Jumpman must save Pauline from the giant ape Donkey Kong.




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The classic tale of a man saving a beautiful damsel from the clutches of an evil beast has been played out many times, most notably in the classic "King Kong." This basic premise served as the plotline for one of the all-time classic video arcade games, Donkey Kong. Released in the fall of 1981, Donkey Kong introduced us to two characters that would soon become mascots for then-fledgling Nintendo: Mario, a carpenter (he was first known as "Jumpman") and Donkey Kong, a fearsome gorilla who aimed to do harm to Mario. The story went thusly: Donkey Kong was an evil gorilla who had kidnapped Mario's girlfriend, Pauline (to do who-knows-what to her), and Mario came to save the day. The player controlled Mario through four different playing fields, dodging whatever Donkey Kong hurled at him. Completing each level awarded a bonus and the player moved on to another round. The rounds included the Ramps (six ramps, where Mario dodged wooden barrels and flaming oil barrels); Factory (! Written by Brian Rathjen <briguy_52732@yahoo.com>

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Everyone's going ape over Donkey Kong! See more »


Action | Family | Fantasy

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Donkey King  »

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Did You Know?


Re-released in the summer of 2004 as part of the classic NES game series for Game Boy Advance. See more »


There is a bug in the game that randomly occurs when Jumpman jumps over a barrel, and is not awarded any points for it. See more »


Introduction screen: How high can you get?
See more »


Featured in Special When Lit (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

The first Mario game!
22 May 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This arcade game was the first game to ever feature Mario, who was then known as Jump Man. He became Mario in the 1983 arcade hit Mario Bros, which is the first appearance of Luigi. Donkey Kong is also the first game to feature Donkey Kong. Donkey Kong kidnaps Mario's girlfriend Pauline, and Mario must save her. You have to go through 3(the arcade version had 4) levels and dodge barrels that are thrown at you by DK. There are other things to avoid like fireballs and more. Now, this game isn't that good. It's mediocre. It was great many years ago, but now, not so great. If you haven't played it, borrow it from a friend who has an NES, Atari, or Collecovision. It's also on GBA. Don't pay the 20 dollar price for the GBA version. Borrow, don't buy. I give this a 6 out of 10.

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