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Puzzle Piece
PuzzlePieceLevels.png
A Puzzle Piece's artwork from the games Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D.
User(s) Kong Family
Purpose(s) Unlocking artwork and dioramas in the Extras menu
Game(s) Donkey Kong Country Returns,
Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D,
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
First Appearance Donkey Kong Country Returns (2010)
Latest Appearance Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (for Switch) (2018)

Puzzle Pieces are optional collectable items that unlock artwork and dioramas in the games Donkey Kong Country Returns, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. Every level, except for boss levels and some other ones, contain either five, seven or nine hidden Puzzle Pieces.

Overview

There are many parts of a level's landscape that the player can interact with. Doing so may reveal Puzzle Pieces, like trying pounding on the ground near interactive elements, breaking crates and hanging bags, defeating an entire pack of enemies, blowing out fires or the leaves on plants (the latter only in Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D). In some cases, collecting all of the bananas and Banana Coins floating in a group or left by a flying banana in the level will reveal a Puzzle Piece. Most of the time, in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, after revealing a group of items, the player must quickly collect them before the items disappear and they lose the current opportunity of earning a Puzzle Piece.

Puzzle Pieces are also found inside Bonus Rooms, present in most levels of the games, in which there will be a challenge to collect all of bananas, Banana Coins and, sometimes, Extra Life Balloons, in Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, or 100 bananas, in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, within thirty seconds and make a Puzzle Piece to appear in the room. In Bonus Rooms with uncollected Puzzle Pieces, there is an icon of a closed chest at the upper left corner of the screen. If the player fails to get the Puzzle Piece in the Bonus Room, even if the entrance to it is still reachable inside the level, they will not be able to re-enter it immediatetly. The player will need to restart the section by losing an extra life or re-entering the level for another opportunity to access and clear the same Bonus Room.

During a level, if the player collected a Puzzle Piece and lost an extra life after, the games still will recognize the piece as collected. It will happen even if the player collected the item before reaching a checkpoint. But if the player leaves the current level early, without completing it by reaching the Slot Machine Barrel at the end, all progress made collecting Puzzle Pieces will be lost. In case of revisiting entire levels or restarting sections of them, Puzzle Pieces already collected by the player will be replaced by semitransparent pieces. Puzzle Pieces get by the Super Kongs during the Super Guide mode, in Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, are not recognized as collected, even if the player takes control over the characters in the same mode. Puzzle Pieces can also be collected in the Mirror Mode of Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, the New Mode of Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, and the Hard Mode and Funky Mode of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. However, there are no Puzzle Pieces in the Time Attack mode of the games.

As soon as the player clears a level, the result screen will show how many Puzzle Pieces they collected. The assembled pieces will form an emblem. In Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, levels with five pieces will form an emblem of a strawberry on a light green background, seven pieces will form an emblem of a cherry with a light yellow background, and nine pieces will form an emblem of a pineapple with a light blue background. In Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, the Puzzle Pieces will form specific emblems for levels in each world. By collecting all Puzzle Pieces inside most of levels and clearing them, puzzle emblems will also appear below the levels' names in the world maps of Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, or at the bottom of the upper screen of the Nintendo 3DS in Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D.

There is a total of 371 Puzzle Pieces in Donkey Kong Country Returns, divided between:

There is a total of 423 Puzzle Pieces in Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, divided between:

  • 41 pieces in the Jungle world
  • 44 pieces in the Beach world
  • 47 pieces in the Ruins world
  • 30 pieces in the Cave world
  • 57 pieces in the Forest world
  • 55 pieces in the Cliff world
  • 50 pieces in the Factory world
  • 42 pieces in the Volcano world
  • 57 pieces in the Cloud world

There is a total of 343 Puzzle Pieces in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, divided between:

In Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, it is possible for the player to purchase Squawks the Parrot for fifteen Banana Coins, or five coins in the New Mode of the 3DS game version, from the Cranky Kong's Shop. After the player selecting a level and equipping Squawks in the Inventory menu, the animal buddy will appear at the lower left corner of the screen sitting on a branch during the level. The parrot will get agitated and squawk when the Kongs are close by a Puzzle Piece still to be collected or entrance of an uncleared Bonus Room. In Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Squawks can be purchased from the Funky Kong's Fly 'N' Buy for ten Banana Coins, and he works at the same way as in the previous two games.

Importance

The importance of collecting Puzzle Pieces is to unlock collectables in the galleries of the Extras menu of the games. After collecting all the Puzzle Pieces inside a level, the player will unlock an artwork that goes in some section of the Image Gallery in the Extras menu. After collecting all the five Puzzle Pieces in the Key Temple level of a world, and beating the world boss once, the player will unlock a diorama in the Diorama Gallery. Dioramas are tridimensional spinnable models, such as the diorama of the Jungle world, in Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, composed by Donkey and Diddy Kong riding an elephant under falling Screaming Pillars. In Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, by collecting Puzzle Pieces in most levels of the Cloud world, movie cutscenes seen during the game, and their alternative versions, will be unlocked in the Movie Gallery of the Extras menu, allowing the player to rewatch them.

However, getting Puzzle Pieces does not rise the percentage rate of completion in the games, making these items entirely optional to collect.

Gallery

Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Trivia

  • Oddly, in the games Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, during the Super Guide mode, Puzzle Pieces inside levels will always appear as no-transparent objects, even if the player has already collected any of them before, outside the assisted mode.
Bonus Coin Static.gif Items (excluding mostly Barrels) Bear Coin Static.gif
General Animal CrateAnimal Token • (Giant) Banana (Bunch) • Crystal CoconutCrystal StarEnd of Stage TargetExtra Life BalloonHeadphonesKannonK-O-N-G LettersMelon CrateNo Animal SignRopeStage FlagTireWatermelon
Coins Banana CoinBear CoinBonus CoinDK CoinKremkoinKong TokenNintendo CoinRareware Coin
Vehicles GyrocopterHot Air BalloonHover CraftMine CartMotor BoatRocket BarrelSkull CartTobogganTurbo Ski
Weapons/
Projectiles
Coconut ShooterCrateFeather BowGrape ShooterKannonballOrange GrenadePeanut PopgunPineapple LauncherTreasure ChestWatermelon Bomb
Shop Banana JuiceDK Barrel (DD, DX, CK & FK Barrels) • Extra Life BalloonHeart BoostMap KeySquawks the Parrot
Others Banana FairyBanana MedalBoss KeyCogCrestGolden BananaGolden FeatherPuzzle PieceRare Orb
Miscellaneous Brothers Bear Items (Bowling BallMirror)