Screaming Pillar

From the Super Mario Wiki, the Mario encyclopedia
Jump to navigationJump to search
Screaming Pillar
Concept artwork of a Screaming Pillar's falling animation
First appearance Donkey Kong Country Returns (2010)
Latest appearance Mario Kart Arcade GP DX (December 12, 2018 update) (2018)

Screaming Pillars are sentient and tall pillar-like structures that are members of the Tiki Tak Tribe, usually acting as obstacles. In most games, they are found asleep or overall inactive, until a certain action within their vicinity alerts them. Screaming Pillars startle very suddenly and might fall on the ground, crushing any creature lying underneath them and remaining completely inert afterwards.

Screaming Pillars resemble narrow stone totems, which display carved symbols. They are erected on semi-pyramidal stands and feature cracks towards their bottom, pointing out their precarious state of standing upright. Their serrated mouths, placed underneath a pair of empty sockets serving as eyes, are part of their facial features. A Screaming Pillar is adorned with tufts of feathers on both sides of their heads, which detach after the enemy has made a sudden movement.


Donkey Kong Country series[edit]

Donkey Kong Country Returns / Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D[edit]

In Donkey Kong Country Returns and its enhanced port, Screaming Pillars can be encountered throughout the Jungle, Ruins and Volcano areas and are initially seen idle. If the Kongs approach these pillars, they awake with a scream and collapse onto the ground, potentially crushing any creature standing beneath them, including the Kongs; their feathers also detach during their sudden awakening. Should a pillar fall onto the Kongs, they lose one heart from their health counter. The Kongs can destroy a Screaming Pillar by ground pounding its body after it has fallen. Sometimes, Screaming Pillars might give out precious items, such as Banana Coins or even Puzzle Pieces, after getting destroyed.

Screaming Pillars react to the Kongs at different ranges. Some of them only topple if the Kongs are within very close range, such as in Wonky Waterway, while others are able to locate the primates further and then fall, as seen in Damp Dungeon. A level called Five Monkey Trial contains several Screaming Pillars which collapse regardless of the Kongs' close presence, and also instantly break upon hitting the ground without the heroes' intervention.

A larger variant is present in the levels Canopy Cannons and the Nintendo 3DS-exclusive Crushin' Columns. Their scream is much louder and more intense, and they take out the Kongs completely when falling onto them.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze[edit]

Flaming Falling Totem Poles
Two awakened Flaming Falling Totem Poles from Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Screaming Pillars, now referred to as Flaming Falling Totem Poles in the Prima guide,[1] return in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and its Nintendo Switch port. When awakened, they expel flames out of their eyes and mouth before falling to the ground. Like in the previous game, they are able to crush the Kongs as they fall, but can be destroyed with three Ground Pounds once they have fallen. They only appear in Scorch 'n' Torch, where at one point a Flaming Falling Totem Pole crushes a stationary fire Archy, showing a capability to damage enemies as well as the Kongs.

Mario Kart 7[edit]

Screaming Pillars are obstacles in Mario Kart 7. They do not attack the player by collapsing on the ground, unlike before, and instead appear as obstacles on the DK Jungle racetrack. While usually dormant, they scream every once in a while, powerfully blowing air to push hanggliding players back. Their appearance has been slightly updated with the addition of stone eyebrows.

Regular Screaming Pillars have been replaced with the larger variants in the Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe rendition of DK Jungle. They exhale smoke while making noises.

Mario Golf: World Tour[edit]

Screaming Pillars are obstacles in Mario Golf: World Tour. They are encountered in DK Jungle only, near Hole 1 and Hole 9. Screaming Pillars occasionally pop strong air currents out of their mouths, which can push the golf ball in a direction. Big Screaming Pillars can also be seen near Hole 8.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U[edit]

In the E3 2013 trailer for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U, Screaming Pillars can be seen very briefly in the background when Donkey Kong is first seen. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U includes them as stage hazards on the Jungle Hijinxs stage, where the playable characters can topple them over to potentially fall over rival fighters.


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese さけぶ柱
Sakebu Hashira
Screaming Pillar

French (NOE) Pilier Hurlant
Howling Pillar
German Schreisäulen
Screaming Columns
Italian Pilastro urlante
Screaming pillar
Spanish (NOE) Pilar aullante
Howling Pillar


  1. ^ von Esmarch, Nick, and Cory van Grier (February 21, 2014). Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze PRIMA Official Game Guide. Prima Games. ISBN 978-0-804-16252-4. Page 26.