Diddy Kong

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Diddy Kong
Donkey Kong and Mario character
DiddyReturns.png
Diddy Kong's appearance in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
First game Donkey Kong Country (1994)
Created by Rare
Voiced by Chris Sutherland (1994–1999; 2003; 2007)
Katsumi Suzuki (2004–present)
Andrew Sabiston (Donkey Kong Country)

Diddy Kong (Japanese: ディディーコング, Hepburn: Didī Kongu) is a fictional character in the Donkey Kong series of video games, first appearing in the 1994 game Donkey Kong Country. He is a young monkey who lives on Donkey Kong Island in the Kongo Jungle, and is identified by his red cap, which has a Nintendo logo on it, and a red shirt with two stars. He is Donkey Kong's best friend and is described as his "nephew wannabe" in the Donkey Kong 64 manual[1]. 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 some 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: Diddy's Kong Quest along with Dixie Kong. He received a spin-off called Diddy Kong Racing, and more recently appeared 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 has also made appearances as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. games. Outside 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, candies, and two Amiibo figures.

Concept and creation[edit]

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 British English slang word 'diddy' which means small.[2]

Appearances[edit]

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.[3] 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.[4] 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.[5] The third and final title in the Donkey Kong Country series is titled Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!, which stars Dixie Kong and Kiddy Kong who must find Diddy and Donkey Kong after they had disappeared, all the while battling a cyborg called KAOS.[6] A follow-up was released in September 1996 for the Game Boy called Donkey Kong Land 2, featuring roughly the same plot as Donkey Kong Country 2.[5] Diddy does not make an appearance in 1997's Donkey Kong Land III, although he is a part of the storyline that appears in the manual.[7]

He stars in the spin-off racing game Diddy Kong Racing for the Nintendo 64, which only features the eponymous character Diddy Kong as a returning character. It introduces 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.[8] 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 has a prominent role in DK King of Swing as well as its sequel, DK Jungle Climber.

In 2004 was the release of the first non-Rare Donkey Kong game that features characters in the style of Donkey Kong Country. Namco's Donkey Konga is 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, Mario Tennis Aces, 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.[9]

Diddy appears 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, Funky and DK. He returns as a playable fighter in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He also appeared in Skylanders: SuperChargers, riding in the side car of Donkey Kong's vehicle, called the Barrel Blaster. His most recent appearance was in Mario Party: Star Rush as a playable character for the first time in a Mario Party game.

In other media[edit]

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.[10] 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. Super Mario Maker features Diddy as a costume for Mario to wear.

Reception[edit]

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.[11] He has been featured as a plush toy.[12] Kotaku editor Mike Fahey described him as the "Scrappy Doo" of the Donkey Kong series.[13] 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.[14] GameDaily listed DK and Diddy as collectively one of the best gaming duo.[15] GameSpy editor Phil Theobald jokingly bemoaned the lack of a mini-game that allows players to smack Diddy Kong, criticizing Rare's designs, which he calls horrible.[16] 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."[17] In 2018, Watchmojo.com ranked him #1 on their "Top 10 Side Characters Who Got Their Own Game" list.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Donkey Kong 64 instruction manual, pg. 7". Internet Archive. 
  2. ^ Retro Gamer, Vol. #43
  3. ^ Donkey Kong Country (instruction manual). p. 4, 5, 6, 7. 
  4. ^ Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest manual, pages 4 and 5
  5. ^ a b Donkey Kong Land (instruction manual). p. 3. King K. Rool and his band of Kremlings apenapped Donkey Kong. They're demanding the Kongs to hand over the banana hoard for Donkey's safe return. Donkey Kong would have a fit if they lost the banana hoard again. So it's up to Diddy and Dixie Kong to save him. Help the two monkeys make their way through all the Kremlings and all the traps to find Donkey Kong. 
  6. ^ Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! manual, pages 4 and 5
  7. ^ Donkey Kong Land III (instruction manual). p. 2, 3. 
  8. ^ "Nintendo Says Diddy Makes History - N64 News at IGN". Ign64.ign.com. December 8, 1997. Retrieved September 22, 2010. 
  9. ^ Smash Bros. DOJO!!
  10. ^ "Donkey Kong Country" (1997) - Full cast and crew
  11. ^ "Diddy Kong Racing". UGO.com. August 11, 2008. Archived from the original on June 15, 2011. Retrieved September 22, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Nintendo Diddy Kong 8 Inch Plush (Anime Merchandise)". eStarland.com. Retrieved August 9, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Diddy Kong Almost Dies". Kotaku.com. November 5, 2007. Retrieved September 22, 2010. 
  14. ^ Kuchera, Ben (December 24, 2007). "Virtual Console Monday (12-24-07) "Blades of Steel!" edition". Arstechnica.com. Retrieved September 22, 2010. 
  15. ^ Chris Buffa (February 11, 2008). "Gallery and Images". GameDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2010. 
  16. ^ "GameSpy: Donkey Konga - Page 2". Cube.gamespy.com. Retrieved September 22, 2010. 
  17. ^ Chris Littler (October 12, 2010). "The Cutest Video Game Characters - UGO.com". UGO.com. Archived from the original on October 16, 2010. Retrieved March 22, 2011. 

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