|First appearance||Donkey Kong 64 (1999)|
- “Squawk! Nice going, DK. That looks like one of the keys to K. Lumsy's cage! Bwark!”
- —Squawks the Parrot, Donkey Kong 64
Boss Keys are items in Donkey Kong 64 that each unlock one of the numbered padlocks of K. Lumsy's cage. There are eight Boss Keys, and as their name suggests, each is guarded by a boss. The Kongs can obtain each one by defeating a boss, except the eighth and final one, which is located in Hideout Helm, behind a steel door in King K. Rool's throne room. The Nintendo Coin and Rareware Coin are both needed to open it. Army Dillo and Dogadon are fought twice, which means each of them carry two Boss Keys.
After opening a padlock, K. Lumsy boisterously celebrates and causes a heavy tremor. This usually opens previously-blocked entrances to other levels. After using all eight Boss Keys, the cage containing K. Lumsy lifts, and he is freed.
Obtaining Key 8 in a certain way might prevent it from saving to the inventory. If the Kongs revisit Hideout Helm, the Boss Key respawns.
- Key 1 opens Angry Aztec
- Key 2 opens Frantic Factory and Gloomy Galleon
- Key 4 opens Fungi Forest
- Key 5 opens Crystal Caves and Creepy Castle
- Keys 6 and 7 open Hideout Helm
- Keys 3 and 8 unlock the final battle with King K. Rool
- Exchord. (May 5, 2014). Avoiding Fake Key. YouTube. Retrieved September 19, 2023.