Gather 'round, my friends, and listen well to the long saga of a sequel to 1997's Diddy Kong Racing. Original DKR developer Rare was hard at work on a GameCube sequel to the Nintendo 64 racer that involved riding animal pals like Enguarde the Swordfish and Rambi the Rhino instead of cars, hovercrafts, and planes. That sequel, Donkey Kong Racing, fell into oblivion along with a Game Boy Advance flight-based sequel called Diddy Kong Pilot when Microsoft bought the developer in 2002, and aside from a Nintendo DS version of the original N64 game, Diddy Kong Racing has been relegated to history. Now Kevin Callahan has supposed insider information regarding Nintendo's interest in rebooting the DKR franchise. Supposedly, Nintendo has been working with Monster Games (of Excite Truck and Excitebots for the Wii) and Retro Studios (the current shepard of the Donkey Kong license) to develop a new animal-based racer for the Wii U after failing to produce a Wii iteration. Truth or fiction? I'm sharing it with you because if nothing else, it's an intriguing read. Here's a piece:
Development on Diddy Kong Racing 2 would start up again as Monster Games was getting ready to release Pilotwings Resort. But this time, both Retro Studios and Monster Games would collaborate on the project, and it would get moved from Wii to Project Cafe (aka Wii U).
Monster Games and Retro Studios would soon form a bond over the Donkey Kong intellectual property. Retro Studios, who had been successful with the Donkey Kong IP, was tasked with assisting Monster Games on Diddy Kong Racing 2. Retro’s contributions to Monster’s Diddy Kong Racing project is why Nintendo asked Retro to assist with Mario Kart 7′s development.
I'm always one to disbelieve any sort of nebulous information that can't back up claims with concrete proof, but the pieces all seem to fit here. I want to believe it's true, as I'm definitely interested in a new DKR installment. I enjoyed the original game immensely even if the DS port left a lot to be desired. I think that Nintendo and Retro have built up enough new Kong characters in the past five years to fill out the roster that the Rare-owned characters such as Pipsy, Timber, and Tiptup wouldn't be missed (semi-active Rare characters such as Banjo and Conker would definitely be out), Monster has gained valuable experience with racing games working on the Excite series, and Retro showed us with Mario Kart 7 that it can design race courses. Unlike most Internet rumors, I can believe this could be true, but I'm still skeptical due to years of being led down the primrose path with stories like these.
Moreover, if Callahan's conjecture turns out to be true, in addition to seeing the Wii U sequel, I'd love to see some screenshots, video, or assets from the canceled Wii version. After all, you know me and my interest in the dusty items inside the Nintendo vault. Let's hope some future hypothetical Iwata Asks interview gives us the opportunity to see this stuff if it does exist.