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Donkey Kong (NES, Famicom Disk System)

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Title Screen

Donkey Kong

Developer: Nintendo R&D1
Publisher: Nintendo
Platforms: NES, Famicom Disk System, FamicomBox
Released in JP: July 15, 1983 (Famicom), April 8, 1988 (FDS)
Released in US: June 1986
Released in EU: October 15, 1986

GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
ItemsIcon.png This game has unused items.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.

NotesIcon.png This game has a notes page
DCIcon.png This game has a Data Crystal page

The NES Donkey Kong is a very solid port of the arcade original, albeit with 50m (the cement factory) missing as was commonly the case with other home ports of the game due to memory limitations.


Miscellaneous tidbits that are interesting enough to point out here.

Unused Sprites

Pauline needs to keep better track of her stuff.

Lurking within the ROM are a handful of objects that never appear anywhere. The first two seem to be early versions of the handbag and parasol; the hat appears in the arcade version, but not the NES one; and the bouquet of flowers doesn't appear in any version, though it probably would have served the same purpose (bonus points) as the other items.

Donkey Kong Classics UnusedSitting.PNG

Sprites of Mario and Pauline sitting, possibly meant for a different ending.


A unique left-facing sprite exists for the hammer, but the game simply flips the right-facing sprite instead, leaving this one unused.


A tile meant for a "300 points" graphic. You could get 300 points in the arcade version, but not here.

Revisional Differences

Revision 1

To do:
There are more code differences.

Title Screen

Revision 0 Revision 1
DKNES-Rev0Title.png DKNES-Title.png

In Revision 0, the logo on the title screen uses the same shade of blue as the girders in 100m. Revision 1 changed this to a brighter blue.

Controller Input

In Revision 0 (the original release), Mario cannot move at all when the D-Pad is held diagonally. In the more common Revision 1 version, the controller reading code was improved so that the first direction pressed has priority: if the D-Pad is rolled from Up/Down to diagonal Mario will not start walking, but if the D-Pad is rolled from Left/Right to diagonal he will not stop walking.

Famicom Disk System

The FDS port of the game has a handful of graphical differences compared to the NES version.

Famicom/NES FDS
DKNES-ScorePopup.png DKFDS-ScorePopup.png

The score popup graphics are orange instead of white. The 3 is also slightly different.

Famicom/NES FDS
DKNES-Heart.png DKFDS-Heart.png

The heart seen in the ending cutscene has a white outline and looks a bit more like the sprite from the arcade version.

Famicom / NES FDS
DKNES-MarioLanding.png DKFDS-MarioLanding.png

The dust on Mario's landing sprite is absent.

Famicom / NES FDS
DKNES-CopyrightMark.png DKFDS-CopyrightMark.png

The copyright mark has an extra pixel.

Famicom / NES FDS
DKNES-FallingDK.png DKFDS-FallingDK.png

DK's falling sprite has some slight differences.

Animal Crossing

The controls have been slightly modified so the player can press Up and Down to switch between options at the title screen.

Original Edition

To commemorate the 25th Anniversary of Super Mario Bros., a limited-edition red Wii was released. In Europe, this came with a modified Virtual Console version of Donkey Kong pre-installed that follows the arcade version more closely. This new version also received an official release on the 3DS in the United States during the last few months of 2012, via a limited-time Club Nintendo promotion.

Shortly after the game's release, the ROM was extracted from its WAD container and distributed online, at which point it was discovered that Original Edition is nothing more than a hack of the original retail ROM...and a rather sloppy one at that.

Title Screen

The copyright date adds "-2010", with "1981" changed to "1983" as that was when the Famicom version was released. The text "CO.,LTD." was removed, and "MADE IN JAPAN" was moved over one space.

Before being soft-patched, the 3DS version lacked the copyright symbol and showed a copyright year of 2008, suggesting that Original Edition was originally intended to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Famicom version.

Famicom / NES 3DS Original Edition pre-patch Original Edition
Now I don't have to waste quarters at the arcade! DKNESOriginalTitle3DS.png It's funny that even though "Donkey Kong" started this whole mess, it's "Super Mario Bros." that gets the anniversary celebration.


Those aren't actually pies; they're cement.

Perhaps the most notable change is the addition of 50m, a level that (as mentioned earlier) was often left out of the game's home ports.

Climbing Donkey Kong


Donkey Kong now carries Pauline up the ladders to the next level, much like in the arcade version.