Revisiting classics of classics has the particularity of being able to become a descent to the foundations of the industry. In the case of Donkey Kong, launched in 1981 in the arcades, with a dedicated and illustrated booth, and later converted to NES, it is also a gateway to Nintendo’s first big productions and the contribution and influence that certain people, such as Hiroshi Yamauchi, Gunpei Yokoi and Shigeru Miyamoto exercised in the company. Miyamoto was by that time a young graduate just out of college and taking his first steps as a programmer, but at the turn of the eighties, Yamauchi dictated the rules of a Nintendo of family origin, and wanted to make it a great multi- in computer games. So he needed a title that would give him the space to penetrate markets like the North American.
The arcade machine emerged as a first start for Donkey Kong, before becoming popular on the NES cartridge in 1993, in Japan. Three years later, it became reality in North American and European territory, as a conversion of the arcade title. Despite its simplicity, scarce content and almost minimalist graphics, in its time (early eighties) it was a valuable asset. Especially because it served as a fuse for two great protagonists; Donkey Kong and Super Mario. While the muscular gorilla remained in other episodes, here the character who jumps on kites, dodges the fireballs and climbs the structure to rescue the princess is Jumpman and only later would he give his place to Super Mario.
Donkey Kong contributed decisively to the platform genre.
More than thirty years later, Donkey Kong is still a game that highlights the most traditional assumptions of arcade games, as well as the origins of platform games; progressively difficult challenges that require great skill on the part of the player, many trials and errors, memorization processes and precision when jumping. The story is not very relevant. We just have to guide Jumpman to the top of a platform structure, where Princess Pauline is imprisoned. In the middle you have to escape the barrels launched by the ape in fury and the fireballs that block the route. There is a way to crush the barrels, using a hammer, as a “power up”, albeit temporarily. But while the primary objective is to rescue the princess, as this is the only way to move to the next level, the score is no less relevant. In order to increase the result, there are certain collectibles that extend the score; collecting umbrellas and other objects placed at certain points in the level.
The NES version of Donkey Kong consists of 3 scenarios that go into repetition mode but with increased difficulty as soon as they move on to a new round. The third level is different from the others. Instead of reaching the top of the platforms, Jumpman has to loosen certain screws of the structure, jumping on them, in order to make Donkey Kong fall. In terms of options, it is possible to select a higher degree of difficulty and make the experience compatible with another player, fighting for the best score.
Not over yet.
From the graphics point of view, Donkey Kong is not particularly memorable when compared to other NES productions. However, for a production that is more than thirty years old and comes from the beginning of the eighties, it even reveals an unavoidable beauty. In addition to its very peculiar and innovative gameplay for the platform genre, the sound aspect does not pass indifferently to any player. The sounds for jumping, damage and hammering, as well as the sound of victory, are timeless and a brand that will never be lost. Now available for the 3DS Virtual Console, Nintendo provides fans with a game that takes them to experience a handful of nostalgia, history and popular culture.