From the Super Mario Wiki, the Mario encyclopedia
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Rare Orbs, referred to as crystal balls in the Prima guide, are important collectible items that appear in Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D. They are differently colored depending on the world they appear in, with their color representing their world. They appear in each secret temple of the first eight worlds. The temples have to be unlocked by collecting the hidden K-O-N-G Letters in each of the other levels.
In order to get the Rare Orb, the Kongs must go to the end of the level. Each Rare Orb is placed on a pedestal which they float off of when a Kong goes near the pedestal. The Kongs can collect the Rare Orb by touching it; the level automatically ends when the Kongs collect the Rare Orb. Once they collect all eight Rare Orbs, the Kongs can unlock the entrance to the hidden Golden Temple. When the Kongs go to the Golden Temple, the Rare Orbs float into holes in the door, opening it.
In New Mode on the 3DS version, after the game is beaten, each of the Rare Orbs are found in Cranky Kong's Shop (one per world) and can be purchased after spending 50 Banana Coins instead of doing the temple levels. This totals up to a price of 400 Banana Coins for buying all 8 Rare Orbs.