In Kingdom Hearts, Donald is the Royal Magician of Disney Castle and the royal assistant for King Mickey and one of the three main non-original Disney protagonist, alongside Mickey & Goofy. As such, his weapon of choice is a Staff. He often provides comic relief more than advancing the plot despite the amount of camera time he has in the series. He is rash and has an aggressive personality, but he is loyal to his friends.
Though he initially only cares about Sora as a means to track down King Mickey, Donald soon grows to deeply care for him as a friend
Donald appears in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep with Goofy at the Mysterious Tower, the two supporting King Mickey and witnessing him learn to better harness the power of his Keyblade under Yen Sid. At some point within the storyline, both Donald and Goofy encounter Ventus and Aqua, Donald later becoming a Dimension Link for both of them. When Ventus uses the Star Fragment that Yen Sid gave Mickey to transport to the Mysterious Tower, Yen Sid uses magic to tell Mickey's whereabouts and bad condition.
Seeing their king is in trouble, Donald and Goofy prepare to depart for the Keyblade Graveyard, but Yen Sid persuades them otherwise, knowing they are no match for Master Xehanort, and Ventus decides to go on his own. At the end of the game, Donald observes with Goofy as Mickey hands in the Star Fragment and his Keyblade, thinking he had failed to reach his goal, and is overly thrilled when Yen Sid returns the weapon to the king.
One day, Donald goes to see the King in the morning, but is shocked to see that he has disappeared, leaving behind only a letter in the mouth of the King's dog Pluto, explaining his absence. Donald rushes to tell Goofy about the King's absence, but his secret is quickly discovered by Queen Minnie and Daisy when they overhear him telling Goofy what happened.
King Mickey's letter explains that darkness is threatening the worlds, which appear as stars in the night sky, and have been blinking out one by one. Therefore, he left in order to study and counter the threat, and provides Donald and Goofy with a mission to seek out the "Key". To start, they must head to a world called Traverse Town to find a man named Leon.
Donald and Goofy, loyal to their king and concerned about his welfare as well as the worlds', agree to take on the mission. Queen Minnie also introduces them to another traveling companion, Jiminy Cricket, who will chronicle their travels in his journal.
With the three of them as well as Pluto, they take the Gummi Ship and begin their journey.
Donald and Goofy soon arrive in Traverse Town, having gained new, more casual, clothes. They set out in search of Leon and the key, but end up meeting Aerith, a friend of Leon's. She explains to them the situation with the Heartless, the Keyblade, and the Ansem Reports, a document written by "Ansem" that details his findings on the Heartless.
However, things take a turn for the worst when Heartless attack the hotel that Donald and the others are in (with Leon, Yuffie and Sora, the Keyblade wielder they have been searching for, in the next room). Donald and Goofy are about to go talk to Leon, but Yuffie dashes out of the room and crushes Donald with the door in her haste. Donald and Goofy arrive in the Third District, where they attempt to fight some Heartless, but are unable to defeat them, and a massive explosion sends them flying through the air and right on top of Sora, where they immediately recognize the Keyblade in his hand. However, before they have a chance to formally introduce themselves, they are attacked by a giant Heartless known as the Guard Armor, starting a fight that they manage to win.
After the battle, the three introduce themselves. Donald and Goofy explain that they have been searching for Sora, and that if he travels with them, they can go search for the King as well as Sora's friends Riku and Kairi; however, Donald secretly tells Goofy that he doesn't know if they'll find Sora's friends, but they need him either way if they expect to find the King. Donald proceeds to tell a depressed Sora to cheer up if he wants to come with them ("You can't come along looking like that, understand? No frowning, no sad face. Okay? This boat runs on happy faces!"). Sora attempts to look happy, but only ends up making a fool of himself, much to Donald and Goofy's amusement. Nonetheless, Sora agrees to accompany them, and the three set off.
Sora, Donald, and Goofy set off to many worlds, defeating Heartless, the Disney villains, and sealing keyholes that lead towards the hearts of worlds, as well as making many new friends. Of course, the journey is not without its problems, such as at Deep Jungle; Donald and Sora end up angry at each other after they have an argument involving their search for the King and Sora's friends (like when they saw Riku and Donald said he can't come, causing Sora to realize the duck lied to him), but their friendship ultimately prevails and the two make amends.
The three eventually make their way to Hollow Bastion, the world that Leon and his friends hail from, and which Maleficent has turned into her base. To everyone's surprise, they encounter Riku (having not seen him since the events in Neverland), whom just wounded an other-world resident named Beast. But that is not all; Riku manages to take the Keyblade from Sora, revealing that Riku is in fact the true Keyblade master.
Having been explicitly ordered to follow the Key, Donald and Goofy have no choice but to leave Sora and follow Riku, much to their regret. But eventually, with the aid of Beast, Sora catches up with Riku. With the Beast lured away by a Heartless feigning to be his beloved Belle, Riku attempts to eliminate Sora once and for all with a dark blast. However, Goofy comes to the rescue and blocks the attack, finding himself unable to betray Sora after all that they had been through together, and Donald rejoins them as well, saying, "All for one, one for all." Amazingly, the strength of their friendship also strengthens Sora's heart, and because his heart became stronger, he is able to regain the Keyblade, meaning that Donald and Goofy are no longer going against orders.
The trio then make their way through Hollow Bastion, confronting Maleficent as well as Riku, who is now possessed by Ansem, Seeker of Darkness and wields a Keyblade forged from the hearts of six of the seven Princesses of Heart. Upon their second encounter with the possessed Riku, Donald leaps to attack him, but is easily swatted away, and he and Goofy are separated from Sora by a barrier set up by Riku to prevent them from interfering.
They also come across Kairi's body, devoid of her heart. When Sora discovers that Kairi's heart rests within his own, he chooses to release it by stabbing himself with the dark Keyblade left behind by Riku, despite Donald and Goofy frantically trying to convince him otherwise. While Kairi's heart is restored, Sora's is lost, and he becomes a Heartless. Donald is clearly distraught by this, running over to Sora as he fades away and desperately screaming for him to come back, to no avail.
Ansem makes his reappearance (and now in nearly total control of Riku's body) soon afterwards, planning to kill the revived Kairi now that her usefulness to him has ended. Donald and Goofy bravely make a stand against Ansem, but both know that they might be no match for him alone. Before Ansem can make his strike, however, Riku is able to take control, holding back Ansem temporarily. Donald and Goofy then attempt to escape with Kairi.
At the foyer of the castle, Heartless block their path. However, another Heartless, seemingly without hostile intentions, arrives. Donald shouts at it to get lost and bonks it over the head with his staff, but Kairi realizes it is Sora, and is able to revive him, much to Donald and Goofy's relief. The four then make their escape.
The trio then make their way back to Hollow Bastion, fighting their way through Heartless and sealing up the Keyhole opened up by the seven princesses. They then journey to the End of the World, the home of the Heartless. There, they confront Ansem at the remains of Destiny Islands, and then at the endless abyss, where the Door to Darkness that leads to Kingdom Hearts itself resides. After Ansem's defeat, Sora, Donald, and Goofy attempt to seal the door, but their efforts are futile.
But then, the King makes his appearance, wielding the Keyblade of the Realm of Darkness. With the two Keyblades and the assistance of Riku, the Door to Darkness is sealed, and the worlds are restored. However, the King and Riku are sealed in the Realm of Darkness, though the King leaves Donald and his companions with the knowledge that there will always be a door to the light. Thus they travel along a long dirt road through grassy plains, searching for the King and Riku. There, they catch sight of Pluto, who again has a letter from the King. Opportunity arising, the three chase after Pluto, heading off towards another journey.
Sora, having encountered a mysterious figure, goes with Donald and Goofy to Castle Oblivion. Inside, they discuss going further into the castle, realizing that all four of them, including Jiminy, feel that Riku and the King are in the castle. But before they can progress, they meet the mysterious man once more. Donald, assuming the man to be a Heartless, attacks, but finds out that none of his spells will function. (It is never told how he relearns his spells as they progress into the castle as he is still used for magic as a friend card.) The man reveals that Sora and his friends forgot every single ability they knew as soon as they entered the castle. In addition, the figure remarks that in this castle, they will find someone they know. Granting Sora a card, the figure leaves, and the others are compelled to follow.
Sora, using the card, goes deeper into the castle, only to find that he is in Traverse Town. In addition, Donald and Goofy have disappeared, being at the mercy of the cards that control Castle Oblivion. After learning to battle, Sora reunites with Donald and Goofy, who have also gained new clothes. The three continue on, meeting memory versions of the people they have encountered in Kingdom Hearts.
Unfortunately, as they progress through the castle, they find that their memories are slowly fading. One example would be how Donald forgets the name of the castle they had visited before: Hollow Bastion. But at the same time, they experience memories they had forgotten long ago, such as Naminé, a supposed former resident of Destiny Islands, and a friend of Sora. But in truth, their memories are being manipulated by Naminé herself.
Also, they begin to encounter members of Organization XIII, including Axel, Larxene, and Vexen. All leave cryptic remarks about the nature of Castle Oblivion, including memories, and even about Roxas, the other half of Sora's heart.
But they also meet Riku, who apparently is also striving to reach Naminé, but has once again turned on Sora. Donald and Goofy reason that Riku just forgot that Sora and he are friends, but Sora still slowly succumbs to anger at all the things that have been happening to him.
The three, after Vexen had been eliminated by Axel, become separated once Sora's anger at the Organization's manipulations overcomes him. When Sora is caught off by Riku, who in turn is knocked unconscious by Naminé shattering Riku's memories apart, Larxene comes in for the kill. But Goofy and Donald come in the nick of time, saving Sora and defeating Larxene. It is then that they learn of Naminé's true nature, as well as the fact that the Riku before them is only a replica of the real person. Naminé tells them that she can restore their memories, but only after they defeat Marluxia, the lord of Castle Oblivion, who had been manipulating them the entire time they were in the castle. The three then travel to the 13th floor of Castle Oblivion. By this point, however, Donald and Goofy have forgotten about King Mickey, only recalling that they are looking for someone important.
As they make their way to Marluxia, the three also make an important promise: that no matter how far apart they are from each other, or if they have forgotten each other, they will always be friends. Using that promise as strength, they go on.
The trio then confronts Axel and Marluxia, with Marluxia using Naminé as a human shield. Marluxia escapes, but the three manage to defeat Axel, and soon after chase down and defeat Marluxia (after a round against a replica, and then the real thing). Naminé then leads them to memory pods, where they can sleep while Naminé fixes their memories. Donald and Goofy say goodnight, and leave, while Sora and Naminé say goodbye.
Donald remains asleep while Roxas is in the Organization, but does appear within Roxas's dreams of Sora. Donald is also an unlunckoble playabe character in Mission Mode, having the lowest physical stats, but having the highest magic stat, making him the most powerful character in the game in terms of magic.
Donald, like Sora and Goofy, has been asleep in special chambers to regain his lost memories. Donald is unknowingly visited by Roxas, Sora's Nobody. Donald and Goofy are the first to wake up out of the trio. Sora awakes soon after and is reunited with Donald and Goofy. The three encounter Hayner, Pence and Olette when they enter Twilight Town, and then a group of Nobodies at the train station, but are saved by the timely arrival of King Mickey, who sends them off to the tower of Yen Sid, who Donald greatly respects. The trio also encounter Pete, Donald, Mickey & Goofy's arch-nemesis at the tower.
Donald and Goofy journey with Sora across the stars again in search of the missing Riku, who is actually following them and leaving them clues to his location and Roxas' connection to Sora. Donald helps out several times during the journey, including finally killing Oogie Boogie by stepping on the bug that is his core conscious. However, Donald seems to develop an attraction to treasure (probably an inherited trait from his Uncle Scrooge), as seen in Agrabah, where he fights Abu for a red diamond, and in Port Royal, where Sora and Goofy share a joke about Donald being lost to the curse of the Aztec gold, much to Donald's irritation.
It is also hinted that Donald has a terrible singing voice; in Atlantica, when Ariel keeps getting distracted while rehearsing for Sebastian's musical, Donald offers to sing her part in the musical, and Sora immediately declares, "No way! Not a chance!"
Donald is overjoyed when he is reunited with King Mickey, practically leaping upon his king to hug him, eventually having to be pushed off by Mickey himself. During the Battle of the 1000 Heartless, King Mickey orders the trio to go search for Riku and Kairi and leave the Heartless to them. Sora is extremely reluctant to leave, so Donald and Goofy go against King Mickey's orders and assist Sora in helping Leon and the others, apologizing to the king as they do so. When Goofy seems to die during the Battle of Hollow Bastion, Donald rests his head on Goofy, greiving. Then when Mickey looks towards the battle muttering "they'll pay for this" and runs in anger to fight, Donald completely loses control of his rage and follows him rushing off to destroy Heartless. Goofy later appears unharmed and an enraged Donald hits him in the kneecap with his staff, telling Goofy never to "scare me like that again!".
Donald travels with Sora into the digital Twilight Town and sees the death of Axel. They journey through The World That Never Was and are reunited with Riku and Kairi. Donald helps defeat Xemnas and leaves with the other Disney Castle residents through a portal opened by Naminé. After he stepped through with Pluto, King Mickey, Goofy, and Kairi, Xemnas closes the portal, preventing Sora and Riku from returning, forcing the two of them to battle him one last time.
He is reunited with Sora and Riku when they return to Destiny Islands. The three of them share a joyful moment before Sora turns his attention to Kairi. After their long journey, Donald returns to Disney Castle with Goofy, King Mickey, Pluto, his nephews and Scrooge McDuck to be hugged by Daisy.
While they find clues and mysterious additions to the journal, Heartless suddenly appear in their castle. King Mickey manages to fend them off, but when they try to leave the library, where the experiment is being held, they find themselves trapped inside.
At a needed time, Donald and Goofy run into the digital version of Hollow Bastion to assist Data Sora fight against Pete and the Heartless.
Donald is present in the Mysterious Tower alongside Mickey and Goofy when Yen Sid prepares to put Sora and Riku through the Mark of Mastery exam. But he is forced to accompany Mickey and Goofy to Disney Castle when they receive word that Maleficent has returned and taken Minnie hostage. The three confront Maleficent and Pete in the castle library, where Maleficent tells them about her first encounter with Master Xehanort and demands access to the Data Worlds. Mickey refuses, and they are saved from battling Maleficent by Lea, Axel's restored original persona, who joins forces with them and accompanies them back to the tower, where he makes a shocking request from Yen Sid.
Donald and Goofy later use Mickey's old Star Shard to return to the World That Never Was and help Riku, Mickey and Lea in saving Sora from Master Xehanort by striking Ansem's Guardian from behind and knocking it out. They bring Sora's comatose body back to the tower, and Donald is visibly ecstatic when Riku succeeds in awakening Sora, and later shocked when Lea brandishes his own Keyblade. Donald later bids farewell to Sora when the latter leaves to train alone, and greets Riku when he returns with Kairi.
Other video games
Outside of Kingdom Hearts, Donald has starred in many video games of his own. Among the more notable ones:
The Comic Game
The Duck Game was an unofficial Dutch game produced for the Commodore 64. It features Donald as he goes through levels doing various things such as picking apples and dropping bags of money on the Beagle Boys. Throughout the game, Donald must dodge The Beagle Boys and pterodactyls. Though it isn't an official game, it is worth a mention due to its one of the better (and apparently one of the only) Donald games for the Commodore 64.
Donald Duck's Playground
Donald Duck's Playground was a game produced by Sierra Online and Walt Disney Productions in 1984 for the Commodore 64.
Lucky Dime Caper
Released for the Sega Master System (and later ported to the Sega Game Gear) in 1991, Lucky Dime Caper is a platforming game starring Donald as he sets out on a quest to rescue his nephews and Scrooge McDuck's Number One Dime from Magica De Spell.
Deep Duck Trouble
Deep Duck Trouble is a second platforming game released for the Sega Master System and Sega Game Gear in 1993. The game follows Donald as he attempts to reverse a curse that has inflated Scrooge McDuck like a balloon.
In QuackShot, which was released for the Sega Genesis in 1991, Donald is flipping through some books in Uncle Scrooge's library when a treasure map from King Garuzia, the old-time ruler of the Great Duck kingdom, falls out. It leads to the king's most prized possession. Donald thinks this is his path to riches. Unfortunately, Pete overhears and pursues Donald throughout the game hoping to steal the treasure.
Donald, using a partial map from the library, travels to a variety of places around the world seeking clues to find the treasure, including Duckburg and Mexico. After defeating Count Dracula in Transylvania, Donald receives a more complete map pointing to the Maharajah in India, Egypt, a haunted Viking ship, and finally the South Pole, where Donald finds an ancient Viking diary said to reveal the location of the treasure. However, upon finding the diary, Pete shows up, holding Donald's nephews hostage in exchange for the diary. After giving Pete the diary, Donald travels to Pete's hideout to defeat Pete and get the diary back. The diary reveals that if the map is dipped in water, it will reveal the location of the Great Duck Treasure.
After evading the traps, Donald eventually reaches the treasure vault, but it is guarded by an ancient guardian forcing Donald to fight. After defeating the guardian, Donald enters the treasure vault, only to find a simple stone statue. He is clearly disappointed, but Huey, Dewey and Louie accidentally break the statue, which reveals a golden jeweled necklace was hidden inside. Donald gives the necklace to Daisy and the two fly off into the sunset together.
Magical Quest 3
Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow
In this video game, Donald plays the role of Maui Mallard, a "medium-boiled" detective visiting a tropical island when the mysterious Shabuhm Shabuhm idol goes missing. Shabuhm Shabuhm is considered the island's native guardian spirit, and unless the idol is recovered, the whole island will explode. Maui is put on the case, and his investigations lead him through a creepy mansion to a native village, where Maui is thrown into a volcano as a sacrifice to the native gods. Maui survives the volcano, and the islanders put him through the "test of duckhood", which Maui passes, gaining the natives' trust. The natives tell Maui that the only one who knows the location of Shabuhm Shabuhm has long since died, and Maui goes through the land of the dead to escort his soul into rest. Ultimately, the location of Shabuhm Shabuhm is revealed, and Maui goes head-to-head with an evil sorcerer over the idol. Maui is triumphant, and as a sign of their gratitude, the islanders name their island after their hero, despite their misgivings that the name "Mallard" has little potential for attracting tourists.
Donald himself does not actually appear in Epic Mickey (with the exception of some cartoon clips shown during the end credits), but the game does feature a robot version of him, built by the Mad Doctor as a friend of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Animatronic Donald Duck appears in "Bog Easy", Wasteland's counterpart to New Orleans Square at Disneyland. Like Goofy and Daisy, Donald's parts have been scattered in places inside the Lonesome Manor, and his quest requires Mickey to retrieve them.
Animatronic Donald reappears in Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, still living Bog Easy. This time, he needs Mickey's help fixing his boat so he can meet up with Animatronic Daisy for dinner.
Donald appears a meet-and-greet character in the game. He is first seen on Main Street, U.S.A. where the player must get an autograph from him to complete a task given by Mickey. Later on in the game, Donald can be found in Mickey's Toontown in front of his boat. In the game, Donald and Mickey are each running to become the next mayor of Toontown. Donald also gives a few tasks to the player. At one point, Donald finds what seems to be a treasure map. However, it is actually a map of Disneyland that belongs to Pluto which he uses to find the spots in which he buried his bones. Donald also gives the player a water squirter as a gift. Donald plans on dropping out of the election after accidentally dropping the apple pie he was planning to give to the voters to win votes. However, Mickey decides to help his friend by having the player give Donald one of Minnie's apple pies. Donald gratefully accepts and stays in the race.