Bonus Area

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A Bonus Area[1][2] (also known as a Bonus Room[3][4], Bonus Level[5], or Bonus Stage[6][7][8]) 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 meeting it will reward the player with an item needed for 100% completion.

History[edit]

Donkey Kong Country series[edit]

Donkey Kong Country / Donkey Kong Land[edit]

Diddy Kong after losing in a Bonus Area.
BonusArea.png
A bonus area for Donkey Kong

In Donkey Kong Country and Donkey Kong Land, Bonus Areas are entered by either breaking open certain walls with Barrels or Animal Friends to reveal secret passages, or by jumping into certain Auto-Fire Barrels (Bonus Barrels in the Game Boy Advance version). 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 (all underwater levels) to five Bonus Areas, but most levels have two or three.

There are several different kinds of Bonus Areas, which are given names in the Game Boy Advance version:

  • Collect the Bananas! / Collect the Prizes! / Find the Exit!Donkey and Diddy Kong can explore the area at their leisure and collect any items they find, though they may only have a few chances to do so.
  • Stop the Barrel! – The Kongs must line up three of the same prize in a row, or guess which barrel of four holds a rapidly-relocating prize.
  • Spell it Out! – The Kongs must spell words correctly by lining up letters in the correct order or jumping into spinning letters.
  • Bash the Baddies! – The Kongs must jump on one to three Klaptraps repeatedly (earning increasing amounts of bananas as they do so) to beat them and win prizes.

There are also Bonus Areas that can only be reached by collecting three Animal Tokens of the same animal (known as Rambi / Expresso / Winky / Enguarde Bonus! in the Game Boy Advance version). 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; a giant one that doubles the Kongs' haul is also hidden in the area. As with bananas, the player receives an extra life for every 100 mini tokens they collect, though only after the time limit expires.

Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest / Donkey Kong Land 2[edit]

Hot-Head Hop Bonus Area 1.png

In Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest and Donkey Kong Land 2, 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.

  • Find the Token! – Diddy and Dixie have to make it to the end of the Bonus Area and collect the coin before the time limit expires. Renamed to Find the Kremkoin! in the Game Boy Advance version of Donkey Kong Country 2.
  • Destroy Them All! – Diddy and Dixie have to defeat all the enemies to make the Kremkoin appear.
  • Collect the Stars! – Diddy and Dixie must collect all the Stars in the Bonus Area to make the Kremkoin appear. In a few cases, there are more Stars than the amount required.

Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! / Donkey Kong Land III[edit]

Lakeside Limbo Bonus Area 1.png

In Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! and Donkey Kong Land III, 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 in Donkey Kong Country 3, where the amount varies between zero and three. Lastly, unlike in the previous game, Bonus Coins are the only prizes.

  • Find the Coin! – Same concept as Find the Token!, and renamed back to that name in Donkey Kong Land III.
  • Bash the Baddies! – Same concept as Destroy Them All!
  • Collect __ Stars! – Same concept as Collect the Stars!, and renamed back to that name in Donkey Kong Land III. In Donkey Kong Country 3, the amount of Stars that the Kongs need to collect is displayed when the Kongs enter the Bonus Area.
  • Collect 15 Bananas! – Dixie and Kiddy must collect fifteen randomly appearing Green Bananas within the time limit to make the Bonus Coin appear. Absent in Donkey Kong Land III.

Donkey Kong Country Returns / 3D[edit]

The Mast Blast Bonus Stage as seen in Donkey Kong Country Returns.

Bonus Stages return in Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, once again accessed by Blast Barrels (as Bonus Barrels do not return in this game) and secret passages, 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[edit]

A Bonus Stage in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. This one is from Mangrove Cove, although it reappears in other levels of the game.

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.

Donkey Kong 64[edit]

“Welcome to Bonus Stage!”
Narrator, Donkey Kong 64

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:

  • Batty Barrel Bandit: Get four bananas on a slot machine. Do this the required number of times to win.
  • Peril Path Panic: Shoot melons at the Klaptraps to save the Banana Fairies so they can safely cross to the other side.
  • Big Bug Bash: Controlling a giant flyswatter, the player must smash a required number of flies in the time limit.
  • Searchlight Seek: Using a spotlight, the player has to find and shoot the Klaptraps from above.
  • Kremling Kosh: Use a watermelon-shooting cannon to shoot the Kremlings that pop out of the barrels. Regular Kremlings are worth one point, and red ones are worth two points. Shoot the required number before time runs out to win the game.
  • Mine Cart Ride: In a mine cart, try to collect the required number of coins before the exit.
  • Splish Splash Salvage: In a big barrel, swim and collect all the coins.
  • Speedy Swing Sortie: Swing on vines and collect the coins.
  • Mad Maze Maul: Go through the maze and defeat enemies.
  • Minecart Mayhem: The player rides around a minecart. Avoid TNT barrels by switching lanes left and right. Speed up and slow down by pushing up and down respectively.
  • Stealthy Snoop: Sneak through a maze avoiding the flashlights from the Kops.
  • Teetering Turtle Trouble: Shoot melons at snakes to keep them fed and prevent the spinning turtles on the snakes' tails from falling.
  • Busy Barrel Barrage: Standing the middle of a big barrel, the player must shoot at Kremlings. If they touch the player the player loses.
  • Beaver Bother: The player controls a Klaptrap and tries to chase the Gnawties into the hole in the center of the barrel. The player must be careful not to fall into the hole themselves; if they fall, they automatically lose the game.
  • Krazy Kong Klamor: Lights repeatedly flicker on and off. The player must shoot bananas and avoid shooting the Kongs.
  • Stash Snatch: While going around a maze, the player must collect all the coins and avoid Kremlings.

Title cards[edit]

Donkey Kong Country (GBA)[edit]

Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest[edit]

Donkey Kong Land 2[edit]

Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble![edit]

Donkey Kong Land III[edit]

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Spanish Salas de bonus[citation needed] Bonus room

References[edit]

  1. ^ "There are plenty of opportunities to score 1-Ups, especially in the Bonus Areas where you play games of skill." – Donkey Kong Country Nintendo Player's Guide, page 22
  2. ^ "This special Barrel Kannon will send you through time and space to a Bonus Area." – Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest Nintendo Player's Guide, page 18
  3. ^ "I'm sure there must be some bonus rooms you haven't found!" – Cranky Kong in Donkey Kong Country
  4. ^ Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze North American digital manual Section 9
  5. ^ "Bonus Barrels launch you into Bonus Levels when you jump into them." – Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest instruction booklet, page 18; Donkey Kong Land 2 instruction booklet, page 15; Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble instruction booklet, page 24; Donkey Kong Land III instruction booklet, page 18
  6. ^ "Welcome to Bonus Stage!" -- Donkey Kong 64 announcer, when entering a Bonus Stage
  7. ^ Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D digital manual Section 9
  8. ^ Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze PAL digital manual Section 9