- This article is about the character from Diddy Kong Racing. For Villager's down special move in the Super Smash Bros. series, see Villager § Timber.
|Full name||Timber the Tiger|
|First appearance||Diddy Kong Racing (1997)|
|Latest appearance||Diddy Kong Racing DS (2007)|
|Portrayed by||Joe Stamper|
Timber is a young tiger cub playable character in Diddy Kong Racing, who returned for its remake, Diddy Kong Racing DS. He is an old friend of Diddy Kong, and son of a family dubbed "the Tigers", who seem to frequent visiting Kong Country. He is a Rare Ltd. creation, whose rights were sold over to Microsoft during Microsoft's 2002 buyout of Rare Ltd.
A tweet by Rare Ltd. posted on March 21, 2011 jokingly states that after starring in Diddy Kong Racing, Timber grew a beard and went on to start a career in hip-hop music. The said tweet compares this to Joaquin Phoenix's appearance in the 2010 film I'm Still Here.
Inspired by his huge pet grey cat and the Cave of Wonders from Disney's Aladdin, Kevin Bayliss designed a tiger character as early as the development of what would become Killer Instinct, but it did not appear in the final game, as it ended up having more focus on human characters. Some of the graphics for the head and body were recycled for Jago's temple stage and Orchid's fiery-cat attack. Later, programmer Chris Tilston wanted to create a platformer for the Nintendo 64. Bayliss repurposed the cat concept running on all fours, this time inspired by Simba from The Lion King and a tiger cub that he pet with his girlfriend at the time. The game project evolved into something else without the character.
Timber was then intended to be the main star of the fourth entry of the R.C. Pro-Am series, titled Pro-Am 64. After Rare presented Pro-Am 64 to Nintendo, Shigeru Miyamoto suggested adding Diddy Kong to the game, and making him the starring role. Development of the game naturally progressed over to what is now the finalized Diddy Kong Racing.
Diddy Kong Racing series
Diddy Kong Racing
During the events of Diddy Kong Racing, Timber's parents went on a vacation to Kong Country and left him in charge of Timber's Island. Wizpig later invades the island, prompting Timber to call upon the help of his friends who take on Wizpig's challenge to race for the island. He's a middleweight racer who rides green vehicles with average speed, acceleration, and handling. Despite those drawbacks, he controls very similar to Diddy Kong, and is ideal for starter players. In the game's ending sequence, he can be seen riding Smokey the Dragon in celebration of defeating Wizpig.
Diddy Kong Racing DS
Timber reappears in the Nintendo DS game Diddy Kong Racing DS. He seems to have an Australian-like accent in this game, as opposed to the British accent in the N64 version. His appearance has slightly changed in this game, with Timber having more, darker stripes, and the Nintendo DS logo on his cap instead of a Rare Ltd. logo. All of his stats are average in this game, unlike with the original title. Timber's instrument theme is a harmonica. His top speed without bananas, shared with Bumper and Conker, is 56.5 mph.
Timber's Balloon Pop
Mario no Bōken Land
Timber 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 competing in a race in first place, though he is facing the wrong way. At the end of the segment, he is seen congratulating Diddy Kong on the crown he was awarded for defeating Wizpig.
4-koma Gag Battle
Timber appears throughout the 4-koma Gag Battle manga adaptation of Diddy Kong Racing.
Mario Artist: Paint Studio
His Diddy Kong Racing artwork appears as a stamp in Mario Artist: Paint Studio.
Profiles and statistics
Diddy Kong Racing
- Character stats
- Weight: Middle
- Acceleration: 3/5
- Handling: 2.5/5
- Top Speed: 3/5
- Vehicle Color: Green
- Instruction booklet bio (page 23): "(Medium acceleration, medium weight, good handling, medium top speed) A playful young tiger, Timber has been left in charge of the island while his parents visit their old friends over in Kong Country. Desperate to get Wizpig out and everything else back to normal before they return, Timber rallies his friends up to join up with Taj’s resistance!"
- Player's Guide (page 6): "With his parents away visiting their old friends, the Kong clan, Timber figured that he could spend his days doing what he loves best: racing. Little did he know that he’d be racing for his life and the freedom of everyone on his island home. His distress call has been answered by allies near and far—and even by a suspiciously friendly Kremling. In any case, he’ll take whatever help he can if it means driving Wizpig off the island and out of their lives."
- Nintendo Power Volume 103 (page 14): "Timber’s family used to rule the island before the Wizpig began hogging all the race tracks. He’s determined to bring the big pig to justice. He’s well equipped to do it, too, with very solid handling. His acceleration, top speed and weight are all in the middle range."
- Diddy's Drivers Ed: "My good buddy Timber is almost my twin when it comes to racing styles. We both have great handling and acceleration, but sacrifice a little top speed."
- Nintendo 64 Game Secrets, 1999 Edition Prima's Official Strategy Guide (page 33): "Another good middle-of-the-pack animal, Timber’s top speed gives him a slight edge on his monkey friend. But he doesn’t handle quite as well or accelerate quite as fast as Diddy. That’s true throughout the cast: The heavier animals are less responsive, but once they get moving, their top speed is better. With Timber, our opinion is that a little extra speed is seldom worth is deficiencies, especially in handling."
- Rarewhere: "A playful young tiger, left in charge of the island while his parents go visiting their old friends over in Kong country. Desperate to get Wizpig out and everything else back to normal before they return, Timber rallies his friends and joins up with Taj’s resistance!"
Diddy Kong Racing DS
- Character stats
- Speed: 3/5
- Acceleration: 3/5
- Handling: 3/5
- For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Timber.
Krunch and Timber, Diddy Kong Racing Japanese commercial
Timber RareRacers spinning pin
Names in other languages
- After the release of Diddy Kong Racing, Timber was also planned to star in Rare's Dinosaur Planet early in development. The game would eventually see many changes before being released as Star Fox Adventures, with no appearance from Timber.
- Timber was included in a failed gaming pitch by Climax Group titled Diddy Kong Racing Adventure. Plans for the game included Timber as a playable character, whose special attack would have him roar a sonic wave that slows down other racers. The game idea was rejected by Nintendo and never came into fruition.
- Twitter confirmation by former Rare employee Graeme Norgate
- @DKVine, Twitter.
- Timber got tired of waiting, went all Joaquin Phoenix on us, grew a scraggly beard and went off to make it big in hip-hop instead.
- Christopher Niosi (November 16, 2021). Interview with Kev Bayliss & Dave Wise PART 2 - Kirblog 11/16/21. YouTube. Retrieved March 28, 2023.
- Official Nintendo french magazine N3, page 25
- Twitter. "FUN FACT: Timber (from Diddy Kong Racing) was originally going to be the protagonist of Dinosaur Planet. several files in the SFA kiosk image have "Timber" instead of "Sabre" in their names. there's also concept art of a more tigerlike "Sabre" on Nick Southam's squarespace page." Posted August 18, 2018. Accessed August 30, 2020.
- Bayliss, Kev. I was a lead on Dinosaur Planet and this week’s leak brought back great memories. Video Games Chronicle. Retrieved February 23, 2021.