Donkey Kong

Play the classic old school arcade game of Donkey Kong right in your Mac OS X Dashboard.
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The game is quite simple to figure out. Move Mario left and right on the girders, up and down the ladders and avoid any obstacles in the way (either by jumping over them, smashing them with the hammer, or going around them). The arcade games consists of 4 different boards, which you play in a different order (depending on what level you are on).

The Levels

Board 1 – Bent Girders

Board 1 – Bent Girders

After the introduction (How high can you get?), the game will display the first level, which in this case appears to be a construction yard. At the top of the level is your arch enemy, Donkey Kong, as well as your dearly beloved Pauline. Between you and Pauline lies a large concoction of girders and ladders. To make matters worse, Donkey Kong has bounced up and down on the girders, causing them to bend downwards, so he can throw barrels down the girders to prevent you from reaching him.

When you gain control of Mario, move immediately to your right, as Donkey Kong will drop a barrel right away. This barrel will combine with the flaming drum at the bottom of the level to produce a fiery enemy. This enemy will pursue you throughout the level, so you must act fast. Continue to move right, past the broken ladder, and proceed to climb the ladder at the end of the platform.

On the second platform, you have three options at your disposal for methods of advancing to the next platform. First of all, we can grab the hammer. The hammer is useful for those chasing a big high score, as you get 300 points for each barrel you smash, and it gives you an opportunity to dispose of the flame guy. NOTE: Be careful when using the hammer. When the hammer is raised over your head, a barrel can sneak under and still hit you. Watch your timing! The second option is to take the middle ladder, being weary that a barrel may take that path. Finally, you can take the ladder at the end.

By now, Donkey Kong’s first barrel should be about to hit you. Jump over the barrel for 100 points. Once you reach the third platform, you have two options. Run to the right, past the broken ladder, as it is completely useless, and jump over any barrels in the way. The first ladder is longer than the other, but you reach it much more quickly.

On the fourth platform, run left, past the broken ladder, and take either of the two unbroken ladders to the second last platform.

On the second-to-last platform there is a hammer. Take it, and clear a path through the barrels, and take the ladder at the end of the path to the top platform.

On the top platform, jump any barrels, and climb the ladder to Pauline’s platform. Now watch in dispair as your flea ridden foe steals Pauline and takes her away again.

As you progress through the game, this board is repeated and becomes much harder. Barrels move faster and are more prone to acting unpredictably. Donkey Kong also throws the barrels in many different directions.


Board 2 – Elevators

Board 2 – Elevators

This board invovles a series of elevators and a bunch of remote platforms, some connected by ladders. To make matters worse, there are two balls of flame, no mallets, and a ridiculous stream of bouncing springs.

You start off on a platform in the middle of the screen on the far left. At the top of the ladder is an umbrella, which gives you a small points bonus. Next to this structure is an elevator going upwards, and next to that is a small structure with two platforms, two ladders and a flame going up and down them. Time your jump onto the elevator so you can jump onto the ladder platforms without any risk of contact with the flame. Do not get crushed by the elevator when it reaches the top!

On the other side of the ladder platform is another lift, this time going downward. Jump onto the lift, and take it down to a point where you can jump onto the next series of platforms. Jump up the series of steps, avoiding the springs that are raining down, and then climb up the ladder. You will notice that a flame is looming overhead, so do your best to avoid contact. Once again, avoid the constant stream of springs, and work your way up the step-like platforms until you reach Donkey Kong’s platform.

Because the springs move so fast, you must be very careful when timing your run and climb up the ladder, as springs are likely to hit mario if you are too slow. Another option is to quickly move mario under the arc of a bouncing spring – not the best option, but there is a safe spot. Once you climb up the ladder, Donkey Kong snatches Pauline, and we go to the next level.


Board 3 – Pie Factory

Board 3 – Pie Factory

You’ll start on the bottom level. Climb the ladder. Avoid being hit by the pies on the converyor belt (or “coal” as others like to call it) and climb up to the central “safe” platorm. Note that there are alot of flame balls – be sure to avoid them or jump to the next platform and grab the hammer.

Now, you need to make it to the right hand side of the screen, so you can reach that conveyor. Climb the ladder onto the conveyor, being wary of the pies (or “coal”), and climb the moving ladder. Make sure you don’t climb the ladder when Donkey Kong is above you.

Upon reaching the platform, Donkey Kong will snatch Pauline again.



Board 4 – The Long Fall

Board 4 – The Long Fall

You start at the bottom level of the structure. Donkey Kong and Pauline are at the top. The trick is to remove each of the yellow blocks from the structure, so that Donkey Kong will fall off the structure, so you can rescue Pauline.

As was mentioned before, you start at the bottom. Climb the ladder to the second platform and steal the brick, being weary of the flame dude. Jump over the gap you just created, and climb the ladder to the third platform. Keep doing this until all the bricks on the right hand side are gone.

By the time these bricks are gone, there will be 3 or 4 flame balls around, so you must be careful. The way to go about this is to remove the bricks in a manner which traps the flame guys in the middle platform, so they cannot threaten you (easily). Once all the bricks are gone, Donkey Kong comes crashing down, and you win Pauline.

And then, the game starts over with the first board…..


 Nintendo, 1981 (front)  Nintendo, 1981 (back)  Karateco, 1981 (front)
 Karateco, 1981 (back)  Rene Pierre, 1981 (front)  Rene Pierre 1981 (back)
Nintendo, 1982 (front) Nintendo, 1982 (back)  Nintendo, 1982 (front)
 Nintendo, 1982 (back)  Nintendo, 1982 (front)  Nintendo, 1982 (back)
 Nintendo, 1982 (front)  Nintendo, 1982 (back)  Nintendo, 1982 (inside1)
 Nintendo, 1982 (inside2) Nintendo, 1983 (front) Nintendo, 1983 (back)
 Nintendo, 1983 (front)  Nintendo, 1983 (back)  Nintendo, 1983

Tech Info

Donkey Kong (Us Set 1) Dip Switch Settings

Donkey Kong 3 (Us) Dip Switch Settings

Donkey Kong Manual (tkg3-up)

Donkey Kong Manual (tkg2-up)

Donkey Kong Manual (tkg4-up)

Donkey Kong Schematics

Great site for Donkey Kong tech issues:
Great site for Donkey Kong Jr. Tech issues:


It all started back when Shigeru Miyamoto first started working for Nintendo in the 80’s. He was originally going to make a popeye game but Nintendo’s license fell through. Shigeru came up with some new characters, Jumpman (soon to be Mario) and Donkey Kong. The idea for the name Kong came from the movie King Kong and the ‘Donkey’ part apparently meant stupid according to a Japanese/English dictionary.

The game was fairly simple, you played as Mario and you had to get to the top of a set of girders avoiding barrels and fireballs thrown by Doney Kong to rescue your girlfriend Pauline. The game was an instant hit in the arcades when it was released in 1981.

After the sucess of the original, a second DK game was made for the arcades. It was called Donkey Kong Junior, the aim of this game was the same but the roles had been changed a little. You played as Donkey Kong’s son and you had to rescue Donkey Kong from Mario who had him locked up in a cage. Then came Donkey Kong 3. After the arcade titles, DK moved onto the Famicom (NES). A total of four games were made for the NES and most of them were in the same style as the arcade versions.

DK disapeared until 1994 when Nintendo handed the DK franchise over to Rare. The first DK game Rare made was Donkey Kong Country. This game was very different from the Arcade and NES games. Rare brought in a lot of new characters including family members and bad guys and it was one of the first games to use ACM (Advanced Computer Modelling) graphics (the same thing used for films such as Jurrasic Park and Terminator 2). In DKC you could play as two different charcters, Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong (Donkey’s best friend). The aim of the game was to make your way through a variety of different levels such as jungles, forests, underwater and factorys to take back your banana hoard which was stolen by the evil reptile King K. Rool. After a certain amount of levels you had to fight a boss. Most of the bosses were larger (and harder) versions of common enemys in the normal levels. Once defeated you you gained more bananas to go back into you hoard. In some levels you could also ride an animal which each had their own strengths such as Rambi the rhino who could break through some weak walls. This game has been hailed by some as the game that saved the SNES. After the immediate success of DKC, a sequel was inevitably in the works.

Donkey Kong Country

The sequel was named Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest. Instead of Donkey taking the lead role, he took a back seat in this game and let Diddy be the star. Well he didn’t really have a choice because he had been kidnapped by K. Rool. In this game the newcomer was Dixie, the object of Diddy’s affection. The second installment had the same idea as the first except there were different levels and characters. DKC 2 had a strong pirate theme to it. Most of the enemies were dressed a pirates and alot of the levels featured ships and piratey things. The bad guy was the same as the first, K. Rool was back, but this time with the name Captain K. Rool. This game brought in a couple of new features such as DK coins and Banana coins. To complete the game fully you needed to collect all of the DK coins and when you reached a certain amount you could access a secret level. The Banana coins were there so you could buy things such as advice from Cranky and his wife Wrinkly. As with its predecessor, this game was also a hit. Some people see DKC 2 as the best game in the DKC trilogy.

Rare’s last SNES game was Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble. This time it was Dixie who took the lead role and the newcomer was Kiddy Kong. Once again K. Rool (this time he was name Baron K. Roolenstein) had kidnapped Donkey and Diddy and it was up to Dixie and Kiddy to save them. This game was in the same style as the previous two except with different levels and bad guys. Funky Kong plays a bigger part in DKC 3. In the last 2 games he was able to fly the Kongs around in his plane but now he had access to a wider variety of vehicles to help the Kongs on their quest. All the Kong’s needed to do was find some parts so he could finish the vehicles. The vehicles in DKC 3 were indisposable as they helped the Kongs reach different areas of the map. Another classic for Rare to add to their games library.

On the Game Boy a total of three DK games were released. Instead of Donkey Kong Country they were called Donkey Kong land. The first of the DKL series was released shortly after the first DKC on the SNES. The game was totally different from DKC games however they still kept faithful to the traditional DK style. DKL 2 was released shortly after the release of DKC 2 on the SNES. Again it was different from the SNES game and again shortly after the release of the third DKC, DKL 3 was relased. DKL 3 was again different from the SNES version. Although the games were different from the SNES versions, there are alot of similarities between each of the games (same charcters, similar levels etc.). All of the DKL games were relased on a limited edtion yellow cartridge. Fairly recently an almost perfect version of the first DKC has been relased for the Game Boy Colour. The GBC version has some new features not seen in the SNES version.

Donkey Kong 64

Onto the N64 then. Donkey Kong hadn’t really been on much N64 games up until the relase of DK64. He featured in Mario Kart and a few others but Rare hadn’t made any DK games apart from Diddy Kong Racing. Diddy Kong Racing featured some Rare stars of the future (Conker and Banjo). DK fans were crying out for a DK game but Rare were staying quiet. There were Rumours going around of a game called Donkey Kong World but Rare denied all knowledge that such a game was in development. It wasn’t until February 1999 that a mysterious screenshot of Diddy Kong in a minecart was released confirming that a Donkey Kong N64 game was in the making. The game was showed for the first time at E3 that year and the version shown was playable! The game was 3D platformer in the same style as Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie. There were a total of 8 levels in the game and their were 5 playable characters (Donkey, Diddy, Tiny, Chunky and Lanky). You had to use each character on every level collecting a certain colour of banana for each. Each character had their own strenths and weaknesses so there were certain parts of a level where only one Kong could go. Instead of Mario’s Stars and Banjo’s Jigsaw pices, the Kongs had to collect golden bananas. There were 201 of these in total (5 per Kong per level plus a bonus banana). Hidden in the game there are playable versions of DK Arcade and Jet Pac (one of Rare’s Spectrum games). DK64 was released in time for Christmas of 1999 filling in the wait for Perfect Dark. The game required the use of an expansion pak and therefore the game was packaged with one. The only problem was there was a $60 price tag on it. Donkey has appeared on alot of Nintendo titles after DK64 such as Mario Tennis, Super Smash Bros. and Mario Golf and Mario Party.

Donkey Kong Racing Donkey Kong Coconut Crackers

Mario was originally a carpenter, not a plumber as he became later with the introduction of Mario Bros. The word “donkey”, in Donkey Kong, is a play on the Japanese word for “stupid”. Pauline is the name of Mario’s girlfriend in Donkey Kong. In the Japanese version, her name is Lady, but she got her name changed when Nintendo released the Famicom version.

Another story on how the game’s name evolved was that it was supposed to be “Monkey Kong”, but due to a barely legible fax transmission, the screenprinters created thousands of pieces of artwork that read “Donkey Kong” instead. Since the manufacturers were in a rush to get the game released, they opted to change the game’s title rather than wait for the artwork to be reprinted.

This game appeared in an episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood where a young boy explains a little to Fred Rogers what the game is about and how it is played.

A modern version of Donkey Kong was made called Donkey Kong 94 for Super Game Boy. This version begins exactly the same as the original with the same four stages (with updated graphics and play mechanics). But when you finish these levels, instead of repeating them over, the player is taken to 96 more levels, each with tons of puzzles to solve.