Krunch is a Kremling playable character in Diddy Kong Racing and Diddy Kong Racing DS. He wears a purple leather vest, which is adorned with a skull-and-crossbones design in Diddy Kong Racing, though said design is omitted in Diddy Kong Racing DS. His jacket is similar to the ones Kritters wear in Donkey Kong 64, and the jacket the playable Kritter would have worn in both cancelled Diddy Kong Pilot titles.
In the 2002 Microsoft acquisition of Rare Ltd., the rights of many franchises and characters were passed on to Microsoft. Nintendo sought to keep all characters directly linked to the Donkey Kong franchise, with the exception of the cast of Donkey Kong Racing. Due to the nature of Krunch being a Kremling, which is a Nintendo-owned fictional species, Krunch was the only Diddy Kong Racing cast member, besides Diddy Kong, whose rights were kept with Nintendo.
In a now defunct Facebook page for Rare employees, former Rare artist and employee Kevin Bayliss, revealed that Krunch was not originally designed to be a Kremling. His creation predates Diddy Kong Racing being a Donkey Kong series game, as originally, Timber was slated to be the main character. Krunch was designed to fulfill the role of a "bad guy" playable character, and was meant to be a crocodile. Upon attaching Diddy Kong to the project, Krunch was slightly altered to be a Kremling.
Footage of the early pre-release build 1.964 of Diddy Kong Racing shown in the German Nintendo 64 promotional VHS tape "Wieviel 3-D hältst du aus?" reveals that Krunch was named "Krash" at some point in development. As this name was already taken by another Kremling in Donkey Kong Country, it is possible that played a factor in his renaming to "Krunch".
Diddy Kong Racing series
Diddy Kong Racing
In the backstory for Diddy Kong Racing, provided in the instruction manual, Krunch was one of two "Kremling spies" sent by King K. Rool to investigate why Diddy Kong and his friends are at Timber's Island, with fears they could be plotting against the Kremlings. According to the game's backstory, the Kremling spies watched Diddy Kong "tearing off at high speed through the jungle" from behind a boulder, before Krunch suggests to the other Kremling that they should follow him. The Kremling declines the suggestion and "bolted into the undergrowth", to which Krunch decided to follow Diddy Kong alone. Instead of antagonizing them, Krunch ends up teaming up alongside Diddy and friends, helping the racers on their journey to expel Wizpig from Timber's Island. The instruction manual states that, despite offering to help Diddy Kong and his friends, the cast of the game does not trust him.
As a playable character, Krunch is a heavyweight with the lowest acceleration and handling of the racers, but has a very high top speed. He is the third-fastest racer in the game. Krunch's top speed without bananas is 60 mph.
Diddy Kong Racing DS
In the remake, Diddy Kong Racing DS, Krunch reprises the role of the original game with very minor changes. He appears in the new intro cutscene, spying on Diddy Kong, Tiny Kong and Dixie Kong behind a boulder, with another Kremling. This Kremling reuses the exact same model as Krunch. As they watch the three characters run by, Krunch informs the other Kremling that he plans to follow the Kongs to find out what they are doing. The other Kremling flees the scene, as Krunch begins to follow the three Kongs.
As a playable character, Krunch's turning and acceleration were slightly increased, and his top speed was slightly decreased.
Mario no Bōken Land
Krunch makes a small, non-speaking cameo in the Diddy Kong Racing story segment of Mario no Bōken Land, titled "Go Go Diddy!". He is shown in his car, competing in a race in last place (12th).
4-koma Gag Battle
Krunch appears throughout the 4-koma Gag Battle manga adaptation of Diddy Kong Racing. He is depicted as being on the younger side, as in one scene, he is seen walking through Snowflake Mountain with his mother.
Profiles and statistics
Diddy Kong Racing
Diddy Kong Racing DS
Sprites and models
Names in other languages