- This article is about the fourth world in Donkey Kong Country Returns. For the Subspace Emissary stage in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, see The Cave.
|Game||Donkey Kong Country Returns (3D)|
|<< List of worlds >>|
- “I've been trying to figure out just what they mine in those mines, but I've got nothing.”
- —Cranky Kong, Donkey Kong Country Returns
The Cave is the fourth world of Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D. As the name suggests, the levels take place in the caverns. Excluding the secret level, Jagged Jewels, every level in this world either involves the Kongs riding in Mine Carts or Rocket Barrels. In both level types, the main enemies are Mole Miners and Mole Guards, who often change the Kongs' surroundings and attack them often. The Cave shares similarities to Chimp Caverns from Donkey Kong Country. When asked if they were the same location, senior designer Kynan Pearson approved of the idea.
The cave, as its name suggests, takes place underground, and all its levels appear as such. From the world map, the cave is rather small, featuring five main levels, the boss level, the secret level, and Cranky's Shop. Strangely, it appears to not be underground at all, as if the player uses the "Free Look" option on the map and positions the camera like a bird's-eye view, it has no visible ceiling, likely so it is easier to see. It also appears to be the home world of the Mole Miners, as various houses can be seen in Bombs Away and Mole Patrol. A crystal mine also serves as the setting of Bombs Away, where various collapsing crystals appear.
|Code||Name/Screenshot||No. of Puzzle Pieces||Description|
|5||A stage where the Kongs have to trek a series of fragile railways inside a minecart.|
Grip 'n' Trip
|5||A level where the Kongs journey from minecarts to large locomotives that hold metallic girders, which ferry the Kongs over abysses.|
|5||A minecart stage where the Kongs venture inside a crystal mine. A Mole Guard throws bombs onto the railtrack in an attempt to hinder the characters.|
|5||The second Rocket Barrel stage of the game, weaving through a mine populated by moles.|
|5||The third Rocket Barrel stage, located inside the home of the Squeekly family.|
|5||The fourth temple stage of the game, featuring various spike mechanisms.|
The Mole Train
|0||The fourth boss stage in the game, taking place on a series of banana-filled minecarts. After fighting three waves of Mole Miners, the Kongs face their leader, Mole Miner Max.|
The following is extra content that can be unlocked in the Cave. The unlockables can be seen in their respective galleries after selecting the "EXTRAS" option in a file's menu. For a full list of extras in the game, see here.
Images are unlocked by collecting all Puzzle Pieces in certain levels. All images that can be unlocked in the Cave are listed below, along with their titles and the levels wherein they can be unlocked (mentioned in parentheses).
A soundtrack selection for this world can be unlocked after beating Mole Miner Max.
- "Mine Cart Cruise" – plays in Grip 'n' Trip. It is an arrangement of "Mine Cart Madness" from Donkey Kong Country.
- "Mine Menace" – plays in Crowded Cavern; also plays in Peaceful Pier earlier in the game, and Gear Getaway later.
- "Rickety Rails" – plays in Rickety Rails and Bombs Away; also plays in the Cloud level, Mischievous Moles.
Names in other languages