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Blowhole Bound is the thirteenth level in Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, as well as the sixth level in the Beach world. A key from Cranky Kong's Shop is needed to open it, therefore making the level completely optional in order to progress.
This level is unique to other beach levels because it features whales that Donkey and Diddy Kong can ride on. After freeing the whale from an anchor, the Kongs can ride on it and the whales ahead to cross the water along the shore of the islands. The whales are not very steady and often tilt along the water, allowing the primates to grab some collectibles hidden high in the air. The aquatic creatures sometimes head underwater as well, where the Kongs cannot swim, so the heroes have no choice but to use floating ship parts to progress. These ship parts are often destroyed by the fast-moving whales, so the Kongs have to travel across them quickly. By hand-slapping the whales' blowhole, the Kongs can force the whale to send water out that they can use to reach pickups in higher areas. Additionally, Snaps enemies sometimes hop along the backs of the whales to attack the primates. Other enemies in this level include Squidlys, Electrasquids, Pinchlys, Jellybobs, and Tiki Goons.
In the Time Attack mode of the game, a time of 2:10:00 is needed to get a gold medal, a time of 2:17:00 for silver, and a time of 2:30:00 for bronze.
The level begins on a beach, where a DK Barrel can be found just ahead on a raised piece of land. After another area of land similar to this with a Snaps, a small hill can be reached with a wooden board above it with the letter K. A few Pinchlys and Snaps are under the board as well. In a slightly higher area, the Kongs can find a normal barrel that can be used to defeat the crab enemies walking along the land bridge that follows. Farther ahead is a raised platform that must be jumped over; it can additionally help the heroes in reaching a Heart. Immediately after a Squid Shot, a hill is present that is steep enough for the Kongs to slide down. It leads to a wooden bridge over the ocean. A few Tiki Goons are on the bridge to attack the heroes, next to a few square-shaped crates. At the end of the bridge in the water is a whale that is close to shore. The primates can stand on it while still standing over water, but the whale cannot move because an anchor is stuck in its blowhole. Once the anchor is removed, the whale begins to swim over the ocean, taking the Kongs with it.
As the whale progresses, Squid Shots shoot at the primates. Most of them can be bounced on, but one is electrical and can shock the Kongs if touched. The whale eventually comes past a few Banana Bunches and a three wooden planks that the Kongs can climb on. The center platform, which is twice the size as the two around it, has a cube-shaped crate on it, while the platform next to it has a heart. The whale continues to move here, so the primates cannot stay there long. As it travels farther ahead, a Snaps jumps on its back and attacks along with some Squid Shots. More wooden planks are just ahead with bananas between some of them. One of these platforms has a crate on it, while the final platform in the area has the letter O just after it in the air. Soon, the whale rides under a few moving bananas. The Kongs can gab these, but they have to avoid the Snaps and electrical Squid Shots on the way. Eventually, the whale heads back underwater, letting the Kongs stop on a few wooden platforms floating on the water. Avoiding the Jellybobs that jump between the planks, they can soon get back on shore. As the walk along the palm-tree infested beach, they pass a few bowling-pin-like creatures that reveal a collectible when defeated by a roll attack and many treasure chests. The Tutorial Pig is also passed in this area, and it marks the checkpoint.
As the Kongs continue across the island, they encounter more bowling pin creatures and some crab enemies. Soon, they can reach a port, where there are some crates and Tiki Goons. If the primates jump off of the end of the port near a DK Barrel, they land on a new whale, who immediately begins to move. Snaps and Squid Shots attack the heroes as they ride towards some bananas. Eventually, the whale heads back underwater and they reach a Barrel Cannon that blasts them over some Jellybobs to some partly-sunken ship masts. The Kongs must travel over the floating ship parts while dodging a few Snaps, before the whale destroys them and causes them to fall into the water. After the final ship platform, the whale comes back to the surface for the Kongs to ride on it. As the group passes a few animal friends in a boat in the background, they come up to some bananas and the letter N, as well as another Barrel Cannon. It shoots them to three more floating ship parts, which the Kongs must quickly move across before the whale destroys them. Soon, they can reach a third Barrel Cannon that shoots them farther ahead through other cannons. The Kongs soon land back on more floating ship parts, which they must race across before the whale destroys them all.
After breaking the final ship part, the whale surfaces, allowing the heroes to jump on its back again. While they ride, they are attacked by more Snaps. At the same time, the heroes are able to jump up and grab the many bananas and collectibles in the air; the letter G is one of these collectibles. After this letter, the whale rides upwards towards a wooden platform. The primates must jump off of it before being swept away to find a Slot Machine Barrel on the platform; hitting the barrel finishes the level.
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