Lift-off Launch is the fifty-fourth level of Donkey Kong Country Returns, as well as the eighth level of the Factory. This level is very strange and unique. This is not just because it lacks K-O-N-G Letters and Puzzle Pieces, but it also features a Rocket Barrel that flies vertically instead of horizontally, without leading the Kongs (Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong) to a boss in the same level. Also, this level is the shortest level in the game; the most it can stay (without dying) is probably a minute and thirty seconds (this is an estimated guess). Also, to unlock this level, the Kongs must find and pound three switches: one in Cog Jog, one in Switcheroo, and one in Music Madness. However, like most Factory levels, the level begins in a factory where the Kongs can find and must enter a large rocket. In this rocket is a Rocket Barrel, which the Kongs must use to ride up into the skies. Lift-off Launch features no enemies, however, Tiki Goons, Tiki Tanks and Tiki Torches can be seen on the ships near the end of the level (as seen in the picture above). Also, this level cannot be played in Time Attack mode nor Mirror Mode.
OverviewThe level begins with the Kongs landing on a floor. Wow! This area sure has one weird background! It looks like there is planet full of craters moving up and down in a glass cage, and what is that thing light brownish-circular thingy next to it! Wow, what a strange background! Anyway, the Kongs can continue on the floor until they come by a platform not that high above the floor. The Kongs can jump to this platform. A slightly larger platform is above this platform slightly to the right. From this first platform, the apes can jump to this second platform. Here, the apes can see half of a rocket ahead standing still on a red and gray, circular part of the floor beneath the Kongs. There is a secret on that circular part of floor, yet it is not a K-O-N-G Letter, nor is it a Puzzle Piece. If the Kongs had to run to the right edge of this circular part of floor, they can find a light bulb that can be blown on for a collectible, most likely. Anyway, there is a platform attached to the left side of this rocket, which has an opening in it. The opening looks very much like an unoccupied gate at an airport (the gates that the planes park at). Anyway, if the Kongs jump to this platform, which is above them slightly to the right, they can head into the rocket. Oh, boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! We're gonna actually use a real rocket! However, when the Kongs enter the opening in the rocket, the Tutorial Pig appears in a yellow bubble (not the bubbles you can blow on, the talk bubble), telling the player to press the A Button on the Wii Remote. If the player does press the A button on the Wiimote (short for Wii Remote), they can notice that the rocket is starting off much like that of the Rocket Barrel. Huh? What's going on?! So, if the player continues to press this button on the Wiimote, the Kongs will pop out the top of the rocket on a Rocket Barrel heading upwards. WHA, WHA, WHAT THE HELL!!! I THOUGHT WE WERE FLYING A REAL ROCKET!!! THEN WE HAVE TO FLY THIS BARREL THROUGH THE WHOLE ENTIRE LEVEL, WITHOUT CRASHING ONCE!!! Ah, they got you, and I, Smashbro8, am pretty sure that is how you all are going to respond to this when you notice you are flying a Rocket Barrel instead of a rocket. Yeah, that is a waste of money and time finding switches if you don't get to use the rocket, but let's continue. The developers still did a good job on this game. Anyway, the Kongs can continue upwards where they will meet a long curvy trail of Bananas in a vertical position around some palm trees, almost immediately after they end up on the Rocket Barrel instead of in the rocket. The trail of Bananas ends with a Banana Bunch. The Kongs can head up higher over the Jungle to find an Extra Life Balloon move from the left side to the right side quickly. The apes can move themselves into the Extra Life Balloon before it disappears for one extra life. However, before the Extra Life Balloon disappears, the Kongs can pass two Banana Bunches spaced out from each other. Another pair of Banana Bunches is above this, however, the two are closer together than this previous one. After the Kongs pass this second pair of Banana Bunches, they can head through another curvy trail of Bananas ending with a Banana Bunch in a vertical position. Immediately after that Banana Bunch, the Kongs can pass/head through a third curvy trail of Bananas ending with a Banana Bunch in a vertical position. The trail takes the Kongs past six separate factory walls, three on the left and three on the right. Each factory wall is right across from the other. So the Kongs must travel through the spaces between the walls to get past them safely. The trail of Bananas ends right before the third pair of factory walls. After the Kongs pass the third pair of factory walls, they can come up to some more walls across from each other, forming a narrow passageway that the Kongs must travel through. So once the Kongs head through these walls, the Kongs can notice that they must move left a bit each time until they reach a particular wall. Now we're not talking left like so left that you crash into the walls, but just a little bit to the left so that the Kongs can get through the space between these factory walls. The Kongs should continue to do this until they reach a wall where they realize they must now move a bit to the right to get through the space between the factory walls. The Kongs should not move too close to the walls, just a bit to the right. They must keep moving right a bit until they reach a pair of factory walls where they realize that they must move, once again, to the left a bit to get through the space between the factory walls. Like usual, the Kongs should not move too close to the walls, instead, they should move left just a bit. The Kongs should keep doing this until they reach a pair of factory walls that goes straight up and gets narrower and narrower. When the Kongs reach this pair of factory walls, they should position themselves to go through the space as it gets narrower and narrower. Eventually, after going through this straight space, the Kongs can head out of the factory walls. Probably because the jungle and stuff are out of view, the sky tends to get darker as the Kongs proceed. A green aurora can be seen in the background here, and the clouds are getting darker in color too. The moon can also be seen from here. But wait, wasn't it sunny down below? What the barnacles has happened here! Anyway, the Kongs will come up to a ship with Tiki enemies on it to their left. The Kongs should move to the far right to dodge this ship. After the Kongs pass this ship, they will find another ship with Tiki enemies on it to their right. So, the Kongs should move to the far right to dodge the ship. Now after this ship, two ships, one on the left and one on the right, come into view. There is a space between the two ships. If the Kongs position themselves to go through this space, they can get past two ships safely. Two more ships with Tiki enemies on them are after the first two ships. There is a space between them, which the Kongs can head through if they position themselves in the right place. After passing these ships, the Kongs can see a ship come into view from the left. The ship heads to the right and it continuously drops a long group of Bananas from its left side as it moves. The Kongs should move to the left to dodge this ship. They can follow the ship, however, for Bananas. After the Kongs pass this ship, the Kongs can continue moving upwards until the screen stops scrolling upwards, with the Kongs still moving upwards. After this, the level shows the Kongs in something similar to the "starting screen" of a level. After this, it is revealed on the map that Lift-off Launch is complete! Now, Feather Fiend is unlocked, allowing the Kongs to fight the boss.
- This is the only level in DKCR to not feature a Time Attack option, nor a Mirror Mode option.
- The platforms in the background near the beginning of the level resemble those of the original Donkey Kong game, and they even have ladders.