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The Kongs have landed in the coolest Country yet!

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (released as Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze in Japanese) is a Wii U platform game produced by Nintendo and Retro Studios, a sequel to Donkey Kong Country Returns. It is the fifth side-scrolling Donkey Kong Country game, and the sixth overall. The game was originally slated for release in November 2013, before being pushed to February 2014.

The Snowmads, a horde of rampaging Vikings from the frigid northern seas, invade DK Island and kick the Kongs out of their home—and on Donkey Kong's birthday, no less. Donkey, Diddy, Dixie, and Cranky must then trek across six different islands to reclaim their turf (and undo the magic spell that's turned it into an icy tundra).

Veteran Donkey Kong Country series composer David Wise returned to the series to compose the soundtrack for the game, replacing Minako Hamano from Returns.

In May 2018, an Updated Re-release of the game for the Nintendo Switch was released, with the biggest addition being that Funky Kong, like Cranky before him, had been Promoted to Playable, with his surfboard providing many unique abilities for him to use.


Tropes featured in Tropical Freeze include:

  • 2D: Tropical Freeze expands on what Returns did by adding curving paths and Camera Perspective Switch during segments like barrel cannon sequences. Certain Minecart Madness levels also involve jumping back and forth between parallel rails.
  • 100% Completion: Like Returns, the game has 200% as the maximum amount. And once again, the only things that count towards completion percentage are the Kong letters (since you need them all to open all the stages), completing said stages and then completing them again in Hard Mode. Puzzle pieces and Time Attack medals don't factor in.
  • Abnormal Ammo:
    • One of the enemies is a penguin archer who fires fish as projectiles. Diddy can still use his Peanut Popguns, of course, and Dixie gains a gumball gun.
    • Cranky, on the other hand, throws false teeth.
    • Lord Fredrik's horn fires out spikeballs and ice dragons.
  • Acrofatic: Lord Fredrik is so obese his belly jiggles and bounces with his every movement, and yet he can dodge rapidly, run quickly, and leap great distances with apparently little effort.
  • Advertised Extra: Funky Kong, apart from being Promoted to Playable in the Switch version, makes no appearance in the game's cinematics and only with his own model-animation for boss battles.
  • African Chant: The music theme of the level Grassland Groove displays this trope. Notably, the song doesn't loop like a normal theme would do, but instead changes gradually as the player progresses in the level. When the exit is displayed, the music ends with an epic chant of Donkey Kong's name.
  • Ageless Birthday Episode: The game starts with one for DK, before the bad guys crash the party.
  • Airborne Mook: Hootzes are owl-like creatures that are part of the Snowmad tribe, and either remain static in an aerial spot or move in a certain patter (back and forth in a straight line or around a circle). A fiery variant of them exists, and cannot be stomped on for obvious reasons.
  • All the Worlds Are a Stage: The last world, Donkey Kong Island, is a review of every world in Donkey Kong Country Returns, with each regular stage being based around the most iconic challenges found in that particular area in the first game. The Final Boss, Lord Fredrik, is also fought where Tiki Tong was in the previous game. The secret levels are brand-new, however.
  • Almost Out of Oxygen: The game adds an Oxygen Meter for the first time in the series. As diving underwater, the Kongs must touch air bubbles or items surrounded by air in order to replenish the meter.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • As the number of figurines to collect increases each time you clear a world, and getting unique figurines is a Luck-Based Mission as they're only available through the Capsule Toy Machine in Funky Kong's shop (with no real way to manipulate the chances of getting a unique one), Funky will stop the player from using the machine if all the unique figurines currently available have been collected, preventing them from wasting their hard-earned Banana Coins on the machine.
    • The Switch version allows you to access your entire inventory in the middle of a stage, meaning you no longer have to decide in advance what items to bring with you into a stage or worry about having the wrong (or no) support Kong for certain collectibles or secret exits (especially when the levels in question are other unsuitable for certain Kongs or don't provide many Kong barrels).
  • Aquatic Mook: Finleys (large fish that come in blue and red variations), Gargantuan Gills (massive fanged fish), Gordos (indigo-colored fish with robust bodies), Fritzs (moray eels capable of producing electricity), and Mama Saws (sawfish whose noses actually look like man-made chainsaws). Finleys usually show gestures of boredom and swim in various patterns, with the blue ones swimming slowly and the red ones swimming faster; Gargantuan Gills attempt to swallow the Kongs in one bit by jumping out of the water (some of them, colored purple, even manage to chew railtracks during a Minecart Madness level); Gordos act and move similarly to Finleys, but require extra hits to be defeated; Fritzs attempt to hurt the Kongs with their bioelectricity, and can teleport between spots by creating whirlpools; and Mama Saws attempt to charge at the Kongs to harm them with thir saw-like noses.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: Cranky's pogo cane is able to harm Snowmads with helmets, which would otherwise protect them or even hurt Kongs who jump on them.
  • Artifact Mook: Screaming Pillars are back, but on an entirely different island and in spite of the rest of the Tiki Tak Tribe being nowhere to be seen.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: Pompy, Bashmaster, and even Lord Fredrik all have killer, intense metal music as their battle themes.
  • Auto-Scrolling Level: Naturally, as barrel cannon sequences return; in a unique twist, certain segments will provide a Camera Perspective Switch. Rocket barrel and mine cart segments return as well.
  • Badass Adorable: Dixie Kong. On the badass front, she, like all the other sidekicks, can do everything DK can in co-op mode. In addition to this, she can spin her ponytail like a helicopter to either extend the height and distance of her jumps or swim through strong currents underwater, which is generally seen as the most useful of the three sidekicks' special abilities for easily navigating most levels. On the adorable front, it's clear that Retro Studios was really trying to play up the "cute" factor: they gave her great big puppy dog eyes (noticeably bigger than the other characters'), a squeaky high-pitched voice, and several cute mannerisms such as her tendency to giggle a lot and the silly little happy dance she does upon successfully completing a puzzle piece challenge, finishing a level with all KONG letters, etc.
  • Balloonacy:
    • As in the previous game, Red Balloons lift Kongs back to the last checkpoint if they die.
    • Green Balloons return Kongs to the stage if they fall into a Bottomless Pit.
    • Funky Kong ponders how many balloons he needs to attach to his surfboard to get some air if the player buys Red Balloons from his shop.
  • Band Land: 2-3, Horn Top Hop, has you getting lifted by the air coming out of large horns, The end barrel gets sucked into a horn at the end.
  • Battle Theme Music: Following the trend of Returns, the bosses all have their own battle themes to stand out from the style of the SNES trilogy. In particular, Pompy, Bashmaster and Lord Fredrik employ Autobots, Rock Out! for their themes, whereas Skowl uses Ominous Latin Chanting that has been noted to bear a considerable similarity with the famous theme of Sephiroth's One-Winged Angel form in Final Fantasy VII, Ba-Boom uses a fast-paced tribalcomposition to go along with his mischievous nature, and Fugu uses a track that borrows the musical style of the tense tracks played in ''Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (both games were composed by David Wise, so this makes sense).
  • Bears Are Bad News: Bashmaster, the boss of Juicy Jungle is a gigantic polar bear Snowmad wielding a hammer as big as he is. His somewhat more realistic design, compared to the other characters, makes him look downright brutal. Check him out here.
  • Bee Afraid: The Buzzies are humongous, stubby bee enemies that often chase after Donkey Kong and his friends, trying to sting them with their stingers.
  • Big Bad: The leader of the Snowmads, Lord Fredrik. After bringing an Endless Winter to DK Island, Lord Fredrik and the Snowmads take over the island, with DK and co. having to take it back from him.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Donkey Kong is the big guy to little guys Diddy, Dixie, and Cranky Kong. All three can stand on his back.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: Several living creatures in the Under the Sea levels are bio-luminescent.
  • A Birthday, Not a Break: The Snowmads invade the DK Isles and kick the Kongs out whilst they're celebrating Donkey Kong's birthday.
  • Blackout Basement: The screen goes dark a few times in the level "Rodent Ruckus".
  • Blow That Horn: Lord Fredrik, leader of the Snowmads, has a magical horn that shoots ice, which he uses to plunge Donkey Kong Island into Endless Winter.
  • Blow You Away: The Snowmad leader's horn blows the Kongs off their island before freezing it.
  • Bonus Dungeon: The Secret Seclusion, which requires gathering the relics located in the Temple levels (themselves Brutal Bonus Levels) to enter, and can only be unveiled after defeating the Final Boss and clearing the game once. It consists of three exceptionally challenging levels, and completing them unlocks Hard Mode.
  • Bonus Stage: These are hidden within the levels, and accessing them challenges the Kongs to collect all items present; doing so will reward them with puzzle pieces.
  • Bootstrapped Theme: The initial E3 2013 trailers and gameplay footage frequently used the Jungle Hijinx theme, DK Island Swing, with the implication that it would be used in the opening Lost Mangrove levels. But later footage revealed that the Lost Mangrove levels would instead feature a new piece of music, which seems to indicate that DK Island Swing was used more to hype up the fans. It's instead used in the secret K levels, unlocked by getting every KONG letter in each world.
  • Boss Subtitles: Every boss has a title that is shown on their figurine. In order, these are:
    • Pompy, the Presumptuous
    • Skowl, the Startling
    • Ba-Boom, the Boisterous
    • Fugu, the Frightening
    • Bashmaster, the Unbreakable
    • Lord Fredrik, the Snowmad King
  • Bring It:
    • The Kongs do various gestures relating to the trope before throwing down with a boss. Funky Kong from the Switch version embodies the trope more traditionally, beckoning the boss with both hands.
    • The giant grasshopper enemy, Punchy Paddy, gestures such to the Kongs as it glides down after a jump.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: The temples from Returns make, well, a return, and once again they can only be unlocked by gathering all KONG letters in the standard levels. They're exceptionally difficult, featuring setpieces and gimmicks that make up for more devious level designs, and anything below honed reflexes and timing results in a guaranteed death. Completing them unlocks the equally difficult Secret Seclusion levels, which constitute a Bonus Dungeon in their own right.
  • Brutish Bulls: One of the new enemies is Buffaloafer, a Cape buffalo.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: The game starts off in Lost Mangroves as the first world, which is a combination of this and Palmtree Panic. The mangroves themselves aren't harmful, some even being helpful by having platforms that grant access to higher spots, but some areas have thorny branches that must be avoided (though Cranky Kong can jump onto them safely with his cane).
  • Bullfight Boss: Lord Fredrik does this on occasion. Jumping on his back as he charges at you is the only way to hurt him. Towards the end of the fight, he moves slightly faster, making it harder to land on him.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Dixie Kong returns as the third playable character alongside DK, Diddy, and Cranky. Funky Kong is also back to take over Cranky's previous role as the shopkeeper.
    • Now that Funky's playable in the Switch version, the shop is now owned by a parrot named Tawks.
  • Cane Fu: Cranky Kong uses his cane in a number of offensive ways, most notably a pogo stick bounce similar to Scrooge's in DuckTales.
  • Can't Drop the Hero: In single player, as in Returns, while you can have a partner on your back, you're always playing DK by default. Unless you're playing Hard Mode.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Early on, you can hand slap to turn on a bunch of TVs. They have the American and Japanese title screens for Donkey Kong Country Returns.
  • Character Select Forcing: Though the game can be cleared by having any of Donkey's sidekicks, or even only playing as DK himself, certain secret exits that unlock hidden levels require Donkey to be accompanied by a specific sidekick (for example, an aquatic level has a secret exit obstructed by a strong water current that can only be overcome with Dixie's Helicopter Hair, while a factory level has a secret exit behind a spiky path that can only be crossed with Cranky's cane).
  • Checkpoint Starvation: The K levels, as per usual. 4-B also qualifies, being the only regular level without checkpoints. The three levels in World 7, Secret Seclusion, also fit. Every level in Hard Mode also becomes this.
  • Circus of Fear: Where you fight Pompy, the Presumptious.
  • Circus Synths: The very first boss level, Big Top Bop, has you fighting an ill-tempered sea lion in a circus tent. You'd think the music would be lighthearted, right? Nope. The theme for this level is straight up metal, with electric guitars accompanied by synths.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: In addition to the red balloons, you can go to Funky's shop to buy the green balloon from the Nintendo 3DS port of Returns and a brand new blue balloon that extends your Oxygen Meter. The letters on DK Barrels also change color to indicate which Kong is within: a blue DD for Diddy, a pink DX for Dixie, and a yellow CK for Cranky.
  • Combat Tentacles: Squiddicus from Returns is back, and once again it'll use its tentacles to attempt to kill the Kongs, this time underwater.
  • Combination Attack: The Kong Pow. Collecting bananas gradually fills a gauge on the HUD that, when full, allows the Kongs to transform all onscreen enemies into extra lives, recovery hearts, or Banana Coins. It takes two characters to pull off the move, though, so Donkey Kong is out of luck if he's by himself.
  • Company Cross References: Funky Kong's description of the Crash Guard is "Vehicle Trouble? It's dangerous to go alone — take one of these!" Cranky Kong had previously referenced the phrase in Returns.
  • Concept Art Gallery: Like Returns, this game features an art gallery that fills up as you collect puzzle pieces in the levels and grow closer to 100% Completion.
  • Console Cameo: The same as the last game, with one of DK's idle animations being to take out a Nintendo handheld and start playing it, although this time he's upgraded his DS to a 3DS. If you're playing the Switch version, he takes out a Switch instead.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The first level begins with the player having to shake the controller before the gameplay begins for real, just like in the first level of the previous game.
    • In the first water area of the first level, diving completely underwater plays a updated remix of the water levels from Donkey Kong Country.
    • Dixie's gumball gun is a sly reference to her Idle Animation (chewing bubblegum) in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest and Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!. One of her idle animations is an air guitar, referencing her victory animation in Donkey Kong Country 2.
    • In the secret exit of 1-3, Canopy Chaos, you can find Cranky's Victrola from the intro to the original DKC, and it even plays the same tune.
    • World 6, Donkey Kong Island, is filled with them for players of Returns. Namely, the first eight levels are set respectively on the eight main worlds in the previous game, while the secret temple level lies where the Golden Temple was.
    • Snaggles, Mimics, Screaming Pillars, and Squiddicus are returning enemies from the first Donkey Kong Country Returns. The Big Squeekly also makes a cameo appearance, frozen in a block of ice in 6-4, Blurry Flurry.
  • Controllable Helplessness: A Downplayed example in the first post-game level, in which there is a section of falling platforms and there is lower gravity because of the fact. At the end of the section, there is a Barrel Cannon that will be destroyed if left alone for too long. If one lets it get destroyed, then the player has no choice but to let the Kongs fall to their doom and watch as Donkey Kong rides a balloon back to the start of the level.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Happens in 6-8 Meltdown Mayhem where the ice doesn't even melt despite being just a few feet above molten lava. The ice only melts if it comes into direct contact with the lava.
  • Cool Old Guy: Cranky Kong, who this time decides to join Donkey, Diddy and Dixie into the adventure.
  • Creepy Circus Music: Big Top Bop, the first boss theme, is an epic metal song that uses some very circusy sounding instruments in some parts. Although the effect is more empowering than creepy, it's still played in a minor key.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: The game brings back the old roll mechanic if playing on the Gamepad, which means shaking the Gamepad is not only tiring but does nothing.
  • Deadly Dust Storm: Level 3-3, "Frantic Fields". It takes place in a savannah hit by a huge dust storm that evolves into a tornado. There are dust devils that will launch the Kongs away at very high speeds, the wind grows strong enough to blow Snomads and even a full-grown Cape buffalo around (and the Kongs eventually, to the point where you can only move forward by rolling or sprinting against the wind) and lightning begins raining down, dealing damage and destroying platforms.
  • Death Mountain: Autumn Heights, the second island. Instead of being rocky, these mountains have a forested, Bavarian flavor. The titular mountain also has an owl head carved into it, implying the island's take over by the Owl armada of the Snowmads.
  • Derelict Graveyard: The Lost Mangroves, the first world, are loosely based on the Bermuda Triangle and as a result feature a ridiculous number of shipwrecks (mostly of more modern, World War II-looking battleships rather than the piratey masted ships of previous games), crashed planes and abandoned submarines. One of the secret levels at the end, Crazy Clouds, features a whole graveyard of crashed planes on the side of a floating mountain, with a few stray propellers and other bits still, barely, airborne.
  • Direct Continuous Levels: The game does this in a way. The end of each level shares the look of the beginning of the next level, subtly implying their connection to each other. Sometimes the theme of future levels are set up in earlier levels. For example, one level takes place during a storm, and lightning strikes a grassy field in the background setting it on fire. The next level takes place in the resulting brushfire.
  • Double Unlock: Secret Seclusion, the extra world, has to be unlocked by both defeating the Final Boss and reuniting all the relics guarded in the six main islands' respective Temples.
  • Dreadful Dragonfly: The Monocle Monicas, which appear in the Lost Mangroves, are big pink dragonflies wearing a monocle. They are as big as Donkey Kong and move in predeterminate patterns at high speed.
  • Drop the Hammer: Bashmaster, the boss of Juicy Jungle, wields a giant hammer. It even generates ice shockwaves when he brings it down.
  • Easter Egg:
  • Edible Ammunition: The game has the Penguin Snomads use fish as ammo against the Kongs. Dixie Kong also uses a gun similar to Diddy's that fires bubblegum (a reference to her gum-chewing Idle Animation in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest and Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!).
  • Endless Winter: This is how the Snowmad Tribe successfully conquered Donkey Kong's island, which was a warm tropical island in all previous Donkey Kong Country games. Lord Fredrik turns it into a cold tundra (with the help of his magical Viking horn capable of releasing dragon-shaped ice projectiles) so his people can live there. The aim of the Kongs is to return to their homeland and confront Fredrik to claim it back and find a way to restore its former warm state.
  • Eternal Engine: Most of Juicy Jungle is a factory where large fruits are being mashed into juice, as well as used to produce giant popsicles. There's also Frozen Frenzy, which is a Nostalgia Level based on the industrial World 7 of Returns.
  • Evil Is Deathly Cold: The game has Donkey Kong's peaceful tropical island taken over by the Snowmads, a villainous group of Viking-like arctic animals, led by Lord Fredrik, a Wily Walrus who uses his magical horn to cover the island in ice and snow and blow the Kongs away. The whole objective of the game is to help the Kongs get back to the island, defeat the Snowmads, and reverse the Endless Winter placed on the island.
  • Fake Longevity: As with the last game, the extra mode (named "Hard" mode in this case; the levels aren't mirrored like in Returns) must be completed just to get the remaining concept art.
  • Fat Bastard: Lord Fredrik, the Snowmad king. He uses his weight to his advantage in the boss battle against him.
  • Feather Flechettes: Used very often by Skowl, including an unavoidable wave that you must roll into a Barrel Cannon to dodge.
  • Fiendish Fish: The game features several fishes, such as the Finleys, as enemies that damage the Kongs on contact.
  • Flunky Boss: Pompy, Skowl, and Final Boss Lord Fredrik all summon enemies during their boss battles against DK and company.
  • Forced Transformation: The Kong POW move turns all onscreen enemies into either Extra Life Balloons, Gold Hearts, or Banana Coins (depending on which partner DK has).
  • Forest of Perpetual Autumn: The second world, Autumn Heights, is heavily based on a fall theme. All of its component levels are thus inspired by autumn themes, but this is especially evident in Horn Top Hop, the third level. This consists of a forest of towering birch trees with red and gold leaves. A solid canopy of autumn leaves marks the top of the level, more carpet the forest floor, and large leaves fall to earth periodically, providing temporary platforms to jump on.
  • Freaky Electronic Music: Invoked with the music of the level Frozen Frenzy, which is based on the Factory levels from Returns (and had employed this trope as well). The main difference this time is that, due to the cold climate of Donkey Kong Island, the theme is mixed with crystalline xylophone sounds.
  • Funnel Cloud Journey: The Frantic Fields level starts in a windy savanna while a storm looms in the distance. Halfway through the level, you get transported to the eye of the hurricane, with floating debris serving as platforms.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The game had a rare glitch that prevented the player from advancing to level 3-4 after completing 3-3. The path would open up, but Donkey Kong couldn't move. While this didn't happen to most people, those that encountered the glitch had no way of completing the rest of the game. Fortunately this was fixed in a patch.
  • Gangplank Galleon: The second level of the last regular world is set in the coastal zone of Donkey Kong Island, only now it's set in winter and the local ships are those belonging to the Snowmad tribe.
  • Gelatinous Trampoline: 5-5, Jelly Jamboree. It is set in a jungle containing a factory that processes the jungle's tropical fruits into large cubes of delightfully bouncy jelly.
  • Giant Mook: Every Snowmad enemy has one, minus the walruses, and each one of them must be jumped on three times to be beaten.
  • Glowing Flora: Most of the light in Crumble Cavern is provided by biolumescent mushroom that adds a mysterious atmosphere.
  • Green Hill Zone: Bright Savannah, in an African-flavored style. Notably, it's not the first world in the game but the third. Customary features include moving wooden gizmos, scarlet-colored brambles, wooden platforms surrounded by explosives, and large spiky fruits falling from baobabs. Some levels mix this trope with other settings, such as Gusty Glade (in the third level, due to a large sandstorm) and Lethal Lava Land (in the fourth level, due to a brushfire).
  • Grim Up North: The Snowmads moved from the cold northern seas to find a new land to conquer. DK Island happens to be the unlucky selected target.
  • Grimy Water: 6-2 (Seashore War) introduces freezing water, which is helpfully indicated at the level's start by a sign depicting a crossed-out DK swimming. If a Kong falls into it, they take a hit of damage and get launched back to the last platform they were on.
  • Ground Pound: Cranky Kong can do this with his cane, letting him Goomba Stomp enemies and bounce off spiky surfaces that would damage the other three Kongs.
  • Guide Dang It!: During a roll, you can jump even without touching the ground, in a sort of Double Jump. The game will never tell you this, but it's required to grab a few collectibles without cheesing them with Diddy or Dixie's flight skills. However, as this techinque existed in the original SNES and Gameboy trilogies(and was necessary in several levels of DKC2), this may be an artifact of the original '90s gameplay.
  • Gusty Glade: One of the levels in Bright Savannah has the Kongs deal with a streak of violent cyclones and several objects (including enemies) flying because of the strong wind gusts in the environment. Lightning strikes are also present as a harmful hazard.
  • Hailfire Peaks:
  • Hair-Raising Hare: Rabbits make up part of the Snowmads.
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: The bosses are no pushovers and are quite challenging, especially the last one. However, you will still lose far more lives in the levels.
  • Heart Container: The Heart Boost and Banana Juice from the previous game are once again available for sale in Funky's shop, with the former adding an extra heart to the Kongs' Life Meter during a level and the latter granting a prolonged protection for a limited time (albeit nerfed from the first game).
  • Heavily Armored Mook: Various Snowmads that wear helmets and wield shields require more hits to defeat.
  • The Hedge of Thorns: There are two bramble levels: One in Lost Mangroves and another in Bright Savannah. Cranky Kong's pogo cane lets him bounce off the thorns safely. the one in the latter world, Bramble Scramble, features toothy plants as well.
  • Helicopter Hair: Just as Diddy can provide DK with a boost via his Jetpack, Dixie can do this for DK with her hair. It also works as a propeller underwater against strong currents.
  • Helium Speech: As in the previous game, Diddy Kong's in-game voice is pitched up significantly for unknown reasons.
  • The Hero's Birthday: The Snowmad attack happens on Donkey Kong's birthday. May count as a Significant Reference Date, as the game was released in 2014, and that year marked the 20th anniversary of the Donkey Kong Country series.
  • Hornet Hole: The level Beehive Brawl in Juicy Jungle is a bee colony set within a gigantic beehive. There are numerous nectar waterfalls with falling platforms, smaller beehives camouflaged with a grass layer, and bees transporting grass and dirt (and the bees are also as big as DK himself).
  • Horny Vikings: The Snowmads, a horde of villainous Funny Animal Vikings that invade DK's island to claim it as their home.
  • Ice Palace: Lord Fredrik installs one within the core of the volcano located in Donkey Kong Island, and it's from there that he's governing the island after he and the Snowmads take over. When the Kongs arrive, Fredrik makes a large leap to challenge them in battle, but due to his weight and the impact of his jump the ice floor of the throne room breaks, taking them to the red hot bottom where the boss fight starts for real.
  • Idle Animation: DK breaks out a 3DS (or a Nintendo Switch in the Updated Re-release) if you make him sit still long enough.
  • Inconveniently-Placed Conveyor Belt: In the World 5 level (Fruity Factory), several conveyor belts transport gigantic watermelons (which are uniquely cube-shaped instead of elliptical), and some of them are placed between pits with grinders that crush other fruits. Others have large axes that cut the watermelons, which make them even more dangerous.
  • Indy Escape: The second level of Bright Savannah has many spiky fruits (implied to be durians) falling from baobabs. Near the end, the Kongs have to outrun a giant fruit that begins to roll onto them, and being touched by it spells insteant death.
  • Instrument of Murder: Lord Fredrik's horn, which can expand in size to fire out spikeballs as well as ice dragons.
  • Interface Spoiler: Completing the Kong Temple levels with all Puzzle Pieces will unlock its own image gallery separate from the worlds they're placed in. By going into the gallery early on in the game, You'll see that the gallery is represented by the Mysterious Relics all placed together, each with a symbol representing a world. This will give you a hint that there will be a total of seven worlds in the game to beat even though you haven't collected all the Mysterious Relics yet.
  • Jiggle Physics: 5-5, Jelly Jamboree, demonstrates this with the gelatinous cubes that make up the main gimmick of the level. At one point you shoot your way into a pile of them and they all jiggle as you pound on them in order to break free and continue.
  • Jungle Japes: Juicy Jungle is a mixture between this and Level Ate and Eternal Engine, due to the abundance of fruits and their use to produce juice and popsicles. Note that this is the fifth island (most DK games usually has a jungle level in the first world).
  • Jungle Jazz: The jazzy Rocket Barrel is back from Returns, and this time it's actually used in jungle levels rather than just being associated with the jungle-dwelling Kongs.
  • Kaizo Trap: Like in Returns, a few levels will pull this on you if you don't jump for the barrel quick enough. For example, in the Gusty Glade level in the third world, if you idle for too long in the last hovering rock before the exit, a lightning bolt will land onto it and destroy it, causing the Kongs to fall down and die.
  • Kill Streak: Like the previous games, hitting 3 stomps in a row without touching the ground will grant Banana Coins, while reaching a combo of 8 rewards Extra Life Balloons.
  • King Koopa Copy: The main villain, Lord Frederik, is a powerful warlord who leads the vikings known as Snowmads. Like K. Rool, he too is pretty tubby, but still able to put up a fight. Interestingly, he's An Ice Person, while Bowser is Playing with Fire.
  • King Mook: Skowl represents the owl family of mooks. Lord Fredrik, the Snowmad chief, is one among the walrus mooks.
  • Kung Fu-Proof Mook:
    • Snowmads with horned helmets cannot be jumped on without the use of Cranky's cane, but a roll will kill them.
    • Snowmads with spears cannot be rolled into from the front, but can be jumped on.
    • Then there are Snowmads with both horned helmets AND spears, which must be hit from behind. There's also a variant with a 2-sided club which can only be rolled into when he raises it to attack you.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Scorch 'n' Torch, one of the levels in the third world, is a variant that mixes this with Green Hill Zone, in that it's an African savanna that is being subjected to a pervasive brush fire. Near the end of the game, the Kongs go through a traditional volcanic level when revisiting the Volcano region of their own island.
  • Level Ate: World 5, in a fruit fashion, is a rainforest area that grows a variety of gigantic fruits and includes a fruit-processing factory that produces into juice and jelly. Overlaps with Eternal Engine for one level. The last level and Boss Battle also overlap with Slippy-Slidey Ice World, featuring a mix between regular ice, frozen fruits, and popsicles (with that last one becoming important for setting up the boss fight). The game also has a level in Autumn Heights where the Kongs explore a cavern with large amounts of cheese.
  • Level Goal: Like Returns, the game features floating barrels with star icons to conclude a level upon contact. These barrels also act as slot machines, as several images are shown one after another, and whichever one is displayed when a Kong touches it will become their prize: A banana, a bunch thereof, a coin, a balloon, or a DK icon that allows the player to shake the Wiimote (and Nunchuk if also used) to trigger a multiplier for a randomly-selected collectible.
  • Level in the Clouds: The seventh world, Secret Seclusion, features three levels set in the sky, and they're also Brutal Bonus Levels. Features include propellers that start moving upon contact, small clouds that blow the Kongs upward, ancient floating setpieces, and (in the second level) brief sequences based on the Minecart Madness and Rocket Ride levels.
  • Limit Break: The Kong Pow. Collecting bananas gradually fills a gauge on the HUD that, when full, allows the Kongs to transform all onscreen enemies into extra lives, recovery hearts, or Banana Coins, depending on which partner you currently have. It takes two characters to pull off the move, though, so Donkey Kong is out of luck if he's by himself.
  • Long Song, Short Scene:
    • The famous Stickerbush Symphony theme returns, but only plays at the beginning and end of a Rocket Barrel stage.
    • 2-4, Sawmill Thrill, has a track that only plays when you respawn from the second checkpoint. It lasts about a minute before looping, but unless you stop to listen to it instead of jumping into the minecart right away (which changes the music back to the main level music), you won't hear more than the first 5 seconds.
  • Loot-Making Attack: In addition to items obtained from defeating at least 3 enemies in a row, the KONG POW ability turns all enemies on-screen into items (Extra Life Balloons for Diddy, Gold Hearts for Dixie, and Banana Coins for Cranky).
  • Lost Food Grievance: We first see Bashmaster lounging on an ice floe floating in a pool of juice while licking a popsicle. Donkey Kong falls onto the platform, knocking the popsicle out of Bashmaster's hand and into the juice, where it is promptly eaten by piranhas. Bashmaster angrily looks at DK, who smiles sheepishly. Cue Boss Battle.
  • The Lost Woods: There are two examples. Autumn Heights is a Forest of Perpetual Autumn variant with unique features like falling leaves that can be used as platforms, chapels whose bells can be rung to trigger cetain effects, a Minecart Madness segment where the Kongs have to evade numerous trunks and round saws, and a cavern with lots of cheese. Much later in the game, the Kongs revisit a part of the Forest region from Returns once they return to Donkey Kong Island; the twist is that, like the rest of the island, it's now under an Endless Winter, resulting in an abundance of gigantic snowflakes that are harmful upon contact.
  • Lumber Mill Mayhem: The level "Sawmill Thrill" in Autumn Heights is a giant sawmill with a minecart ride in it. Obstacles include giant saw blades (obviously), a giant saw blade chasing the Kongs cutting the track into pieces that somehow happen to land neatly on the track in front of the Kongs, and flying pieces of track cut by the same saw blade that the Kongs have to jump between mid-air.
  • Mascot Mook: The Snowmads, filling the role of the Kremlings from the original SNES trilogy and the Tikis from Returns. The most common of them, in turn, are the penguin-based Tucks.
  • Meaningless Lives: There are many, many ways to rack up extra lives, such as Diddy's Kong Pow skill (which turns all on-screen enemies into 1-ups), purchasing them from Funky Kong, and of course the many, many ways to collect 100 bananas. A halfway diligent player can have 99 lives before they even complete the first world. It helps, because this game is still pretty Nintendo Hard.
  • Mercy Mode:
    • Averted in the original Wii U version. The Super Guide from the previous game is absent.
    • In the Remaster for the Switch, Funky Kong got Promoted to Playable. Not only does Funky have 5 hearts at default, but he also has all the special abilities of the other Kongs, essentially making playing as him the Easy Mode of the game. You can also play as DK and the other Kongs in this mode as well, but you're granted an extra heart for each Kong for a grand total of 3 when DK is alone, and 6 when partnered. Other perks include a more effective invincibility potion for sale, K-O-N-G letters staying collected if you die, and the option to skip a level after dying in it a certain amount of times.
  • Minecart Madness: Minecart stages return in this game but are now played in a 2D perspective to feature curving tracks and parallel rails that you have to jump back and forth between. One level in particular combines this with Lumber Mill Mayhem.
  • Monster in the Ice: In the level "Blurry Flurry", the Mega Squeekly enemy from the previous game can be seen in the background encased in a giant block of ice.
  • Monstrous Seal: Pompy the Presumptuous is a circus sea lion who serves as an entertainer for the villainous Snowmads. He's surprisingly scary for the first boss: not only is he enormous - one of the biggest members of the Snowmads - but he's one of the only three bosses in the game to get heavy metal music - the other two are the penultimate and Final Boss!
  • Musical Nod: This game introduces a new level complete song, but reuses Returns' level complete song when you beat a Kong Temple level.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • There's an overt reference to the obscure Donkey Kong 3, with a stage from the game and Stanley the Bugman's bug sprayer appearing in the factory.
    • Sometimes when you leave the shop in the Switch version as Funky, Tawks will encourage you to give the Snowmads the "old banana slamma".
    • Funky's planes have the Funky's Stadium logo on them (previously seen in Mario Kart Wii).
    • A subtle reference to the fact that Cranky Kong is the original arcade Donkey Kong: His CK barrels have the same font and color scheme as the title of Donkey Kong '94.
  • Named in the Sequel: The tutorial pig from the last game has been given the name "Professor Chops".
  • New Game Plus: Completing the Bonus Dungeon unlocks Hard Mode, which disables all checkpoints and still forbids inventory items, but allows you to play as any of the four venturing Kongs, retains the collectible items gathered (in fact, it adds the blue-colored KONG letters), and unlike Mirror Mode from Returns it doesn't reverse the levels.
  • New Work, Recycled Graphics: The game reuses some assets from Donkey Kong Country Returns. It's noticeable with the sound effects, which are primarily derived from the latter game (such as DK and Diddy's voice lines, Diddy's jetpack, and the pronounced "KNOCK-KNOCK" sound of Goomba Stomping an enemy), and some of the character, prop and UI animations. A few of the Mooks are also Suspiciously Similar Substitutes of enemies from Returns; Awks and Dozies are birdlike Goombas (the former a parrot, the latter a dodo) while Rawks and Sour Dodos are recolored variants that actively chase the Kongs, Tiki Buzzes and Hootzes are both flying Goomba Springboards while Tiki Tork and Puffton both fill the niche of a flying enemy that can be stomped thrice, and Squidly and the fish fired by Archy both fly through the air from the right, ripe for the stomping, while Electrasquid and the flaming fishbones shot by red Archy are similar enemies that cannot be stomped.
  • Nintendo Hard: This is especially true in the later stages. In those stages, you're gonna die a lot.
  • No Flow in CGI: According to producer Kensuke Tanabe, the developers decided to take advantage of the Wii U's power by averting this, despite highly increased development time. The E3 2013 reveal of the game saw Satoru Iwata making a special point of calling attention to DK's new fur physics.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Much like the previous game, upon defeating a boss, you're treated to a little mini-game where Donkey Kong beats the boss to a pulp before sending them flying with a Twinkle in the Sky.
  • No OSHA Compliance:
    • Sawmill Thrill. What kind of sawmill would allow minecart tracks to run through it, let alone ones that are in easy reach of the blades?
    • The juice-making factory in Juicy Jungle has unguarded tanks, exposed juicer blades, and animals swimming in the juice.
  • Nonstandard Character Design: Both Bashmaster the polar bear, and the ice dragon look realistic for the setting.
  • Nostalgia Level:
    • Donkey Kong Island, where every level is themed on one of the area settings that were found on DK Island in Returns, but frozen over.
    • Bramble Scramble, named after the level of the same name from Donkey Kong Country 2.
    • The final level before Fredrik has an eerie laughter in the background. Said laughter belongs to Tiki Tong.
  • No Sympathy: When Funky accidentally causes Bashmaster's Popsicle to be eaten by piranhas, he crosses his arms and makes a "hey, shit happens" kind of look.
  • Ominous Owl: Skowl, the boss of Autumn Heights, as well as his minions, the Hootz.
  • One-Hit Kill: Like in Returns, there are levels which, at one point, have each a deadly hazard that can kill the Kongs upon contact (with the gigantic durian rolling at them in 3-2 and the tall fruit grinder approaching them in 5-2 standing out). However, unlike its predecessor, the game eliminates the instant-death vulnerability in rocket barrels and mine carts (they're given a life meter akin to that of the characters).
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Now averted with the Rocket Barrel and Minecart, which now take two hits (three if you bought a Crash Guard), and can also be healed if you pick up a heart. Played straight in Hard Mode, as the vehicles and your Kong have only one HP.
  • Orchestral Version: The game features rearrangements of tunes from the classic games such as "Simian Segue", "Aquatic Ambience", and "Stickerbush Symphony".
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The leader of the Snowmads uses a magic horn to summon / control a gigantic ice dragon. The dragon's icy breath freezes over Donkey Kong Island, turning it into a more suitable home for the Snowmads.
  • Over 100% Completion: Like in Returns, ompleting every level and getting all the Kong letters nets you 100%, while clearing every level again on Hard Mode will award you with the maximum 200%! Fortunately, Puzzle Pieces and Time Trial medals don't contribute to this.
  • Oxygen Meter: In contrast to their original Super Not-Drowning Skills, the Kongs have these underwater. It lasts about 30 seconds and leads to them rapidly taking damage until they die or resurface if it runs out. Fortunately, there are Oxygenated Underwater Bubbles around for them to breathe with, and Funky Kong in the Switch port averts it completely; being able to stay underwater as long as he likes thanks to his scuba-diving gear.
  • Oxygenated Underwater Bubbles: The game has such bubbles in its underwater sections, usually released from a treasure chest or a scaphander helmet. There also are continuous strems of small bubbles at some key points of the stages.
  • Painful Pointy Pufferfish:
    • Sea Breeze Cove has numerous globefish enemies called Pufftups. When deflated, they can be defeated by a corkscrew attack like most other fishes, but when puffed up, they are covered with quills, preventing the Kongs from directly touching them. Only Cranky Kong's cane will be able to defeat them.
    • The boss Fugu is a giant pufferfish which can inflate to tremendous sizes. It is covered with spikes and the Kongs can only attack its spikeless rear, or else they will be damaged.
    • The Fish Poker Pops wield clubs with yellow pufferfishes attached at both end, which will damage the Kongs.
  • Palmtree Panic: The Lost Magroves combines this with Jungle Japes.
  • Pelts of the Barbarian: Some of the Snowmads wear pelts. The most notable example is their leader, Lord Fredrik, who wears a fur cape.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Dixie and Diddy's barrel font colours are pink and blue, respectively.
  • Platforming Pocket Pal: Like in Returns, Donkey's companion is placed on his back when they're both played as in single-player mode, but they split when played as in co-op mode.
  • Playable Epilogue: The Secret Seclusion, once it's unlocked. There's also Hard Mode, but there the Secret Seclusion and every other level is unlocked de facto, so it feels more like an open-ended New Game Plus where you have to clear all levels again regardless of order.
  • Power Up Mount: Rambi the rhino returns to fulfill his usual role.
  • Pre-Rendered Graphics: Tropical Freeze has only two pre-rendered cutscenes — the intro and the ending.
  • Promoted to Playable: Cranky Kong, of all people. After boasting about his gaming skills for years, it looks like the old curmudgeon finally has to put his money where his mouth is. This also applies to Funky Kong in the Switch version.
  • Punny Name: The Snowmads. Their name is a portmanteau of "snow" and "nomad."
  • Recursive Canon: One of the games Donkey Kong may play on his 3DS within his Idle Animation is Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D.note 
  • Rhyming Title: Some of the levels have names that aren't alliterative instead, such as "Sawmill Thrill" and "Blurry Flurry".
  • Roaring Rapids: 4-6, Current Capers. In it, Donkey Kong and his frienda have to activate certain mechanical gizmos to open their path to the exit while dealing with both the underwater currents and the harmful objects that move due to them. A few other water levels have currents on occasion, but they are the main feature of this one.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: Lots of them in the cave levels, especially Rodent Ruckus.
  • Ruins for Ruins' Sake: World 4 - Sea Breeze Cove has Underwater Ruins, statues, relics, and still-functioning mechanisms strewn all over the place, hinting at some sort of ancient Atlantean-based civilization that once thrived there. Of course, this being a simple Donkey Kong platformer where the story is only focused on the Kongs and their adversaries, no history of these ruins and how they came to be is told. They're just there for Scenery Porn.
  • Rule of Three:
    • The walrus and giant owl enemies need to be jumped on three times to defeat.
    • Each boss has three phases, and almost all of them need to be hit three times to enter the next phase or defeat them if it's the last.
    • Starting from the third consecutive jump, the player is rewarded for damaging enemies by jumping on them without touching the ground.
  • Scenery Gorn:
    • 3-4, Scorch 'n' Torch. You know those grassy plains you've been running through in the past few levels? Picture them, except on fire.
    • World 6, where you get to see all of the locations from the first game after they got turned into a frozen wasteland.
  • Scenery Porn: The backgrounds in the first game were pretty darn good and the extra power the Wii U provides just makes them look even better.
  • Sea Hurtchin: Giant purple Sea Urchins appear as obstacles in several Under the Sea levels, both as immobile threats and floating around in a set movement pattern. Only Cranky Kong's cane stands a chance against them. Fugu can spawn several of these during its battle.
  • Sea Mine: Some are encountered in Irate Eight. They are set off when DK swims near them and blast pieces of shrapnel when they explode.
  • Sea Serpents: The are enormous, eel-like creatures leaping out of the water to give you a hard time, particularly in the level "Twilight Terror", in the African-themed Bright Savannah world. These creatures might be based on the Inkanyamba, a similarly eel-like monster from Zulu and Xhosa mythology.
  • Semiaquatic Species Sailor: The Snowmads are a viking crew of animals from Grim Up North. Although the crew consists of a variety of animals, the leader, Lord Fredrik, and the Elite Mooks, the Waldoughs, are walruses.
  • Sequel Escalation: The action in the previous game was set on DK Island. Here, it's extended to five more islands.
  • Sequential Boss: Every boss in the game, from the first to the last, has three phases each. Some bosses simply attack faster, but others add new attacks and two of them have to be attacked differently depending on the phase (whether stomping them or throwing an enemy at them).
  • Shamu Fu: Various Snowmads wield fishes as weapons:
    • The Fish Poker Pops wields pufferfishes attached at both ends.
    • The Chum Chucker Charlie throw fishes at enemies.
    • The Archies' and their variants use fishes (or fishbones) as arrows.
    • The Big Sphen blows silver butterflyfishes through a horn.
  • Ship Level: The game features levels with the wreckage of several freighter-style ships mixed into Jungle Japes and Palmtree Panic settings.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Kensuke Tanabe, the game's producer, stated that the pluck-and-carry mechanic is carried over from Super Mario Bros. 2, which he also produced.
    • Cranky Kong's gameplay style involves using his cane as a pogo stick. Sound familiar?
    • One of the savannah levels takes place in the middle of a parade full of papercraft animals extremely similar to those from The Lion King Broadway musical. The music is also very Lion King-esque.
    • During DK's Idle Animation of him playing a 3DS, you can actually hear sounds from the following games: Super Mario 3D Land, Mario Kart 7, Animal Crossing: New Leaf and Donkey Kong Country Returns.
    • Funky Kong's description of the Crash Guard: "Vehicle Trouble? It's dangerous to go alone — take one of these!" Cranky Kong had previously referenced the phrase in Returns.
    • Funky Kong mentions the Extra Heart item as a "container", referencing the Heart Container item from The Legend of Zelda series.
    • One stage name is Swinger Flinger, possibly a call out to Clinger Winger from another Nintendo Hard platformer, Battletoads.
  • Shown Their Work: The Switch version has an Idle Animation for Funky Kong where he eats a banana then uses the peel to shine his surfboard. Indeed, the humble banana peel makes for a great polishing agent for all sorts of surfaces.
  • Sizable Snowflakes: In Forest Folly, there are some eight-branched snowflakes are bigger than Donkey Kong and are hazardous to the touch. Near the end of the level, even bigger ones are seen falling from the sky and can actually destroy any platform.
  • Slippery as an Eel: There's a gigantic eel-like enemy called a Gargantuan Gill. A school of these things feature prominently in the aptly-named level "Twilight Terror", while a few more briefly appear later in the "High Tide Ride" level.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Donkey Kong Island, the sixth island, because of what the Snowmads did to it.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Dixie Kong is the only playable female character. Though it's still an improvement over Returns, which didn't even have any female characters at all, playable or otherwise.
  • Snowy Sleigh Bells: Faint sleigh bells are heard in the "Freezie Breezie", which plays during the icy Forest Folly and Icicle Arsenal levels.
  • Songs in the Key of Panic: Like in Returns, the music in the bonus rooms changes to a more frantic arrangement when under 10 seconds are left on the timer.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Threatening Geography: Played with. The first five main islands all start peacefully, but their following levels move onto the more dangerous areas or sections (for example, Autumn Heights start with ground-based levels, continues with cavern and mining levels at the middle of the mountain, and culminates with threatening levels at the top in the sky; once the boss is defeated, the Kongs arrive to Bright Savannah, whose first level is a lively carnival with few hazards, but once again is followed up by progressively harsher locations). The sixth island, due to being the last without counting the bonus world, is threatening from the get-go.
  • Sound Test: Like Returns, this game features a music selection for each world that is unlocked when that world's boss is defeated. It can be accessed within the Extras menu before resuming a playthrough.
  • Spelling Bonus: The series-wide K-O-N-G letters return in this game, as usual. Like in Returns, collecting all four of them in every level of a world unlocks a Brutal Bonus Level with a secret reward.
  • Spikes of Doom: Many levels feature spiky hazards that must be avoided, though Rambi can destroy them in the levels where he appears. Cranky Kong can tackle them easily by jumping onto them harmlessly with his cane. In the Switch version, Funky Kong is immune to spikes on the ground, as he'll plant his surfboard on the spikes to protect himself; however he cannot walk or run when this happens, he will need to jump to get moving again.
  • Spin Attack: Along with Rolling Attack on land, the Kongs can spin underwater to attack enemies.
  • The Spiny: Snowmads with horned helmets will hurt you if you jump on them. Ditto goes for owls on fire and those flaming porcupines in the Savannah levels. Cranky's pogo cane bypasses the horns and allows him to kill them, but the fire enemies will still hurt him.
  • Sudden Name Change: The checkpoint pig, originally known only as "Tutorial Pig" in Donkey Kong Country Returns, is given the much more memorable name Professor Chops.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Funky Kong in the Switch Updated Re-release has no Oxygen Meter and as such can stay underwater however long he pleases. Somehow, all he needs is a snorkel to be able to stay underwater indefinitely.
  • Swordfish Sabre: The Saw Mamas are sawfish enemies whose pronged rostrums cause damage to Donkey Kong, even when he performs a screw attack.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: Skowl and Lord Fredrik often attack the Kongs by sending mooks at them. But since the game heavily employs Throw the Mook at Them, the Kongs can grab one of them and then wait until the bosses are close enough to land a hit onto them.
  • Teleporting Keycard Squad: In World 4-B (Shoal Atoll), as you collect keys, more enemies inexplicably appear throughout the stage in earlier rooms you've already cleared.
  • Temple of Doom: The Brutal Bonus Levels you unlock for collecting all of the KONG letters in a given world, just like in Returns, and the complex gizmos within make them the most formidable levels in the game challenge-wise.
  • Temporary Platform: There's a level where many platforms fall down while having a vertical position through magnetic rails but switch to horizontal position when they go through the lit segments of the rails; the huge difficulty of this level due to the requirement of quick reflexes is why it happens to be one of the game's Brutal Bonus Levels.
  • Tentacled Terror: The Squiddicus, the big octopus from Returns, is back. It actively tries to harm the Kongs in Irate Eight.
  • Threatening Shark: Sharks return from the previous game, but with the addition of swimming, they will now pursue Kongs if they are in the same body of water.
  • Throne Room Throwdown: Subverted. The Kongs enter the throne room of Lord Fredrik, the Final Boss. The Kongs and Fredrik jump onto the ice floor in front of the throne, ready to fight... but then the ice gives way, and they fall through the ice into the volcano below. Fortunately, there are platforms there, and that's where the battle takes place.
  • Throw the Mook at Them: Certain enemies can be stunned after being hit, and then grabbed to be thrown at other enemies. The game was inspired by Super Mario Bros. 2 in this regard, so it makes sense. During the Final Boss battle, Lord Fredrik spends part of the final battle against him as a Background Boss. He sends his minions to attack you, but you can toss them back at him, prompting him to jump into the foreground for a proper battle.
  • Timed Mission: Like in Returns, all bonus rooms are timed: They must be cleared before the timer elapsed to get the room's collectible puzzle piece.
  • Time Trial: Like Returns, the game features a Time Trial mode, and awards the player with a bronze, silver, gold or shiny gold medal according to the time scored. The mode is completely optional.
  • Truth in Television: While it seems kinda strange that some of the cave levels in the second world have giant blocks and wheels of cheese in them, some varieties of cheeses are actually aged in caves.
  • Turns Red: All the bosses do this after taking a few hits, indicated by emitting Briffits and Squeans and, for some of them, literally changing color, like Pompey turning from lavender to a pale red, or Bashmaster turning purple because he keeps slipping into the purple fruit juice surrounding the arena when you hit him. Every boss gains new attacks or mixes up their existing ones after doing so, like Pompey's fish-summoning attack having him throw larger fish and sea urchins, or Skowl's Feather Flechettes getting launched in multiple barrages at a time.
  • A Twinkle in the Sky: Like in the last game, the Kongs deliver a beatdown to bosses before sending them flying.
  • Underground Level: Two levels in the Autumn Heights mix this trope with Level Ate, as they're calcified caverns that have cheese in many parts.
  • Under the Sea: Sea Breeze Cove, the fourth island. Underwater levels make a comeback after Returns opted for Super Drowning Skills instead. Features include sunken mechanisms that can be activated by passing through luminous buttons, an underwater maze where the Kongs have to open chest with color-coded keys in a specific sequence, a giant squid they have to run away from (which also appeared in the previous game), and underwater currents that make navigation difficult.
  • Underwater Boss Battle: Fugu the Frightening. Unlike other underwater battles, in this one the Kongs have to keep an eye on the Oxygen Meter, and collect bubbles if it's running out.
  • Underwater Ruins: The game has some rather Atlantean-looking ruins in the Sea Breeze Cove world. This being a pretty light-on-story game, their history is unexplained. The first world, Lost Mangrove, is a partially-submerged Derelict Graveyard of shipwrecks and crashed planes, overgrown with vegetation.
  • Variable Mix:
    • A more relaxing, atmospheric version of a level's theme will play when you are underwater. In addition, a large amount of stages add more instruments as you go along.
    • World 2-6 (Wing Ding) has two versions of the track for when you're on the ground and zip-lining along the vines. The normal one has more percussion, while the zipline one is more airy.
    • World 4-4 (Irate Eight) has four tracks playing throughout the level. One at the beginning, one while underwater, a remix of Lockjaw's Locker, and a tense theme played while being chased by the octopus.
    • Mountain Mania and Frantic Fields gain extra drums when you're riding Rambi.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The game makes use of DK Island as a whole for this purpose, since the Kongs' objective beforehand was to return to it after being exiled into other islands. The homeland they grew in is now a frigid tundra where all familiar locations from the game's predecessor are now shrouded in snow and ice.
  • Villainous Badland, Heroic Arcadia: The game goes the Fisher King route, with the jungle paradise transformed into a Slippy-Slidey Ice World by the magic of Snowmads. The game also plays this trope in microcosm with the Juicy Jungle island, where a fecund paradise of gigantic fruits gives way to an ugly factory as you get closer to the Snowmad base.
  • Wily Walrus: Lord Frederik is a walrus who leads the Snowmads, who take over Donkey Kong's island by freezing it. He is Obviously Evil from head to toe, thanks to features such as his incredibly deep grunts and roars, his fur cape, and his Glowing Eyes of Doom. He's also one of 3 bosses in the game to get a heavy metal boss theme. Some of his Mooks are walruses too.
  • Windmill Scenery: The Autumn Heights level Windmill Hills obviously features many, many windmills, many of which are carrying platforms on which DK can land.
  • Wolfpack Boss: Ba-boom, who splits into three individual baboons that attack you. Subverted by the last phase, where only one of them remains and you can only hurt the one that isn't a "ghost".
  • "YEAH!" Shot: A rare villainous version. If you decide to quit the game during the Game Over sequence, the Painguin Tucks keeping the defeated Kong frozen in a block of ice will do this.
  • Yodel Land: After being last seen in Donkey Kong Country 3, this aesthetic returns in the series with Autumn Heights, an alpine Forest of Perpetual Autumn. Features include a village of timber-framed houses, a volcanic Lethal Lava Land, a Band Land full of giant alphorns, two Underground Levels with gigantic blocks of Swiss cheese, and a mountain shaped like a giant owl. There's some truly beautiful Scenery Porn going on, too.

Cranky Kong: Bah! You kids and your high-definition video games. Back in my day, we didn't have any definition!

 
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DKCTF Beehive Brawl

A level full of honey, giant bees, and beehives. Let's hope DK isn't afraid of insects.

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5 (3 votes)

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Main / HornetHole

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