Game music of the (holi)day: Diddy Kong Racing

Game: Diddy Kong Racing

Song: Walrus Cove

Composer: David Wise

Above: Walrus Cove from Diddy Kong Racing

The second entry in our weeklong look at music from snow and ice levels comes from Diddy Kong Racing, a bizarre hybrid that combined the racing and power-ups of Mario Kart 64 with the exploration and level structure of Super Mario 64. As usual, David Wise (Rare's go-to music man) knocked out a memorable and fittingly goofy set of tunes for the game, including a couple of extremely Christmas-y songs you're about to hear.

While DKR was a racing game at its heart, there was still a hub world with sub-areas you had to unlock via winning races and beating bosses on their own tracks. Sounds more like a Mario-style platformer, eh? And where you've got platforming, you've got themed levels with similarly themed music. That brings us to Walrus Cove, which plays as you race through a village that's draped in Christmas lights and a fresh blanket of snow. So very festive!

Above: Then there's Everfrost Peak, which plays during another snow level, but isn't overtly Christmas-like

Above: Pirate Lagoon, a great example of how unrepentingly silly DKR's music can be

Above: GAH! What manner of compact disc witchery is this?

Oh yeah, the DKR CD... well that's an interesting story. Prior to the N64 era (1996-2001), Nintendo of America wasn't keen on releasing game soundtracks. And with good reason! Why would we want to buy any of their classic, undying pieces of musical magnificence when we can just eat shit and die instead? Thankfully, NOA got past this line of thinking right as the N64 came around, so we got several official soundtracks. Most were run of the mill releases, but Diddy Kong Racing and Yoshi's Story came on these weird-ass CDs shaped like heads, which, because of their odd configuration, would not play in car CD players or anything without a spool-type fastener.

Unsurprisingly, Nintendo avoided this idea in the future. It still plays totally fine to this day, and will work in any laptop or player device that it can snap into, but wow... just wow. That's got to be the ugliest CD in existence.


Game music of the day: Sonic the Hedgehog 3
Ice Cap Zone by Brooks, Buxer, Senoue and (maybe) Michael Jackson



Game music of the day: Banjo Kazooie
Spiral Mountain by Grant Kirkhope



Game music of the day: F-Zero
Silence by Ishida and Kametani

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  • QWERTYCommander - December 23, 2010 4:43 a.m.

    I think Snowboard Kids deserves a GMOTD.
  • philipshaw - December 22, 2010 12:05 p.m.

    This is classic stuff Brett, I should play that song on christmas day
  • batmanboy11 - December 22, 2010 3:38 a.m.

    Love this game and its music.
  • Robusken - December 22, 2010 2:57 a.m.

    Ahh I didn't have to listen to the music because this soundtrack is eternally burned into my brain from all the time I spent playing.Its a damn catchy soundtrack.
  • kneehighsocks - December 22, 2010 12:16 a.m.

    Yes! Thank you!! I have been waiting to see Diddy Kong Racing on here since you started doing GMOTD. I still catch myself humming the songs from this game to this day. Thank you again!
  • WickedSid - December 21, 2010 11:49 p.m.

    This has brought back so many memories. Thank you, Brett.
  • Overlord153 - December 21, 2010 11:13 p.m.

    Was it just my computer or the youtube videos audio compared to gamesradar was complete shit?
  • Tenfey - December 21, 2010 11:09 p.m.

    This game used to make me so angry as a child. If I were to replay it now I'm pretty sure I'd have a stroke.
  • Ampatent - December 21, 2010 11:02 p.m.

    Fucking finally!
  • CHAINSAWhaxor - December 21, 2010 10:44 p.m.

    GET OUT OF MY MIND BRETT!! I was just thinking to myself, "when will they put Diddy Kong Racing on Game Music of the Day" and WHABAM! there it is! This game is fantastic, I still go back and play it once in a while.
  • SillyPigeon - December 21, 2010 10:27 p.m.

    DIDDY KONG RACING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I remember this game so well! I got my N64 for christmas 98, DKR was the 2nd game I got for it. Was such a good game, which I traded away a couple of years later like a dang fool. The game was also the first appearances of Banjo and Conker wasn't it? But I remember the music SO well, I guess because I replayed each track over and over. Love it, especially Walrus Cove with its christmas lights. Thanks for the nostalgia kick Brett, made my day
  • AngryScotsman - December 21, 2010 9:52 p.m.

    I've heard these on the T-Raiderz before. I knew they sounded familiar when I first stumbled on this page. Where am I?
  • Littleyoshi4 - December 21, 2010 9:41 p.m.

    Who would have thought, CDs shaped like heads Oh and of course, FIRST!