Donkey Kong Jr. (game)

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Donkey Kong Jr.
Donkey Kong Jr. NES Cover.PNG
Developer(s) Nintendo Research & Development 1
Iwasaki Engineering[1]
Nintendo Research & Development 2 (NES port)[2]
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Release date Arcade:
Japan July 15, 1983
USA June 1986
Europe June 15, 1987 [3]
Famicom Disk System:
Japan July 19, 1988 [4]
USA September 16, 2002 [5]
Virtual Console (Wii):
Japan December 2, 2006
USA December 4, 2006
Europe December 22, 2006
Virtual Console (3DS) (Ambassador Program Release):
Japan August 31, 2011
USA September 1, 2011
Europe September 1, 2011
Australia September 1, 2011
Virtual Console (3DS) (Full Release):
Japan April 18, 2012
USA June 14, 2012
Europe August 23, 2012
Australia August 23, 2012
Virtual Console (Wii U):
Japan July 15, 2013
USA April 26, 2013
Europe April 27, 2013
Australia April 28, 2013
Genre Retro/Platform
Mode(s) Up to 2 players, alternating turns
Cabinet Standard
Monitor Raster, standard resolution
Control pad
Wiimote Sideways.png Wii Remote (Sideways)
Wii U:
Nintendo 3DS:

Donkey Kong Jr., also spelled Donkey Kong Junior in early arcade releases and home ports, is an arcade game starring Donkey Kong Jr., that was later re-released as a standalone Nintendo Entertainment System title under the Arcade Classics Series of games, along with other early games in Donkey Kong Classics, Donkey Kong Jr. + Jr. Math Lesson and Donkey Kong/Donkey Kong Jr./Mario Bros., remade into a Game & Watch game, which received a remake on the Nintendo DSi, and a Mini Classic game, and was also later released on the Virtual Console for the Wii, Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. It was also available as a free download via the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador program. Donkey Kong Jr. is also a minigame in Game & Watch Galleries 3 and 4. The game was also released on the e-Reader with the only difference being a player had to scan in 5 cards to play it, afterward the player didn't have to scan the cards again unless they scanned in a different game requiring 5 cards. The game is also one of the 30 titles included in the NES Classic Edition. It was the direct sequel to Donkey Kong, and it and the similar Donkey Kong II are the only games in the Mario franchise where Mario (previously known as Jumpman) is the antagonist.

Donkey Kong Jr. never enjoyed the sales or the following that the original Donkey Kong did, but it did well enough to warrant a second sequel, Donkey Kong 3.


After the events of Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong has been captured by Mario as revenge for kidnapping his lady friend and Donkey Kong Jr. has to save him. Donkey Kong Jr. will travel through four stages from the jungle to the big city to get his father back, climbing vines, avoiding enemies and jumping on platforms along the way. However, every time Donkey Kong Jr. gets close to freeing his father, Mario just pushes him further away.

Finally in his hideout, Mario appears to be atop a skyscraper similar to 100m from the last game. Donkey Kong Jr. has to put six keys into their keyholes to free his dad and make the platform they're standing on disappear. Donkey Kong and Mario both fall down and Donkey Kong Jr. catches Donkey Kong but Mario just hits the ground. Donkey Kong Jr. carries his dad off-screen as Mario gets up and runs after them, only to be kicked right back out by Donkey Kong, forcing him to flee. In the NES port, this is altered to Mario falling to his apparent death for unknown reasons.




References in later games[edit]

  • Donkey Kong and Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Donkey Kong Jr., as well as many enemies and gameplay elements, make an appearance in this game. Also, Mario's method of trapping Junior in Donkey Kong '94 is identical to Donkey Kong Jr.'s method of freeing his father from captivity. Many enemies and gameplay elements from Donkey Kong Jr. are reused in Mario vs Donkey Kong as well.
  • Donkey Kong Country series: Diddy Kong and Dixie Kong's ability to climb two ropes at a time originates from Donkey Kong Jr. The music for this game is redone and replayed in the Golden Temple level of Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D. A different cover of the song plays in the Secret Seclusion world in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. The plotline for Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest was also very similar to Donkey Kong Jr., including Donkey Kong being captured by an old enemy (in his case, Kaptain K. Rool) and requiring that Diddy save him by traveling to the place Donkey Kong was being held captive.
  • Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia: The lightning trap room where the Vol Fulgur glyph is found is similar to Stage 3 of Donkey Kong Jr. and was most likely based on that stage.


Main article: List of Donkey Kong Jr. staff

Produced by[edit]

Original Music by[edit]

  • Yukio Kaneoka

Programming by[edit]

Pre-release and unused content[edit]

Main article: List of Donkey Kong Jr. pre-release and unused content

The arcade version includes an unused lightbulb object as well as several graphical leftovers from the original Donkey Kong. In addition, the Coleco Adam port is notable for originally featuring an unlockable stage, but it was cut at Nintendo's request.


For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Donkey Kong Jr. (game).


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Package for the Donkey Kong Jr.-e cards.

In 2002, Donkey Kong Jr. (titled Donkey Kong Jr.-e) was released for the e-Reader as part of Series One.


Card 1 of 5/codes 1-2[edit]

English flavor text: Mario has gone ape and locked your father, Donkey Kong, in a cage. Steal the keys from Mario to set your papa free!

+ Control Pad Moves character

L Button + R Button Resets game to Title Screen

START Start/Pause

SELECT Selects game mode

  • Game A is beginner game
  • Game B is expert mode

A Button Jumps

B Button Not used

Card 2 of 5/codes 3-4[edit]

HOW TO PLAY In Rounds 1 through 3, work your way to the top of the level to reach the key. In Round 4, carry all six keys to the top of the level and put them into their keyholes to free Donkey Kong. Once Donkey Kong is free, the game starts again, but faster and more exciting. Test your skill by saving your father against greater odds.

BEWARE! Each time you collide with a spark, fall from a vine, get bitten by a Snapjaw, or get pecked by a Nitpicker, you'll lose a life. Once all of your lives are gone, the game is over.

Card 3 of 5/codes 5-6[edit]

TECHNIQUES Use these two special moves to help speed up the action:

  • Grab onto two vines at a time to speed to the top.
  • Go down quicker by sliding down just one vine.

Card 4 of 5/codes 7-8[edit]

TIPS Timing is everything! In Round 2, press the A Button at just the right time and you'll launch off the springboard onto the moving island.

Drop fruit from vines on your enemies to get extra points.

Score 20,000 points and earn an extra life!

Card 5 of 5/code 9-10[edit]

ITEMS Keys: Pick up the keys to Donkey Kong's cage (Rounds 1-3). Insert keys into keyholes to free Donkey Kong (Round 4).

Fruit: Pick up fruit for extra bonus points.

Name in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ドンキーコングJR.
Donkī Kongu Junia
Donkey Kong Junior


A screenshot of what appears to be two Marios in the intro.
  • During the intro of the arcade version of Donkey Kong Jr., there were actually two Marios seen carrying Donkey Kong's cage away.
  • Most versions of Donkey Kong Jr., including the NES port, had the ending theme played once instead of twice. The three versions to break this rule were the Intellivision, Coleco Adam, and Atari 8-bit computer ports.
  • In the arcade version of the game, between the second and third stages, Mario carries Donkey Kong away in a yellow helicopter, with Jr. following close behind with an umbrella.


  1. ^ Gamasutra: The Secret History of Donkey Kong
  2. ^ Iwata, Satoru et al. Iwata Asks: New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Nintendo. Retrieved May 01 2015
  3. ^ Date info of Donkey Kong Jr. (NES) from TMK, retrieved 4/1/2008
  4. ^ Date info of Donkey Kong Jr. (FDS) from TMK, retrieved 4/1/2008
  5. ^ Date info of Donkey Kong Jr. (e-Reader) from TMK, retrieved 11/25/2012