Diddy Kong Pilot (2001)

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Diddy Kong Pilot
DKP Title screen.png
Developer Rareware
Publisher N/A
Platform(s) Game Boy Advance
Release date Japan: Canceled
(planned for February 2002[1])
USA: Canceled
(planned for March 4, 2002[2])
Genre Racing
Rating(s) Unknown
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer (unimplemented)

Diddy Kong Pilot is a canceled follow-up title of Diddy Kong Racing for the Game Boy Advance, which was developed by Rare Ltd. Diddy Kong was the main and titular character of the game. The game involves Donkey Kong characters racing in Planes on Mode 7-rendered courses. It was initially planned for early 2002, but Nintendo sold their share of Rare Ltd. to Microsoft and opted out of their publishing contract. Around the same time, in 2002-2003, before the decision was made to design it into a Banjo-Kazooie game, Diddy Kong Pilot was being redeveloped into an entirely different game. In 2005, the game was finalized as a Banjo-Kazooie game, Banjo-Pilot due to Microsoft's acquisition of Rare in 2002.

History[edit]

The game was first shown at E3 2001, and was also shown a few months later at Space World 2001.

One of the characters, tentatively named Redneck Kong,[3] or "Crappy Kong",[4] was "killed off" early in the game's development, according to the September 3, 2001 edition of Scribes from Rareware[5] and Jens Christian Restemeier, one of the game's developers.[6] Candy Kong would subsequently appear in the background for character selection menus.[7]

One of the builds, said to be presented at a Space World 2000, consisted of a cast featuring both Donkey Kong Country and Mario characters, which would have been a first for a Donkey Kong spinoff. This version allowed players to select between six Donkey Kong characters (Diddy Kong, Cranky Kong, Donkey Kong, King K. Rool, Funky Kong, and Dixie Kong) and six Mario characters (Princess Peach, Mario, Yoshi sitting atop a Lakitu's Cloud, Wario piloting a red biplane similar to the Bulldog, Bowser, and Toad). A tilt control idea that was present in the debug mode of a very early build[8] was dropped in this build, but was retained in the Options mode. Not much information is known regarding this build or its history.[8]

At Space World 2001, the game was at 65% completion,[9] and by October 2001, planned for release on March 4, 2002.[2]

In early 2002, Nintendo refused to publish Diddy Kong Pilot, with one of their criticisms being that there was "no point in flying up and down on flat levels." Some Rare employees believed the company was prejudiced since it occurred in a time period just before the Microsoft acquisition.[3] Despite being featured in the DVD of the May 2002 issue of G-Force magazine,[10] none of the Rare games except Star Fox Adventures were showcased at E3 2002.

Rare's other two Donkey Kong installments from E3 2001, Donkey Kong Racing and Donkey Kong Coconut Crackers, were canceled in August 2002,[11] one month before Microsoft's acquisition of Rare, while Diddy Kong Pilot received no official announcement of the cancelation.

On September 15, 2011, after ten years of no new information regarding the game, a former Rare employee, under the pseudonym of Transparentjinjo, posted gameplay footage of the game on YouTube.[12] According to the video's title, the build was dated "September 7, 2001".[13]

On January 14, 2013, this prototype build was released online.[14]

Gameplay[edit]

Diddy Kong Pilot featured six modes: Racing, Stories, Dog Fights, Battle, Clock Race, and Options. The build is largely unfinished as most of the stages are nearly empty, some only having a backdrop and a few assets laid out on the stage. Many of the modes, such as Dog Fights, are non-functional. The gameplay essentially only consists of flying around on a course. Some features were never implemented such as plane customization,[15] or unlockable characters, stories, and stages.[16]

Debug menu[edit]

The debug menu

Upon starting up the game, the player is instantly led onto a debug menu, and it has three options: Level, Player, and Blend. The first option allows them to choose a course, and the second one allows them to select a character (Cranky). The "level" options include:

Beach 00 Beach 01 Beach 02 Beach 03
Lava 00 Lava 01 Lava 02
Snow 00 Snow 01 Snow 02 Snow 03
Keep 00 Keep 01 Keep 02 Keep 03
Lake 00 Lake 01 Lake 02 Lake 03
Farm 00 Farm 01 Farm 02 Farm 03 Farm 04 Farm 051
Haunted 00 Haunted 01 Haunted 02 Haunted 03
Jungle 00 Jungle 01 Jungle 02 Jungle 03
Swamp 00 Swamp 01 Swamp 02 Swamp 03
Desert 00 Desert 01 Desert 02 Desert 03

1 - Inaccessible from debug

The second option, "Player" has six numerical values, labeled 0-5. Each of them represent a playable character:

  • 0: Cranky Kong
  • 1: Diddy Kong
  • 2: Krunch
  • 3: K. Rool
  • 4: Dixie Kong
  • 5: Donkey Kong (selecting him results in playing as Cranky Kong instead)
  • 6: Diddy Kong instead of Candy Kong (only selectable by using cheats;2 same function as when selecting Dixie in the character select)
  • 7-11: No data (only selectable by using cheats;2 Krunch, K. Rool, Dixie, Cranky, Diddy in order)

2 - Apply 020000DC:0X in code; 0 to B (hexadecimal)

The last option, Blend, does not have any apparent function. It has four options: Off, Alpha, Up, and Down.

Modes[edit]

Diddy Kong racing in the first course, Bounty Beach

The player can exit to the main menu by opening the pause menu. It has three options which are self-explanatory: Continue, Restart, and Quit. Few of the further developed courses also redirect the player to the main menu after they complete all three laps.

The main menu has six modes: Racing, Stories, Dog Fights, Battle, Clock Race, and Options. It is also the only part of the game to have a music track. However, there exist six unused sound tracks in the ROM.

The character selection screen

Before starting a mode, the player must select a character. The selection menu is very buggy, and choosing a character causes a different one to be playable, except for Cranky Kong. For example, selecting Diddy Kong causes Krunch to be playable instead. The sound that each character makes when highlighted does not correspond to the correct character as well. When a character is highlighted, they are not aligned with their sepia shadow; additionally, the sepia backdrop has Candy Kong but highlighting her shows Redneck Kong instead, meaning the color character select screen had not been edited yet; Cranky Kong's pose is different as well. The following "Select World" menu shows the character that will actually be played as, with the exception of when Dixie is selected. In this case, a glitchy black rectangle taking up the entirety of the character sprites' parameters will be shown, and playing will result in Diddy appearing. As such, the rectangle is likely the remains of Redneck Kong's data.

The Racing mode allows the player to select a world, each with an associated level difficulty. Unlike its predecessor, Diddy Kong Pilot only features four characters racing on a course at a time; the main goal remains the same: racing three laps around a course and getting first place. Many of the core features are similar to Diddy Kong Racing, such as how the player can collect bananas and pick up an item from item balloons appearing around the course. Zippers also return in the courses, and they give racers a speed boost.

The Stories mode has three different stories: King of Kongs (Diddy Kong), Back to the Light (Dixie Kong), and K. Rool's Gold (K. Rool). This mode is almost entirely non-functional, but it was intended to have a unique story for a certain character and a final boss at the end.[17][18] This build seemed to be in the process of removing Stories mode,[19] since K. Rool's Gold did not work in this build but did in the very early build.

The Dogfight mode features players fighting against each other. There are four options and none can be accessed: Classic Dogfight, a Dawn Duel, a Classic Variation, or a Focal Feud.

Gameplay of Hatch Match, a game of Battle mode

The Battle mode was planned to be a multiplayer mode, and its icon shows a crate containing miscellaneous objects. Another version has a different icon showing four original Game Boy Advance units hooked to each other via a Link Cable.

The Clock Race mode was presumably planned as the Time Trials mode. It has little to no difference from the Racing mode, but it allows the player to easily select a stage, similar to the debug menu. Unlike the debug menu, most of the stages crash in this option.

The Options mode is untouched from E3 2001, retaining the same background graphics as the E3 2001 character selection screen. It only gives the option to use either D-Pad or tilt control to steer the plane. This was completely scrapped in October 2001.[19]

Controls[edit]

  • +Control Pad or Tilt motion control: Move in the desired direction.
  • A Button: Acceleration
  • B Button: Use weapon
  • L Button or R Button: Tilt at a sharper angle
  • L Button or R Button (twice): aerial roll
  • R Button and +Control Pad Down (twice while accelerating): U-turn
  • Start Button: Pause the game

Playable characters[edit]

"Dog Fights" icon

The character selection menu is highly incomplete, as highlighting a character would trigger a sound effect from an unrelated character. The game was planned to include more than seven characters.[20] Selecting a character causes the game to choose an entirely different character instead. Redneck Kong was playable in earlier builds, such as E3 2001, and was a very short-lived idea from the designer of the project.[3] He was replaced by Candy Kong in a later build. Despite her appearing on the character selection screen, she was not implemented in this build. She also appeared on the main menu, in the "Dog Fights" animated icon and battle mode portrait.

Character selected
Highlighted
Voice played as Character played as
Selected
Cranky Kong (0)
Leftmost
Cranky Kong Cranky Kong (0)
Redneck Kong (6) Diddy Kong Diddy Kong (1)
Diddy Kong (1) Donkey Kong Krunch (2)
Donkey Kong (5) Krunch K. Rool (3)
Krash (2) K. Rool Dixie Kong (4)
K. Rool (3) Dixie Kong Donkey Kong (5) → Cranky Kong (0)
Dixie Kong (4)
Rightmost
Diddy Kong (when highlighted) → Cranky Kong cursor Corrupted (6) → Diddy Kong (1)
Unimplemented (7) Diddy Kong cursor Corrupted (7) → Krunch (2)
Unimplemented (8) Donkey Kong cursor → Krunch cursor Corrupted (8) → K. Rool (3)
Unimplemented (9) Krunch cursor → K. Rool cursor Corrupted (9) → Dixie Kong (4)
Unimplemented (10) K. Rool cursor → Dixie Kong cursor Corrupted (10) → Cranky Kong (0)
Unimplemented (11) Dixie Kong cursor → Donkey Kong cursor Corrupted (11) → Diddy Kong (1)
Status unknown

Items[edit]

Most of the items reappeared from Diddy Kong Racing except for peanuts, watermelons, and eggs. The player can carry up to a few items at a time. Most of the items can be obtained from sky blue-colored item balloons with a yellow question mark on them. Item balloons also have a green and DK variant, and both have unfinished functionality. Both provide an item, either with an icon of Cranky or Diddy, and neither are functional.

There is also a chained barrel item in screenshots from Space World 2001, but it goes unimplemented in this build.[23] There is also an unimplemented yellow single rocket boost itemMedia:DKDKP.jpg.

Image Name Description
The icon for a green rocket item from Diddy Kong Pilot 2001The icon for a red rocket item from Diddy Kong Pilot 2001 Rockets These items can lock on to a nearby opponent and temporarily slow them down.
The icon for a green rocket boost from Diddy Kong Pilot 2001The icon for a red rocket boost from Diddy Kong Pilot 2001 Rocket boost Like zippers, these give a speed boost to the racers. The high-level rocket boost provides a higher speed boost.
The icon for a green magnet from Diddy Kong Pilot 2001The icon for a red magnet from Diddy Kong Pilot 2001 Magnet When used, the player is magnetized to another nearby racer. The high-level magnets are stronger.
The icon for a five-count peanut item from Diddy Kong Pilot 2001The icon for a ten-count peanut item from Diddy Kong Pilot 2001 Peanuts Peanuts can be fired at other opponents; based on the count, the player can either shoot out five or ten at a time. Unlike rockets, these items do not have lock-on capabilites.
The icon for a watermelon item from Diddy Kong Pilot 2001 Watermelon This item drops behind a watermelon. When a racer crashes into the item, it splatters and temporarily slows them down.
The icon for a egg item from Diddy Kong Pilot 2001 Egg The egg functions similarly to the watermelon except that it also moves around in a circular pattern.

Race tracks[edit]

The game was planned to feature 24 tracks, with four in each of the six worlds. Only five of the courses can be selected from the Clock Race menu, and they are marked in bold.

Sleepy Shores
The Clock Race mode's preview image for Bounty Beach, the first course in the 2001 Diddy Kong Pilot.
Bounty Beach
Beach 00
The placeholder question mark icon used as a preview image for most of the selected stage options from the original Diddy Kong Pilot.
Farm Attract
Farm 05
The placeholder question mark icon used as a preview image for most of the selected stage options from the original Diddy Kong Pilot.
Jet Set Jungle
Jungle 02
The preview image for "Beach Race", as shown from Clock Race's course selection menu in the 2001 Diddy Kong Pilot.
Beach Race
Beach 01
Kongo Kingdom
The placeholder question mark icon used as a preview image for most of the selected stage options from the original Diddy Kong Pilot.
Swoop Swamp
Swamp 02
The placeholder question mark icon used as a preview image for most of the selected stage options from the original Diddy Kong Pilot.
Jungle Race
Jungle 03
The Clock Race mode's preview image of Magma Mainland, a course from the 2001 Diddy Kong Pilot.
Magma Mainland
Lava 00
The placeholder question mark icon used as a preview image for most of the selected stage options from the original Diddy Kong Pilot.
Haunted Race
Haunted 03
Western Wastes
The placeholder question mark icon used as a preview image for most of the selected stage options from the original Diddy Kong Pilot.
Lake Race
Lake 02
The placeholder question mark icon used as a preview image for most of the selected stage options from the original Diddy Kong Pilot.
Lava Race
Lava 02
The placeholder question mark icon used as a preview image for most of the selected stage options from the original Diddy Kong Pilot.
Swamp Race
Swamp 03
The placeholder question mark icon used as a preview image for most of the selected stage options from the original Diddy Kong Pilot.
Crackpot Keep
Keep 02
Island of Eggs
The placeholder question mark icon used as a preview image for most of the selected stage options from the original Diddy Kong Pilot.
Vulture Valley
Desert 02
The placeholder question mark icon used as a preview image for most of the selected stage options from the original Diddy Kong Pilot.
Keep Race
Keep 03
The placeholder question mark icon used as a preview image for most of the selected stage options from the original Diddy Kong Pilot.
Lake Race
Lake 03
The Clock Race mode's preview image of Chicken Chase, a course from the 2001 Diddy Kong Pilot.
Chicken Chase
Farm 00
Polar Plateau
The Clock Race mode's preview image of Frosty Lake, a course from the 2001 Diddy Kong Pilot.
Frosty Lake
Snow 00
The placeholder question mark icon used as a preview image for most of the selected stage options from the original Diddy Kong Pilot.
Farm Race
Farm 04
The placeholder question mark icon used as a preview image for most of the selected stage options from the original Diddy Kong Pilot.
Desert Race
Desert 03
The placeholder question mark icon used as a preview image for most of the selected stage options from the original Diddy Kong Pilot.
Snow Race
Snow 03
World 6
The unused preview image for Whisper Woods, a course from the 2001 Diddy Kong Pilot.
Whisper Woods
Haunted 00
The placeholder question mark icon used as a preview image for most of the selected stage options from the original Diddy Kong Pilot. The placeholder question mark icon used as a preview image for most of the selected stage options from the original Diddy Kong Pilot. The placeholder question mark icon used as a preview image for most of the selected stage options from the original Diddy Kong Pilot.

Stories[edit]

The game was planned to feature 36 dogfight and battle levels. Only "Hair Raising Rescue" is playable in this build, where the player has to catch ghosts and move them to a pond. There are 41 coffins on that map.

King of Kongs (Diddy Kong)
The Clock Race preview image of Beach Barricade from the 2001 Diddy Kong Pilot
Beach Barricade
Beach 02
The Clock Race preview image of Hair Raising Rescue from the 2001 Diddy Kong Pilot
Hair Raising Rescue
Haunted 01
The Clock Race preview image of Peaceful Passage from the 2001 Diddy Kong Pilot
Peaceful Passage
Lake 00
The placeholder question mark icon used as a preview image for most of the selected stage options from the original Diddy Kong Pilot.
Cranky Panky
Farm 02
Back to the Light (Dixie Kong)
The Clock Race preview image of Grub Grab from the 2001 Diddy Kong Pilot
Grub Grab
Jungle 00
The placeholder question mark icon used as a preview image for most of the selected stage options from the original Diddy Kong Pilot.
Farm Feud
Farm 03
The placeholder question mark icon used as a preview image for most of the selected stage options from the original Diddy Kong Pilot.
Swamp Swoop
Swamp 00
The Clock Race preview image of Dark Tower from the 2001 Diddy Kong Pilot
Dark Tower
Keep 00
K.Rool's Gold (K. Rool)
The placeholder question mark icon used as a preview image for most of the selected stage options from the original Diddy Kong Pilot.
Classic Dogfight
Lava 01
The Clock Race mode's preview image for Fly Like the Wind, the second stage of K. Rool's Gold in the 2001 Diddy Kong Pilot.
Fly Like The Wind
Desert 00
The placeholder question mark icon used as a preview image for most of the selected stage options from the original Diddy Kong Pilot.
Snowball Snapshot
Snow 02
The placeholder question mark icon used as a preview image for most of the selected stage options from the original Diddy Kong Pilot.
Flawed Genie'us
Beach 03
Story Dogfight/battle
Beach Barricade (Diddy Kong) Wasteland Wipe Out (Battle)
Hair Raising Rescue (Diddy Kong) Ghost Grasp (Battle)
Classic Dogfight (K. Rool) Classic Dogfight (Dogfight)

Battle stages[edit]

The preview image for Hatch Race, a battle stage from the 2001 Diddy Kong Pilot.
Hatch Match
The placeholder question mark icon used as a preview image for most of the selected stage options from the original Diddy Kong Pilot.
Ghost Grasp
The placeholder question mark icon used as a preview image for most of the selected stage options from the original Diddy Kong Pilot.
Swamp Showdown
The preview image for Wasteland Wipe Out, a battle stage from the 2001 Diddy Kong Pilot.
Wasteland Wipe Out

Media[edit]

Audio.svg Diddy Kong Pilot - Beach race course theme (unused)
File infoMedia:DKP2001 three beach tune 001.oga
Audio.svg Diddy Kong Pilot - Snow race course theme (unused)
File infoMedia:DKP2001 three snow tune 002.oga
Audio.svg Diddy Kong Pilot - Lava race course theme (unused)
File infoMedia:DKP2001 three lava tune 003.oga
Audio.svg Diddy Kong Pilot - Bayou race course theme (unused)
File infoMedia:DKP2001 three bayou tune 005.oga
Audio.svg Diddy Kong Pilot - Haunted race course theme (unused)
File infoMedia:DKP2001 three haunted tune 006.oga
Audio.svg Diddy Kong Pilot - Castle race course theme (unused)
File infoMedia:DKP2001 three castle tune 008.oga
Help:MediaHaving trouble playing?

Gallery[edit]

For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Diddy Kong Pilot (2001).

Differences between builds[edit]

Very early build[edit]

Characters[edit]

Mario characters would have originally made an appearance. While the idea had already been scrapped at E3 2001 in development, the graphics still remain in the ROM. The playable characters included:

K. Rool's Gold[edit]

K. Rool's Gold was a functional story in the build. It is inaccessible in the September 2001 build, although its graphics and story remain inside of the ROM:

  • Genie
  • Nikiki (red)
  • Nakaka (green)
  • Nukuku (blue)
  • Nokoko (yellow)

Menu[edit]

  • The title logo is smaller and has a slightly different font, and its wings are slightly more pointed.
  • Diddy's plane is pointed directly towards the screen.
  • A tilt option was present in the Debug menu.
  • Dog Fights had a different menu.

E3 2001 build[edit]

General[edit]

  • Redneck Kong was a playable character.
  • The "Racing" mode was called "Tournament".[16]

Characters and background[edit]

  • The background had less colors and was brighter. In a leaked build, it was instead used for the Options menu.[citation needed]
  • The sepia background graphic of the characters was different:
    • Cranky Kong's pose is slightly different.
    • Redneck Kong is shown instead of Candy Kong.
    • Dixie Kong does not have two curly hairs on the left side.
    • Krunch's toenails are smaller.
    • K. Rool's goggle outfit is smaller.
  • A highlighted character on the menu aligns with their sepia background, as this was before it was in the process of being redesigned.

Menu[edit]

  • The text has a black outline.
  • The item box had a different shape and contents, being rectangular-shaped instead of square.

Map[edit]

  • The flame is yellow instead of orange in the lava course.
  • The boundary is orange instead of blue.

Space World 2001 build[edit]

General[edit]

  • The current lap number is shown in between the course icon.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ディディーコングパイロット(仮称)
Didī Kongu Pairotto (KASHŌ)
Diddy Kong Pilot (tentative)

Trivia[edit]

  • The background of the Stories menu has two photographs resembling official artwork from Diddy Kong Racing.
  • The map of Magma Mainland would be reused in Banjo-Pilot as the lower background layer of the dogfight against Bottles in the Feather Cup, but the track itself cannot be raced on. Differences include: a darker layer consisting of both the lava and the track; a big hole in the center; the removal of the finish line and boosts; and the removal of the cracks in the center island.

References[edit]

External links[edit]