Donkey Kong Jr. (game)

From the Super Mario Wiki, the Mario encyclopedia
Jump to navigationJump to search
"Donkey Kong 2" redirects here. For information about the Game & Watch game, see Donkey Kong II. For the second installment of the Donkey Kong Country series, see Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest. For the second installment of the Donkey Konga series, see Donkey Konga 2.
Donkey Kong Jr.
Donkey Kong Jr - cabinet side art
Art of the arcade cabinet.
Developer Nintendo Research & Development 1
Iwasaki Engineering[1]
Nintendo Research & Development 2 (NES port)[2]
Coleco (ColecoVision, Atari 2600, Intellivision, and Coleco Adam ports)
Atari, Inc. (Atari 8-bit computer port)
ITDC (Atari 7800 port)
Hamster (Arcade Archives)
Publisher Nintendo
Coleco (ColecoVision, Atari 2600, Intellivision, and Coleco Adam ports)
Atari, Inc. (Atari 8-bit computer port)
Atari Corporation (Atari 7800 port)
Hamster (Arcade Archives)
Release date Arcade:
August 1982[3]
Japan July 15, 1983
USA June 1986
Europe June 15, 1987[4]
Atari 2600:
Atari 8-bit computers:
March 1984
Coleco Adam:
April 1984
Family Computer Disk System:
Japan July 19, 1988[5]
Atari 7800:
November 1988
USA September 16, 2002[6]
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
South Korea April 6, 2016[7]
Virtual Console (Wii U):
USA April 26, 2013
Europe April 27, 2013
Australia April 28, 2013
Japan July 15, 2013
NES Classic Edition:
Australia November 10, 2016
USA November 11, 2016
Europe November 11, 2016
Nintendo Switch (Arcade Archives):
Japan December 21, 2018
USA December 21, 2018
Europe December 21, 2018
Australia December 21, 2018
Nintendo Entertainment System - Nintendo Switch Online:
Japan May 15, 2019[8]
USA May 15, 2019[9]
Europe May 15, 2019[10]
Australia May 15, 2019[11]
HK May 15, 2019
South Korea May 15, 2019
Genre Retro/Platform
Mode(s) Up to 2 players, alternating turns
Cabinet Standard
Monitor Raster, standard resolution
Wiimote Sideways.png Wii Remote (Sideways)
Wii U:
Wiimote Sideways.png Wii Remote (Sideways)
Nintendo Switch:
Nintendo 3DS:
NES Classic Edition:

Donkey Kong Jr., also spelled Donkey Kong Junior in early arcade releases and home ports, is an arcade game starring Donkey Kong Jr. It is the direct sequel to Donkey Kong, and it and the similar Donkey Kong II, as well as Donkey Kong Circus, are the only games in the Mario franchise where Mario 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, Mario has captured Donkey Kong 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 rescue his father, 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 are 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 version, this is altered to Mario falling to his apparent death.

Story from the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console manual[edit]

Poor Donkey Kong™ has been captured by Mario™ and now finds himself locked up in a cage! It's up to Donkey Kong's son, Junior, to rescue him by snatching the keys to the cage away from Mario. Unfortunately for Junior, Mario won't give up those keys easily, and dangerous snapjaws, nitpickers, and sparks will attack him along the way. Will Junior be able to help his father...? That all depends on you!


DKJ Arcade Stage 1 Screenshot.png

As a direct sequel, Donkey Kong Jr. retains many elements from Donkey Kong, although the two games are significantly different. While the original installment took place in a construction setting, Donkey Kong Jr. takes place in a jungle-like setting, from which Donkey Kong Jr. can climb up vines, drop fruit, or jump from place to place.

In order to free his father, Donkey Kong Junior must collect the key being kept at the end of each level, eventually using those keys to free his father in the end. All the while, however, Mario will sit near the Key as well as Donkey Kong's cage, summoning waves of monsters after Donkey Kong Junior from his position. After Donkey Kong Jr. gains a key, Mario will take Donkey Kong to the next location.


In the Japanese arcade version, the stages follow each other in each other in the same order for every loop.

In the international arcade version, the middle stages are only revealed during the second and third loop with the fourth loop onward matching the Japanese version. The Atari 8-bit computers, ColecoVision, Coleco Adam, and Intellivision ports follow this progression. The Atari 2600 port put the Hideout Scene after the Chain Scene for every loop.

Like its predecessor, this game also has a kill screen on level 22 based on the same integer overflow glitch.


Character Name Debut Information
A sprite of Donkey Kong Jr. Donkey Kong Jr. Vine Scene The son of Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Junior is the titular protagonist of Donkey Kong Jr., who has the ability to climb up vines.
Donkey Kong Donkey Kong Vine Scene Donkey Kong Jr.'s father, held by Mario at the end of every level.
Mario Mario Vine Scene The main antagonist, Mario appears in every level at the end of each stage, throwing obstacles at Donkey Kong Jr. or guarding Donkey Kong.


Enemy Name Debut Information
A blue Snapjaw from Donkey Kong Jr.
A red Snapjaw from Donkey Kong Jr.
Snapjaw Vine Scene Crocodile-like enemies that move after Donkey Kong Junior. Red ones will stay in one particular area, while the blue ones, which are summoned by Mario, will move aimlessly until they reach a vine, where they will continuously move down until they fall off.
Sprite of a Nitpicker from Donkey Kong Jr. Nitpicker Jump Board Scene Vulture-like birds that fly down once in an attempt to ram into Donkey Kong Junior. Some may also drop eggs at random intervals.
Sprite of a Spark from Donkey Kong Jr.
Sprite of a Spark summoned by Mario in Donkey Kong Jr.
Spark Hideout Scene Electrical balls of energy that travel around a set platform. Blue ones, summoned by Mario, will constantly move downwards.
Sprite of a Bird from Donkey Kong Jr. Bird Vine Scene Raven-like Nitpickers that fly down the screen in a zigzag-like pattern in an attempt to ram into Donkey Kong Junior.


Item Name Effect
A banana from Donkey Kong Jr.
A Cherry (I think) from Donkey Kong Jr.
A fruit sprite from Donkey Kong Jr.
Fruit Fruit can be dropped onto enemies directly bellow Donkey Kong Jr., otherwise gaining a point bonus if no enemy is hit.
A blue key from Donkey Kong Jr. Key Keys are guarded by Mario at the end of each stage. It is mandatory for Donkey Kong Junior to grab these items in order to free his father.


Donkey Kong Jr. was re-released in several other forms for different game systems.

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 (with Donkey Kong Jr. only being in the former). 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.
  • Super Mario Kart: Donkey Kong Jr. appears as a playable character in this game.
  • Super Smash Bros. Melee: Donkey Kong Jr. appears as a trophy in the game, and his antagonism towards Mario is referenced in the flavor text for the trophy.
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl: When Diddy Kong, Fox, and Falco arrive at the barge taking the recently-trophified Donkey Kong to the Ancient Island, Donkey Kong's trophy is shown in chains on the arms and legs, referring to Donkey Kong's captive status in the game, particularly at the Chain Scene.
  • Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia: The lightning trap room where the Vol Fulgur glyph is found is similar to the Hideout Scene of Donkey Kong Jr. and was most likely based on that stage.
  • NES Remix and Ultimate NES Remix: Several challenges are based off of this game.
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: Donkey Kong Jr. appears in this game as a spirit. Additionally, a medley of songs named "Donkey Kong / Donkey Kong Jr." is featured.


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).


For a complete list of media for this subject, see List of Donkey Kong Jr. media.


Audio.svg Vine Scene Theme
File infoMedia:DKJ Arcade Stage 1 Theme.oga
Audio.svg Vine Scene Clear Theme
File infoMedia:DKJ Arcade Stage 1 Clear Theme.oga
Help:MediaHaving trouble playing?


Release Reviewer, Publication Score Comment
Wii Damien McFerran, Nintendo Life 4/10 "After all these years, Donkey Kong Jr.'s levels can still be a slight challenge and hold replayability, and hardcore fans will no doubt argue that it's all about setting as high a score as possible, but it's clear that this is a game more suited for those who enjoyed it at the time of its original release in the arcades. The gameplay is far too basic to recommend this wholeheartedly when there are so many better alternatives on the Virtual Console; after watching King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters you might be inspired to give this a whirl, but it won't keep you entertained for very long."
NES Lucas M. Thomas, IGN 5/10 "The son of Kong arrives here in a complete conversion of his arcade debut, but this game's too short of an experience to recommend (never mind that it's already been made available through Animal Crossing and as the packed-in "launch title" for the Game Boy Advance e-Reader just a few years ago.) It's nice to see Junior, but not enough to warrant a purchase on his own."
Wii Alex Navarro, GameSpot 4.9/10 "It was a very fun game for its time, but it hasn't held up very well over the years. The only multiplayer is a two-player, trade-off mode, and as fun as some of the levels can be, with only four to play through, you're over and done with the game before you know it. Apart from DK Jr.'s cute character sprite, the graphics are rather archaic, and the audio isn't all that enjoyable, despite a decently catchy soundtrack. The short length and crusty graphics and sound are to be expected from a perfect port of a game from 1986, but for the $5 that's being charged for it, it's tough to recommend to anyone that didn't count Donkey Kong Jr. among their most favorite of NES games. If you're on a nostalgia hunt, there are far stronger options available on the Virtual Console.'"
Compiler Platform / Score
GameRankings 58.17%


After the fiasco involving Crazy Kong, Nintendo decided not to license production of the arcade version to other companies and not to sell printed circuit boards but only whole machines. A private showing of the game was held on July 28, 1982 before its rollout the following month.[14]

According to The Ultimate History of Video Games: from Pong to Pokemon and beyond...the story behind the craze that touched our lives and changed the world[page number needed], the arcade version of Donkey Kong Jr. sold 30,000 units in North America, half of its predecessor.

Name in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ドンキーコング ジュニア (arcade)
ドンキーコングJR. (Famicom)
ドンキーコングJr. (newer)
Donkī Kongu Junia
Donkey Kong Junior or Donkey Kong Jr.


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 version, had the ending theme played once instead of twice. The four versions to break this rule were the Arcade, 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 a parasol.
  • Coleco's 1983 TV commercial for their console ports featured a live action rendition of Mario as a cartoonish Vaudeville villain.[15]