Back in the day when arcades and corner markets were after school hangouts, one could expect to hear the “whacka-whacka” sounds of Pac-Man, the lasers firing up in Defender and the crackling, shooting sound of Centipede. There weren’t any life-like PCM samples or 3D graphics. That was much of the charm of video
games of the past; they were unique to themselves. They had characters who only lived in that world. These games generated sounds that did not exist previously. Donkey Kong, by Nintendo, was one of those games. It had the unique, cutesy sounds necessary for a good game. However, not only did it have the sounds, it also had the cute on-screen characters. In fact, a couple of the characters were to be much more. They became mascots that have stood the test of time.
Back in 1981, Nintendo released Donkey Kong (the mistranslation of “Stubborn Monkey” in Japanese.) It was the brainchild of Shigeru Miyamoto. Mario, originally labeled “Jumpman”, was said to have been modeled after Shigeru’s landlord. He didn’t actually become officially labeled as Mario until 1982, when he became the bad guy, capturing Donkey Kong in Donkey Kong Jr. Later on, Mario would star with his brother, Luigi (not “Loogy” for my Jr. High peers of the time), in Mario Bros. He then went on to star in the Super Mario series. Donkey Kong himself continued on as well, starring with all his friends in the Donkey Kong Country series of games.
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