Donkey Kong Wiki

A "Stop the Barrel!" Bonus Stage as seen in the game Donkey Kong Country for SFC/SNES.

"There are dozens of Bonus Stages found in Donkey Kong Country. Some are easy to find, while some are almost impossible. All will give you extra lives, bananas or other surprise items."
Donkey Kong Country Instruction Booklet (SNES version)[1]

Bonus Stages, also known as Bonus Areas or Bonus Rooms, are secret areas found inside most of the stages in the Donkey Kong Country game series and later games as well. Bonus Stages are minigames that yield rewards when completed successfully. These rewards are usually important collectables.


Donkey Kong Country

First appearing in the game Donkey Kong Country, Bonus Stages are usually accessible via specific Autofire Barrels or secret entrances on some walls. These entrances can be open by the Kongs throwing Barrels at them, or by using Rambi the Rhinoceros' horn attack. In the Game Boy Advance version of Donkey Kong Country, the same Autofire Barrels are replaced by Bonus Barrels.

Most of the Bonus Stages in the game are rooms containing collectables inside them, such as Bananas, Extra Life Balloons, Animal Tokens or, sometimes, K-O-N-G Letters. Usually, the player just needs to find the exits of the Bonus Stages, and if the heroes are harmed or drop inside pits, they are just sent back to the regular stage without losing extra lives, often some point beyond of the entrance of the room accessed. It also happens if the player wins or fails during minigames in the Bonus Stages. In the Super Family Computer/Super Nintendo Entertainment System and Game Boy Color versions of the game, Bonus Stages cannot be revisited without restarting the section of the current regular stage or the entire stage, because of the hidden entrances used once become inaccessible and the respective Autofire Barrels disappear after leaving the Bonus Stages. However, in the GBA version of the same game, the player can always re-enter a Bonus Stage by using a hidden entrance again or a Bonus Barrel which never disappears in this game version. Also in the same version, all collectables inside a Bonus Stage always reappear when the same room is revisited.

The rewards of the Bonus Stages are optional. However, by finding and entering the Bonus Stages, and clearing their respective regular stages, the player rises the percentage rate of completion of the current game file. Clearing Bonus Stages successfully is not a requirement for that. It can also be accomplished by the player entering all Bonus Stages per time inside a location during separated runs of the regular stage. In the SFC/SNES and GBA versions of the game, if the player is able to find all Bonus Stages inside a regular stage, the name of the same stage in the current world map will be followed by an exclamation mark. It also happens in the GBA version for the name of a world in the overworld map of the Donkey Kong Island if all Bonus Stages are found in the regular stages of the said location. And only for cleared regular stages in the GBC version of the same game, their names will receive a red font after all Bonus Stages are located inside them.

The names of types of Bonus Stages at the list below have been added to the GBA version of Donkey Kong Country. Despite the SFC/SNES and GBC versions of the game featuring the exact same types, they do not use in-game names for the Bonus Stages.

  • "Find the Exit!": after entering the Bonus Stage, the player must find its exit by moving forward, using platforms, Barrel Cannons or other means. On the way, they can get some collectables.
  • "Stop the Barrel!": there will be three or four slot machine barrels inside the Bonus Stage, each one flashing multiple collectables. The player must use good timing and make the primates jump towards each barrel, matching the same collectables across all barrels, in order to receive the prize. A variation of it are four barrels where the player must spell "KONG" out correctly by matching K-O-N-G Letters.
  • "Collect the Bananas!": A Bonus Stage containing bananas and other collectables. The player just needs to collect the items and leave the room.
  • "Collect the Prizes!": inside the Bonus Stage, four floating barrels can be found. A single collectable will appear over each barrel, changing places quickly during a few seconds. As soon as the player takes control over the Kongs again, they must guess which barrel the item appeared for last and jump towards it in order to receive the reward.
  • "Spell it Out!": a spinning circle of golden letters will appear at the center of the Bonus Stage. The player must make the heroes to jump towards each letter trying to spell a word. By spelling one, two or even three words correctly, collectables will drop on the center of the room. The same letter cannot be touched twice and crocodile heads must be avoided by the player.
  • "Bash the Baddies!": inside a small room of the Bonus Stage, there will be one, two or three Klaptraps moving back and forward. By jumping over the enemy, it will spit a Banana Bunch and the Klaptrap will become temporarily invincible after each attack. For each time the enemy receives damage, it will also move faster. If the player is able to defeat all Klaptraps, keeping the primates safe during the process, the collectable will drop on the center of the room.

The pictures of screens below, that denote the types of Bonus Stages before accessing them, have been added and they are exclusive to the GBA version of Donkey Kong Country.

In addition, the Animal Buddy Bonus Stages of Donkey Kong Country, which can be entered as soon as the player has obtained three of the same Animal Tokens found inside regular stages, can be considered Bonus Stages. In these Bonus Stages, the player takes control of the same animal buddy of the tokens, and they must collect small Animal Tokens within a time limit. Hidden somewhere inside these same stages, there is also a giant Animal Token that upon being get, it multiples the current amount of small tokens collected by the player by two. At the end, for each one hundred of tokens collected, the player receives one extra life. After the Animal Buddy Bonus Stages, the primates are sent back to the beginning or active Star Barrel of the previous regular stage.

  • Expresso Bonus!: As Expresso the Ostrich, the player must collect as many small Animal Tokens inside a jungle setting within ninety-nine seconds. The large room is composed by many rectangular-shaped chasms, and most of the walls are covered by small steps in order to climb up the chasms. The giant Expresso Animal Token is located beyond a passage above the wall at the right edge of the area. In order to reach it, the player must climb up the highest step on the same wall and jump, while moving towards the right direction and the top of the screen. Using good timing to activate Expresso's flight ability while jumping can help to gain enough height and reach the top of it in the SFC/SNES and GBA versions of Donkey Kong Country.
  • Rambi Bonus!: As Rambi the Rhinoceros, the player must get as many small Animal Tokens in a snowy terrain within the time limit of ninety-nine seconds. The room possesses some slopes on the bottom and many floating, small platforms. The giant Rambi Animal Token can be found inside an alcove at the upper right corner of the Bonus Stage. In order to reach the location, the player must use the igloo at the left edge of the room as a platform, and jump towards the right direction using only the highest floating platforms of the Bonus Stage. Some of these platforms are more narrow, forcing the player to make some precise jumps in order to avoid falling down.
  • Enguarde Bonus!: As Enguarde the Swordfish, the player must collect as many small Animal Tokens inside an underwater coral area within ninety-nine seconds. Most of the tokens are placed on vertical or horizontal lines between the corals. The giant Enguarde Animal Token is inside a secret alcove right below the center of the Bonus Stage, where the Animal Buddy first appears. The entrance is a hidden passage through the coral wall. There are other secret alcoves in the same Bonus Stage, beyond coral walls at the edges of the room, containing more small Animal Tokens. In the GBA version of the game, these alcoves are easier for the player to find because of the unfixed screen position.
  • Winky Bonus!: As Winky the Frog, the player must get as many small Animal Tokens around a cave setting within the time limit of ninety-nine seconds. The location is composed by sets of floating, small platforms between large platforms, and the tokens are scattered around them. There are also some half-buried tires on the ground for the Animal Buddy be able to bounce and reach high platforms. The giant Winky Animal Token can be found inside an alcove accessible by a passage at the top of the left edge of the Bonus Stage. In order to reach it, the player must first jump over the platforms at the highest level and keep moving towards the left direction until it eventually leads to the passage.

Similar to the regular Bonus Stages in the GBA version of the game, the pictures below of screens preceding Animal Buddy Bonus Stages have been also added.

Donkey Kong Land

In the game Donkey Kong Land, except for missing Animal Buddy Bonus Stages, Bonus Stages are similar to the ones seen in the game Donkey Kong Country: secret rooms with collectables, and accessible by Autofire Barrels and hidden entrances on the walls. Inside some regular stages, it is also possible to reveal small segments of floating vertical ropes, on the ground. After being uncovered from hidden holes, they will float away upwards, disappearing at the top of the screen. If the Kongs grab on these ropes before they disappear, they can be used to access Bonus Stages.

In the same game, there are Kong Tokens, common coins found in regular stages. These collectables can be used only inside Bonus Stages containing a Button Barrel. After entering one of these rooms, the player must step on a button multiple times, triggering the Barrel Cannon at the top of the screen to shoot Kong Tokens. If the player is able to recollect the tokens shoot, they will earn an extra life for each of them. A counter at the upper right of the screen will display the player's current number of Kong Tokens, showing how many tokens are left for the barrel to fire. However, the Button Barrel is constantly moving back and forward, and rotating at 180 degrees. It makes harder to shoot the Kong Tokens downwards in order to get them. Soon afterwards the player has expended every token, the Kongs will be sent out of the Bonus Stages. It is also possible to leave these rooms earlier by accessing the exit at the right side of them. Even if the player possesses no tokens when entering these Bonus Stages, a single Kong Token will always appear above the button inside them, allowing it to be collected and shoot the Button Barrel at least once.

Donkey Kong Country 2

In the game Donkey Kong Country 2, Bonus Rooms return but they have a specific purpose now: they contain Kremkoins or, sometimes, DK Coins. Both of them are important collectables in the game, and Bonus Rooms with DK Coins as rewards are only found in the regular stages of the Lost World of the Crocodile Isle. After entering these rooms, the player must complete an objective in order to reveal the coins and collect them within a time limit. Inside regular stages of the game, there are one, two or even three Bonus Rooms.

First debuting in this game, some Bonus Rooms can be accessed by Bonus Barrels. Other rooms can be accessed by secret entrances on the walls, being break open by the primates throwing barrels, Crates, Treasure Chests, Click-Clacks or other objects at them. Rambi the Rhinoceros and Enguarde the Swordfish's super charged attacks can also open these hidden entrances on land and underwater, respectively. There are also Bonus Rooms accessible by the heroes throwing Kannonballs at Kannons and being shoot upwards by them.

Similar to the previous games, if the player fails to clear the Bonus Room or the Kongs are harmed inside it, they are just sent back to the regular stage, losing no extra lives in the process. Also, the same room can be entered again if the means of accessing it are still at the reach of the main characters, and usually, it does not require to restart the section or the entire regular stage. The Kremkoins and DK Coins inside Bonus Rooms can be collected only once. After they are collected, both coin types will display a white check mark over them if a Bonus Room is cleared again. Similar to the SFC/SNES and GBA versions of the game Donkey Kong Country, the name of a regular stage will be followed by an exclamation mark after all Bonus Rooms inside it are cleared and their rewards are collected. The same also happens for the name of a world in the overworld map of the Crocodile Isle if all Bonus Rooms of their respective regular stages are completed.

The game Donkey Kong Country 2 also debuts screens preceding the Bonus Rooms, informing the player about the main objective of the rooms in order to reveal their rewards. Between the SFC/SNES and GBA versions of the game, these screens are very similar. However, in the GBA version, there are some extra icons and effects at the same Bonus Room screens.

Donkey Kong Land 2

Donkey Kong Country 3

Donkey Kong Land III

Donkey Kong 64

  • Speedy Swing Sortie: The player must climb the trees and swing from vine to vine to collect all the coins.
  • Mad Maze Maul: The player must defeat all of the enemies in the maze, then head for the finish line.
  • Splish Splash Salvage: The player must dive in water and swim down in order to collect all the coins inside the giant barrel.
  • Minecart Mayhem: The player must ride a mine cart and avoid the TNT carts on the track by switching lanes when they come close to them.
  • Stealthy Snoop: The player must sneak through the maze without getting caught to the finish line.
  • Teetering Turtle Trouble: Turtles are spinning around on the snakes' tails. To keep them spinning, the player must shoot watermelons at the snakes' mouths. If a turtle falls, the minigame is over.
  • Big Bug Bash: The player must use a fly swatter to swat the required number of flies within a time limit.
  • Kremling Kosh: The player must shoot at certain number of Kritters that pop out of the barrels before time runs out. Green Kritters are worth one point, and red ones are worth two points..
  • Peril Path Panic: The player must shoot watermelons at the Klaptraps to subdue them so that the Banana Fairies can safely cross to the other side.
  • Beaver Bother: The player must control a Klaptrap and try to chase the Gnawties into the hole in the center of the giant barrel. The player must be careful not to fall into the hole themselves, or they will automatically lose the minigame.
  • Batty Barrel Bandit: The player must stop the four reels of the slot machine on four bananas to earn a point. By earning the required number of points, the player wins the minigame.
  • Stash Snatch: The player must collect all the coins in the maze, then head for the finish line.
  • Searchlight Seek: By using a spotlight, the player has to find and shoot the Klaptraps.
  • Busy Barrel Barrage: The player must use a Kong' weapon to blast Kritters. If one of them reaches the primates, the player loses the minigame.
  • Krazy Kong Klamour: The lights will repeatedly turn on and off. When they turn on, the player must quickly shoot the Golden Banana. The player must avoid hitting any of the Kongs, because if they do, they will lose one point.

DK: Jungle Climber


  • In the SFC/SNES and GBA versions of the game Donkey Kong Country, it is possible to use cheat codes in order to access a cave where the player can collect sets of Animal Tokens and play Animal Buddy Bonus Stages.
    • In the SFC/SNES version, during the starting cutscene with Cranky and Donkey Kong, by the player pressing "Down", "Y", "Down", "Down" and "Y" buttons in that order, they will access a cave where Donkey can collect three Animal Tokens of the same type and test all special Bonus Stages with animal buddies for multiple times. However, it is impossible to leave the location without restarting the game or keep extra lives earned.
    • At the selection screen of game files of the GBA version, by the player holding "Select" and pressing "B", "Up", "B", "B" and "A" buttons in that order, and then loading a saved game file, they will access a cave where Donkey Kong can collect three Animal Tokens of the same type and play all special Bonus Stages with animal buddies once. It is possible to leave the area by using the exit at the right edge of the cave, and the extra lives earned during the Bonus Stages can be used in the same game file of the main mode.