Hot Rocket is the fifty-seventh level in Donkey Kong Country Returns, as well as the second level of the Volcano (Donkey Kong Country Returns). The level takes place in a volcano and it requires the use of the Rocket Barrel to get through majority of the level, hence the name. On this Rocket Barrel, many obstacles "attack" the Kongs (Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong) as they try to avoid them. Most of the obstacles are movable rock plates that break apart, rise, or lower as the Kongs come by. Another dangerous obstacle are weird Fireballs that tend to attack by coming from behind the Kongs until they reach the checkpoint. Also, halfway to near the end of the level, the Kongs will encounter many snake-like creatures made up of fire that fly around in circles. Near the end of the level, a massive wave of lava chases the Kongs until they get close to the end of the level. All of these things must be avoided if the apes want to make it to the end of the level. In Time Attack mode, a time of 1:31:00 is needed to get a gold medal, a time of 1:32:00 to earn a silver medal, and a time of 1:34:00 for a bronze medal. Yeah, the level is short, however, it makes up for this with all these obstacles it features.
OverviewThe level begins with the Kongs landing on a floor made up entirely of many basalt platforms. If the Kongs head forward a bit, they can find themselves at the floor's right edge. Here, the player can notice a small gap after the floor the Kongs are on. After the small gap, there is a platform held together by a gray brick structure, as seen in the picture to the left. There are three Bananas. The Kongs should jump here. They, most likely, will land on the platform's left edge. This platform now begins to tilt with its right edge pointing upwards. Wait! What in Donkey Kong Island just happened to this platform. It was standing up straight like it should and now it is acting like the Leaning Tower of Pisa! However, the platform does not tilt too much to one side, so it is not possible for the apes to fall off the platform into the lava. They probably may slide a bit or not at all. After this platform, there is another small gap. After the small gap, there is another tilting gray platform. In the gap before this next tilting, gray platform, two Fireballs can be found jumping out of the lava and landing right back into it constantly. Well, if you don't understand what the Fireballs do, think of Podoboos from the Mario series. Yep, that's how those Fireballs attack. However, before the apes carefully jump over the small gap and land on the next tilting, gray platform, we must give you this message: There's a secret around this first, tilting, gray platform. Well, first the Kongs should stay where they are on the left edge of this first tilting, gray platform. Now if the Kongs wait for the Fireballs to fall back into the lava in the gap after this platform, they can then roll-jump to a hidden skull Auto-Fire Barrel (skull Barrel Cannons/Auto-Fire Barrels destroy themselves (self destruct)/explode, whatever you want to call it, after firing the Kongs). This skull Auto-Fire Barrel automatically fires the apes into a Bonus Room. So that's the secret over around this tilting, gray platform. Now the Kongs can wait for the Fireballs to go into the lava and quickly jump onto the next tilting, gray platform. There are three Bananas above this tilting, gray platform, much like with the previous. Since there is nothing here, the Kongs can carefully head to the right edge of this platform as it tilts. Another gap with two Fireballs jumping out of the lava and falling back into it can be seen. After this gap, there is a smaller tilting, gray platform. So, when the Fireballs move back down into the lava, the Kongs can quickly jump over this gap onto the smaller tilting, gray platform. Here, the Kongs can see a small gap with a Fireball jumping out of the lava and falling back into it repeatedly. There is a Rocket Barrel in the gap after the Fireball. So, when this Fireball goes down into the lava again, the Kongs can jump into the Rocket Barrel. Inside this Rocket Barrel, the player can press the A Button on the Wii Remote to activate the Rocket Barrel. When the Rocket Barrel is fully activated, it lifts itself into the air and heads right. Also, the Volcano's amazing version of the Rocket Barrel theme plays (see Hot Rocket Music). Yeah, I, Smashbro8, should do that stuff more often, but I will soon! Anyway, the first things the Kongs will encounter is a large group of Bananas and Banana Bunches arranged in columns and rows. Yep, four rows and seven columns make up this large group of collectibles. Beneath the fifth, sixth, and seventh rows of collectibles, there is a rock plate that turns red and pushes itself upwards. Well, all rock plates in this level turn red and start moving. Anyway, the Kongs should move themselves up just A BIT to avoid this rock plate until they pass it. After this rock plate, the Kongs will come across another rock plate that pushes itself upward. The Kongs should move themselves up close to the rocky ceiling in order to avoid this large rock plate. Immediately after the Kongs pass this rock plate, two more rock plates: one on the ceiling, one in the lava below the ceiling plate, start moving. The ceiling rock plate moves down and the lava rock plate below it moves up. The Kongs must try to get through the slightly, curvy space that these two rock plates create to get past them. So, the Kongs must move down a bit and then up a bit to get through the space. After these two rock plates have been passed, the Kongs can move down close to the lava to collect a trail of three Bananas and a Banana Coin at the end if they want. Almost immediately after this group of four collectibles (three Bananas and Banana Coin at the end), the Kongs will encounter another rock plate that pushes itself upward. So, to dodge this rock plate the Kongs should move up a bit and then head past this dangerous obstacle. Immediately after the Kongs pass this rock plate, they will encounter another rock plate that pushes itself upward. The Kongs should move upward and keep heading straight to pass this rock plate, however, there is a ceiling rock plate that moves down as the Kongs try to pass this rock plate. So, since these two rock plates create a small, downward space, the Kongs should move down and right a bit to get past this ceiling rock plate. After the Kongs pass these two rock plates, the Kongs will start heading through an open area filled with nothing but a ceiling above them and lava below them. Shortly after the Kongs enter this area, the Kongs can encounter the letter K of the K-O-N-G Letters just hanging there in the upward area. However, as the Kongs get close, a rock plate moves down above it. We don't mean "move down" as in pushing itself downwards, the rock plate just makes a quick motion that causes it to point downwards above the letter K. So, the Kongs can move up to the letter K, however, they must make sure they do not hit the rock plate's pointy edge above it. As the Kongs pass the letter K's location and the rock plate above it, they can witness a part of the rock ceiling above them fall down into the lava ahead of them. The Kongs can move up a bit to pass this falling part of the rock ceiling. Anyway, as soon as the Kongs get ready to pass this falling rock part of the rock ceiling, which is in the lava, they can notice a weird Fireball that has not been seen yet before in any other level of Donkey Kong Country Returns, nor is it seen in the later Volcano levels, coming from behind them. You see, the Fireballs we encountered before the Rocket Barrel look way different than this type of Fireball here. Those Fireballs seen earlier look like Char-chars with no facial expression (look at the first picture of this overview to see what these Fireballs look like). This Fireball here looks like the ones shot out by Mario. These weird Fireballs are also a bit bigger than the Fireballs that resemble Char-chars. So, that's the difference between these two Fireballs (note: why they are called weird). Anyway, this weird Fireball comes from behind the Kongs. The Kongs should move down a bit and let the Fireball pass them, since these weird Fireballs move faster than the Kongs on their Rocket Barrel. As the Kongs move down a bit and the Fireball passes them, the Kongs can collect a trail of two Bananas with a Banana Bunch in the middle. After these three collectibles, the Kongs can see a trail of two Bananas with a Banana Coin the middle close to the rock ceiling. Also, another weird Fireball comes from behind the Kongs close to the lava. The Kongs should move up a bit just for safety. As this second weird Fireball passes the Kongs, they can witness this second Fireball hit another rock part that falls off the rock ceiling and keep going. This collision creates a Puzzle Piece that moves itself close to the lava. The Kongs can move down into this Puzzle Piece and then head back up to get away from the dangerous, deadly lava. Immediately after the Kongs pass/collect the Puzzle Piece, they can notice two weird Fireballs appear from behind them. The lowest weird Fireball is in front of the second weird Fireball. The second Fireball is behind the first, lower Fireball slightly to the left. So first, the Kongs should move up a bit to avoid the first, lower, weird Fireball. They will pass a pointy part of the rock ceiling. The second weird Fireball will come close to the Kongs. The Kongs should move up very high, and we mean high to avoid this second weird Fireball. They must move so high that they should be near the rock ceiling, however, not touching it. As the Kongs move high, they can pass by a trail of three Bananas. Below this group of collectibles slightly to the right, there is a trail of two Bananas with a Puzzle Piece in between them. To collect the Puzzle Piece, the Kongs will have to move down after the first, lower, weird Fireball passes them and stay low. However, as the Kongs stay low, they must not move down some more or they can end up in the lava. After the second, weird Fireball above the first, lower, weird Fireball passes the Kongs, the Kongs can witness the first, lower, weird Fireball destroy a rock part that falls of the rock ceiling. Also, two more weird Fireballs can be seen approaching the Kongs from behind. However, the highest weird Fireball is above the second, lower, weird Fireball. It is also in front of the second, lower, weird Fireball, the complete opposite of the previous two Fireballs travelling together. So, the Kongs should move down to avoid the first, higher, weird Fireball. Since the second, lower, weird Fireball is closer to the lava, the Kongs barely have to move to dodge this Fireball. After both of these two Fireballs pass the Kongs, the Kongs will encounter a group of collectibles made up of Bananas and Banana Bunches above an unreachable basalt floor. This group of collectibles is made up of three rows and three columns. The Kongs can move up/down a bit to collect some of these Bananas and Banana Bunches, even though there are only three Banana Bunches in the entire group of collectibles. Anyway, after the Kongs pass these collectibles, they will encounter a rock plate close to a very low part of the rock ceiling. This rock plate breaks apart, making large parts of it fall into the lava as the Kongs get near them. Only three parts of this rock plate will fall into the lava collecting a space going upwards in a more diagonal fashion. So, soon, the Kongs will near the letter O at the very top of this upward pathway near the rock ceiling. So the Kongs can move up close to the rock ceiling to reach the letter O. However, they must not touch the rock ceiling, otherwise they can destroy the Rocket Barrel, lose an Extra Life Balloon, and have to restart the level from the beginning. Anyway, as soon as the apes pass/collect the letter O, they must move down a downwards, diagonal-shaped pathway. The Kongs will witness a rock plate move down from a pointy part of the rock ceiling. As the rock plate moves into the lava, a pathway going upward with a trail of 7 Banana Bunches going upwards diagonally. The Kongs can move into the first Banana Bunch and head upwards to collect all Banana Bunches. Immediately after the Kongs pass this group of Banana Bunches, they can activate the checkpoint being hosted by the Tutorial Pig on a solid platform. Shortly after the Kongs pass the checkpoint, they can head over an unreachable basalt floor where a weird, snake-like creature made of fire head into a giant rock plate. The Kongs can move upwards a bit to avoid this dangerous creature's fiery tail. These snake-like creatures move in circles and can defeat the Kongs with one touch. Anyway, after the Kongs pass this snake-like creature, they can witness the rock plate move down into the lava. The Kongs should move down a bit to get past this giant rock plate as it heads down into the lava. However, they should not touch this rock plate moving down. Anyway, after the Kongs pass this rock plate, they will encounter two more snake-like creatures moving in circles. One snake-like creature is higher than the other and moves counterclockwise. Th other snake-like creature is below the higher one and moves clockwise. So, to get past these dangerous creatures, the Kongs must move up a bit to dodge the lower snake-like creature's tail, however, the higher snake-like creature is above them. So, the Kongs should not move any higher or they can touch the higher snake-like creature. Soon the Kongs will pass these creatures. The next thing they will encounter the letter N far below a falling part still stuck on its rock ceiling. The Kongs can move down to the letter N and collect it, however, they must move up a bit to avoid touching a large rock plate in the lava. Also, immediately after the apes pass the letter N, the falling part on its rock ceiling falls and breaks on the large rock plate. Anyway, as the Kongs move up to avoid the large rock plate, they can move through a curvy trail of Bananas. If the Kongs manage to follow (collect) all the Bananas in this curvy trail, which they must move up and down a bit to get through, then a Puzzle Piece appears at the very end of it above a rock plate that seems to not move at all. Anyway, as soon as they enter an open area full of nothing but five, six or even seven (it is one of those numbers) of snake-like creatures! Some snake-like creatures here move clockwise, however, others move counterclockwise. The letter G is found in this area; it can be reached if the Kongs carefully move down into it. After it is collected, the Kongs must dodge two more snake-like creatures before they are out of this dangerous area. Now, since this area is quite confusing to explain how to get through, here's the trick. Whenever you near a snake-like creature move high up or very low to dodge it. Some of these creatures the Kongs do not have to dodge, however, the others require the Kongs either moving up or moving down to dodge them. Also, moving very low does not mean into the lava! Anyway, immediately after the Kongs pass this area, three falling rock parts attached to their rock ceiling fall off as soon as the apes pass them. After all three rock parts fall, the Kongs can move up a bit to dodge a rock plate in the lava. Immediately after the Kongs pass this rock plate, they should move down a bit to dodge a pointy part of the rock ceiling, putting them quite close to the lava. However, THAT DOES NOT MEAN TOUCH IT!!! Anyway, the Kongs can notice, first of all, that there a small, strange lava geysers exploding in the background (they cannot hurt the Kongs), yet nothing major is happening. So, the Kongs can move down to a bit to collect a long trail of Bananas (if they want). As the apes collect/pass this trail of Bananas, they can notice an ENORMOUS lava wave chasing them from behind (as seen in the first, larger picture of this page where the level's description is before the overview). Oh no! SHOOOOOTTTT!!! What do we do now! The Rocket Barrel cannot go any faster!!! We're all gonna die!!! Anyway, shortly after the Kongs pass that long trail of Bananas, they should move up a bit to dodge a rock plate in the lava. They must then move down a bit to dodge a quite pointy part of the rock ceiling. OH NO!!! What, what, WHAT'S HAPPENING!!! THE LAVA WAVE IS GETTING BIGGER!!! IT'S GETTING CLOSER TO US TOO!!! HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO GET AWAY FROM THIS DANGEROUS OBSTACLE!!! MOVE THE ROCKET BARREL; MAKE IT GO FASTER!!! I CAN'T IT WON'T GO ANY FASTER!!! AHHHHHHHH!!! Wow, anyway, the Kongs will approach a quite large rock plate in the lava. They should move up a bit to dodge it. The lava wave hits the rock plate and gets left behind. PHEW!!! It's gone! Yes! Everyone faints. Wow, what a story. Anyway, shortly after the Kongs pass this rock plate, the Rocket Barrel starts to lose power. Eventually, it drops the Kongs on a solid, gray platform with the Slot Machine Barrel above the gap to its right. The Rocket Barrel crashes and explodes to the right edge of this platform. Like always, the explosion does not hurt the Kongs. Since there is nothing to do but look at a temple in the background, which is boring, the Kongs should jump to the Slot Machine Barrel to their right. When the Slot Machine Barrel is hit, Hot Rocket is complete! But wait a minute! Is that a monkey statue in the background among the temple! What's going on here! Furious Fire had some monkey statues, now Hot Rocket has some monkey statues! Does the Volcano really bring back many memories from the Ruins' second level, Button Bash? Hmmm, wonder if Roasting Rails has any monkey statues....
- K: During the beginning of the level, many rock plates start moving around the Kongs as they ride on the Rocket Barrel. Eventually, the Kongs can find the letter K directly below a pointy part of the rock ceiling that pushes itself to point directly at the letter. To reach it, the Kongs must move up to head into it, however, they must not touch the rock ceiling or....Ouch!! You're out! Restart the level!
- O: The Kongs will eventually come across the letter O near the rock ceiling shortly after the weird Fireballs. If the Kongs move up diagonally, they can head up a space leading toward it. If the Kongs continue to head up, they can hit the letter O, collecting it. However, the Kongs must not touch the rock ceiling above it.
- N: Shortly after the Kongs pass two snake-like creatures after the first one, which moves into a large rock plate, they can see the letter N far below a falling rock part still stuck on its rock ceiling. If the Kongs quickly move down, they can collect the letter N. However, immediately after doing so, they must move back up to dodge a large rock plate in the lava.
- G: In the area with the many snake-like creatures just before the ENORMOUS lava wave "attack", they can find the letter G in the lower area close to the lava. If the Kongs manage to dodge some snake-like creatures, they can move down into the letter G to collect it. However, they must move back up to avoid falling into the lava and continue to dodge two more snake-like creatures.
- At the beginning of the level, the Kongs can jump on a gray platform in the gap ahead. When they land on it, they will notice that it tilts. Since the Kongs are most likely on the platform's left edge, they can notice the right edge pointing upwards. Ahead of this platform is a gap filled with two Fireballs to jump out of the lava and fall back into it. So, when the Fireballs fall back into the lava, the apes can roll-jump off this platform to reach a hidden skull Auto-Fire Barrel. This skull Auto-Fire Barrel fires the Kongs into a Bonus Room. Here, the Kongs must collect sixty-five Bananas, three Banana Coins and an Extra Life Balloon while blasting through four Barrel Cannons that change angles every second. If everything is collected within thirty seconds, a Puzzle Piece appears that the Kongs can fire to.
- In the weird Fireball part, the Kongs will eventually notice a weird Fireball collide into a falling rock part that fell off its rock ceiling. The collision creates a Puzzle Piece that moves itself close to the lava. The Kongs can move down into the Puzzle Piece to collect it.
- Shortly after getting the second Puzzle Piece, more weird Fireballs come from behind the Kongs which they must dodge. If the Kongs can manage to move down after a first, lower, weird Fireball passes them (the second weird Fireball will be behind them), they can notice a group of two Bananas with a Puzzle Piece in between them. The Kongs can head through these collectibles to collect the Puzzle Piece, and then proceed their journey.
- Shortly after the letter N, the Kongs will encounter a curvy trail of Bananas. If the Kongs collect all the Bananas in this trail (which takes some moving up and moving down to get through), a Puzzle Piece appears ahead. The Kongs can then head through this Puzzle Piece to collect it.
- Shortly after the area with the many snake-like creatures, the Kongs will have an ENORMOUS lava wave chase them from behind. Before the lava wave comes into view, they can encounter a long trail of Bananas close to the lava. If the Kongs head through all the Bananas in this trail, a Puzzle Piece appears that they can head through to collect.