Tag Barrel

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Tag Barrel
Artwork of a Tag Barrel from Donkey Kong 64.
First appearance Donkey Kong 64 (1999)
“I'll just go and wait in the Tag Barrel until you need me.”
Diddy Kong, Donkey Kong 64

Tag Barrels are a type of barrel in Donkey Kong 64. They are used by the player to change to another Kong to play as, either Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Lanky Kong, Tiny Kong, or Chunky Kong. Each Kong has their head shown on a side of the barrel. If a Kong has not been rescued yet, the player cannot select them, and that Kong is instead represented by a question mark of their trademark color, even on the Tag Barrel itself.

Tag Barrels can be found in every level and the hub, DK Isles. There are usually five or seven Tag Barrels in every level, but DK Isles has ten of them (one in each of the eight lobbies, one in the main area, and one near Snide's H.Q.).

If a Kong jumps into a Tag Barrel, the game shifts to a black character-selection screen with the selected Kong beneath a spotlight. Each Kong acts as if they want to be selected and shows disappointment if they are not. While Chunky does so, by shouting, "Yoo hoo!" he acts cowardly and unwilling if the player highlights him, and he points to Tiny for the player to select. By highlighting another Kong, Chunky expresses relief. When used, Tag Barrels fully restore the Kongs' health, even if the player selects the same Kong, so Tag Barrels act somewhat as a substitute over melons.

A similar kind of barrel appears in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, where it spins between the DD, DX, & CK emblems (this barrel appears only in single-player mode, as all DD, DX, & CK Barrels are replaced by the normal DK Barrel).

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
French Tonneau Équipe
Team Barrel
Italian Barile di Scambio[1]
Exchange Barrel


  • When Donkey Kong or Chunky is highlighted, the instruments playing in the background are from the DK Rap (muted trumpets for Donkey Kong, timpani for Chunky), instead of the musical instrument each Kong gets from Candy Kong.
  • When Tiny is selected, the saxophone plays the theme of Ticker's Tower from Banjo-Kazooie. Also titled "Jungle" by the composer of both Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong 64, Grant Kirkhope, this theme was originally composed for Mumbo's Mountain with Ticker's Tower being an area within the level, still keeping its original theme after the level's theme changed.[citation needed]
  • Under normal circumstances, it is not possible to see the yellow question mark within a Tag Barrel, because once Donkey Kong presses the switch and leaves the training area, he is considered freed by the game and thus is selectable. However, with the aid of glitches, it is possible to see the Tag Barrel with all five question marks.


  1. ^ Donkey Kong 64 English-Italian manual, pag. 38