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Perilous Passage is the forty-sixth level in Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, as well as the ninth level in the Cliff world. It is a secret level because it can only be unlocked by collecting all of the K-O-N-G Letters in the said world. As a result, it has no K-O-N-G Letters in it and is not required to reach the final boss.
This level takes place in a temple, where Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong must climb up an area that is full of hot lava. As they climb, the lava rises. They must travel upwards by using many falling platforms and springs, while avoiding several enemies, such as electric insect foes and Firebites. The Kongs are followed by the electric insects throughout the whole second half of the level, while Firebites attack them from the walls. The level also features some platforms with spikes on them.
In the Time Attack mode of the game, a time of 1:49:00 is needed to get a gold medal, a time of 1:50:00 for silver, and a time of 1:55:00 for bronze.
The Kongs begin this level by running up a straight pathway leading to a spring. When they bounce to a platform above this, the lava begins to rise. A platform also falls next to an urn here, and the Kongs can climb up on it. The taller platforms hanging besides this platform also fall for the primates to use to climb the area. They must continue up by jumping along two thin platforms in the middle of the area, as large stone platforms fall next to them. One of these thin platforms are connected to a wall. When the heroes get on it another platform falls for them to climb on, while a Firebite attacks by hovering across the wall. The Kongs can cross the area with the platform and continue upwards with more of these falling platforms. Firebites continue to line the walls as the heroes climb left and right on the falling structures. When the heroes make it to the final falling platforms in the first half of the level, they can find a thin platform hanging on the wall.
After a Firebite passes around it, they can use the platform to reach a higher area, where there are many platforms moving in a horizontal path. Some of them have spikes under or on top of them. When the Kongs climb the three rows of these platforms, they reach a tight area with a candle and an electric insect enemy.
They must pass this foe and climb up to another platform above. Another electric foe is here, who partners up with the last bug. When the heroes pass through this small hallway, they can reach a higher area with spring on the end of it. When the primates bounce on it and reach the above ground, the electric insects disappear, but the lava continues to rise. Platforms begin to fall again here. The first platform that falls is surrounded by two others that are twice as thin. Springs rise from the lava when the heroes reach this point. The primates must bounce along the springs as they rise while dodging a pesky bug enemy that constantly follows them. As they go, thin platforms line the walls in the middle of the area, but they are infested with Firebites. When the Kongs finally make their way to the top of the area, they can find a Barrel Cannon. It shoots them high up to a hallway where the orange Rare Orb can be found. When Donkey or Diddy get this orb the level ends.
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