Donkey Kong Wiki

Star Barrel's artwork from the game Donkey Kong Country.

Star Barrels are special types of barrels which work as checkpoints inside regular stages of the original Donkey Kong Country trilogy and the games Donkey Kong Land 2 and Donkey Kong Land III. At least one of them is present in most of the stages, except boss stages.


Star Barrels usually float in midair, and cannot be lifted or used as weapons - upon contact, they will shatter in a burst of wooden debris (and sparkles in Donkey Kong Country 3), indicating that the barrels were successfully activated. Their purpose is act as checkpoints (or continue points) in the stage, and they are usually located around halfway through the location. When both Kongs are defeated, they will be sent out of the stage and back to the current map. By re-entering the same stage, they will break out of the Star Barrel, making unrequired to traverse the previous section again. Star Barrels will also keep the progress of K-O-N-G Letters collected by the player inside the stage. During a gameplay session, all broken Star Barrels will keep active until the player clearing the respective stages or returning to the title screen of the games.

In the Super Family Computer/Super Nintendo Entertainment System version of the game Donkey Kong Country, there is a Star Barrel in every Candy's Save Point. This unique variety saves the player's current game progress after the primates jumping inside it, and the barrel is unbreakable. The same barrel does not keep track of the number of extra lives earned by the player and active Star Barrels inside stages.


"These barrels are decorated with a star design. If you knock out one of these barrels, you will restart at the barrel's location instead of beginning of the level when you lose a life."
Donkey Kong Country Instruction Booklet (SNES version)
"Break open a star-spangled Continue Barrel to restart at that location the next time you lose a life."
Donkey Kong Country Instruction Booklet (GBA version)
"These barrels mark a midway point in the stage. If you break one, you'll continue at that point should you lose a life later in the level."
Donkey Kong Country 2 Instruction Booklet (GBA version)
""These mark a midway point in the level. Break one to continue from that point if you lose a life before reaching the end."
Donkey Kong Country 3 Instruction Booklet (GBA version)



  • Initially, in the game Donkey Kong Country, the Star Barrel's explosion had a different animation, with the sprites remaining in the game coding.[citation needed]
  • Oddly, in the SFC/SNES version of the game Donkey Kong Country, if the player touches a Star Barrel inside an underwater stage when an enemy is nearby it, the explosion will harm the enemy.
  • In the game Donkey Kong Land, portal checkpoints replace the Star Barrels inside regular stages. They are functionally identical to the barrels.
  • The Krazy Kremland stage Rickety Race in the SFC/SNES version of the game Donkey Kong Country 2 does not contain a Star Barrel. However, the Game Boy Advance version of the game adds a new Star Barrel to the same stage.
    • The Krematoa stage Stampede Sprint in both versions of the game Donkey Kong Country 3 does not possess a Star Barrel either.
  • Star Barrels are replaced by Tutorial Pig's stalls as checkpoints in the games Donkey Kong Country Returns, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. However, some levels in the mentioned games could have one, two or more stalls. After activating a stall and losing an extra life, the Kongs will be sent back to the checkpoint soon afterwards. And, as opposed to Star Barrels, by leaving a level, all active Tutorial Pig's stalls inside of the location are lost.