Big Sphen

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Big Sphen
Big Sphen.png
First appearance Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Wii U) (2014)
Latest appearance Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Nintendo Switch) (2018)
Variant of Tucks

Big Sphens are enemies that appear in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and its Nintendo Switch port. They are fat, blue penguins with a yellow mohawk, a pair of brown wristbands, and a belt bearing the Snowmad insignia. Big Sphens usually carry a blowing horn with them. Their name comes from Sphenisciformes or Spheniscidae, which is the order and family penguins belong to, respectively.

The Kongs first encounter Big Sphens during the boss level Big Top Bop, where they assist Pompy.[1] They do not have blowing horns in the battle, and their initial attack is to jump out the water and pound onto the arena. Later in the battle, Pompy and three Big Sphens slide around on the arena, performing stunts and attempting to hit the Kongs. The Kongs have the option to avoid Big Sphens, but they are required to hit Pompy.

In later levels, starting with Seashore War, Big Sphens attack by blowing their horn, releasing icy creatures resembling butterfly fish, which slide continuously until they crash into a wall or get stomped by a Kong. Big Sphens move slowly back and forth after each attack. The Kongs can defeat them by jumping on them three times, rolling into them three times, or by throwing a barrel or enemy at them.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ペンゴー[2] (Big Top Bop)
Hōn Pengō
Horu Pengō
A variation of「ペンガー」(Pengā, Tucks) and possibly the honorific suffix「」(-go)

Horn Big Sphen

Hor Big Sphen; "hor" is a contraction of German word "horn"

French (NOE) Grofoufou
Play on "gros" (big or fat) + "Gorfoufou" (Tucks)
German Kaiserpeinguin
From "Kaiser" (German word for "emperor") + play on "pinguin" (penguin) and "pein" (torment)
Italian Pinguingo punk
Punk tucks
Spanish (NOE) Vilgüino emperador
Emperor tucks


  1. ^ von Esmarch, Nick, and Cory van Grier. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze PRIMA Official Game Guide. Page 55. "While he’s in the water, Pompy still utilizes his minions. During this phase of the battle, he starts by summoning a group of Big Sphens. Rather than use their standard attacks, these bulky enemies leap out of the water and slam down on the floor. You can simply dodge the enemies as they appear, but if you bop each Big Sphen as it lands, you can earn extra items like bananas or hearts."
  2. ^ 「ドンキーコングトロピカルフリーズ任天堂公式ガイドブック」 (Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze Nintendo Kōshiki Guidebook). Page 13Media:DKTF Shogakukan P13.jpg.
  3. ^ 「ドンキーコングトロピカルフリーズ任天堂公式ガイドブック」 (Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze Nintendo Kōshiki Guidebook). Page 14Media:DKTF Shogakukan P14.jpg.