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Donkey Kong
Front cover of Donkey Kong.
Front cover of Donkey Kong. A tribute to the Japanese arcade flyer of the 1981 arcade game.
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Designer(s) Shigeru Miyamoto (producer), Masayuki Kameyama (director), Takao Shimizu (co-director)
Platform(s) Game Boy
Release date(s) JP June 14, 1994

NA June 21, 1994

Genre(s) Platform/Puzzle
Mode(s) Single-player
Media Game Boy cartridge
Input methods Face buttons

Donkey Kong (ドンキーコング?) is a platform game developed in 1994 by Nintendo for the Game Boy handheld video game system, which also contains puzzle elements. Donkey Kong is loosely based on the 1981 arcade game of the same name and its sequel Donkey Kong Jr. The game is also known as Game Boy Donkey Kong (as seen in the title screen) and also Donkey Kong '94 (the working title before release)[1] to differentiate it from the 1981 arcade game. Like in the original arcade and NES version, the player takes control of Mario and must rescue Pauline from Donkey Kong (who are both given updated character designs for this game). Donkey Kong Jr. also makes a guest appearance in the game on some levels, helping his father hinder Mario's progress. This was the first Game Boy title designed with enhanced features when played on the Super Game Boy.



The Super Game Boy border used in the game was based on the actual arcade cabinet of the original Donkey Kong.

Donkey Kong begins with the four levels found in the original arcade game, but with enhanced graphics and play mechanics (for instance, falling off a girder is no longer instantly fatal, and Mario can let go of the hammer prematurely to jump if necessary, catch it again and continue using it until it runs out). Like in the original, the player's goal in these stages is to reach Pauline, who is on top of the structure. The level pattern follows that of the original arcade release (Girders - Conveyor Belts - Elevators - Rivets). After these four initial stages are completed, the usual arcade ending begins, but after a few notes of the "victory theme" Donkey Kong revives, grabs Pauline again, and takes off with her, with Mario giving chase. The player is then presented with 97 additional stages spanning nine worlds, for a total of 101 stages.

The subsequent levels follow a completely different game mechanic in which the player must guide Mario through each level to locate a key. He must pick it up and carry it to a locked door elsewhere in the stage. Every fourth level is a "battle level" in which the player must confront Donkey Kong himself and reach Pauline, like in the original levels. After the fourth level is cleared, a short cutscene is shown depicting a player's abilities that may be needed for the upcoming levels, or to introduce new kinds of traps. At this point, players are allowed to save their progress, including their time for each level or for the total set.


During its release, Nelsonic released a promotional LCD game wristwatch based on it.[2] It is based on one of the early levels in the original game. Ten years later, an enhanced version of the Game Boy title for the Game Boy Advance was planned, titled Donkey Kong Plus. In addition to featuring enhanced graphics and backgrounds, the proposed remake also featured a level designer accessible through the Nintendo GameCube. The game ultimately resurfaced as Mario vs. Donkey Kong, a completely new game with similar gameplay. It was followed by a sequel titled Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis, which featured a level designer.


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 84%[3]
Review scores
Publication Score
Electronic Gaming Monthly 8.25 of 10
Nintendo Power 4.1 of 5

Donkey Kong was re-released as a Player's Choice title, which indicates that the game has sold more than 1 million copies.[citation needed] Official Nintendo Magazine ranked Donkey Kong 89th on their list of the "100 Greatest Nintendo Games".[4]

Donkey Kong was awarded Best Game Boy Game of 1994 by Electronic Gaming Monthly.[5] Nintendo Power listed it as the eighth best Game Boy/Game Boy Color video game, praising it as the only true followup to the original Donkey Kong arcade game.[6]


  1. ^ "Pak Watch". Nintendo Power (Volume 58): p. 111. March 1994. 
  2. ^ "Handheld Museum - Nelsonic Donkey Kong". Handheld Museum. Retrieved 2009-02-27. 
  3. ^ "Donkey Kong Reviews". Game Rankings. Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  4. ^ East, Tom (2009-03-02). Feature: 100 Best Nintendo Games. Official Nintendo Magazine. Retrieved on 2009-03-18
  5. ^ Electronic Gaming Monthly's Buyer's Guide. 1995. 
  6. ^ (Magazine) Nintendo Power - The 20th Anniversary Issue!. Nintendo Power. 231. San Fransisco, California: Future US. August 2008. p. 72. 

External links



Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

Donkey Kong

Developer(s) Nintendo
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Release date 1994
Genre Platformer, Puzzle
Mode(s) Single player
Age rating(s) ESRB: E
Platform(s) Game Boy
Media Game Boy cartridge
Input Controller
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough

Donkey Kong, often called Donkey Kong '94 after the year it was released, is a puzzle game that is, at the beginning, designed after the original Donkey Kong. After the first world, however, the game changes drastically. It is the first game made and released for the Gameboy that is "Super Gameboy compatible".


As in the original arcade game, Mario has to save Pauline from Donkey Kong by going through the same four levels. But at the end of Level 0-4, Donkey Kong gets back up and steals Pauline again, running off into The City. Oh, great.


Mario can walk, jump, duck, grab, and throw. Grabbing grabs keys and some enemies in Super Mario Bros. 2 "hold-over-head" style. Throwing throws grabbed objects.

If Mario ducks and jumps, he'll do a handstand. During a handstand, Mario can move slowly or jump upright again. Shortly after landing from a handstand jump, Mario can jump again to perform a really high jump upward.

If Mario walks in one direction, turns around, and jumps, he'll do a somersault, which sends him pretty far upward as well.

If Mario falls too far, he dies when he lands. If Mario falls a shorter distance, he is just immobile for a few seconds. If he falls for less distance than that, he rolls.

Grabbing a switch and pressing Left or Right will make Mario flip it. Most switches have only left and right choices, but some have a middle one. Switches can create and destroy bridges/doors or control the direction of moving platforms.

Mario can collect floating objects that will freeze time and let him place a temporary vertical ladder, horizontal bridge, single block, or spring in the level.


The game is made up of ten worlds (including World 0, which is made up of the original levels). World 0 has three bosses and a world boss. All the worlds after 0 have at least one boss and a world boss. Every fourth level is a boss level, and the world boss level is the last level. All levels between the boss and world boss levels are normal levels. World 9 is slightly different because the normal levels are designed like boss levels, but are marked like normal levels on the map and do not save. The game saves after every boss or world boss.

In the normal levels, Mario has to grab the key and bring it to the door, which is sometimes invisible or in a level full of fake doors. The key has a starting position that it returns to if it is out of Mario's hands for too long. In the boss levels, DK is standing near the end of the level, throwing dangers at Mario. Mario has to avoid these dangers and get to Pauline, which will cause DK to run off with her... again. The world boss levels have DK throwing dangers at Mario in a smaller level. This time, Mario has to throw them back to damage DK. When DK takes three hits, he runs. Yes, again.

Donkey Kong series
Main series
Donkey Kong | Donkey Kong Jr. | Donkey Kong Jr. Math | Donkey Kong 3
Donkey Kong Country | Donkey Kong Country 2 | Donkey Kong Country 3 | Donkey Kong 64 | Donkey Kong Jungle Beat
Handheld series
Donkey Kong (1994) | Donkey Kong Land | Donkey Kong Land 2 | Donkey Kong Land III
Donkey Kong Racing Spin-off
Diddy Kong Racing | Donkey Kong Racing | Donkey Kong Barrel Blast | Diddy Kong Racing DS
Donkey Kong Music Spin-off
Donkey Konga | Donkey Konga 2 | Donkey Konga 3: All You Can Eat! Spring 50 Song Mix
Donkey Kong Puzzle Spin-off
Donkey Kong Coconut Crackers | DK King of Swing | DK King of Swing DS
Mario vs. DK | Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis
Donkey Kong - Donkey Kong Jr. - Diddy Kong

This article uses material from the "Donkey Kong (Game Boy)" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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