Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong at the beginning of the Shifty Smashers level.
|Location: 3-K Ruins||Location: 3-K Ruins|
|First Appearance||Donkey Kong Country Returns|
Shifty Smashers is the third special temple level featured in Donkey Kong Country Returns. Reaching the end will grant you one of the eight coloured spheres that are needed to unlock the Golden Temple.
 Donkey Kong Country Returns
The overall theme for this level is a series of differently-shaped, golden stone blocks that shift in a constant pattern that can either aid you in eventually reaching the end of the temple safely or crush you without hesitation(fortunately, slipping up only takes away one piece of Heart Health at a time, rather than simply killing your character instantly as is commonly seen in previous 2D platformers bearing such obstacles). Each shifting golden stone segment is shaped in such a way that demands a slight pause to study and watch it shift both in the left and right direction at least once in order to properly determine the safe route which must me cautiously and diligently taken in order to not accidentally get the squeeze from these mobile obstacles.
Each golden stone block bears a variety of images on the front in the shape of the many images depicted in the original Donkey Kong Arcade game. Among those included is the classic version of Donkey Kong in a barrel-throwing pose, jumping overtop of a Flameball, and a close-up of his grinning face with two hearts floating overtop of his head on either side. There are also Bouncing Springs printed on the smaller blocks and the image of a Flaming Oil Drum with two Hammers on either side of it printed on a regular-sized block. These large groups of blocks are purposely placed in a rather confined passage that is meant to unnerve the player and possibly distract them, leading them to a deadly "Game Over" mistake should they succumb to it. To ease on this fact, there are usually some break spaces inbetween the shifting blocks which can contain items such as Bananas or breakable lamps with either Bananas or Banana Coins in them. This also provides the opportunity to place each of the five Puzzle Pieces found in this level in some of the most cramped and dangerous spaces possible.
Both the differently-shaped groups of blocks and the structure of the temple's passage lend to the creation of gaps that you must find and utilize in order to safely make your way through the seemingly endless plethora of deadly shifting stone that surrounds you. After making your way a little further, you'll come across an enormous, shifting stone wall with deadly purple spikes completely covering it's bottom. The wall shifts almost all the way down to the solid ground below that you must travel in order to get past this obstacle, which is littered with small purple spike pits and a couple Tiki Tanks along the way in order to up the challenge a little bit. Simply ducking down will prevent these spikes from harming you after the wall fully descends. Upon clearing this obstacle, you'll be challenged with another brief yet tricky array of shifting stone block groups followed by a patch of helpful items at the end consisting of Bananas, Banana Bunches, and a Banana Coin.
Those items are meant to prepare you for the final, perilous obstacle that is about to come, which consists of a stone shaft of wall which shifts towards you in constant motion, pushing you into a passage of stone pillars sticking out of the ground in between pits of purple spikes both on the floor and ceiling, and both shafts are closing in on each other! Carefully make your way through this passage as fast as you can and you'll have reached the end of the temple where the third orb awaits you.
 Puzzle Pieces
|1||Confined in a small square space next to the third group of shifting stone blocks.||Hard|
|2||In an open, shifting gap near the ceiling.||Easy|
|3||In a small, confined square of space next to a shifting block group which lengthens.||Normal|
|4||Underneath a small, stationary stone block that's constantly squeezed by two large, shifting stone shafts.||Easy|
|5||In the last, closing passage before reaching the end-level orb, suspending in the air near the ceiling||Easy|