Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze hasn't changed much in the transition between Wii U and Switch, so if you've already played that version you won't have a ton of questions. However, it's safe to say that the Switch has a much larger audience than the Wii U did, so a bunch of you will be coming into this excellent platformer fresh. We're jealous.
In this guide, we're going to explain a few things that aren't entirely clear going in, to make the infamously tough experience a little more palatable. We'll dig into what Funky Kong does that Donkey Kong can't, advanced manoeuvres, and explain what all of the collectibles do.
If it's a straight up walkthrough you want, we've got you covered there as well. Have fun!
What's the deal with Funky Kong in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze?
In a nutshell, Funky Kong is Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze's easy mode. Or, if you want a nicer term, it's the more accessible of the two modes. The classic campaign is more than achievable – especially if you don't care a jot about collectibles – but it is more difficult than your average platformer.
That's where Funky Kong comes in. He has an entirely different moveset from Donkey Kong, and it effectively combines all of the partner Kong's abilities into one. For the uninitiated, DK doesn't fight this battle on his own. At many points throughout the campaign, he can enlist the support of Diddy Kong, Dixie Kong and Cranky Kong.
Diddy Kong can glide horizontally, Dixie can fly vertically, and Cranky can bounce off his cane to reach heights DK can't. He can also bounce off spiky ground safely, without taking damage.
Also, while Donkey Kong has a partner Kong, he can roll indefinitely. Funky Kong can do that as standard. He can also stand on spikes safely, use his surfboard as a helicopter to slow a fall (don't think about it too hard), and has five hearts instead of DK's standard two. This is bumped up to four with a buddy Kong.
However, Funky Kong isn't quite the super ape he appears to be. His glide ability doesn't allow for much horizontal movement, for one, and he can only remain stationary on spikey flooring to avoid damage. That means you have to hop along it, possibly putting yourself in further danger.
So if you want our advice, have a stab at the game first as Retro originally intended it. If you get stuck, switch over to Funky Kong and just enjoy yourself. There's no shame in it, as it's still no cake walk by any stretch of the imagination.
Can I switch between Funky Kong and Classic Mode at any point?
Sadly, no you can't. Once you've chosen a mode, you're committed to it for the remainder of the game. There is a bit of a compromise though. If you choose Funky Kong mode, you can swap to Donkey Kong at any moment to play a slightly easier version of the traditional game. You'll have three hearts instead of two, but lose a lot of Funky Kong's moveset. You can, however, pick up buddy barrels and bring them along for the ride. Partner Kongs also have three hearts, so combined you'll have six hearts to play with. It's a solid compromise.
So I get Donkey Kong can jump, roll, and stomp, but can he do anything else?
We're glad you asked! While there aren't many, Donkey Kong does have a few advanced techniques that are well worth mastering if you want to breeze through the tougher levels. Your priority should absolutely be the roll jump.
How to roll jump in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
This is as vital as Mario's hat throw double jump from Super Mario Odyssey – perhaps even more so, given how vital it is in grabbing some of the tougher collectibles.
So how do you do it? Well, roll and then jump right at the end of it. You'll end up launching yourself much further than a standard jump, and at a much faster pace. Not only is it good for covering more ground, but you can even use it to get yourself out of trouble in a bind.
The best part about it though, is that you can still correct yourself at any moment in mid-air, allowing for some fast shorter jumps if you need to avoid an obstacle. Just point the analog stick in the opposite direction until you've righted yourself.
How to infinitely roll in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Whenever you have a buddy Kong at your side, you can roll indefinitely, as opposed to the single roll Donkey Kong can do traditionally. Just keep hammering the roll button and you'll roll until you stop. It's very useful for taking out a string of enemies, or moving a little faster, but bear in mind that there will be a pause before you can stop so make sure there are no threats ahead.
How to stun an enemy in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
So you know you can stomp on the ground to break stuff? Well, if you do it next to an enemy, it will temporarily stun them. For the most part, you can bounce off enemy's heads to take them out no trouble. Occasionally though, and particularly later on, enemies wise up to it. You'll find them wearing spikey helmets or carrying massive spears to keep you at bay. Don't be troubled though! Just stomp next to them and then roll onto them to defeat them while they count the stars before their eyes.
How do I pick stuff up in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze?
Early on, you'll learn that you can press 'RZ' to pick up barrels, but did you know you can do it to certain enemies too? This only works with enemies who wear a helmet, and you'll have to jump on their heads first to stun them. After that, you're free to pick them up and throw them just like they were a barrel.
What are puzzle pieces and KONG letters in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze?
So these are your collectibles, like moons in Super Mario Odyssey. Puzzle pieces unlock nice images you can browse through, while KONG letters are purely for the thrill of the challenge.
There's a slight difference in how they're collected too. While KONG letters are always visible, puzzle pieces often require you to find hidden areas or, at the very least, pull off a difficult platforming section.
Find a puzzle piece in a level and it's yours even if you die, while KONG letters require you to grab them again. Reach a checkpoint though, and any you've collected already will remain with you. If you quit out of a level at any time, you'll lose anything you've gathered up to that point though, so make sure you at least finish the level to keep what you've earned.
How do I unlock Secret Seclusion in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze?
To unlock Secret Seclusion, you have to gather every single puzzle piece in the game. Gather all puzzle pieces in a particular world, and you'll unlock a special K (not to be confused with the cereal) level. These are super tough levels that don't have checkpoints or KONG letters. They do have puzzle pieces though, and you'll have to beat all of them too before you unlock the secret world seven.
This is good practice though, because Secret Seclusion is made up entirely of these super tough levels. So really, you'll only want to unlock it in the first place if you like that sort of thing.
Let us know if you enjoyed this guide in the comments section below, and be sure to share any tips or tricks you've picked up with the Nintendo Life community...