Donkey Kong is an arcade game released by Nintendo in 1981. The game
is an early example of the platform genre as the gameplay focuses on
maneuvering the main character across a series of platforms while
dodging obstacles. The storyline is thin but well developed for its
time. In it, Mario (originally called Jumpman) must rescue a damsel in
distress from a giant ape named Donkey Kong. The hero and ape would go
on to be two of Nintendo's more popular characters. The game was the
latest of Nintendo's efforts to break into the North American market.
Nintendo's president, Hiroshi Yamauchi, assigned the project to a
first-time game designer named Shigeru Miyamoto. Drawing from a wide
range of inspirations, including Popeye and King Kong, Miyamoto
developed the scenario and designed the game alongside Nintendo's
chief engineer, Gunpei Yokoi. The two men broke new ground by using
graphics as a means of characterization, including cut scenes to
advance the game's plot, and integrating multiple stages into the
gameplay. Despite initial misgivings on the part of Nintendo's
American staff, Donkey Kong proved a tremendous success in both North
America and Japan. Nintendo licensed the game to Coleco, who developed
home console versions for numerous platforms.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Spain, Portugal, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and Italy
became the first countries to replace the Julian calendar with the
Dutch exotic dancer Mata Hari was executed by a firing squad for
spying for Germany.
The Great Storm of 1987 hit France and England, killing at least 23
Playing for the Los Angeles Kings against his old team, the Edmonton
Oilers, Canadian professional ice hockey player Wayne Gretzky broke
Gordie Howe's National Hockey League record of 1,850 career points.
Chinese space program: Shenzhou 5, China's first manned space
mission was launched, carrying astronaut Yang Liwei.
Wiktionary's Word of the day:
octothorpe: A name for the hash or pound sign (#), used mainly in
telephony and computing.
Wikiquote of the day:
Without art we would be nothing but foreground and live entirely in
the spell of that perspective which makes what is closest at hand and
most vulgar appear as if it were vast, and reality itself. --