Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

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Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
DKC-TF box.jpeg
Developer(s) Retro Studios
Monster Games[1]
Nintendo SPD Group No. 3
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Platform(s) Wii U
Release date Japan February 13, 2014
USA February 21, 2014[2]
Europe February 21, 2014[3]
Australia February 22, 2014[4]
Brazil March 20, 2014 [5]
Genre Platformer
ESRB:ESRB E.svg - Everyone
PEGI:PEGI 3.svg - Three years and older
CERO:CERO A.png - All ages
ACB:ACB G.svg - General
USK:USK 0.svg - All ages
Mode(s) Single player, Multiplayer
Wii U:
Media CD icon.png Optical disc
Media DL icon.svg Digital download
Wii U:
Wiimote Sideways.png Wii Remote (Sideways)

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.[6] 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 Kongs together celebrating Donkey Kong's Birthday.

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.

DKCTF story2.png
Donkey Kong Island now a frozen wasteland.

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.[7]

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.


New features

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 Control Stick stick / +Control Pad 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.

The ability to pick up enemies and throw them, and overall the plucking capability, was, as the producer Kensuke Tanabe states, inspired from Super Mario Bros. 2, which he helped developing.[8]

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.[9]

Time Attack

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.

Hard Mode

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.


Playable characters

Character Description Kong POW Ability
Donkey Kong Artwork - Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze.png
  • The character the single or first player always controls, and also the heaviest.
  • He is shown to be able to water skip when rolling with another Kong on top of him.
  • Underwater, Donkey Kong is able to charge at enemies to defeat them.
Donkey Kong
Diddy Kong Artwork - Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze.png
  • His jetpack returns, allowing him to hover in midair and get speed boosts underwater (this cannot defeat enemies).
  • His Peanut Popgun returns as well, working just like it did in the previous game.
Turns enemies into Red Balloons, which add lives.
Diddy Kong
Dixie Kong - Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze.png
  • Her ponytail allows her to get a short lift and fall slowly in midair.
  • Can be controlled more easily underwater using her hair as a propeller (this cannot defeat enemies). Secret exits can be found with her hair as well by going through currents.
  • Her new Bubble Gum Popgun can shoot bubble gums at enemies.
Turns enemies into Gold Hearts, which allow extra hits from enemies.
Dixie Kong
Cranky Kong Artwork - Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze.png
  • His cane can be used to whack enemies, and as a pogo stick in order to jump higher and on spikes.
  • Can whack enemies underwater with his cane.
  • His new Denture Popgun shoots dentures at enemies.
Turns enemies into Banana Coins, which can be used to purchase items in Funky's Fly 'n' Buy.
Cranky Kong

Supporting characters

Character Role
Funky Kong Artwork - Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze.png
Funky Kong
Runs the Funky's Fly 'n' Buy shop, which sells various items in exchange for Banana Coins, similarly to Cranky Kong's Shop from the previous installment.
Professor Chops[10]
Runs the checkpoint booths in each level as he did in Donkey Kong Country Returns.
Rambi DKCR.png
Rambi the Rhino
Rambi retains his role as the sole ridable Animal Friend. He can bash into enemies easier than the Kongs and can break some walls or other big objects that the Kongs cannot normally break. He can also defeat enemies by just walking into them. He is effective to lightning and runs away as he bumps into enemies.
Squawks DKCTF.png
Squawks the Parrot
Squawks retains his role as a purchasable item, and will warn the player if Puzzle Pieces are nearby during a stage.[11]







Other enemies

Worlds and levels

This article is under construction. Therefore, please excuse its informal appearance while it's being worked on. We hope to have it completed as soon as possible.

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.

Worlds and levels
Lost Mangroves
Level number Level name Number of Puzzle Pieces in the level Music theme
1-1 Mangrove Cove 9 "Mangrove Cove"
"Mangrove Cove Underwater"
1-2 Shipwreck Shore 9 "Shipwreck Shore"
1-3 Canopy Chaos 7 "Mangrove Swing"
1-4 Trunk Twister 5 Trunk Twister theme
1-A Zip-Line Shrine 5 A cover of "Jungle Hijinx" from Donkey Kong Country Returns, very similar to "Jungle Jitter" from the Game Boy Advance version of Donkey Kong Country 3
1-B Busted Bayou 9 Busted Bayou theme
1-K Swinger Flinger 5 A cover of "King of Cling" from Donkey Kong Country Returns
1-Boss BOSS LEVEL: Big Top Bop 0 Big Top Bop theme
Autumn Heights
Level number Level name Number of Puzzle Pieces in the level Music theme
2-1 Windmill Hills 9 "Windmill Hills"
2-2 Mountain Mania 7 Mountain Mania theme
2-3 Horn Top Hop 5 Horn Top Hop theme, with several variations depending on the location of the player in the level
2-4 Sawmill Thrill 5 "Sawmill Thrill"
2-5 Alpine Incline 5 "Alpine Incline"
2-6 Wing Ding 5 Wing Ding theme
2-A Crumble Cavern 7 "Cave Dweller Concert Returns"
2-B Rodent Ruckus 5 "Rodent Ruckus"
2-K Bopopolis 5 "Swinger Flinger" *
2-Boss BOSS LEVEL: Mountaintop Tussle 0 Mountaintop Tussle theme
Bright Savannah
Level number Level name Number of Puzzle Pieces in the level Music theme
3-1 Grassland Groove 9 Grassland Groove theme
3-2 Baobab Bonanza 7 "Baobab Bonanza"
3-3 Frantic Fields 5 "Run, Rambi! Run! Returns"
3-4 Scorch 'n' Torch 7 "Scorch 'n' Torch"
3-5 Twilight Terror 5 A cover of "Stickerbrush Symphony" from Donkey Kong Country 2
"Twilight Terror"
3-6 Cannon Canyon 5 "Savannah Pop"
3-A Rickety Rafters 5 "Savannah Pop"
3-B Bramble Scramble 7 "Savannah Pop"
3-K Precarious Pendulums 5 A cover of "King of Cling" from Donkey Kong Country Returns
3-Boss BOSS LEVEL: Triple Trouble 0 Triple Trouble theme
Sea Breeze Cove
Level number Level name Number of Puzzle Pieces in the level Music theme
4-1 Deep Keep 7 "Deep Keep"
"Funky Waters"
"Aquatic Ambiance Returns" (DKC:TF version)
4-2 High Tide Ride 5 A remixed version of the title screen theme
4-3 Amiss Abyss 9 "Cave Dweller Concert Returns"
"Funky Waters"
4-4 Irate Eight 5 A cover of "Lockjaw's Saga" from Donkey Kong Country 2
"Irate Eight"
4-5 Sea Stack Attack 7 "Mangrove Swing"
4-6 Current Capers 5 "Aquatic Ambiance Returns" (DKC:TF version)
4-A Rockin' Relics 9 A cover of "Lockjaw's Saga" from Donkey Kong Country 2
4-B Shoal Atoll 5 "Aquatic Ambiance Returns" (DKC:TF version)
4-K Spinning Spines 5 "Swinger Flinger" *
4-Boss BOSS LEVEL: Fugu Face-Off 0 Fugu Face-Off theme
Juicy Jungle
Level number Level name Number of Puzzle Pieces in the level Music theme
5-1 Harvest Hazards 7 "Swing Juice"
5-2 Reckless Ride 5 "Swing Juice"
A cover of "Mine Menace" from Donkey Kong Country Returns
5-3 Fruity Factory 5 "Juicy Groove"
5-4 Panicky Paddels 9 "Swing Juice"
An underwater cover of "Swing Juice"
5-5 Jelly Jamboree 7 "Fruit Bounce"
5-6 Frosty Fruits 5 "Frosty Fruits"
A cover of "In a Snowbound Land" from Donkey Kong Country 2
5-A Beehive Brawl 7 "Fruit Bounce"
5-B Jammin' Jams 5 Jammin' Jams theme
5-K Platform Problems 5 A cover of "King of Cling" from Donkey Kong Country Returns
5-Boss BOSS LEVEL: Punch Bowl 0 Punch Bowl theme
Donkey Kong Island
Level number Level name Number of Puzzle Pieces in the level Music theme
6-1 Homecoming Hijinxs 9 "Snowmads Theme"
6-2 Seashore War 5 "Seashore War"
6-3 Aqueduct Assault 5 Aqueduct Assault theme
6-4 Blurry Flurry 7 A cover of "Mine Menace" from Donkey Kong Country Returns
6-5 Forest Folly 5 "Freezie Breezie"
6-6 Cliffside Slide 9 "Snowmads Theme"
6-7 Frozen Frenzy 5 "Frozen Frenzy"
6-8 Meltdown Mayhem 5 "Snowmads Theme"
6-A Dynamite Dash 5 A remix of "Run, Rambi! Run! Returns"
6-B Icicle Arsenal 5 "Freezie Breezie"
6-K Slippy Spikes 5 "Swinger Flinger" *
6-Boss BOSS LEVEL: Volcano Dome 0 Volcano Dome theme
Secret Seclusion
Level number Level name Number of Puzzle Pieces in the level Music theme
7-1 Levitation Station 5 An extended cover of the ending theme from Donkey Kong Jr.
7-2 Rocket Rails 5 An extended cover of the ending theme from Donkey Kong Jr.
7-3 Crazy Clouds 5 An extended cover of the ending theme from Donkey Kong Jr.


For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.


Main article: List of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze staff

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.[12]


Levitating Monkey

DK being pushed against the reforming blocks

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

  • Donkey Kong: Donkey Kong's 8-bit sprite, holding a Wii U GamePad, appears at the end of Aqueduct Assault stage.
  • Donkey Kong Jr.: The levels in Secret Seclusion feature music that originated from this game.
  • Donkey Kong 3: At the second checkpoint of Fruity Factory, the background features a replica of the first stage.
  • Donkey Kong Country: The music theme "Aquatic Ambience"[13] is covered. In the Canopy Chaos level, Cranky's record player from this game can be found and when ground pounded in front of it, it plays this games' title theme.[14] The music theme "Jungle Groove" has two covers: one during the loading screens between levels and another during some levels. Part of the music in the level Frozen Frenzy contains a cover version of the music theme "Fear Factory". Part of the music in the Crumble Cavern level contains a cover version of "Cave Dweller Concert" from this game.
  • Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest: Dixie Kong returns from this game which marked her first appearance. Bramble levels, swamp levels and beehive levels return. The music theme Lockjaw Saga is covered.[15] Part of the music in the Frosty Fruit level contains a cover version of "In a Snowbound Land" music from this game. The music theme Stickerbush Symphony is covered. Part of the music in the level Frantic Fields contains a cover version of "Run, Rambi! Run!" from this game. One of Dixie Kong's idle animations in multiplayer involves her playing some air guitar could be a possible reference to her playing her electric guitar from this game. [16]
  • Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble: Water skipping returns. Part of the music in some secret levels contains a cover on Wrinkly's Save Cave (the one where she's sleeping) in this game.
  • Donkey Kong Country Returns: Being a direct sequel to this game, the levels in Secret Seclusion have a remix of the music from the single Golden Temple stage in this game (which itself was remixed from Donkey Kong Jr.). Also, the design of Donkey Kong Island is based off its appearance in this game; all of the worlds from this game can be seen. Finally, a number of sound effects from this game are used. In the level Blurry Flurry, Mega Squeekly has a cameo still alive in the background while frozen solid in an iceberg.[17] The giant Eyeball from Handy Hazards makes a cameo in the background of the level "Frozen Frenzy" frozen in place.[18] Mugly makes a cameo in the diorama of Donkey Kong Island frozen under the ground. In the level Rocking Relics, a part of the music has a cover of the Boombox beat from Donkey Kong's hut. Also, one of the logos seen in the cockpit of the plane Donkey Kong crashes into in the beginning of the game has the logo for this game. Snaps, an enemy from this game, makes a cameo on the title screen.
  • Super Mario 3D Land: One of the games Donkey Kong plays on his Nintendo 3DS during his idle animation is this game. During the animation, he can be heard passing a Goomba and collecting a coin.
  • Mario Kart 7: Donkey Kong sometimes plays it during his idle animation. He is heard playing as himself, picking up a Super Leaf item, and avoiding a Green Shell.
  • Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D: The Crash Guard, Green Balloon, and Portable DK Barrels originated in this game. Also, this is one of the games Donkey Kong plays on his Nintendo 3DS during his idle animation. He is heard in Cranky Kong's Shop, as well as activating a secret path in a level.

References in later games

  • Super Smash Bros. for Wii U: A number of Snowmads appear as Trophies. Additionally, the music that plays in Mangrove Cove and in every second temple level are playable in the Jungle Hijinxs stage under the names "Mangrove Cove" and "Swinger Flinger" respectively, despite the latter originally playing in the level Bopopolis and every second level after that.


External links


  1. ^ GameInformer: Nintendo Answers Our Burning Questions
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  6. ^ Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze delayed - GameSpot
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  8. ^ Wii U Developer Direct - Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze @E3 2013, retrieved August 6, 2015
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  11. ^
  12. ^ Terry, Stefan (March 05 2014). David Wise Explains How He Got His Job on Tropical Freeze. Gamnesia. Retrieved December 20, 2014)
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