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DK Barrel

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The updated look in Donkey Kong Country Returns.

A DK Barrel (called Buddy Barrel in Donkey Kong Country) is a special type of barrel, present in every Donkey Kong Country and Donkey Kong Land game and a few spinoffs.


Donkey Kong Country series


DK Barrels first appeared in Donkey Kong Country. Breaking one would free a defeated Kong, making them playable. Other than freeing a hurt Kong, it functions somewhat like a Vine Barrel, where it smashes on contact with anything, including the ground. However, there are floating DK Barrels that break when they are touched. The DK Barrel has been featured in every single Donkey Kong Country and Donkey Kong Land title. In the early DKC games there is a cheat to disable DK Barrels (Along with Star Barrels) to increase the level difficulty.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Partners Barrels - DKC Tropical Freeze.png

In Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, DK Barrels switch between logos, (similarly to Tag Barrels) in order to determine which Kong will emerge from it. The barrel's logo and color determines which Kong will come out of it: Diddy's version is labelled with a blue "DD", Dixie's version is labelled with a pink "DX", and Cranky's version is labelled with a yellow "CK". In some levels, DK Barrels are restricted to a certain logo (such as being replaced by only DX Barrels in Alpine Incline and only CK Barrels in Bramble Scramble). This will not occur in two-player mode.


Kong's Barrel.png
The DK Barrel piece from Nintendo Monopoly.

The DK Barrel has made various spinoff appearances besides the DKC series. In Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong would emerge from a DK Barrel at the beginning of a battle. It is also a sticker power-up in Brawl , which does +53 Launch Power. In Mario Party 8, when a player steps on a 'DK Space', Donkey Kong will appear by bursting out of a DK Barrel. A barrel with the DK insignia, the "Kong's Barrel", was one of many collectible treasures that Kirby discovered in the "The Great Cave Offensive" mode of the games Kirby Super Star and Kirby Super Star Ultra. In-game, it is worth 1,500 G. In Nintendo Monopoly, it is the token representative for the Donkey Kong franchise. DK Barrels can be seen floating in the ocean as part of the background of World 1-7 in Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle.


Donkey Kong Country (GBA)
"Break one of these to keep the other Kong ready and waiting. He'll take over when your current Kong takes a hit, or you can press the L Button to swap them at any time."
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (GBA)
"Here's where you'll find your partner if he or she isn't already by your side. If both characters are already in play, you won't be able to break this Barrel when it's in mid-air."
Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! (GBA)
"Here's where you'll find your partner if they're not already with you. If you already have both Kongs, you won't be able to break the DK Barrels that float in mid-air."

Trophy Description from Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U

Name Appears In
(Wii U version only)
NTSC-U Description PAL Description
DK Barrel SNES Donkey Kong Country (11/1994)
Wii Donkey Kong Country Returns (11/2010)
Little known fact: the "DK" on a DK Barrel stands for "Donkey Kong"... What? You mean you already knew that? In that case, you must also know that hopeful feeling you get upon seeing one of these in a really tough stage. Break one to release a helpful partner! Did you know that the "DK" on a DK Barrel stands for "Donkey Kong"?... You did? Well then, maybe you also know what a beautiful and hopeful feeling it is to see one of these when you're toughing it out alone, all sad and forlorn. Break it and a partner will show up to lift you out of you doldrums and help you on your way.