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 and 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.
He first meets Sora in Kingdom Hearts while on a journey with Goofy to find the "Key" per the king's order after Mickey's disappearance. After seeing the boy's skill with the Keyblade, Donald decides to help Sora as a means to track down King Mickey. However, over their travels through other worlds, Donald soon grows to deeply care for Sora as a friend, which causes him regret when he is forced to leave Sora after Riku takes the keyblade from him. But when forced to let Riku fight Sora, Donald joins with Goofy's refusal to betray Sora and switches sides, allowing Sora to reclaim the Keyblade due to their friendship. Afterwards, Sora discovers that Kairi's heart rests within him, and so sacrifices himself to release it. Donald is the first to act against this once the deed is committed, running over to Sora as he fades away and desperately screaming for him to come back, to no avail. Ironically, Donald is the one who tries to attack the Heartless that was revealed to be Sora by bonking it on the head with his staff, who is eventually revived. Together, the trio defeats Ansem, the Heartless' leader, and discover that the King was on the other side of the Door to Darkness. Using his Keyblade, Mickey helps them seal the door along with Riku's assistance, leaving the trio in an unknown place by the end of the game to search again for the King and Riku.
Unfortunately, their journey would be hindered by visiting Castle Oblivion in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, where they would forget how to use their abilities and were forced to battle through the castle to regain them, but unknowingly losing their own memories as they progress, which was a part of the Organization's trap. After saving Naminé, the one responsible for their memory losses from the Organization, Donald and the others are placed into a slumber for one year so that she can fix their memories.
He remains asleep throughout Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days.
In Kingdom Hearts II, Donald returns as one of Sora's traveling companions in their search for King Mickey and Riku. Donald follows him everywhere, even when he disagrees with Sora. He clearly worries for Sora, such as when they suspect that Riku is a part of Organization XIII. He also deeply cares for Goofy, as when Goofy gets knocked out protecting King Mickey in Hollow Bastion.
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's Alphabet Chase
Donald's Alphabet Chase was a game produced by Amiga productivity software and Disney Software. The point of the game was to guide Donald around a specific area hunting for animate alphabet symbols. Upon capturing all in a given area, Donald will recite the Alphabet containing all the letters that had been found during that time. Upon finding all the alphabet letterings, the ending will show Donald dozing on the lazyboy as the alphabet characters peek out behind the chair before pulling back into hiding while a fast-paced version of the Alphabet song is playing.
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.