Skowl, the Startling is the second boss of the Autumn Heights area in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, appearing in the level Mountaintop Tussle. Before the battle, Skowl is seen smashing a banana with a large mallet, much to the Kongs' dismay. Like all the boss in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Skowl is a high ranking member of the Snowmads.

Physical description

Skowl is a large, gray Hootz with a thick, braided beard and a brown chest plate. He has thick, white eyebrows, and small, luminescent amber eyes. His talons and beak share a brownish color. Skowl wears a viking helmet with antler horns, and it has the Snowmad symbol in the middle. Like Hootzes, Skowl has a noticeably larger head compared to the rest of his body. His talons and disproportionately small wings.

Skowl's wing feathers are grayish-white. During the boss battle, the tips of Skowl's feathers gain a red coloration that progresses in brightness upon him taking a third and a sixth hit, respectively.


When the Kongs enter inside the owl-shaped lair, they see Hootzes gather around Skowl, who uses his hammer to smash a banana. The Kongs react by yelling in shock, which gains the attention of Skowl, who angrily hoots at the Kongs, thus triggering the start of the boss fight.

Initially, Skowl's attacks are limited to shooting a wide fan of feather missiles and summoning eggs down onto the arena. These eggs damage the Kongs if they hit them from below. Some of these eggs contain small Hootzes, which can be jumped on and used as projectiles against Skowl.

In the latter two phases of the battle, each in a different area of the boss level, Skowl uses more attacks. This includes creating a windstorm by flapping his wings, shooting feather projectile attack, call in fleets of flying Hootz with viking helmets to swoop onto the platform at the Kongs. Skowl also turns his wings to ice and sends out a huge spiked ice ball to the opposite end of the platform. The ice ball continues to roll in a direction until falling off the platform. Late into the battle, Skowl sends large eggs onto the arena, each one containing three Hootzes, and Skowl appears inside the fifth large egg.

To attack Skowl, Donkey Kong can jump on a baby Hootz to flip it over and pick it up. He must then throw it at Skowl. To hit Skowl an eighth time, after Skowl falls out his large egg, he loses his viking helmet, and Donkey Kong can jump on its head to attack it. Skowl gets defeated after taking nine hits in total.


  • Skowl has quite a few similarities to Hoo from Super Princess Peach. They are both the second boss of their respective games, both are owls, both release eggs that spawn smaller owl-like enemies, both are fought atop a tree, and both fly for the majority of the battle.
  • Skowl's boss battle also shares similarities with Krow and Kreepy Krow from Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest. Much like Krow, Skowl attacks by dropping eggs onto the Kongs, who then throw the eggshell-wearing Hootz back at the avian boss to damage him. Similarly to Kreepy Krow, Skowl summons its smaller Hootz brethren to attack the Kongs, and the battle takes place on three floors that the Kongs must ascend.
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