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Mario vs. Donkey Kong

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Title Screen

Mario vs. Donkey Kong

Developer: Nintendo Software Technology
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Game Boy Advance
Released in JP: June 1, 2004
Released in US: May 24, 2004
Released in EU: November 19, 2004
Released in AU: June 4, 2004


AreasIcon.png This game has unused areas.
MinigameIcon.png This game has unused modes / minigames.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
ItemsIcon.png This game has unused items.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.


Mario vs. Donkey Kong is a revival of the Game Boy Donkey Kong, with a heavy emphasis on tri-color switches.

Hmmm...
To do:
Prototype that contains level, header and possibly other differences.

Unused Graphics

Hmmm...
To do:
If you set 3004C68 to 08 in memory while on the visual options menu, the movie preview icon changes to this (09 is this and much later numbers crash the game) and there is also allegedly unused graphics for a plant enemy seen in pre-release screenshots. (Source for both of these is Hiro-sofT).
MvsDK-unused mini mario graphics.png

These seem to be from a very early stage in the game when Mini Marios literally looked like Mini Marios rather than toys. They are also done in a completely different style.

Unused Objects

Hmmm...
To do:
Research other unused objects, such as STOP switch, using upaluppa's improvement codes.

Exclamation Mark Box

?

A strange object loaded in most of the tilesets, often fully animated. It works with the three gift box color palettes. It is not animated when placed in-game using the editor.

Red - Has a blue switch inside it. Deactivates currently activated color and activates previously activated color.
Blue - Has a yellow switch inside it; activates yellow blocks.
Yellow - Has a red present inside it; not solid.

(Source: Paikerchu13)

Mini-Mario Crystal Ball Key

Prerelease versions showed Mini-Marios trapped inside crystal balls being used as keys. You can place the old type of crystal ball with the level editor. It turns into a key when brought to the door.

Unused Object Behaviour

Hmmm...
To do:
This might just be leftover from Shy-Guy's coding, so maybe it should be removed?

Bob-ombs start running around scared, just like Shy-Guys do, when Mario is equipped with the hammer. You never see them running normally, because none of the levels with Bob-ombs include a hammer. You won't earn points for smashing them with the hammer. You can see this in the game with the level editor.

Level Editor

Hmmm...
To do:
Add uppaluppa's improvement codes. The codes, for example, make it less crashy and enable more object categories.
Theme Card already loaded!
Overwrite existing theme?
Theme Card DEACTIVATED!
Theme Card ACTIVATED!
Erase old world
Level does not belong to current world!

As Mario vs. Donkey Kong originally planned to have a full-fledged Level Editor, there seems to be some text left of it, which includes the mention of Theme Cards, probably to have custom themes from e-Cards. There's also text about Worlds, assuming we could create several worlds in it.

An incomplete Level Editor is still in the game, and is accessible via GameShark or by memory hacking. It does not work with the first level of each world for an unknown reason and you cannot save.

The controls for the level editor are as follows:

D-Pad - Move cursor (looks like the current object)
Select - Switch between different object types
L / R - Scroll through the objects
A - Place an object
B - Remove an object
Start - Play your edited level

To access it; change 0D to 0B at 0x30009C4 (US/JP) or 0x3000984 (EU) in RAM while in a level.

Alternatively, use this US/JP Codebreaker code and press Select in a level:

730012E0 0004
330009C4 000B
(Source: upaluppa, martboo, Hiro-sofT)

Heap Overflow

Mario vs Donkey Kong-heap overflow.png

This appears if you place too many objects with the level editor.

Big City and Forest

MvDK Old Names.PNG

A tile viewer reveals the original names for Mystic Forest and Twilight City were based on the levels in the Game Boy Donkey Kong. The final names are the last graphics in the set before other tiles begin.

Further evidence suggests that these worlds were the first two to be developed, in the same order as the aforementioned game. Both worlds use a black background color for the tile maps, along with Fire Mountain (the third name in the tile list), while the rest of the worlds use white. Both worlds also use slightly different tiles for standard color block outlines, with Twilight City's being the most different and Mystic Forest's being only a pixel off from the rest.

e-Reader levels

Hmmm...
To do:
Detail the Japan only levels.

Very few people know that Mario vs. Donkey Kong has e-Reader support, or that 12 preloaded level cards were made. Only a handful of these cards exist in the world, as they were given away for a special promotion: even then, the limited 1000 card pack run only offered the first five levels. In the EU release, Nintendo removed all e-Reader support from the game.

The e-Reader level menu can be accessed by changing the value at 034E09C4 from 18 (normal menu) to 1A, and the list of preloaded levels can be accessed by changing it to '1C' after choosing "Add Level". The thirteenth level on the list is a dummy level, probably for testing.

Regional Differences

Japan has 14 preloaded e-Reader levels, instead of the US version's 13. Several of them are different. As aforementioned, the European version has e-Reader functionality removed entirely.

In addition to e-Reader cards, the Japanese version contains a few graphical differences - like subtitles under cutscenes - which the English versions do not have. (The European version has similar subtitles when the language is not set to English.) The Japanese and European versions also have a short animation of the timer getting sucked inside doors along Mario to make it more clear the player's remaining time carries over. This does not happen in the American version. Mario's credits chatter is also missing from the Japanese and European versions.

Title Screen

International Japan
Mario vs Donkey Kong-title.png Mario vs Donkey Kong-title jp.png

The title screen was redone in the Japanese version to feature the Mini-Marios rather than Mario and Donkey Kong. This style of title screen has been used in all future games in the series, even in international releases.