Killer Gorilla

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Killer Gorilla
Publisher(s) Micro Power
Designer(s) Adrian Stephens
Platform(s) BBC Micro, Acorn Electron, Amstrad CPC
Release 1983
Genre(s) Platform
Mode(s) Single-player

Killer Gorilla is a clone of Donkey Kong written by Adrian Stephens and originally published by Micro Power for the BBC Micro in 1983 and ported to the Acorn Electron and Amstrad CPC computers in 1984.

Stephens wrote Killer Gorilla at the age of 17 after buying a magazine that had screenshots of Donkey Kong, and that made him feel like doing something similar.[1] He was paid 400 pounds for the game.[2] Stephens wrote two other games for Micro Power: Escape From Moonbase Alpha and Mr EE, a clone of Universal's Mr. Do!.


Screenshot of the 75m level (BBC Micro)

The game involves controlling a man to reach a fair-haired heiress trapped by a large gorilla at the top of the screen. It is made up of four levels, set higher and higher up a construction site – 25 m, 50 m, 75 m and 100 m.

There are two hammers on the 25 m, 50 m and 100 m levels, with none on the 75 m level. Hammers last for about 10 seconds, as measured by the amount of bonus that ticks away. You cannot climb ladders or jump gaps when holding the hammer.

After completing the four levels, the player returns to the 25 m level and the game repeats, getting progressively faster and with more barrels, custard pies, and fireballs. In addition, the girders on the 25 m level acquire more holes.

An extra life is awarded when the player completes the 75 m level for the first time.

The character is controlled using Z for left, X for right, and return to jump.[1]

Scoring system[edit]

  • Jumping over barrels or cement pans = 100 points
  • Hitting barrels or custard pies with hammer = random score between 300 and 900 in increments of 100 points
  • On the 50 m, 75 m and 100 m levels there are bonus items as follows (these represent the heiress's belongings):
    • 50 m....a handbag ( 300 points), a hat (500 points) and an umbrella (800 points)
    • 75 umbrella (300 points), a hat (500 points) and a telephone (700 points)
    • 100 umbrella (300 points) and a telephone (900 points)
  • In addition, once a level is completed, the player is awarded a number of points depending on the time remaining on the clock (as indicated by the amount of "Bonus" shown at the top of the screen). Thus, the quicker a level is completed, the more points the player is awarded.

Compilations and sequel[edit]

The game appeared on a number of compilations including 10 Computer Hits (1985), Micropower Magic 2 (1986) and Superior Software's highly regarded Play It Again Sam 3 (1988). PIAS 3 also included a game called Killer Gorilla 2 but this was actually a re-titled early Superior Software game. Based on Donkey Kong Junior and originally released as Zany Kong Junior in 1984, it was soon withdrawn after a cease and desist from Atarisoft, who owned the home computer rights to the original game. Ironically, Atarisoft had commissioned Adrian Stephens to officially port Donkey Kong Junior to the BBC Micro after seeing Killer Gorilla, but the game was never released as Atarisoft decided to abandon the BBC platform. This version has since surfaced on the Internet.


  1. ^ a b Lewis, Helen (20 November 2012). "Why are we still so bad at talking about video games?". New Statesman. Retrieved November 23, 2012. 
  2. ^ Boylan, Crispin (6 September 1998). "Interview With Adrian Stephens". 

External links[edit]