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Precarious Plateau is the forty-second level in Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, as well as the fifth area in the Cliff world. A key from Cranky Kong's Shop is required to access it.
With Rambi, Donkey and Diddy Kong must travel across many falling platforms and dodge swinging boulders. Additionally, the level includes wooden bridges, which fall with the weight of the heroes, and big stone platforms and walls. Many of these stone platforms are held by ropes and slowly swing over gaps. The Kongs can ride on the stones to progress of the many abysses in this level. Like other cliff-themed levels, the primates can find many dinosaur bones lying all over the stage in Precarious Plateau. Enemies in this level include Tiki Goons, Tiki Tanks, Tiki Buzzes, Flaming Tiki Buzzes, Tiki Zings, and Flaming Tiki Zings.
In the Time Attack mode of the game, a time of 1:00:00 is needed to get a gold medal, a time of 1:13:00 for silver, and a time of 1:59:00 for bronze.
The level begins in a canyon-like background area, where Donkey Kong or Diddy Kong can find a cactus holding a Banana Coin. There is a high place with a Rambi crate on it above this, accessible by jumping on a nearby Tiki Buzz's head. After this a blue plant hiding a Puzzle Piece is found. Several rock platforms are ahead with wooden board on them. When the group stands on these, they crumble and fall, so they must cross them quickly. After the three platforms in a solid piece of ground. A boulder is hung here, swinging around the K letter. Another wooden platform is found near here, being protected by another boulder. A DK Barrel is here as well. The Kongs need to pass on other platforms, most of which are solid and have a single boulder swinging around them, to arrive in a ground part with a Tutorial Pig and a boulder the Tutorial Pig marks the checkpoint.
Farther ahead, the Kongs can find a slightly lower area of land with a cactus on it. Above the cactus is a swing boulder. After the Kongs climb a small ledge, they can find a bridge covered in Tiki Goons. The Kongs can find a switch that can destroy a wall immediately after this bridge, causing the wooden wall to fall. A Barrel Cannon is revealed when it is gone to let them access a background area of the level. The letter O is placed here, where there is a long set of falling bridge platforms. Tiki Tanks run all over this area, coming from holes in the rock wall from behind. Two platforms made of wood take the primates to a group of rock platforms set up like an energy transporter and a Barrel Cannon. This cannon shoots them to a piece of land with some Tiki Goons on it. The N letter is here, along with another two stone platforms, one of which falls with the Kongs' weight. Another Tutorial Pig is after these stone platforms to mark the checkpoint.
Many other stone and wood platforms are ahead. The first platform swings across a gap and takes the Kongs to a large, solid platform. Just ahead of this is a group of stone platforms, followed by wooden platforms. One last stone platform is after all of these, which is guarded by a Tiki Goon and a Flaming Tiki Buzz. On the other side of the gap next to this platform is a large area of land with a large switch on it. When the switch is hit a few times, a Barrel Cannon appears, along with a wall that Rambi can charge through to find a secret area full of collectibles. The Barrel Cannon takes the group to a place in the background with a lot of bananas and Tiki Zings orbiting around the area. Rambi can take out the normal Tiki Zings, but the Flaming Tiki Zings are immune to Rambi's attacks. After passing six groups of circling bananas and enemies, the Kongs can find the Slot Machine Barrel, which makes the level complete when hit.
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