The Original Donkey Kong NES Online: Not A Real Donkey

Is Donkey Kong an essential Nintendo character? Aside from Mario and Mario Kart, there aren’t many Nintendo games that have made their mark in the arcades as the infamous gorilla has.

It’s on like Donkey… oh wait, that’s a copyright. You know who I’m talking about – big fella. Hairy chest. Likes bananas. Used to be a pet of some landlord but broke out and now has his own franchise. No? I’m talking about The Original Donkey Kong. Not that carbon copy named Simon who works on the fruit and veg store.

Everyone knows Donkey Kong and if they don’t, then that’s a surprise. Some of us Generation X kids played The Original Donkey Kong in the arcades and also on the NES – that’s the only place you could play it, what with it being a Nintendo exclusive. The brand did go quiet for a few years though – he had a bit of a hiatus until Super Mario Kart on the SNES. Boy, what a game that was.

The first stage of the Original Donkey Kong

If you’ve played the original Super Mario Kart, you’re bound to have had your favourite(s) – same as with the later versions, but the first one was where the game created the divisions: did you want someone who could accelerate fast (Peach), a good all-rounder (Koopa Troopa – my choice) or a powerhouse once they picked up speed (Bowser and Donkey Kong). From my personal experience at the time, only decent players chose one of the two as you had to be someone who rarely crashed/clipped anyone as you’d lose your momentum.

Regaining a big of popularity again, Nintendo gave Donkey Kong a new game – Donkey Kong Country – on the SNES a couple of years after Super Mario Kart and it became one of the best selling games. Donkey Kong was on like – oh yeah… So, he was back in the game (heh heh) and continued to make appearances in Nintendo games such as the Smash Bros. series. He’s not going anywhere.

Now, I’ve always been a fan of monkeys and I know Donkey Kong is an ape, but I’ve warmed to him more and choose him a bit more in games. I use him in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and if I want to do a spot of button mashing in Smash Bros. Ultimate (because I’m so bad at it) then I choose him too. I even have the Donkey Kong barrel mug that I’m currently drinking from as I write this. The most important part of all though is I’ve revisited this – The Original Donkey Kong.

I may or may not have played an emulated version, but you can’t beat an original cart. I have an NES but I don’t have this. There is a chance this could I persuade me to pick this up if it isn’t extortionate. I have no idea what it goes for but will look on eBay in a moment. Ok, so at the time of writing (10:27), this goes for about £30 which isn’t bad, but that’s unboxed.

Hhmmm… I’ve played this a bit after watching Pixels for the third time with the family. And guess what? I suck. But I did get reasonably far – which is relative. I didn’t finish it. It’s just so bloody hard though and once you’re dead, that’s it. It would have been good if you could put in a password for the level, but this is arcade rules. When you’re dead, you’re dead.

I do wonder if there will be a new Donkey Kong game coming out. There was the re-released Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze that was originally on the Wii U. This is one of my favourite arcade games that I will aim to beat without the use of an emulator or cheats. The NES Online feature is an emulator though… I’m actually off now to watch someone else beat the game and to see how I’ve actually got. I’m not holding my breath.