Donkey Kong – Retro HistoryMay 4, 2021
Donkey Kong is an arcade game released by Nintendo in July of 1981.
It was created by a new game designer named Shigeru Miyamoto.
He worked alongside Nintendo’s chief engineer, Gunpei Yokoi.
Inspiration for Donkey Kong was pulled from many sources, including Popeye, Beauty and the Beast, and King Kong.
Donkey Kong is one of the earliest examples of the platform game genre, though at the time U.S. gaming press coined the term “Climbing Game”.
The game’s plot is as follows:
The unnamed hero (later named Jumpman and eventually Mario) must rescue his girlfriend Pauline from the game’s villain, Donkey Kong.
The game requires the player to jump between gaps and over obstacles or approaching enemies.
The game is divided into four different single-screen stages.
Each stage represents 25 meters that Donkey Kong has climbed.
Gameplay repeats until the player loses all lives or they reach the infamous kill screen (stage 22).
The “kill screen” is the result of a programming error. When the level loads, the player dies almost immediately.
The game was originally ported to the ColecoVision, Atari 2600 and Intellivision.
Later ports include, Apple II, Atari 7800, Commodore VIC-20, Famicom Disk System, NES, IBM PC, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, MSX, Atari 8-bit family, and Mini-Arcade version
A complete remake of the original arcade game was made for the Game Boy, titled Donkey Kong (though now referred to as Donkey Kong ’94).
Donkey Kong went on to have numerous follow up games and spin-offs.
Donkey Kong is now a staple of Nintendo. He is part of many game franchises, including Mario Kart, Mario Party and the Super Smash series.
Updated: May 4, 2021