One of my interests within the interest I have in old computers & gaming consoles is collecting ports of Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Junior. Just something I really enjoy doing. I try to always pick up any released-at-the-time conversions of Donkey Kong available for any system I own. I've therefore played two versions for Commodore, the ColecoVision version, the Coleco ADAM tape version, the NES version, the 2600 version, the Ti-99/4A version, and the Atari 800 version.
Of all of these, I think the Atari 800 and TI-99/4A versions stand out as best, and of course were programmed by Atari. Personally, I think the TI-99/4A version looks the best, but the Atari 800XL version plays a little better.
All of this, however, leads me to my question. As I'm sure you all know, depending on the version, the opening screen can be oriented to the right or left. The arcade of course was to the left. If the conversion you are playing is oriented to the right, it usually has only four levels of girders on the first screen, instead of five.
What I can't understand is: why did Atari program the beautiful looking TI-99/4A version with the arcade "correct" number of 5 girders, oriented to the left, but on the version for their own machine, they used only four girders, oriented to the right? Mario himself also looks more arcade correct in the TI-99/4A version than in the Atari 800XL version. It seems odd to me that the one they made for a competitor's computer wound up looking better than the one they made for their own in-house computer.
I can't imagine anyone has the answer to this, except if it has something to do with screen resolution, but it bugs me.