Donkey Kong falling headfirst
Screenshot by Dot Esports

How to complete level 8-5 in Mario vs Donkey Kong

Mamma mia! So many spikes and sparks!

In the 2024 Nintendo Switch version of Mario vs Donkey Kong, 8-5 is the fifth level of World 8, the Twilight City. It’s probably the most challenging level in the game, so no one can reasonably blame you for using a walkthrough. I certainly won’t.

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While I know a lot of people get stuck on 5-MM, 7-3, and 8-3, the toughest level for me was 8-5 in Mario vs. Donkey Kong—at least in the main game. It’s the first stage where you have to get the key and take it to the door, which is really tough. Most of the level is taken up by a constantly moving loop of moving platforms, and there are hazards everywhere. Even when you’ve figured out the puzzles, 8-5 still requires speed, precision, and almost perfect timing.

Mario vs. Donkey Kong 8-5 walkthrough

Door stage

Mario getting the key
Next comes the hard part. Screenshot by Dot Esports

To defeat level 8-5 in Mario vs. Donkey Kong, first drop through the gap onto one of the moving platforms, then jump onto the yellow button. Jump onto the conveyor belt and duck so that it conveys you to the right-hand side. Leap to a moving platform then jump onto the blue button. Jump onto a moving platform, duck under the blue block, then jump to the ladder and climb up. Get on the small conveyor belt and duck so that you reach the key.

Jump on the white button, drop the key onto the conveyor, and duck so that both you and the key are conveyed back to the top of the ladder. Cross the gap and onto the red button. The next sequence needs to be done smoothly, quickly and, most of all, patiently. If you’re not patient, you’ll screw up again and again, just like I did.

Mario getting the key on the conveyor
This is literally a key moment. Screenshot by Dot Esports

Drop through the gap onto a moving platform, then throw the key onto the conveyor. The key will get stuck against the red blocks, and you’ll be carried to the left of the screen via the red gift. Jump onto the yellow button, then immediately over to the left-hand end of the conveyor and pick up the key before it expires. If you do this just right, you should have a second or two to spare.

That’s the hardest part out of the way, but the next part, while relatively simple, can also go horribly wrong. So take care. Jump onto the white button so that the conveyor is running to the right, then leap onto the conveyor and let it take you right up to the ledge with spikes on top. Drop the key and immediately duck, and you should be conveyed through the gap a little way ahead of the key, so that you can pick it up on the other side before it drops onto the spikes. Once you’ve got it, jump over to the door without accidentally jumping onto the blue button (if you do that, you might as well start again—believe me, I know).

Mario Toy stage

Mario on a cable
The sparks are not visible on this screenshot, which is reason to be fearful. Screenshot by Dot Esports

Hit the blue button, then jump over the Sir Shovalot, and then duck so that he pushes you through the gap on the right. Jump onto the platform under the cable, then use the cable to swing up to the next platform. Don’t swing at full power, since that’ll send you into the spikes. Head left, and jump on top of the second Sit Shovalot. Wait until he’s directly under the blue ladder, then jump and climb up.

Hit the yellow button then climb down the two yellow ladders and get the first Sir Shovalot to push you through the gap again. Take great care not to hit the blue button along the way. This time you’ll be able to pick up the extra life. Go back to the second Sir Shovalot and jump from the top of him to the yellow ladder on the right, and climb up. Jump up the right and get the third Sir Shovalot to push you through another gap, and again make sure you jump as soon as you’re through so you can escape spiky death by grabbing the cable above.

There are various ways to do the next part, but I found it easiest to wait for both the sparks below to pass by, then drop all the way down to the yellow gift. Hit the red button, then get onto the red platform and wait for the spark to pass by before jumping up and grabbing the cable. From here, the least risky way to get the blue gift is to swing all the way back up to the top cable, shimmy all the way to the right, then drop down and get the blue gift when the spark is well out of the way. That’s not exactly how I did it, but then I’m the kind of Mario that likes to live on the edge.

Once you’ve got the blue gift, you can get to the Mario Toy via the cable below. Just, as always, be careful of the sparks. And don’t go thinking you’re nearly done. There are many more levels to go.


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Author
Gavin Mackenzie
Gavin Mackenzie has been playing video games since the early 80s, and writing about them professionally since the late 90s. Having been a writer and editor on various British magazines including PLAY, GamesTM, and X360, he's now a freelance guides specialist at Dot Esports.