Donkey Kong Wiki

Artwork of Bonus Barrel from the game Donkey Kong Country 2.

"This special Barrel Kannon will send you through time and space to a Bonus Area. There may be one or more in any given stage."
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest Player's Guide (SNES version)[1]

Bonus Barrels are special barrels used to access Bonus Rooms throughout some Donkey Kong series games.


Donkey Kong Country and Donkey Kong Land series[]

Initially, in the Super Family Computer/Super Nintendo Entertainment System and Game Boy Color versions of the game Donkey Kong Country and the game Donkey Kong Land, there are just regular Autofire Barrels that, when entered, would automatically launch the Kongs into a Bonus Room. However, it was Donkey Kong Country 2 that introduced the Bonus Barrels' design, which was kept for Donkey Kong Land 2, Donkey Kong Country 3, and Donkey Kong Land III. They seem barrels made out of wood and are usually recognized by displaying a large "B" and explosion symbol in the center. Additionally, in Donkey Kong Country 3, some Bonus Barrels do not work as typical Barrel Cannons, and they just morph their logo and teleport the primates away, instead of blasting them off. This change would later be carried over all Bonus Barrels added to the Game Boy Advance version of Donkey Kong Country, and in the GBA versions of Donkey Kong Country 2 and Donkey Kong Country 3.

In the Donkey Kong Country and Donkey Kong Land series games where they appear, Bonus Barrels were scattered throughout nearly every regular stage, with some locations containing one, two or even three barrels. Besides Bonus Barrels, there are also Kannons and Kannonballs to enter some Bonus Rooms in Donkey Kong Country 2 and Donkey Kong Land 2. After accessing a proper Bonus Barrel, a screen preceding the Bonus Rooms will show the objective inside them, such as collecting all items, defeating all enemies or reaching the end. In Donkey Kong Country and Donkey Kong Land, the heroes clearing Bonus Rooms usually earn them optional collectables. However, in later games, the Bonus Rooms possess time limits for completing the challenges and the Kongs are rewarded with single special coins. In Donkey Kong Country 2 and Donkey Kong Land 2, Bonus Rooms contain Kremkoins, with exception of rooms in the stages of the Lost World which have DK Coins. In Donkey Kong Country 3 and Donkey Kong Land III, the rewards of Bonus Rooms are Bonus Coins. After leaving the Bonus Rooms, the primates are sent back to the regular stages, usually some point after the entrance of the rooms. The Autofire Barrels for accessing Bonus Rooms in Donkey Kong Land and the SFC/SNES and GBC versions of Donkey Kong Country will disappear after used once, but they reappear by re-entering the current stages or restarting sections of them. However, Bonus Barrels in later games and versions will usually continue to be present at same locations inside stages, and if they are at the reach of the heroes, the barrels can be used to enter Bonus Rooms for unlimited times even if the rooms are already clear.

In the games Donkey Kong Country Returns, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, except for some Autofire Barrels, sometimes sporting skulls, for accessing Bonus Rooms, there are no proper Bonus Barrels.

Donkey Kong 64[]

Barrel banana

Bonus Barrel's artwork from the game Donkey Kong 64 for Nintendo 64.

In the game Donkey Kong 64, the physical appearance of Bonus Barrels is different. Instead of the "B" on the wooden barrel, a picture of a Golden Banana is on them, and when approached, purple sparkles appear around them. When a playable Kong jumps into one of these, they are teleported to a Bonus Stage consisting of a timed minigame which rewards them a single Golden Banana. If the player fails to clear the Bonus Stages, it is usually possible to enter the same Bonus Barrels and play the minigames again. But if the respective Golden Bananas are earned, the Bonus Barrels will explode soon after sending the primates back to the current level, making impossible to re-enter the same Bonus Stages.

In the level Hideout Helm, there are ten unique Bonus Barrels. They are metallic looking with King K. Rool's face on them. The challenges of these Bonus Barrels are not optional and must be cleared in order to stop the Blast-O-Matic machine from firing and destroying the DK Island. By successfully completing these Bonus Stages, the primates receive single Banana Medals, instead of Golden Bananas. Similar to regular Bonus Barrels, these barrels will also break apart for good after their respective challenges are completed and the heroes are sent back to the level.

DK: Jungle Climber[]

Bonus Barrels make their latest appearance in the game DK: Jungle Climber. Here, they are again Barrel Cannons made out of wood and sporting a "B" over an explosion symbol. There are only single Bonus Barrels per stage and they only give access to the Bonus Game Banana Bonanza, a minigame to collect bananas and earn extra lives within a time limit. That way, finding and entering Bonus Barrels is optional. After the Bonus Games, Donkey Kong (and Diddy Kong if he was present as an assist character before) will reappear at the current stages next to the location of the Bonus Barrels, but the barrels will disappear. By re-entering these stages or restarting the section of them, the respective Bonus Barrels will reappear.