Blowing is a recurring technique that allows the user to blow air to move or dissipate certain objects or to extinguish flaming enemies.
Blowing first appeared in Donkey Kong Country Returns and its Nintendo 3DS remake. Donkey Kong or Diddy Kong can blow air by having the player repeatedly shake the Wii Remote or push the / button on the Nintendo 3DS while the character is crouching. Diddy Kong is only able to perform this action when he is controlled independently in multiplayer. The move does not appear in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, being replaced with the ability to pluck items from the ground.
The ability was incorporated into the game at the behest of Shigeru Miyamoto, the game's supervisor. Miyamoto came up with the request during a prolonged play session with a prototype of the game; he noticed that Donkey Kong kicked up dust as he was moving, which Miyamoto likened to the character blowing air. One senior designer of Donkey Kong Country Returns, Mike Wikan, found the blowing mechanic to create a playful and whimsical contrast to Donkey Kong's sense of strength and weight.
List of objects that can be blown onto
There are a multitude of objects that are affected by Donkey Kong's breath. When blown onto, many of these objects reveal items such as bananas, Banana Coins, and Puzzle Pieces, while others cause something to occur. The appearance of these objects is mostly influenced by the environment they are found in. Their role is similar to that of item containers.
Below is a list of each object, with a description on its appearance and how it behaves:
- Dandelion — if its seeds are blown away, it might uncover an item. Dandelions vary slightly in size and are widespread throughout Donkey Kong Island, being most common in the Jungle and Ruins areas.
- Beach grass — tufts of foxtail grass grown sparsely throughout the Beach. Blowing a beach grass will disperse its seeds and, at most times, leave an item.
- Lantern — an illuminating object found in mines and caverns. Lanterns are hanging above the ground, sometimes requiring the Kongs to stand on an elevated platform in order to reach them. If blown, the light inside a lantern will flicker out, often producing an item.
- Fountain Flower — A flower with four red petals and a small bud at the top. When Donkey Kong blows on the petals, they spin swiftly as water leaks out of the bud. Eventually, the flower flies off and water flows out like a fountain, giving nourishment to a vine, which grows from the water. The vine's buds then bloom into flowers with items in them as the Fountain Flower continues spewing water. They are only found in Flutter Flyaway.
- Musical horn — a device fixed on the ground. When blown into, it produces a soft trumpet jingle and an item. Musical horns are placed across the Factory.
- Lightbulb — an object with a small red propeller attached to it. Blowing on the propeller causes it to rotate increasingly faster, lighting up the lightbulb to capacity which causes it to break and free an item. Lightbulbs are found in the Factory.
- Tiki heads — a burning statuette that will turn to ashes and collapse shortly after the fire is put out, producing an item. Tiki heads mostly appear in Furious Fire.
- Candle bowl — a small candle held in a bowl. Blowing on it will swoosh the flame, potentially causing an item to appear. Candle bowls are spread throughout the Volcano.
- Objects that, when blown onto, pluck themselves out of the ground and start flying with an item using propeller-like appendages. They hover above the ground for a short while before flying away, offering the Kongs a chance to grab their item. Most of these objects resemble flowers with short stems and long petals, which are red in the Jungle and Forest, pink on the Beach, and dark purple on the Cliff. However, magnets with propellers replace them in the Factory, as do chili peppers with large leaves in the Volcano.
- Windmills — objects with multiple red (blue in the Cliff world) and white blades that spin around when blown onto. They often cause multiple bananas to drop from a place, or cause platforms to rise above the ground. To take effect, the windmills need to be blown onto for several moments.
- Tanabe: "One new ability for Donkey Kong is the ability to blow out his breath. For example, if he blows on dandelions, an item can appear ." Iwata: "Whose idea was that?" Tanabe: "Miyamoto-san’s. He told us early on in development that he definitely wanted us to put that in." — Iwata Asks: Donkey Kong Country Returns. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
- "I wonder if you remember, from that game, where Donkey Kong takes a deep breath and blows? That’s Mr. Miyamoto. That came from him." — Risa Tabata, Interview for USgamer. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
- KIWI TALKZ (September 6, 2021). #105 - Mike Wikan Interview (Metroid Prime Trilogy, Game Design, Crunch, Booz Allen Hamilton etc.) YouTube. Retrieved December 7, 2022.
- "Move to the left and jump over to a small platform containing a dandelion. Blow on the flower to release the first Puzzle Piece." — Knight, Michael. Donkey Kong Country Returns Prima Official Game Guide. Page 64.
- "The first Puzzle Piece is right near the start. Blow on the beach grass next to the pier to get it." — Knight, Michael. Donkey Kong Country Returns Prima Official Game Guide. Page 48.
- "These enemies can help boost you to a ledge where a lantern can be blown out to reveal the piece." — Knight, Michael, and Alexander Musa. Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D Prima Official Game Guide. Page 176.
- "Just past the G block, blow on the musical horn at the top of a small hill and a Puzzle Piece will pop out." — Knight, Michael. Donkey Kong Country Returns Prima Official Game Guide. Page 123.
- "From there, hover-jump to the right to access the higher platform here and blow on the lightbulb to release a Puzzle Piece." — Knight, Michael. Donkey Kong Country Returns Prima Official Game Guide. Page 124.
- "Drop onto a lower platform at the end and blow on a windmill to raise a platform in the background." — Knight, Michael. Donkey Kong Country Returns Prima Official Game Guide. Page 67.