Diddy Kong Racing

aka: Diddy Kong Racing: A Wild Racing Adventure, RC Pro-Am 64
Moby ID: 3582
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Description official descriptions

It's an island takeover when the evil space wizard, Wizpig, discovers Tiger Island! After the islands prized racetracks become sealed up, Timber Tiger contacts his friend Diddy Kong to help him reclaim the racetracks and save the island before his parents return. Along for the ride are the Kremling spy Krunch, Bumper Badger, Banjo (prior to meeting Kazooie in Banjo-Kazooie), pre-sweary Conker, Tiptup Turtle, and Pipsy Mouse.

Diddy Kong Racing is a racing game with similarities to Mario Kart 64, in that you race with a variety of cheery racers while using weapons. However, the similarities end there. DKR includes an adventure mode, which features bosses, an overworld to explore, many hidden secrets, the addition of hovercrafts and planes, and a unique way of racing called the "Silver Coin Challenge". In this mode, in addition to coming first, you must also find the eight Silver Coins deviously hidden throughout the courses (some in alternate paths).

The game also features a strategic method of using weapons. Each colored balloon on the track matches a specific weapon, and collecting the same type of balloon multiple times in a row powers it up (to a maximum of three times). This gives the player the choice of snatching every balloon available and using it immediately, or storing the existing weapon, and using a more powerful version of it later.

Up to four players can compete in the races, but in order to play new tracks, they must first be unlocked in the single player game. There are also four battle modes of play - two standard deathmatch maps, a capture-the-flag style battle where you must nab eggs and hatch three of them in your home nest, and another where you must be the first to return ten bananas to your treasure chest (with the limitation of only being able to hold two at any one time).

Spellings

  • ディディーコングレーシング - Japanese spelling
  • 디디콩 레이싱 - Korean spelling

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Credits (Nintendo 64 version)

60 People (37 developers, 23 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 89% (based on 30 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 83 ratings with 3 reviews)

One of my most favorite video games of all time!

The Good
Diddy Kong Racing, released for the Nintendo 64, is an amazing title, especially for its time. It is a kart racer ala Mario Kart 64, but it has one big distinction: an adventure mode. The adventure mode is constructed similarly to another Mario title, Super Mario 64: you must challenge opponents in several beautiful, well-made stages. With each victory you will earn a golden balloon, which are used to unlock more stages. After all stages in each of the 4 worlds have been cleared, you will be challenged to a race by a boss character. When he is defeated, he will give you the task of racing through the stages once more, this time to collect several silver coins cleverly placed around each of the stages. This is only a handful of the things you are given the chance to do in this fun racer. As well as having wonderful graphics, Diddy Kong Racing features an incredibly catchy, memorable soundtrack. It ranks as one of my favorite video game soundtracks of all time. Each theme fits the game's several locations very well, from the Christmas-esque tunes in Snowflake Mountain, to the eerie music of Haunted Woods. The soundtrack makes one feel as if they are actually on an adventure.

The Bad
The gameplay, while a blast, can get repetitive at times. You are basically doing the same thing in each of the game's multiple worlds, and some stages feel very similar to each other. Like Mario Kart 64, it features a multiplayer mode, however, it is lacking in the appeal of that game. Diddy Kong Racing is bit geared more towards those who enjoy a great single-player experience.

The Bottom Line
Despite the problems the game has, it is a wonderful game, another classic from the folks at Rare. I highly recommend you add this to your game collection.

Nintendo 64 · by BlueWind SSK (28) · 2015

A cool Mario Kart type racing game!

The Good
This game is like a mix of Lego Racers (the way the items work) and Mario Kart (everything else). With four world's and four tracks on each world, plus a Battle Zone, this game has exactly the same number or levels as Mario Kart 64. It's a lot of fun and the one-player mode, where you collect balloons to unlock levels, is cool. In this game you get to choose to race with a Car, Hover Car or an Airplane, though on some levels you must use the Hover Car. The controls are the same as Mario Kart so it's easy to master the control's if you've played Mario Kart before. You can play with up to four player's and use CPUs when less than 3 people are racing.

The Bad
It looks really Kiddy but no kid will be able to unlock very many levels. The music is okay at times but some of it gets really annoying really fast. The graphic's are okay, but Mario Kart 64's are much better and it was released a year earlier. Also, just like Mario Kart, when 3 or 4 people are playing at the same time you can't use CPUs.

The Bottom Line
If you've played Mario Kart or Lego racer's and enjoyed them then you'll probably like this game.

Nintendo 64 · by darthsith19 (62) · 2006

Terrific single player game, awesome tracks and graphics, but a boring multi-player

The Good
This game was announced to the pubilc and gaming press less than a month before its release. Rare managed to keep it hidden through its entire development cycle and release it as a great Christmas present to N64 fans. And to top it off they showed Nintendo how to do a real PAL conversion (Mario Kart 64 or Wave Race 64 anyone?).

This game took the adventure and kart genres and mixed them into one, creating a brilliant karting game - with huge worlds to explore, secret keys to find (hidden in each world), unlockable characters, a huge unlockable space themed world, stunning and brilliant Boss races in order to complete worlds, an ultra-hard time trial against a ghost on every track to beat, all tied together by a beautiful over-world that was great for exploring. Each world had 6 levels that needed to be beat to complete it. Another new feature that Rare added to the genre in DKR was the three different modes of transport required for various levels - some levels were raced in karts, some in planes and some in bumper-boats on the water, adding great variations to the theme.

The control system is really good - fitting the various vehicles well and having the subtle corning and boosting techniques which were required to be learnt in order to beat the harder courses.

This game had real lastability, and it took some time to beat a lot of the tracks, not to mention unlocking the space world and beating TT's ghost on every track to get the ultra-fast TT to drive as (a big red stop-watch!). And to top it all off, once you finished everything, you unlocked the harder mirror-mode and had to beat everything in the game again, except all the tracks were mirrored. This was a game that lasted me several months, and clearly upstaged Nintendo's Mario Kart 64 single player game by some way.

The levels were perfectly designed - loads of primary colours everywhere in a cartoon world filled with marvellous and varied worlds - a pre-historik, dinosaur world, an island oasis world filled with water effects that upstaged Wave Race 64, a snow world with great Christmas-y music playing and awesome snow effects, a futuristic space world and a pirate lagoon based world. All the tracks were filled with cool sights and scenery, devilish layouts and turns, and short cuts that took true skill to master, but were required to beat the game.

The graphic engine driving this game was a step above everything else on the N64 at this point - managing to push a smooth and constant 30-frames per second through every track in the game with no fogging and a huge view into the distance - and the great level design ensured that there was no popup either. Everything looks really crisp also. Definitely a triple-AAA effort in the graphics department.

There are so many great parts to this game, including 7 or 8 races that are just stunning, but for me the highlight other than the space world was the races against the Boss characters, which were truly inspired pieces of art. Racing the huge Octopus around the islands in the water-world was truly great as was the first WizPig race during pouring rain and lightening inspired set pieces. And not to mention racing the Triceratops up the mountain and not being squashed by him or trying to beat the huge Walrus down the ice mountain. All these races were great and stand-out moments in the game, as well as being nice and hard to get past too.

The sound was well done too, with different tunes for every level - the most memorable being the great Christmas tunes in the snow-world. The music changed to reflect what was happening in the race also. The sound effects were crisp and clear too, with great voice acting, although the characters are not as good as Nintendo's own, but the voice work was well done never-the-less.

The Bad
The multi-player mode is absolute rubbish. It has no excitement, and the courses that were so great in single-player mode seem a bit crap in multi-player. This is in part due to the fact that racing against someone who is good at the game and knows all the short-cuts makes it impossible to win (for an average player). Whereas, in Mario Kart, the computer "helps" out the worse players, in Diddy Kong it is every person for themselves.

Also, the characters are nothing compared to Nintendo's line-up of mascots. Their personalities and traits are amusing at first, but you don't care about them or find them that funny after a few races, not like Yoshi, Mario and company.

Other than that, this game has no real flaws.

The Bottom Line
A brilliant karting-adventure, that you should definitely play if you are looking for a great and challenging single-player experience. Tonnes of hidden secrets and unlockable extras all stitched together by a very-good engine. In essence, loads of fun with some great eye-candy.

Nintendo 64 · by Anthony Bull (24) · 2003

Trivia

Characters

The playable characters who appear in other games are: * Diddy Kong the monkey from the Donkey Kong Country series (first released in 1994). * Banjo the bear from the Banjo-Kazooie series (first released in 1998). * Tiptup the turtle from the Banjo-Kazooie series. * Conker the squirrel later appeared in various games. * Krunch is a Kremling, who are the antagonists of the Donkey Kong Country series. His clothing style was carried over to several of these enemies in Donkey Kong 64 (released in 1999).

Tricky the triceratops is a non-playable boss character whose origins are later explored in Star Fox Adventures (released in 2002).

Cut content

In Space Port Alpha, just before the finish line, there's a small alcove in the wall that the player can drive into and appears to have no use. Initially, this was going to hide the key for Future Fun Land's T.T. Challenge / Multiplayer Level. However, the level was removed for whatever reason, so the key was no longer needed.

Development

In its very early stages, Diddy Kong Racing was going to be a next-generation update to the popular RC Pro AM series which appeared on the NES, Game Boy and Genesis.

Legal issues

The legalities of Diddy Kong Racing were open for debate when Rare was bought by Microsoft in 2002. In 2007, Diddy Kong Racing DS was released. It appears that Rare owns Banjo and Conker, who were replaced with Dixie Kong and Tiny Kong. All other characters seem to have gone to Nintendo, even Tiptup although he appeared in Banjo-Kazooie.

Awards

  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
    • December 1997 (Issue 101) - Game of the Month
    • March 1998 (Issue 104) - Racing Game of the Year
    • March 1998 (Issue 104) - Game of the Year Runner-Up (Readers' Choice)
    • March 1998 (Issue 104) - N64 Game of the Year Runner-Up (Readers' Choice)
    • March 1998 (Issue 104) - Racing Game of the Year (Readers' Choice)
    • March 1998 (Issue 104) - Multiplayer Game of the Year Runner-Up (Readers' Choice)

Information also contributed by Ben K, gamewarrior and MegaMegaMan.

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Related Sites +

  • DKR World
    Diddy Kong Racing website with MP3s, character profiles, racing strategies and shortcut locations.
  • Wikipedia: Diddy Kong Racing
    article in the open encyclopedia about the game

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 3582
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Chris Martin.

Additional contributors: Sciere, Alaka, Tiago Jacques, gamewarrior, Deleted, Tammy Harris, Cantillon, Patrick Bregger, Rik Hideto, Bart Smith.

Game added July 25, 2001. Last modified April 1, 2024.