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In Donkey Kong Country Returns we see the Tikis (weird wooden faces) use some type of music to enchant other animals and steal our precious, tasty bananas.

For some reason, Donkey and Diddy (and also Cranky) seem to be impervious to this magic. Is there any in-universe explanation for this, whatsoever?

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I do not believe any in-universe reason is provided. There are a few possibilities here, none of which are particularily plausible unfortunately:

  • Species - Simians happen to be immune for whatever biological reason.
  • Intelligence - Smarter creatures have a harder time being controlled. Seems unlikely given we don't know how intelligent the other animals are compared to DK, and the general sentiment that DK isn't the ripest banana in the bunch (which I personally think is not really true).
  • Strength of will - Those of weaker mental focus are easier controlled. It's not hard to assume that DK and Diddy have pretty strong determination, but it didn't seem like DK needed to try resisting. That said he did just witness his bananas getting stolen, so he was probably already in "do whatever to get them back" mode.
  • Externally-granted immunity - This is a bit out in left field, but Yoshi's Island DS shows that DK is one of the seven Star Children, said to "possess an extraordinary amount of power". Being immune to hypnotic chants may be a result of this - remember that we don't actually see any attempts by the Tikis on Diddy or Cranky, so we don't actually know whether they're immune.

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