|Donkey Kong character|
Diddy Kong appearance in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
|First game||Donkey Kong Country (1994)|
|Voiced by||Kevin Bayliss (1994–1999; 2003)
Katsumi Suzuki (2004–present)
Andrew Sabiston (Donkey Kong Country)
Diddy Kong (ディディーコング Didī Kongu?) is a fictional character in the Donkey Kong series of video games, first appearing in the 1994 game Donkey Kong Country. He lives on Donkey Kong Island in the Kongo Jungle, and is identified by his red hat, which has a Nintendo logo on it, and shirt. He is described as the "wannabe nephew" of Donkey Kong in the Donkey Kong 64 manual and occasionally as a chimpanzee, despite his monkey-like tail. He was originally created by Donkey Kong Country developer Rare as an updated version of Donkey Kong Jr., but renamed due to Nintendo's response.
Diddy Kong has made many appearances in the Donkey Kong series, appearing in all Donkey Kong Country games and Donkey Kong Land games, notably as the lead character in Donkey Kong Country 2 along with Dixie Kong. He received a spin-off called Diddy Kong Racing, and more recently as co-star to Donkey Kong in Donkey Kong Country Returns. Through his relationship with Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong has become a prominent character in the Mario franchise, appearing in several spin-offs. He also made an appearance as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Outside of video games, Diddy Kong appeared in the TV show Donkey Kong Country, where he is played by Andrew Sabiston.
Since appearing in Donkey Kong Country, Diddy has received mostly positive reception, one strong enough to create a fan following, resulting in Diddy getting his own spin-off. He has been featured in several pieces of merchandise, including plush toys and candies. He has been considered a quality character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, but his design has been met with criticism.
Concept and creation
During the development of Donkey Kong Country, Diddy was originally conceived as an updated version of Donkey Kong Jr. (Donkey Kong's son). Not liking the radical changes Rare had made to Donkey Kong Jr., Nintendo told them that they could either use Donkey Kong Jr.'s original appearance for Donkey Kong Country or rename their new version of him. Deciding to simply rename the character, who Rare felt was perfect for their updated version of Donkey Kong's world, Rare decided to name this kong 'Diddy' because of the English slang word 'diddy' which means small.
He first appears in Donkey Kong Country for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System as a sidekick to its protagonist Donkey Kong. He accompanies Donkey Kong throughout Kong Jungle to battle King K. Rool and return Donkey Kong's banana hoard. He gained a more important role in the sequel Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, teaming up with his girlfriend Dixie Kong, who both set to rescue Donkey Kong from Kaptain K. Rool. He later appeared in Donkey Kong Land, issued a challenge by Cranky Kong that he and Donkey Kong could not retrieve the banana hoard on an 8-bit system. The third and final title in the Donkey Kong Country series was titled Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!, which starred Dixie Kong and Kiddy Kong who had to find Diddy and Donkey Kong after they had disappeared, all the while battling a cyborg called KAOS. A follow-up was released in September 1996 for the Game Boy called Donkey Kong Land 2. It featured roughly the same plot as DKC2. In 1997's Donkey Kong Land III, Diddy never even put in an appearance, although he was part of the storyline. He and DK took off in a previously unseen part of the Northern Kremisphere in a contest to find the fabled Lost World. Dixie, furious that she wasn't asked along, decided to join forces with Kiddy and find it herself.
He starred in the spin-off racing game Diddy Kong Racing for the Nintendo 64, which only featured the eponymous character Diddy Kong as a returning character. It introduced Banjo and Conker the Squirrel, who went on to star in Banjo-Kazooie and Conker's Bad Fur Day, respectively. His title was a success, becoming the fastest-selling video game in US history at the time. In 2007, a remake of Diddy Kong Racing was released for the Nintendo DS. He later appeared as a playable character in Donkey Kong 64, a 3D sequel to the Donkey Kong Country titles, where he, Donkey Kong, and others go through DK Island to defeat King K. Rool yet again. He also had a prominent role in DK King of Swing as well as its sequel, DK Jungle Climber.
In 2004, the first non-Rare Donkey Kong game with DKC-styled characters was released. Namco's Donkey Konga was a GameCube music title that was packaged with a DK Bongo controller. The controller is used to keep the rhythm with the beats of covers to famous songs (as well as Nintendo video game music). It was followed by two sequels, Donkey Konga 2 and Donkey Konga 3, the latter which was only released in Japan. Diddy Kong appears in Donkey Kong Barrel Blast as a playable character. He also appeared in Mario sports titles, including Mario Power Tennis, Mario Superstar Baseball, Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour, Mario Golf: World Tour, Mario Hoops 3-on-3, Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Mario Kart Wii, Mario Strikers Charged, Mario Super Sluggers, Mario Tennis Open, and Mario Sports Mix. Diddy Kong also appears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, in which some of his attacks are based around the ones he has in Donkey Kong 64, such as the Peanut Popguns and Rocketbarrel Boost.
Diddy's most recent appearance is in Donkey Kong Country Returns and its 3DS revival, where he serves as the second player's character. He also appeared in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze alongside Dixie, Cranky and DK. He has also been confirmed to return in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U on February 21, 2014.
In other media
Diddy Kong was in the Donkey Kong Country animated series, where his role as Donkey Kong's sidekick remained relatively the same as in the games. He was voiced by Andrew Sabiston (who previously played Yoshi in Super Mario World), in a similar style to Peter Puppy from the Earthworm Jim series. Diddy Kong has also appeared in various comics featured in official Nintendo magazines. Some of the stories he appeared in include adaptations of Donkey Kong Country, Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest and Donkey Kong 64, as well as original stories.
Since appearing in Donkey Kong Country, Diddy Kong has received mostly positive reception. He has gained a fan following, leading to him getting his own spin-off title called Diddy Kong Racing. He has been featured in several pieces of merchandise, including plush toys and candies. Kotaku editor Mike Fahey described him as the "Scrappy Doo" of the Donkey Kong series. Ars Technica editor Ben Kuchera criticized the removal of Diddy and Donkey Kong in Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!, commenting that the new characters made the game less appealing. GameDaily listed DK and Diddy as collectively one of the best gaming duo. GameSpy editor Phil Theobald jokingly bemoaned the lack of a mini-game that allows players to smack Diddy Kong, criticizing Rare Ltd.'s designs, which he calls horrible. UGO.com listed Diddy Kong on their list of "The Cutest Video Game Characters" stating "Thank God Diddy has Donkey Kong as a role model."
- Retro Gamer, Vol. #43
- Donkey Kong Country manual, pages 4, 5, 6 and 7
- Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest manual, pages 4 and 5
- Donkey Kong Land manual, pages 2 and 3
- Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! manual, pages 4 and 5
- Donkey Kong Land III manual, pages 2 and 3
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