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- For the character of the same name, see Donkey Kong Junior.
Donkey Kong Junior (ドンキーコングJR. Donkī Kongu Junia ) is a 1982 arcade-style platform video game by Nintendo. It first appeared in arcades, and was later released for a variety of platforms, most notably the Nintendo Entertainment System. Over the course of the 1980s, it was also released for various console systems, with the form of the title abbreviated as Donkey Kong Jr. in most versions.[ Its eponymous star, Donkey Kong Junior (DKJ), is trying to rescue his father ]Donkey Kong, who has been imprisoned. Donkey Kong's cage is guarded by Mario, in his only appearance as an antagonist in a video game. This game is the sequel to the video game Donkey Kong, which featured Mario as the protagonist and Junior's father as the antagonist.
Mario, known beforehand as Jumpman, has incarcerated Donkey Kong after re-capturing him in Donkey Kong. Donkey Kong Jr. must save his father from Mario by putting the key or keys in the stage into all of the locks. Mario attempts to stop DK Jr. by releasing the many animals he controls to knock DK Jr. off the vines and platforms. DK Jr. defeats Mario if the player completes the second stage by putting all six keys in their locks, making the floor disappear. DK Jr. catches Donkey Kong while Mario falls onto the ground.
Like in Donkey Kong, if the player completes the final stage, Donkey Kong Junior restarts at the first stage with a higher level of difficulty.
The player controls DKJ and has to rescue Donkey Kong from Mario, who had captured him. Like its predecessor, Donkey Kong, Jr. is an arcade-style platform game. There are a total of four levels, each with a somewhat different theme. DKJ can run left and right, jump, and grab vines/chains/ropes to climb higher on the screen. He can slide down faster by holding only one vine, or climb faster by holding two. Enemies include "Snapjaws," which resemble bear traps with eyes, bird-like creatures called "Nitpickers" that Mario releases to thwart DKJ, and "Sparks" that roam across the wiring in one of Mario's hideouts. These enemies will cost DKJ one life if he touches them, but they can be defeated by dropping fruit onto them. At the top of every stage is Mario and Donkey Kong, and when DKJ reaches the top, he chases Mario to the next stage. If the player beats the fourth level, a cut scene is shown of the floor disappearing and the three fall to the ground. DKJ catches DK and Mario falls and hits the ground. Once the four levels are completed, the player restarts the game with increased difficulty and his or her points and lives retained. Up to two players can play the game alternately.
The game is split into four levels.
- The first level is simple. DKJ must climb up vines to get to the top while avoiding Snapjaws.
- In the second level, DKJ must get to the top by jumping on platforms and climbing across chains, while avoiding Nitpickers and the eggs they drop.
- The third level is much harder. DKJ must avoid Sparks sent out by Mario as he climbs the platforms.
- In the last level, DKJ must push several keys up to the locks in the top platform to unlock DK's cage.
Note: In the Japanese version of the game, a complete cycle consists of one play through each of the four levels in the above order. However, the American version uses the following cycle: 1, 4, 1, 2, 4, 1, 3.
You lose a life if:
- DKJ touches Mario or any enemy;
- DKJ falls off the bottom of the screen or into water;
- DKJ drops off the end of a rope/vine/chain and falls too far;
- The bonus timer reaches zero.
The game was principally designed by Shigeru Miyamoto and one of his coworkers. Miyamoto also created the graphics for the title along with Yoshio Sakamoto. As with its predecessor, the music for the game was composed by Yukio Kaneoka.
Donkey Kong Junior is regarded as one of the Top 100 Video Games by the Killer List of Videogames. Donkey Kong Junior was selected to be among five arcade games chosen for history's first official video game world championship, which was filmed at Twin Galaxies in Ottumwa, Iowa by ABC-TV's That's Incredible! over the weekend of January 8-9, 1983.[ The game later spawned a cereal which featured fruit-flavored cereal pieces shaped like bananas and cherries. Donkey Kong, Jr. is shown on the box wearing a red shirt with a big yellow J printed on the front. ][ ]
For more than twenty years, the Donkey Kong, Jr. world record had been held by noted gamer Billy Mitchell, who had achieved 957,300 points in 1983. On August 10, 2008, Mitchell's benchmark score was eclipsed by Icarus Hall of Port Angeles, Washington, who scored 1,033,000 points. On April 24, 2009, Steve Wiebe eclipsed Hall's score, finishing with 1,139,800 points.  On September 3, 2009, at 1984 Arcade in Springfield MO, Mark L. Kiehl of Enid, OK surpassed Wiebe's record with a score of 1,147,800. Steve Weibe has since regained the record with a score of 1,190,400 on his home machine set on Tuesday, February 16th, 2010. Billy Mitchell recaptured the world record for Donkey Kong Jr. on the weekend of July 24, 2010 with a score of 1,270,900.
Like most arcade games of this era, this game was ported to many home systems, including the video game consoles NES, Family Computer Disk System, Atari 2600, Atari 7800, Atari XE Game System, ColecoVision, Intellivision and BBC Micro. Two Game & Watch versions of the game were also made. One black and white version for the New Wide Screen handheld series, and a color version for the Tabletop and Panorama series. The NES version was one of the three launch titles for the system in Japan.[ This game, along with the original ]Donkey Kong, was re–released in 1988 in an NES compilation titled Donkey Kong Classics. The NES version of the game was later released on the e-Reader and is now available on the Virtual Console for the Wii. The NES version was also a playable game on Animal Crossing, but required a special password from the official website which is now no longer available.
In other media
Donkey Kong Jr. was also a cartoon on Saturday Supercade, a cartoon series that aired on Saturday mornings from 1983-1985. The plot had Jr. looking for his dad Donkey Kong who is on the run from Mario and Pauline. In an episode of Captain N: The Game Master, Simon Belmont got hit on the head and thought he was Donkey Kong Jr. In the Game Boy Advance version of Super Mario Bros. 3 the king of World 4 was transformed into a monkey with a 'J' on his shirt resembling Donkey Kong Jr.'s shirt.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Chris Kohler (7 April 2010). Q&A: Metroid Creator’s Early 8-Bit Days at Nintendo. Wired: GameLife. Condé Nast Digital. Retrieved on 26 August 2010.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 (2004) Album notes for Famicom 20th Anniversary Original Sound Tracks Vol. 1. Scitron Digital Contents Inc..
- ↑ Donkey Kong (video game)#Story and characters
- ↑ Video Gameplay of Donkey Kong Junior (Retrieved on July 25, 2009)..
- ↑ "Miyamoto Interview". Nintendo Official Magazine UK (Emap Limited). September 2003. http://www.miyamotoshrine.com/theman/interviews/081403.shtml.
- ↑ Twin Galaxies' Donkey Kong, Jr. High Score Rankings (2008-08-24)..
- ↑ Steve Wiebe Takes Donkey Kong Junior World Record With Score of 1,139,800 (24 April 2009). Retrieved on 25 April 2009.
- ↑ http://www.twingalaxies.com/index.aspx?c=22&pi=2&gi=126&vi=24
- ↑ http://www.1984arcade.com/
- ↑ http://forums.twingalaxies.com/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=20051
- ↑ Parish, Jeremy (2006-10-31). Wii Virtual Console Lineup Unveiled. 1UP.com. Retrieved on 2006-11-01.
- Donkey Kong Junior at Museum of the Game
- Icarus Hall - Donkey Kong, Jr. World Record Certificate
- Donkey Kong Junior at MobyGames
- Donkey Kong, Jr. Scoreboard at Twin Galaxies
- Donkey Kong Jr. wiki guide at StrategyWiki