- Breakthrough Hit: It was this game that brought Nintendo into the video game industry, after the company spent an entire century producing other things.note
- Exiled from Continuity: The Rare-created characters Banjo and Conker were locked out of appearing in the extended Mario universe following Rare's transfer to Microsoft.note
- Fan Nickname: Level 50m is often called "pie factory" because of the sprites used there. In reality, however, these are tins of cement.
- Image Source:
- No Port For You: In a bizarre twist, the programming of the original arcade version of Donkey Kong was subcontracted to Ikegami Tsushinki, a maker of professional broadcasting equipment and TV cameras that also did uncredited work for arcade games at the time. The code was then reverse-engineered for Donkey Kong Junior and possibly other games. Unfortunately, there was no contract between Ikegami and Nintendo for the source, leading to a bitter dispute over the ownership of the code. This is believed to be the reason why the original arcade game was never directly released until 2018 (as part of Hamster's Arcade Archives series on the Nintendo Switch), with Nintendo instead selling ports (i.e., the later NES versions) remakes and updated versions until then.
- 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 twice in order to reach the final boss.)
- The Pete Best: Until Super Mario Odyssey was announced, Pauline had fallen into near-complete obscurity since the original game's release.note
- 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: Everything about Mario's character design was born from pragmatisim:
- 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.
- Along with the hat (as well as his sideburns), his mustache, large nose, and overalls also came into being because they would be visible and recognizable at that resolution.
- Mario's chubby because it makes for easier collision detection.
- 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 identical to his sprites in the first game.
- In a similar manner, completely new 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.note
Trivia / Donkey Kong