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1981 – Our First Glimpse of Mario

The first time we met Mario, he appeared in the game Donkey Kong. Donkey Kong was Nintendo’s first big hit in North America. Back when the game was released, Mario was known as Jumpman, 35 years on there have been many huge games focused on Mario.

Donkey Kong was one of the earliest and the best examples of the platform game genre. Donkey Kong was also one of the first games to have a story to it. The story in the game was that Donkey Kong had kidnapped Lady and taken her to a construction site. It was Jumpman’s job to climb up the different platforms in the construction site and save her.


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Donkey Kong was originally released as an arcade machine which was one of the best-selling arcade machines of all time. The game was later released onto Nintendo’s first console, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).

Since Donkey Kong was released, the success has helped the game to become a massive pop-culture icon. The game even inspired a phrase, “It’s on like Donkey Kong” which has been commonly used by millions of people over the years.

Donkey Kong is the ninth highest-grossing video game of all time making over $1.5 billion without inflation which is equivalent to almost $4.5 billion as of 2016.

Donkey Kong made a huge impact for Nintendo as it gave them the character that would give them their biggest selling franchise, Mario. Donkey Kong is not only a big game in Nintendo’s history, it changed video gaming forever.

Categories:   Retro