Donkey Kong Wiki
Donkey Kong Wiki
For the character Donkey Kong Jr., see Donkey Kong Jr.
Donkey Kong Jr.
Donkey Kong Jr Arcade Flyer.jpg
Promotional North American arcade flyer for the game Donkey Kong Jr.
Developer(s): Nintendo
Publisher(s): Nintendo
Platform(s): Arcade, Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo Wii
Release Date: Arcade
Japan August 1982
USA 1982
Europe 1982
Japan July 15, 1983
USA June 1986
Europe June 15, 1987
Genre Platformer
Ratings N/A
Mode(s) Single player
Media Arcade Board, NES ROM Cartridge[1]
Input Arcade Controller, NES Controller

Donkey Kong Jr. is a 1982 arcade-style platform game by Nintendo. It first appeared in arcades, and was later released for a variety of platforms, most notably the Nintendo Entertainment System. Over the course of the 1980s, it was also released for various console systems, with the form of the title as Donkey Kong Junior in most versions. 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 Donkey Kong, 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, a 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.

If the player beats the fourth level, a cut scene 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 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 is split in to 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.


The Donkey Kong Junior arcade game and NES version is regarded as one of the Top 100 Video Games by the Killer List of Videogames[2]. 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![3] 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, 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 eclipsed Hall's score, finishing with 1,139,800 points.


Like most arcade games of this era, this game was ported to many home systems, including the video game consoles NES, Famicom Disk System[4], Atari 2600[5], Atari 7800[6], Atari XE Game System[7], ColecoVision[8] and Intellivision[9]. A Game & Watch[10] version of the game was also made. The NES version was one of the three launch titles for the system in Japan. This game, along with the original Donkey Kong, was re–released in 1988 in an NES compilation titled Donkey Kong Classics. The NES version of the game was later released on the e-Reader and is now available on the Virtual Console for the Nintendo Wii. The NES version was also a playable game on Animal Crossing for Nintendo GameCube, but required a special password from the official website which is now no longer available.

In Other Media

Donkey Kong Jr. was also a cartoon on Saturday Supercade[11], a cartoon series that aired on Saturday mornings from 1983-1985. The plot had Donkey Kong Jr. looking for his dad Donkey Kong Sr. who is on the run from Mario and Pauline.

In an episode of Captain N: The Game Master[12], Simon Belmont got hit on the head and thought he was Donkey Kong Jr.

In the All-Stars collection and Game Boy Advance versions of Super Mario Bros. 3, 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 Game Boy Advance, one of the 9-Volt's microgames is called "Donkey Kong Jr."[13]. 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."[14]. 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