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Trivia / Donkey Kong

  • Breakthrough Hit: It was this game that brought Nintendo into the video game industry, after the company spent an entire century producing other things.
  • Exiled from Continuity: The Rare-created characters used to be forbidden from the extended Mario universe due to slightly unjustified legal fears, but this has been overturned as of now.
  • Fan Nickname: Level 50m is often called "pie factory" because of the sprites used there. In reality, however, these are tins of cement.
  • No Export for You/Screwed by the Lawyers: In a bizarre twist, the original arcade versions of Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Junior, and Donkey Kong 3 (and Mario Bros., as well as Popeye) were written by Ikegami Tsushinki, a manufacturing company which developed the game for Nintendo. Unfortunately, there was no contract between Ikegami and Nintendo for the source, so Nintendo does not own the original arcade game code. This is why Nintendo cannot sell the arcade version of Donkey Kong for its consoles, but is free to sell ports (i.e., the later NES versions) remakes and updated versions instead.
    • Considering that a near arcade-perfect port exists in Donkey Kong 64, this may also be a reason why that game would not see a rerelease until the Wii U virtual console release in 2015 (It should be noted that DK64 requires you to play and beat the original Donkey Kong in order to reach the final boss.)
  • The Pete Best: Pauline has fallen into near-complete obscurity since the original game's release.
  • Port Overdosed: Virtually every console and computer of the era had Donkey Kong released for it, and so have many since. Among 1980s arcade games, its ubiquity is surpassed only by Pac-Man.
  • Serendipity Writes the Plot: Mario had a hat for two reasons. For one, Shigeru Miyamoto claimed that he was terrible at drawing hairstyles, but the major reason was that when Mario fell, the engineers would not be able to show his hair sticking up.
    • His mustache, large nose, and overalls also came into being because they would be visible and recognizable at that resolution.
  • They Just Didn't Care: The GBA port, which only had the three levels of the NES version and made no attempt to restore the missing 50M stage or the deleted cutscenes. Even if Nintendo didn't have the source code for the arcade version, they surely could have restored it from scratch, along with the cutscenes. It's actually rather jarring, when the original Game Boy's version of the game really went the extra mile with updating the game, and they could have just as easily re-released the GB version on the GBA, just with better colors/graphics.
  • Urban Legend of Zelda: Theories about what the name meant. One example, from a review in Acorn User magazine, was that the name was supposed to be Monkey Kong, but someone made a typo. In actuality, Miyamoto thought that "donkey" meant "stubborn", so he intentionally named the character Donkey Kong.
  • What Could Have Been: Donkey Kong Junior was possibly going to be more like a traditional sequel where you controlled Mario again, as there are various unused Mario sprites in the code similar to his sprites in the first game.
    • In a similar manner, sprites of Donkey Kong Junior are in the code for Donkey Kong 3, suggesting that DK Jr. may have been planned to be in that game at some point.
    • The game was originally going to be a licensed game of Popeye. When Miyamoto couldn't get the rights to it, Donkey Kong was born.