Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, known in Japan as Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze (ドンキーコングトロピカルフリーズ), is a side-scrolling 2.5D platform game developed by Retro Studios for the Wii U. It is the fifth game in the Donkey Kong Country series and the direct sequel to the Wii game Donkey Kong Country Returns. Dixie Kong and Cranky Kong appear as playable characters, similar to Diddy Kong's role in Donkey Kong Country Returns, while the main antagonists, the Snowmads, are based on stereotypical Vikings, and appear as animals such as penguins, walruses, and owls.
The game was originally slated for release during November 2013 before being pushed back to December 6; it was later pushed back again to February 2014. It can be purchased at retail stores, or digitally from the Nintendo eShop, with the digital version requiring 11.3 GB of memory to be installed. Some models of the Wii U can't have this game downloaded, due to the large amount of space required.
The story begins at Donkey Kong's hut, where the Kongs are celebrating his birthday. Suddenly, one of the balloons flies off the Kong house and over the sea, where Snowmad ships are stationed. Far away from the island, a Pointy Tuck watches over them, locating the Kong house and relaying info to their leader, shrouded in a dark silhouette. Upon the leader nodding their approval, the Pointy Tucks bring him a horn which he blows, creating a large amount of wind, as well as an ice dragon.
Just as he is about to blow the candle out, Donkey Kong notices a mysterious snowflake appear and put out the candle on his birthday cake. He turns away with a frustrated look on his face as he hears an uproar, and he and the other Kongs exit the house. The ice dragon from earlier flies toward Donkey Kong Island, turning the sea under it to ice. The Kongs are then blown away from the island by the ice dragon's intense winds, landing on the Lost Mangroves island. Afterwards, a large ship stations itself where the Volcano from Donkey Kong Country Returns used to be, and the Snowmads seize Donkey Kong Island for their own, turning it into a frosty area with continuous snowfall.
After traversing across 5 islands with each posing its own threats, the Kongs finally arrive at Donkey Kong Island under control of the Snowmads. The Kongs make their way through the frozen fortress until they encounter the leader of the Snowmads, Lord Fredrik, who challenges the Kongs to a final battle deep in the depths of the volcano. After a long battle, Donkey Kong delivers the final punch to Lord Fredrik, which sends him flying out through the roof of the Snowmad's ship, destroying it in the process. The Kongs wander out of the remains of the ship and look out from the mountainside to see the end of Lord Fredrik's fall. Lord Fredrik crashes into the remainder of the Snowmad ships out in the seas of the island, defeating the entire Snowmad clan and freeing the island from their control. Donkey Kong then notices the horn that was used to freeze their island fell out of Lord Fredrik's hands during his fall, which he catches and blows into, producing a breeze of flowers that carries the Kongs to the bottom of the island. The Kongs watch and rejoice as the breeze of the flowers flutter around the island, melting all of the ice and snow, returning Donkey Kong Island to its former glory.
The gameplay of the title is very similar to that of its predecessor, Donkey Kong Country Returns, but features more playable characters. These are Dixie Kong - who can do the Helicopter Spin by using her ponytail to propel herself up in midair and glide - and Cranky Kong - who can do the Cane Bounce by using his cane to destroy or overcome some obstacles otherwise (potentially) dangerous to stomp on, such as Urchins and Spikes; likewise, his cane helps reaching higher platforms, due to the force exerted on the ground when using it, and serves as a substitute to Dixie Kong's ponytail.
The game also presents ice and underwater levels, which were absent in Returns. The Kong's ability to swim has been restored, though it is much altered from the Mario-styled swimming controls present in the original trilogy. In fact, the swimming mechanics are similar to those of the New Play Control! version of Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, where instead of pressing the jump button to gain impulse, the player has to move the stick / buttons. The Kongs are now given limited air while underwater, requiring them to seek out air bubbles to survive. A Corkscrew attack has been added, with which the player can defeat certain enemies or collapse less durable structures while underwater.
In many areas of the game, players can encounter handles fixed on the surface of platforms. The Kongs can pull these handles to uncover their roots from under the ground, which can be either bonuses or Barrel Cannons that launch them to other places. Not only this, but upon plucking some of these objects, certain phenomenons occur; for example, in the level, Mangrove Cove, such handle keeps an enormous, apparently buried tree from getting out of the earth, and when the player takes it off, the tree will start uncovering itself fast and give the player some branches whom he or she can use as platforms in order to progress through the stage. Another example is that from Seashore War, where platforms partially sunk within the frozen water, very dangerous for the Kongs, contain handles that can be grasped by the heroes in order to pull those platforms off the sea. These examples show that some handles in the game are mandatory for advancing.
The plucking function can help transport several objects, such as items where the possibility to be carried and thrown exists - barrels, DK Barrels, and Watermelon Fuse Bombs are the most common items to be transported. They can be taken directly from the ground, but can also be buried under it and obtainable only by plucking handles. The player can actually haul even enemies, specifically those that are relatively small and wear orange helmets, like Tuff Fluffs and Tuff Tucks. Portable items and enemies are sometimes necessary in order to destroy hinderances, bags with precious content, and tough foes.
For the first time in the series, the camera angle can change dynamically in some levels where Blast Barrels or minecarts are found, showing more areas and perspectives of the scenery. A new feature in this game is the Kong POW attack, which turns all enemies on-screen into items. This move can only be performed when 100 bananas have been collected, and when there is another character on Donkey Kong's back.
A mode originating from Returns, Time Attack of any level can be accessed only after the player has hit the Slot Machine Barrel at the end of a level at least once. It is a completely optional mode, meaning it doesn't unlock anything hidden in the game, nor contributes to the completion percentage.
Before entering Time Attack, the player is given the possibility to choose which partner to be found in every Buddy Barrel. He or she can choose between Diddy, Dixie, Cranky, or Default - meaning the Buddy Barrel will be spinning in a roulette style and change its content once in a while. During Time Attack, Donkey Kong, along with the partner chosen, being controlled by the player, has to finish the level in the fastest time possible, and in the end, he can obtain one of the four medals according to the time: bronze, silver, gold, and shiny gold. For every single one of them, there is a time limit, and if the player manages to get to the finish barrel before the timer passes this limit, he or she will be awarded with the respective medal. Note that the time limit of the shiny gold medal is not shown, although it exists.
Checkpoints are absent in this mode, but Professor Chops assists to the Kongs' race. He waves a symbolic green flag at the beginning and stops the timer with a regular checkered flag when the finish barrel is hit.
When the player has completed every level in the game, an additional game mode, Hard Mode, is unlocked. In Hard Mode, the player can choose any of Donkey Kong's partners, but they will only get one heart, and can't use any items bought from Funky's Fly 'n' Buy. Checkpoints are removed, and it is only possible to play with the Kong chosen at the start.
Worlds and levels
The game has seven total islands, consisting of six "main" islands and one secret island (Secret Seclusion), which serve as the game's worlds. Though the course of each world, the Kongs can visit Funky's Fly 'n' Buy item shop, where Funky Kong sells life balloons and other balloons, portable partner barrels, banana juice, hearts, crash guards, and figurines of characters in the game that can be obtained through a capsule toy machine.
The table below lists all of the worlds and levels in the game, including their respective music theme and number of Puzzle Pieces. Since not every musical composition in the game has been given a name, several of the ones shown are either described as covers from the past Donkey Kong games, or merely marked as conjectural with a pointy line.
Note that the titles of the musical themes which are succeeded by an asterisk (*) in the following table are stated in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze notably marks the return of long-time Donkey Kong Country composer David Wise, whose last soundtrack for the series was for the Game Boy Advance version of Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! in 2005. Wise was specifically brought on board by Retro Studios president Michael Kelbaugh.
In Levitation Station, if DK jumps towards a block as it is forming, he may hang in the air beside it until it is ready to return to the background.
Schnautzel Falls Into Background
When a player finds a Schnautzel near a Tuff Fluff in Horn Top Hop they need to make sure they that it's slightly facing the background and keep rolling into it. If done correctly, the Schnautzel will be knocked out falling into the background instead of the foreground.
References to other games
References in later games