Donkey Kong Wiki
For the character Donkey Kong Jr., see Donkey Kong Jr.
Donkey Kong Jr.
Donkey Kong Jr Arcade Flyer
Promotional North American arcade flyer for the game Donkey Kong Jr.
Developer(s) Nintendo R&D1[1] & Iwasaki Engineering (Arcade),
Nintendo R&D2[2] (Famicom/NES)
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Main Development Staff Director:
Shigeru Miyamoto

Gunpei Yokoi[3]

H. Hoshino
Kenji Nishizawa
Masao Yamamoto
Masayoshi Oka

Shigeru Miyamoto
Yoshio Sakamoto[4]

Yukio Kaneoka

Sound Effects:
Hirokazu Tanaka[5]
Platform(s) Arcade,
Family Computer/Nintendo Entertainment System,
Famicom Disk System[6],
Atari 2600[7],
Atari 7800[8],
Atari XE Game System[9],
Game & Watch[12],
Game Boy Advance,
Nintendo Wii,
Nintendo 3DS,
Nintendo Wii U
Release Date(s) Arcade
Japan August 1982
USA 1982
Europe 1982

Japan July 15, 1983
USA June 1986
Europe June 15, 1987

Nintendo Wii Virtual Console (Famicom/NES version)
Japan December 2, 2006
USA December 4, 2006
Europe December 22, 2006

Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console (Famicom/NES version)
Japan April 18, 2012
USA June 14, 2012
Europe August 23, 2012

Nintendo Wii U Virtual Console (Famicom/NES version)
USA April 26, 2013
Europe April 27, 2013
Japan July 15, 2013
Genre(s) Platformer
Ratings N/A
Mode(s) Single player,
Media(s) Arcade Board,
Famicom/NES ROM Cartridge[13]
Input(s) Arcade Controller,
Famicom/NES Controller

Donkey Kong Jr. (ドンキーコングJR., Donkī Kongu JR. in Japan), or Donkey Kong Junior (ドンキーコング ジュニア, Donkī Kongu Junia in Japan), is a platformer game developed by Nintendo R&D1[1] and Iwasaki Engineering, and released by Nintendo in 1982 for Arcade machines. Over the course of the 1980s, it was later released for a variety of platforms and home console systems, most notably the Family Computer/Nintendo Entertainment System. Its eponymous star, Donkey Kong Jr. (also called Junior or DK Jr.), is trying to rescue his father Donkey Kong Sr., who has been imprisoned. Donkey Kong's cage is guarded by Mario, in his only appearance as an antagonist in a video game. This game is the sequel to the original Donkey Kong game, which featured Mario as the protagonist and Junior's father as the antagonist.


Mario, known beforehand as Jumpman, has incarcerated Donkey Kong after capturing him in the previous game. Donkey Kong Jr. must save his father from Mario by putting the key or keys in the stage into all of the locks. Mario attempts to stop DK Jr. by releasing the many animals he controls to knock DK Jr. off the vines and platforms. DK Jr. defeats Mario if the player completes the fourth stage by putting all six keys in their locks, making the floor disappear. DK Jr. catches Donkey Kong while Mario falls onto the ground. Mario makes an attempt to chase after Donkey Kong Sr., but DK Sr. kicks Mario into the air. Mario then retreats.

Like in Donkey Kong, if the player completes the final stage, Donkey Kong Jr. restarts at the first stage with a higher level of difficulty.


The player controls Donkey Kong Jr. and has to rescue Donkey Kong Sr. from Mario, who had captured him. Like its predecessor, Donkey Kong Jr. is an arcade-style platform game. There are a total of four levels, each with a somewhat different theme. DK Jr. can move and jump for the most part, but can also climb up vines. Enemies include "Snapjaws", which resemble bear traps with eyes, and bird-like creatures called "Nitpickers" that Mario releases to thwart DK Jr.

If the player touches one of these enemies or falls too far, an extra life is lost. Enemies can be defeated by dropping fruit onto them. At the top of every stage is Mario and Donkey Kong, and when Donkey Kong Jr. reaches the top, he chases Mario to the next stage.

The game is split in four levels.

  • The first level is simple. Donkey Kong Jr. must climb up vines to get to the top while avoiding bear traps.
  • In the second level, DK Jr. must get to the top by jumping on platforms and climbing across chains. DK Jr. must avoid getting hit by birds.
  • The third level is much harder. DK Jr. must climb up an odd platform while avoiding fast moving germ-like monsters.
  • In the last level, DK Jr. must throw all the keys into the spaces at the top platform while avoiding birds.

If the player beats the fourth level, a cutscene is shown of the floor disappearing and the three fall to the ground. Donkey Kong Jr. catches DK Sr. and Mario falls, hits the ground and dies (only in the Famicom/NES version due to technical limitations; in the original arcade version the true ending is Mario getting back up, attempting to chase after the escaped DK Sr. and the middle aged Kong merely kicks him away.

Once the four levels are completed, the player restarts the game with increased difficulty and his or her points and lives retained. Up to two players can play the game alternately.


The game Donkey Kong Jr. is regarded as one of the Top 100 Video Games by the Killer List of Videogames[14]. Donkey Kong Junior was selected to be among five arcade games chosen for history's first official video game world championship, which was filmed at Twin Galaxies in Ottumwa, Iowa by ABC-TV's That's Incredible![15] over the weekend of January 8-9, 1983. The game later spawned a cereal which featured fruit-flavored cereal pieces shaped like bananas and cherries. Donkey Kong Jr. is shown on the box wearing a red shirt with a big yellow J printed on the front.

Competitive Play[]

For more than twenty years, the Donkey Kong Jr. world record had been held by noted gamer Billy Mitchell[16], who had achieved 957,300 points in 1983. On August 10, 2008, Mitchell's benchmark score was eclipsed by Icarus Hall of Port Angeles, Washington, who scored 1,033,000 points. On April 24, 2009, Steve Wiebe[17] eclipsed Hall's score, finishing with 1,139,800 points.


Home Console Ports[]

Like most arcade games of the same era, the game Donkey Kong Jr. was ported to many home systems, including the video game consoles Nintendo Entertainment System, Famicom Disk System[6], Atari 2600[7], Atari 7800[8], Atari XE Game System[9], ColecoVision[10] and Intellivision[11]. A Game & Watch[12] version of the game was also made. The Family Computer version of Donkey Kong Jr. was one of the three launch titles for the console system in Japan.

Donkey Kong Jr. + Jr. Sansū Lesson[]

In Japan, the game Donkey Kong Jr. was re-released, alongside an earlier version of Donkey Kong Jr. Math, on a compilation called Donkey Kong Jr. + Jr. Sansū Lesson exclusively for the Sharp C1 Famicom TV[18]. However, this game version is missing content, such as stages, cutscenes and difficulty modes.

Donkey Kong Classics[]

Donkey Kong Jr., along with the original Donkey Kong game, was also re–released in 1988 on a Famicom/NES compilation titled Donkey Kong Classics.

Animal Crossing[]

The Famicom/NES version of Donkey Kong Jr. is also playable in the game Animal Crossing for Nintendo GameCube as an interactive item. This game, alongside Donkey Kong 3, could be received as Nintendo Giveaways.

However, it is also possible to acquire the item by inputting a special code in the game. In the North American version of Animal Crossing, the player must visit the Tom Nook's store, talk to Tom Nook, pick the options "Other things" and "Say code", and input "#ibXotLLPt#&Xq fkvo3OSEo3xAtd". After some in-game days, the player will receive a letter from Tom Nook. A present will be attached to the letter, containing the item of Donkey Kong Jr. The game can be played by the player putting down the item on the ground and interacting with it.


The Famicom/NES version of the game Donkey Kong Jr. was released as a card for the e-Reader[19] device for the Game Boy Advance in North America on September 16, 2002.

Nintendo eShop[]

Donkey Kong Jr. was released for the Nintendo 3DS via the Nintendo eShop[20] in Japan on April 18, 2012, in North America on June 14, 2012 and in Europe on August 23, 2012. Despite the Nintendo eShop being discontinued in some regions of the world on July 31, 2020, the game is still available in North America, Japan, Europe and Australia.

Virtual Console[]

The Famicom/NES version of the game Donkey Kong Jr. was released on the Virtual Console for Nintendo Wii in Japan on December 2, 2006, in North America on December 4, 2006, and in Europe on December 22, 2006. However, the Virtual Console was discontinued on the Wii in January 2019.

The same game version was released on the Virtual Console for Nintendo 3DS in Japan on April 18, 2012, in North America on June 14, 2012, and in Europe on August 23, 2012. Later, the game was also available for Nintendo Wii U via the Virtual Console in North America on April 26, 2013, in Europe on April 27, 2013, and in Japan on July 15, 2013.



To hear the soundtrack for Donkey Kong Jr., see Donkey Kong Jr. (game)/Soundtrack.


  • Donkey Kong Jr. was also a cartoon on Saturday Supercade[21], a cartoon series that aired on Saturday mornings from 1983-1985. The Donkey Kong Junior segment is composed by thirteen episodes first airing in 1983. The plot had Donkey Kong Jr. looking for his dad Donkey Kong Sr. who is on the run from Mario and Pauline. In the English version of the segment, Donkey Kong Jr. was voiced by Frank Welker[22].
  • In the episode "Simon the Ape-Man" from the first season of the Captain N: The Game Master[23] animated series, Simon Belmont got hit on the head, and thought he was Donkey Kong Jr. During the period of amnesia, Simon is also adopted by Donkey Kong Sr.
  • In both versions of the game Super Mario Bros. 3 available in the Super Mario All-Stars collection for Super Nintendo Entertainment System and released as the game Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 for GBA, the king of fourth world, Giant Land, was transformed into a gorilla similar to Donkey Kong Jr., even wearing the "J" leotard to match.
  • In the game WarioWare: Twisted! for GBA, one of the 9-Volt's microgames is called "Donkey Kong Jr."[24]. During the minigame, Donkey Kong Jr. must climb two chains to push two keys into their locks, while also avoiding enemies, in order to free his father, Donkey Kong Sr.
  • In the game WarioWare Gold for Nintendo 3DS, one of the 18-Volt's microgames is also called "Donkey Kong Jr."[25]. The objective of the player during the minigame is to make Donkey Kong Jr. to climb vines, while avoiding enemies, and collect items. Later, the primate must put two keys into locks, releasing Donkey Kong Sr.

External Links[]