Diddy Kong Racing
Video game
Developer(s) Rareware
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Designer(s) Rareware
Platform Nintendo 64
Release Date EU: November 21, 1997
JA: November 21, 1997
NA: November 24, 1997
Genre(s) Racing, adventure
Mode(s) Single player
2-4 multiplayer
Rating(s) ESRB: K-A (Kids to Adults)
Media 128 Megabit Cartridge
Input Method(s) Nintendo 64 controller
Accessories Controller Pack, Rumble Pak

Diddy Kong Racing is a video game developed by Rareware and released for the Nintendo 64 in 1997. 800,000 copies were ordered in the two weeks before Christmas 1997, making it the fastest selling video game at the time, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

A few of the playable characters would later appear in their own franchise titles. The game was partially intended to introduce these future franchise characters so that gamers would recognize them when these games were released. These games include: Donkey Kong 64, Banjo-Kazooie, and Conker's Pocket Tales.

Banjo is originally found as a playable character in Diddy Kong Racing. Tiptup, who is found in Bubblegloop Swamp and Jolly Roger's Lagoon, is also originally from Diddy Kong Racing.


Timber the Tiger's parents go on vacation and leave their son in charge of the island they live on, leaving him and his friends to race for fun. Their enjoyment is derailed when an evil, intergalactic, pig wizard named Wizpig arrives at peaceful Timber's Island and attempts to take over after he conquered his own planet's racetracks. He turns the four island's guardians: Tricky the Triceratops, Bubbler the Octopus, Bluey the Walrus and Smokey the Dragon into his henchmen.

The only solution available to the island's inhabitants is to defeat Wizpig in an elaborate series of races that involves cars, hovercrafts, and airplanes. Drumstick, the best racer on the island, failed this challenge and was transformed into a frog by Wizpig's black magic. Timber sends a letter to his friend Diddy Kong to call for help and Diddy in turn recruits his friends Banjo the bear and Conker the squirrel while Timber gathers the remaining inhabitants of the island to help. They eventually complete all of Wizpig's challenges and confront Wizpig himself to a race and defeat him.

Shortly afterward, Wizpig leaves for his home planet, Future Fun Land. Fearing that Wizpig would again attempt to invade Timber's Island, the islanders travel to Future Fun Land for a second challenge. When Wizpig loses the second race, the rocket he rides on malfunctions and blasts him to a distant planet and peace returns to Timber Island for good.

Playable Characters

Starting Racers

  • Diddy Kong is the game's namesake and all-around in terms of stats. He is a monkey from the Donkey Kong series.
  • Banjo is a honey bear that premiered in Diddy Kong Racing, a year before his own series kicked off in Banjo-Kazooie. He is the second-heaviest racer.
  • Conker is a squirrel that makes his first appearance in this game; his first appearance in his own franchise would be Conker's Pocket Tales. He acts as a middleweight racer.
  • Krunch is a Kremling from the Donkey Kong series. He acts as the fastest heavyweight, but the least agile racer.
  • Tiptup is a lightweight character that would later appear in both Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie.
  • Timber the tiger is the son of the owners of the island Wizpig attacks. He acts as a middleweight racer.
  • Bumper is a badger that is a semi-heavyweight, but otherwise has no traits as a character.
  • Pipsy the mouse is the lightest racer, but also has no characterization and has never appeared in any other game.

Secret Racers

  • Drumstick is a rooster that was captured by Wizpig; he can be rescued after a period of time by running over a distinct frog. He acts as a heavyweight racer.
  • T.T. is the stopwatch that runs Time Trials. After beating T.T's record on every course, he becomes playable, and has the best stats of any racer.
  • Wizpig is the antagonist. He takes over the island and challenges someone to beat him in order to reclaim it. (Can be unlocked as a playable character in the Nintendo DS version)
  • Taj the Genie is the genie that hands out Golden Balloons as races are won. He himself can be challenged three times in each of the three vehicles in races around the island; he also allows the player to change which vehicle they are currently controlling in the overworld. (Can be unlocked as a playable character in the Nintendo DS version).


  • Tricky the Triceratops is the boss of Dino Domain, where he challenges the player to a race up a spiral mountain.
  • Bluey the Walrus is the boss of Snowflake Mountain, where he challenges the player to a race down a mountain.
  • Bubbler the Octopus is the boss of Sherbert Island, where he challenges the player to a race around an island track while laying traps.
  • Smokey the Dragon is the boss of Dragon Forest, where he challenges the player to a race around a grassy valley while shooting fireballs.


The music for the game was composed by David Wise, one of Rareware's in-house composers. Using the Nintendo 64's cartridge format, the music in the game could change mood across the overworld or midway through a racetrack (retaining the same tune and tempo but using different instruments) without being hampered by load times. This was the first Rare game to use this technique, with it later being used in Banjo-Kazooie, Donkey Kong 64, and Conker's Bad Fur Day.


Diddy Kong Racing won the Console Racing Award at the 1998 Interactive Achievement Awards.


  • Banjo mentions racing a genie and a giant pig at some point in Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts. This is a reference to Diddy Kong Racing with Wizpig being the pig and Taj being the genie.
  • Although Banjo wears the blue backpack which Kazooie uses in the Banjo-Kazooie series, Kazooie is never mentioned nor seen in the game. She is, however, mentioned in the game's instruction manual, and music related to Banjo includes both a Banjo and a Kazoo-like instrument.
  • Diddy Kong, who lives on Donkey Kong Isle, contacts Banjo and Conker from their respective lands using Squawks the Parrot, to help Timber on Timber Island. Because of this, it can be assumed that the Isle o' Hags, along with Conker's homeland (Panther Kingdom), Donkey Kong Isle, Timber's Island, and the Mushroom Kingdom (due to Donkey Kong and the rest of the Kongs making appearances in many Mario games) all exist on the same planet, or "Game World".
  • There is a similar sidekick character to Tricky the Triceratops in another Rare game, Star Fox Adventures with another dinosaur being named Tricky, but is a Styracosaurus.
  • Trophy Thomas's initials may be a reference to T.T., as both characters set Time Trials.


See Also: Diddy Kong Racing/Gallery

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