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Proto:Banjo-Pilot/Diddy Kong Pilot 2001

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This is a sub-page of Proto:Banjo-Pilot.

To do:
* Document the stuff here.
  • Convert the ROM to standard GBA format.

The early build of Diddy Kong Pilot is the earliest known version of the game that became Banjo-Pilot. The ROM bears a striking resemblance to a version of the game shown at Spaceworld 2000/2001, but there are some differences that indicate it might've come from a slightly later point – mainly since it contains unused resources that were seen in action during the Spaceworld 2000/2001 demonstration.

The availble ROM is in ELF format, btw.

Download.png Download Diddy Kong Pilot (2001 prototype)
File: DiddyKongPilot2001-GBA-Proto.7z (2.4 MB) (info)

Debug Menu

When the ROM is first started up, the debug menu is immediately loaded.


This menu has three options, as shown in the picture above and listed below:

  • Level
  • Player
  • Blend

The list can be navigated using the D-Pad. A and B will scroll through what is available for each option. Press Start to begin the race. The names listed under levels are as follows:

Beach 00 Beach 01 Beach 02 Beach 03
Lava 00 Lava 01 Lava 02
Snow 00 Snow 01 Snow 02 Snow 03
Keep 00 Keep 01 Keep 02 Keep 03
Lake 00 Lake 01 Lake 02 Lake 03
Farm 00 Farm 01 Farm 02 Farm 03 Farm 04
Haunted 00 Haunted 01 Haunted 02 Haunted 03
Jungle 00 Jungle 01 Jungle 02 Jungle 03
Swamp 00 Swamp 01 Swamp 02 Swamp 03
Desert 00 Desert 01 Desert 02 Desert 03

A majority of the levels that can be accessed here are placeholder levels that don't have much in them and cannot be raced. These levels tend to use placeholder graphics, and most of these can be accessed outside of debug. Only a minority of the levels can actually be raced.

List of placeholders and non placeholders levels
Races Placeholders
Beach 00 Beach 02 Snow 03 Lake 01 Farm 04 Jungle 02 Desert 00
Beach 01 Beach 03 Keep 00 Lake 02 Haunted 01 Jungle 03 Desert 01
Lava 00 Lava 01 Keep 01 Lake 03 Haunted 02 Swamp 00 Desert 02
Snow 00 Lava 02 Keep 02 Farm 01 Haunted 03 Swamp 01 Desert 03
Farm 00 Snow 01 Keep 03 Farm 02 Jungle 00 Swamp 02
Haunted 00 Snow 02 Lake 00 Farm 03 (Crashes if accessed from Debug) Jungle 01 Swamp 03

As previously mentioned, most tracks can be accessed from the Clock Race, Dog Fights, and Battle menus. Tracks in bold will crash if selected through there.

Debug names Actual names
Beach 00 Bounty Beach
Beach 01 Beach Race
Beach 02 Beach Barricade
Beach 03 Flawed Genie'us
Lava 00 Magma Mainland
Lava 01 Classic Dogfight (K. Rool's Gold)
Lava 02 Lava Race
Snow 00 Frosty Lake
Snow 01 Dawn Duel
Snow 02 Snowball Snapshot
Snow 03 Snow Race
Keep 00 Dark Tower
Keep 01 Crackpot Keep
Keep 02 Keep Race
Lake 00 Peaceful Passage
Lake 02 Lake Race
Farm 00 Chicken Chase
Farm 01 Hatch Match
Farm 02 Cranky Panky
Farm 03 Farm Attract
Farm 04 Farm Race
Haunted 00 Haunted Race
Haunted 01 Hair Raising Rescue
Haunted 02 Ghost Grasp
Jungle 00 Classic Dogfight (Dog Fights)
Jungle 01 Jungle Race
Jungle 02 Jet Set Jungle
Swamp 00 Swamp Swoop
Swamp 01 Swamp Showdown
Swamp 02 Swoop Swamp
Swamp 03 Swamp Race
Desert 00 Fly Like The Wind
Desert 01 Wasteland Wipe Out
Desert 02 Vulture Valley
Desert 03 Desert Race

The second option in the list is "Player". The player can scroll through options 0 through 5 and selecting a different number will select a different character.

Player 0 Cranky Kong
Player 1 Diddy Kong
Player 2 Kritter
Player 3 K Rool
Player 4 Dixie Kong
Player 5 Cranky Kong (yes, twice)

"Blend", the last option, displays the following:


It's currently unknown exactly what Blend does.

Magma Mainland

Diddy Kong Pilot (2001) Banjo-Pilot
MagmaMainland-DKP.PNG MagmaMainland-BP.PNG

Bizarrely, the map for Magma Mainland would end up reused in Banjo-Pilot, as the lower background layer for when the player fights against Bottles.

  • The lava layer has been combined with the track layer.
  • The colors of the track layer were slightly darkened.
  • A big hole was added to the center.
  • The finish line and boosts were removed.
  • A few smaller holes were added.
  • The cracks in the center island were removed.

Main Menu

To do:
Expand what is in all of the six selectable options.

This prototype has a different main menu than its later counterparts. The main menu has six selectable options: Racing, Stories, Dog Fights, Battles, Clock Race, and Options.


Selecting this will bring the player to a (very buggy) character select screen.


What makes this screen buggy is that the characters don't align with the background like they are supposed to and selecting one character will select another. For example, selecting King K. Rool will select Donkey Kong. There are six selectable characters on this screen, including Diddy Kong, Donkey Kong, Cranky Kong, Dixie Kong, Kritter, and K. Rool. Candy Kong cannot be selected at all. There is also a Kong unique to this prototype, known as Redneck Kong, that can be highlighted but not selected.

List of swapped characters
Character selected Character played as
Diddy Kong Kritter
Kritter Dixie Kong
K. Rool Cranky Kong
Donkey Kong K. Rool
Redneck Kong Diddy Kong
Dixie Kong Diddy Kong
Cranky Kong Cranky Kong


After the player is selected, the list of selectable tracks appears. Only Sleepy Shores and Polar Plateau can be played. The tracks Kongo Kingdom, Western Wastes, and Island of Eggs all crash the game for unknown reasons.


Diddy Kong Pilot 2001-stories.png

Selecting this will bring the player to a menu with three options.

The options are as follows:

  1. King of Kongs
  2. Back to the Light
  3. K.Rool's Gold

King of Kongs goes to one of the beach levels, while K. Rool's Gold brings up a dogfight in one of the lava stages. If the player tries to hover over "Back to the Light", the game can crash. However, if the player hovers over "Back to the Light" immediately after selecting Stories, it will show a corrupt sprite, since the pointer to the sprite it is referencing is obselete. If the player attempts to enter this story, the game will crash.



Interestingly, this game has an option under the Options menu to change the control method of flying the planes from using the D-Pad to using tilt motion. This was completely scrapped in later versions of the game. When selecting tilt motion from the Options menu, the game will tell the player to lay their Game Boy Advance flat and press A to start. If the player does, the game will go back to the title screen.

It isn't known how accurate or how well the tilt motion works, since no emulator that can play this ROM has such a feature (yet) and nobody has access to the original cartridge this ROM was dumped from. The game does recognize when tilt motion is enabled, though, as the D-Pad is disabled during races.

Dog Fights

Select either option in this menu will cause the game to crash.

Unused Graphics

Splash Screens

2001? Was it worth the extra 4 year wait? DKP2001 Rareware splash.png

Splash screens of the Nintendo and Rare logos exist in the ROM, but are never loaded. Note that the copyright date on the Nintendo splash screen says 2001. Banjo-Pilot, the game this prototype eventually became, was released in 2005.

(Source: Mattrizzle (Screenshots), DKC-Atlas)

Space World Leftovers

To do:
There's a few more screenshots from DKC Atlas that could be added to this section. According to Mattrizzle, there are more unused character sprites.

Diddy Kong Pilot 2001 Unused Characters Icons.png Diddy Kong Pilot 2001 Unused Character Select Sprites.png

Character select sprites, from when there were going to be Mario characters in the game. While the idea had already been scrapped at this point in development, the graphics still remain in the ROM. The older character list included 12 characters: Bowser, Dixie Kong, Donkey Kong, Funky Kong, Cranky Kong, Mario, Peach, Toad, Wario, Yoshi, Diddy Kong, and K. Rool. These sprites can be seen in action in the following Space World footage, starting at 0:14:

(Source: Mattrizzle (screenshots), DKC Atlas)

K. Rool's Gold

To do:

While none of the stories are playable in this build, the graphics and text for K. Rool's Gold (also seen in the video above) can be found in the ROM.

Story Text

While skimming
the treetops,
looking for any
Monkeys to
Mangle, K.Rool
discovered an
Ancient Temple
After setting
his plane down
in a nearby
clearing, he
headed for the
entrance, and
with makeshift
torch in hand,
stepped inside.
With just the
flickering light
from the torch
he moved
silently along
the dusty old
checking for
At a dead end
deep inside, he
found a stone
tablet. K.Rool
picked it up
and with one
hand brushed
away the thick
layers of dust.
He brought the
torchlight in
closer and saw
a beautifully
painted frieze.
The Kremling
King cast his
eyes across
the symbols.
As he tried to
make sense of
them, an idea
entered his
head, and he
said out loud,

It looks like a
map to  ... ... ...
... to Eldorado!

With the tablet
as his guide,
K. Rool set off
to try and find
the place he
believed to be
Eldorado, the   
City of Gold.
He followed the
path of symbols
and covered all
four corners of
the globe. He
searched high
and low,
through rain
and snow,
but no matter
how hard he
tried, it just
seemed like he
was never
going to find it.
Then out of the
blue he spotted
a tiny island
far below.
He thought he
could just make
out a huge gate
on the far side 
... was this it?
Seeing a flat
piece of ground
near the gate,
he pulled the
plane into a
steep dive and
headed down to
check it out!
K.Rool was
amazed at the
door's beauty
right up close,
and his vivid
imagination ran
wild, wondering
what riches lay
beyond them.
Several small
footsteps to
his right stole
his attention
for a moment.

So, another
adventurer has
found their way
to our door!
There have
been many
before you
Mr. Lizard.
Even that silly
Cranky Kong
has tried to get
past these
doors - but left
empty handed!
Do you think
you can do any
better, hmnnn?

I do everything
better than
that old goat,
so this should
be no problem
at all for me.
After all I am
the King of the
Anyway, the
tricky bit was
finding the
place - now I'm
here it should
be relatively

If you say so!
I am Nikiki, the
First Guardian
of the Gate.
Only we have
the magical
powers to open
these doors.
For us to do
this, you must
complete a
series of tests.
There are four
in all, but no
one has ever
passed the
first one!

Look, you might
as well open
the doors now
and save us all
a lot of time
and effort!
No? ... ... Ok
then, tell me
what I have to
do, so I can get
it over with as
soon as

You should not
take the tasks
lightly. They
have been
selected to
guard the four
magical Stones
that can open
the doors.
The first task
takes place in
Crackpot Keep,
so that is
where you will
begin your

The Fire Stone
is locked under
a grille in the
centre of the
Keep. Collect
all four keys
within the time
limit to get your
hands on it!
However you
will need to
avoid the mines
that surround
them. Some can
be shot and
others can't -
this isn't easy.
Good Luck!

Oh dear, well
you gave it
your best shot,
but I guess
that wasn't
quite enough!
You want to
have another
go now?
Very well, but
remember you
can shoot the
light coloured
mines only!

You're back?
I thought you
were the all
Perhaps try
again later
when you're not
so tired! Now?
Ok then!
If you get some
boosters, use
them around
the outside to
be a bit safer.

Well well, look
who it is. Was it
all too much for
you in there?
I said it wasn't
going to be
easy. Get
straight back
in there now!
Don't forget to
use the map to
see where the
next key is
going to rise!

I don't believe
it, you actually
did it. Nobody
has ever won
control of the
Fire Stone.
You must have

It was pretty
easy really, I
just focussed
on the job in
hand - and
went to it. I
can't believe
you doubted me
for a moment!

You are truly a
contender to
the wondrous
Gates of Gold.
I shall now
activate the
Fire Stone ... ...
The first of the

Once on the
podium, Nikiki
raised the
ancient stone,
and magic filled
the air. K.Rool
watched on in
amazement at
the sight.
The first step
towards entry
into Eldorado
was now taken.
K. Rool had
achieved what
no one has
even come
close to.

So at last a
worthy of the
Ultimate Prize -
or are you? My
name is Nakaka.
I am the Second
Guardian of the
My task is much
more difficult
than the one my
brother set, so
you may quit
now if you wish!

The only thing I
want to quit is
this idle chat,
so tell me where
to go and what
to do and I'll be
off. I'll be back
soon with the
next Stone!

Right then, if
you think you
are that good,
perhaps we
should get
straight to it. I
don't want to
keep you
But let me say
this - the Earth
Stone is way
out of your
reach. Anyway,
to take on my
task you need
to head for
Whisper Woods.

The Keepers of
the Stone live
in these woods.
they are always
being attacked
by the Giant
Ghosts from the
Land where you
can to pick
them up!
Rescue them all
and they will
summon up the
second Stone -
but that's not
likely is it?

Hee hee, back
again so soon?
I thought as
much. Don't
just sit there
looking sorry
for yourself,
get back in
your plane!
Give yourself
half a chance
and watch the
map to see who
should be
rescued next!

Oh hello again.
I see you didn't
get the Stone -
I didn't think
you would.
Maybe you
should get
straight back
in there,
and chase away
those nasty
Ghosts. Don't
forget you can
stun them with
a shot from
your guns.

Well look who's
back again. You
didn't fail again
did you? Turn
right around
and get back in
there, I'm sure
they'll be a bit
easier on you!
And remember
you can hold up
to three of the
Keepers at one

Wh, wh, what?
You've done it,
you've beaten
my task, but
that can't be
possible. I see
you have the
Second Stone,
but are you
sure you got all
the Keepers?
There could be
one hidden
away behind a
group of trees

I got 'em all,
every last one!
In fact, I could
have rescued
more. You didn't
really think I'd
have trouble
with that did
you? Honestly!

The ancient
texts state
that I must
activate the
Second Stone
for you K.Rool,
but I must say
I'm not happy
about it at all!

On the podium,
Nakaka lifted
the Earth Stone
and more magic
filled the air.
K. Rool was now
half way to
achieving his
Getting past
the gates and
finding out
what wonders
lay beyond.

Don't get too
carried away
K.Rool, as your
journey ends
right here!
I am Nukuku,
the legendary
Third Guardian
of the Gate.
You have done
well to get
here, but will
not get past my

Just let me
know what I
have to do and
I'll do it. I did
the other tasks
with relative
ease, and I'm
sure yours will
be no problem!

Very well! Don't
say I didn't
warn you. When
you come back
here without
the Ice Stone
don't expect
any sympathy
off me.
I might be
tempted to
laugh out loud
though! The
task is set in
Crystal Coast,
so you need to
head out in
that direction.

Our allies in
Crystal Coast
guard the prize
you seek so
You will have to
destroy them
all to find it's
true location.
If you get it, be
sure to come
back and see
me - ha, ha, ha.

What a surprise
seeing you
back here, and
empty handed
too! Why don't
you pop back
into the action
and give it
another shot.
Make sure to
keep low and
use cover
whenever you

Ha, ha, ha,
where's the
next stone, in
your pocket?
Oh you didn't
get it? I'm sure
if you just try
one more time
you will, he, he.
I bet you didn't
know a lot of
snow mounds
hide secret

That was quick,
give up half -
way through?
No? Oh well.
If you try very
hard I'm sure
you can do it -
yeah right, one
day maybe!
If you are still
struggling, use
the boosters to
get behind your
opponents and
attack in

Err... there
must be some
mistake, it
looks like you
have the
Ice Stone.
That's not the
real one
though, is it?
You made that
yourself didn't
you? No?
Oh ... it IS the
real stone, my

I'd say this was
probably the
easiest task
I've had to do
so far. I could
do it again just
for fun ... ... ... 
but not now!
Maybe later.

As a trusted
Guardian of the
Gate I have
pledged to
activate the
Stone. It is with
honour (choke)
that I do this
for you, K.Rool.

With a tear in
his eye Nukuku
raised the
Ice Stone high
up in the air.
The magic was
now very
strong in this
sacred place.
K.Rool knew he
was only one
small step away
from entering
the legendary
City of Gold.

YOU! You beat
my brothers but
not beat me -
right! My name
is Nokoko. I am
Fourth Guardian
and like Sun
Stone very
My friend help
me hide it so
you can't get

I've heard of
brains before
beauty, but to
get neither is
such a blow.
Look, be a good
chap and just
give me the last
It'll save any
I promise it will
be just our
little secret.

No! Sun Stone
is safe where it
lie - you no
find it. If you
want to waste
time go to
Bounty Beach
for a look. My
friend is there!

You must beat
my friend, the
Ultimate Magic
Man. Find real
lamp and shoot
it or he will
smash you into
the ground.
Ha, ha, ha.
Must avoid
magic stacks
that affect
plane also -
this is good!

You no beat my
friend? He my
best friend! He
will play again
if you want, but
you will be back
to see me soon
with same look
on face.
Look closely at
lamp colours to
stand chance -
still not win

My friend send
you back so
soon? He must
not like you
very much.
Go back quick
and try again,
he will greet
with open arms.
Shoot huts for
more goodies
that help you
play harder! My
friend want

He win, he win ...
ha, ha, ha, ha!
My friend never
let me down. He
play as many
times as you
want - go back
now if wish - he
waiting for you!
Get more time
around back of
the lamps to
score! Use
many boosters.

My friend never
lose. He say he
keep Sun Stone
for always. He
my friend for
longest time,
but now Nokoko
not so sure.
Now you have
Stone you be
my friend?

Of course I'll
be your friend
little chap, just
as soon as you
do your stuff!
While you do I'll
just stand
back here!

Ok ... ... my
friend, I will
use the powers
of the Stone to
help you. Maybe
when I do this
it will make us
friends for all
time? Hope so!

Nokoko held
the Sun Stone
firmly and
raised it as
high as he
could. The
magic of the
Gates of Gold
was complete.
As soon as the
stone was
lifted the magic
power went into
K. Rool watched
in amazement at
the spectacle.
The Guardians,
now chanting,
combined their
magic to
activate the
giant doors.
Small clouds of
dust were
where the giant
stone doors
Then there was
a great intake
of air as the
seal of a
thousand years
was broken,
and the great
doors swung
As the light
from the
mountain of
Gold flickered
across his
face, K.Rool
took in the
sights before
his eyes.
He had found
Eldorado - a
place that many
had said didn't
even exist!
Ever so slowly,
he moved
through the
He'd found more
treasures here
than could ever
be imagined.
For as far as he
could see,
there was a sea
of Gold and
As he bathed in
the riches,
K.Rool wasn't
sure if he could
ever leave!

     THE END