One of the world’s most powerful mob bosses had a soft spot for Donkey Kong Country 3

No gang is scarier than the DK Crew.

Donkey Kong Country 3 textless cover art

Image Via Nintendo

Recommended Videos

The letters of a recently captured mob boss have revealed that he had a soft spot for Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble! on the Super Nintendo. This might be surprising news for some, and not just because it involves an old video game and the mafia. DKC3 has had a surprisingly polarizing response from fans over the years, partly because neither Donkey Kong nor Diddy Kong is playable in the game, while Kiddy Kong is often considered one of the most annoying protagonists on Super Nintendo.

Related: Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan is expanding with Donkey Kong

Donkey Kong 3 might have its detractors, but it has its fans among high-level members of the Mafia. Sicilian crime boss Matteo Messina Desarno was recently captured while attending a clinic under a pseudonym, after spending nearly twenty years as a fugitive. According to Time Extension, letters written by Desarno to his lover, Maria Mesi, have been printed by, where he talked about his love for video games.

In the letters, Desarno said (through machine translation) “I’ve read that the Donkey Kong 3 tape is out and I can’t wait for it to be on the market to buy it for you”. In this context, it’s believed that tape refers to a Super Nintendo cartridge. Desarno also mentioned that Secret of Mana 2 wasn’t out yet, but he would have to miss out, as the game wouldn’t be released outside of Japan until it appeared in 2019’s Collection of Mana on Nintendo Switch as Trials of Mana, which led to a 3D remake the following year.

It’s strange to think of one of the most powerful mob bosses in the world hunched over a SNES controller, playing as Kiddy Kong and collecting bananas in Donkey Kong Country 3. Desarno was one of the most wanted fugitives in Italy for decades and spent a long time hiding from the law, so video games must have been just an effective way to pass the time.