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Item Guide by UltimateSomnia

Version: 1.03 | Updated: 11/29/08

Diddy Kong Racing DS: Item Guide by UltimateSomnia
Version 1.02, Last Updated 2008-11-29 View/Download Original File
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As you should know picking up this game, Diddy Kong Racing DS is a kart
racer. What separates kart racers from any other type of racing game 
is weapons  that attack other racers, boost you, obstruct the course, 
and shield you  from it all.

Diddy Kong Racing DS has items in the form of balloons. Multiple
balloons of the same type can be picked up to "upgrade" that weapon into
something better. "First" will mean after hitting one balloon of a color, 
"Second" after two of the same color, and "Third" after hitting three
balloons of the same color. Appearance means how the item looks in the box 
in the lower left corner of the screen. I will explain when to use the item,
and if the upgrades are worth it. When I mention a "ground boost", I am 
referring to the yellow and red boosts on the ground. "Air boosts" are the
ones in the air, and "water boosts" the ones on the water.  

Rarity: On almost every, if not every, track

~First: One Rocket
The rocket is an item that shoots directly in front of you, and anyone hit by
it will be hit up into the air so you can pass them. The rocket is not
homing, but it can follow a racer if it gets close.
Appearance: One red and yellow rocket
When to use: Wait. Only use when you are near the end of a race and in 
second place. Trust me, the wait it is worth it.

~Second: 5 Rockets
Read the above description, but now you have five of those.
Appearance: Five small yellow and red rockets
When to use: Whenever. Best use is in 5th place or earlier, because it can 
knock out any racers ahead of you. DO NOT upgrade unless in second place. 
Worth the upgrade?: YES

~Third: One Homing Rocket
This rocket is always homing. This one will hit whoever is in front of you
harder than a regular rocket and with better accuracy.
Appearance: A large green, yellow, and red rocket with an "H"
When to use: Only when in second place with the person in first place in
sight. DO NOT use when in first place or else it will hit you.
Worth the upgrade?: Only when in second place at the end of the race

Rarity: On almost every, if not every, track

~First: Small boost, shorter than a ground boost
This boost offers a short burst of speed that allows you to pass racers
ahead of you or make a lead longer.
Appearance: Jetpack with RED fire
When to use: If you have one at the end of a race always use it. If you
see a group of racers you need to pass, use it. There is no need to wait
a long time to upgrade, but if two blue balloons are close to each other
go ahead and upgrade.

~Second: Medium boost, a bit more than a ground boost
Another boost. This time the boost is a little bit more than a ground boost.
Appearance: Jetpack with LIGHT BLUE fire
When to use: The same as before. This can help you get ahead of a group of
racers or just extend a lead. Do not bother looking for the next upgrade.
Worth the upgrade?: Rarely. If two are near each other, upgrade. If not,
two smaller boosts at difference times will ultimately be more helpful.

~Third: Large boost, noticeably more than a ground boost
The same as before, except this one is the largest boost possible in this
Appearance: Jetpack with PURPLE fire
When to use: If you have it, use at the same time as said before.
Worth the upgrade?: No, by the time you actually get three of these, chances
are the three small boosts would have been better for the race.

Rarity: On most tracks

~First: Oil Spill
This item is the kind used to obstruct other players behind you much 
like the banana peel in Mario Kart. However, this can come pack and hurt you
on another lap. When a racer runs into this, he or she will sleep and be
vunerable to hits from other racers.
Appearance: A black oil drop
When to use: There are two good times for these items. One is at the last
lap , where you can put them after a ground boost or on other areas racers 
have great chance of going to. The next best time is when a racer is right
behind you. You can drop this a trip them up immediately. No use to wait 
for an upgrade.

~Second: Mine
This item is much the same as the oil spill. This time it is a bit worse
because any racer that hits this mine will get knocked into the air and
be stopped for longer than the oil spill stops a racer.
Appearance: A grey ball with spikes
When to use: The same as before. The fact that it is more powerful really
does not change the strategy at all.
Worth the upgrade?: No, not to use immediately. The mine itself is not
much better than the oil spill. However the third time is the charm...

~Third: Bubble
This item is rather cheap. With all the effort it takes to get it, it
is still more than worth it to slow down the racer behind you extremely.
This bubble grabs the racer and leaves him or her up in the air for
longer than the mine. This can destroy a race.
Appearance: A bubble, not much more to say
When to use: Same as before. But if you wait this long to get it, you better
be in first place. That is a great time to use it so you can destroy the
race chances of the second place.
Worth the upgrade?: Yes, if it can be quick. If it will take a long time, no.

Rarity: On some tracks

~First: Weak Magnet
This item is not like anything in Mario Kart. This magnet attaches you to a
racer near you.  By "attach" I mean that it pulls you toward the racer
directly in front of you and puts you next to them. It is used for a last 
minute catch-up and a quick gain of a position.
Appearance: A yellow U-shaped magnet
When to use: When someone is right in front of you. Although, this balloon
is never really worth picking up at all. I say you just avoid it and wait
for a better item.

~Second: Medium Magnet
Pretty much the same as last time. This magnet just slings you a little bit
farther, allowing you to "attach" to a racer a bit ahead of you.
Appearance: A red U-shaped magnet
When to use: When an opponent is ahead of you but still not too far. Although,
this is still toward the bottom tier of items, and should be avoided for
better weapons.
Worth the upgrade?: If the two are close. If not waste the first one for
a better weapon.

~Third: Strong Magnet
This is the fastest way to pass any racer in the game. This one slings you
up to and past a racer that is kind of close. Although, this can get out of
control and shoot you straight into a wall, into the water, or anywhere else
that you don't want to go.
Appearance: A green u-shaped magnet
When to use: This is used whenever you want to pass someone as said with the
other ones. What is more important is when NOT to use it. Do not use when 
there is a possibility of hitting a wall, and do not use on bridges.
Worth the upgrade?: No, this is a weak weapon. 

Rarity: On some tracks

~First: Short-term Shield
These items in the purple and yellow balloons are also like nothing in Mario
Kart. These items shield you from rockets and any other attack. If there is
a rocket coming at you, you can turn this on and the rocket will do nothing.
However, this first one lasts such a short time that it is pretty unhelpful.
This item can also be used as a melee attack on anyone next to you. 
Appearance: A lighting bolt in a circle
When to use: Whenever you feel a rocket coming at you. Another good time is 
at the end of a race just to make sure there is no last minute strike that
stops you in front of the finish line. Also use when someone is right next
to you so you can put on a quick melee attack to stop the racer from passing

~Second: Mid-term Shield
This is much the same as the shield before. There is one difference: it 
lasts longer. 
Appearance: A star in a circle
When to use: Once again, use it at the end of a race because it's better
to be safe than sorry, and when next to another racer. 
Worth the upgrade?: No, get another item instead

~Third: Long-term Shield
The pattern continues. This shield does the same thing, but lasts longer. It
can be used the same but longer.
Appearance: A circle with alternating red and yellow triangles
When to use: The same as before. But now it can be used farther from the end
and used when you feel someone behind you may have a rocket.
Worth the upgrade: No.


I listed the balloons in a certain order. It was tier list. Red being the
most powerful and most useful, while purple and yellow are the least useful.
Here is a simple chart to use.

RED: Use second
BLUE: Use first
GREEN: Avoid

Of course this is very general, and all can be avoided and used when needed.
When I say avoid, I do not mean you should dodge the balloon, I just mean
you should pass it up for another balloon. They are all better than nothing,
but some are clearly better than others. You will win races with red and 


Of course this is more to look out for than balloons.I will tell you what
else to go for and what to avoid.

These are boosts that you can drive over and you will go fast for a bit. They
are all a bit less than a level two blue balloon. They look like a red and 
yellow ^ sign. They can be used by the kart, plane, and hovercraft

These boosts off the same boost as the ground boost. They are found only on
water and are a yellow and red half sphere. They can be used by a plane and
a hovercraft.

These boosts are ones only found off of the ground. They are red and yellow
tunnels that give you the same boost as a water and ground boost. They can
only be used by a plane

Stop accelerating (take your hand off of the A button) right before hitting
a ground, water, or air boost for an extra boost. The boost will last longer
and take you much farther. There is never a reason not to use it.

These are little blue circle found all over the game. These can be used to 
buy new modes, new tracks, or upgrade your car, plane, or hovercraft. There
are many places to get these

Coins are found all over the races. Winning comes first, so I suggest you do
not go out of the way to get a coin. First, win the race and then go back
to get the coins from the race.

Coins are found all over the balloon popping challenges. I suggest, like
before, completing the balloon popping challenge and then go back to get the
coins. To get a coin you must grab it with the stylist and then put it in the
bag in the bottom right corner of the screen.

Scratch a card and you will get a certain amount of coins. I will get to these

After beating a boss twice, a third touch challenge will open up. Completing
any of these earns you 100 coins.

Near the lighthouse, there are coconut trees. Grab one with your stylist
and pull it back. Hit one of the stars on the mountain, and then you to 
collect the fallen coins.

See the drawing area.


~Scratch card:
There are two ways to get one. One is the drawing area. The next one is to
go inside the log near where you start the game. In there, you should find
a picture of Wizpig. Outline his head with a stylist and it will open up
and give you a scratch card. You scratch one of the three panels to get the
max amount of coins. On mine the jackpot was the far right. I do not know
if it is the same in every game or not.

These are your reward for completing a race, beating a boss, or completing
a balloon popping challenge. That is not the only way to get one. A 
balloon can get gotten from the drawing area. A balloon can also be found
in the ice area of the HUB. Go up ice mountain until you find a balloon in
ice. Use your stylus to drag it down into the water. This will get you
a balloon.

These are ramps that can help you jump and go much faster than you can on
the ground. The best time to go on a ramp is after hitting a ground, air
or water boost or after using a blue balloon.

You know that place near the island level that seems empty? That place with
those gold dots? That is the drawing area. You need to touch the hand with 
your stylus and you will get a bird's-eye view of the area. Here you have 
three choices. You must hit all the gold dots for any of these to get the

Draw a line and a circle. You should get a gold balloon.

Draw just a circle like a balloon without the line. You should get some

Draw a pentagon on the outside of the circle. This should get you a
scratch card. If your game is the same as mine, choose the middle one.

There are four keys throughout the game that allow you to enter the T.T. 
races. Here are the locations

~FIRST AREA: Ancient Lake. On the first left turn, you should see a ramp
with a key. You must go in front of the ramp and use a boost from a blue 
balloon. If you don't, try again until you do.

~SECOND AREA: Snowball Valley. Toward the beginning, you should see a whole
in the mountain on the left. Drive through this. You should see a wooden 
fence. Then turn until you find the icy key.

~THIRD AREA: Crescent Island. At the start of the race there is a fork. 
Go to the left side where you find a ground boost and a rainbow balloon.
Past this should get you to a large sand area. Here you turn left into a
pool and the key should be obvious. THIS IS NOT THE POOL WITH THE GRAY

~FOURTH AREA: Boulder Canyon. First, get a level two boost from blue 
balloons. Continure along the race until you cross a bridge and find a bell.
When you find this bell, pass it and turn around. Drive into the bell, and
as the bridge goes up, you boost into an area with the final key.


Not everything that you can hit is good. There are some things on the track 
that you will not want to hit.   

These plants are there to stop you. Hitting one of these will knock you back
and break up any speed you had. 

These are white balls of snow that roll around. Getting hit by one of these
will smash you and make you go much slower. 

Do not ever go in water when in a kart. This will make your car move at
super slow speed. In single player, langing in water is a good hint
to restart the race.


Can you give me the locations to all the balloons in the balloon popping

I'm sorry, but that would be much too long and take way too much effort.


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Did I forget something? Spell a word wrong? You have a cool idea of
something to add? Email me. insomnia715@gmail.com I will ignore anything
that is not helpful to the FAQ.

Copyright Ultimate Somnia, 2008.

1.00: Original version of this guide. My first ever accepted.
1.01: Key locations and Neoseeker now has rights to this guide.
1.02: Fixed typos and gave SuperCheats the right to the guide
1.03: FIxed typos and added a question I got from an e-mail.  

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