Diddy Kong Racing
From RWP Wiki
Diddy Kong Racing is a kart racing and adventure game for the Nintendo 64. It was the first Donkey Kong series game developed for the Nintendo 64, and the first Donkey Kong series game to feature Diddy Kong starring without Donkey Kong at all.
Timber the Tiger is left in charge of Timber's Island while his parents leave for a vacation. Unfortunately, the island soon comes under attack from the evil Wizpig, who puts family friends Tricky, Bluey, Bubbler and Smokey under a spell and entrusts them to guard the four pieces of the Wizpig Amulet, stating that he is taking over and that if anyone wished to challenge him, they would have to best their four former friends. Timber sends a letter to Diddy Kong and a few other friends, requesting their help with defeating Wizpig and winning the island back.
Diddy Kong Racing's core gameplay is similar to that of Nintendo's Mario Kart series. Players race three laps in various tracks and can use items such as weapons and boosts to assist them in winning the races. However, Diddy Kong Racing is also different in many ways. During races, players can collect bananas laid out on the track, which will marginally increase their top-speed (however, the increase stops after 10 bananas). Diddy Kong Racing also features hovercrafts and planes that can be used for races in addition to the karts. Items are gotten from balloons which are laid out in a set manner on the track and differ from Mario Kart's item boxes in that they are not randomized. There are also various boosts (called "Zippers" in the game) which will speed up anyone that passes through them. Its single-player experience is also different, as it is laid out as an adventure, with a progression system similar to that of Super Mario 64 and the then-upcoming Banjo-Kazooie. Timber's Island serves as a hub world and there are various lobbies around the island each containing its own set of tracks and challenges. To access the different lobbies, players must collect Golden Balloons around Timber's Island, either by finding them in the hub, or winning them in races. After all the races in an area are finished and its boss defeated once, the game has players go back through the races, this time collecting Silver Coins. During these Silver Coin Challenges, 8 Silver Coins will be scattered on the track. The player must collect all of them and place in first to win the challenge. After this, the boss may be raced again for a piece of the Wizpig Amulet. Collecting the four pieces of the Amulet from the four bosses wins players the chance to race Wizpig himself. There also Trophy Races which can be completed for a Wizpig Trophy, and a T.T. Amulet, four pieces of which can be collected by completing various challenges set by T.T. the clock. The T.T. amulet unlocks a T.T. Door in the final lobby, Future Fun Land. To access T.T.'s challenge in an area, the player must find a Key in one of the tracks in each lobby.
- Diddy Kong — Diddy Kong, the young monkey hero and title character of the game, was the first character recruited by Timber to help deal with Wizpig. Diddy is a middleweight racer and has low top speed, high acceleration, and good handling.
- Timber the Tiger - Is the son of the owners of the island, and was put in charge of the island while they went away on vacation, just before Wizpig happened to show up. Timber is a middleweight and has average top speed, good acceleration, and good handling.
- Banjo — Was called to Timber's Island to help just before his own first adventure. Banjo is a heavyweight and has high top speed, low acceleration, and poor handling.
- Krunch — Krunch, a Kremling, joined Timber and Diddy's quest solely to make sure they weren't conspiring against the Kremlings. Krunch is a heavyweight and has high top speed, very low acceleration, and very poor handling.
- Tiptup the Turtle - Is a very clever, but also very nervous friend of Timber's. Tiptup is a lightweight and has low top speed, high acceleration, and good handling.
- Pipsy the Mouse - Is the former resident of the mountain where Wizpig has made his home. Pipsy is a lightweight and has very low top speed, very high acceleration, and very good handling.
- Conker the Squirrel - Much like Banjo, was also called to help before his own adventure. Conker is a "light"-heavyweight and has high top speed, average acceleration, and average handling.
- Bumper the Badger - Is a racing enthusiast who was called to join Timber's quest. Bumper is a "light"-heavyweight and has average top speed, average acceleration, and average handling.
- Drumstick the Rooster - Has been turned into a frog by the evil Wizpig. To unlock him as a playable character, the player must complete all races and challenges up through Dragon Forest, and run over a frog with a rooster's comb on its head on Timber's Island. Drumstick is a heavyweight and has low acceleration, poor handling, and very high top speed.
- T.T. — T.T. the clock serves as the game's "host" and tracks the player's progress throughout the adventure. To unlock T.T. as a playable racer, players must beat his best time on ever track. T.T. is a middleweight and has very high acceleration, average handing, and very high top speed
- Taj the Genie - Is the resident genie of the island. He helps out during the quest, handing out the Golden Balloons to the winners of the race, giving hints, and challenging players to races of his own. By talking to him on the overworld, players are also able to change their vehicle.
- Wizpig — Wizpig is the villain of the game. Players must win all the races in the game and then beat Wizpig to win the island back. His name is a portmanteau of "wizard" and "pig."
- Tricky the Triceratops, Bluey the Walrus, Bubbler the Octopus and Smokey the Dragon — Once friends of Timber, these four characters have been turned against him by Wizpig. They each guard one piece of the Wizpig Amulet, which they will relinquish once defeated. When all the pieces are brought together, Wizpig can finally be challenged.
There are various Item Balloons of different colors scattered along the tracks, which contain items and weapons that can be used to the player's advantage. Each item has three stages it goes through, for each time a player passes over its balloon.
- Red Balloons: Red balloons contain rocket missiles. The first form is simply a straight-shooting missile, the second form is a homing missile, and the third form is a pack of ten straight-shooting missiles.
- Blue Balloons: Blue balloons contain boosts. The first form is a short red boost, the second form is a long blue boost, and the third is a very long purple boost.
- Yellow Balloons: Yellow balloons contain shields. The higher stages of the shield simply last a longer time.
- Green Balloons: Green balloons contain "drop" items. The first form is an oil slick which will cause anyone who passes over it to spin out, the second form is a mine which will explode when anyone touches it, causing them to stop temporarily, and the third form is a bubble which encapsulates anyone who touches it, lifting them up and then dropping them back down, causing them to lose all forward momentum.
- Rainbow Balloons: Rainbow balloons contain magnets. The first and second forms contain yellow and red magnets that pull the user forward toward an opposing player, while the third form is a green magnet that pulls an opposing player backward towards the user.
The game features five lobbies which contain various tracks, four of which are on Timber's Island, and one of which takes place on Wizpig's home planet. For the tracks within each lobby, see its respective page.
Diddy Kong Racing originally began life as a caveman and time-travel themed real-time strategy game for the Nintendo 64, developed by a small team of four: Chris Stamper, lead engineer; Lee Musgrave, artist; Rob Harrison, programmer; and Lee Schuneman, designer. The game, however, did not last very long and was soon abandoned. The team later decided to make a "fun racer" (tentatively titled "Wild Cartoon Kingdom" and later "Adventure Racers" during early design) using left-over assets from it, such as a wooly mammoth. The racing portion of the game was inspired by Mario Kart for the SNES, while the adventure portion (including the hub world) was inspired by Disney World. The design of the hub world was more similar to a theme park at first, but soon evolved into the Timber's Island seen in the final game. The initial point of the hub world, was to allow for "individualistic" level design, allowing for areas that would never normally coexist and to avoid repetition.
For many of the game's tracks, Lee Schuneman developed a general theme, designed a layout, and then gave to the artists, who would then finalize the track shape and set up the paths and intelligence levels of the AI.
Eventually, the game became RC Pro-Am 64, was intended to be a sequel to R.C. Pro-Am for the NES, and featured tricycle-like vehicles instead of cars. When the game was presented to Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto, he enjoyed the game so much that he offered that Diddy Kong be put into the game, which the development team was initially against, but later decided to approve.
Diddy Kong Racing was generally well received by critics and fans alike upon its release. IGN praised the game, saying at the time that it was "the best kart game [they'd] ever seen," though they criticized the "overly-cutesy" characters. GameSpot criticized the game for what they considered artificial lengthening (with the Silver Coin and Trophy races) but stated that it was "a better game than [Mario] Kart 64 ever was."
The game currently has an 88/100 (generally favorable reviews) on review aggregation site Metacritic
800,000 copies of the game were ordered in the two weeks before Christmas in 1997. This made DKR one of the fastest-selling games of its time.
- Diddy Kong Racing won the "Console Racing Award" at the 1998 Interactive Achievement Awards
- Diddy Kong Racing won the "Best Console Game of the Year 1998" by Scandinavian Game Review
Diddy Kong Racing was ported to the Nintendo DS in 2007 as Diddy Kong Racing DS. The DS version has many new features such as the ability to edit one's vehicles, the ability to make custom tracks, new characters, new tracks, online play and more.
Diddy Kong Racing was planned to be followed by Donkey Kong Racing for the Nintendo GameCube. However, after the acquisition of Rare by Microsoft, Donkey Kong Racing was canned, and Diddy Kong Pilot was heavily modified and released as a Banjo-Kazooie game, Banjo-Pilot, in 2005. However, on November 5, 2011, a downloadable prototype ROM of Diddy Kong Pilot was made available by the website RareWareCentral.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 GamesTM Diddy Kong Racing feature (page 3)
- ↑ GamesTM Diddy Kong Racing feature (page 1)
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 GamesTM Diddy Kong Racing feature (page 4)
- ↑ GamesTM Diddy Kong Racing feature (page 5)
- ↑ IGN Review of Diddy Kong Racing
- ↑ Gamespot Review of Diddy Kong Racing
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Diddy Kong Racing on Metacritic
- ↑ GamePro Review of Diddy Kong Racing
- ↑ Gaming Age Review of Diddy Kong Racing