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Animal Tokens, also known as Golden Tokens, are large, collectible golden figures of all four mountable Animal Friends, either Rambi, Expresso, Enguarde or Winky. They only appear in Donkey Kong Country.
Animal Tokens most often appear in hard-to-reach places, but are sometimes rewarded if Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong complete a Bonus Area. When the Kongs collect an Animal Token, it floats to the top of the screen, makes a small noise, and goes off screen. Additional tokens of the same Animal Friend are also briefly displayed, if the Kongs have any. When the Kongs collect three tokens of the same Animal Friend, they are warped to a secret area, where the player controls the corresponding Animal Friend.
All four secret areas have a timer set to 99, and the countdown speed varies between areas. The Animal Friend's objective is to collect as many Mini Animal Tokens within the time limit. When the timer runs out, the Mini Animal Tokens are counted down, with each 100 of them being exchanged for an Extra Life. The additional tokens are lost.
A Big Animal Token of the Animal Friend is hidden in its secret area. This token doubles the player's count of Mini Animal Tokens.