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ColecoVision version Atari 7800 version NES version
When Donkey Kong appeared on the ColecoVision, gamers game’s original four boards was a welcomed addition. How-
believed that they had a great arcade conversion. However, ever, this version will leave classic gamers with an odd feeling
ColecoVision’s version of Donkey Kong aged quickly, along that maybe Nintendo should have just left the game as it was.
with the Atari 7800 and Nintendo NES versions. All three
versions only offer three boards (girders, rivets and elevators). The Good
On the ColecoVision, Mario is slow and can not climb up the The best 8-bit version of Donkey Kong is the conversion done
ladder fast unless you “rest” him for a second. Ironically, by Atari for their 400/800/XL/XE computers and re-released
Coleco sighted not enough RAM for leaving out the fourth for their XE Game System. Fans looking for a faithful transla-
board and intermissions, similar to the Atari’s claims. tion need to look no further. This version has it all: all four
On the Atari 7800 version, the programmers forgot that the boards!
system could actually play a tune and instead made it sound Like the GameBoy version, it also features the arcade’s open-
like an Atari 2600 game. ing animation of Donkey Kong jumping on the girders and the
Nintendo made the sin of leaving out the conveyor/cement intermission of Kong falling when gamers beat the rivets
factory board, which is puzzling since they actually created the board. Unlike the GameBoy, this is all in color with wonderful
game and had a more powerful system in the NES to make arcade sounds! The sounds are faithfully reproduced and Atari
sure it was an exact conversion. even included the “jump back” move for unplugging the rivets that was left out of all the other console versions!
Out of the three, Coleovision looks the worst while the Atari
7800 and NES version look very similar except Atari’s had Happily the XE Game System version of Donkey Kong was
horrible sound. But nothing can change how badly these not lost on the public as Atari sold millions of their 400/800/XL/
three conversions turned out considering how powerful the XE computers and plenty of gamers had the chance to experi-
systems were. ence this version as the only true home conversion of the arcade smash. No classic gamer should go without playing
The Strange the Atari XE game system version. It is the definite must play
of all the 8-bit videogame systems. How Atari was able to Nintendo decided
faithfully capture the whole game on a 16K cartridge while to try it once more
ColecoVision, NES, 7800, and competing 8-bit computers at and released Don-
the time had more cartridge or disk space for their versions of key Kong on their
Donkey Kong is simply remarkable. GameBoy system.
Did they get it Donkey Kong Forever
right? Donkey Kong will live on forever through its various incarna-
All four boards tions on the Super Nintendo, N64, Gameboy Advance,
were retained in Gamecube, Wii, and beyond. However, no matter how visu-
the G am ebo y ally stunning his games may become, like the Donkey Kong
version, but be- Country series, or how wonderful his games may sound, like
cause the screen is Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, any mention of Donkey Kong will
so small, the conjure up memories of the original classic.
boards were sub-
Game Boy version stantially scaled In the end, while Donkey Kong may have been named “Stupid
down thus robbing gamers of a faithful translation. Kong”, pro-grammers did
Also, after beating all four boards (arranged in the order of the not have an
Japanese version) the game tries to take a “Super Mario easy time
Bros.” type of turn and becomes a game about finding keys to trying to cap-
unlock doors featuring Mario standing on his head and jump- ture him for
ing twice as high. Mario has to explore and beat various the home
“Worlds” and each board always ends with Donkey Kong s y s t e m s .
taking the girl and running off. G a m e r s
equally had a The game got relatively mixed reviews at the time. Although,
barrel of a strangely, the game’s review scores were generally higher
time trying to than one would expect. One thing that could have led to this
find a version was that gamers by the 90s were completely bored with the
that was done original Donkey Kong game and any sort of change to the
right. Atari XE version
21 | Video Game Trader Magazine | #8 | www.VideoGameTrader.com
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