Star (Donkey Kong Country series)
From the Super Mario Wiki
Stars are small, star-shaped medals that are always found in large quantities, that appear in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, Donkey Kong Land 2, Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!, and Donkey Kong Land III.
Appearing only in certain Bonus Areas, the objective for the Kongs in both games is to collect as many Stars as they can, which, in most cases, is all of them. However, there is always a Time Limit that they must beat. In the upper left corner of the screen, there is a counter which will display how many Stars the Kongs have yet to find. Collecting all the Stars can be either fairly easy, or tough, especially in Bonus Areas where the Kongs are forced along at a high speed.
If the player has the "MERRY" cheat activated, all Stars become Christmas ornaments, which serve the same purpose.