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Video Game / Congo Bongo

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In Sega's Congo Bongo (known as Tip Top in Japan), you're a safari adventurer who, one day, got you and your tent burnt in fire, no thanks to the mischief of the ape Congo. Seeking for revenge, your goal is to catch this ape and return the favor.

Congo Bongo is a 1983 action platformer released for arcades, and is very obviously inspired by Nintendo's hit Donkey Kong, down to having four levels in total. The biggest difference from it is that the stages in Congo Bongo are projected under isometric perspective, taking the idea from Sega's own Zaxxon.

While the game may not be quite as well-known as Nintendo's counterpart nowadays, it was still very popular back then, ported to almost every system available at the time. An emulated version of arcade game was included in Sega Genesis Collection and Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection, while an enhanced remake was created for PlayStation 2 under Sega Ages label in 2005.

Congo Bongo contains examples of:

  • All There in the Manual: Whereas most promotional materials never give a name to the player character, the packaging of the ColecoVision port would give him the name of Safari Sam.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: Of Sega to Nintendo's Donkey Kong, with elements of Frogger thrown in.
  • Arcade-Perfect Port: As of version 0.193, MAME still has an issue with emulating the sound, which causes certain sound effect and music not to play at all. If you want to play it at intact form, you'll have to snag official Sega compliations like Sega Genesis Collection, Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection or Sega Memorial Selection.
  • Endless Game: Like Donkey Kong, the game loops after fourth stage with harder difficulty.
  • Isometric Projection: Like Zaxxon, the game's graphical environment is projected via an isometric perspective, creating a 3D effect. This turns out to be an obstacle for home ports, as most ports of its time simplified it to oblique projection or, like the SG-1000 version, turned it to a straight side-scrolling platform game.
  • Lily-Pad Platform: The fourth stage has this, along with some hippopotamus and fish.
  • Mischief-Making Monkey: The main antagonist is a combination of this and Killer Gorilla. The game starts with the ape setting a safari camp on fire as a prank.
  • Reformulated Game: SG-1000 version ditches the isometric perspective and turns it into 2D side-scroller.
  • Rhyming Title: Congo Bongo.