Jumpman must save Pauline from the giant ape Donkey Kong.






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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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



Parents Guide:






| |

Release Date:

31 July 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Donkey King  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


See  »

Did You Know?


The game was originally designed as a Popeye game but the rights expired in production, so new characters were made with the same characteristics of a giant taking away the girlfriend while being chased by the small hero. 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 »


Spoofed in Futurama: The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

One of the early titles of the Arcade
8 July 2015 | by See all my reviews

Donkey Kong started off as the main antagonist of this video game despite the title being "Donkey Kong". Jumpman in this game who would later become known as Mario the character we know and love today as he goes to save Pauline from Donkey Kong.

The game is a arcade title so you will be doing a lot of jumping and dodging attacks from Donkey Kong but you are given a hammer to defend yourself just use it wisely

Each level gets more challenging as you play so you better be on your toes the whole time or it's game over

Controls and graphics are what you would expect in a Arcade game but this game was release in 1981 so it is easy to predict that most would be turn off by this game but they should take note that this was one of the biggest hits in video game history so let's keep that in mind this is one of the most important games to be release so give it some respect

The main issue with this game is that it is really a pain often times to avoid the attacking barrels that Donkey Kong throw at you so if you are just one second late you'll be in trouble

But still Donkey Kong is a important game despite this so give this Arcade classic some love

I give Donkey Kong an 7 out of 10

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 18 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page