Happy 25th anniversary, Donkey Kong! I wrote you an article <3

#1
Hey, did you know that Donkey Kong was released in August 1981 -- 25 years ago? To celebrate our favorite ape's silver anniversary (and one of the medium's defining moments), I wrote a big-ass article for 1up. And I really like the job their talented designers did on it, too. So here:

http://1up.com/do/feature?cId=3152456&did=1

Check it out for an exclusive interview with Don James, one of NOA's first employees and the dude who actually hauled the very first DK to the very first Seattle bar.
 
#2
I always forget that Donkey Kong is a couple years older than me. I'm always amazed to see how many directions Nintendo has taken the character and still produce great games. It seems like anytime they come up with some game concept and need a mascot, they just throw him in to keep the fans happy.

I was just wondering this the other day. What happened to that GCN game that was supposed to use the GBA to create levels for Donkey Kong?
 
#5
Rare has ruined him. i was hoping that jungle beat was an indication that they were going to give him a blank slate again without dopey sidekicks, but diddy, dixie, dipshitty,etc are still there in king of swing ds and bongo blast.
 
#7
Probationsmack said:
Rare has ruined him. i was hoping that jungle beat was an indication that they were going to give him a blank slate again without dopey sidekicks, but diddy, dixie, dipshitty,etc are still there in king of swing ds and bongo blast.
Yeah, exactly my feelings on the whole stupid situation. Blech.
 
#11
Oblivion said:
Wha? If anything, Rare made the BEST DK games (DK64 a "possible" exception).
The country games are derivative platformers. If you have played mario/early sonic/kirby theres no need to dabble with DKC.

Nintendo need to do another wario>warioworld>warioware and successfully give their original mascot some wacky non existent genre of his own. But I may even settle for a potential kong kart to be honest.

Sapiens said:
I'm not even fond of the 1994 redesign that he is STILL stuck with.
Well, remove the necktie and you have donkey kong prior! Enjoy!
 

catfish

I have a foreskin yet I do not have AIDS
#12
Probationsmack said:
The country games are derivative platformers. If you have played mario/early sonic/kirby theres no need to dabble with DKC.
DKC 2 was totally awesome. And difficult to do everything in.
 
#13
"Thinking back, Miyamoto reflected in 2003 that he had designed the game like a traditional Japanese four-panel comic strip. "That way of telling a story in four distinct parts seemed natural to me," he said, "so I created four separate screens from the opening to the conclusion. The programmers told me at the time that I was essentially asking them to make four separate games!""

I think that's the best part about the original Donkey Kong. The gameplay is varied for how simple it is.

Another part of the article I found interesting is that Donkey Kong couldn't be animated as one piece. That really shows you how far we've come since the early days of gaming.
 
#16
Probationsmack said:
.... Do you even get to play as the head kong in DKC2? I heard that somewhere. Well it may very well be awesome, but I dispise diddy/dixie/etc.

No - you don't get to be THE Kong in DKC2 - Rare was trying to prove to the world that they could create a marketable cast of characters on their own. :lol :lol :lol
 

mr jones

Ethnicity is not a race!
#17
Interesting article.

When you say that Mario vs. Donkey Kong wasn't as good as Donkey Kong 94, are you saying that M vs. DK isn't very good, or are you saying that its good, but DK 94 is better?
 

temp

posting on contract only
#18
Probationsmack said:
.... Do you even get to play as the head kong in DKC2? I heard that somewhere. Well it may very well be awesome, but I dispise diddy/dixie/etc.
Am I misreading this or have you not played Donkey Kong Country 2?
 
#19
mr jones said:
When you say that Mario vs. Donkey Kong wasn't as good as Donkey Kong 94, are you saying that M vs. DK isn't very good, or are you saying that its good, but DK 94 is better?
Well, given that DK 94 is one of the, oh, five best portable games of all time, the latter is probably the case. It's certainly the truth.
 
#20
Oblivion said:
Wha? If anything, Rare made the BEST DK games (DK64 a "possible" exception).
The Article said:
But don't just take our word for it: even Miyamoto slammed the series in an interview with Electronic Games a year later, saying "Donkey Kong Country proves that players will put up with mediocre gameplay as long as the art is good."
(Thank you Mr. Kohler.)

p.s. the art isn't even any good. And yes I've played the first two.
 

jooey

The Motorcycle That Wouldn't Slow Down
#21
mr jones said:
Interesting article.

When you say that Mario vs. Donkey Kong wasn't as good as Donkey Kong 94, are you saying that M vs. DK isn't very good, or are you saying that its good, but DK 94 is better?
they are two great tastes that go great together.
 
#22
Have to say that at the recent Video Games Live concert in Chicago, Donkey Kong got the biggest crowd applause pop by far.

Go on with your bad ape self, DK!
 
#26
Hey, great article! I have two questions:

Twenty-five years ago this August, the first-ever copy of the game that would become Nintendo's breakout hit product was installed in a Seattle tavern.
Did you find out what day in August? I've never heard when this was.

The generic "Jumpman" became "Mario" after Mario Segale, the owner of the business park that originally housed NOA.
Is it Segale or Segali? (Game Over says "Segali")
 
#27
Sadly, for all their technical merit, none of the three DKC games that Rare released in rapid succession were especially fun to play.
Huh? I don't know about now but at the time 1 & 2 were really fun to me.

Hopefully the Wii's virtual console will feature the arcade version of Donkey Kong rather than the same old tired NES ROM.
Yup! I love the NES version and all and even was playing it through Animal Crossing right before posting but I'd like ta one day play it originally. I knew about the missing level but story & extra animations and stuff? Not fair to tuck it away forever Nintendo!
 
#28
Deezer said:
Did you find out what day in August? I've never heard when this was.
Oh, believe me: I asked. But if Don James doesn't know, then I would venture a guess that nobody does.

Is it Segale or Segali? (Game Over says "Segali")
David Sheff tells a great story, but he ain't worth a shit when it comes to factual information.
 

catfish

I have a foreskin yet I do not have AIDS
#30
jgkspsx said:
Well, given that DK 94 is one of the, oh, five best portable games of all time, the latter is probably the case. It's certainly the truth.
really? Why oh why did it never get the GBA treatment?
 

temp

posting on contract only
#33
Probationsmack said:
I played the first one. The one where you play as donkey kong.
Seems sort of odd to dismiss all of the Donkey Kong Country games, then; especially since Donkey Kong Country 2 is pretty commonly thought to be better.
 
#36
Probationsmack said:
Rare has ruined him. i was hoping that jungle beat was an indication that they were going to give him a blank slate again without dopey sidekicks, but diddy, dixie, dipshitty,etc are still there in king of swing ds and bongo blast.
this REALLY shouldn't have made me laugh
it REALLY shouldn't have
 
#40
Great article...


Now I want to dig out my Donkey Kong 94 and play that game. I hope I didn't lose it.
....****, that game was so bloody fantastic.
 
#43
That article makes it sound like Donkey Kong was the first ever platform game, but didn't Space Panic come along a bit earlier than DK? Space Panic doesn't feature jumping so maybe it's still fair to say DK was the first platformer
 
#44
Arakawa named the girl "Pauline" in what he thought was a tribute to Don James' wife; he only found out when it was too late that he'd gotten it wrong and her name was actually Polly.
Isn't Polly just short for Pauline?

Good thing this was just an afterthought and Atari didn't have the exclusive rights, or DK would have been another disaster along the lines of 2600 Pac-Man.
The 2600 version was released by Coleco, not Atari. Atari never had any rights to Donkey Kong.

Also, it was kinda fun, given the limitations of the hardware.
 
#45
The Article said:
But don't just take our word for it: even Miyamoto slammed the series in an interview with Electronic Games a year later, saying "Donkey Kong Country proves that players will put up with mediocre gameplay as long as the art is good."
I've always wondered what Rare thought of this statement.
 
#47
Seems to end rather suddenly, but you obviously don't have much of a fondness for the DKC titles. (At least you have to give them some credit, apparently they were going to remake at least the first stage of Donkey Kong all in the CG graphics style as a bonus in DKC, but weren't able to include it for some reason. Supposedly the graphics for it are still in the game data, though.)

Nice article, though. Some really interesting stuff, including more redefinitions of what I thought I knew about Nintendo's history in that era.
 
#50
Funny, that book also says Segali... I suppose you found out about the mistake after the fact.
Falling for Sheff's mistakes only makes one hate Game Over even more.

Isn't Polly just short for Pauline?
I was paraphrasing what James told me.

That article makes it sound like Donkey Kong was the first ever platform game, but didn't Space Panic come along a bit earlier than DK? Space Panic doesn't feature jumping so maybe it's still fair to say DK was the first platformer
You answered your question for me, thanks!