This picture shows a Map Key in Donkey Kong Country Returns.

A Map Key is one of the many items in Donkey Kong Country Returns. It is a large golden Key that is used to unlock locked paths found in worlds. Each world in DKCR (with the exception of the Golden Temple) has a locked path, which is made of a large lock attached to a golden chain. So, to unlock this path, the Kongs (Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong) must first head into Cranky Kong's Shop. Inside here, the heroes can see the large key hovering in the air to the far right, and it is sold for twenty Banana Coins. As soon as the key is bought and the shop is exited, it immediately and automatically unlocks the locked path, revealing the hidden level (Note: this only works when the previous level before the locked level has been played and completed at least once). Unlike other items in Cranky Kong's Shop, such as Extra Life Balloons and Heart Boosts (most likely), the Map Key can only be bought and used once per world. Map Keys can be more helpful than you think. This is because they can unlock shortcuts to another level and reach the boss level without completing all of that particular world's levels.
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