A Trip to the DKU
Storyline and original characters © Adam Randall
Cranky Kong and Funky Kong © Nintendo
Fiddlesworth Dunfiddlin, Banjo, Kazooie, Gruntilda Winkybunion and Conker © Rare Ltd.
Yooka and Laylee © Playtonic Games
Morris was a fairly ordinary man who lived a fairly ordinary life. He always seemed to wear a beige jacket and the colour of that jacket perfectly reflected his life. Unemployed, his weeks always followed the same pattern. He'd go to the supermarket every Friday, for example and he'd go to Morrison's every time. He liked the fact that he and the shop sort of had the same name. He'd always eat the same food, follow the same routines and just generally live a monotonous life. But it's okay. It didn't get him down, because he was a beige person. These simple, unchanging patterns were all he needed to be happy. And why not? Beige is a most beautiful color, after all.
Now that you know all that about Morris, you may be surprised to find that this story starts with him on a plane full of screaming passengers nose-diving into the ocean. It probably sounds like something which would be quite distressing for poor old Morris, but it wasn't. And you know why? Well, he fell asleep quite early into the journey and he was still asleep at the point in which the engines exploded and consequently, at the point in which the plane started to nosedive.
You might think that explosions and the sounds of people shouting "please, no, I don't want to die!" would be enough to awaken him from his slumber, but, with all due respect, you'd be completely wrong. Morris was a heavy sleeper and couldn't have been more comfortable.
But, wait a minute, what was Morris doing on a plane anyway? He doesn't seem like the kind of person to take international trips and he doesn't seem like that kind of person because he isn't that kind of person. Although, having said that, he did once win a trip to Africa in a packet of Cheerios, but that's another story.
This time, he was on a plane because of the unusual Tuesday he'd had some months before. Tuesday was the day that Morris went to the park and sat on a park bench for a little while and the Tuesday in question was no exception. What was unusual is that he met a handsome chap named Fiddlesworth Dunfiddlin.
Initially, he'd just sat at the opposite end of the bench in silence. Morris, ever the analyst, had taken mental note of his fiery orange beard and his stylish wellington boots. He also carried with him a distinctive smell. Dung. But Morris was by no means an expert so he couldn't tell you whether it was cow, sheep or, indeed, horse.
Anyway, after thirty-seven minutes, the silence between them was broken.
"Crunch my carrots!" exclaimed Fiddlesworth, "could I interes' you in a plane ticket?"
"For how much?" asked Morris.
"Oh, okay," said Morris, before pausing to think. "Where to?"
"I don't rightly know," he said. There was a certain confident audacity about him. Morris respected that.
"I'll take it."
"Ta," said Fiddlesworth.
The ticket changed hands, Morris and Fiddlesworth parted ways without so much as exchanging names. Morris never really wondered about him or his motivations, but a couple of months passed and then there he was on a crashing plane. For what it's worth, it was heading to Paraguay.
So, basically, the plane crashed. It was very stressful - let's not dwell on it. A little later, Morris awoke from his nap. At this point, however, he was no longer sitting comfortably in his aeroplane seat, but floating on his back on the sea. The sun shone warmly on his face and all he heard was the sound of waves and the squawking of gulls.
"Oh," he said, crestfallen. "I must have forgotten to set an alarm."
"Oh, great, just when you think things can't get any worse!"
Morris tried to turn and ended up face down in the water - but on the bright side, he realised he was on the sea shore. It seemed that he had washed ashore on a beach. Which was nice. He'd not had a trip to the beach in some time.
But he was getting distracted. Somebody had just said something. Looking up, with water dripping down his face, he noticed an elderly gorilla, who strangely seemed to have a long white beard growing on top of his fur - this was none other than Cranky Kong (formerly known as Donkey Kong) the 1980s video game star.
"It's bad enough having to be in all of those modern games, but now I'm forced to make appearances in fanfiction too? And even though the loser writer behind all this could have written me in my maiden-snatching, barrel-throwing prime, they've written me in my elderly form. I tell ya, the franchise is in such a bad state, I'm surprised there are any fans out there to write fiction anyway. Still, I suppose I should be thankful it's not one of those disgusting pieces of-"
"Hello," said Morris, not understanding anything that Cranky had said, "my name is Morris."
"Incredible. The stupid character has a stupid name. I'm Cranky, and don't you interrupt me when I'm having an insightful monologue!"
He raised his walking stick in the air and struck Morris on the head, just as he got to his feet. Most people would be quite overwhelmed when presented with an elderly anthropomorphic gorilla speaking in fluent English about being a fictional character, let alone being hit by one - but Morris rolled with it. He didn't have the depth of thought needed to be overwhelmed by such things.
"Sorry," he said. "Please continue."
"Don't get sarcastic with me, boy. Why, I oughta give you a right thrashing - and you're lucky I don't. I guess I'm supposed to feel sorry for you, am I? I saw your plane coming down. But what do I care about a plane full of humans? Humans are those nasty creatures who locked me in a cage and forced me to do circus tricks. I feel as sad about your plane crashing as I did on the day of the Crocodile Isle Catastrophe. And let me tell you, I had a good laugh watching that place go up in flames!"
"Oh, did my plane crash?" asked Morris. "I thought I must have just arrived safely and then gone to the beach and then gone to relax in the sea and then been struck with a sudden bout of amnesia which made me forget the rest of my holiday leading up to that point."
"Yes, it did," said Cranky, "and I suppose you'll be wanting to get back home, which will bring you on a journey across all the nearby islands, during which you'll encounter all kinds of stupid characters. Yawn. What a boring premise for a story."
"It may be a boring premise for a story," said Morris, "but it does sound like a rather good premise for an idea which will get me home. Where do I go from here?"
"I guess your best bit is probably Funky," said Cranky, rubbing his beard. "He has a plane. Of course, he only has a plane because they needed a way for my worthless son to get from one world to another, but it might come in handy."
"Okay," said Morris. "Is he a gorilla too? Or a person like me?"
Cranky narrowed his eyes. "I'll pretend you didn't say that. Come on."
Cranky guided Morris through a lush, untampered jungle which grew alongside the sandy beach. The sound of the splashing waves on the shore remained in earshot, with all kinds of animal noises coming from the distance. It was a hot day, but not a long walk and before long they had arrived at a wooden hut with "Funky's Flights" written over the door.
"Get out here, you poor excuse for an easy mode, I've got someone here who needs a flight," shouted Cranky.
All of a sudden, the door of the hut swung open and loud music began to play. Morris was by no means an expert, but if he was asked to describe the type of music he heard, he might say that it was the hippiest hoppiest music he'd ever heard.
A gorilla wearing a tank top, a bandana, sunglasses and some denim cut-offs came swaggering out of the hut, walking in tune to the music blaring from within.
"Yo. My name's Funky and I'm ya main monkey," he said, flashing a shining grin. "How can I help?"
"This hideous human was in a plane crash," said Cranky. "Thankfully, there don't seem to have been any other survivors, but I trust that it is within your power to primately remove this creature from our fair island?"
"Okay, daddy-o," said Funky, "what's your name, you happening human?"
"My name is Morris," said Morris.
"And if you don't mind," said Cranky, "I'll be off. The Monkey Museum isn't going to dust itself. Besides, anything's better than an ongoing presence in this pointless story."
"See ya later, Cranks," said Funky.
"Bye," said Morris and Cranky began to walk away.
"Now, what can I do for you, you maverik Morris?"
"Can you get me back to the UK?"
"The Ugga Bugga Kolony?" he asked.
"No, not that UK," said Morris, "I mean the United Kingdom."
"Well, I hate to be a bummer, dude," he replied, "but I've got some delicious candy to eat tonight and I don't have time to take you all that way. How about I wiz you down to the next island and you catch another ride there?"
"Okay, that sounds good," said Morris. "Thank you."
"Bodacious!" said Funky, rubbing his hands together. "By the way, don't tell Donkey about the candy."
"Don't worry," said Morris, "I haven't seen any donkeys here, only gorillas."
"That's rad, Chad," said Funky. "Now come on, just hop into this barrel over here and we'll be on our way."
Funky then dived head first into a nearby barrel. It had small plane parts awkwardly fashioned onto the sides in a way which didn't look to make any logical sense. If Funky hadn't been such an upstanding man who had instilled Morris with an overwhelming sense of trust, respect and confidence, he'd probably have had some doubts - but as he was that kind of person, Morris was doubt free as he clambered into this small barrel which didn't look like it could contain one full grown gorilla, let alone a fully grown gorilla and an overweight human being.
Minutes later, the pair of them were soaring through the sky. As he poked his head over the side, he was shocked to see that there were an awful lot of planes crashed around this area. He thought that it must be a Bermuda Triangle type place.
Before long, the plane started to approach another island. This one looked a little less exotic than the last and reminded him more of the English countryside which he knew so well. The plane started to come down, passed a spiral shaped mountain and towards a small blue house. Morris couldn't help but notice that there happened to be several enormous vegetables with googly eyes bouncing around nearby. They made him crave steamed carrots and cauliflower.
"Here we are, Morris, my man," said Funky.
"Thank you, Funky," said Morris as he climbed out of the barrel.
Funky popped his head out of the top of the plane to talk to him.
"There's a most excellent bear and a sharp talking bird in that little blue house," said Funky. "Let them know your situation and they're sure to help."
"I will do that."
"Gnarly," said Funky. "We got here in such good time, I might even have time to record another ASMR video before the delicious Candy comes over. Stay loose, Morris."
And with that, the barrel began to levitate and before long, had jetted off into the distance.
Morris took a few steps towards the house, when out stepped a very small bear in yellow shorts and a blue backpack, with a pleasant and kind looking red bird sitting in it.
"Hey, Banjo, look!" said the bird. "It's a fat and ugly human!"
"Kazooie!" exclaimed Banjo.
"Hello. My name is Morris," said Morris.
"It's nice to meet you, Morris," said Banjo. "Sorry about my friend. She doesn't mean to be rude."
"Actually, I do mean to be rude," said Kazooie.
Though the pair of them seemed to speak only through strings of garbled noises, Morris found himself able to understand them perfectly.
"What brings you to Spiral Mountain?" asked Banjo. "We heard the Funky's Flights plane taking off a moment ago."
"I'm lost and I need to make my way home," said Morris. "Can you help me?"
"Oh great," said Kazooie, "another mindless idiot who asks for your help."
"We might be able to help you, Mr. Human," said Banjo. "Is there a jiggy in it for us?"
"What's a jiggy?" asked Morris.
"I say we cut him loose, Banjo," said Kazooie. "Even that horrific canary woman gave us a jiggy."
"It's a jigsaw piece," said Banjo. "Don't you have one to give us if we help? To be honest, I've never had anyone ask me to do something without having one for me before."
"Oh, you like puzzle pieces?" asked Morris. "I started a thousand piece puzzle last Thursday. If I can get home, I'll do my best to send it to you."
"That will do nicely," said Banjo. "So you say you're lost? Where did you want to go?"
"I want to get home to the UK," said Morris.
"That sounds familiar," said Banjo, bringing a paw to his snout as he thought, "is that where Twycross is?"
"I think it might be," said Kazooie. "Do you know how we'll get him there?"
"Well, maybe Humba could give us some plane blueprints and then-"
Banjo was interrupted by a raspy voice coming from behind Morris.
"Stupid bear and stupid bird will stop talking now, Grunty's back and the audience says 'wow'."
Morris turned around to find a witch with her skull floating in a jar, fused to the top of her abdomen, who let out a very satisfying evil laugh.
"Oh, great," said Kazooie. "Looks like we're going to be dismembering an old hag today."
"Don't think you can intimidate me, if anyone's dismembered I think we know who it will be!" she retorted.
"Hello. My name is Morris," said Morris, interrupting the intense confrontation.
"Please excuse me my dear sir," she said, "I have a fued with this bear and bird. If there's one thing on which they can depend, it's that Grunty is about to have her revenge!"
"That barely even rhymes…" said Kazooie.
"I assure you that my rhyming is superb. You'll soon feel me wrath, colder than an iceberg."
"That one was even worse," said Banjo.
"I don't know," said Morris, "I find it quite impressive."
"Thank you, that's very kind of you, Morris. You're quite a handsome chap, I must say, if I'm honest."
"Oh, thank you," Morris said. "I don't often get called handsome."
"You don't say," said Kazooie.
"You're a fairly attractive woman yourself," he added.
"I can see you know how to treat a lady when you see one. You should have seen me in the Game Over sequence of the first game, that was fun!"
"I think I'm going to be sick," said Kazooie.
"Me too," said Banjo.
"I don't suppose you could help me get home?" asked Morris. "You could always get your revenge on Banjo and Kazooie another time."
"For my revenge, twenty-two long years I have been waiting. Having said that, it's been a long time since I was last dating."
"Surely not," said Kazooie. "I don't believe you've ever been on a date."
"Help you, I will and here's my reason why: either way it won't be long before I get to make a bear and bird pie!"
"Thank you, Grunty," said Morris.
"Hey," said Kazooie, "remember that time we decapitated you and then played football with your rotting head and one of your eye-balls fell out? Good times."
"I'll ignore that remark, Morris has my heart. You may be surprised to learn that I have a plane, it's left over from our last stupid game."
With that she turned and started trotting away, with Morris following awkwardly behind.
"Goodbye, Mr. Human," said Banjo.
"Don't have kids," added Kazooie.
Grunty led Morris around the corner to a cave-like opening in a cliff wall, in which there sat an old, dusty aeroplane which looked to have been put together by blocks.
"Hop on in, you lovely man. After years surrounded by talking animals, I'll take whatever I can."
"You're very kind," said Morris.
"I wouldn't describe myself as kind, just wait until you find out what I had for the two of us in mind."
With a jutter and a splurt, the awkwardly designed plane slowly started to take off, spewing black clouds of pollution as it went.
"Where are we going now?" asked Morris.
"To Piñata Island is where we will go. They deal with the whole world, don't ya know? They'll get you home without a doubt, but next time you're in the area, give Grunty a shout!"
"Thank you," said Morris. "I will."
I mentioned earlier that Morris was a 'beige' person with a fairly 'beige' existence. Of course his interactions with Cranky, Funky, Banjo, Kazooie and Grunty were all rather at odds with this. Few people have had such experiences, but even among this who live in that area and for whom this kind of thing is perfectly ordinary, what happened next would have been considered quite extraordinary, even to them.
Morris started the day by surviving a plane crash. It wasn't even lunch time yet and as luck would have it - or - as bad luck would have it, Morris was destined to be in yet another plane crash. This time, however, he was wide awake so he actually got to experience what it feels like. Obviously, it feels rubbish. It's stressful and horrible. But on the other hand, the moments after the crash are full of glee and delight - a thrill which is drawn from the simple fact of being alive. It's a kind of happiness which only those who have come close to death will ever experience and it's amazing. So, in a roundabout way, Morris was fortunate to experience his second plane crash of the day.
He didn't really know what happened. There was a sudden explosion. His ears popped. The plane fell to pieces. Gruntilda fell to pieces, screeching as she fell down to the earth. Morris went flying through the air, then crashed down through a canopy of leaves onto the floor of a peaceful forest.
Presumably, the leaves and branches he hit on his way down slowed his descent enough that he was able to survive the fall. He was in the middle of the extatic "happy to be alive" period, when someone said to him,
"You alright, mate?"
Morris turned around and saw a large red squirrel and in a blue shirt staring back at him.
"Hello. My name is Morris," said Morris.
"I'm Conker," said Conker.
"And yes, I am alright," said Morris. "But my plane seems to have exploded. I don't know what happened to the pretty lady I was with."
"Right," said Conker. "Well, no offence, but what do you expect, flying a random plane over Squirrel High Command air space? They're all worried about another war."
"Oh, well, I don't know anything about politics," said Morris, "but can you help me get home? It's turning into quite a long day."
Conker paused, staring into space. "You know, once upon a time, I was in your situation. And once upon a time, I wouldn't have helped you for anything other than cold hard cash, but that was a bad day. A bad fur day. I don't want anyone else to go through the same thing as I did, so come with me, pal."
"Thank you, Conker," said Morris. "I appreciate your help."
The two walked along in silence for a bit.
"So, er, you wanna go whet your whistle? I know a great pub not far from here. It could be a good place to start."
"I don't drink," said Morris.
"Oh," said Conker. "Well, that's disappointing. Where do you need to go, anyway?"
"To the UK. There's where I live."
"Never heard of it," said Conker. "Sorry."
"Oh," said Morris.
"Not to worry. I believe I've found a way to get you home in no time!"
"Oh, good!" said Morris. "How?"
"Well, a long time ago, I was helped out of a difficult situation thanks to a Programmer. They appeared because the game crashed. Now, I have a feeling that we're in a different medium right now. Not a game, but a piece of writing. Fanfiction, probably. How the mighty have fallen. The good news is, it will be a lot easier to 'crash' this story than it was to crash a game."
"I have no idea what you're talking about," said Morris. "Sorry."
"Think about it. What's the one way for a character in a story to get the writer's attention? It's by making an obvious typo. Then when they read back to check for mistakes, they'll notice and we can persuade them to do us a favour."
"Trust me," said Conker, before clearing his throat. "The whether sure is nice today, isn't it, Morris?"
"Yes," said Morris.
"Good. Now, Mr. Writer, you probably saw that I said the wrong kind of 'whether' didn't you?" said Conker, grinning. "And now you've just read the words I just said. Give me some indication that you have received my message, if you're there."
I have received your message.
Morris had no idea how he knew that Conker's message had received a response, but somehow he knew and he knew exactly what that reply was. It was a bizarre, metaphysical experience. Or should that be metatextual?
"Now that I have your attention," said Conker, "I want to know if you can do a favour for my friend Morris here?"
What is the favour?
"Send him to the UK."
Okay. That's not a problem.
"Great," said Conker. "Well then, Morris. It looks like this is goodbye."
"I don't know what is happening. Sorry."
"It's okay, chum," said Conker. "Have a safe trip!"
And just like that, Morris found himself somewhere else - no longer in the dense forest in which he had been chatting with Conker. The problem was that he was now standing in a creek, looking at a displaced shipwreck far from the sea of thieves and which looked as though it had been converted into a home.
You're probably wondering how and why Morris ended up here and this is going to be a little hard to explain, but since you're an intelligent reader, it hopefully won't be too difficult for you to understand.
When Conker was speaking to the Writer, he asked them to send Morris back to the UK. Now, let me tell you something about writers. They see and hear the stories they write as if they were real life. To them, the words on the page are a whole other reality. So during the Writer's conversation with Conker, they didn't read the words "Send him to the UK" they actually heard Conker say them, but the problem is that they misheard them. They thought Conker said "Send them to the Yooka-Laylee" and you might think that this is a bit of a stretch - indeed, it is a bit of a stretch, but the thing is, the writer is a deranged Yooka-Laylee fan whos fanaticism is at such a ridiculously high level that they're seeing and hearing reference to Yooka-Laylee anywhere. Now that you know a little more about the Writer's mental state, this should make a little bit more sense and shouldn't really require much suspension of disbelief.
So, anyway, Morris slowly made his way towards the shipwreck, noticing that it was called the Bat Ship Crazy. As he pondered that unusual name, out came a green lizard and a purple bat sitting upon its head.
"Hey, Yooka, look!" said the bat. "It's a fat and ugly human."
"Laylee!" replied Yooka.
This seemed awfully familiar.
"Sorry, sir," said Yooka, "my friend is a little batty and comes out with all kinds of things."
"That's an offensive term and you know it," said Laylee, petulantly.
"That's okay," said Morris. "I'm trying to make my way home and I'm wondering if you can help me. I'm from the UK. If you can just get me there, I'm sure I can catch a bus to my hometown."
"Oh, well, I'm not really sure what we can do," said Yooka. "I've never heard of the UK."
"Me either. I only know it in the context of the phrase 'U K'nt be serious'. By which I mean my cartoons start in half an hour and I don't want to miss them because I have to help some loser," said Laylee.
"Oh, well, don't you have any quirky friends who own planes or know magic or something that could teleport me home?" he asked.
"No, I'm afraid we don't," said Yooka.
"By which he means," said Laylee, "of course not, what a stupid question."
"Oh," said Morris. "What if I gave you something in return for your help? Would you be able to figure something out?"
"That might persuade us," said Laylee. "What have you got?"
"Let me see," said Morris and he searched the pockets of his beige blazer. He found some spare buttons, some paper clips, old bus tickets, supermarket receipts, but nothing which really caught the interest of Yooka or Laylee.
"I'll keep looking," said Morris, "maybe, I'll-"
At this point, a small book fell from his pocket.
"What's that?" asked Yooka.
"It's just my diary. It's nothing too exciting, see."
He held it open on the latest page, which just said "Today I went to the library. It was nice."
"Well, thank goodness there'll be a record of your riveting life for future generations to enjoy," said Laylee.
"I have an idea," said Yooka, "we might just be able to get you home, Morris."
"You're not the first person to say that," said Morris.
"Trust me," he said.
"Will it take longer than half an hour?" asked Laylee. "Don't forget about my cartoons."
"It won't take a second," said Yooka, as he wandered merrily back into their home.
Morris stared blankly into space as he waited for the pair of them to return. Inside, he heard some rummaging and grumbling between the two of them,
Eventually, Yooka returned, dragging a big metal disc along with him, with Laylee fruitlessly pulling on Yooka's head to help.
"This," he said proudly, "is a Pagie Pedestal. We salvaged it from Hivory Towers. Thought we might get a few quid for it."
"That's nice," said Morris, "but if you remember, you were looking to find a way to get me home, not to just show me items that you own."
"This device actually gives people the ability to enter the world of books," said Yooka.
"I see," said Morris.
"And we think it may be helpful," he added.
"Oh are you going to use it on a book about aeroplane building so that you can learn how to build one and then fly me home?" asked Morris.
"Moron," muttered Laylee.
"No, I'm not going to do that, Morris," he said. "I'm thinking we could use it on your diary. That might just get you home."
"Oh, I see," said Morris, nodding slowly.
"Watch this," said Laylee, who then swooped through the air and grabbed the diary out of Morris's hands. She then tossed it carelessly onto the pedestal. It glowed and then all of a sudden the book itself grew to a much larger size and magically opened, a golden light glowing from within.
"Well," said Laylee. "Hop in."
"What do you mean?" asked Morris.
"Just step into the light, Morris. It will take you home," said Yooka.
"Are you sure?" he asked.
"No," said Laylee. "But it's better than being stuck with you here all day."
"Well, okay," he said, taking tentative steps towards it. "It's been nice to meet you."
"And we've enjoyed meeting you too, Morris," said Yooka.
"Speak for yourself," said Laylee.
Morris then turned towards the glowing tome and stepped into the light. He felt himself merging with the page and he felt the book slamming itself shut. It was an almost therapeutic feeling. To be completely absorbed in a book.
Before he knew it, he was back home. Falling into his old flat. The familiarity of it all was deeply comforting. He hadn't realised how much he'd missed home until now. As it was night time, he presumed that the diary had returned him to the moment in time just after he'd finished writing his latest diary entry.
He realised that that meant his flight was the next day. He reached into his pocket and found the ticket he'd been given in the park that day. He decided he'd had enough adventuring for now, so he put the ticket safely on the mantelpiece. It would forever remain as a reminder of that strange journey.
You might think an experience like this might traumatise someone, or cause them to question the very nature of their existence. Had he returned home? Or had he returned to a copy of his home? How did any of what he had experienced make sense? These were just a few of the questions that didn't cross Morris's mind as he settled back into his old routine and never worried about any of this ever again.