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Super Donkey

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Title Screen

Super Donkey

Developer: Nintendo
Platform: SNES


GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
MusicIcon.png This game has unused music.


DevelopmentIcon.png This game has a development article
ProtoIcon.png This game has a prototype article

This game was stuffed away in a cardboard box and found 30 years later in a garage
This game was never completed and/or given a public release.
As a result of this, keep in mind that the developers might have used or deleted some of the content featured here, had the game actually been released.
How about a nice leek in this trying time?
This page or section details content from the July 2020 Nintendo Leak.
Check the July 2020 Nintendo Leak category for more pages also sourced from this material.
So very stubbly.
This page is rather stubbly and could use some expansion.
Are you a bad enough dude to rescue this article?

Super Donkey is an unreleased platformer starring an unnamed proto-Rayman-like aviator/explorer who resembles the main character of Nintendo's earlier game Sky Skipper.

The game seems to have remained completely unknown until two builds were found as part of the July 2020 Nintendo leaks (in other.7z/SFC/ソースデータ/ヨッシーアイランド/ツール/donkey_test as super_donkey_1.bin and super_donkey_2.bin, respectively; this page covers the latter build). Neither build has any sounds or music, and the onscreen timer is non-functional in both. The name, the ROM headers (which refer to the game as "SUPER MARIOWORLD"), some unused sprites witin the ROMs, and related material found elsewhere in the asset leak suggest that this was a Donkey Kong-related project with both the aviator and Mario being considered for the protagonist role (notably, DK had also appeared in Sky Skipper as an enemy). File dates for the related material suggest that the available ROMs were built sometime in 1991 or 1992.

While it is not clear whether development continued past this point, various elements of Super Donkey would eventually be used in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, and it’s believed that Yoshi's Island is what ultimately became of this project. Developer interviews for Yoshi's Island mention that the first two years of development were spent experimenting with ideas, in which one did stick - the idea of a game where even though the player can be hit by enemies the player doesn't die from doing so. Super Donkey has this element, and its available ROMs were found among the Yoshi's Island source code; further, a distinctly Donkey Kong-like enemy is present among the latter's internal assets and goes unused in the final game.

Sub-Pages

Read about development information and materials for this game.
Development Info
Read about prototype versions of this game that have been released or dumped.
Prototype Info

Unused Audio

Hmmm...
To do:

There is an unused theme based on Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.

(Source: LuigiBlood)

General

Hmmm...
To do:
Rip the cloud graphics for an additional, more focused comparison. Maybe even add the SMB1 and SMW styles' graphics to be more thorough.
  • Performing a ground pound produces smoke clouds with faces, likely meant to be a secondary attack. This would normally not be too notable were it not for the fact that versions of these graphics were used for the same move in the much later (and decidedly more well-known) Super Mario Maker series.
Super Donkey Super Mario Maker Series
(Super Mario Bros. 3 style)
*boom* *chompchompchomp* "It's-a REEEEEEALLY deep-a cut!"
  • If you fly offscreen while holding an object, the object itself gets deleted while you're still in a holding position.
  • While flying, you ignore all kinds of level collision.
  • Pressing Start will make the level palette turn sepia, as well as cause the player to lose any collision with the level geometry whatsoever. Every odd pause returns the collision, and every even pause revokes it. Doing this any further after the initial pause will corrupt the level palette more and more, until coming back to the normal level palette after pausing roughly 34 times.

Controls

  • D-Pad: Movement
    • Hold Down to crouch
    • Hold Up or Down while hanging to climb up/drop down
  • A: Use held object
  • B: Jump, climb up (while hanging)
    • Down + B: Drop through jump-through platforms
  • X: Ground pound
  • Y: Throw held object; hold button to charge up meter
    • B (if not fully charged): Jump higher (jump height depends on the meter)
    • B (if fully charged): Fly around the area
  • L: Pause
  • R: Frame advance (while paused)
  • Start: Temporarily pause for 1.5 seconds then toggle player collision

Character Movement and Actions

  • Colliding with an enemy leads to the player getting knocked back and stunned without taking any visible damage.
  • You can stun enemies by jumping on them.
  • You can grab onto and hang from various jump-through platforms and also drop through them.
  • There are also platforms that you can only grab onto and hang from, but cannot walk on. It is hard to tell what these are, but when observed in a tilemap viewer on BG layer 2, these appear to be chains.
  • The character can climb by pressing Up while against sides of tree trunks. Pressing Right or Left while climbing makes the character swing around to the other side of green vine/trees and the thinner grey tree trunks. You cannot climb some objects, such as stone surfaces and the houses.
  • Crawling through 1-tile gaps is possible by holding Down, then moving towards the gap.
  • The character will do a push animation when moving against solid walls after about a half a second. No objects seem movable in this way in these builds.

Levels

Level 1

A pretty sizable jungle area.

  • There's a cannon object you can pick up, though its missiles can only defeat a select few enemies.
  • There's a friendly monkey that roams around. You can jump on it to stun it.
  • This level also features three enemies: a weird mushroom that chases after you, a dog that chases after you, and an early version of the Melon Bug from Yoshi's Island which acts the same (curls up into a ball and rolls into you).
  • There are objects hanging from a few trees, as well as a few stars hanging from a ceiling. You can ground pound to knock these objects down. These objects cannot be collected, however.

Yoshi's Island - super donkey 2 - lvl1.png Yoshi's Island - super donkey 2 - lvl1 02.png Yoshi's Island - super donkey 2 - lvl1 03.png Yoshi's Island - super donkey 2 - lvl1 04.png Yoshi's Island - super donkey 2 - lvl1 05.png Yoshi's Island - super donkey 2 - lvl1 06.png

Level 2

A short level featuring various houses. Holding Down while on top of a chimney drops you down "inside" a house and changes the palette, in a similar manner to the collision-disabling pause button.

Yoshi's Island - super donkey 2 - lvl2.png Yoshi's Island - super donkey 2 - lvl2 02.png Yoshi's Island - super donkey 2 - lvl2 03.png

Level 3

A cave area with multiple doors you can enter and small alcoves you have to crouch under. Also, dogs; lots of dogs.

  • The background is an early version of one of the Yoshi's Island cave backgrounds, with the windows actually visible.

Yoshi's Island - super donkey 2 - lvl3.png Yoshi's Island - super donkey 2 - lvl3 02.png Yoshi's Island - super donkey 2 - lvl3 03.png Yoshi's Island - super donkey 2 - lvl3 04.png

Level 4

A very small level that seems to test sprite scaling and how it affects collision thanks to tubes that jump up and stretch themselves. The tubes cannot be flown through, though.

Yoshi's Island - super donkey 2 - lvl4.png

Boss

A giant bird that jumps around. Stomp it once, and it jumps higher. Stomp it a second time, and it just ricochets itself off the walls. Stomp it a third time, and it turns into a small harmless bird that flies away. Once this level is marked as cleared, you loop back to Level 1.

Yoshi's Island - super donkey 2 - boss.png Yoshi's Island - super donkey 2 - boss 02.png Yoshi's Island - super donkey 2 - boss 03.png Yoshi's Island - super donkey 2 - boss 04.png

Unused Graphics

SuperDonkey-CherryEnemy.png SuperDonkey-JumpingAlienCreature.png SuperDonkey-PearEnemy.png SuperDonkey-InsectEnemy.png SuperDonkey-EarlyTomato.png

Present in the ROM are sprites for several unused creatures, which can also be seen in rensa-bg.CGX.

Super Donkey (Proto 2) Shroom attack.png

It appears that the mushroom enemy would have been able to defend itself.

SuperDonkey-HudNumbers.png

A full number set for the timer, which doesn't function in either available build.

SuperDonkey-HudFont.png SuperDonkey-HudPoint.png SuperDonkey-UnfinishedNumbers.png

An unused font direct from Super Mario World, plus a number set and a "POINT" element for the HUD. (The "missing" numbers would have been constructed by flipping and reusing existing tiles.)

Super Donkey (Proto 2) Ring thing.png

What appears to be a rough sketch of some sort of ring is present at 0x62000. Could be an early version of the Start and Exit rings. No palettes seem to work nicely with this.