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 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 The Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023)
“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

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

In Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! a Rocket Barrel is used throughout the final level, Rocket Rush. Here, Dixie Kong and Kiddy Kong must use the Rocket Barrel to slowly descend the cliffside. The Rocket Barrel runs on limited fuel, and a meter is displayed on the right side of the screen show the amount of fuel remaining. The fuel supply can only be replenished by Fuel Drums. In the Game Boy Advance version, the fuel meter was expanded and made more visible: the red represents how much fuel was used while green represents the amount remaining.

The Rocket Barrel slowly descends in the level, and the Kongs can move the Rocket Barrel either left or right, and the player can press A Button (or defeat a Buzz with the exhaust) to release exhaust fuel from the Rocket Barrel, though doing so causes it to run out of fuel faster. Midway during the level, the Kongs hit into an Ignition Barrel, causing the Rocket Barrel to rapidly blast upward. During this part, the player must control the Rocket Barrel through the small gaps of the cliffside. If the Rocket Barrel hits into any of the walls, it runs out of fuel much faster. Dixie and Kiddy eventually reach the landing platform, where they get out of the Rocket Barrel and finish the level.

In the Super Nintendo Entertainment System version, the Rocket Barrel can defeat Buzzes; only red Buzzes appear in the aforementioned version's level. Additionally, the Rocket Barrel is immune to damage from bumping into Buzzes in the SNES version. However, if the rocket descends too quickly, it will break, resulting in an immediate loss of a life regardless of having both Kongs. In the Game Boy Advance version, the player can only defeat green Buzzes by pressing left or right on the +Control Pad or A Button to use exhaust near them. The red Buzzes are unaffected by the Rocket Barrel entirely and must only be avoided by the Kongs. If the Rocket Barrel hits into either type of Buzz in the GBA version, the player loses a Kong.

A similar type of barrel, the Booster Barrels, appear in the level Rocket Barrel Ride.

Donkey Kong Country Returns[edit]

Donkey Kong moving a Rocket Barrel between pistons in Gear Getaway

The Rocket Barrel reappears in Donkey Kong Country Returns where it is entirely redesigned with red-colored hoops and fins, and it no longer runs on Fuel Drums. Initially, the Rocket Barrel 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 launches and brings the Kongs outward, gaining a rocket-like pointy top.

In side-scrolling levels, the player 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. Like with the Mine Cart, if the Kongs crash into something, the Rocket Barrel explodes, and the Kongs will instantly lose a life. In the 3DS remake, the Rocket Barrel can take an extra hit if Donkey Kong purchases and equips a Crash Guard from Cranky Kong's Shop, though this extra hit will not respawn if he dies.

When using the Wii Remote alone, the Two Button button is used to ascend. In vertical-scrolling levels, the player can use Nunchuk Control Stick to move left or right, and repeatedly press the A Button button to gain more speed. When using only the Wii Remote, +Control Pad left or right is used to move left or right, and the Two Button button is used to move faster. The Rocket Barrel usually appears in side-scrolling levels except for Lift-off Launch and the first part of Tiki Tong Terror prior to the final battle. There are two themes associated with the Rocket Barrel, 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, weaving between several snowballs tossed in the air
The Kongs on the Rocket Barrel in Blurry Flurry

The Rocket Barrel also appears in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and its Nintendo Switch port. It is mostly the same as in Donkey Kong Country Returns but can take up to two hits before exploding (three in the Nintendo Switch port's Funky Mode), which can once again be further extended by means of the returning Crash Guard. Likewise, the player can collect Hearts on the way to restore part of the vehicle's hit points. In Hard Mode, the Rocket Barrel explodes from taking one hit, just like in Donkey Kong Country Returns.

"Mine Menace" is once again utilized as the main music track in the Rocket Barrel stages, but this time the theme's instrument composition varies between each level.


Donkey Kong Country television series[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.

Donkey Kong Barrel Blast[edit]

In Donkey Kong Barrel Blast, a fleet of Rocket Barrels appear in the background in Cosmic Highway, where they attempt to fire homing missiles at the racers and slow them. The Rocket Barrels cannot be destroyed. During one section of the course, the racers enter a giant Rocket Barrel through one side and exit the other.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie[edit]

Donkey Kong fires one of the Rocket Barrels from his kart to destroy the Koopa General's bulldozer as it approaches
Donkey Kong firing one of his kart's Rocket Barrels at the Koopa General's bulldozer in The Super Mario Bros. Movie
Rocket Barrel in The Super Mario Bros. Movie.
Donkey Kong and Mario riding the other Rocket Barrel

In The Super Mario Bros. Movie, a pair of Rocket Barrels, retaining their design from Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (with the addition of a stylized depiction of Donkey Kong's face charred on the sides), appear as part of Donkey Kong's kart. Donkey Kong uses one to destroy the Koopa General's kart on Rainbow Road, and Mario and Donkey Kong later use the other Rocket Barrel to escape from a Maw-Ray.


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ロケットバレル
Roketto Bareru
Rocket Barrel

French (NOE) Tonneau-fusée
Rocket barrel
Italian Razzo barile
Rocket barrel
Spanish Barril cohete
Rocket barrel