Rocket Barrel

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This article is about a type of barrel in Donkey Kong Country Returns. For Diddy Kong's jetpack, see Rocketbarrel Boost.
“Rocket what? In my day, we had to walk uphill both ways to get around the island!”
Cranky Kong, Donkey Kong Country Returns instruction booklet
Rocket Barrel
Rocket Barrel DKCTF.png
A Rocket Barrel from Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

First appearance

Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! (1996)

Latest appearance

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Nintendo Switch) (2018)

The Rocket Barrel is a special barrel that allows the Kongs to fly through the air.


Donkey Kong Country series[edit]

Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble![edit]

The Rocket Barrel over a few red Buzzes in the Game Boy Advance version of Donkey Kong Country 3

They are first found in the final level of Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!, known as Rocket Rush. This special barrel must be used by Dixie and Kiddy Kong to travel through the Buzz infested cliffs. The apes can control the rocket to move left and right, and they can also hit A Button to use the exhaust fuel. However, doing so causes the barrel to run out of fuel faster, which can only be replenished by Fuel Barrels. After the monkeys maneuver to the bottom of the cliff, they hit into an Ignition Barrel and quickly begin to ride upwards. The Rocket Barrel must then be controlled as it slides through the small gaps of the cliffside. If they hit into any of the walls in the gaps, they run out of fuel much faster. Eventually, they should make it to the landing platform and get out of the Rocket Barrel to finish off the level.

In the Super Nintendo version of the game, the Rocket Barrel can simply defeat any type of Buzz by making contact with it. In the Game Boy Advance version, however, the player can only defeat Buzzes by pressing left and right on the +Control Pad or A Button to use exhaust near them. However, this only works with green Buzzes, so the red Buzzes scattered throughout the level cannot be defeated at all in the Game Boy Advance version. If the Rocket Barrel runs into them, one of the apes will get damaged.

Another type of rocket barrel found in both versions of the game was in the level Rocket Barrel Ride. Known as Booster Barrels, these barrels carried up the Kongs to higher platforms, or to help the player find certain secrets.

Donkey Kong Country Returns[edit]

Donkey Kong moving a Rocket Barrel between pistons in Gear Getaway

The Rocket Barrel makes a reappearance in Donkey Kong Country Returns, having been redesigned to display red-colored hoops and fins. Initially, it takes the shape of a Barrel Cannon, waiting in place for the Kongs to drop inside it. The player has to repeatedly press the A Button button to power it up, after which it will launch and bring the Kongs outward, gaining a rocket-like pointy top. The Kongs can hold the A Button button to rise up, and let go of A Button to let the Rocket Barrel descend. Doing so is necessary to avoid obstacles and collect items. If the Kongs hit something, the Rocket Barrel explodes and the Kongs will lose an Extra Life Balloon. When using the Wii Remote alone, the Two Button button is used to ascend instead.

The Rocket Barrel has two themes, titled "Mine Menace" and "Mole Patrol", which play in different levels. The latter has a variation, titled "Red Rockin'", which only plays in Tiki Tong Terror.


Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze[edit]

The Kongs on the Rocket Barrel in Blurry Flurry

The Rocket Barrel also appears in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, but can now take up to two hits before exploding. Likewise, the player can collect Hearts on the way to restore part the vehicle's hit points. However, in Hard Mode, much like in Donkey Kong Country Returns, it explodes upon taking damage even once.


Donkey Kong Barrel Blast[edit]

Rocket Barrels reappear in the racing title Donkey Kong Barrel Blast. Here, a fleet of them appear in the race course Cosmic Highway, and they will fire homing missiles at the racers and attempt to slow them down. One giant Rocket Barrel is also entered, and the racers fly through its interior before exiting the Rocket Barrel. Since the fleet of Rocket Barrels are in the background, they cannot be destroyed.

Other appearances[edit]

The Donkey Kong Country television series also features a rocket-like barrel referred to as the Barrel Rocket. In the episode "Barrel, Barrel... Who's Got the Barrel", it is used by Bluster Barrelworks to deliver barrels. In the later episode "To the Moon Baboon", the Rocket Barrel is used to transport several items to the moon as a time capsule.


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ロケットバレル
Rocket Barrel
Spanish Barril cohete Rocket barrel