Donkey Kong Jr.
|Donkey Kong Jr.|
|Series||Donkey Kong, Mario|
|Display||Raster, 224 x 256, vertical orientation|
Donkey Kong Jr. (ドンキーコングJR. Donkī Kongu Junia ) is a 1982 arcade-style platform video game by Nintendo. It first appeared in arcades, and, over the course of the 1980s, was later released for a variety of platforms, most notably the Nintendo Entertainment System. The game's title is written out as Donkey Kong Junior in the North American arcade version and various ports to non-Nintendo systems. Its eponymous star, Donkey Kong Jr., also called simply Junior or abbreviated as DK Jr., is trying to rescue his father Donkey Kong, who has been imprisoned. Donkey Kong's cage is guarded by Mario, in his only appearance as a villain in a video game. This game is the sequel to the video game Donkey Kong, which featured Mario as the hero and Junior's father as the villain.
Mario, known beforehand as Jumpman, has incarcerated Donkey Kong after re-capturing him in Donkey Kong. Donkey Kong Jr. must save his father from Mario by putting the key or keys in the stage into all of the locks. Mario attempts to stop DK Jr. by releasing the many animals he controls to knock DK Jr. off the vines and platforms. DK Jr. defeats Mario if the player completes the fourth stage by putting all six keys in their locks, making the floor disappear. DK Jr. catches Donkey Kong while Mario falls onto the ground.
Like in Donkey Kong, if the player completes the final stage, Donkey Kong Jr. restarts at the first stage with a higher level of difficulty. Mario makes an attempt to chase after DK, but DK kicks Mario into the air. Mario then retreats.
The player controls DK Jr. and has to rescue Donkey Kong from Mario, who had captured him. Like its predecessor, Donkey Kong, Jr. is an arcade-style platform game. There are a total of four stages, each with a somewhat different theme. DK Jr. can run left and right, jump, and grab vines/chains/ropes to climb higher on the screen. He can slide down faster by holding only one vine, or climb faster by holding two. Enemies include "Snapjaws," which resemble bear traps with eyes, bird-like creatures called "Nitpickers" that Mario releases to thwart DK Jr., and "Sparks" that roam across the wiring in one of Mario's hideouts. These enemies will cost DK Jr. one life if he touches them, but they can be defeated by dropping fruit onto them. At the top of every stage is Mario and Donkey Kong, and when DK Jr. reaches the top, he chases Mario to the next stage. If the player beats the fourth stage, a cut scene is shown of the floor disappearing and the three fall to the ground. DK Jr. catches DK and Mario falls and hits the ground. Once the four stages are completed, the player advances to the next level with increased difficulty and his or her points and lives retained. Up to two players can play the game alternately.
The game is split into four stages.
- The first stage is simple. DK Jr. must climb up vines to get to the top while avoiding Snapjaws.
- In the second stage, DK Jr. must get to the top by jumping on platforms and climbing across chains, while avoiding Nitpickers and the eggs they drop.
- The third stage, referred to as "Mario's Hideout" is much harder. DK Jr. must avoid Sparks sent out by Mario as he climbs the platforms.
- In the last stage, DK Jr. must push several keys up to the locks in the top platform to unlock DK's cage.
Note: In the Japanese version of the game, each level consists of one play through each of the four stages in the above order. However, the American version uses the following progression: Level 1: 1,4 Level 2: 1,2,4 Level 3: 1,3,4 Level 4+: 1,2,3,4
You lose a life if:
- DK Jr. touches Mario or any enemy;
- DK Jr. falls off the bottom of the screen or into water;
- DK Jr. drops off the end of a rope/vine/chain and falls too far;
- The bonus timer reaches zero.
Game ends when all lives are gone.
Glitches / Easter eggs
If a player starts 2 player mode and, as player two runs to the end of the first platform in stage one, then jumps so that DK Jr. hits a blue Snap-jaw and the water at the same time the death sequence is skipped and player one starts at the beginning of level one again, with an extra turn. When it is player two's turn again, the game goes back to where player two was last time, even repeating the opening sequence if this trick was used on player two's first turn. This allows a player to play indefinitely.
Though the timing is somewhat critical, some players have used this trick to amass scores of several hundred thousand without ever completing the more difficult screens in level 4 and beyond. Of course, this tactic is not allowed in competitive play. This trick also works if player two has advanced to the first stage of level 2, with player one going back to level 2 instead of level 1. This can even be done if timing was off on earlier attempts and player one's game has ended, as long as player two has a turn left. If this is done multiple times after the high score has been topped, it will be possible for player one to enter their initials up to five times on the high score screen.
This glitch is duplicated in emulations that use the original code, including M.A.M.E.
If a player climbs to the upper right corner of stage one and holds the joystick in the up position the entire game slows down to a crawl until the joystick is released. This has no strategic value but some find it amusing.
A player will sometimes lose one of the men shown on the screen when going over 100,000 and get it back when they go over 110,000. The same thing happens at 200,000 300,000, etc. If this occurs when someone is using Perpetual Play and they do the trick after player one's game has already ended, the number of DK jr.s shown on the screen will under go a negative rollover, displaying a large number of them on the screen. The game then behaves erratically, usually freezing or going through a hard reset before the current screen can be completed.
The game was principally designed by Shigeru Miyamoto and one of his coworkers. Miyamoto also created the graphics for the title along with Yoshio Sakamoto. As with its predecessor, the music for the game was composed by Yukio Kaneoka.
Donkey Kong Jr. is regarded as one of the Top 100 Video Games by the Killer List of Videogames. It was selected to be among five arcade games chosen for history's first official video game world championship, which was filmed at Twin Galaxies in Ottumwa, Iowa by ABC-TV's That's Incredible! over the weekend of January 8–9, 1983. The game later spawned a cereal which featured fruit-flavored cereal pieces shaped like bananas and cherries. Donkey Kong, Jr. is shown on the box wearing a red shirt with a big yellow J printed on the front.
For more than twenty years, the Donkey Kong, Jr. world record had been held by noted gamer Billy Mitchell, who had achieved 957,300 points in 1983. On August 10, 2008, Mitchell's benchmark score was eclipsed by Icarus Hall of Port Angeles, Washington, who scored 1,033,000 points. On April 24, 2009, Steve Wiebe eclipsed Hall's score, finishing with 1,139,800 points. On September 3, 2009, at 1984 Arcade in Springfield MO, Mark L. Kiehl of Enid, OK surpassed Wiebe's record with a score of 1,147,800. Steve Wiebe has since regained the record with a score of 1,190,400 on his home machine set on Tuesday, February 16, 2010. Billy Mitchell recaptured the world record for Donkey Kong Jr. on the weekend of July 24, 2010 with a score of 1,270,900. Mark Kiehl has since eclipsed the previous world record with a score of 1,307,500.
Like most arcade games of this era, this game was ported to many home systems, including the video game consoles NES, Family Computer Disk System, Atari 2600, Atari 7800, Atari XE Game System, ColecoVision, Coleco Adam, Intellivision and BBC Micro. Two Game & Watch versions of the game were also made. One black-and-white version for the New Wide Screen handheld series, and a color version for the Tabletop and Panorama series. The NES version was one of the three launch titles for the system in Japan. This game, along with the original Donkey Kong, was re–released in 1988 in an NES compilation titled Donkey Kong Classics. The NES version of the game was later released on the e-Reader and is now available on the Virtual Console for the Wii. The NES version was also a playable game on Animal Crossing, but required a special password from the official website which is now no longer available. It is now available to all Nintendo 3DS users through the Nintendo eShop in Japan on April 18, 2012 and in North America on June 14, 2012 and in Europe on August 23, 2012 and has been given away free to the Ambassadors users before the full release.
Interestingly enough, if one plays the Coleco Adam version (that is public domain), one will find that there is a fifth stage exclusive to this port. If the player presses and holds both of the fire buttons, then presses "1-3-2-1-2-1-2" on the keypad, a message will appear stating "Revision 13" (Possibly due to this stage being added on the 13 revision of this game). Basically, it is a kitchen stage. Mario will throw blobs and food at you, while a mixer moves back and forth when a button to the right is pressed.
In other media
Donkey Kong Jr. was also a cartoon on Saturday Supercade (a cartoon series that aired on Saturday mornings from 1983-1985) with the title character voiced by Frank Welker. The plot had Jr. looking for his dad Donkey Kong who is on the run from Mario and Pauline. To look for his dad, Donkey Kong Jr. teams up with a Greaser named Bones (voiced by Bart Braverman).
In an episode of Captain N: The Game Master called "Simon the Ape Man," Simon Belmont got hit on the head a second time while in Kongoland and thought he was Donkey Kong Jr.
In the version of Super Mario Bros. 3 seen in Super Mario All-Stars, as well as the Game Boy Advance version, the king of World 4 was transformed into a monkey with a 'J' on his shirt resembling Donkey Kong Jr.'s shirt.
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