History of Donkey Kong – Gaming Historian


When you think Nintendo, what is the first character that comes to your mind fox McCloud? Link Kirby of Course not Mario comes to mind Mario is the title character for Nintendo and easily the most recognized video game character of all time. He has appeared in over 200 video games and his debut was in the Nintendo arcade game known as donkey Kong yeah Donkey Kong most gamers today know who Donkey Kong [is] he has appeared in [numerous]? platform and party games including Super Smash brothers and Mario party but his beginnings in the early 1980s in the arcades [save] nintendo as a company and Established them as the leading video game company today. It’s all donkey kong this week on the game and his story During the late 70s and early 80s arcade games were a huge market space invaders even caused a coin shortage in Japan Japanese companies such as taito and Namco also made a lot of money selling arcade cabinets to Americans One of these companies was Nintendo Nintendo was founded September 23rd 1889 as a card gaming company during the age of video games however They saw a huge opportunity [their] first game to hit us [shores] was radarscope It was the second most popular game in Japan right behind Pac-man, but a huge disappointment North America out of 3,000 Radarscope machines only about a thousand sold Hiroshi Yamauchi President of Nintendo was baffled as to how to break into the us market He wanted to make something that would appeal specifically to American audiences Luckily he had just hired a young college [student] who had just received his degree in industrial design His name was shigeru Miyamoto now if you don’t know who [she] [jeremy] [emoto] is you need some serious knowledge? Shigeru Miyamoto is responsible for creating Mario Zelda and many other notable Nintendo characters He’s a legend in the video game industry [we] Wanna know what other character he created Donkey Kong Miyamoto was asked to design a new arcade game, and he happily agreed He began by doing something that had never been done [before] in [an] arcade game. He wrote a story It’s nothing elaborate like a final fantasy game or anything But the story goes that a carpenter has been mistreating his pet gorilla to get revenge the gorilla Escapes from his master Kidnaps the Carpenter’s girlfriend and begins climbing a construction site notice [who] the carpenter is that’s right It’s Mario although his name back. Then was a jump man So Miyamoto was inspired by Several things one of which was popeye Donkey Kong is Bluto olive Oil was pauline and popeye his jump man Both are trying to hang on to the girl and the whole love triangle is very Similar he also took some inspiration from King Kong as far as kidnapping a girl and climbing a building goes thus Donkey Kong was born well What exactly is a donkey Kong? Remember this game was being made specifically for American audiences Miyamoto chose the name Stubborn gorilla based on the way the character acted in the game Looking through a thesaurus [two] synonyms came to Miyamoto donkey first stubborn and calm for gorilla Thus Donkey Kong Yamaguchi was excited about this new title he immediately notified Minoru Arakawa head of operations for Nintendo in North America the timing could not have been better Arakawa was close to bankruptcy. [he] could hardly even pay the rent [for] the Nintendo warehouse the landlord of the warehouse Mario segale Visited, Arakawa to demand his late rent after some harsh words seagal was promised the money would come soon [seagal] was also immortalized in This moment soon after [Jumpman] was renamed to Mario so Dom pathan was finally coming to the United States But two distributors for Nintendo Ron Judy and Al stone were a little worried Radarscope was a disaster And they were risking their future on a game named donkey Kong but they soon visited their lawyer howard Lincoln to get the name trademark Howard Lincoln’s response was one of awkwardness pardon me. What was that? Donkey Kong how do you spell that what happened next changed everything for Nintendo? Arakawa decided to test their new game he placed a donkey kong machine in two bars in the Seattle area Goldie’s and the spot Tavern the machines easily raked in [$30] per day So the managers asked for more machines the game was a hit remember those 2000 radarscope machines that never sold Nintendo converted them into donkey Kong machines saving them both money and time Orders were soon pouring in all over the united states for the new game Nintendo went from almost bankrupt to millionaires seemingly overnight Howard Lincoln soon received a call from Nintendo he expected them to ask for help with filing bankruptcy But instead they asked Lincoln for help in protecting all of their money overall nintendo sold over 67,000 donkey Kong cabinets the rest as they say is history Donkey Kong ended up in few sequels such as donkey Jr And Donkey Kong 3 in 1994 rare took the donkey Kong name and made a platform out of it This is where we get the donkey Kong we know of today But I know what some of you [were] thinking. How did this end up like this? But on your tinfoil hats thought for a theory this is [the] donkey Kong from the first three games Donkey Kong Donkey Kong Jr.. And Donkey Kong 3 however when Donkey Kong for the game boy was released He was given a red necktie then in 1994 Donkey Kong Country for the Super Nintendo came out once again He had a red necktie However in the manual for the game it states that this donkey Kong is supposed to be the son of the original Donkey Kong who appears in this game as Cranky Kong this theory could be true in Donkey Kong 64 Cranky Kong does refer to Donkey Kong as his good-for-nothing son a Representative from rare the makers of the Donkey Kong Country Games stated that the donkey Kong we know of today is The older version of Donkey Kong Jr.. This would have to be true. If Cranky Kong is the original Donkey Kong? Interesting theory well let’s wrap this up. It’s time for [a] chapter review today we learned that donkey Kong was created by Shigeru Miyamoto in an effort to save Nintendo from A failing North American Market, the Game even had a backstory and was inspired by King Kong and popeye Despite some criticism the game became an instant success and saved Nintendo of America from Bankruptcy donkey Kong ended up appearing in many more games, and is now a staple character for Nintendo and supposedly this ape is now this [8] Supposedly well, that’s about wraps it up. Thanks for tuning in to another great week at the game of the story I’ve been getting a lot [of] great feedback on these videos And I just want to say thank you [everybody] [if] you have any suggestions or topics you’d like me to cover, please email the game flop at gmail.com Also, if you liked this video, please rate it and please [subscribe] to my channel [there’ll] be plenty more coming I’ll see you guys next time


100 Responses

  1. Maia Jones

    November 8, 2017 1:28 am

    hey gaming historian how about the history of Tomb Raider and Laura Croft please please and thank you

  2. Dorlata a

    November 12, 2017 6:52 am

    Original donkey Kong (cranky Kong) isn't modern donkey kongs father he's his grandfather and donkey kong junior is modern donkey kongs father

  3. Nathan Kappesser

    November 21, 2017 2:18 pm

    It isn't a theory, Cranky Kong absolutely is the original Donkey Kong. The only question is whether the current Donkey Kong is DK Jr. or his son, because Cranky Kong also refers to him as his grandson at certain points. 🙂

  4. Kertas Kecil Voyager289

    December 8, 2017 8:36 am

    HOLY shiz this video is 8 years ago, i remember watching this long time ago with my old weird named gmail account

  5. Chill

    December 29, 2017 1:14 am

    Cranky Kong is the original Donkey Kong but the new Donkey Kong is his grandson and Donkey Kong Jr is the new Donkey Kong’s dad.

  6. 2006man

    February 15, 2018 12:10 pm

    Somebody probably said it here already, but the current DK isn't DK Jr. DK Jr. is missing in action currently, and the current DK is the grandson of the original DK.

  7. ThatObscure Gamer

    May 1, 2018 12:33 am

    -_- It's not a THEORY. It was CONFIRMED by the DEVELOPERS, AND the FUCKING MANUAL. If we were just wildly speculating, and had no proof or evidence, then it'd be ok. But if the fucking developer confirms it, then it's true.


    May 11, 2018 6:27 am

    discovering this channel earlier today i thought i was in for a good few days of binge watching his vids, but I'm already in 2009!!😦 & i thought AVGN was lazy! 😉


    May 11, 2018 6:32 am

    "how do u spell Donkey Kong?"? 😦 well, it's like the word DONKEY & then KONG!… U MORON! 😠

  10. Henry Tetreault

    May 28, 2018 5:33 am

    DK grew up so fast.

    Wish I could find a DK Arcade machine here in the Pacific Northwest. It’s as if they don’t exist anymore since the 80s.

  11. solidsneakie

    July 12, 2018 1:12 pm

    I've just found your channel – its amazing! Well done, and keep up the great work 🙂

  12. Spencer Elliott/SpencerE17

    July 19, 2018 2:32 am

    I hate you, I cant believe you said "No" to Kirby, saying unknowing popular:(Course the environment of Nintendo Japan>÷{

  13. Cb23

    July 24, 2018 12:08 pm

    Theory debunk: Donkey kong we now and love is actually the grandson of the original donkey kong. It basically fact since the manual spasicficly states he's donkeys grandspa and crankey is the original kong. So jr is actually dk father and it make more since that jump man is could be marios pops since well modern dk is the same age as mario. Game to Prof that is Yoshi's Island Ds.

  14. The Church History Channel

    July 30, 2018 2:57 pm

    You didn't mention the massive lawsuit that Universal started that they won.

  15. Spyder Soup

    August 9, 2018 12:28 pm

    Here's one thing that Nintendo confirmed. That orignal Donkey Kong arcade game actually took place in New Donk City. Yes, I mean the same city from the recently released Super Mario Odyssey. To prove this is true, try going through the buildings in the city while it's night while Jump Up, Super Star is playing, they will have the same structures from one of the levels from the arcade game. Also, have a look at this cover. 6:12 That lady Donkey Kong is holding, doesn't she look familiar to you?

  16. Milpool

    August 21, 2018 4:18 pm

    Donkey Kong wasn't "inspired by Popeye" as you've suggested. The original game was supposed to be Popeye but Nintendo was unable to secure the license to the characters. They used Donkey Kong because the "Kong" moniker was considered public domain. Sony even tried suing Nintendo, claiming to own the rights to the character but ultimately failed.

  17. jcb3393

    August 23, 2018 6:49 pm

    3:18 – "Donkey Kong was inspired by Popeye"
    And this explains why the Popeye video game (which I remember from my Commodore 64) is FAAAAR too similar to Donkey Kong.

  18. Ssj Ichigo

    August 25, 2018 8:59 pm

    you should probably do an update on this video, since now we know that the DK we know from the country series is actually DK III(the 3rd) DK jr's son

  19. Qardo

    October 2, 2018 1:33 pm

    Wait. Jumpman was renamed to Mario all because Nintendo owned rent to their Landlord and he demanded payment. Don't care who you are. I want to see a Mario Game where Mario demands rent to be paid or less. >.> Okay not a very Nintendo game but hey! Be interesting.

  20. courage1

    December 11, 2018 4:31 am

    Well the theory is so wrong, because in Smash Bros Brawl when you use Snakes Codec in Shadow Moses Island, Octacon will state that the current Donkey Kong is actually Cranky Kongs Grandson, not is regular son, since the DK on the gameboy's version of Donkey Kong could be Cranky Kong in his younger days, because Donkey Kong Country didn't appear till November and all the release dates in the Gameboy version of Donkey Kong where before November and also to bebunk it more that in the trivia section on the Super Mario wiki page on the Gameboy version of Donkey Kong states that "This will be the last appearance of the Original Donkey Kong".

  21. Alexandra Martinez

    December 18, 2018 9:01 pm

    I just realized something, so for Donkey Kong on the Game Boy it had both Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr, and the theory is that the Red Neck tie Donkey Kong is the older version of DK Jr but the Game Boy has DK Jr and Red Neck Tie DK…….do know what this means????

    Yeah me neither

  22. Kyle Harmon

    January 29, 2019 12:32 am

    I think donkey kong started wearing a tie as early as the 80's cartoon show that was part of Saturday Supercade but I I could be wrong too

  23. Javier Brenes

    April 3, 2019 2:05 pm

    Wow your videos have come a long way, but all the bases for a great youtube channel were there from the start!

  24. johney supergd

    May 21, 2019 4:30 pm

    Well, for those people wich will think that donkeykong was one of the first arcade in the us , well no think again because there were 7 arcade games released before donkeykong, including sheriff,rader scope, space fever,helifire ,space launcher etc,,,it’s sad that most of those games are all forgotten.

  25. Jonathan Thoms

    July 29, 2019 5:28 am

    Couldn't find anything about Goldies but here is an interesting page on Spot Tavern mentioned in the video (https://www.facebook.com/MLThistory/posts/who-remembers-spot-tavern/1558804094416557/). I thought that it would be neat to see if these bars were still around and if they still had any references to these old games kicking around. Alas, both now appear to be closed.

  26. Spencer Tucker

    August 3, 2019 11:17 pm

    It's neat seeing how far you've come in terms of production value and story telling. This is great stuff (even better if you consider how much content was trash on youtube a decade ago) but side by side, damn you've upped your game.

  27. All star Animations

    August 6, 2019 6:18 pm

    Hey gaming historian I have a fact for you the person you play as in Donkey Kong isn’t Mario it his father jumpman

  28. SupraSanicsKrublAwrD Yee

    August 7, 2019 9:47 pm

    Well of course he made donkey kong if mario was in the game with donkey kong then he must have also created donkey kong

  29. Mats Berglinn

    September 23, 2019 4:35 pm

    In the DKC manual, it is stated that Cranky is grampa, not his dad. It is actually in DK64 that told about this mistake. In other words Donkey Kong Junior is actually the current DK's dad.

  30. krismagix

    November 13, 2019 2:09 pm

    It's official information that Cranky Kong (Donkey Kong SR) is Donkey Kong from the 8 bit games and the grandfather of Modern Donkey Kong. But DK Jr. is not Modern DK, but the father of Modern DK. Anyway, what I still find very curious about all this is that Cranky Kong is very old since the DK Country games on the SNES, while Mario (Jumpman) and Pauline have not aged at all, and even Modern DK have appeared in many Mario games, but Mario still looks young compared to Cranky Kong and Modern Donkey Kong 🤔, or maybe the people of Mario's universe don't age? 😆


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