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List of Banjo-Pilot pre-release and unused content

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This is a list of pre-release and unused content for Banjo-Pilot.

Diddy Kong Pilot

Main article: Diddy Kong Pilot (2003)
DKP 03 title screen.png

Banjo-Pilot first started its development as a sequel to Diddy Kong Racing, called Diddy Kong Pilot, a racing game featuring characters from the Donkey Kong franchise. Its original iteration was shown at E3 2001, was not published by the time Rare was bought by Microsoft in 2002.


No information regarding this iteration of Diddy Kong Pilot was publicly known until October 3, 2011, when a former Rare employee, with the pseudonym "Transparentjinjo", posted a gameplay video on YouTube. According to its title, the game's build date was "February 19, 2003",[1][2] approximately 5 months prior to Microsoft trademarking "Banjo-Pilot".[3][4] About a month later, the game leaked onto an unrelated Rare fansite.[5]


Gameplay of Funky racing in the Steamy Swoop course

This prototype has a few modes, including the Grand Prix-type mode "Cups", a Time Trial mode which has no default scores, or even the Cranky Challenge mode, in which the player's goal is to obtain six coins placed around the course while beating Cranky in a race. The multiplayer option is crossed out and cannot be accessed. This prototype features three different teams: Team Kong (consisting of Diddy Kong, Dixie Kong, Donkey Kong, and Funky), Team Kritter (consisting of Kritter, Klap Trap, Klump, and K. Rool), and Team Cranky, whose only member is Cranky Kong; he even appears in all four character slots. The player can unlock the Kremlings by finishing every cup, and Cranky if the player beats all the Cranky Challenges.

Gameplay progression is as follows:

  1. Team Kong beats Team Krem in all four cups and boss fights, after which Cranky bets the player couldn't do it while playing as a Kremling.
  2. Team Krem beats Team Kong in all four cups and boss fights, after which Cranky laments the fact that the Kremlings have earned the rights to claim the title screen as Kremling Pilot, showing a lava temple area.
  3. Player beats all Cranky Challenges with any character, after which Cranky allows himself to be played.
  4. Cranky beats Team Krem in all four cups and boss fights, claiming the title screen in his own name. The title screen is restyled to Cranky Kong Pilot, which shows a scenery of the open sea and Enguarde jumping out on occasion.

Aside from basic gameplay, few elements return directly from Diddy Kong Racing. T.T.'s voice is still used as the announcer despite him never visually appearing, and air-based Zippers reappear with the same design and functionality as before. Additionally, waiting to press the accelerator at the beginning of the race until the space between T.T.'s "Get ready" and "Go" results in a large speed boost.

The character selection is restricted to a specific difficulty in this build. Team Kong, Team Krem, and Team Cranky were replaced with Bottles GP, Grunty GP, and Endurance GP respectively in the final build.



Cups mode is divided between two sub-modes, Race and Boss.

DKP03 icon flag.png DKP03 icon secret.png
Race Boss

The player needs to complete each of the four cups by first completing the four races to win a trophy, which allows them to fight the boss. Team Kong and Team Cranky have the same cups and tracks, while the tracks in Team Krem's cups are reversed and have different names. In each race, the player must place between first and fourth to qualify for the next race. Three retries are allotted if they fail to qualify, represented by flag icons on the retry screen. More retries can be earned by collecting all the KONG Letters in a course. At the end of a cup, the player must place third or higher overall. Otherwise, the player is simply returned to the cup select screen.

DKP03 icon trophy bronze.png DKP03 icon trophy silver.png DKP03 icon trophy gold.png DKP03 icon trophy platinum.png
The Bronze Cup The Silver Cup The Gold Cup The Platinum Cup
Place third overall Place second overall Place first overall Place first in every race

After placing in the top three positions in a cup, the player gets to dogfight the boss, which is the character the cup is named for. Each take place above the clouds over the ocean, a vast forest, or the "Speedy Show" course. The fights alternate between having the player shoot at the boss from behind while avoiding their weapons, and having the player in front of the boss while avoiding their bullets. In both segments, item barrels appear and can be used by the player. Each cup's boss in the order they appear in the menu is more powerful and aggressive than the previous one, with four named difficulty levels shared by each team; however, the Kong bosses fought while playing as Team Krem are in general more dangerous than when the Kremlings are faced while playing as Team Krem, and when fighting the Kremlings as Team Cranky, they have their original behavior, but are much more durable. Each boss character has their own weapon which they drop in a chain behind them, making it dangerous to pursue them directly much of the time. After one of the participants loses all their health, a brief scene shows the winner shooting down the loser; unlike gameplay, this is shown from the side.

Time Trial

In Time Trial, the player can set their own high score on any track, including the reverse Kremling versions, with any character. Zippers and target balloons are present in this mode as in Cups, though barrels and the items within are not.

Cranky Challenge

In Cranky Challenge, the player must race Cranky Kong while collecting six coins he has hidden around the tracks. There is a Cranky Challenge for each of the 16 Team Kong courses, and they can be performed by any character.

Options menu

The options menu has six selectable options, most of which are related to debugging: "Language", "Sound", "Secret", "Multiplayer Weapons", "Ghost", and "Clear Scores". The Language option is highly unfinished, and is shown to have four other options, aside from English: French, Spanish, German, and Italian. The only text translated into German are the options from the title screen and options menu. The other languages use the same, default English text for a placeholder.

Despite having no relevance to sound, the Sound option redirects the player to an incomplete initials menu. After entering three characters, the rotating character input goes to the number 5. If the player presses A Button while the number is highlighted, they are sent back to the options menu.

The Secret option unlocks everything in the game. The Multiplayer Weapons option shows a replay of the cutscene from the most recent defeat in a dogfight match. Despite its title, the Ghost mode has no relevance to Time Trial ghosts, and instead displays the victory photo of a team. The team displayed in the photo corresponds to the current title screen. The last option is Clear Scores, which erases all of the game data.

Diddy Kong Pilot Banjo-Pilot
Team Kong - Beginner Bottles GP
Team Krem - Intermediate Grunty GP
Team Cranky - Expert Endurance GP
N/A Jinjo GP
Diddy Kong Pilot Banjo-Pilot
Diddy Kong Kazooie
Dixie Kong Jinjo
Funky Kong Banjo
Donkey Kong Bottles
Klap Trap Humba Wumba
Kritter Jolly Roger
Klump Klungo
K. Rool Grunty
Cranky Kong Mumbo Jumbo


Diddy Kong Pilot Banjo-Pilot Note
KONG Letters Notes Collectibles later replaced by Notes in Banjo-Pilot.
Banana Coin Jiggy Items in Cranky's Challenge. Six must be collected while winning against Cranky too.
Star Barrel Honeycomb
Balloon Glowbo
Buzz Fire Egg Sent after opponents to attack.
Zinger Ice Egg Can be left behind as an obstacle.
TNT Barrel Turbo Trainers Allows the player to gain a boost when this item is used.
Rambi Gold Feather Allows invincibility.
Wrench Barrel Minjy Jongo Allows the player to temporarily stun all players and make them dizzy.
Blue Buzz Saucer 'O Peril A homing Buzz missile. Does the same as the regular, but locks onto the target
N/A Cheato Pages


Diddy Kong Pilot Banjo-Pilot Cups
Steamy Swoop Spiral Mountain Klaptrap Kup (DKP)
Honeycomb Cup (BP)
Plain Pursuit Jinxy's Dunes
Chilly Length Freezeezy Peak
Magma Spurt Hailfire Peaks
Shore Strife Treasure Trove Cove Kritter Kup (DKP)
Jiggy Cup (BP)
Jungle Jostle Clanker's River
Temple Heat Grunty Industries
Wild Wilderness Gobi's Valley
Frosty Feud Freezing Furnace Klump Kup (DKP)
Beehive Cup (BP)
Vine Rush Mayahem Temple
Speedy Show Steamy Vents
Reef Encounter Jolly Roger's Lagoon
Lava Dispute Witchyworld K. Rool Kup (DKP)
Feather Cup (BP)
Frantic Beach Breegull Beach
Prairie Dash Terrydactyland
Icy Passage Cauldron Keep
Monkey Rift Spiral Mountain R Dixie Cup (DKP)
Pumpkin Cup (BP)
Plateau Patrol Jinxy's Dunes R
Artic Rumble Freezeezy Peak R
Ember Trouble Hailfire Peaks R
Rapid Sands Treasure Trove Cove R Diddy Cup (DKP)
Cauldron Cup (BP)
Simian Field Clanker's River R
Cinder Slam Grunty Industries R
Savannah Air Gobi's Valley R
Snow Business Freezing Furnace R Funky Cup (DKP)
Skull Cup (BP)
Gibbons Gate Mayahem Temple R
Fiery Divide Steamy Vents R
Monkey Bay Jolly Roger's Lagoon R
Sanctum Shoot Witchyworld R Donkey Cup (DKP)
Broomstick Cup (BP)
Coastal Chaos Breegull Beach R
Sunset Shindig Terrydactyland R
Tundra Tumble Cauldron Keep R
Jungle Jig Mumbo's Mountain Battle Tracks
Sunset Scrap Temple Tussle
Ice Escapades Arctic Blast
Beach Brawl Rusty Bucket Bay


Music ID Music
1C Title (Banjo-Pilot)
1D Bottles
1E Gruntilda/Witchyworld
1F Final Lap Alert (Witchyworld)
20 Witchyworld (Final Lap)
21 Multiplayer

Voxel prototype