Donkey Kong Turns 35!!

In July of 1981, Donkey Kong hit arcades around the world, and this month sees Nintendo’s lovable ape turn 35. Yes, that’s right Donkey Kong is 35 years old.

Original Donkey Kong Arcade Machine
Originally created by Shigeru Miyamoto, and released by Nintendo, Donkey Kong was a major breakthrough for Nintendo in the arcade gaming market and changed the video game industry. It held many firsts for arcade video games, and quickly became one of the biggest selling games in the early 1980’s.

Donkey Kong’s significant milestones helped shape the future of gaming as it provided the template for many games to come. It has been considered one of the earliest games to incorporate a storyline and the first occurrence of the damsel in distress plot. Donkey Kong was also one of the earliest examples of platform gaming in which the player had to jump in order to avoid falling barrels and fireballs. It was also one of the most complex arcade games of its time and the first to feature multiple stages.

In the game, the player takes control of Jumpman (our hero) as he climbs a construction site in order to save his girlfriend, Lady from Donkey Kong. Whilst the story and plot seem simple enough, Jumpman’s quest to save Lady is made all that much harder as the villain Donkey Kong throws down barrels in order to stop Jumpman. It must be noted that Jumpman later changed his name to Mario, and Lady to Pauline, and Donkey Kong was the first appearance of Mario in a video game.

Donkey Kong Game and Watch
Different variations of Donkey Kong have appeared since its release and it was one of the early games that could be played on hand held multiscreen LCD games (game and watch), as well as being ported across onto many of the simple home computers of the early to mid-80’s. Donkey Kong was also one of the original launch titles for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1988.

Since his birth in 1981, Donkey Kong the character has gone onto to feature in many more games since the original arcade hit, the most recent being Mario vs Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars which was released in 2015 on the 3DS and Wii U. Despite initial doubts from Nintendo, Donkey Kong has gone onto become a commercial success and over the years has appeared on cereal boxes, TV cartoons, toys, t-shirts and for gamers' is a house hold name. 

Donkey Kong has also survived a lawsuit from Universal Studios in which they allege the trademark of King Kong was violated.

Happy 35 Birthday Donkey Kong, thank you for so many gaming memories and hopefully there are many more to come in the future.

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