      |
             ¯¯¯¯¯¯     ¯¯¯¯¯¯

In depth look
The bongos are made of plastic and look like the barrels from the Donkey
Kong games. The top of the two bongos are rubber (with a curved line going
through the lower part), and have buttons underneath which can be tapped.
There are actually two pads underneath each bongo; one at the top and one
at the bottom. They are most probably for better recognition of tapping, as
in Donkey Konga they both do the same thing. However they do act as the face
GameCube controller buttons - there is more on this in the 'Use with other
titles' section of the FAQ.

In between the two bongos is the microphone and the START/PAUSE button.
The microphone is underneath a set of holes in the top of the connecting
section. Not only does it pick up claps, but it can pick up any loud noise.
So you can click your fingers, shout at the bongos (you may look a little
strange though) or slap the side of the bongos instead of clapping. For
clapping continuously, then you can blow into the microphone directly to
get a very fast clap result. However I've heard this can bugger the Mic
up, so do at your own risk.

The START/PAUSE is on the front of the bongos, and works as it would in any
other title. Underneath this is the DK and Nintendo logos. On the back of the
bongos is the ingrained stuff, like the GameCube logo, patent stuff and so in.
Underneath the bongos is a place to put the controller port (quite handy) and
four rubber stoppers so it doesn't slide on a desk or flat surface. The port
connector is black in colour and the cord is about two metres in length (from
a guess).

Here are some images of the DK Bongos. Thanks to the respective websites the
images are from.


Notes for using the bongos
You can plug the bongos into any of the four ports for it to work (for
example in Donkey Konga, you can have a controller in port 1 and the bongos
in port 2, and you can play the game fine) so there isn't any reason for you
to take out your normal controller.

It's up to you where you place the bongos (lap, desk/table, someone's face)
as you may find one placement more comfortable than another. For example
I play on my bed, so I either sit the bongos on the bed, or I lie down and
place it on my stomach and play that way. Or something.

When using the bongos, only slap them lightly. You don't need a lot of
pressure for the pads to register, so don't smash them to bits, Hulk stylee.
Only use your hands and not any objects, like a drumstick or whatever.
The microphone sensitivity can be altered in the in game menu of Donkey Konga
(I assume this is true for other Bongo heavy games too).

Ways of using the bongos
Through my playing of Donkey Konga I have come across three different ways
of using the Bongos to play. I will outline what they are so you can
try them yourself and see if you prefer one of them instead of the 'usual'

1) The 'usual' way
This is by hovering your hands over the bongos, using them to slap the bongos,
and so you can clap. This is the standard way of playing, and is pretty
simple. The problems are that clapping can get annoying (and loud)and can make
your hands quite sore. I also find clapping quite slow, and can cause problems
if you need to switch from slapping to clapping fast.

2) The 'tapping' way
My preferred method of using the bongos, this is resting your hands on the
bongos and tapping the bongos instead of slapping them. For clapping, you
move one of your hands to the side of the bongos and slap it (this vibration
reaches the microphone). I find it makes your hands less tired and is
quicker for clapping, although it can get quite messy for some songs on
Gorilla in Donkey Konga.

3) The 'thumbs' way
Here, you rest your hands on the sides of the bongos with your thumbs on the
bongo pads, where you press your thumbs to tab the bongo pads. You clap by
tapping your fingers against the side of the bongos. This means you never
have to move your hands out of place. The problem with this is that I
sometimes don't hit the sides hard enough and it doesn't register as a clap.
HOWEVER Rasmus Jensen told me that he used a thimble (as seen in this image -
http://reslife.missouri.edu/enewsletter/Fall%2004/thimble.jpg) and it makes
tapping the sides louder without the effort, which is pretty handy if you
are using this method. However it may scratch the side of the bongos, so it's
up to you.

4. Compatible Titles

This is a list of compatible titles for the DK Bongos. Only a handful have
been announced, with only one game out in US and PAL regions so far. You can
tell if a game can use the Bongos by the logo on the back of the game case.

Donkey Konga
This is a music rhythm game where you slap the bongos according to the symbols
that appear on the screen. You use both bongos and the microphone for this
game. There are also three minigames to participate in. You can use a
normal GameCube controller instead if you want, but that takes the fun out of
it but I guess is quite handy for multiplayer. This is out worldwide, and its
a cracking title worth grabbing.

Donkey Konga 2
A sequel to Donkey Konga, this features different tracks and a few new mini-
games. See above for more details. So far this is only out in Japan, with
USA and PAL releases set for 2005.

Donkey Kong Jungle Beat
This is an action game where you control Donkey Kong in a platform style
game. You use all the features of the bongos to control DK - such as
the left and right bongos to move left and right, both together for a jump and
clap to make DK clap his hands to destroy on screen objects. Out in Japan
now, out soon in the USA (March) and Europe (February). I haven't got the
game (no cash) but the controls remain true. The game is apparently short
lived but very awesome and old school (like Donkey Kong Country).

This is a real time war strategy set in feudal Japan mixed with a bit of
pinball. And you can use the Bongos to control the flippers. Sounds different
and the screenshots look great. Out in Japan soooon.

5. Use with other titles

Despite what it seems, the bongos can be used on other games, although in
a very basic manner. There are actually two pads underneath each bongo; one
at the top and one at the bottom. Together the four pads under the two bongos
replicate the face of the GameCube controller, like on the ASCII diagram
below (note that it's from a birds eye view) -

  Left Bongo Top -     Y                  /¯¯¯¯¯\     /¯¯¯¯¯\
  Left Bongo Bottom -  B                 /   Y   \---/   X   \
  Right Bongo Top -    X                 |       | R |       |
  Right Bongo Bottom - A                 \   B   /---\   A   /
  Clap -               R                  \_____/     \_____/

If you look at the GameCube controller, the left and right bongos match the
left and right sides of the controller buttons (if you tilt your head to
the right). Also, clapping is like tapping the R button. Sadly there
are no L, Z or movement directions, making it pretty useless on most other
games. Thanks to TwitchyCat13 off the message board for checking this out.

However despite no movement, there could be some games that it may be good
for. I've gone through my games but to no real avail, so I'm asking you (yes
YOU, the reader) to try out your titles to see if the bongos work well on any
games. Give me an email on crazyreyn_faqs@hotmail.com if you find anything

So far Soul Calibur 2 (or fighting games in general) seem to be a good titles
to use the bongos with; just remember that you cannot move! Thanks to
Ravi Sankarlall for letting me know!

6. Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Are the bongos worth it?
A. Yes. They feel a little cheap (mainly plastic) but it works really well
   and is very fun to use. Pick this up with Donkey Konga, then invest in
   Jungle Beat when it's out. Great for parties too.

Q. Can I purchase another set of bongos? And how much do the bongos cost?
A. You can either get them with a game, or on their own. Of course only get
   one with a game at first (you need a game to play them with). Here's the
   *approximate* cost for all the different regions - if I'm a little off
   then correct me my email, if you will.

   |                |  Game + Bongos  |  Bongos   |
   | US Dollars     |  $49.99         | $34.99    |
   | Japanese Yen   |  6000           | 4000      |
   | British Pounds |  £29.99         | £19.99    |
   | Euros          |  EUR 59.99      | EUR 34.95 |
   | AuS Dollars    |  $89.99         | $39.99    |

Q. Does tapping the side of the bongos make a legion of twelve-cocked
   bunnies spurt out and nibble on my inner child?
A. All I can say is that my gut tells me maybe.

Q. Does tapping the side of the bongos damage the microphone?
A. As far as I can tell, no. I know other people with the bongos and they
   use the same method, and nothing has occurred as yet. Also, in the Jungle
   Beat manual Nintendo does say that it's an OK way to clap if your hands
   are tired, so I'm guessing it's fine to tap the sides (thanks to
   nintendorulez for telling me this!)

Q. Does blowing into the microphone damage it?
A. I've heard that it does, so I would advise against it. Then again,
   their YOUR BONGOS!

I'll add more questions when I get them via email.

7. Version History

Version 1.0 - 03/01/05
First version of the FAQ; fully complete. I plan to update it in a month
when I get Donkey Kong Jungle Beat.

Version 1.1 - 16/02/05
Updating certain bits like the format and prices.

8. Conclusion, Thanks and Contact Details

If you need to contact me (for questions, suggestions, strategies or comments)
then send me an email at crazyreyn@gmail.com. Also if you can, rate this FAQ 
I could get some feedback on it's quality. Thank you for reading.

Thanks to TwitchyCat13 for trying out the bongos on other Cube games and
discovering the buttons for the pads.

Thanks to Dr. Mayo for correcting me on the European bongo price!

Thanks to Fabian U for telling about the Australian prices (and again for
correcting them!)

Tom Carter (Carter12) who pointed out that I missed out the Intro in version
1.0. Cheers mate.

Thanks to nintendorulez for letting me know that it's safe as houses to tap
the sides of the bongos.

Thanks to Rasmus Jensen / badedyr for telling me about using a timble for
the thumbs method of using the bongos. Thanks for that!

Ravi Sankarlall, for informing me that SCII and fighting games in general
are good to use the bongos for.

Thanks to CJayC, IGN, Neoseeker, and the lot at the FCB.

If I have forgotten you, then please contact me and I'll fix your name up 

My other work - http://www.gamefaqs.com/features/recognition/27600.html

By Crazyreyn (crazyreyn_faqs@gmail.com)
Copyright (c)2005 Matthew Reynolds. All rights reserved. 

Copyright Notice
This may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal, 
private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed 
publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other 
web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a 
violation of copyright.

All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their 
respective trademark and copyright holders.

"End of FAQ"

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