Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble! is an adventure platform video game developed by Rare and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). It was first released on November 22, 1996 in North America, November 23, 1996 in Japan and on December 13, 1996 in Europe and Australia. It is the third installment of the Donkey Kong Country series, the final game in the original trilogy, and serves as a direct sequel to Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest. It was also re-released for the Game Boy Advance in 2005, with a new soundtrack. The game was made available to download on the Wii’s Virtual Console service in 2007, as well as for the Wii U’s Virtual Console in 2014.
The plot revolves around Dixie Kong and her cousin, Kiddy Kong, in their attempts to rescue the kidnapped Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong from series antagonist King K. Rool. The game is set in the “Northern Kremisphere”, a fictionalised version of northern Europe and Canada. Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble! utilises the same Silicon Graphics technology from its predecessors, which feature the use of pre-rendered 3D imagery. The game received positive reviews upon release. Critics praised the visuals and various aspects of gameplay; however, most were divided over the game’s soundtrack.
Dixie Kong, with Kiddy Kong standing by in the background
Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble! is a platform game where players control Dixie Kong and her cousin, Kiddy Kong, through 8 worlds which comprise a total of 48 levels. Many of the gameplay elements from previous games in the series mark a return in this game, such as barrels, bonus levels which reward the player with special “bonus coins”, DK coins, animal helpers and a multiplayer mode. Both of the two playable Kongs have unique abilities, such as Dixie’s ability to slow her descent by spinning her ponytail, and Kiddy’s ability to bounce across open water. The Kongs may also pick each other up to throw each other around levels; the impact of the other player-character can reveal cracked floors, hidden switches or secret areas. At any time, the player can switch Kongs during a level.
Levels in the game include a mixture of platforming, swimming and on-rails levels. They are based around several returning themes including forests, cliff-sides, factories and mountain tops. The level design is more diverse compared to its predecessors, which includes more complex puzzles and obstacles. Every level has an enemy called a Koin; each of these enemies bears the DK Coin of their respective level, holding it as a shield. As these enemies always face towards the player, they must be defeated by throwing a steel barrel over them so it bounces off a wall behind them in order to strike them from behind. The game overworld is also more complex, allowing players to explore between each area instead of forcing them along a linear path. To achieve this, the game includes several vehicles such as a speedboat and hovercraft which can be used to traverse the overworld and access different worlds.
The game features “Animal Friends”, which return from its predecessors. Returning animals include Enguarde the swordfish, Squitter the spider and Squawks the parrot. New animals include Ellie the elephant, who can suck up water through her trunk to spray enemies with, and Parry the “parallel bird”, who flies directly above the player-characters and can be used to collect out-of-reach items. As in the previous game, players can directly control animals instead of just riding them. Scattered around the Northern Kremisphere overworld are the Brothers Bear, a family of bears who provide the players with hints, key items or other services. Players can collect items in levels to trade with the bears for other items or to help progress to later levels; one such item is the Bear Coin, which acts as the game’s currency. Other members from the Kong family, such as Cranky Kong, Wrinkly Kong, Swanky Kong and Funky Kong can also be found around the overworld, each of whom offer their own services.