“These common barrels make a great projectile weapons against enemies.”
Barrels are objects that Donkey Kong used as weapons against Mario in the Donkey Kong arcade game. Since then, barrels have shown up in many other Donkey Kong, Mario, and miscellaneous games of the universe. Regular barrels can usually be heaved and used to attack enemies or destroy thin and ramshackle walls and surfaces, but there are many exceptions from this mechanic. Their physical appearance might change slightly from game to game (e.g. the number of hoops rimming the barrels, their tints and colorition, their size), but these are mostly aesthetic and do not modify the gameplay.
Many variations of the normal barrel appear in the games, and a list where each of them is mentioned can be found below. However, most of the article's body centers on the regular type of barrel, comprising as less information as possible about the other types, leaving them described within other articles. In this respect, the article does not concentrate on cosmetic instances of barrels throughout the Mario franchise, unless they depict barrels as platforms, plot devices (as in Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars – see the "Other appearances in the Mario series" section below), or other types of interactive objects.
Donkey Kong series
In Donkey Kong, the first threat Mario ever faces is from a blue barrel that Donkey Kong tosses in level 25m. When this blue barrel rolls into the Oil Drum at the start, it will spawn a Fireball. Donkey Kong mostly throws brown barrels at Mario which the hero could jump over - once successfully passed over, a barrel will roll further and it won't represent a peril for Mario anymore (also, with every dodge, the player is granted 100 points). With the aid of a hammer, the chubby carpenter can smash the barrels, and this is going to award him 500 points.
Barrels are set as obstacles for the player yet again in the Game & Watch port of the original Donkey Kong. It is safe to be specified that barrels reappear in later games where this version of Donkey Kong is remade. These include Game & Watch Gallery 2, 4, and Game & Watch Collection. In these games, although barrels are thrown by the infamous ape like before, this time around, there is no mean to destroy one.
Donkey Kong Circus
In Donkey Kong Circus, Donkey Kong is forced by Mario to balance on a barrel that acts as a circus ball. He has to dodge Fireballs that fall from the Oil Drums above, and juggle pineapples, all while riding the barrel.
Donkey Kong '94
The first four levels of the Game Boy version of Donkey Kong is an almost exact imitation of the classic arcade game, which means that barrels appear once again in the 25m stage. The ape foe whom Mario pursues throws them and tries to hinder the plumber. When he jumps over one, he is awarded 100 points, just like in the original game. Nevertheless, the player only earns 300 points upon destroying a barrel with a hammer, unlike in the arcade Donkey Kong; later in its Game Boy remake, when the adventure of Mario starts to take a more extended shape, Donkey Kong still uses barrels occasionally, so as to down the hero. When a rolling barrel encounters an edge and falls down to the platform underneath, Mario needs to perform a handstand right under the falling barrel and stop it with his feet. The barrel will then land upright, and can be picked up and put to good use - Mario has to hurl the barrel back at Donkey Kong in order to harm him. Barrels can only be picked up when they are standing, otherwise Mario cannot stand one. Sometimes, it is not necessary for the plumber to do the aforementioned procedure, whereas barrels can stop automatically. But in certain battles, such as in the final one with the overgrown Kong, barrels slip from platforms and fall off the screen, and Mario has to handstand beneath the barrels to stop them.
Donkey Kong Country and Donkey Kong Land series
The game Donkey Kong Country introduces Regular Barrels - and also some other types - as weapons used by Donkey Kong in combat with enemies. They appear frequently in many levels throughout the game. When Donkey Kong picks up a barrel, he lifts it above his head by using his powerful arms. This can be done if the player presses on the SNES controller when the ape hero is next to the barrel. However, Diddy Kong, the second hero, is not as strong to lift the barrel up, and only carries it in front of his body; nevertheless, this is a good technique used to protect himself from hazards. The barrel can then be hurled by releasing the button. Regular barrels are necessary to destroy tough or well protected enemies, including Zingers and Krushas, and are sometimes needed when having to take down bosses, such as Queen B., Kreepy Krow or Baron K. Roolenstein. In the battles where the enumerated bosses are present, there are certain methods of acquiring barrels, shown in the enumeration's respect: they can either spawn repeatedly without the player's input, appear after defeating a living Mini Necky, or falling from the ceiling after the player pulls some pipes.
The mechanic of a barrel is simple: after it gets picked up and thrown, it will start to roll on the ground until it hits a wall, and it breaks afterwards; every enemy who withstands this mighty weapon will be overthrown and downed by it. Later in the game, Donkey and Diddy Kong encounter abominable orangutan-looking foes called Manky Kongs, which, much like Donkey Kong in the original Donkey Kong, toss dangerous barrels at the heroes. These barrels only break when they hit a wall, and oddly enough, when Rambi bumps into a barrel thrown by a Manky Kong, the wooden weapon will not shatter its staves, but instead will simply fall off-screen.
After Donkey Kong Country, throughout the other many adventures of the Kongs, barrels still have the same function as they had in the aforementioned game. Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest's barrels do not sport any apparent change, and so they remained in Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!, Donkey Kong Country Returns and its remake, and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. Apart from the Donkey Kong Country series, barrels also make appearances in the Donkey Kong Land games, and retain the exact same function. While Donkey Kong Land 2 and Donkey Kong Land 3 are full of barrels, the first Donkey Kong Land features a very small amount of normal barrels, three to be more precise, each in the following levels: Jungle Jaunt, Freezing Fun and Tricky Temple. In this game, barrels are smaller and take the form of wooden kegs.
In Donkey Kong Country 2 and Donkey Kong Country 3, Dixie Kong can lift barrels over her head with her ponytail. Also, exclusively in Donkey Kong Country 3, Kiddy Kong's method of holding barrels is the same as Diddy Kong's.
There are some barrels in the first Donkey Kong Country which do not display steel hoops, but instead weaker-looking, greenish ones. These are named Vine Barrels, and their "hoops" are of vegetal origins, hence the name. When these are thrown, they will roll on the ground just like common barrels, yet they are so fragile they will break when hitting an enemy. Barrels in Donkey Kong Country 3 function the same, although these do not sport any change in appearance from generic barrels.
Not only the ape heroes use barrels, but also other enemies are shown to possess or find the helpfulness of these objects. As stated above, Manky Kongs use barrels from an unlimited supply as weapons and always toss them towards the player. Kannons from Donkey Kong Country 2 wield small bombards that shoot barrels, obviously serving as projectiles here, and can be destroyed by a stomp or by hitting a wall. Klobbers, also from Donkey Kong Country 2, hide inside barrels and can be easily mistaken for normal barrels; however, these enemies prevail and start ramming into the player once he or she approaches them. Therefore, Klobbers use barrels as shields against the player, and also as outfit to improve comical effect. Just one stomp and it can be picked up like a regular barrel, or perish from an Animal Buddy attack. In Donkey Kong Country 3, very similar foes called Knockas use barrels in the same manner, only that now these are painted green with an obnoxious smile, and they feature a slit above this smile to allow the enemy inside to see outside. Thus, the Knockas' barrels can be distinguished from regular barrels with no difficulty. Belcha, the first boss of Donkey Kong Country 3, is itself a large, animated barrel. It "spits" barrels from a hole that serves as a mouth. These barrels contain yellow Knik-Knaks, that will only reveal when the player jumps on the barrels and breaks them.
In some instances, barrels also act as platforms. This is shown in Donkey Kong Country 2 and Donkey Kong Land 2, where tuns stay either aligned or stacked on top of each other on the ship deck levels, such as Gangplank Galley and Rattle Battle. They technically function as terrain not only for the players, but also for enemies and the carriable objects. However, barrels that aren't just foreground elements, as the player and/or the environment can interact with them, are mainly featured in Donkey Kong Country 3. Ellie the Elephant is able to suck up and transport barrels with her trunk, and then throw them in the water; if done correctly, the barrels will come to the surface of the river, and thus Ellie can use them as pseudo-bridges to pass the dangerous water guarded by Nibblas. This can be seen in Bobbing Barrel Brawl. In the stage, Barrel Drop Bounce, many barrels fall down the cascade here. The cause of their appearance is not shown, but they break for sure upon hitting ground. While they are still falling down the cascade, the Kongs can hop on them and quickly jump again on solid platforms; rows of barrels dropping down can also be encountered and stepped on with care in order to reach further platforms.
Donkey Kong 64
In Donkey Kong 64, regular-looking barrels are commonly featured as design patterns for many constructions in the game (e.g. Cranky's Lab has the shape of a large barrel, so does the slot machine in the Batty Barrel Bandit minigame). Klobbers return from a past game, along with their clothing composed of barrels. This time, the enemies can straightfowardly harm the Kongs by bumping into them with the barrels they wear. Otherwise, they behave the same as before.
Inside the main sunken ship of Gloomy Galleon, and also inside the barn with the club-wielding Kosha in Fungi Forest, one can find barrels. These are relatively big, and only fulfil decorative purposes without offering the possibility of being picked up by the player. On the other hand, barrels that can be grabbed and thrown just like in the past Donkey Kong games are rather uncommon here. These are small, and the player's character can take one in his arms if button on the controller is pressed. Pressing this button again will make the character throw the barrel, which will roll continuously on the ground until hitting a wall. Two areas of the game feature barrels that function as handy objects: one of Cranky Kong's training minigames takes place inside the first of these areas; the other one is Diddy Kong's igloo from Crystal Caves, which can be accessed much later in the game.
In the main menu of the game, Donkey Kong takes a barrel, lifts it above him, and waits for the player to select an option. Once the option has been selected, the ape will throw the barrel and destroy it.
Additionally, Donkey Kong's bongos are objects that look like regular barrels. He plays them whenever the player presses and then on the controller. Upon playing the barrel bongos, Donkey Kong releases a powerful sound wave which knocks out every enemy that stays in a certain attack radius from the place where the bongos have been played. This is the essential idea behind the Bongo Blast attack.
Donkey Konga series
The first game of the series, Donkey Konga, reveals a story that shows how Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong found a lone pair of small barrels while strolling on the beach. Later on, when asked by the two what these barrels are supposed to be - supposing they are meant to be a cunning trap from K. Rool -, Cranky Kong explains they are magic bongos that can be played on.
All three games from the series are centered on playing the barrel bongos in the rhythm of several musical compositions. A set of such bongos even comes bundled with the game in real life, which serves as the controller for the game, and the player has to physically strike them in order to make Donkey Kong do the same thing behind the screen.
Donkey Kong Jungle Beat
In Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, small barrels are used to transport Donkey Kong to different kingdoms. Every barrel has a letter in front of them, with each letter spelling out the initials of Donkey Kong Jungle Beat. The D Barrel links to the Banana Kingdom, Orange Kingdom, Watermelon Kingdom, and Apple Kingdom. The K Barrel warps the player to the Strawberry Kingdom, Pineapple Kingdom, Lemon Kingdom, and Grape Kingdom. The J Barrel goes to the Cherry Kingdom, Peach Kingdom, Melon Kingdom, and Durian Kingdom. The B Barrel introduces the player into the Pear Kingdom, Lychee Kingdom, Chili Pepper Kingdom, and Star Fruit Kingdom. Completing all the kingdoms in each barrel allows Donkey Kong access to the next barrel.
The heads-up display of the game permanently features a large barrel, lying horizontally in the upper left corner of the screen. On this barrel stays written the number of bananas Donkey Kong has collected in the level he is currently in. As a matter of fact, he uses this barrel to transport the bananas.
In DK: King of Swing and DK: Jungle Climber, barrels are mere harmless obstacles the Kongs can find in their way. They can be broken if the player charges into them. Upon destruction, they reveal bonuses, such as bananas and medals. Before getting destroyed, barrels can be stood on, just like on ground.
Likewise, only in King of Swing, the player can store the first 50 bananas collected throughout the game inside a barrel, which is shown on the bottom right corner of the screen as an icon. The bananas can be consumed by the Kong to gain invincibility, and if the player has less than fifty banans left afterwards, the barrel will disappear and make room for four or less bunches of ten bananas.
Donkey Kong Barrel Blast
Normal barrels play the role of both obstacles and thrust jets used by players in the Wii racing game, Donkey Kong Barrel Blast. The barrels in the first category are encountered in strings on the racetracks. One can avoid these hindrances by hopping over them, and if one were to crash into a barrel, he or she would break it and severely decelerate. Nonetheless, players can charge with a Wild Move into barrels and destroy them successfully without slowing down; if done correctly, they will be awarded five bananas for each performance. A while after a barrel got destroyed, another one will spawn and take its place. Along with normal barrels, Steel Kegs can be found throughout the course.
The barrels in the second category are bongos that characters wear. They are, in fact, small jets which propel the characters forward, and are therefore the main way of locomotion in the game. A character wears two such rocket bongos, one on each side of his or her body - the only exception being King K. Rool, who rides a single cockpit barrel. The barrel bongos' color, pattern, and size vary from character to character. For instance, Diddy Kong drives on two small, brown barrels, and Kip's barrels are the same size and color, with the only difference being the spiky hoops around the barrels. On the other hand, Kritter has gray bongos, and so on. Despite the bongos appearing in this game, the real life bongo controllers are not supported here, unlike in Donkey Konga for the GameCube (see the section above).
Mario vs. Donkey Kong series
Just like in the Game Boy remake of Donkey Kong, barrels can be used by Mario as improvised artillery against Donkey Kong in Mario vs. Donkey Kong. They are relatively common, and most of them can be found lying on the ground in Donkey Kong Jungle. Once picked up, they can be carried by the player to any accessible place and either tossed at enemies, or put convenably to serve as helpful platforms for Mario to reach very high knolls. Likewise, they can be placed on spikes. The only boss battles where Donkey Kong uses the common wooden objects against Mario are 3-DK, 3-DK+, and Donkey Kong Plus, the final battle. They can be deflected with a handstand.
Donkey Kong Country: Rumble in the Jungle
In Donkey Kong Country: Rumble in the Jungle, barrels are used by the novel's characters on several occasions. Before the Kongs leave their treehouse to travel to Big Ape City, Donkey Kong fills his backpack with "miniature barrels", including some that "could even explode" (referring to TNT barrels). In Tree Top Town, the Kremlings use barrel cannons from high up in the trees, which fire "dangerous barrels". The Kongs overcome them by slinging TNT Barrels at them using a tree branch. After rescuing Funky Kong from his prison cell in Big Ape City's factory, Donkey Kong hands Funky and Diddy Kong some barrels to use against a group of Kremlings. Diddy manages to hang from the ceiling, and drop barrels from above.
Later, Donkey Kong tricks Krusha into thinking that he has a list of the locations of all the Kongs on Donkey Kong Island within his backpack. Krusha allows Donkey Kong to reach into his backpack for the list, but he pulls out a barrel instead and uses it to knock Krusha out. Within the Kremling's supply room, Diddy Kong lodges a barrel in the jaws of Klap Trap, which allows time for Diddy to retrieve a spare plane part for Funky Kong. Within King K. Rool's zeppelin, Donkey Kong and Diddy confront several Kemling guards with "double jumps, cartwheel attacks, and barrels left and right". They later plant time-delayed TNT barrels throughout the zeppelin, causing it to fall on to the Kremling's factory and explode.
Despite the novel describing the use of "miniature barrels", their illustrated size in proportion to Diddy Kong and Klap Trap appears to be closer to a regular-sized barrel.
Super Mario Bros. Special
Super Mario Bros. Special marks the first time barrels are used in the Mario series after Donkey Kong. In this game, barrels are not called as such, but rather credited as Tarusar. They are introduced in World 3-4 and continue to appear occasionally throughout the game. These obstacles retain their physics from Donkey Kong, as they roll continously towards the hero, either on castle stairs or on steep mushroomy platforms. Here, barrels apparently spawn and plummet from high areas, and their source is nowhere to be seen. Mario's simple stomps cannot destroy the wooden hazards, although the game features the hammer, whose head can crush everything, not to except barrels.
Super Mario series
New Super Mario Bros.
In New Super Mario Bros., large, horizontal barrels can be found buoying above the surface of water. Mario or Luigi can use them as platforms to skip over Skeeters and, eventually, avoid swimming. However, these barrels cannot float on the water and sustain the respective hero at the same time, and so they will sink continuously until he liberates them from the pressure. Under the effects of a Mini Mushroom, the hero can prevent the tuns from going down when stepping on them, and thus staying afloat they act as normal platforms. The barrels can be found in World 3-A and World 8-2.
Super Mario Galaxy
Some Octopuses, which are Octoomba foes from Super Mario Galaxy, prefer to stay inside barrels and shoot their projectiles from there, making those barrels act as warfare trenches. Besides this aesthetic purpose, barrels do not serve any other function.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
Barrels are placed throughout deserts and haunted mansions in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, this time as handy items. They can be toted and thrown by the player in order to defeat certain enemies, just like in Donkey Kong Country. However, they can also harm other players if they get hit by one. Broozers can punch barrels to make them roll and use them as obstacles against the player. As seen in World 2-2, barrels can easily break when in contact with a spiked ball, whether they roll into them or stand still.
Along with the barrels that can be carried, the game features the tun-sized variety from New Super Mario Bros., which float on the water and sit horizontally. They respect the same physics as in the mentioned game, and appear in World 4-2.
Super Mario Galaxy 2
With the return of Octopuses from Super Mario Galaxy, barrels reappear in the successor of this game. They are used in the same manner as in the previous game. Octopuses inside barrels can be seen in Shiverburn Galaxy and Grandmaster Galaxy. Likewise, in the game, there is a boss character named Prince Pikante who drives a small tank, whose body is composed of an armored barrel.
Super Mario 3D Land
Barrels appear in Super Mario 3D Land. In the final boss battle with Bowser, there is a point in the battle where Bowser throws barrels at the hero, a reference to the original Donkey Kong arcade game.
New Super Mario Bros. 2
The barrels that buoy on waters, whose first appearance was in New Super Mario Bros., make another appearance in New Super Mario Bros. 2, with no change overall to their physical behavior when in contact with the player. They are only present in World 3-1.
New Super Mario Bros. U / New Super Luigi U
Barrels reappear in New Super Mario Bros. U, and act just as in New Super Mario Bros. Wii. In this game they are less common, only appearing in some Ghost Houses with Broozers. Barrels return in New Super Luigi U as rare items, only found in the level Broozers and Barrels.
Mario Kart series
In the Mario Kart series, barrels first show up in Mario Kart Arcade GP and Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 as items that can be used only by Donkey Kong. He can acquire one by chance if he passes through an Item Box. The barrel can then be sent rolling forward or backward, depending on the player's choice, and it can represent a hazardous obstacle for other players. These barrel items return in Mario Kart Arcade GP DX, functioning in the same way as they did in the predecessor named above.
In the latter Mario Kart games, barrels are scattered around various courses; should a player bump into one of these with his/her vehicle, the barrel will break and free an aleatory item, which can help or hinder the player. In these games, the general appearance of barrels is much more realistic - appearance that was also approached in the Donkey Kong series - than that from the New Super Mario Bros. games.
Regular barrels and DK Barrels, the latter functioning the same as the former, are scattered respectively in Wario Shipyard and DK Jungle, two racetracks from Mario Kart 7. The players can interact with them the way described above - however, unless they wear the power of a Super Star or use external forces, such as fireballs or Bob-ombs, their kart will decelerate significantly upon bumping into a barrel, which makes it risky to destroy such object just for the sake of the items found inside. With the return of DK Jungle in Mario Kart 8, DK Barrels reappear. Regular barrels are found on the airship section of Cloudtop Cruise, and also on the boardwalk part of Wild Woods. Toad Harbor features barrels decorated with flowers, which are found on both the actual racetrack and among the audience, along with large, wooden boxes. Despite their slightly changed appearance, they are, technically, the same as common barrels. Additionally, in Bone-Dry Dunes, some decorative barrels are stacked up together and placed under the tents surrounding the finish line.
Vases and crates from the Mario Kart games can be technically compared to barrels, as they reveal secrets upon crashing into them. In Mario Kart 7, barrels, as well as vases, are more much more solid and cannot be destroyed while playing on Time Trial. Here, they are shown to be shielded by metallic bars that surround their bodies vertically and horizontally. This feature was eliminated in Mario Kart 8.
Mario Party series
Mario Party 2
In Mario Party 2, the board Pirate Land has barrels placed on its surface amongst other props, or buoying on water, in order to enhance the pirate ship atmosphere. However, they gain a more significant role in a minigame called Roll Out the Barrels, which is specific to Pirate Land. The minigame is a shell game where items are placed beneath barrels, which are swapped quickly. The player is then left to decide under which barrel is hiding his or her preferred item.
Mario Party 5
Mario Party 6
A minigame in Mario Party 6, titled Blooper Scooper, has the characters trying to avoid getting pulled by an oversized Blooper into a water vortex. They are surrounded by many objects from their shipwreck, which they have to dodge unless they want to break them, knocked over upon impact and be brought closer to the giant creature. Some of these objects are barrels that reveal nothing when getting broken, even though they have mysterious stars textured on their lids.
Mario Party Advance
In the minigame Barrel Peril of this game, the player has to pass a long alley sentried with Chain Chomps while wearing a barrel. The barrel protects the player from the enemies' hasty attacks, but only if he or she hides completely inside the object. Other than being a shield to perils, the barrel does not serve any other function inside the minigame.
Mario Party 8
Mario Party 10
Slot machines that take the form of barrels appear in Mario Party 10, on Donkey Kong's amiibo board. Here, apart from being miniature, barrels have golden hoops. There are three Event Spaces on the board from where the player can access these barrel slot machines, and there are three of these corresponding to each space. The only jackpot one can earn from a barrel slot machine is composed of coins that come in different amounts. Once the player's amiibo hits every barrel, the number of coins won from each one will sum up with the others and the prize for the player shall be the total amount of coins.
Mario Baseball series
Each of the games from this series, Mario Superstar Baseball and Mario Super Sluggers, contains a stadium that represents a homage to the Donkey Kong games. The stadiums are Donkey Kong Jungle and DK Jungle. Both feature Barrel Cannons out of their bounds, which shoot large barrels. These roll on the stadiums' fields and hinder the baseball players from getting the ball if they stand before them. Barrels roll continuously until they slam into a wall, in which case they will crumble and de-spawn.
In the Mario Superstar Baseball version of the stadium, a minigame called Barrel Batter takes place. In this minigame, the batter has to launch the ball with his bat into rows of colored barrels that stay right in the front of the player. The more barrels of the same color hit consequently, the more points the player gains.
The Mario Super Sluggers version of the stadium hosts another minigame, titled Barrel Basher. The batter is given a small wall in front of him/her which serves as a shield against the many rapid barrels (and also powerful Bob-ombs) that come from several Barrel Cannons. Despite the protection granted by the shield, the safety of the player is still precarious, as the barrels can damage the shield upon bumping into it. The target in the minigame is to destroy as many barrels as the player can and prevent the wall from falling apart. If not broken in time, the barrels may successfully uncover the player by destroying the wall, leaving him or her exposed to other dangerous barrels. Upon breaking a barrel, the score of the player increases; some of the barrels are shiny and are more worthy than regular barrels.
Other appearances in the Mario series
Among the many objects Wario puts on Mario's head to cover his sight in the Japan-exclusive game, Mario & Wario, there is also a barrel. Since every object is changed depending on the theme of each world in the game, the barrel whom Mario wears is seen in Kumotori Yama, the third world.
In Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, the Sunken Ship contains large piles of barrels. They help maintaining the old ship scenery, but also help Mario climb high walls, as they are grouped and formed in stairs. Later in the game, one of the puzzles hosted by Dr. Topper inside Bowser's Keep had the player guess how many barrels are stacked up in a large heap seen from the usual in-game perspective. In another area of Bowser's Keep, Mario confronts a Chained Kong that stands atop a high place in a lofty room and hurls barrels down several stairs, whom the hero must dodge; this is a homage to the classic Donkey Kong.
Rare barrel stickers can be found in Paper Mario: Sticker Star. Two of them may appear if the player defeats the Broozers in Bowser Jr.'s Airship. The barrel stickers provide actual wooden barrels, whom Mario can use to defeat one enemy at a time, with an attack power of three to five points.
Super Smash Bros. series
Barrels also appear as items in Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros. Melee, where they contain one to four items and can roll along inclines. They also sometimes explode when broken. They return in subsequent Super Smash Bros. games, alongside Crates. In these games, barrels change appearance depending on the stage in which they appear. For example, they turn into Present Barrels on the Yoshi's Island stage; though the effect of the barrels remains unchanged.
Wario Land series
“Tote those barrels and heave 'em through the hard pink blocks.”
Rather small, keg-like barrels are featured as carriable objects in Wario Land 3. They can be picked up easily and hurled at enemies, as well as fragile or hard blocks, in order to destroy them. They can also be stood on, serving as platforms. Barrels break instantly after hitting solid ground, but they respawn in their default location after Wario departs from it and returns afterwards. They are also weak to ground pound attacks and shoulder charges. Most of these descriptions make them functionally similar to Glass Blocks from Wario Land II. Examples of stages where the player can find barrels are The Big Bridge and The East Crater.
Additionally, in both Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 and Wario Land II, big-sized barrels are present as handy platforms, and they are always staying vertically. They can be mostly found in maritime areas, like the Rice Beach or the SS Tea Cup.
Barrels briefly showed up in a microgame from WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$!, called Donkey Kong. This microgame is based upon 25m, the very first level of Donkey Kong for the arcade. The microgame has Donkey Kong constantly tossing barrels at Jumpman; the character needs to dodge them while he stands still. Likewise, in WarioWare: D.I.Y. Showcase, barrels are featured in an extremely similar microgame, again named Donkey Kong, in which the player must protect Jumpman - who continuously walks on the girders and clambers ladders - from the barrels thrown by the simian foe.
Barrels appear during the battle with Captain Skull in Wario World. They can be destroyed by being thrown or by any of Wario and Captain Skull's various attacks, and may contain Coins, Garlic, or nothing at all. They can also be used as weapons against Captain Skull, as they will knock the captain out if hurled at him. Throwing either a barrel or Captain Skull's bombs at him is required during the second half of the battle, when he becomes immune to Wario's punches.
NES Remix series
In NES Remix and Ultimate NES Remix, barrels represent obstacles for the player in many challenges that are based on the level 25m of the arcade Donkey Kong. They follow the same physical rules just as in their original appearance in the Mario games - they are thrown by DK and roll down the inclined beams. Jumpman still earns 100 points from hopping over the barrels, and these points are added up to an actual score, since the said challenges are actually sequences from the original game, which is merely emulated and screened. Challenges often require the hero to jump over one or even more rolling barrels at once, or to jump over a set number of inconsequent barrels.
Types of barrels
In many of the games of the Mario universe, mostly in the ones from the Donkey Kong franchise, a handful of barrel variations, derivated from the classic barrel, appear. Each fulfills a unique function that may or may not help the heroes. Oddly enough, DK Barrels, Auto Fire Barrels and Barrel Cannons are actually more often found by players, than regular barrels. Below is a list with all types of barrels:
Official profiles and statistics
Super Smash Bros. Melee
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U
Names in other languages