A headcanon and an AU!
And it’s illustrated! Spoilers galore below the cut, as usual.
Also, while this idea is mostly KC related, it’s also about Vanellope. I feel I should add that warning, as a lot of KC fans don’t like Vanellope! To each their own~
My idea is this: While I think Turbo did make King Candy his own, he didn’t make him from scratch. When Sugar Rush was being produced, there was a bit more of a story planned, and the royal Von Schweetz characters were a part of that. But either due to time constraints or a lack of interest from the test players, King Candy (and a few other characters) were scrapped. But some parts of his file still remained in the code of the game, like the Diet Cola mountain. It’s still there, just not being used.
In most cases, the characters in Sugar Rush (and the players) never find out about King Candy. But you can have cases like Turbo, where an unplugged character can take advantage of an unused character skin; or maybe the Sugar Racers start noticing clues within the world of the game about the missing racer. However it comes about, KC starts showing up in a few arcades and becomes an urban myth, like in this post. Eventually the creators of the game catch wind of this an assume it’s just a bug that didn’t get fixed. But since popularity in this obscure character has grown so much, they re-include him in later games as an unlockable racer.
The KC that Turbo creates and the original one are pretty similar, but there’s some definite differences! KC had to salvage what he could of the broken code, and his color palette is slightly muted. I actually went off the promotional image to get his colors, and used Vanellope’s princess dress (and lots of salmon) to make the original’s royal outfit. They probably even share a few programmed mannerisms (cartoony movements, “Have some candy!” catchphrase, etc)
As for the AU idea.. it’s less of an AU, and more of a “something that could happen in another Sugar Rush console”. In this game, the racers catch wind of their missing ruler (maybe they overhear some players talking about it i dunno), and they decide to get to the bottom of it.
They find out everything they can about how the games work and decide that it’s up to them to bring him back. Vanellope shows extra gusto in their investigation because she now has family she didn’t even know existed. But even though they try their best, and do everything they possibly can to restore him, there’s still a few holes in his code..
So he’s not allowed to race during arcade hours. But that’s just fine, they’re just happy he exists. And because I love a good parellel: The King Candy in WiR turned Vanellope into a glitch in an attempt to kill her, this Vanellope made King Candy into a glitch because she tried to save him.
Aaand here’s them in their matching racing garb.