Star (Donkey Kong Country series)
From the Super Mario Wiki, the Mario encyclopedia
Stars are small, star-shaped medals that appear in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!, and their respective Game Boy counterparts, Donkey Kong Land 2 and Donkey Kong Land III. They are only featured in the "Collect the Stars!" Bonus Level challenges.
In every game, the Kongs' objective is to collect all the stars within the Time Limit. A counter is displayed at the upper-left corner of the screen, and it shows how many stars that the Kongs still have to collect. When the Kongs collect all the stars, either a Kremkoin or Bonus Coin (depending on the game) appears somewhere in the Bonus Level, and the Kongs must obtain it during the remaining time. In some rare cases, such as the second Bonus Level of Haunted Hall in Donkey Kong Country 2, there are more stars than what the counter displays at the start.
In the original Super Nintendo Entertainment System release of Donkey Kong Country 3, if the player has the "MERRY" cheat activated, all stars transform into Christmas ornaments. This is only an aesthetic difference, and their role remains unchanged.