Bonus Area

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A Bonus Area[1][2][3] (also known as a Bonus Room[4][5], Bonus Level[6][7], Bonus Stage[8][9][10], or Bonus Game[11]) 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. Bonus Areas usually have a challenge that the Kongs must accomplish to earn a prize needed for 100% completion.

History[edit]

Donkey Kong Country[edit]

Diddy Kong after losing in a Bonus Area.
X2 Expresso Token.png
Expresso stumbles across a Big Animal Token in his Bonus Area
BonusArea.png
Donkey Kong in a "Collect the Prizes!" Bonus Area

Bonus Areas first appear in Donkey Kong Country. Here, they 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 (changed to Bonus Barrels in the Game Boy Advance port). In Oil Drum Alley, there is a Bonus Area entrance hidden within a Bonus Area, which can be entered by a Barrel need a barrel needed to smash open its entrance.

Bonus Areas appear in every level except for the underwater stages and Mine Cart Carnage. There are usually two or three Bonus Areas in a level, although five of them appear in Orang-utan Gang, which has the most Bonus Areas out of every level.

Unlike in subsequent appearances, the main idea of Bonus Areas is obtain common items, such as bananas, Animal Tokens, or even an Extra Life Balloon. The Kongs do not have to complete a challenge or collect the items within to add to their completion percentage—this only occurs by simply entering the Bonus Area itself. There are 67 Bonus Areas in the game.

In the Game Boy Color port, Candy Kong hosts a challenge in each world. The challenges are very similar to Bonus Areas, except for an award at the end (a Banana Coin); the challenges even have the same theme as a Bonus Level.

There are several types of Bonus Areas. In the Game Boy Advance version, each type received its own title and a splash screen to differentiate it from the other types:

Image and type (GBA) Level appearances Description
DKC-bashbaddies.png
Bash the Baddies!
(B) Vulture Culture
Temple Tempest
(B) Torchlight Trouble
(B) Trick Track Trek
Manic Mincers
The Kongs must jump on a Klap Trap, sometimes two or three, for it to release Bananas. Each time it is jumped on, the Klap Trap moves faster and releases one more Banana (always in the shape of Banana Bunches) than it did the previous time. it was jumped on. They must be jumped on about ten times to be defeated, when they release a whole Banana Bunch. By defeating the Klap Trap(s), the Kongs are usually rewarded with an Extra Life Balloon. If a Klap Trap bites Donkey Kong and Diddy, they are sent back into the main level.
DKC-collectbananas.png
Collect the Bananas!
Reptile Rumble (2)
(B) Bouncy Bonanza
Stop & Go Station
(B) Tree Top Town
Forest Frenzy
(B) Snow Barrel Blast
(B) Slipslide Ride
(B) Ice Age Alley
Oil Drum Alley
(B) Trick Track Trek
Elevator Antics
(B) Mine Cart Madness
The Kongs must collect as many Bananas as possible, usually by blasting from a series of Barrel Cannons and Auto-Fire Barrels.
DKC-collectprizes.png
Collect the Prizes!
Barrel Cannon Canyon
(B) Winky's Walkway
Stop & Go Station
(B) Millstone Mayhem
Orang-utan Gang (3)
(B) Blackout Basement
The Kongs are in a Barrel Cannon and have to shoot themselves upward to collect various prizes. There always are three vertical lines of individual bananas. Above the bananas are either an Animal Token, an Extra Life Balloon, or a Banana Bunch.
DKC-findexit.png
Find the Exit!
Jungle Hijinxs
(B) Ropey Rampage
Reptile Rumble
Barrel Cannon Canyon
Vulture Culture
Temple Tempest
Orang-utan Gang
(B) Snow Barrel Blast
(B) Rope Bridge Rumble
(B) Oil Drum Alley
Elevator Antics
Mine Cart Madness
Manic Mincers
Misty Mine
Loopy Lights
The Kongs must go through the Bonus Area and reach the exit on the other side.
DKC-spellout.png
Spell it Out!
(B) Millstone Mayhem
(B) Vulture Culture
(B) Tree Top Town
Orang-utan Gang
Slipslide Ride
Oil Drum Alley
Elevator Antics
(B) Necky Nutmare
(B) Platform Perils
K-O-N-G Letters either spin in a circle or switch around in barrels. In the case of the latter, "KONG" is always the word in the barrels. Each letter spells out a word, and the
Kongs have to jump at the ones in the right order to win a prize.
DKC-stopbarrel.png
Stop the Barrel!
Jungle Hijinxs
(B) Ropey Rampage
Bouncy Bonanza
Millstone Mayhem
(B) Forest Frenzy
(B) Snow Barrel Blast
Slipslide Ride
(B) Ice Age Alley
Torchlight Trouble
(B) Rope Bridge Rumble
Oil Drum Alley
(B) Trick Track Trek
(B) Tanked Up Trouble
Manic Mincers
Misty Mine
(B) Mine Cart Madness
Blackout Basement
(B) Platform Perils
An item (Banana, Banana Bunch, Animal Token, or Extra Life Balloon) rapidly moves through multiple barrels. Once the item stops moving, the Kongs must jump at the
consisting barrel to win that prize. Sometimes in this variation, the Kongs have to match three barrels depicting the same prize. They have to respectively jump and hit the
same object on all of those barrels.

* Levels with a (B) are accessed via a Bonus Barrel. Levels with a number (e.g. 2) tells how many of that type is in the level.

There is also a specific type of Bonus Areas that features an Animal Friend, either Rambi, Expresso, Winky, or Enguarde. Each Animal Friend's stage has a unique theme and layout, and some are based on their most common environment. Additionally, just like regular Bonus Areas, each of the Animal Buddy ones also received their own splash screen and title in the Game Boy Advance port. The Bonus Stages revolving around Animal Friends do not reappear in any of the subsequent Donkey Kong Country or Donkey Kong Land titles.

An Animal Friend's Bonus Area can be accessed by collecting three Animal Tokens of the same Animal Friend. Upon collecting the third token, the Kongs are warped into a Bonus Area, where they play as the corresponding Animal Friend. The goal of these Bonus Areas is for the Animal Friend to collect as many Mini Animal Tokens within the time limit. A Big Animal Token is also hiding in the location, which doubles the Kongs' Mini Animal Token total. When the time runs out, the Mini Animal Tokens are subtracted, and the Kongs receive an extra life for every 100 Mini Animal Tokens they have collected (similar to bananas). Additionally, if an Animal Friend manages to obtain 600 Mini Animal Tokens (400 for Enguarde), a photograph of that Animal Friend is added into the Scrapbook.

Image and name (GBA) Setting
Enguarde Bonus - DKC GBA.png
Enguarde Bonus!
Underwater
Expresso Bonus - DKC GBA.png
Expresso Bonus!
Jungle
Rambi Bonus - DKC GBA.png
Rambi Bonus!
Snowscape
Winky Bonus - DKC GBA.png
Winky Bonus!
Cavern

Donkey Kong Land[edit]

The new type of Bonus Area from Donkey Kong Land involving Kong Tokens

Bonus Areas reappear in Donkey Kong Land. Just like with Donkey Kong Country, the Bonus Area variations do not have a name, and every Bonus Area must at least be accessed to add to the 100% completion score. While many of the Bonus Areas are accessed via the same methods, some are accessed via a new method: by falling on a ground patch from a height, causing a vertical rope to fly out. By grabbing on the rope, the Kong is dragged up into a Bonus Area.

A new type of Bonus Area is introduced in the game. In it, the Kongs' collected Kong Tokens are shot out of a revolving Barrel Cannon. The cannon fires out one Kong Token a time, if DK or Diddy jump on a ground switch. By collecting a Kong Token, the Kongs win an extra life. The only other type, which is also the most common one, involves the active Kong trying to reach the end goal, much like "Find the Exit!" from Donkey Kong Country.

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

Dixie in a Collect the Stars! challenge in Hot-Head Hop from Donkey Kong Country 2

In Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, Bonus Areas are entered much like in its predecessors, except that the Auto-Fire Barrels leading to a Bonus Area were replaced with Bonus Barrels. Every level has between one to three Bonus Areas. The types of Bonus Areas were narrowed down to three, none of which reappeared from Donkey Kong Country. Each type is a time-based challenge that the Kongs must complete to be rewarded with a Kremkoin. In the Lost World, every level only has a single Bonus Area, with a DK Coin as a reward (given that Kremkoins' purpose is to unlock a level of the Lost World). Bonus Areas were also featured in Donkey Kong Land 2 where their role is unchanged, and the same three types were retained.

The Bonus Area types first received their own title card each in Donkey Kong Country 2, and the title cards were retained for Donkey Kong Land 2:

Type Description
DKC2 Collect the Stars.gif DKL2 Collect the Stars.png
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 featured than the amount required, for example in Haunted Hall.
DKC2 Destroy Them All.gif DKL2 Destroy Them All.png
Destroy Them All!
Diddy and Dixie must defeat all of the enemies to make the Kremkoin appear then collect it. This type is the equivalent of "Bash the Baddies!" from Donkey Kong Country. In the Game Boy Advance port, an enemy counter was added at the top-left corner of the screen (next to the head icon of a Kremling) to show the number of enemies yet to be defeated.
DKC2 Find the Token.gif DKL2 Find the Token.png
Find the Token! / Find the Kremkoin! (GBA)
Based on "Find the Exit!" from Donkey Kong Country, Diddy and Dixie must go through the Bonus Area and collect the Kremkoin at the other side before the time runs out.

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

Dixie and Kiddy in a "Collect 50 Stars!" Bonus Area in Lakeside Limbo from Donkey Kong Country 3.

In Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!, Bonus Areas have a similar role as in Donkey Kong Country 2, except that all of them are accessed by entering a Bonus Barrel and none from breaking open a wall. The reward for completing a Bonus Area was changed from a Kremkoin to a Bonus Coin. There is always a consistent number of two Bonus Areas per level, except for Krematoa, where the number of Bonus Areas varies from zero to three. Rocket Rush is the only level without any Bonus Areas. All the Bonus Areas from the previous game returned (although with different titles), and a fourth, new type was introduced, "Grab 15 Bananas!". "Collect the Stars!" was renamed to feature the number of stars in the title, for example, "Collect 50 Stars".

In Donkey Kong Land III, the Bonus Areas have a similar role as in Donkey Kong Country 3, except that Grab 15 Bananas! is not featured. Therefore, every Bonus Area type is the same as in Donkey Kong Country 2 and Donkey Kong Land 2, even going as far to retain the original names (except for "Bash the Baddies!"). An extra exclamation mark was added in each Bonus Area's title, except "Collect the Stars!".

Type Description
Bash the Baddies.png DKL3 Bash the Baddies.png
Bash the Baddies!
The successor of "Destroy Them All!" from Donkey Kong Country 2.
DKC3 Collect Stars.png DKL3 Collect the Stars.png
Collect __ Stars! (DKC3) / Collect the Stars! (DKL3)
The successor to "Collect the Stars!" from Donkey Kong Country 2. The number of stars to collect is displayed from the title card.
DKC3 Find the Coin.png DKL3 Find the Token.png
Find the Coin! (DKC3) / Find the Token! (DKL3)
The successor of "Find the Kremkoin!" from Donkey Kong Country 2. Dixie and Kiddy must go to the end of a Bonus Area and obtain its Bonus Coin.
DKC3 Grab 15 Bananas.png
Grab 15 Bananas!
In this Bonus Level, a green Banana spawns at one of few possible locations. After a few seconds, the banana flickers then disappears, and the next banana appears. When the Kongs collect a banana, the next one automatically spawns for them to collect. After collecting all 15 green bananas, a Bonus Coin appears for the Kongs to collect.

Donkey Kong 64[edit]

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

Bonus Areas return in Donkey Kong 64, where they were renamed to Bonus Stages. Most Bonus Stages 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: Stop the four reels of the slot machine on four bananas to earn a point. The player must do this a required number of times to win.
  • Beaver Bother: The player controls a Klaptrap and tries to chase the Gnawties into the hole in the center of the barrel. Klaptrap must be careful not to fall into the hole itself, else it automatically loses at the mini-game.
  • Big Bug Bash: The player must use a fly swatter to swat a given number of flies within the time limit.
  • Busy Barrel Barrage: Standing the middle of a big barrel, the Kong must fire ammo at incoming Kremlings. The Kong loses if hit by an enemy.
  • Krazy Kong Klamor: Lights repeatedly flicker on and off. When they turn on, the player must shoot at Golden Banana while avoiding the Kongs.
  • Kremling Kosh: The player uses a watermelon-firing cannon to shoot at Kritters who pop out out from the barrels. Normal, green Kremlings are worth one point, while red ones are worth two points. The player's objective is to shoot the required number before time runs out.
  • Mad Maze Maul: The active Kong must defeat every enemy in a maze and then cross the finish line.
  • Mine Cart Ride: In a mine cart, try to collect the required number of coins before the exit.
  • Minecart Mayhem: The active Kong rides around in a Mine Cart and must avoid being hit by moving TNT Barrels by switching lanes until time runs out.
  • Peril Path Panic: The objective is to fire watermelons at the Klap Traps to temporarily subdue them, allowing the Banana Fairies to safely cross the path.
  • Searchlight Seek: Using a spotlight, the player locate the Klaptraps and then fire at it.
  • Speedy Swing Sortie: The active Kong must climb up a tree and swing from vines to collect the coins.
  • Splish Splash Salvage: The active Kong must swim all the way down a large barrel and collect all the coins below.
  • Stash Snatch: While going around a maze, the player must collect all the coins while avoiding Kremlings and then cross the finish line.
  • Stealthy Snoop: The player must go through a maze and find the finish line while avoiding the Kops, who shine their flashlight onto the Kong.
  • Teetering Turtle Trouble: Turtles are spinning around on the snakes' tails. To keep them spinning, the player must shoot a melon into a snake's mouth.

Enguarde and Rambi each have an unlockable mini-game (somewhat in the style of a Bonus Stage) that can be played from the main menu. The minigames are respectively titled Enguarde Arena and Rambi Arena. Both games can be unlocked after capturing six Banana Fairies in the main game. These Bonus Stages are somewhat similar to the ones from Donkey Kong Country that feature an Animal Friend, as an Animal Friend are also the main feature of both mini-games.

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.

Names in other languages[edit]

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

References[edit]

  1. Nintendo Power Issue 66, page 11.
  2. "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
  3. "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
  4. "I'm sure there must be some bonus rooms you haven't found!" – Cranky Kong in Donkey Kong Country
  5. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze North American digital manual Section 9
  6. "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
  7. "There are dozens of Bonus Levels found in Donkey Kong Country. Some are easy to find, while some are almost impossible. All will give you extra lives, bananas or other surprise items." – Donkey Kong Country SNES instruction booklet, page 23
  8. "Welcome to Bonus Stage!" -- Donkey Kong 64 announcer, when entering a Bonus Stage
  9. Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D digital manual Section 9
  10. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze PAL digital manual Section 9
  11. Nintendo Power Issue 68, page 56.