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
Donkey Kong Country Returns / Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D
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.
Noteworthy is that 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
Screaming Pillars, now referred to as Flaming Falling Totem Poles in the Prima guide, 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
Screaming Pillars make a return in Mario Kart 7. However, they do not attack the player by collapsing on the ground, instead appearing 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.
Mario Golf: World Tour
Screaming Pillars appear on the DK Jungle golf course in Mario Golf: World Tour. Much like in Mario Kart 7, they occasionally pop strong air currents out of their mouths, which can push the golf ball in a direction. Screaming Pillars are present near Hole 1 and Hole 9. Big Screaming Pillars can also be seen near Hole 8.
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U
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.
Screaming Pillars in the Jungle diorama in Donkey Kong Country Returns
A Flaming Falling Totem Pole about to crush a fire Archy
Names in other languages
|French (NOE)||Pilier Hurlant||Howling Pillar|
|Italian||Pilastro urlante||Screaming pillar|
|Spanish (NOE)||Pilar aullante||Howling Pillar|
- von Esmarch, Nick, and Cory van Grier. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze PRIMA Official Game Guide. Page 26.