There are many stories that have been told about Donkey Kong, nothing strange considering that he is one of the most veteran characters in the video game industry. Was the July 9, 1981 when his first adventure hit the arcade halls of Japan; It also coincided with the debut of a certain Italian plumber who has become as recognizable (or more) than Mickey Mouse. We speak, of course, of Mr. Video or Jumpman, now known as Super Mario. The two were present at that title to remember. Therefore, Donkey Kong has blown 40 candles, and the MeriStation team has also celebrated it as it deserves.
In that first video game, the Nintendo creative team, in which Shigeru Miyamoto was already involved, managed to offer a very addictive game that triumphed in arcades and then in the domestic market. The paradox is that it was about to be based on the Popeye character, but those from Kyoto could not make use of the license and ended up creating good old Donkey and company.
On the other hand, a Universal denounced Nintendo in the United States because they argued that they had violated its intellectual property, that of King Kong. Thanks to attorney John Joseph Kirby (yes, the Kirby character was named in his honor), the company was successful in the court case and was able to continue using this name. We remember these and many other stories in the MeriPodcast Retro that we recorded just a few months ago. During the show, we dive through the history of the saga and reminisce about the original titles, Donkey Kong Country, Donkey Kong 64, Donkey Kong Country Returns, and much more. You can see and hear it below these lines.
To Pauline’s Rescue: The Beginnings of Donkey Kong
In the original Donkey Kong, the hero is not the huge monkey that appears at the top of the screen. In fact, he is the main villain, since has kidnapped Pauline. Perched on top of the building, the monkey does not stop throwing objects to prevent Mario, the character managed by the player, from reaching the top and saving the girl. This addictive concept continued to be exploited in the different sequels, although the saga was reborn thanks to the British studio Rare and its Donkey Kong Country platform saga, which revolutionized graphics in the twilight of the 16-bit generation.
The image that accompanies the montage of the headline of this news is the work of precisely Steve Mayles, now a developer at Playtonic, but one of the creators of all three Donkey Kong Country titles as an art director. You can see the complete art in this link.
And what aboutl future of the character and of the saga? At the moment, Nintendo has not commented on the matter. There are many rumors that have sounded in recent months, but to this day they have not yet materialized into a tangible product. The time has come, right?