Donkey Kong Wiki
ExitIsNearSign Boulder Roller ExitSign
World(s) Cliff
Type Cliff
Music Theme(s) Clifftop Concert, Boulder Roller (different theme to one also named as Boulder Roller by mistake in the Cliff Music of the Music Gallery in the Extras menu)
Animal Buddies None
Bonus Room(s) 1
Puzzle Pieces 7
Notable Feature(s) The level features many sizes of spiky boulders as hazards for the Kongs' progress. At regular intervals, there are boulders rolling from the background, falling from the top of the screen, leaping from pits and swinging like pendulums. The primates must avoid these boulders by using good timing and jumping over them, crouching inside alcoves on the ground or moving at certain speed.
Enemies Encountered Skellirexes, Bonehead Jeds
Game(s) Donkey Kong Country Returns, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D
First Appearance Donkey Kong Country Returns (2010)
Latest Appearance Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D (2013)

Boulder Roller is the fortieth-sixth level in the games Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, as well as the fourth level in the Cliff world of Donkey Kong Island. It is preceded by Weighty Way and followed by Precarious Plateau.


This level's main obstacles are, as its name suggests, many spiky boulders rolling around it. Through the entire level, Donkey and Diddy Kong must avoid these giant rocks, which roll down pathways in the background and down slanted platforms (in which the Kongs must find small alcoves in to take shelter from the boulders). Sometimes, the primates have to run away from the boulders as they slide behind them or even travel in tight spaces between two of the large, spiky boulders. Enemies in the level are Skellirexes and Bonehead Jeds.


The level begins with a rocky pathway leading to a raised piece of ground placed next to a whirlwind that one of the Kongs must keep blowwing on to make a nearby platform lower. They must use the platform to reach a vine switch that can only be activated by pulling it. Once the vine is pulled, a DK Platform appears below that must be pounded into the ground to make the giant and spiky boulder ahead of the primates roll away and open the path. Moving forward, there is a Skellirex next to the first gap. On the other side, there is a slanted pathway with small spiky boulders constantly rolling along it. Above the boulders rolling here, there are some wooden boards that hold the letter "K". Use the Skellirex nearby the place where the boulders fall from the top to bounce and reach the boards. Jump across to the left and get the letter. In the same place, the heroes must roll-jump to the left to fall into a barrel cannon. The barrel will take the Kongs to a Bonus Room. In the room, the primates must use many platforms to collect all seventy-eight bananas and two Banana Coins within thirty seconds and reveal the first Puzzle Piece. After the Bonus Room and this area, there is a crumbling platform that can only hold the heroes' weight for a few seconds over a gap. Boulders fall from above to the left and right of the platform and also leap from inside pits. Use the dust as signal to a boulder about to fall or leap. When the primates cross the followiing gap, they are able to reach a area where more small boulders roll down a slanted pathway.

After the Kongs pass the source of these boulders, they find a Bonehead Jed and another gap with a brittle platform between it. Next to the enemy, there is a cactus. Avoid the boulders and the enemy, and ground-pound nearby the plant to reveal the second Puzzle Piece. Ahead, more boulders leap out from below the pits every few seconds, and then fall back down. The first DK Barrel also sits on top of some wooden boards above it. The wooden boards are a solid platform. Following the gap are two more slanted pathways with a small platform between them in a gap. The platform crumbles when stood on. Similar platforms are in a wide abyss ahead, with boulders falling between them. Additionally, a solid platform stands after the first two of the platforms. Ahead of them is another slanted platform with boulders rolling down a hill and a gap with a bridge platform on the other side of it. Here, there is a helicopter blue flower. The primates must blow on the flower to reveal the third Puzzle Piece and collect it while avoiding the boulders. Moving on, the bridge, with a Skellirex on it, is attached to an area of land with the Tutorial Pig and the checkpoint. As the heroes progress, they come up to some more wooden platforms, the first with a Bonehead Jed on it. After jumping nearby the enemy, it will extend its spines and the Kongs can bounce off of its head to reach a high set of boards with the letter "O". Farther ahead of here, there is a hill with boulders rolling down it. The primates can only stand on the end of the hill, as the remaining part of it is farther into the background. After a wooden platform following this area, which has a cactus and a Skellirex on it, the heroes can find three more hills coming from the background with boulders rolling down them. Jumping along the ends of the hills, they must avoid the boulders and advance to two crumbling platforms that fall with their weight. After them, there is a wooden platform with another Skellirex and a cactus on it. Boulders fall into the gap between here and the next platform, which is part of a hill from the background. Boulders roll down from here as well. Here, you see another blue flower on the path of the boulders from the background. The primates must use very good timing to avoid the boulders, blow on the flower to reveal the fourth Puzzle Piece and collect it without suffering harm. Going forward, the Kongs can then find a solid platform near to wooden boards that can be used as platforms. However, these boards constantly fall down and rise up, keeping the primates from using them for a long amount of time, while they alternate between these positions.

After the boards, there is another hill platform with boulders rolling down it ahead of here and a wooden platform with the second DK Barrel on it. Above the DK Barrel, there is a hanging boulder swinging like a pendulum. Go past the boulder and after another crumbling platform that falls with the Kongs' weight, there is a solid area of land with another Skellirex. On top of some wooden boards, there is a cracked rock that the primates must pound on thrice to break and access the boards. Ignore the boards for now, avoid another swinging boulder above, another Skellirex and collect the letter "N" next to the right wall. Now the primates must pound through the rock and the boards to reach a lower area, while trying to avoid the boulder still swinging above them. In the lower area, they can find crumbling platforms standing in a gap. They break when having to hold the Kongs' weight. After another hill coming from the background with boulders rolling down it, the primates can find a solid platform with some wooden boards placed to the left of it and a cactus growing on it. Jump on the planks over the boulders coming from the background and jump to next planks on the left to reach the fifth Puzzle Piece. Moving on, a blue plant grows on the solid platform to the right. Following the solid platform are two more curved pathways coming in from the background that drop boulders. The Kongs must use good timing to avoid the boulders, go across the ends of the pathways and reach a wooden bridge-like platform. Going past another Skellirex, there is the Tutorial Pig and the second checkpoint.

Approaching the ending parts of the level, the heroes make their way over a wooden platform with a Bonehead Jed on it and another platform in a gap that falls with any of their weight. After this, there is a larger area of land with two small alcoves in it. The pathway is angled, so giant boulders falling from above can roll down it. The boulders are too big to be jumped over, so the Kongs must crouch in the small alcoves to get under them. Two large boulders will fall and roll down per time. After dodging the boulders, they will see a cactus. The primates must quickly ground-pound nearby the plant to reveal the sixth Puzzle Piece, while avoiding the large boulders. Moving forward, the heroes can find a solid, wooden platform ahead with a Skellirex, bananas and a blue plant on it. Ahead, there is another crumbling platform that falls with the primates' weight and another large area of land with large boulders rolling down it. To avoid the large obstacles, the Kongs must crouch into small alcoves as before. However, this time, the alcoves are placed farther apart, demaning even better movement to go from an alcove to other. The letter "G" is after a gap at the end of this area above a Skellirex on a wooden platform. The heroes must bounce on Skellirex to collect the letter. Ahead, boulders constantly fall and roll down the pathway here, and the Kongs must get around them by walking through the small gaps between two of them. At the end of the slanted pathway, there is a barrel cannon that aims to a separate piece of land. Trying not to hit into any of the boulders that are still rolling off the cliff, the primates must shoot onto the next area. This area features a U shaped pathway in it, which curves in, with a small gap at the center with some stone blocks inside of it. As the heroes travel across this area, a giant boulder falls from behind them and rolls back and fourth along the slopes. If it rolls into them, they will lose a life instantly. The Kongs must go down the hill and try to land in the gap over some cracked stones. Pounding each stone three times will break them and allow the primates to fall over the seventh and final Puzzle Piece and into a barrel cannon. With careful timing, they must shoot the barrel upward and to right, while avoiding the giant boulder. If the heroes manage to climb up the last hill safely, they will reach another barrel cannon immediately after another crumbling platform that collapses with weight. The barrel can shoot them to the Slot Machine Barrel, but the primates must shoot the barrel quickly and before the giant boulder at the top of the screen falls over and defeat them instantly. Cnce the Slot Machine Barrel is touched, the level is completed.



  • Hearts: 1
  • DK Barrels: 2
  • Banana Coins: 9 (counts 2 in the Bonus Room, does not count three or more consecutive jumps on enemies)

K-O-N-G Letters[]

  • K: Shortly after the Kongs pound on the DK Platform to move the giant boulder at the beginning of the level, they can find the letter "K" on some wooden boards. Bounce on the Skellirex nearby to the place where small boulders fall from the top of the screen and reach the planks above. Jump across to the left and collect the letter.
  • O: Immediately after the first checkpoint, the letter "O" is on some wooden boards. The heroes must bounce off of a Bonehead Jed below as the enemy extends its spines to reach the letter. Jumping nearby the enemy makes it to extend its spines.
  • N: After the fourth Puzzle Piece and before the Kongs fall through some boards below a cracked rock by pounding on it, they can find the letter "N" in the right corner of the area after a Skellirex and below a swinging boulder.
  • G: After the sixth Puzzle Piece and the second section that involves the Kongs crouching into small alcoves to avoid large boulders, the primates find themselves on a wooden platform stretching out from a slanted area of land. The letter "G" is above this platform and must be reached by bouncing on the nearby Skellirex.

Puzzle Pieces[]

  • 1: In same area of the letter "K" that the Kongs must bounce on a Skellirex nearby to reach some planks. It is also possible to use the crumbling platform to the right and quickly roll-jump to the left to reach the planks above and avoid boulder. On the planks, the primates must go across to the left and roll-jump to the left, and beyond the letter, to land into a barrel cannon. The barrel shoots the primates into a Bonus Room. There, they must maneuver around many stationary platforms to collect seventy-eight bananas and two Banana Coins. If everything is collected within thirty seconds, a Puzzle Piece will appear.
  • 2: After the letter "K", if the Kongs ground-pound nearby the cactus next to the first Bonehead Jed, they can find the second Puzzle Piece.
  • 3: After the second Puzzle Piece and just before the first checkpoint, the primates must reveal the third Puzzle Piece by blowing on the blue helicopter plant on a hill with small boulders rolling down it.
  • 4: After the letter "O", as the Kongs travel along curved pathways reaching out from the background, from where boulders roll out, they can find a blue helicopter flower growing on the path just after a platform with a Skellirex and a cactus on it. If they blow on the blue flower, a Puzzle Piece appears. They must use very careful timing to blow on the flower, avoid the boulders and collect the Puzzle Piece without harm.
  • 5: After the letter "N", the Kongs will reach the lower area of the level, go across some crumbling platforms, go past some boulders coming from the background and reach a cactus on a solid platform. To the left of this, there are some wooden planks above the boulders that the Kongs must jump across and reach a Puzzle Piece.
  • 6: After the second checkpoint, in the first area where the Kongs must crouch into small alcoves to dodge large spiky boulders, they must find a cactus almost under the place where boulders fall from the top of the screen. Using good timing, the heroes must ground-pound close by cactus while avoiding the boulders to reveal a Puzzle Piece and collect it.
  • 7: After the letter "G" and just before the end of the level when the Kongs are chased by a giant boulder in the U-shaped area, they must head into the center of the pathway to find a gap with two cracked rocks in it. They must pound on each block thrice to break them and fall down into a barrel cannon while collecting the seventh and final Puzzle Piece.


The puzzle of Boulder Roller is of a cherry against a light yellow background. When all of the pieces are found, the Tiki Torch artwork will be added to the Tiki Gallery of the Image Gallery in the Extras menu.

Time Attack Medals[]

  • Shiny Gold: 01:17.00
  • Gold: 01:22.00 (01:36.00 in the Japanese version)
  • Silver: 01:47.00 (02:12.00 in the Japanese version)
  • Bronze: 02:51.00




  • Close by the end of the level, a fossil of an octopus can be seen in the background (see Gallery section above). It is especulated that the fossil can be related to Squiddicus.
  • It is possible the first giant and spiky boulder at the beginning of the level, the boulder seen at some points in the background through the level, as well as the boulder falling over the final barrel cannon used by the primates to reach the Slot Machine Barrel are the very same boulder.
  • The theme song for only and mostly of this level cannot be unlocked in the Cliff Music of the Music Gallery in the Extras menu of both games. But a theme song mistakenly called Boulder Roller can be unlocked by defeating Thugly once in the boss level Thugly's Highrise. However, the theme song is never featured in the current level, but it is present only in the levels Weighty Way and Precarious Plateau, respectively, preceding and following the currently level in the Cliff world.