Artwork of Krunch for Diddy Kong Racing
|Full name||Krunch the Kremling|
|First appearance||Diddy Kong Racing (1997)|
|Latest appearance||Diddy Kong Racing DS (2007)|
|Portrayed by||Chris Sutherland (1997–2002)|
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. A similar jacket to Krunch's would later be worn by Kritters in Donkey Kong 64 as well as the playable one in both cancelled iterations of Diddy Kong Pilot.
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 Diddy 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, which was shown in the German Nintendo 64 promotional VHS tape "Wieviel 3-D hältst du aus?", reveals that Krunch was named "Krash" earlier in development; this name is corroborated by Bayliss. However, the name "Krash" was already used by a different Kremling in Donkey Kong Country, which may have played a factor in the character being renamed to "Krunch". Another source refers to the character as "Kremling", possibly as a placeholder.
Diddy Kong Racing / Diddy Kong Racing DS
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 but very high top speed, and Krunch is the third-fastest racer in the game. Krunch's top speed without bananas is 60 mph. Krunch's theme instrument on the character select menu is an electric guitar.
In Diddy Kong Racing DS, like the other playable characters, Krunch has minimal differences from the original Diddy Kong Racing, although physically, Krunch was redesigned to have five fingers instead of four. He appears in the new intro cutscene, spying on Diddy Kong, Tiny Kong and Dixie Kong from behind a boulder with a fellow Kremling spy, who shares Krunch's model. As the two Kremlings 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. As Krunch begins to follow the three Kongs, the other Kremling flees the scene. As a playable character, Krunch's turning and acceleration is slightly higher, but his top speed is slightly lower.
Mario no Bōken Land
4koma Gag Battle
Krunch appears throughout the 4koma Gag Battle manga adaptation of Diddy Kong Racing, depicted as being on the younger side, as in one scene, he is seen walking through Snowflake Mountain with his mother.
Mario Artist: Paint Studio
Artwork of Krunch in his car from Diddy Kong Racing is one of the character stamps in in Mario Artist: Paint Studio.
Krunch was intended to make a reappearance in the 2001 iteration of Diddy Kong Pilot. He is the only Diddy Kong Racing character to appear in the cast, besides Diddy Kong.
Krunch would have been included as part of the cast to Diddy Kong Racing Adventure, a rejected video game idea pitch that never came into fruition. It was planned that he would use his jaw to chase down other racers as a special move. "Krunch's den" would have also been a location in the game.
Profiles and statistics
Diddy Kong Racing
- Character stats
- Weight: Heavy
- Acceleration: 1/5
- Handling: 1/5
- Top Speed: 4/5
- Vehicle Color: Orange
- Instruction booklet bio (page 25): "(Low acceleration, heavy weight, difficult handling, high top speed) Seeing Diddy Kong rush off so suddenly makes the Kremlings very suspicious, so Krunch goes bounding after him to make sure that there aren’t any anti-Kremling plots in the works. Diddy Kong, Timber and company don’t exactly trust him, but Krunch insists he’s only there to lend a hand..."
- Player's Guide (page 7): "The only reason Krunch has joined the resistance is to make sure that Diddy, Timber and the rest aren’t hatching some anti-Kremling plot. The other racers realize that Krunch hasn’t joined out of the goodness of his heart, but as long as he doesn’t sabotage their efforts, they’ll be satisfied. Who knows? He may surprise them yet."
- Nintendo Power Volume 103 (page 14): "Krunch may be a Kremling, but he doesn’t like the thought of the Wizpig upstaging Captain K. Rool. So he’s doing his best to free the island from racing tyranny. Krunch, as the heaviest character, has slower acceleration and poor handling, but his top speed is unsurpassed. He’s a good choice for hovercraft courses."
- Diddy's Drivers Ed: "I don't really know why this Kremling is hanging out with us, but hey, we need all the help we can get to defeat Wizpig. He's the heaviest racer and has the highest top speed. On the downside, his handling in atrocious and he accelerates like he's glued to the track."
- Nintendo 64 Game Secrets, 1999 Edition Prima's Official Strategy Guide (page 39): "Krunch is by far the heaviest of the Diddy Kong racers. His acceleration is low and his handling is not very sharp. Krunch’s speed, however, is tops. And with so much weight he will almost always win a shoving match."
- Rarewhere: "Seeing Diddy rush off so suddenly makes the Kremlings deeply suspicious, so Krunch goes bounding after him to make sure that there aren’t any anti-Kremling plots in the works. Timber and the others don’t exactly trust him, but Krunch insists he’s only come along to lend a hand..."
Diddy Kong Racing DS
- Character stats
- Speed: 4/5
- Acceleration: 2/5
- Handling: 2/5
- "Hi, it's Krunch." - Diddy Kong Racing
- "Hey - where you think he go?" - Diddy Kong Racing, instruction booklet
- "What if he go fetch others? Fight Kremlings?" - Diddy Kong Racing, instruction booklet
- "I go after him. You go tell boss - see what he think of that, huh?" - Diddy Kong Racing, instruction booklet
- "Where thossse Kongsss going? I will follow!!!" - Diddy Kong Racing DS
- "K. Rools! Wizpig stinks!" - Nintendo Power
- For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Krunch.
Names in other languages
- The Kritter character in both versions of the cancelled Diddy Kong Pilot appears nearly identically to Krunch. In addition, in the 2001 version of Diddy Kong Pilot, the internal name for the Kritter when highlighted on the selection screen is "Krash", which was also Krunch's early name during Diddy Kong Racing's development, while the internal name for the battle mode HUD portrait is Krunch. The 2003 version refers to an identical character as simply "Kritter".
- Twitter confirmation by former Rare employee Graeme Norgate
- Scan of back of Diddy Kong Racing instruction manual, names Krunch, Banjo and Diddy as the only characters owned by Nintendo. Posted October 11, 2018. Accessed August 23, 2020
- In an updated Scribes post on the official Rare Ltd. website, the editor confirms that Krunch is still owned by Nintendo, despite Microsoft buy-out. Posted June 25, 2007. Accessed August 23, 2020.
- "Character Chronicle: Krunch" Sourcegaming.info. Note: Article references a dead link to a Facebook group. Posted November 15, 2017. Accessed August 26, 2020.
- DKVine Forum. Quotes Kevin Bayliss from defunct Facebook link: "I think however, I did stick 'Krash' into DKR, as I wanted a bad guy in there. He wasn't really a DK character, just a quick 'croc-character' based on the Kremlins I guess, who looked cool in the car, plane and hovercraft - so I left him there!"
- Diddy Kong Racing - German Promotional Feature (Beta) High Quality. YouTube. Posted February 18, 2017. Accessed August 30, 2020.
- "Diddy Kong Racing. Nintendo of Australia (Wayback Machine).
- Diddy Kong Racing instruction booklet, pages 5, 6 and 24
- @DKVine, Twitter.
- Official Nintendo french magazine N3, page 25
- DKC Atlas. Posted January 16, 2013.
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