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20 Awesome Facts About Donkey Kong

Little-known facts and trivia on our favorite Nintendo Ape

    If you love gaming, then you probably love Donkey Kong. But we’ve always wondered… why was he called Donkey Kong when he wasn’t a Donkey? Check out why the Monkey was called this and other things you didn’t know about Donkey Kong…

    Why wasn’t he called Monkey Kong?


    Donkey Kong’s name has always been a source of questioning among the gaming world. Why wasn’t he called Monkey Kong? Or Ape Kong? Or anything to do with monkeys…? Because Donkey Kong most definitely is not a donkey. The creator of Donkey Kong, Miyamoto, named it Donkey Kong to mean ‘stupid ape’ – as the word Donkey is representative of stupidness. If you say so.

    There was a legal battle surrounding Donkey Kong


    You might think Donkey Kong and King Kong are similar characters… but legally, they have been ruled as two different apes. In 1982, Universal Studios filed a case in the federal court to demand a piece of the profits from Nintendo’s Donkey Kong due to his resemblance to Universal’s King Kong. Universal lost, and the apes were legally named different. Good try, Universal.

    Nintendo have trademarked a phrase


    ‘It’s on like Donkey Kong’ is a common phrase around the world. After their ordeal in the courts with Universal, Nintendo decided to protect themselves and trademark their saying. Since 2013, Nintendo has had legal ownership over it.

    Donkey Kong was the first of its kind


    Before Donkey Kong, the gaming market was full of Pac-Man style games that involved simple maze-running. Donkey Kong was the first game to introduce the ability to jump, and a ladder system. It is said that this move caused the gaming market to improve their own games and create more complicated movements.

    Donkey Kong introduced Mario to the world


    Although Mario became famous in his own right in the Mario Bros games, Mario was actually first introduced to the world in Donkey Kong. However, he was not Mario in this game. He started off as Mr. Video before having his name changed to Jumpman.

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