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Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D

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Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D
Developer(s) Monster Games[1]
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Platforms Nintendo 3DS
Release date: USA May 24, 2013[2]
Europe May 24, 2013 [3]
Australia May 25, 2013[4]
Japan June 13, 2013[5]
Genre Platformer
ESRB:ESRB E.png - Everyone
PEGI:PEGI 3.png - 3+
Modes Single-player, 2-Player

Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D is the Nintendo 3DS remake of the Wii game, Donkey Kong Country Returns. As the title suggests, the game can be played in full 3D, glasses free. It was announced on February 14, 2013, at a Nintendo Direct stream for the Nintendo 3DS system. The remake was not handled by Retro Studios; Monster Games developed the game.[6]


The story remains identical to the original version. A volcano erupts on Donkey Kong Island, releasing the Tiki Tak Tribe who invade the jungle to steal all the Kong's bananas and hypnotize the animals to take the fruit away.

Diddy Kong wakes up and is enraged to discover that the Banana Hoard is empty. Donkey Kong soon notices the animals leaving the jungle, with every bananas they got. Suddenly, Kalimba Tiki peeps into DK's house and tries to hypnotize Donkey Kong, but fails. As a result, Donkey Kong kicks him out of his house, and he and Diddy team up to take the bananas back.

After traveling through the island, Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong reach the Volcano. There, they face the leader of the Tiki Tak Tribe, Tiki Tong. After they defeat him, an explosion blasts the Kongs into space. If only Donkey Kong defeats Tiki Tong, Donkey Kong uses his fist to punch the moon into the atmosphere and slam the Tiki statue in the Volcano. If Tiki Tong is defeated by Diddy Kong, Diddy attempts to escape the gravitational pull of the Moon to no avail and lands on his head. However, the force of the impact results in Diddy unintentionally causing the moon to fall and slam into the Tiki statue. If Tiki Tong is defeated while both Kongs are active, Donkey Kong has Diddy Kong speed him toward the moon with his jetpack, accelerating Donkey Kong as he punches the moon, which causes it to fall onto the statue. The moon then releases the stolen bananas. The moon is propelled back into space from rebound and the Kongs land safely back on Donkey Kong Island, and the animals are hit by the many bananas that fall from the volcano, freeing them from their hypnosis.

Game Overview

Gameplay and Modes

The game plays identically to the original version. Like its Wii port, it retains a combination of elements from previous DKC games, as well as some unique features. Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong are playable characters. The two retain the same abilities they had in its successor, Donkey Kong Country Returns, as well as the same upgrades.

1-Player Mode

In the single player mode, the player controls Donkey Kong, who has two "hearts", meaning he can take two hits before dying by default, which was not possible in previous Country games. Donkey Kong now makes heavier use of the Ground Pound, which is used to stun enemies, activate and reveal things in the background (usually against large plants or treasure chests), break through secret floors, and even to set off certain events in order to progress in the level. DK can Barrel Roll as well into enemies. Both actions require motion control usage. When a DK Barrel is found in the single player mode, Diddy Kong will hop on Donkey Kong's back, which not only doubles the endurance of both Kongs to four hearts, but also gives the player new abilities. For example, when Diddy is on DK's back, he can hover in the air for a short period of time via Barrel Jet, allowing for better jumping distance. He can also use Donkey Kong for the Kong Roll ability, allowing the two to plow through hordes of enemies and go through a straight plain in a level quicker. However, if two hits are taken while Diddy is on, he will be too injured to continue.

2-Player Mode

In the two player mode, the second player is Diddy Kong. The second player can use Diddy Kong to his fully functionality, complete with individual jumping, barrel jets, cartwheels, and the Peanut Popgun usage. The Popguns allows Diddy to stun enemies, as well as his own version of the ground pound, the "Popgun Pound". Otherwise he controls similarly to Donkey Kong, only slightly faster and agile. The player can also play as Diddy by himself, by selecting 2-Player Cooperative Mode, making Donkey lose a life, and not reviving him. The two Kongs share the same balloons between them, which function as lives in this game.

Mirror Mode

After beating the Golden Temple, mirror mode is unlocked. In mirror mode, the player has no help from Diddy Kong and only has one heart. In addition, they cannot use inventory items. It is worth nothing that in this mode, even though Diddy Kong is not present, DK Barrels still appear, but do not serve their original purpose. In addition, if Diddy was with the player before entering the mode, he will return to them afterward.

General Mechanics

General level gameplay remains the same as the original version.In some levels, there are multiple checkpoints instead of just one. The Kongs can make use of the new "Blow" ability, on certain plants to reveal items, or even enemies such as the Tiki Torch. Puzzle Pieces are a new type of collectible found in every level (excluding bosses). They can be found in hard to reach places, in bonus levels, in the background (via ground pound certain objects), or in secret places found by walking into a certain area in what would appear to be a wall. These are used to unlock things in the "extras". The new "Cling" ability also comes into play, where the Kongs can grab onto grassy walls to get around.

The K-O-N-G Letters return, but with a different role. Once they are all collected in each world, a secret temple level is unlocked. Bananas are still to be found a plenty, 100 giving a life, but there are now bunches that give five or ten bananas. Banana Coins return from DKC2, much more common and used at Cranky Kong's Shop.

Super Guide

If the player dies eight times in a level a Tutorial Pig will appear and suggest the player to use the Super Guide, which will have Super Kong, a white version of Donkey Kong, play automatically through the level. None of the items collected will be added to the player collection. The player have the option play as Super Kong to finish the level.[7] Also, when Super Kong finishes the level, the level will stay red until Donkey Kong is used to finish the level, after which, the level will turn to blue.


  • Animal Crates house the Animal Buddy Rambi much like the previous Donkey Kong Country games. However, the crate is much larger and requires Ground Pounding to open. The player can also break them by rolling into them, but the player will not automatically mount Rambi if they break the crates this way.
  • Bananas serve their regular purpose; commonly found, 100 must be collected for a free life.
  • Banana Bunches are worth five bananas.
  • Banana Coins reappear from DKC2, and have been stated to be used to purchase health and other items that Cranky Kong sells.
  • Bonus Levels are secret areas that contain bonuses such as Bananas.
  • Hearts measure Donkey and Diddy's health. Each have two and once both are lost, a life is lost.
  • K-O-N-G Letters make their major reappearance, being unseen since DK Jungle Climber. They can all be collected for an extra life, and must all be collected in each level for 101% game completion.
  • Extra Life Balloons are the game's main life counters. Oddly they do not have a face on them unlike previous games.
  • Minecarts are key vehicles needed to get through mine-based levels. Mine carts can not be stopped and are usually found in dangerous locations. The empty mine carts allow the Kongs to use only 1 through the entire level, while the ones with crystals in them can be jumped separately from. These ones will have you jumping from cart to cart on broken tracks.
  • Treasure Chests often contain useful items.
  • Puzzle Pieces are a new type of collectible item. The amount needed to collect in one level varies, with the first level having nine. Collecting all the puzzle pieces in a level gives the player an image or a diorama, which can be found in extras, under image gallery and diorama gallery, respectively.[8]


  • Auto-Fire Barrels are floating barrels found in many levels. When entered, they will launch Donkey and Diddy in the direction its facing.
  • Arrow Barrels launch the Kong(s) in a certain direction like Auto-Fire barrels, but have been revealed to be able to launch in the background environment.
  • DK Barrels retain their original purpose, reviving a lost Kong, but usage is different. Once a Kong is out, a DK Barrel will float down from above and the other Kong must jump on it to free the other Kong. This system is much like the New Super Mario Bros. Wii style of getting a defeated player back.
  • Rocket Barrels are used to fly through the level. After jumping into one, press the jump button rapidly to start the ride. During flight, hold the jump button to gain altitude, and release to descend. No matter how much health DK/Diddy have remaining, they'll lose a life in 1 hit, touching anything at all. The rocket will last until the end of the level, where it'll run out of fuel, and explode. These only appear in Peaceful Pier, Mole Patrol, Crowded Cavern, Gear Getaway, Liftoff Launch, and the first part of Tiki Tong Terror. It is to note that Ignition Barrels and Fuel Barrels do not appear in the game.
  • Wooden Barrels generic, empty barrels that can be thrown against most enemies.
  • Slot Machine Barrels are found at the end of levels. Once the Kongs approach them, they will begin changing icons. Whichever icon is visible when the player touches the barrel determines which item the player will get:
    • Banana Icon: Gives the player five bananas.
    • Banana Coin Icon: Gives the player one banana coin.
    • Red Balloon Icon: Gives the player one red balloon.
    • DK Icon: Gives the player a random item. The player can shake the controller to receive more of that item.

*Note that Auto-Fire Barrels and Arrow Barrels that have a "skull and crossbones" design will break after use.



  • Donkey Kong returns as the main star. He can let Diddy ride on his back and can even roll with Diddy on much like Kiddy and Dixie in DKC3. He is floatier than his previous iterations.
  • Diddy Kong returns as the sidekick. He retains his agility as well as his Barrel Jet and peanut Popgun weapons from Donkey Kong 64.
  • Cranky Kong is the only other Kong returning in the game.[9] He runs the Cranky Kong's Shop and often makes comments about the player's choice of items. He has been seen with Squawks in his shop, apparently for sale.
  • Super Kong is a silver version of Donkey Kong that appears if the player has suffered numerous deaths, in which case the Super Guide mode will be activated and Super Kong will finish the level instead.[10]
  • Super Diddy Kong is a silver version of Diddy Kong, who climbs on Super Kong's back, when he is freed from a DK Barrel. Unlike where Diddy will stay with Donkey if he clears a level without losing Diddy's hearts, Super Diddy will leave regardless, and must be recovered in the next level Super Kong plays through.

Animal Buddies

  • Rambi the Rhinoceros makes his return as the first Animal Buddy of the game. He was first revealed in the second major trailer for DKCR.[11] He is found in a large animal crate that requires some ground pounding to break. Rambi is very destructive; he can smash down blocks with his new symbol on them and can charge through hordes of enemies and even break spikes. His weakness is revealed to be fire.[12]
  • Squawks the Parrot makes an appearance in Cranky's shop, when purchased, he will act as a Puzzle Piece detector, helping the Kongs by locating the hidden Puzzle Pieces in levels.
  • Whale is always smiling, and he only appears in the Beach world, and he is considered easy to get, as he does not have to be released from a container, or cannot be bought at Cranky Kong's Shop.
  • Tutorial Pigs
Main article: Tutorial Pig
  • Others: There are numerous other helpful buddies throughout the game. In the game's manual, Cranky refers to the hypnotized Giraffes, Zebras, and Elephants, as animal buddies. They can be seen popping up randomly in levels, and in Blowhole Bound, they can be seen in a boat in the background, while the elephant drinks from the water.


The enemies of the game are under control of the "Tiki Tak Tribe",[9] being possessed by them.

Kalimba, a member of the Tiki Tak Tribe.





Below is a list of the bosses of the game along with the names of the Tikis that control them.

Levels & Worlds

There are nine worlds, with the first eight having one unlockable level, and have alternate paths.

World 1: Jungle

World 2: Beach

World 3: Ruins

World 4: Cave

World 5: Forest

World 6: Cliff

World 7: Factory

World 8: Volcano

World 9: Cloud Gateway

New features

All information below was gathered from Neogaf.

  • Trophy levels, said to be "super-tough" stages unlocked from collecting full sets of KONG Letters and Puzzle Pieces. Once all trophy stages are finished, a new surprise awaits.
  • Difficulty settings: Original, as seen in the Wii version, or an Easy mode that increases the life bar to three Hearts per Kong and additional helpful items on sale at Cranky Kong's Shop. These items are stated to allow a recovery from falling down an abyss, grant the Mine Cart and Rocket Barrel more durability, and allow the usage of a DK Barrel at any point during a level.





  1. [1]
  2. [2]
  3. [3]
  4. [4]
  5. [5]
  6. [6]
  7. [7]
  8. Gameinformer
  9. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named GoNintendo
  13. 0:02 of video
  14. DKCR official website video gallery, "barrels of fun"
  15. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named tikiactivate


This is one of the four games Donkey Kong plays on his Nintendo 3DS XL during his idle animation in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, along with Super Mario 3D Land, Mario Kart 7, and Animal Crossing: New Leaf.

External links