Donkey Kong


Originally made as an in-house conversion of the failed Radar Scope, Donkey Kong rescued Nintendo. The backstory of Donkey Kong is that Nintendo originally intended to make a Popeye game, but there were licensing problems. So Miyamoto retooled the love triangle from Popeye into the basic elements that make up Donkey Kong. Talk about making iconic lemonade out of licensing lemons.


Donkey Kong took Pauline, Jumpman/Mario tries to get her back. Pretty classic "rescue the princess" theme. There is also a modified version where Mario is being held captive and Pauline battles to rescue him from Donkey Kong. Despite the thin storyline, this game is a truly iconic title that had far larger impact than anyone expected.

Tips & Strategies

"Donkey" as in stubborn, "Kong" as in gorilla (like King Kong).

This game launched generations of Jumpman/Mario adventures.

While Donkey Kong is a pattern-based game, there is just enough randomness to frustrate players of all skill levels.

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