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Diddy Kong Racing
Diddy Kong Racing North American Boxart
Developer(s) Rare
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Main Development Staff {{{devteam}}}
Platform(s) Nintendo 64
Release Date(s) Japan November 21, 1997
Europe November 21, 1997
Australia November 21, 1997
USA November 24, 1997
Genre(s) Racing
Ratings ESRB: K-A
Mode(s) Single player, Multiplayer
Media(s) {{{media}}}
Input(s) {{{input}}}

Diddy Kong Racing is a racing game for the Nintendo 64 developed by Rareware. 800,000 copies were ordered in the two weeks before Christmas 1997, making it the fastest selling video game at the time, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

Two of the playable characters would later appear in their own franchise titles. The game was partially intended to introduce these future franchise characters so that gamers would recognize them when these games were released. These games include Donkey Kong 64, Banjo-Kazooie, and Conker's Pocket Tales. This game later had a remake and sequel for the Nintendo DS known as Diddy Kong Racing DS in 2007, its 10 year anniversary.


Timber the Tigers parents go on vacation with the Kong Family and leave their slightly incompetent son in charge of the island they live on, leaving him and his friends to race for fun.

Their enjoyment is derailed when an evil, intergalactic, pig wizard named Wizpig arrives at peaceful Timber's Island and attempts to take over after he conquered his own planet's racetracks. He turns the four island's guardians: Tricky the Triceratops, Bluey the Walrus, Bubbler the Octopus, and Smokey the Dragon into his henchmen.

The only solution available to the island's inhabitants is to defeat Wizpig in an elaborate series of races that involves cars, hovercrafts, and airplanes. Drumstick, the best racer on the island, failed this challenge and was transformed into a frog by Wizpig's black magic.

Timber sends a letter to his childhood friend Diddy Kong (who at this point became a full-fledged videogame hero after DKC2 and DKL2) to call for help and Diddy in turn recruits his friends Banjo Bear and Conker the Squirrel while Timber gathers the remaining inhabitants of the island to help.

They eventually complete all of Wizpig's challenges and confront Wizpig himself to a race and defeat him. Shortly afterwards, Wizpig leaves for his home planet, Future Fun Land. Fearing that Wizpig would again attempt to invade Timber's Island, the islanders travel to Future Fun Land for a second challenge. When Wizpig loses the second race, the rocket he rides on malfunctions and blasts him to a distant planet and peace returns to Timber Island for good.

In the ending, a cutscene of Wizpig's spaceship finding him and retrieving him with Wizpig maniacally laughing in the background is shown, teasing a sequel: 10 years later on it's anniversary, Diddy Kong Racing DS was released.


Diddy Kong Racing features ten playable characters, eight of which are available by default, and two unlockable, and three different types of vehicles for different terrain: cars for land, hovercrafts for water or land, and planes for air. Each character and vehicle has different strengths and weaknesses, sometimes in combination. For example, Krunch normally has low steering, but his steering is higher in a hovercraft due to that vehicle's emphasis on weight.

In the Adventure mode, the player is placed on Timber's Island and tasked with collecting Golden Balloons to access various challenges. There is a total of five worlds that can be accessed from the main Timber's Island hub, and each has four main racetracks, a trophy championship, a boss track, and—aside from the last one—a special battle minigame. Different vehicles are sometimes required for different tracks, and the player can change them at any time by speaking with Taj the Genie, located in the center of the Timber's Island map. Each of the smaller worlds, meanwhile, instead has T.T. walking around the hub, and he tells the player's progress when approached.

In races, bananas can be picked up to increase speed, while Weapon Balloons provide items to use in the race. The color of the Weapon Balloon determines what item it will be, and collecting multiple of the same color in sequence improves the item's effects by up to a total of three levels. Collecting a balloon of another color cancels it out and replaces it with the new item.

Golden Balloons can be found scattered on Timber's Island or won from races, either from tracks or from Taj on the island. All of the standard tracks have two Golden Balloons available: one from a standard race, and one from completing a Silver Coin collection challenge. The standard races must be completed first to race the world's boss, who then challenges the player to complete the Silver Coin races; after they are completed as well, the player can rematch the boss for a piece of the Wizpig amulet. The boss then challenges the player to complete the Trophy Race championship. Each of the first four worlds has a key hidden in one track that opens a gate to the respective world's battle minigame, which awards a piece of the T.T. amulet.

When all four pieces of the Wizpig amulet are gathered, the player is able to race Wizpig himself to banish him from the island. Upon losing, he throws a tantrum and retreats to his own planet (the final world), and the player must have all four trophies to reach it. To race him again, the player must complete all races and Silver Coin challenges in this last world (itself requiring every Golden Balloon in the game) and collect all four pieces of the T.T. amulet from the battle stages. The adventure is complete once Wizpig is defeated here.

The game also has a time trial mode, where the player needs to race to beat T.T.'s best times. This is optional in the main game, but it is required to unlock T.T. himself. Additionally, "magic codes" can be used to affect the game in various ways, with one being told to the player after they complete the adventure.

Playable Characters[]

Starting Racers[]

  • Diddy Kong is a spider monkey type Kong the game's namesake and all-around in terms of stats, much like Mario is in the Mario Kart series.
  • Banjo is a honey bear that premiered in DKR, a year before his own series kicked off in Banjo-Kazooie. He is the second-heaviest racer.
  • Conker is a red squirrel that makes his first appearance in this game; his first appearance in his own franchise would be in Conker's Pocket Tales. He acts as a middleweight racer.
  • Krunch is a Kritter-like Kremling. He acts as the heaviest, fastest, and least agile racer.
  • Tiptup is a turtle and lightweight character that would go on to appear in both Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie.
  • Timber the Tiger is the son of the owners of the island Wizpig attacks. He acts as a middleweight racer but is actually a slower Diddy Kong.
  • Bumper the Badger that is a semi-heavyweight, but otherwise has no traits as a character.
  • Pipsy the Mouse is the lightest racer, but also has no characterization and has never appeared in any other game.

Secret Racers[]

  • Drumstick is a rooster that was captured by Wizpig; he can be rescued after a period of time by running over a distinct frog. He acts as a heavyweight racer.
  • T.T. is the stopwatch that runs Time Trials. After beating T.T's record on every course, he becomes playable, and has the best stats of any racer.

Non-Playable Characters[]

  • Wizpig is the antagonist. He takes over the island and challenges someone to beat him in order to reclaim it.
  • Taj the Genie is the genie that hands out Golden Balloons as races are won. He himself can be challenged three times in each of the three vehicles in races around the island; he also allows the player to change which vehicle they are currently controlling in the overworld.
  • Tricky the Triceratops is the triceratops boss of Dino Domain, where he challenges the player to a race up a spiral mountain. He later appears in the Star Fox series in Star Fox Adventures, and is featured and/or mentioned in future games of the series.
  • Bluey the Walrus is the walrus boss of Snowflake Valley, where he challenges the player to a race down a mountain.
  • Bubbler the Octopus is the octopus boss of Sherbet Island, where he challenges the player to a race around an island track while laying traps.
  • Smokey the Dragon is the dragon boss of Sherwood Forest, where he challenges the player to a race around a grassy valley while shooting fireballs.


Dino Domain[]

Snowflake Mountain[]

Sherbet Island[]

Dragon Forest[]

Future Fun Land[]






  • In the North American version of the Nintendo 64 original, players could toggle between languages English and French. In the DS remake and sequel, the game remains in English regardless of the console's language settings.
  • The game was originally going to be called Pro-Am 64, and was planned to be a sequel to R.C. Pro-Am (also made by Rare).
    • Earlier names likewise included Wild Cartoon Kingdom and Adventure Racers.