Surface Tension

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Surface Tension
Surface Tension DKL3c.png
World-Level 3-4
Game Donkey Kong Land III
<< List of levels >>

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.


Name Count
Krimp DKL3c sprite.png
Buzz DKL3c sprite.png
Knik-Knak DKL3c sprite.png
Koco DKL3c sprite.png
Bristles DKL3c sprite.png
Krumple DKL3c sprite.png
Lurchin DKL3c sprite.png
Bounty Bass DKL3c sprite.png
Bounty Bass
Sneek DKL3c sprite.png

Items and objects[edit]

Name Count
DK Barrel DKL3c sprite.png
DK Barrel
Bear Coin DKLIII Sprite.png
Bear Coin
Steel Barrel DKL3c sprite.png
Steel Barrel


Bonus Levels[edit]

Image Type and description
Surface Tension Bonus Level 1.png Bash the Baddies!
After starting the level, Dixie or Kiddy should head to the left. If they sneak under two Buzzes without hitting the nearby Krimp, they can find a Bonus Barrel. It fires them into a Bonus Level where they need to bounce off of a few Niknaks to cross a pool of water. If they make it to the end of the area in less than fifteen seconds after defeating every enemy, they can find a Bonus Coin.
Surface Tension Bonus Level 2.png Find the Token!
About halfway into the level, the heroes find the letter O over a small gap. If they drop into the area right behind the letter, they land in a hidden Bonus Barrel. Once it blasts them into the special stage, they need to run across a long pathway, avoiding Buzzes. After they reach the end of that area, they fall into a river and swim west through a wide trench. If they make it to the end of this trench undamaged in less than twenty-five seconds, they earn another Bonus Coin.

DK Coin[edit]

Screenshot Location
Surface Tension DKL3c Koin.png After the letter N, the Kongs can enter a Barrel Cannon. It blasts them to a platform with a Steel Barrel on it. If the Kongs carry this barrel down the ledge to the left, they should find a Koin with the DK Coin. It can be defeated by standing on its shield, then throwing the Steel Barrel into the nearest wall. The barrel should bounce back and hit the Koin, who then releases its DK Coin.

K-O-N-G Letters[edit]

Letter Location
Letter K DKL3c.png To the right of the first Bristles
Letter O DKL3c.png Above a gap next to three Krumples
Letter N DKL3c.png Obtained after using a Barrel Cannon near the Koin
Letter G DKL3c.png To the right of a Buzz near the end of the level


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ひょうめんのドキドキ
Hyoumen no Doki Doki
Heart-Pounding Surface