Thursday, 10 February 2011

Diddy through the ages

Like with all videogames, most of the cast from Donkey Kong Country have had different looks before. While this isn't as obvious as with DK himself, he only underwent one drastic change (actually none at all if you take into consideration that the DK from the arcade is actually the modern-day Cranky) and a change of fur color. He always kept his tie, too.

Most design changes are so subtle that only a true nerd, a nerd to end all nerds would notice it. Say, for example, you guys probably know that I have a rather peculiar fangirl-obsession towards Diddy Kong, right?

Well, he's changed quite a bit in the last fifteen years. From his debut in Donkey Kong Country, to Donkey Kong Country Returns. He kept his trademark red cap and shirt all his life, but to be honest, I think I prefer his design post-buyout. *dodges rotten tomatoes getting thrown at me* Something about how he gets portrayed by Rare outside the games in promotional renders looks... iffy. He's supposed to be a cute little monkey, folks! Cute does not equal loads and loads of details and stuff!

And all that while he looks adorable in-game.

D'aww he's looking at us guys

Yeah, I don't really know about this. I am nitpicky, I know. He's still cute, though. And the renders are actually very well-done still, despite my nitpicking. Speaking of well-done renders...

Donkey Kong Country - The Wind Waker? I like cel-shadedness.

Donkey Konga may or may not be a well-remembered game, you gotta hand the makers that they made some cool promotional artwork. Let it be said that that's probably the only time I'm ever mentioning the game here.

Let's, for no reason at all, also mention the TV series.

"Oh dear, I appear to be hanging over a cliff holding on for dear life for some reason. Can you help me? Only if you're in no real hurry, of course."

Yeah, Diddy looked like a duck in season 1. And his tail was absurdly short, too. And, due to animation limitations, it was rather, erm, stiff too. I'm forgiving the dudes who made the models, though - as I realize that back then it was really hard to make such stuff without it looking awkward. In season 2 however, he lost the duckface anyway and moved less like a puppet, so I guess it isn't that bad. Not to mention that-

"You know, how about you CUT DOWN on th' chattin' and haul me up!!1"

Er, excuse me. How about you watch the episode to see what happens?

Also, I like promotional artwork. I'm glad they... sorta continued the tradition with Returns. Sorta. There's only like two individual renders for both Diddy and Donkey and the two together. Quite... underwhelming if you consider those immense background-worthy graphics in the manuals of the earlier games. But then, the earlier games didn't have a bloody ART OF- image gallery, either. So yeah.

And basically, the only thing that changed about Diddy in DKC Returns is that they made him smaller. At least, that's what people claim - he just appears smaller because he piggybacks on DK's shoulders, which he never did before. While it's pretty cute, I began to question Diddy's basic walking abilities - did some Kremlings/Tikis/banana aliens break his legs? Luckily, none of that is true as he walks and climbs and jumps just fine in the cut-scenes and in 2-player mode.

He had changed not only appearance-wise, but his voice underwent many changes as well. In his debut Donkey Kong Country, he didn't say much apart from the occasional chatter, and a sickeningly cutesy "ow!" as he got hit by an enemy. Same for the sequel, even though he apparently gained some epic rapping skills, heh. In the Nintendo 64 games, he had much more of a 'real' voice (note: I think a voice sounds real if you can imagine the character talking. Even if it's a monkey.) Starting with Diddy Kong Racing, the only intelligible thing he ever said was "I'm Diddy!" amidst chatter. Yeah. As well as all other animals who said their name when selected. (Conker with a squeaky voice and Banjo talking for real, anyone?) in Donkey Kong 64, he didn't say much either, but occasionally yelled out a peppy "WOOHOO!" and a "D'AAOWH" when he got hit. Oh, and in one cut-scene, yes, ONE, he said "come on," taunting a couple of Kremlings. Yeah, ONE. His DK64 voice stayed for all further games, later being provided by a decent sound-alike in the Paon-developed games, but in Returns, he somehow gained a squeaky voice. While it sounds rather silly and makes him appear more like a sidekick, I d'aww every time he runs into a wall or gets hit by an enemy.

His voice in the TV series is an entirely different matter. It's one of the few cases where I find a talking voice on a normally voice-less character actually good. I do believe it's by this guy Andrew Sabiston, who, coincidentally, also voiced Yoshi in the Super Mario World cartoon. In my opinion, he portrays Diddy perfectly. Even though some people tend to find a singing Diddy annoying... welp, I don't. You know how hard it is to sing something, anything, while doing so in a squeaky voice without sounding slightly off-beat? Hmm? Thought so.

Erm, I do believe we're at the end of my uninteresting fangirling topic about how much Diddy has changed. Hm? What's that, needs more information? Yeah, I admit that I kind of rushed through this. Sorry about that.

(Let it be said that I actually fear to look for anything kid-friendly on Google now. Did you know that there's people out there who depict Diddy and Dixie having sexual intercourse? No? Now you do.) 

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