Blowhole Bound is the thirteenth level in Donkey Kong Country Returns, as well as the sixth level in the Beach (Donkey Kong Country Returns). A Map Key from Cranky Kong's Shop is needed to open it, therefore making the level completely optional in order to progress. The level is very unique as compared to the other beach levels because it features Whales that the apes can ride on. After freeing the whale from an anchor, the Kongs ( Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong) can ride on it and the whales ahead to cross the water along the shore of the islands. The whales are not very steady, for they often tilt along the water, allowing the apes to grab some collectibles hidden high up in the air. The marine mammals sometimes head underwater as well, leaving the Kongs no choice but to use the floating ship parts to proceed. These ship parts are often destroyed by the fast-moving whales as well, so the primates have to cross them quickly. By hand-slapping (pounding) the whale's blowhole, the apes can force the whale to spout out water from its blowhole so that they can reach collectibles in high areas. Additionally, Snaps sometimes hop along the backs of the whales to attack the primates. Other enemies in the level include Squidlies, Electrasquids, Pinchleys, Jellybobs, and Tiki Goons. In Time Attack mode, a time of 2:12:00 is needed to get a gold medal, a time of 2:17:00 for a silver medal, and a time of 2:30:00 for a bronze medal.
OverviewThe level begins on a sandy beach, where a DK Barrel can be found just ahead on a raised piece of land. After another area of land similar to this with a Snaps, a small hill can be reached with a wooden platform above it with the letter K of the K-O-N-G Letters. A few Pinchlies and Snaps are underneath the platform as well. In a slightly higher area of land, the apes can find a normal Barrel that can be used to defeat two Snaps and a Pinchley (in between them) walking along the sand bridge that follows. Farther ahead is a raised platform that must be jumped over, however, it can additionally help the primates reach a Heart. Immediately after a turret that shoots Squidlies (and possibly Electrasquids), a hill is present that is steep enough for the primates to slide down. It leads to a wooden bridge over the ocean. A few Tiki Goons are here to attack the apes as well as two Crates that can be broken with a pound. At the end of the bridge in the water is a whale that is close to shore. The apes can stand on the whale while still standing over water, however, the whale cannot move since an anchor is stuck in its blowhole. Once the anchor is removed with a pound on the whale's blowhole, the whale begins to freely swim over the ocean, taking the Kongs with it. As the whale proceeds, Squidlies and Electrasquids fly towards the heroes. The Squidlies can be bounced on, but if the Kongs try to bounce on the Electrasquids, they will be electrocuted and lose a Heart. The whale eventually comes past a few Banana Bunches and three wooden planks that the Kongs can climb on. The center plank, which is twice the size of the two around it, has a cube-shaped Crate on it, while the platform next to it has a Heart. The whale continues its journey, so the Kongs cannot stay on the planks for too long. As the whale travels farther ahead, a Snaps jumps on its back and attacks along with some Squidlies and Electrasquids. More wooden planks are just ahead with Bananas between some of them. One of these platforms has a Crate on it, while the final platform has the letter O just after it in the air. Soon, the whale rides underneath a few moving Bananas and Banana Bunches. The Kongs can grab these but they also have to watch out for and avoid the Snaps that jump on the whale's back and some Electrasquids along the way. Eventually, the whale heads back underwater, letting the Kongs jump to and stop on a few wooden platforms floating on the water. Jellybobs jump between the platforms. Avoiding the Jellybobs that jump between the platforms, the Kongs can soon get back on shore. As they walk along the palm-tree infested beach, they pass a few blue bird-like bowling pins. The bird-like bowling pins can be defeated with a roll attack (it is easier if you still have Diddy Kong), and they give you a collectible if all are defeated in one roll. Some Treasure Chests are also found here. The first one is near the shore and lets out a Banana Coin when opened with a pound. Then, if the Kongs roll through all bird-like bowling pins in the first set, a Banana Coin is appears as a reward. The second Treasure Chest is just ahead and lets out a Banana Bunch when opened. Then, if the Kongs roll all bird-like bowling pins within the second set, another Banana Coin appears as a reward. The Kongs will also roll through the Tutorial Pig hosting the first checkpoint. As the Kongs continue, they encounter more bird-like bowling pins and some Snaps. After passing the checkpoint, they reach a third Treasure Chest that, this time, lets out a Banana Coin.when opened with a pound. A Snaps also nears the apes, here. Shortly after this is a third set of bird-like bowling pins that tends to be way larger than the previous two. If the Kongs roll through all bird-like bowling pins of this third set, a special Banana Bunch is appears as a reward that adds 17 Bananas to the Kongs' Banana collection. A port is just ahead, where some Crates and Tiki Goons can be found. Also, a Treasure Chest is before the port that lets out an Extra Life Balloon if opened. If the Kongs jump off the end of the port near a DK Barrel, they land on a new whale who immediately begins to swim. Snaps jump on the back of the whale, while some Squidlies and Electrasquids attack the heroes as they ride towards some Bananas and Banana Bunches. Eventually, the whale heads back underwater and the apes reach a skull Auto-Fire Barrel (skull Barrel Cannons and Auto-Fire Barrels destroy themselves when the Kongs shoot out of them) that the Kongs can get into. It fires the Kongs over some Jellybobs to another skull Auto-Fire Barrel, which, in turn, fires them to some partly-sunken ship masts with platforms on them, as well as other ship platforms. The Kongs must travel over the floating ship parts while dodging a few Snaps quickly, for the whale will soon destroy the platforms, causing them to fall into the water. After the final ship mast with a platform, the whale comes back to the surface for the Kongs to ride on it. As the duo passes a few animal friends on a boat in the background (not too far in the background though), they come up to some Bananas and the letter N, as well as another skull Auto-Fire Barrel that fires them to three more ship platforms, which the Kongs must travel across quickly before the whale destroys them. Soon, they reach a reach another skull Auto-Fire Barrel that shoots them to another skull Auto-Fire Barrel. This skull Auto-Fire Barrel shoots the apes to another skull Auto-Fire Barrel, which, in turn, fires them to more floating ship parts that the Kongs must race across before the whale destroys them. After breaking the final ship part, the whale swims back to the surface, allowing the primates to jump back on it again. While they ride, the Kongs are attacked by more Snaps that jump "aboard" the whale. At the same time, the heroes are able to jump up and grab many moving Bananas and other collectibles in the air; the letter G and a Puzzle Piece are also one of these collectibles. After this final K-O-N-G Letter, the whale rides upwards towards a wooden platform. The primates must jump off of it before being swept away to find a Slot Machine Barrel; hitting the Barrel completes the level.
- K: The letter K can be found early in the level on a wooden platform quite high in the air.
- O: After beginning to ride the whale, The Kongs can find a few platforms above the water. The last of these platforms has the letter O after it by a trail of Bananas.
- N: After the apes pass a few animal friends on a boat not too far in the background, they come up to two Banana Bunches and the letter N at the top in a vertical line. The primates can reach the letter if they pound on the whale's blowhole.
- G: After the fifth Puzzle Piece, the heroes come up to the letter G in the large group of moving collectibles floating in the air just before the Slot Machine Barrel. They can reach the letter G with a jump or pounding on the whale's blowhole, depending on how high the letter is when the apes go after it.
- Near the beginning of the level, the Kongs can find a shipwreck in the background with a Pinchley in it. If the Kongs pound on the ground in the foreground right in front of the ship, they will fall through the ground into a Barrel Cannon. It shoots them into the ship where there is a Bonus Room. There, the Kongs must collect eighty bananas and two Banana Coins within the time limit of thirty seconds to reveal the first Puzzle Piece.
- In front of the tree immediately before the checkpoint, the Kongs must pound on the ground. Eventually, the leaves of the tree should fall off revealing the second Puzzle Piece.
- When the primates return to the whale after the checkpoint, they are attacked by some Squidlies and Electrasquids. If they bounce on the Squidlies, NOT the Electrasquids, they can reach a Puzzle Piece.
- As the Kongs travel along the final set of floating ship parts, they come up to the fourth Puzzle Piece that is reachable with a simple jump.
- After the Kongs travel across the final set of floating ship parts and get back on the whale, they come up to a large group of moving collectibles. The fifth and final Puzzle Piece is within this large group, but it is too high to reach with a simple jump. The primates must pound on the whale's blowhole to reach it.
- The moving Bananas and collectibles move in a wavy motion, much like water does.
- It is to note that the music changes from normal beach music to cheerful, peaceful music (Aquatic Ambiance Returns from the original Donkey Kong Country) everytime the Kongs land aboard a whale and it begins to move.
- This is the only level in the game to feature the bird-like bowling pins.
- Even though they are not seen in the game's Prima guide (possibly), the bird-like bowling pins may or may not be classified as enemies. They don't hurt the Kongs if touch, much like how Pinheads don't hurt Mario/Luigi in Super Mario Galaxy 2, however, Pinheads are classified as enemies.