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Proto:Banjo-Pilot/Diddy Kong Pilot 2001

From The Cutting Room Floor
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This is a sub-page of Proto:Banjo-Pilot.


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 comes from a slightly later point – mainly since it contains unused resources that were seen in action during the Spaceworld 2000/2001 demonstration.

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. 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 (Crash) Jungle 01 Swamp 03

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:


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 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.

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)


To do:
There's a few more screenshots from DKC Atlas that could be added to this section. This is especially true for the images here, some of which were seen at Spaceworld 2000/2001 and shown in the video below. According to Mattrizzle, there are more unused character sprites.

As shown from the demonstration at Spaceworld 2000/2001, there were going to be Mario characters in the game. At this point in development, the idea was scrapped, but the old character select icons and character sprites 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.

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

The video below is from the demonstration of Diddy Kong Pilot during Spaceworld 2000/2001. The character select icons, along with the character select sprites, can be seen starting at 0:14.

(Source: Mattrizzle (screenshots), DKC Atlas)