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 »



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Release Date:

1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Donkey King  »

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Did You Know?


When the game was released on the NES, one of the four levels had to be removed due to the technological limitations at the time. 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?
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Referenced in The Venture Bros.: Assisted Suicide (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

This game was a giant stepping stone to Mario's success!
8 July 2002 | by (Aspatria, England) – See all my reviews

Many people think that the only thing about Nintendo is consoles and games. Actually, only about 70% of it is. In 1890 Nintendo was founded by a Japanese man named Fusajiro Yamauchi, and they were a successful card company. By the 1950s their company had expanded and by the 1970s they were selling toys. Due to the popularity of video game consoles they decided to make their own. They hired Nintendo's soon-to-be-top-man Shigeru Miyamoto in 1977 and they created the Game-And-Watch device. It failed miserably and Nintendo were starting to run out of money. So in 1980 Shigeru promised to make things right when he started developing his new game, DONKEY KONG. The game was finished by 1981 and released on arcades worldwide. Unbelievably the game was a massive success and Miyamoto had saved Nintendo. This game starred Jumpman the carpenter (soon to become Mario the plumber), a giant, stupid ape called Donkey Kong, and Mario's girlfriend Pauline. Jumpman has to climb a giant construction site to save Pauline, but Donkey Kong has planned many tricks and traps which Jumpman must get past. The game is very fun and a huge revolution for Nintendo. Yes, it is over 20 years since the excitement began and now gamers of today would laugh in the face of this game, it is definitely one of the greatest classics ever to come from the greatest game company of all time.

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