Diddy Kong Racing DS
Diddy Kong Racing DS is a racing/adventure game for the Nintendo DS. It is a remake of the Nintendo 64 game, Diddy Kong Racing. Diddy Kong Racing DS is Rare's first Nintendo DS game. This game adds Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection for the multiplayer purposes.
Due to Rareware's acquisition by Microsoft, as well as the latter character's transition to an adults-only franchise, Banjo and Conker were replaced by Tiny Kong and Dixie Kong respectively, although Tiptup was kept in the game, despite his appearances in several Banjo-Kazooie games. Nintendo owns the copyright to the original Diddy Kong Racing game code and Microsoft has never entered the handheld gaming market, therefore allowing Rare to work on the game with Nintendo for the DS. This is the final game created by Rare to feature a character from any Nintendo franchise of any kind.
When his parents go on vacation, Timber is left to care for the family island, Timber's Island. Unfortunately, an evil pig wizard, named Wizpig, invades the island and brainwashes Tricky, Bluey, Bubbler, and Smokey to be his lieutenants. One of the island's fastest racers, Drumstick, challenges Wizpig to a race, only to disappear without a trace after doing so. In desperation, Timber, along with his friends Tiptup, Pipsy, and Bumper, sends a letter to his friend Diddy Kong via Squawks, asking for help. Accepting Timber's plea, Diddy calls Dixie Kong and Tiny Kong to assist him. Krunch, a Kremling Krew spy, sets off to Timber's Island following the Kongs, attempting to figure out what they are up to and to bring that information to King K. Rool.
With help from Taj and T.T., Diddy, Timber, and co. manage to beat Tricky, Bluey, Bubbler, and Smokey in races and snap them out of Wizpig's brainwashing. Drumstick, who had been turned into a frog by Wizpig, is also returned to normal.
After Wizpig's brainwashed minions are defeated, Wizpig is next challenged by Diddy Kong and his friends. After a race, Wizpig is seemingly defeated and a victory celebration is held. Unfortunately, Wizpig crashes the party.
Following Wizpig to his home planet, Future Fun Land, Diddy Kong and his friends manage to get past all of Wizpig's challenges and get a rematch with the rocket-riding Wizpig. After another race, Wizpig is beaten and his rocket malfunctions, causing it to crash into a deserted planet. Wispig is stranded, but he mentions that he shall return sometime.
Returning to Timber's Island, another celebration is held, with Wizpig having been beaten for good and his hold on the island gone.
Diddy Kong Racing DS features a total of twelve racers, four of which are unlockable. The racers' stats vary in three major categories: speed, acceleration, and handling. Eight of the racers, Diddy Kong, Tiptup, Pipsy, Bumper, Timber, Krunch, T.T., and Drumstick, are all available as racers in Diddy Kong Racing. Taj and Wizpig are in the original Diddy Kong Racing, but are not playable characters. Banjo and Conker were replaced with Tiny and Dixie Kong respectively.
Taj's Wishes Menu
Taj the Genie is the caretaker of the island and provides assistance to Diddy and his friends. Taj appears every time the player gains ten Golden Balloons and challenges them. He also takes care of rewards and unlockables. Taj allows the player to paint their vehicle for free, but he has a few items in his tent on the center courtyard. He calls it his "Wishes Menu":
Colored balloons await the racers in normal racing levels. They consist of weapons. Once a player gets up to three, they increase in strength.
Power-Up Tokens are also scattered in every single race track. The player must collect one and can upgrade their balloon strength with just one balloon and set it to maximum power.
The car is the most basic vehicle with four wheels and a seat. It has simplest handling, but it can only stay on the ground, being slowed down slightly when driving off road, and goes extremely slow when used in the water. It is limited to only use zippers on the ground. The car is a beginners vehicle. It can be used in eighteen out of twenty four race tracks. In Adventure Mode, it is used the most, being used on twelve of the tracks. It is used against Tricky and Wizpig, during their first matches.
The plane is slightly trickier to control than the car. However, the plane isn't restricted to having to use the road, which enables it to cut corners inaccessible to cars such as the pathway to Snowflake Mountain. There are also many tracks which have paths only usable by the plane, many of which are slightly harder to access with some sort of reward, such as a balloon or a Power-up Token. The plane is not restricted to any zipper, being the only vehicle able to use all three types, and the only vehicle which can use airborne zippers. It can be used in fifteen out of twenty four race tracks. In Adventure Mode, it is used in five races, and against Smokey and Wizpig in his second race.
The hovercraft is possibly the trickiest to control. However, it isn't hindered by driving off road or in water, although it can skid on roads. Its ability to drive over water enables it to use shortcuts on some tracks. The boat can use zippers on the ground, or in the water, making it more versatile than the car, but less versatile than the plane. It can be used in all twenty-four race tracks. Despite this, in Adventure Mode it is only used on the three tracks being Whale Bay, Pirate Lagoon, and Boulder Canyon. It is used against Bluey and Bubbler when raced against.
Zippers help vehicles Turbo Boost around corners on race tracks. They have red and yellow stripes and stand out from whatever track the racer is playing. By letting go of the gas while driving over/through a zipper, the racer can get an even larger boost.
Types of Zippers
Diddy Kong Racing DS contains twenty-four race tracks split between six cups. In most races (marked with a check mark), racers are able to choose what type of vehicle to bring into the race, which can effect the paths in the course they are able to take. For some races, there are vehicles that are not able to be taken into it (marked with a red X).
Battle tracks (Multiplayer only)
Adventure Mode tracks
Abbreviations in bold denote the vehicle required to be used when racing in Adventure Mode.
Taj's races and challenges
Taj races and trains the racer in many areas aside from selling the player unlockables and helping them customize their car. He usually rides his magic carpet or stands in awe as the racer fulfills Taj's own wish. In return for the racers success in the challenge he gives them a Golden Balloon.
Balloon Touch Challenge
After the area's major boss is defeated (except Future Fun Land's), the boss orders the racer to get at least a Bronze Balloon in each of their four tracks. By using the Stylus, racers can pop the Golden Balloons scattered over each track. Fifty Gold Balloons are in each, and after popping them can gain the rank Bronze, Silver, or Gold.
Once the racer gets the bronze ranking or higher, the racer receives a Golden Balloon for their first win at the challenge and unlocked the Silver Coin Challenge for that world. The Coin Challenge was replaced by the Balloon Touch Challenge in the actual game, though it is still available in single-player mode once completed successfully.
Trophy Races are Grand-Prix races where racers race each other in the area's four tracks in order, in an attempt to win the most amount of points. The racer must jostle with the computer racers' places in the races, which vary in each track, so winning one or two races secures the racer a gold trophy.
Each Trophy varies in appearance to the area it's associated to. By winning trophies the sign by the lighthouse near Sherbet Island fills up Wizpig's face. Once all four Wizpig Amulets are accounted for, the racer can blast to Future Fun Land after they defeat Wizpig in his first race. The fifth and final trophy race must be completed before Wizpig can be defeated, this is the only time a trophy race must be completed before the boss is defeated.
Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection Mode
Diddy Kong Racing DS has six player maximum online racing challenges. If the racer unlocked the various online options from Taj, they have the ability to do as follows:
Single race allows two, four, or six racers to compete in one track at a time. A track is selected by each racer, and a randomizer randomizes the vehicle and track the racers use and play on. Then to the left of their usernames is a colored circle, which indicates their mark on the track. Their character icon is kept hidden from online activity.
Trophy Races of the four main areas are available and a trophy Race of Jungle Japes with the four new tracks. In a Grand Prix styled event, the racers race through the four tracks in sequence, and whoever gains most points wins.
When battled at least once, a Battle Track is unlocked, two-four racers can battle on the four tracks of the original Nintendo 64 version.
If at least two Diddy Kong Racing DS games are owned, the racers can race with every Multiplayer option available. Their icons are also visible.
The entire basis is based on the racer who owns the game and the other racers who do not own the game must do whatever the one with the game wants. Options aren't limited, but the paint of the racer's vehicle is set to the default color of yellow and so are the gameless racers. Also, the icons aren't visible.
Differences between versions
Along with its several new features Diddy Kong Racing DS has several notable differences between it and the original Nintendo 64 version. These differences include:
T.T.'s Wish Races
T.T. has a slightly more notable role, and is the other host aside from Taj. T.T. hosts a Wish Race challenge from behind a Wish Door in each world, which he is locked behind. The player must collect a Wish Key, hidden in a course of each world, to access this challenge. In it, T.T. instructs them to draw a racetrack with their stylus, known as a Wish Race. These replace the Battle Stages from the original Diddy Kong Racing, which were redone as multiplayer battle stages. The player must win against T.T. to free him and recover a piece of the T.T. Amulet. He also walks around the lobby after being freed.
A couple of levels have different musical scores than their Nintendo 64 counterparts:
References to other games