Surface Tension is the sixteenth level in Donkey Kong Land III. Located in the north of Blackforest Plateau, it takes place on the banks of the river that meanders through the area. The vegetation, unlike in Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!'s river levels, is rather short and sparse, as it mostly consists of small conifers, mushrooms, and lichen.
During this level, Dixie Kong and Kiddy Kong must thread their way on the river banks, through hordes of enemies. Surface Tension is quite similar to Riverbank Riot, but it features many more baddies, making it slightly harder. Although they are likely to be very cold, since the northern area of Blackforest Plateau is occupied by taigas, the waters are infested with Kocos and Bounty Basses, along with a single Lurchin. On the banks, the Kongs encounter Buzzes, Krimps, Krumples, Bristles, and Sneeks. Surface Tension is noted for offering the option between a land or sea route, which eventually conforms into a land route in the last stretch of the level.
This level's name is a pun of a property of the surface of water.
If Kiddy and Dixie head left after beginning the level, they will meet two Buzzes and a Krimp and have access to a Bonus Barrel. To the right is a straight pathway into a river of water. Crossing the river, the apes clamber down a rigid passageway, grabbing the letter K and dodging several enemies. Soon, they make their way into another pool of water and swim across to get back on another area of land. Again, they run across a rather flat pathway while dodging enemies. They eventually move into the letter O and cross a gap to find some ledges. Dropping down on these ledges, they soon find the next pool of water. Because the river at this point is not to large, the apes are able to jump across it and hit the nearby Star Barrel.
About halfway through the level, the road becomes filled with gaps of water. The Kongs need to cross these gaps while avoiding some Buzzes and then move up a slanted pathway. At the top of this pathway, the heroes pass a few more Buzzes to find a barrel. The barrel blasts them across another abyss and to the letter N. Farther on, Dixie and Kiddy travel down a series of slanted pathways, avoiding enemies such as Krimps and Buzzes. Shortly after collecting the letter G, they can find a flagpole. If they touch the flagpole, they are taken to the next level.
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Names in other languages