New artwork of the DK Barrel from Donkey Kong Country Returns.


Old artwork of the DK Barrel.

A DK Barrel (also called a Buddy Barrel in the Donkey Kong Country series) is a special kind of Barrel, present in all of the Donkey Kong Country games, as well in some other spin-off titles.


Donkey Kong Country/Land series

DK Barrels first appeared in Donkey Kong Country. Breaking one would free a defeated Kong, making them playable. Other than freeing a hurt Kong, it functions somewhat like a Vine Barrel, where it smashes upon contact with anything, including the ground. However, there are aerial DK Barrels that break upon jumping contact in a Kong's inside. The DK Barrel has been featured in every single Donkey Kong Country and Donkey Kong Land title, including the new Donkey Kong Country Returns. In the early DKC games there is a cheat to disable DK Barrels (Along with Star Barrels) to increase the stage difficulty.

Donkey Kong 64

In Donkey Kong 64, Tag Barrels had a similar function to DK Barrels. Tag Barrels were used to switch between playable Kongs, for different Kongs were needed to collect all of the Golden Bananas.


The DK Barrel has made various spinoff appearances since. In Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong would emerge from a DK Barrel at the beginning of a battle. Also in Brawl it is a sticker power-up, which does +53 Launch Power. In Mario Party 8, when a player steps on a 'DK Space', Donkey Kong will appear by bursting out of a DK Barrel. A barrel with the DK insignia, the "Kong's Barrel", was one of many collectible treasures that Kirby discovered in "The Great Cave Offensive" mode of the games Kirby Super Star and Kirby Super Star Ultra. In-game, it is worth 1,500 G. In Nintendo Monopoly, it is the token representative for the Donkey Kong franchise.

Manual descriptions

Donkey Kong Country (GBA)
"Break one of these to keep the other Kong ready and waiting. He'll take over when your current Kong takes a hit, or you can press the L Button to swap them at any time."
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (GBA)
"Here's where you'll find your partner if he or she isn't already by your side. If both characters are already in play, you won't be able to break this Barrel when it's in mid-air."
Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! (GBA)
"Here's where you'll find your partner if they're not already with you. If you already have both Kongs, you won't be able to break the DK Barrels that float in mid-air."




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