Diddy Kong (ディディーコング, Diddy Kong), often shortened to Diddy, is the secondary main protagonist of the Donkey Kong series and a recurring character in the Mario series. He debuted in Donkey Kong Country for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. He was created by Rare and has starred in many other titles, such as Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, also for the Super NES, Diddy Kong Racing for the Nintendo 64, and its Nintendo DS remake sequel Diddy Kong Racing DS. He is Donkey Kong's best friend, nephew and sidekick, and is known for his fast running speed, incredible agility, high jumps, great strength and super climbing skills.
Originally, Diddy Kong was conceived by Rare as a redesign of Donkey Kong Jr., but Nintendo realized the new design was too different from the original. They advised Rare to either change the design back or make this new design an entirely new character, to which Rare opted for the latter.
Diddy Kong is a young monkey who is Donkey Kong's best friend and sidekick in the Donkey Kong series. He is also the main character in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest and Diddy Kong Racing. He wears a red hat with the Nintendo logo on it and a red shirt with stars on it. He has a girlfriend named Dixie Kong.
In Donkey Kong Country, Donkey Kong hires Diddy to guard the Kongs' banana hoard from the Kremlings who might want to steal it. Overhearing this, King K. Rool sends an attack on Diddy, who is tossed in a barrel and thrown into the bushes. Donkey Kong soon finds and frees him, and the two set out on an adventure to get their bananas back. In the game, Diddy Kong was used either for two-player mode or as a sort of hit point. As long as either Donkey Kong or Diddy Kong were alive, life was not lost. The missing teammate could then be retrieved by breaking open a barrel with the letters DK on it, similar to the one Diddy was initially trapped in.
Since his debut, he has appeared in many games, ranging from those in the Donkey Kong universe, like Donkey Kong Barrel Blast, to those in the Mario universe, such as Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and Mario Tennis Aces.
In Super Smash Bros.
Diddy Kong is briefly mentioned in Donkey Kong's biography.
In Super Smash Bros. Melee
Diddy Kong is briefly mentioned in Dixie Kong's trophy description. Also, he is mentioned in the DK Rap, which plays on the Kongo Jungle stage. However, despite his prominence within the Donkey Kong series as the secondary main protagonist, he lacks a trophy of his own.
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl
As a playable character
Main article: Diddy Kong (SSBB)
Diddy Kong is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, available to play as from the beginning. He uses many unique special attacks, such as his Rocketbarrel Boost, and Peanut Popgun attacks, both of which are used in his Final Smash, the Rocketbarrel Barrage. His small size and power, combined with the use of weaponry offer a completely different fighting style than Donkey Kong, despite their alleged familial relation. Due to the strategic use of his banana peels, great combo potential, great speed, great agility, great jump, great strength, and an overall impressive amount of tournament wins, he is currently in 4th position on the official tier list.
According to Masahiro Sakurai, Diddy Kong was initially planned to be teamed with Dixie Kong, where the two could swap out with each other in the midst of battle, emulating their tagging out mechanic in Donkey Kong Country 2. However, when Sakurai ran into technical difficulties in implementing the idea, he scrapped it, as well as scrapping Dixie Kong as a playable fighter, leaving Diddy Kong as a solo fighter and the lone new playable Donkey Kong fighter.
As a playable character
Main article: Diddy Kong (SSB4)
Diddy Kong returns as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. 4. His reveal corresponded with the US release of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. His design is based on his appearances in Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. His limbs stretch farther in his attacks, significantly improving his reach. Although he was already a top tier character in Brawl, he was heavily buffed with his KOing moves being strengthened and has gained many options to deal with his opponents, but at the cost of his Banana Peel move being significantly nerfed.
Notably and infamously, Diddy Kong dominated the competitive play of SSB4 for the first six months following the game's release. Diddy Kong was easy to use and had quick and powerful attacks, alongside effective combos to rack up damage and KOs, including his infamous down throw to up air combo (christened the name "Hoo-Hah" by competitive players). However, as of patch 1.0.6 that was released on April 15, 2015, Diddy Kong received major nerfs to the damage and knockback of several of his most frequently used moves, causing his overall tournament usage to decline.
Yet, regardless of the above, Diddy Kong ranks 3rd on the current tier list, placing him in the S tier. He still retains his fantastic mobility, and a strong combo game thanks to his generally low knockback, quick frame data, and long reach despite his small size. He also has a few usable finishers, such as his smash attacks and Monkey Flip. His biggest flaw, however, is his recovery: Rocketbarrel Blast. He is required to charge it up to gain any decent distance, leaving him incredibly open to edge-guarding, and the rocket barrels themselves can be detached by any attack, leaving him helpless. Despite his heavy nerfs in updates, Diddy Kong's positives still remain notable, still allowing for excellent tournament representation and results, with his current tier placement possibly being a result of nerfs to other top-tier characters after he himself had been nerfed, such as Sheik and Zero Suit Samus, allowing him to rise above them.
As a playable character
Main article: Diddy Kong (SSBU)