Donkey Kong arcade series
The Donkey Kong Country instruction manual confirms that Cranky was the original Donkey Kong in the first three games. He captured Pauline and tries to stop Jumpman (Mario) from saving her in the first, is captured by Mario in the second and is an enemy again in Donkey Kong 3 as one to Stanley the Bugman.
Donkey Kong Country/Land games
Donkey Kong Country
Cranky made his first official appearance in Donkey Kong Country.
In the game's story, he had been said to have migrated to Donkey Kong Island after his defeat in Donkey Kong 3 where he had grew old and bitter.
In the game itself, he resides in his cabin where he is willing to give Donkey and Diddy advice for items, levels and such. He is known to constantly ramble about old Game & Watch games, the Donkey Kong arcade game and how they were much better than the "anything kids will nowadays buy" stuff. Also, he has many unused level-related quotes deleted from the final build, thus only having Kongo Jungle and early Monkey Mines level tips. He also can be seen at the end of every boss battle after a boss is defeated in the Game Boy Advance version.
Unlike the sequel, his advice randomly pops up and cannot be chosen by Donkey and Diddy on which advice they want to hear. Also, no currency is used in Donkey Kong Country so his tips can be heard for no money.
Donkey Kong Land
While Cranky does not appear in Donkey Kong Land itself, he is the one whom has caused the events of the game to happen. He made a bet to King K. Rool to once again steal the bananas from the hoard as he was jealous of all of the two monkeys' success to see if the two may complete the game on an 8-bit system.
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest
Cranky reappears in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest.
In the game, he once again gives the two monkeys advice, thus making him still the same, but is now located inside of his hut now called the Monkey Museum. Also, he gives out advice, but can now be chosen by Diddy and Dixie. Also, Banana Coin currency is also in the game, meaning that some tips cost money. This is similar to how Kong Kollege has it. He also hosts a Video Game Heroes competition with Mario, Yoshi and Link making cameos after The Flying Krock is completed. Diddy needs all of the DK Coins to be ranked first place in the Video Game Heroes competition.
In the Game Boy Advance version, feathers were included as new elements in this version for Cranky's new minigame titled Expresso's Racing. Here, Diddy and Dixie must power up Expresso as much as possible so that he may race against other birds. The more feathers, the more power Expresso gets. Alternatively, Cranky also discusses to the monkeys after defeating a boss.
Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!
Cranky reappears in Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!.
In this game, Cranky does not make much of actual appearances and are more or less minor. In Swanky's Sideshow, he is once again an enemy in the game like he was in the arcade games and says comments that are deemed unkind.
Afterwards, he mainly makes an appearance near the ending. Here, he criticises Dixie and Kiddy for winning against KAOS. The two then approach him in an ominous sort of way and attempt to pummel him. If one manages to get the ending with the Banana Birds and 105%, Cranky will do water skiing tricks and then hold up an inked sign saying THE END. He also is ranked the all time greatest at the game before Dixie and Kiddy completes it fully. If they complete it in 105%, they also gain a Cranky trophy labelled "immortal monkey".
In the Game Boy Advance remake, Cranky no longer competes in Swanky's Sideshow as the place itself is converted to a virtual reality area named Swanky's Dash. Instead, Cranky now runs an area called Cranky's Dojo. Here, he has to train himself for his "first game", as he states called Cranky Kong Country. Here, he has to defeat thirty Bristles so Dixie and Kiddy may gain a Banana Bird on the first try. Also, he once again talks after a boss is defeated.
Donkey Kong Country Returns
Cranky actually seemed much less critical in this game as he doesn't insult the player at all. In this game he owned a shop where players could buy lives, power-ups, and even Squawks the Parrot to aid them on their journey with the use of Banana Coins.
Cranky Kong is set to appear in this game, but this time, as a playable character rather than a supporting character as he was in the previous games.
Donkey Kong 64
Cranky turned into a mad scientist and made potions for the five Kongs to buy, necessary to beat the game. He also owned the Rareware game Jetpac that the player could access after earning fifteen Banana Medals. When the player score 5,000 points, they earn the Rareware Coin necessary to beat the game.
Diddy Kong Racing games
Diddy Kong Pilot (2001)
Cranky was to appear as a playable character in the now cancelled 2001 build of Diddy Kong Pilot. Nothing else is known, except that he seems to pilot a wooden plane.
Diddy Kong Pilot (2003)
Cranky reappears once again in the only ROM-available 2003 build of Diddy Kong Pilot. Here, he is the replacement for Bottles from Banjo-Pilot. He also resides in his cabin and complains a lot about Team Kremling. He also considers the player a bad pilot until defeating King K. Rool in a dogfight battle. As well as all that, he explains the game to the player.
DK: King of Swing
Cranky taught players how to play the game, along with Wrinkly Kong.