Diddy Kong Racing
Diddy Kong Racing
November 21, 1997
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Attachment The racer Krunch wasn't originally designed as a Kremling. According to former Rare artist Kevin Bayliss (in a now defunct Facebook page for Rare alumni), the character predated the conversion from Pro-Am 64 to Diddy Kong Racing and was originally a generic crocodile character, brought in to introduce a "bad guy" into the game's roster.

When it was decided to incorporate Diddy Kong into the game and change the title to Diddy Kong Racing, it was also decided to turn the crocodile character into a Kremling named Krunch, perhaps to better tie it into the new Donkey Kong-infused lore. The decision to turn Krunch into a Kremling, a Nintendo-owned species, also automatically gave Nintendo the rights to the character as well, even retaining said rights after the Microsoft buyout in 2002, whereas all the other Diddy Kong Racing racers outside of obviously Diddy are now owned by Microsoft.
person Dinoman96 calendar_month January 19, 2024
Source Gaming article on Krunch's history:

DKVine article on Diddy Kong Racing's copyrights:

Rare scribes confirming that Krunch is still owned by Nintendo:
subdirectory_arrow_right Conker: Live & Reloaded (Game)
Attachment A promotional e-mail from Conker the Squirrel in 2004 to promote the release of Conker: Live & Reloaded has him talking about his career. When talking about his first appearance in 1997’s Diddy Kong Racing, he states:

"Things were different back then, you know, I was different - it goes without saying that you wouldn't catch me hanging out with any of those freaks these days. Last I heard at least one of 'em was in jail, anyway."

On May 18, 2012, a Q&A on the Rare Mini-Scribes answered a question about what their beloved characters do when their not in a new game, to which they responded "Where do the characters go between games? Well, they’re all off having crazy adventures too expensive and asset-heavy to adapt into game form … Except for Bumper the badger, who’s in jail."

On October 6, 2021, Rare’s official Twitter account provided another update in response to this piece of trivia being headlined on the Super Mario Wiki, stating that Bumper is currently on parole and is "superficially sorry for all those bad things he did."
person NintendOtaku calendar_month September 12, 2023
subdirectory_arrow_right Banjo-Kazooie (Game), Banjo-Tooie (Game), Dream: Land of Giants (Game)
Attachment Tiptup is a recurring NPC character in the Banjo-Kazooie series that, along with Banjo, also made his debut in Diddy Kong Racing in 1997. However, Tiptup was originally the name of a turtle in Dream: Land of Giants, the game that would eventually morph into Banjo-Kazooie. Halfway through the development of BK, the development team behind Diddy Kong Racing (or Pro-Am 64 as it was called before Diddy Kong was included later on) were in need of names for their racers, one of which happened to be a turtle, and thus it was given the Tiptup name. Tiptup was then incorporated into future Rare games like Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie.
In the Japanese version of Diddy Kong Racing, none of the boss characters outside of Wizpig are referred to by their original names and are instead simply translated to the names of their respective species.

• Tricky is called トリケラトプス (Torikeratopusu), which translates to "Triceratops"
• Bluey is called セイウチ (Seiuchi), which translates to "Walrus"
• Bubbler is called タコ (Tako), which translates to "Octopus"
• Smokey is called ドラゴン (Doragon), which translates to "Dragon"
subdirectory_arrow_right Star Fox Adventures (Game), Dinosaur Planet (Game)
Star Fox Adventures began development as Dinosaur Planet, which originally began development as a direct sequel to Diddy Kong Racing, starring Timber the Tiger (who himself was intended as the main character of DKR when it was Pro-Am 64, before Donkey Kong characters were incorporated into it). It was pitched as an adventure/racing hybrid where Timber, equipped with a rucksack, little fingerless gloves, and a baseball cap would go back in time and team up with a younger version of Tricky, a boss from the first DKR. Wizpig, the main antagonist and final boss of the first Diddy Kong Racing, was also involved. It would seem a working title for this iteration of the game was "Dino Island", going by several posts on former Rare employee Ed Bryan's Twitter account.

Eventually it was decided to rework the concept into an entirely new original IP with no story connections to DKR and two new main characters, named Sabre and Krystal, and also make it a full-on action-adventure game directly inspired by The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. DP/SFA's various racing segments are said to be remnants of the original DKR successor concept, and while he retained the name of the DKR boss (something Rare seems to regret), Tricky would wind up becoming his own distinct character. Several files within DP/SFA's data also mention Timber, obviously a remnant from when he was the star.

Sabre and Krystal were in turn eventually replaced by Fox McCloud as the main playable character when the game was rebranded into what we know today as Star Fox Adventures, though Tricky would remain as his sidekick and Krystal would remain as a main character.
person Dinoman96 calendar_month October 28, 2023
Retro Gamer Issue #122:

Rare Scribes - June 5, 2000:

Rare Scribes - November 5, 2008:

Article by Kev Bayliss about a leaked Dinosaur Planet build:

E3 1998 internal notes saved by Ed Bryan:

The Cutting Room Floor article on SFA's E3 2002 demo:
The music for Frosty Village seems to be a faster-paced, copyright-law-friendly version of the popular Christmas song "Winter Wonderland".

Part of the Walrus Cove theme also resembles Gene Autry's "Here Comes Santa Claus" in the same regard as well.
Attachment In the game's files is an unused model of a balloon that contains the Nintendo, Rare, and Pro-Am 64 logos.
Attachment There is an unreachable golden balloon hidden underneath the Dragon Forest boss track
subdirectory_arrow_right Diddy Kong Racing Adventure (Game)
Attachment In 2004, another attempt at a sequel for Diddy Kong racing was made, this time as more of a follow-up to the original called Diddy Kong Racing Adventure. The game would've been released on the GameCube, and would've been developed by the UK game studio Climax Studios.

The story of the game focuses on Wizpig seeking revenge on Diddy by teaming up with the Kremlings to turn Kongo Isle into a series of race tracks. Diddy gets his buddies to stop Wizpig and the Kremlings to take back Kongo Isle.

Climax presented the demo of Diddy Kong Racing Adventures to Nintendo, but they didn't give Climax approval to develop the game.
There are unused balloons in the game which feature most of the racers' faces. Diddy Kong, Conker and T.T. are the only racers without one of these balloons.
Attachment There are two unused characters and an unused vehicle left in the game that are accessible only with cheat devices. The first is one of the pterodactyls found in Hot Top Volcano, who share the behavior of a boss. The second is a Snowball which will only move when the player is not looking. And finally, there is a Hovercar vehicle which acts very similar to the plane, except it does not descend when left in mid-air.
Krunch is actually one of King K. Rool's spies, sent to investigate why Diddy Kong and his friends are on Timber's Island, and to see if they're hatching some kind of anti-Kremling plot.
subdirectory_arrow_right Donkey Kong Racing (Game), Sabreman Stampede (Game)
Attachment A sequel to the Diddy Kong Racing was being developed titled Donkey Kong Racing, where Donkey Kong would be the main character. The game was first announced at E3 in 2001 and a trailer was shown at Space World in the same year. The game was going to be released for the Nintendo Gamecube. However, because Rare was acquired by Microsoft in 2002, the game was cancelled. After the buyout, the game was heavily reworked as Sabreman Stampede, which was planned for an Xbox 360 release. However, this iteration, too, ended up being canceled due to a lack of focus and Rare's unfamiliarity with the hardware.
Early in the game's development, when it was known as Pro-Am64, Timber was the game's main character.
Attachment Pipsy is based on the main character from a cancelled Rare game called Astro Mouse.
There are a grand total of 6 unused tracks present in the game's data. One called "Horseshoe Gulch" can be accessed using a cheat device, and seems to be used for the title screen intro. Two of the other maps seem to be early versions of Hot Top Volcano. Another, simply called Cube Test, is also found within the data of Jet Force Gemini and Mickey's Speedway USA.
subdirectory_arrow_right Pro-Am 64 (Game)
Attachment Diddy Kong Racing wasn't originally going to star Diddy Kong, and was originally a game called Pro AM 64. It wasn't until a demo of the game was presented to Shigeru Miyamoto that he suggested Diddy be the mascot of the game.
Attachment An unused character selection song suggests that Taj was going to be a playable character in the game. The track is played with sitar strings which are associated with that character. Taj would later become a playable character in Diddy Kong Racing DS.

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