Dixie Kong and Kiddy Kong are off to find the missing Donkey and Diddy, who disappeared while celebrating their victory over King K. Rool. Donkey Kong Country 3 plays very much like the first two games in the series, but there are some new features, namely the Brothers Bear. There are 13 of these helpful bears throughout the game, including Blunder, who gives out secrets; Barter, who swaps items; Barnacle, who runs the gift shop; and Benny and Bjorn, twins who run the ski lifts on the mountains. Also new to this series are Banana Birds, which help you save your progress.
As you progress through this game's many exotic tropical worlds, you (or you and a friend alternating) will control both Dixie and Kiddy Kong. Dixie's primary strengths involve her pony tail, which enables her to form a Helicopter Spin, which can be used to whip enemies or make incredibly long leaps. Kiddy's main asset is his strength: he can reveal hidden areas by breaking down doors and smashing the ground. Also, he can skim across water and power roll into bad guys. Both characters can swim, run, jump, swing, throw barrels, climb, and ride vehicles, such as Funky's hovercraft, which can be used to explore further sections of the map.
To enable you to reach places high places, you can throw Dixie when controlling Kiddy. When you are Dixie, you can throw Kiddy and steer him to drop down fragile holes.
Throughout this epic game, you'll find animal friends that you can ride, such as Enguarde the Swordfish, Squawks the Parrot, and Squitter the Spider. Enemies you must defeat include: the springy tailed Re-Koil; Nibbla, the hungry fish; Buzz the bee; Sneek, the sneaky rat; the coin-protecting alligator named Koin; Bristels, the rolling hedgehog; and Swoopy, the sharp-beaked bird.
In Donkey Kong Country 3, as in the first two games in the series, barrels play a significant role in the action. Star Barrels act as save points, TNT Barrels explode when thrown, Bonus Barrels let you play bonus round games, and Invincibility Barrels let you gain temporary invincibility. You'll find many other kinds of barrels as you go. Treasures and items are important as well. Bananas sometimes point the way, balloons and KONG Letters give you extra lives, and coins give you bonus points, let you play Swanky's games, and help you pay for items.