Supposedly there "wasn't enough space" for 50m on the NES cartridge, hence its removal. How can this POSSIBLY be true? Donkey Kong is a TINY game compared to the majority of NES games that came after. Plus the NES is a far more powerful console than most of the old computers this game was released on. Can anyone explain this reasoning?
I'm guessing because at the time, NES games weren't as big as the ones that came after. The NES was pretty new when Donkey Kong was ported, and it must've been hard to program games on it. At least, until games like Super Mario Bros came along. As for why they didn't just release a full version later, I can only guess because of either copyright laws, budget constraints, or Nintendo just didn't believe in releasing multiple ports/remakes for the same game on the same console.
Related to the above; Nintendo actually doesn't have the rights to the original arcade version's source code. Probably, anyway. Its a really bizarre legal situation.
Why is it Nintendo only rereleases the NES port (the one that axes 50m) on their VCs instead of the original arcade version? (which, obviously, has all the levels) Did they lose the original arcade's data or something? Or is there something about porting arcade games to VC that's a lot more complicated than console games?
Not the original data: the rights. Nintendo may have been Screwed by the Lawyers and their own lack of foresight with regards to outsourcing, and now they don't have the rights to make a port of the arcade. I wonder how the NES game made it through, though...
Speaking of re-releases, why is it that Nintendo doesn't just re-release the Game Boy version of Donkey Kong (which had way more levels, better controls, and much more variety in gameplay), but with better colors/graphics, instead of just porting the watered-down NES port again and again, especially when they don't attempt to restore the content it was missing?
They did release Donkey Kong '94 on the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console. As for making the Game Boy version with better graphics and colors, that would be a lot more work (basically a full Video Game Remake rather than a simple port), and I don't think they're up to that.
Why did the US version of the arcade game change the level order? It doesn't really make sense that you don't get to play all the levels until the third cycle.