For a game that shared the Kong name in its very title, it was surprisingly devoid of any, well, Kongs. Aside from Diddy Kong himself, there were no other Kongs in the original release of the game for Nintendo 64. There was a mention of Squawks in the manual and the Kremling Krunch was also a racer, but no Kongs. I’ve been contemplating why that was and haven’t come to any definitely conclusions, but do have a theory.
There were rumors that Rare had plans of using every playable character presented in Diddy Kong Racing in future titles, some of which would star in their own. There may actually be some validity to those rumors as many of those characters actually were in future games. Take a look below…
- Krunch- Donkey Kong 64
- Diddy Kong- Donkey Kong Country, Donkey Kong Country 2, Donkey Kong Land, Donkey Kong Land 2, Donkey Kong 64
- Tip-Tup- Banjo-Kazooie, Banjo-Tooie
- Conker- Conker’s Bad Fur Day, Conker’s Pocket Tales, Conker: Live & Reloaded
- Banjo- Banjo-Kazooie, Banjo-Tooie, Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty’s Revenge, Banjo Pilot, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts
- Timber, Pipsy, Drumstick, T.T. and Badger- Diddy Kong Racing was technically their game
So as you can see, all of the “outside” cast did eventually go on to have a role if some sort in another game, whether it was being the star or serving as a brief encounter. But that still begs the question: why them as opposed to the other already well known Kongs? I believe the reason was so Rare could expose the characters to create some familiarity with them in their future games. So someone who had played Diddy Kong Racing, for instance, heard of an upcoming game called Banjo-Kazooie, then suddenly that sense if familiarity occurs. “Banjo? I’ve heard of that name before somewhere…” one may think, leading that individual to now research the game which, in turn, leads to a potential sale. Makes sense right?
These are just my own theories of course. Whatever the real reason was we may never know, but I do believe what I presented today is logically sound. What are your thoughts? Any theories of your own as to why Rare opted out of including additional Kongs as opposed to the characters above? Let me know in the comments!