Diddy Kong Pilot (2001)
Diddy Kong Pilot is a canceled follow-up title of Diddy Kong Racing for the Game Boy Advance, which was developed by Rareware. 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. In 2005, the game was finalized as the Banjo-Kazooie title, Banjo-Pilot. The reason for its change was from Microsoft's acquisition of Rare in 2002. In 2002-2003, before the decision was made to design it into a Banjo-Kazooie title, Diddy Kong Pilot was already being redeveloped into an entirely different game.
One of the characters, tentatively named Redneck Kong,, or "Crappy Kong" was "killed off" early in the game's development, according to Jens Christian Restemeier, one of the game's developers. Candy Kong would subsequently appear in the background for character selection menus.
One of the builds, said to be presented at a Spaceworld, consisted of a cast featuring both Donkey Kong Country and Mario characters, which would have been a first for a Donkey Kong series 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). Not much information is known regarding this build or its history.
In 2002, Nintendo refused to publish Diddy Kong Pilot, as they found the game "substandard". One of their criticisms was "There's 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. Diddy Kong Pilot was not presented at E3 2002.
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. According to the video's title, the build was dated "September 7, 2001".
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, or unlockable characters, stories, and stages.
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:
The second option, "Player" has six numerical values, labeled 0-5. Each of them represent a playable character:
The final option, Blend, does not appear to have a function. It has four options: Off, Alpha, Up, and Down.
The player can exiting 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.
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 instance, selecting Diddy Kong causes Kritter 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. 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 Cranky appearing. As such, the rectangle is likely the remains of Redneck Kong's data, with Cranky acting as a placeholder here and in the debug menu.
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, for instance 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, Back to the Light, and K. Rool's Gold. This mode is almost entirely nonfunctional, but it was intended to have a unique story for a certain character and a final boss at the end.
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.
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.
Options only gives the option to use either D-Pad or tilt control to steer the plane.
The character selection menu is highly incomplete, as highlighting a character would trigger a sound effect from an unrelated character. 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 the character selection screen from later build suggests he was busy being replaced with Candy Kong.
Most of the items reappeared from Diddy Kong Pilot 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.
Island of Eggs
King of Kongs
Back to the Light
Names in other languages