|Skowl, The Startling|
|Boss Level||Mountaintop Tussle|
|Game(s)||Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze|
|First Appearance||Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze|
Skowl, The Startling is one of the five generals of the Snowmads, the father of Hootzes and the boss of Autumn Heights. Donkey Kong and his current partner kong landing into a shaded area at the base of a colossal tree. One of the Hootzes notices them, but seems more intent on dropping a banana onto a stone slab in front of a small gathering of owls. From within the shadows, a large figure smashes the banana with a wooden hammer.
Surprised and angry, the Kongs' outburst gains the attention of the local owls, who angrily turn towards their simian invaders. The owner of the wooden hammer, a colossal, bearded owl name Skowl, hops into the light and gives a threatening hoot. The Kongs then rush forward to take the owl out, destroying his stone slab/altar.
Skowl the Startling has an angry expression that is formed by his beak, as well as his huge eyebrows. He has orange irises, and black pupils. He has white feathers, as well as a helmet made of gold with the Snowmads symbol on it, and two larger antlers sticking out of the sides. His feathers on his wings are a deep blueish purple, and he has long, drooping feathers near his beak. Below this are more feathers connected by one band, that ends in a tuft. He has a larger chest plate that is assumably used to help him keep warm in such a high place. He also has three digits for talons, as well as his legs having blue feathers.
The first phase of the fight takes place on a stone arena flanked on both sides by steel platforms.
Skowl attacks by sending two waves of feathers in a wave pattern, then spinning to the other side of the arena (and back again), dropping eggs as he goes. These eggs hatch into baby owls, which must be tossed back at the elder owl to damage him. The player must climb up the platforms on the side to toss the baby owls at Skowl, but haste is essential- the platforms collapse after a few seconds!
After suffering his first hit, he flies to the bottom of the arena, intending to charge and knock the Kongs clean off. Use this to your advantage and toss another baby owl at him.
With two hits, Skowl temporarily coats his wings in ice and- by doing this -creates icy spike balls, which he then drops on the far side of the arena (though the balls do roll to the other side). Hit Skowl one more time, and phase 2 begins.
After taking three hits, Skowl turns considerably more red and takes to the skies, leaving a barrel that the Kongs can use to follow.
The player is then launched to the second phase of the fight- a floating steel platform with cannon barrels on either side.
With this phase comes new tricks from the boss. He starts by flapping his wings and whipping up a storm to blow the player clean off the arena. During this time, baby owls and small owls fly towards the player. The player should hit the baby owl, grab it and use the small owls to climb up to Skowl(who is flying so high even Cranky Kong's cane jump can't reach him) to strike him.
Taking another hit, he uses an old trick- the charge -to try and stop you. Use the barrels on the sides to escape his attack and return to the main arena. The elder owl then begins a rain of feathers, which covers the whole arena... except for one of the barrels. Jump into it and then run to the other side of the arena to use the other barrel to avoid the second rain of feathers. Skowl then begins to rain down eggs- some have baby owls, some have small owls and some are hollow. Chances are that he will charge after this attack- which will allow you to strike him when he gets close! Repeat the tactics from before reaching phase 3.
After taking three more hits, Skowl will then become enraged, and then fly up higher up the great tree of his, reaching the highest part of the atmosphere. After this, there will be the same platform, but it will be harder, as he will start using his minions from the background. Before he does this is when he attacks by firing feathers to the back of the platform, to the middle, and then the front. He will then dash to the other side, where he will do it again, except this time, he will do it back, front, middle, and then the front again. The minions mentioned earlier will be horned, except for the (third swarm) and will fly asynchronous towards the platform (We will call the asynchronous ones waves, while we will call individual groups swarms, which there are three swarms, meaning there are six waves). They will all be random, with two that have eggshells at the end. When they do subside, Skowl will then use his flapping attack, which you can hit him with, but there will only be the chicks from the last attack. Skowl will then rain down giant eggs, which will explode out his minions, which will be horned. He will do this five times, with the last one having him come out of the egg without his helmet. Jump on his head to deal damage. He will then use his icy wings attack about four times, and then he will use his feather attack in the same fashion as mentioned above. He will then do the same swarm attack as well. When hitting him the last time, the Kongs will automatically be put in a sequence where they can hit the boss, and send him flying.
- ISLAND 2: MOUNTAIN TOP TUSSLE: "Round two of the Snowmads' big bosses is the father of all owls: Skowl, the Startling. This guy is much tougher than his predecessor and has three noticeable stages. Skowl will throw many things at you, including his own feathers, and one of them is actually what you need to throw back at him. Once he drops eggs with baby owls inside at you, you must bop them, then throw them at the oversized brute. Hit him enough times and you will be pulled into the next round, which is on a windy platform. Continue the process until you get to the third area. It sounds terrible, but continue to throw the babies at the owl and eventually the Snowmad will be down for the count."
—Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze Player's Guide, Nintendo, 2014, page 18 on Wayback Machine