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Prerelease:Donkey Kong (Arcade)

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This page details prerelease information and/or media for Donkey Kong (Arcade).

So very stubbly.
This page is rather stubbly and could use some expansion.
Are you a bad enough dude to rescue this article?
To do:

Design Document

Cacti speak Japanese.
...But what does it mean?
This game has text or audio that needs to be translated. If you are fluent with this language, please read our translation guidelines and then submit a translation!

A document found at the US National Archives shows some early designs from the game's Popeye phase of development.

Donkey Kong (Arcade)-prerelease-design doc.jpg

  • At the top-right, next to Miyamoto's signature, is a date. While the first two digits (representing the current Shōwa year) aren't quite fully legible, what is present suggests "56", which would date this to March 21, 1981 - about three-and-a-half months before the game's release.
  • The level shown is an early version of 25m, looking somewhat different:
    • The stage is taller, consisting of eight girders. The final dropped this to six girders plus a short platform for Pauline.
    • The playfield is horizontally flipped, with the start and end points on the right side instead of the left. While a few of the home ports do have a left-to-right top girder, no official version has the starting point in the bottom-right corner.
    • The timer seems to be represented by a fuse leading up to an explosive.
    • All of the ladders are intact.
    • No hammers are present, however it appears that Olive Oyl would perhaps drop cans of spinach for Popeye to consume, which would likely provide the same functionality as the hammer, being Popeye's signature "power-up".
    • There are bombs placed on two of the girders.
  • Below the playfield is what looks to be the game's controls, but only the joystick portion is present.
(Scan: Norman Caruso (aka "The Gaming Historian"))