Donkey Kong Jr.

Donkey Kong Jr.

Retro Coin Op Synopsis

Apparently, Mario isn’t the forgiving sort. After having his girlfriend Pauline taken from him again and again in the original Donkey Kong, the little guy in the red overalls decided it was payback time in Donkey Kong Junior. This tables-turning sequel put you in control of the title character, a little ape in a darling white baby jumper. Since Mario took daddy Kong and locked him up in a cage, it was up to Junior to get him back.

On the first level, Junior hopped, climbed and ambled across rows of vines to work his way over and up to where his poppa was held. That nasty Mario tried everything he could to stop Junior, releasing bear-trap-looking Snapjaws to bite the poor thing. Junior could fight back with the fruit that hung from the vines, dropping it onto the Snapjaws for extra points. The little primate was also apparently allergic to water, since any contact with the water at the bottom of the screen would cost him a life (and make his eyes bug out in a comical manner). Unfortunately, Mario had taken a few lessons from the first game. Even when you reached the top, the dastardly mustachioed man would simply cart Donkey Kong off to another level.

The second level again had Donkey Kong caged at the top of the screen, but this time Junior could free him by opening the six locks that held him. Eight long chains hung down to the bottom of the screen, six of which had keys on them. As DK Jr. pushed the keys to the top, avoiding the red Snapjaws and flying Nitpicker birds that Mario released, Donkey Kong’s bonds would be broken. Once all six locks were opened, big and little Kongs would have a quick, happy reunion.

Somehow, Mario kept managing to get the big ape back in the cage, and the game continued indefinitely. As in the original Donkey Kong, two more stages appeared as the game went on. In one, Junior had to bounce from a springboard and hang from moving rods to get up to where DK Sr. was held. In the other, Junior tracked Mario down to his hideout, where the baddie released dangerous sparks down a series of pipes that the mini-monkey had to scale.

Donkey Kong Junior retained the colorful graphics, involving story and unique gameplay of the original, but the role reversal and all-new levels kept this sequel from being a mere clone. The game became a mammoth hit in its own right, and Junior followed his father’s footsteps into the world of cartoons (on Saturday Supercade) and breakfast cereals. Sensing a franchise, Nintendo tried to keep the streak alive with Donkey Kong 3, released to arcades in 1983.

Arcade Machine Release History

1981 - Donkey Kong
1982 - Donkey Kong Jr.
1983 - Donkey Kong 3

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