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A Bonus Area (also known as a Bonus Room, Bonus Level, or Bonus Stage) is a hidden area in the Donkey Kong franchise games; particularly the Donkey Kong Country and Donkey Kong Land games.
Bonus Areas are usually revealed by finding either a secret passage or by jumping into a Bonus Barrel. In Bonus Areas, there's almost always a prize of some nature. In games following Donkey Kong Country, there is always a goal of some sort in the Bonus Areas that the Kongs need to accomplish, and a useful reward for meeting it like a Puzzle Piece in Donkey Kong Country Returns.
Donkey Kong Country series
Donkey Kong Country
In Donkey Kong Country and Donkey Kong Land, Bonus Areas are entered by either breaking open certain walls with Barrels to reveal secret passages, or by jumping into certain Auto-Fire Barrels. In one special case, a Bonus Area is hidden inside another Bonus Area, and must be unlocked by winning a barrel needed to smash open its entrance. Levels can have anywhere from zero to five Bonus Areas, but most levels have two or three.
There are several different kinds of Bonus Areas. In one, Donkey and Diddy Kong can explore the area at their leasure and collect any treasures they find. In others, they have to play minigames of sorts to collect prizes, such as lining up prizes in the correct order, spelling words with floating letters and jumping on Klaptraps in succession, among others.
There are also Bonus Areas that can only be reached by collecting three Animal Tokens of any animal. Upon collection of the third token, the Kongs are warped to a special Bonus Area, where they'll play as the animal whose tokens they had collected. The goal of these Bonus Areas is to collect as many Mini Animal Tokens as possible before time runs out. The player receives an extra life for every 100 mini tokens they collect.
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest
In Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, Bonus Areas are entered much like they were in Donkey Kong Country, except that the Auto-Fire Barrels that led to Bonus Areas have been replaced with Bonus Barrels. All levels have between one and three Bonus Areas. The Bonus Areas now have time-based challenges to complete, with Kremkoins as prizes. In the Lost World, DK Coins are the prizes instead.
Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!
In Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!, Bonus Areas work similar to the way they did in Donkey Kong Country 2, except now they're always entered through Bonus Barrels, and never by secret passages. There are also always two per level, except in Krematoa, where the amount varies between zero and three. Lastly instead of Kremcoins, Dixie and Kiddy Kong collect Bonus Coins in the Bonus Areas.
[Note: The Bonus Areas in Donkey Kong Land III are similar to those here, except Collect 15 Bananas! is eliminated, and in Collect __ Stars! there is now no set number of stars for the player to collect; the level is renamed Collect All the Stars!]
Donkey Kong Country Returns
Bonus Stages return in Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, although now with only one objective. The Kongs have thirty seconds to get all Bananas, Banana Bunches, Banana Coins, and Red Balloons available. If they successfully collect all of them, the clock stops and a Puzzle Piece appears for them to collect.
Like in the past Donkey Kong Country games, the setting of a Bonus Stage depends on the world it can be found in, and it is always set in a cavernous or dimly lit room. Despite the aesthetic changes, Bonus Stages repeat themselves throughout the course of the game, meaning they are not unique to their levels, unlike in previous games.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
The objective of Bonus Stages in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze remains almost the same as in the previous game – the player has to collect all 100 bananas on-screen within thirty seconds, receiving an additional Banana Coin and a Red Balloon along with the Puzzle Piece. However, the setting of a Bonus Stage is not related to the world it appears in anymore. Instead, all Bonus Stages take place in what appears to be a treasury, with some of them being adorned with large statues in the background, suggesting they are connected to or branched off Secret Seclusion. As in the previous game, Bonus Stages repeat themselves.
“"Welcome to Bonus Stage!"”
Bonus Stages return in Donkey Kong 64. Most of them are accessible by jumping in a Bonus Barrel. Only the Minecart Race is the one that can be entered by entering a specific area. After the player has cleared a stage, the player is rewarded with a Golden Banana. Most of the stages can be played in Snide's H.Q. after collecting all Blueprints. The following is the list of all Bonus Stages in Donkey Kong 64:
Names in other languages