[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/DKCReturns_4887.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:They're back again--and about time, too.]]

->''Now, get out there and give those little drum guys what for. Yes, I said "what for". I'm old. Get over it.''
-->-- '''SelfDemonstrating/CrankyKong'''

''Donkey Kong Country Returns'' is a 2010 {{platform game}} produced by Creator/{{Nintendo}} and RetroStudios (of ''MetroidPrime'' fame); it's the first entry in the VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry series since ''[[VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry3DixieKongsDoubleTrouble Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble]]'' in 1996 and the first in the series canon since ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong64'' in 1999. The plot this time concerns the Tiki Tak Tribe, a group of evil tikis that have hypnotized the animals of DK Island, forcing them to steal Franchise/DonkeyKong's treasured hoard of bananas for their own [[EvilPlan nefarious plans]]. Along with his best friend and [[{{Pun}} second banana]] Diddy Kong, the big guy sets out to get them back.

The game features many popular series landmarks, such as [[GangplankGalleon pirate ships,]] [[MinecartMadness mine cart rides,]] and of course, [[JungleJapes plenty of lush wilderness to get lost in,]] as well as the goal of collecting scattered bananas and golden K-O-N-G letters. A co-op mode has been implemented, but gone are [[BigBad King K. Rool]] and any [[UnderTheSea underwater stages,]] as stated [[http://www.thetanooki.com/2010/06/25/what-wont-return-when-donkey-kong-country-returns here]].

The game is the first in the series to be made with no cooperation from Creator/{{Rare}}, because Microsoft bought Rare in 2002. So once again, after 11 years, it's on like [[YouWannaGetSued the eponymous ape.]]

A [[UpdatedRerelease 3DS version]] called ''Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D'' was released on May 24th, 2013 in all regions.

A WiiU sequel called ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountryTropicalFreeze'' was announced at E3 2013.
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!!This game provides examples of:
* AdvancingWallOfDoom: Level 5-8, Muncher Marathon, has one made out of a rampaging horde of baby spiders.
** There's also one made of lava at the end of level 8-2 (Hot Rocket), although it serves as more of a visual distraction than anything else since the Rocket Barrel makes it an AutoScrollingLevel.
* AlliterativeName: About 90% of the level names, with names like "Muncher Marathon", "Temple Topple" and "Damp Dungeon."
* AmazingTechnicolorBattlefield: [[spoiler:The inside of Tiki Tong's lair.]]
* AppeaseTheVolcanoGod: The Tikis [[spoiler: sacrificing themselves to become Tiki Tong's hands immediately before the final battle]] has shades of this.
* ArtEvolution: The original ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry'' trilogy featured a realistic art style ''and'' cartoony characters with realistic fur and textures. This game goes for more of a "painted cartoon" look and adds cartoony effects and animations to top it off. The fact that the series changed hands (formerly {{Rare}}, currently [[RetroStudios Retro]]) has something to do with it.
* ArtShift: Levels like "Sunset Shore" and "Foggy Fumes" feature black silhouettes against the colored backdrops. The golden-red hues of Sunset Shore in particular are ''[[SceneryPorn spectacular]]''.
* ArtifactTitle: "Life in the Mines Returns," which is not used in any mine level in this game.
* AscendedMeme: "It's On Like Donkey Kong" was trademarked and used by Nintendo to promote the game.
* AsideGlance: DK does this in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltOwVX0PKzk the game's opening cinematic.]]
* AssistCharacter: Squawks the parrot hangs around at Cranky's shop until you pay for him, after which he'll help you seek out the puzzle pieces.
* {{Autosave}}: The game saves even if you leave a level, which is helpful if you just want to look for Diddy in the level, but KONG letter and puzzle pieces are programmed to only be counted when you reach the exit.
* AutoScrollingLevel: Any Mine Cart or Rocket Barrel segment.
* {{Badass}}: Donkey Kong, as in [[spoiler: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LleGVbLHx2w Punch-The-Moon-Into-Tiki-Tong's-Tower]] {{Badass}}]]
** Diddy applies like [[spoiler: Fly-Into-The-Moon-Knocking-It-Into-Tiki-Tong's-Tower {{Badass}}.]]
* {{Balloonacy}}: Cranky's shop is suspended in the air via balloons.
* BambooTechnology: In keeping with Donkey Kong tradition. Notably, Diddy Kong has his [[VideoGame/DonkeyKong64 jetpack and Peanut Popgun]].
* BandLand: One of the last levels of World 7 has hammers pounding on drums. Listening to the BGM is important to get in rhythm when the hammer is about to strike.
* BatOutOfHell: The Squeeklies. 4-5 (Crowded Cavern) focuses on them the most, including a ''[[GiantMook huge]]'' one with [[MakeMeWannaShout sonic]] [[BreathWeapon beams]].
* BeatTheCurseOutOfHim: All bosses, except for [[spoiler: Tiki Tong]] and possibly Colonel Pluck. They're ordinary animals possessed by the Tiki leaders. Once Donkey and Diddy defeat the bosses, the animals are freed and the Tikis float out of them in a stupor (and get a pounding of their own).
* BetterThanABareBulb: Cranky's new style of humour is repeatedly headbutting the fourth wall, rather than out-and-out demolishing it.
* BigBad: [[spoiler:Tiki Tong, leader of the Tiki Tak Tribe.]]
* BigRedButton: One is hidden in each of three later factory levels. You must find and activate all three to open the rocket level that leads to the boss.
** [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] directly by Cranky Kong.
** The Ruins level "Button Bash" is ''full'' of them.
* BlowYouAway: The Kongs can use their breath to blow certain things such as plants, windmills, lanterns, etc. to find collectibles and such. It's even needed against certain enemies in order to defeat them.
* BossArenaIdiocy: The bosses were generally good about choosing locations that weren't potentially lethal towards them if utilized properly by Donkey and Diddy. The one glaringly obvious exception was Mangoruby, whose boss chamber contained three wheels with switches on them that, when pounded, would de-electrify Mangoruby's body and allow Donkey to GoombaStomp her.
* BossOnlyLevel: Every boss, like in the original trilogy.
* BottomlessPitRescueService: In the 3DS version's New Mode, you can buy a green balloon that will hoist you out of a bottomless pit once.
* BrainwashedAndCrazy: The bosses (save for the FinalBoss) are creatures brainwashed by the Tikis into attacking Donkey and Diddy.
* BrutalBonusLevel: The temples.
* ButtMonkey: The first tiki boss you fight is beaten ''twice'' by Donkey Kong. Also, you can beat it endlessly just by entering the first level again and again.
** The tikis in general can be considered this. They tend to be the weaker enemies in the game, have to be bounced off to get KONG letters and puzzle pieces, one gets a NoHoldsBarredBeatdown at the end of every world, and even when one of then is the final boss, He's notably more predictable and easier than the other bosses.
* CallBack: Done ''very subtly'' by Cranky.
-->'''Cranky Kong:''' "See you later, alligator! Heh, heh..."
-->'''Cranky Kong:''' "You need to get to the top of the island by yourself? Too bad we don't know anyone with a plane!"
-->'''Cranky Kong:''' "Back in my day, I could get through the whole island without getting hit ''once''!"
** Another one is hidden in the background in Foggy Fumes; there is an area that looks like the same building under construction in the first Donkey Kong.
** "Peaceful Pier" has an area during the rocket barrel sequence where a crosshair follows you, then stops so the crabs on the ship can fire an anchor at you; this is likely a reference to the "Krack-Shot Kroc" level in ''[=DKC3=]''.
** [[spoiler: Some of the carvings on the walls in the hidden Temple levels feature sprites from the original ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong'' game.]]
** You beat the first phase of Colonel Pluck's robot by punching the bottom of the cockpit, which is appropriately egg-shaped. Defeating a boss by smashing the bottom of the egg? [[DonkeyKongJungleBeat Where have I seen that before?]]
** One of the first levels is called "King of Cling", a reference to ''Donkey Kong: King of Swing''.
** In the ruins, there are Kremling-like statues in the background.
** There's also Mugly and Thugly - Thugly is a more difficult PaletteSwap of Mugly, much like Really Gnawty is to Very Gnawty from the first game. While this is also true of Master Necky and Master Necky Snr., the parallel to Really and Very Gnawty is better as Very Gnawty and Mugly are both the first boss.
* TheCameo: [[VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Mr.]] VideoGame/GameAndWatch can be seen in the background of Foggy Fumes, hammering away a pipe.
* {{Cap}}: 99 lives and 999 Banana Coins.
* CaptainColorbeard: [[{{Pirate}} Captain]] [[GiantEnemyCrab Greenbeard]].
* CartoonBomb: Thrown by a couple of bosses and [[spoiler: Kowalee]].
* CheckPoint: A pig runs a stand with a check on it somewhere in the middle of the level. [[CaptainObvious Take a wild guess what it is.]]
** Also, [[spoiler: the gold bonus stages where you get the orbs to enter the golden temple have no checkpoints whatsoever. They're also considered to be [[NintendoHard the hardest stages in the game.]] Have fun with that.]]
* ChickenWalker: A ''literal'' one in the form of Colonel Pluck's [[InstantAwesomeJustAddMecha Stompybot 3000]].
* CollectionSidequest: The KONG letters and puzzle pieces.
* ColonyDrop: [[spoiler:DK punches the MOON into Tiki Tong's Tower! Subverted because DK isn't trying to destroy the entire world, and the resulting explosion pops the moon back into place.]]
* ContinuingIsPainful: Just like in the original games, it can suck a lot to go through any segment without already having the second Kong, especially if there happens to be no DK Barrels between your current checkpoint and the end of the level. [[spoiler: This very much applies to the FinalBoss, because when ([[ThatOneBoss not if, WHEN]]) you die, the only way to get Diddy back is to restart the whole level and go through the Rocket Barrel gauntlet again. Only to probably die again anyway. Your best option is to accept it and fight the final boss using only DK.]] Thankfully, [[SocializationBonus this doesn't become an issue in multiplayer.]]
** This is how the temple levels are. No check point and no DK Barrels. Unless you wanna go to another level and get Diddy there, if you die you'll be forced to navigate with just Donkey and his two hearts.
* ConvectionSchmonvection: World 8. Walking around and jumping over lava flows? ''Volcanic ash blowing in the wind, like snow?'' Big deal. As long as you don't fall in the lava or touch the flaming enemies (one of which you can ''duck'' under and be completely unharmed, even though it was just ''inches'' above you!), you're fine.
** Say nothing to the fact that in at least one level, there are moving platforms that dip into the lava and rise back out. You ''can'' burn yourself if you jump on them too soon, but this danger period passes quickly and DK often ends up standing on a rock that is ''still glowing red.'' Cranky said it best: "We apes have no need for the laws of physics!"
* CoolAirship: DK runs after a galleon / zeppelin mix, seen hauling his stash of bananas in a big net that hangs from the bottom. A masked tiki enemy is seen dancing on the deck.
* CoolGuns: Diddy is armed with his [[EdibleAmmunition Peanut Popgun]].
* CoOpMultiplayer: WordOfGod [[http://e3.nintendo.com/iwata-asks/#/?v=iwataasks_tanabe says that]] this feature was used to set it apart from DK's previous outing, ''DonkeyKongJungleBeat''. However, it almost ''didn't'' exist due to ''[[VideoGame/NewSuperMarioBrosWii New Super Mario Bros. Wii]]''.
* CorridorCubbyholeRun: Slammin' Steel and Boulder Roller both have segments involving this.
* CueTheSun: Seen during the ending cut-scene for all three endings: After [[spoiler: Tiki Tong's lair is destroyed with the moon]], the sun rises as all the animals are freed from hypnosis and the volcano erupts into a literal rain of bananas.
* DamnYouMuscleMemory: Due to motion-controls instead of a button press, rolling may very well become this in the Wii version.
** In the original trilogy, rolling/cartwheeling/ponytail spinning into an enemy would give you a burst of momentum, allowing you to easily take out whole rows of enemies with just one attack. In ''Donkey Kong Country Returns'', the roll goes farther, faster, but does not have this property unless you got Diddy in single-player mode. In the very first level, almost right away, you'll encounter three basic enemies in a row. If you try to roll through them all like in the old days, your roll will end ''just'' in time for you to slam into the third enemy and get hurt.
** A self-contained example: it's easy to get used to Diddy's jetpack, and to try to use it even when he's not there.
* DanceBattler: The Scurvy Crew; they put their claws up in a dance that protects them from being {{Goomba Stomp}}ed. Fortunately, it leaves them vulnerable to a rolling attack.
* DarkReprise: The background music for "Muncher Marathon" is a fiendish remix of the forest's normal music.
* DeathMountain: World 6.
* DemBones: The cliff is full of alive and hostile reptilian-like skeletons, and some of them also spit fire.
* DemotedToExtra: Whereas in the original DKC a single player could freely switch between DK and Diddy to play as either one, here Diddy is effectively just a powerup that grants DK two extra hits and a jetpack for mid-air jumps (and [[NintendoHard you'll need it]]). Diddy is only truly playable in two-player co-op, and only by Player 2.
** As a second player, Diddy is now a lot more useful than he once was. In the first DKC, the two Kongs had advantages over the other. They held barrels differently, their rolls messed with gravity in different ways, but Donkey had the advantage for being able to GoombaStomp enemies Diddy just couldn't. As a second player in this game, Diddy still has those guns and that jetpack, so he's more capable for platforming than Donkey.
** A non-character example- the second and third ''Donkey Kong Country'' games featured plenty of hidden areas where you earned a Kremcoin or Bonus Coin by beating all the enemies. In here, there's exactly ''one'' such area, in Poppin' Planks. One.
* DesignStudentsOrgasm: [[spoiler:The inside of Tiki Tong's lair.]]
* TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything: There are three versions of the final cutscene FMV: One for each Kong by themselves, and one if you manage to beat the FinalBoss with both Kongs in your posession.
** Rambi stays in place when you dismount, but if an enemy wanders close he'll knock the enemy out on his own.
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: Not so much [[spoiler:punching him directly, but punching the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsPAn1sU8KE moon into him!]]]]
* DifficultySpike: The game's challenge feels just like its SNES/GBC predecessors for the first few stages. The [[NintendoHard gloves]] comes off once you reach 1-5 where obstacles start [[OneHitPointWonder one-shotting you]] ...
** A second spike comes in World 4, which is ''practically nothing but Mine Cart and Rocket Barrel levels.'' Including the boss.
** All Mine Cart and Rocket Barrel stages are varying degrees of this, mostly due to shifting the game's controls horribly suddenly, making it hard for one to go through the stage without the use of the moves one's become accustomed to. Also, some people argue that, due to the fast scrolling speed and absurd closeness of obstacles, the only way to clear these levels without losing a live is by knowing their layout beforehand.
* DoubleUnlock: Opening World 9.
** Also, unlocking the gallery images for [[spoiler:Tiki Tong Tower and Tiki Tong]] requires you to collect the puzzle pieces (as per usual) in the levels "Moving Melters" and "Red Red Rising" respectively. However, you also need to defeat [[spoiler:Tiki Tong]] in order to actually view them.
* TheDragon: All of the Tiki bosses may count, but Colonel Pluck takes the cake since he ''is'' the one [[spoiler:running the manufacturing process for the Tikis.]]
* DrillTank: you encounter a Drill ''Train'' in a few levels in World 4, operated by [[DrillMole moles]].
* ElectricJellyfish: Appears in the beach levels.
* EliteMook: Tiki Tank, a kind of tiki mook that must be stunned with a Ground Pound before any kind of attack (barring Rambi's charge) can beat it.
* EscapeSequence: The end of Crumble Canyon, in which you have to outrun a giant flaming Tiki ball (which [[OneHitKill one-hit-kills you]]) while maneuvering through a series of obstacles.
** Crowded Cavern also qualifies; even though you can't control your speed to outrun the giant bat, you still have to dodge his attacks as he chases you to the end of the level.
* EternalEngine: World 7 includes factory levels, including one in silhouette with platforms obscured by smog. See [[http://www.gametrailers.com/video/exclusive-eruption-donkey-kong/707132 here]].
* EverythingTryingToKillYou: As if the Mine cart levels weren't bad enough, the Rocket Barrel levels crank this right on UpToEleven without apology.
* EverythingsSquishierWithCephalopods: some levels have squids being [[AbnormalAmmo fired at you]]. One level has an octopus in the background attacking you with its [[InsistentTerminology arms]].
* ExactWords: "Peaceful Pier". Oh sure, the "pier" part is peaceful, but the open ocean past it is anything but due to the Rocket Barrel, sharks, and a pirate ship firing cannonballs of death at you.
* ExpositionFairy: Tutorial Pig.
* {{Expy}}: [[spoiler:Tiki Tong]] pretty much follows the exact same shtick as other Nintendo bosses such as [[spoiler:[[VideoGame/StarFox Andross]], [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker Gohdan]], [[VideoGame/SuperMario64 Eyerok]], [[VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Master and Crazy Hand]], [[VideoGame/KirbySuperStar Wham Bam Rock/Jewel]]...]]
** Savory Stu vs. the Koopa Clown Car, especially as used in ''VideoGame/NewSuperMarioBrosWii''.
** Colonel Pluck is a rather obvious expy of [[SonicTheHedgehog Dr Eggman]], right down to the attack pattern in the second phase.
* TheFaceless: [[spoiler: Tiki Tong is never seen until the very end. Hiding him is so extreme that, unlike the previous Tikis whose silhouettes appear when you lost a life in their respective worlds, if you die before facing him in World 8, all you see is a question mark.]]
* FeatheredFiend: Savory Stu and Colonel Pluck, although both of them were hypnotized. Fittingly enough, the latter's level is even ''called'' "Feather Fiend".
* FloatingContinent: [[spoiler:The Golden Temple is this.]]
* FlunkyBoss: The Mole Train.
* FlyingSeafoodSpecial: There are jellyfish and squid enemies that inexplicably fly through the air.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: The name and theme of "Crumble Canyon." [[spoiler:The path leading straight from it to the boss level likewise crumbles]].
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: The zebra, elephant, giraffe (and squirrel) from the opening cutscene pop up a few times in the backdrops of various stages, most notably in "Blowhole Bound" where they are floating in a dinghy in the background.
* GangplankGalleon:
** An interesting variation. Our heroes run through a ship as it's being attacked by a giant octopus, forcing them to dodge its tentacles and platform on floating pieces of debris.
** There are also a level that takes place on several ships that are attacking you/each other with cannon balls. Additionally, there are a few smaller areas within levels where you get rocketed onto a ship on the background.
* GiantEnemyCrab: The Scurvy Crew is a trio of [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot giant crab pirates]].
** For bonus points, the way to defeat them is to flip them over, then [[AttackItsWeakPoint attack their weak points]] (ForMassiveDamage).
* GiantHandsOfDoom: [[spoiler:Tiki Tong.]]
* GiantMook: there are two giant Tiki enemies (one on the ground, the other [[FlyingMook flying]]) that require 3 stomps on the head, or just a single RollingAttack.
* TheGoomba: Awk, a pathetic-looking blue parrot, fills this position. There's also a pink parrot, Rawk, that can run faster than the blue counterpart, but it still dies after just one hit. Neither of them can fly for some reason.
** Tiki Goons fill this role as well.
* GoombaSpringboard: Rather than just holding the jump button, you have to ''press'' it the moment you hit the enemy from above. This is a survival requirement in some of the harder levels where said enemies are the only thing between you and a BottomlessPit.
** It's at its worst in Platform Panic, where you HAVE to get the extra height quite a lot. Then sometimes they throw in a puzzle where if you get the extra height, you hit a spiked ceiling and lose a heart. After a long stream of high jumps, this flies straight into DamnYouMuscleMemory territory.
* GottaCatchThemAll: The puzzle pieces, K-O-N-G letters, and [[spoiler: orbs needed to unlock the Golden Temple]].
* GroinAttack: This is how you defeat Colonel Pluck's [[MiniMecha Stompybot 3000]]- [[AttackItsWeakPoint wait for the hatch to open first]].
* GroundPound: Subverted; instead of jumping and making a hard landing, DK slams his hands onto the ground.
* GuideDangIt: The puzzle pieces. Squawks will start chattering when you approach where one is hidden, but this won't necessarily tell you ''where'' the piece is hidden or how to reveal it -- that's up to you.
** There are two particularly egregious examples. One is in the ruins; there is a puzzle piece hidden off the bottom of the stage in a place you would never know to even look, as there is no hint it is down there. The other is near the end of the game, where he squawks around a small platform just above the lava. It seems like a puzzle piece would spawn there, but in actuality it is simply a platform to allow you to access the real puzzle piece - namely, behind a breakable wall in a bonus room, in an area where the last (and only) barrel is a great distance behind. If it were not for squawks, these would be nearly impossible to find.
* [[HumanCannonball Hominid Cannonball]]
* HighSpeedBattle: The Mole Train boss battle in World 4 takes place atop its own mine carts as it speeds down the track.
* TheHypnotoad: The Tiki Tak Tribe's main powers. They appear to be some of the easier enemies to defeat, suggesting that without the power to hypnotize other creatures to do their bidding, they'd be pretty helpless.
* IdleAnimation: Donkey Kong looks around, sits on the ground, pulls out a NintendoDS, and plays while Diddy watches over his shoulder. After a while he gets bored and tosses it casually over his shoulder. This may or may not have been inspired by a famous incident ({{Retro Studios}} took note of it on their website) wherein a kid dropped his DS in the gorilla pen at the zoo and the gorillas played it.
* InterfaceSpoiler: While the game is good at hiding [[spoiler:the temple levels, the Golden Temple, and the Mirror Mode emblems]], it slips up at World 6: [[spoiler:You could only see six level spots on the World Map in addition to the boss level spot, but upon viewing the Level Summary, you see two more instances of "?????" than there should be. Sure enough, upon clearing what appears to be the last level before the boss, the road that appears to lead to the boss crumbles, and the two missing level spots finally appear in an otherwise conspicuous area of the map.]]
* InvincibleMinorMinion: The flaming Tiki Buzzes, Tiki Zings (only beatable with Rambi), and flaming Tiki Zings (unbeatable, even with Rambi).
** It is possible to actually blow out the flaming Tiki Buzzes and make them vulnerable, but only in a select few spots in the game where they fly close to the ground.
* InvulnerableKnuckles: Averted in the final cutscene with DK, [[spoiler: where he punches the moon into Tiki Tong's lair.]]
* ItRunsOnNonsensoleum: [[spoiler: In the factory, inanimate Tiki masks are brought to life by the squashed bananas from DK's Hoard.]]
* {{Jetpack}}: Diddy Kong has one.
* JungleJapes: The first world, naturally.
* JustifiedExtraLives: Previously, the balloons were just there for you to collect and gain extra lives. Now, they carry you back into the stage upon the event of dying. In co-op, if one Kong dies and the other summons him back, one of the balloons will carry in a DK Barrel for you to break and bring the first Kong back into action. If both Kongs are dead, two extra lives are given up in order to bring them back.
* LawOfOneHundred: 100 bananas, one extra life.
* {{Leitmotif}}: Each boss tiki's instrument that they're themed off of is added into their boss music and hypnosis music.
* LethalLavaLand: World 8, which somehow manages to ''outdo'' the one in ''VideoGame/NewSuperMarioBrosWii''.
* LettingTheAirOutOfTheBand: Happens when you defeat Mole Miner Max as his body collides with the train and said train slows to a stop.
* LevelAte: [[spoiler:World 9's single level. It's bizarre, to say the least. In-game artwork shows that they planned to include more levels in the Golden Temple, many of them having a food theme.]]
* TheLostWoods: World 5 is a forest world, filled with 600 foot tall pine trees and murderous spiders.
* MeaninglessLives: While the game is pretty difficult, this is a classic example of a game with meaningless lives. Most of the difficult stages have bonus rounds near the start of them, allowing you to gain infinite extra lives - and indeed, dying in them often will gain you stocks as the bonus round has 1-2 extra life balloons in it AND bananas, and coins (which can be used to buy extra lives, as well as other items) are plentiful, and all the more so when you start dying repeatedly on the harder stages later in the game, thus collecting the same banana coins over and over again.
** This game provides a similar thing in Meaningless DK Barrels. Some levels provide you with DK Barrels right before long stretches of Blast Barrels, Rocket Barrels, and Mine Kart that go on until the end of the level. These areas are OneHitKill, and the other benefits from having Diddy (his rockets for example) are a non-factor, rendering him completely useless.
* MadBomber: Stu, naturally. The only move he has that ''isn't'' bomb-related is swooping at you. Then again, he was BrainwashedAndCrazy....
* MagicMusic: The high-ranking Tikis play themselves as instruments to hypnotise the island's animals.
* MalevolentArchitecture: and HOW. The [[spoiler: secret bonus temple]] levels, especially.
* ManEatingPlant: Two kinds of them, seen for the first time in the ''Donkey Kong Country'' series. They're even called "Chomps".
* MechaMooks: Common in the factory world.
* MediumAwareness: After a bonus game, DK and Diddy will take a look at the item totals as they line up along the bottom of the screen.
* MegatonPunch: To defeat the final boss, DK [[spoiler:''punches the moon into it.'']]
* MercyMode: Similar to ''VideoGame/NewSuperMarioBrosWii'', after dying enough times trying to complete a single level, Tutorial Pig will appear and offer the "Super Guide", which calls in a {{Palette Swap}}ped white DK to play the level for you. The game clearly warns you that Super Kong will only ''complete'' the level -- you don't get to keep any of the items he collects in the process.
** Which means that in order to unlock the Golden Temple level, you ''must'' beat the hidden Kong Temple stages by yourself, because that's the only way to collect the orbs at the end of each temple level.
* MinecartMadness: One of the series many trademarks; World 4 consists almost entirely of them. The antics that actually occur ''during'' said levels make the original series's MinecartMadness look boring by comparison.
* MiniMecha: Colonel Pluck's "Stompybot 3000".
* MobileShrubbery: A type of {{mook}} that only appears in the silhouette levels is almost entirely shrouded in shrubbery. Only its eyes and spindly legs are visible.
* MoleMiner: Mole Guards in minecart sections and World 4. Mole Miner Max is the boss of World 4.
* MultiStageBattle: Each time Thugly TurnsRed, he smashes the floor of the arena, sending the battle down to a lower level, though the change in terrain has no tactical effect on the battle in progress.
* MusicalGameplay: The factory level "Music Madness". The obstacles in this level are synced with the music.
* MusicalSpoiler: The early MinecartMadness and RocketRide levels have a lead-in to the actual mine cart or rocket music before you jump into the vehicle for the first time (if you recognize it, that is). Later levels seems to abandon this altogether.
* NintendoHard: [[UpToEleven Much harder than the previous games, in fact]]. [[http://wii.gamespy.com/wii/donkey-kong-country-returns/1135968p1.html This trope is specifically mentioned in the GameSpy review.]]
** The unlockable Temple levels border on PlatformHell, even the World 1 temple (which is aptly named "Platform Panic"). However, the very worst levels in the game tend to be the rocket levels, which (like the minecart levels) will kill you if you touch anything, but unlike the minecart stages have few to no breaks from the carts and as the rocket is not running on rails gives you many more chances to die.... especially with how touchy the rocket controls are.
* NoHoldsBarredBeatdown: After each boss, you get to unleash a completely one-sided flurry of RapidFireFisticuffs on the tiki controlling the boss before uppercutting them [[TwinkleInTheSky into the sky.]] Their OhCrap expressions right beforehand are priceless.
* NoNameGiven: Other than the FinalBoss, the boss tikis have no names.
* NoOSHACompliance: The Factory levels.
* NoSell: The tikis hypnotize the animals to do their bidding; one of them tries it on Donkey Kong, and learns the ''very'' hard way that DK is immune to it.
* NostalgiaLevel: 1-1 (Jungle Hijinxs) is the most obvious, down to DK starting the game off in his treetop hut above his banana hoard cave.
* NotAsYouKnowThem: The Scurvy pirates are now three crabs instead of crocodiles.
* OminousLatinChanting: Contained in the music throughout World 8.
* OneHitPointWonder: Both DK and Diddy actually have ''two'' hitpoints apiece, but when you're riding a mine cart or Rocket Barrel, colliding with anything is invariably lethal as it destroys the cart/rocket.
** Also played straight in [[spoiler: [[HarderThanHard Mirror Mode]]]], which challenges you to complete levels with only DK and only one Heart.
* OneHundredPercentCompletion: Completing every level and getting all the Kong letters nets you 100%, while [[spoiler:clearing every level again on Mirror Mode]] will award you with the maximum ''200%''! Fortunately, Puzzle Pieces and Time Trial medals don't contribute to this.
* PalmtreePanic: World 2.
* PassThePopcorn: During boss fights, a horde of Tikis watches you, chants in time to the boss music, boos when you hit the bossó and cheers when the boss hits you.
* PhysicsGoof: The giant fan platforms with one broken blade in Foggy Fumes somehow stay ''perfectly balanced'' no matter their position or even when switched on.
* {{Pirates}}: The Scurvy Crew are a trio of Type 1, GiantEnemyCrab [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot pirates]]. The red captain is named [[CaptainColorbeard Greenbeard]], has a HookHand, an EyepatchOfPower and a NiceHat, the blue one has a [[BladeBelowTheShoulder cutlass]] in place of a claw, and the yellow one has a ''[[ForkFencing fork]]'' in place of a claw.
* PlatformBattle: Mangoruby (falling off nets no real penalty beyond wasting time needed to hit all the switches), and the Mole Train especially (see HighSpeedBattle).
* PowerupMount: Rambi the [[RhinoRampage rhinoceros]].
* {{Prehistoria}}: World 6, Cliff.
* PreOrderBonus: Players who preordered the game got a banana-shaped Wiimote holder.
* PunnyName: Awks. They are awkward, and they are [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auk auks.]]
* PuzzleBoss: Mangoruby can't be struck directly; you must activate all the switches in the room first before you can attack.
* RandomlyDrops: Hearts.
* RaymanianLimbs: [[spoiler:Tiki Tong]]
* RearrangeTheSong: Half of the game's soundtrack contains remixes of songs from the original DKC. This includes the title screen, world map, [[JungleJapes jungle]], [[TheLostWoods forest]], [[RuinsForRuinsSake ruins]], [[EternalEngine factory]] and [[MineCartMadness mine cart]] levels....
* RecursiveAmmo: Thugly, the boss of world 6, launches a fire ball that splits into three, one of which will split into three again (and may do so ''yet again''). Good luck trying to dodge this one.
* ReptilesAreAbhorrent: Cling Cobra, Mangoruby, and the Dinosaur Skeletons.
* RespawningEnemies: In a departure from the original [=DKC=] series, all the normal [[{{Mook}} mooks]] in the game will respawn to their original positions after being defeated, if you move a few screens away and come back. This can be annoying a lot of the time, but other times it's useful when you need the mooks for GoombaSpringboard situations, as the respawning enemies will allow you multiple attempts to reach otherwise unreachable areas.
* RevengeOfTheSequel
* RibcageRidge: World 6 is a trek through cliffs covered in gigantic fossils. [[EverythingTryingToKillYou That try to kill you.]]
* RiseToTheChallenge: Courtesy of nice hot videogame lava ("Red Red Rising", "Perilous Passage"). The last half of "Muncher Marathon" proceeds in a vertical format as well.
* RoarBeforeBeating: Mugly and Thugly, every time they TurnRed. Also, [[spoiler:Tiki Tong]].
* RocketRide: the Rocket Barrel, which is easily cited for having the game's most difficult stages.
* RuleOfThree:
** Both Mugly and Thugly progress through three stages as you fight them ([[TurnsRed turning red]] on the third). In addition, in each phase they have to be hit three times.
** The second boss is the Scurvy Crew, consisting of three pirate crabs. Because there's three of them, three tikis are needed to hypnotize them.
* SaharanShipwreck: Level 6-7 "Tippy Shippy". Somehow a fleet of pirate ships managed to get stuck up there.
* SecretLevel: Each world features a Temple level which is unlocked by [[spoiler: collecting all the KONG letters in that world]].
* SegmentedSerpent: Mangoruby. You destroy his segments in groups of two, rather than one at a time.
* SequenceBreaking: There are some pretty clever ways to bypass certain obstacles, and this becomes necessary when going for the best records in Time Trials.
* ShapedLikeItself: The UK advert, voiced by Creator/BrianBlessed, invites you to "Join this hairy wrecking-ball as he tears through your living room, like an ape tearing through your living room!"
* ShipLevel: Mostly World 2.
* ShockwaveStomp: Mugly, Thugly, and Tiki Tong all have one.
* ShoutOut
** A stage set in the ruins features an enormous stone statue of the original VideoGame/DonkeyKong holding a {{Wii}} remote, as opposed to a barrel, over his head. In fact, the sprite is a modified sprite from Donkey Kong Jr. Math, with the tie added and a sign replaced with the Wiimote.
** One of the stages is named ''King of Cling''.
** In "Foggy Fumes", one of the Smokey Factory levels, you can see the first level from the original VideoGame/DonkeyKong.
** In the beach levels there are crab enemies that scuttle sideways along the ground. [[VideoGame/MarioBros Ground pound near them and they'll flip over - ground pound again and they'll flip over again, unlike most enemies with stay stunned.]]
** Mr Game and Watch appears in the background of the aforementioned factory stage, which itself is stylized to look like a Game & Watch game.
** In 'The Mole Train', watch Mole Miner Max's facial expression carefully when he's enchanted by the tikis. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1Y73sPHKxw Remind you of anything?]] Dun-dun-DUNNNN!
** [[spoiler:[[BigBad Tiki Tong]] has an eye tic similar to that of King K. Rool.]]
** Retro created the ''MetroidPrime'' games, and they slipped in a few shout outs to {{Metroid}} in there:
*** In the first factory level, you can see Crocomire's skull in the foreground.
*** You can also see fossilized Infant Leviathans from ''MetroidPrime 3'' in one of the cliff levels.
*** The Volcano Vibe theme also sounds very similar to the Magmoor Caverns theme.
** The entire game is one to the original trilogy, although it predominantly references the first game. In fact, two of the stages [[RecycledTitle reuse]] names from the original game: "Jungle Hijinx" and "Vine Valley".
** [[spoiler: The interior of Tiki Tong's lair has more than a passing resemblance to [[SuperSmashBros Final Destination]], right down to the colorful background and the the fact that is has one platform. And the fact you initially attack its hands.]]
** In "Button Bash", there's a giant monkey statue wearing a tie patterned with the American flag. This is undoubtedly a reference to video game champion Billy Mitchell (from the movie ''TheKingOfKong''), who was known for wearing the same.
** Just to the right of the Jumpman scaffolding in the same level is the silhouette of [[VideoGame/SuperMetroid Crocomire's skull]].
* SoundTest: Defeating bosses unlocks that world's soundtrack for you to listen to at your leisure.
* SphereFactor: Diddy Kong can run atop of Donkey Kong as the latter is rolling in order to do so continuously.
** Two of the minecart levels also feature this, one level having the cart rolling around the inside of rails bent into a circular shape (like a hamster ball), and another with the cart rolling on top of a gigantic dinosaur(?) egg.
* SpiderSwarm: One of the levels involves the Kongs having to outrun a gigantic swarm of invincible spiders after disturbing their nest.
* StalactiteSpite: The crystals in 4-3 (Bombs Away), although most of them simply shift position instead of outright falling. The next level, 4-4 (Mole Patrol), plays this straight, again with crystals.
* StealthPun: The main enemies of the Factory levels, Buckbot and Buckbomb, are mechanical poultry fashioned after the boss of the area, Colonel Pluck, who commands a giant mech of his own. In short, [[spoiler:{{Robot Chicken}}s.]]
* SuperDrowningSkills: Unlike in the previous Donkey Kong Country games, deep water is essentially just another BottomlessPit here.
* SuspiciousVideoGameGenerosity: All of those extra lives this game seems to throw at you? [[NintendoHard You're going to need them.]]
** If you see a DK barrel in a level, chances are you're going to have to do some ''serious'' platform-hopping real soon.
* TacticalSuicideBoss: The Scurvy Crew, Stu, and Thugly.
* TechnologyPorn: The factory world is full of this.
* TempleOfDoom: The hidden Temple stages, and World 3 is a milder version.
* TemporaryPlatform: Mostly of the "crumbling" varieties, and some levels (like World 1's secret level, "Platform Panic") are built ''entirely around them''. One level in World 3 has a grid of platforms that appear and disappear at regular intervals (not unlike the infamous platforms of ''VideoGame/MegaMan'' fame), but thankfully you have safe ground to land on underneath.
* ThreateningShark: Grinning, leaping sharks attempt to bite DK and Diddy as they jump from one platform to the next in coastal areas, as seen [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3Dd6fp3nlc in this video.]]
* ThrowABarrelAtIt: It '''is''' ''Donkey Kong Country''.
* TimeTrial: To get an idea on how this already NintendoHard game deals with time trials, you can net the best medal[[note]]Not gold, but ''shiny gold''. It's a hidden record to beat.[[/note]] in the first level of the game by beating it within ''' 53 seconds'''. Mercifully, time trial mode [[SelfImposedChallenge has no bearing on]] [[CosmeticAward 100% game completion whatsoever.]]
* TookALevelInBadass: Rambi the Rhino was already a heavy, steamrolling character in the original games. Here, he can break through blocks much larger than himself, and is not ony immune to SpikesOfDoom; he actually ''destroys them on impact''. The only thing that can harm him this go around is [[KillItWithFire fire]].
* TrashTheSet: After a boss is defeated, his lair is shown as destroyed with a DK flag among the rubble on the map screen from that point forward.
* TurnsRed: Happens to the bosses as they either get faster or new attacks when low on health. ''Literally'' played straight with Mugly and Thugly, who ''actually turn red''.
* ATwinkleInTheSky: The Tikis do this when you punch them after beating a boss.
* UnderTheSea: Unlike all three previous installments in the series, this game [[AvertedTrope does not have any.]] though a remix of the original underwater levels does play when you're riding the whale.
* UndergroundLevel: Mostly overlaps with MinecartMadness. The entirety of World 4.
* UniqueEnemy: A few enemies really only show up for a single level.
** Mimic, an enemy that resembles MobileShrubbery, appears in ''Sunset Shore''
** Tiny hummingbirds called Humzees show up in a single room of ''Button Bash''
* UpdatedRerelease: ''Donkey Kong Country Returns'' came to 3DS in summer 2013 as ''Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D'', adding a whole new world and an easier difficulty, which gives the Kongs more health and makes additional items available for purchase.
* UseYourHead: Diddy's ending involves [[spoiler: Diddy falling towards the moon and tries to escape the pull, but his jetpack goes out of control, causing Diddy to slam headfirst into the moon, which results the end to the Tiki-Tak tribe.]]
* WarmUpBoss: Mugly.
* WhackAMonster: The Mole Train boss, obviously being based off Whack-A-Mole.
* TwoPointFiveD: A sidescrolling game rendered entirely in 3-dimensional graphics. Some levels feature additional layers in the background (or foreground) that the player traverses between using barrel cannons.
* VariableMix: The map music (returning from the first DKC) has different instruments depending on what world you are in.
** The boss music tends to get more intense the further in the battle you get.
** Furthermore, each mine cart level and rocket barrel level has instrument changes for their respective themes dependent on the level.
* YouHaveFailedMe: Averted with the boss Tikis; [[spoiler: Once they power up Tiki Tong [[ItRunsOnNonsensoleum with bananas]], he turns them into giant hands(!) to fight Donkey and Diddy Kong with.]]
* YourPrincessIsInAnotherCastle: After clearing the penultimate level in World 6, the pathway to the boss stage crumbles, causing you to detour through two stages which didn't exist on the map previously.
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