Monday, January 8, 2018

DKC2: Most Difficult Levels

Donkey Kong Country 2 is a great game with so many amazing worlds... Lots of favorites, but somehow it's the ones that you get stuck on that you seem to remember most.
Many people despise any stage with barrel blasting.... Others aren't crazy about levels where you play as Rattly the snake. Snow and ice locales are never popular. But the most disliked stages seem to be ones where the game dictates the pace by forcing you to climb higher and faster to avoid being crushed, burned or eaten... Or if there's a fierce wind that's tossing you around.

Bramble Blast (3-6) was incredibly frustrating as a kid, but took me two attempts as an adult. Bramble Scramble (4-3) is consistently challenging during every play through. Both feature the lovely melody of the Stickerbrush Symphony track, which I truly believe helps you from going insane with rage when you repeatedly die in the bramble patches.

Gusty Glade (5-3) is another fairly disliked level. The sporadic wind can present some challenges, and can leave you cursing and swearing as you get tossed down a pit. Arctic Abyss (6-1) gets a mention, as many players despise it. Not a fan of snow and ice in any game that doesn't involve a puck.

Windy Well (6-2) gets votes from many players. Leaping over, under, and through Zinger wasps is never fun, especially with the wind thrashing you around. I completed the level and got the DK coin, but died a bunch of times getting the bonuses. The game doesn't allow much backtracking here, which means a trip back if you missed something.

Toxic Tower (6-5) makes the top of many players' lists as the most challenging level in the entire game, which is rather fitting as the last level in the regular world. Requires lots of quick jumping and patience to charge up Rattly's super jump while the acid is continually rising. Last bonus level is found using Squitter. It's fairly well hidden, as the lone banana clue is hidden behind a Zinger bee that you might not bother to kill as you're frantically trying to escape the tower.

Some levels are ridiculously hard until you figure out how to beat them... Others remain challenging even afterwards. Sometimes, it's the bonus games or DK coins that give you a hard time.
In selecting the following levels as "most difficult", I've tried to balance all things into consideration - the stage itself and the extras. Here is my short list for "most challenging level" in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest:

Web Woods (5-5)
Patience is the key in web woods. Lots of enemies and pitfalls, but as Squitter the spider, you can fend 'em off with webs and climb yourself anywhere... But a few things make the level a bit tricker than most. 
First off, is a rather unconventional bonus area unlocked by following one of Kannon's cannonballs back towards where you came. There's a familiar banana arrow to guide you, so it's not that hard... But having to navigate ALL the way to the end of the level target again for another chance to snag the big shiny DK coin as it flickers on screen for an mere instant is absolutely infuriating.

Chain Link Chamber (6-5)
I find this level to be a bit like Web Woods in the sense that you gotta carefully make your way through the level again, re-enduring the tediousness of dodging all obstacles and hazards to snag everything.
Got through the level OK... Managed to snag the DK coin hidden by the letter "N".... But the bonus levels seem to be well hidden. Especially the bonus area hidden between these two Kannons.

Screech's Sprint (7-1)
The last stage before you go on to fight Kaptain K Rool, so naturally, it's gonna be a tough one. Getting past Cat-O-Nine Tails and Zingers, a nearly impossible jump unless you're using Dixie, plus a jump over thorns to an overhead bonus cannon that's fairly well camoflagued behind the leaves, just before the save barrel.
Racing as Squawks the parrot against Screech through the thorn maze is no easy task, but just like the craziest Mario Kart tracks, you memorize the tight spots, and find ways to shave seconds off your time until you can burn the competition.

These two "gems" from the DKC2: Lost World get honorable mentions:
*Klobber Karnage (8-3): Fast and aggressive, one wrong move and Klobbers will run you into a spike pit.
*Animal Antics (8-5): Particularly the part where the wind tosses Squawks all over around the thorn maze.

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