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What is the best home port of Donkey Kong?

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I would disqualify 1. all unofficial ports or knockoffs. sorry coco owners, sorry homebrew fans. 2. any post-NES releases. It's not fair to compare a vintage version of Donkey Kong with the game running on DK64.

 

Now, what's the best version? Both C64 versions are very good IMO (if you play the Atarisoft version, make sure to run it in NTSC, else the game will run too slow and the pixels will be too fat) The Atari 8-bit version is good as well, but doesn't have as nice graphics. The TI 99/4A version has nice level graphics, but DK doesn't look as good and Mario only has 2 colors. The Apple II game has very crude graphics. Looks more like a knock-off game than a legitimate DK title to me. The VIC-20 game has the blockiest graphics of any version I mentioned yet, but it can be forgiven given its relative primitive hardware. I haven't played any of those last three versions, so I can't really judge them on their gameplay, but they all (to my knowledge) have the Pie Factory screen.

 

Now onto the consoles. I would give the NES version the top spot. Between the Atari 7800 and Coleco version, I'd say the 7800 version has nicer colors, and at the right aspect ratio the graphics in general are better as well. The Coleco version does however have the advantage when it comes to sound, given that the 7800 is stuck with the TIA as sound chip. None of these three have the Pie Factory level (no, I don't count the NES version with Pie Factory since that wasn't released until 2010 I think pre-installed on certain versions of the Wii)

 

The Atari 2600 version has a blocky, more or less unrecognizable version of DK, at least Pauline and Mario are rendered well enough. There are only two stages, and in the latter stage the fireballs are limited to horizontal movement. I do find this to be an acceptable port, given the system's limitations.

 

However, the Intellivision version doesn't get off as easy. Pauline is now drawn a single color, the same as the stage. Mario is gone, replaced with a faceless guy dressed in light blue. DK himself is a single color and poorly defined. The barrels and fireballs at least look ok, and unlike the 2600 version, the fireballs on the second stage can move up and down ladders. I consider this to be the worst version.

 

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Based on that video of Ocean's C64 DK, gameplay is a little screwy in this version. Mario falls & doesn't die, for example. THe Amstrad one is pretty awesome looking.

That and he was also touched by fire several times. Seems a cheat was enabled or the version isnt true.

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My version!

The best port is Byte Knight and my port to the 2600 (because it shouldn't be this fun on a system designed 5 years before the arcade game came out):

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/216037-dk-arcade-2600-new-4-level-demo/?p=2818302

 

I've been itching' to post that here.

I think the new 7800 XM version is as close to arcade accurate yet, but I haven't played it enough to say for sure because it needs the XM to ship to have sound. But when you hear they added the points for jumping at Kong's foot, and the same odds table for a barrel to choose to come down a ladder, you know gameplay is probably super-accurate.

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I think the new 7800 XM version is as close to arcade accurate yet, but I haven't played it enough to say for sure because it needs the XM to ship to have sound. But when you hear they added the points for jumping at Kong's foot, and the same odds table for a barrel to choose to come down a ladder, you know gameplay is probably super-accurate.

 

:thumbsup: :)

 

 

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My favorite of the early 80's versions is the Vic-20 version.

 

This is incredible considering the limitations of the VIC-20 hardware.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You might have been playing a cart I sold her then. She bought a bunch of A8 dupes of mine several years ago. And yes, it is my favorite version from that era too. Extremely well done port.

That's great. AtariAge circle of life! :D

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I think the new 7800 XM version is as close to arcade accurate yet, but I haven't played it enough to say for sure because it needs the XM to ship to have sound. But when you hear they added the points for jumping at Kong's foot, and the same odds table for a barrel to choose to come down a ladder, you know gameplay is probably super-accurate.

I strived to make it as accurate as possible. Even including details like firefoxes #2 and #4 randomly pausing at the top of ladders. But there are definitely area's where I deviated from the arcade. It got to a point where I just wanted to finish it. I think it turned out good enough.

 

The big advantage I had was access to a meticulously documented arcade disassembly, courtesy of Don Hodges. I couldn't have done this without his help.

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I strived to make it as accurate as possible. Even including details like firefoxes #2 and #4 randomly pausing at the top of ladders. But there are definitely area's where I deviated from the arcade. It got to a point where I just wanted to finish it. I think it turned out good enough.

 

The big advantage I had was access to a meticulously documented arcade disassembly, courtesy of Don Hodges. I couldn't have done this without his help.

 

 

Perry, you're too modest ;) :

 

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/204250-donkey-kong-xm-pre-order-and-demo/?p=2795684

 

 

For example, take a look at the Donkey Kong 64 version (official version on powerful hardware) and you will notice several differences compared to the Arcade version.

 

The 7800 XM version is very very close to the Arcade!!

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Perry, you're too modest ;) :

 

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/204250-donkey-kong-xm-pre-order-and-demo/?p=2795684

 

 

For example, take a look at the Donkey Kong 64 version (official version on powerful hardware) and you will notice several differences compared to the Arcade version.

 

The 7800 XM version is very very close to the Arcade!!

I saw Perry's post stating "I think it turned out good enough." and was about to reply back..."Don't make me post the list again, Perry" - Glad Marco linked to it instead...lol.

 

Perry's humility, while endearing, is grossly understating how close it is to the Arcade. As posted in the link Marco provided above, I am not joking when I tell you that is the short list.

 

We have dozens upon dozens of pages of discussion and meticulous taking apart of the Arcade and 7800 ports. Let me not forget mentioning the work Marco did respecting improving the graphics, the man has it down to an exact science. I'm talking as perfectly accurate and ratio proportioned precise as possible. No stone was left unturned.

 

I was beyond humbled and appreciative when working (Read 'testing and providing my layman input') with both these outstanding individuals, and while I would welcome a Donkey Kong Arcade Edition to get released for the ColecoVision, or even better for someone to take 'Donkey Kong Pie Foundry' on the NES and add the remaining missing aspects of the Arcade and correct all the issues, as it stands right now, Perry's Donkey Kong remake on the 7800 is hands-down the best 'home' version available.

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I wouldn't say that either.. :) I mean on the pie-level alone the fireball comes out the OPPOSITE half of the screen where you're standing which is immediately different from the arcade (and thus your strategy for that stage has to change). But of course that's pretty minor. It's still the version I 100% wish we would have gotten back in the early NES days when it was still somewhat of an exciting thing to finally get a proper Donkey Kong in our home video games. :)

 

Oh and also it only has one victory song when you kill DK. :lol:

Unfortunately (and sadly) Donkey Kong Pie Foundry (aka Original Edition) is missing a lot more than the above, which really should not be the case.

 

Ramp Screen:

1. Kong does not throw blue barrels (Those are the barrels that become fire critters)

2. First barrel always drops directly down.

3. Hammer placement is wrong.

4. The same limitation as the original NES Donkey Kong - The fire critters never go higher than the second platform due to the missing code which allows hammers to smash them (Hence, the reason for number 3).

 

Pie/Cement Factory:

[besides the aforementioned wrong entrance of the fire critters]

1. Kong doesn't move from left to right.

2. Bonus item placement is wrong.

3. Fire Criter numbers do not match level increase - Even at level 3 there are still only two on the board. :?

 

Rivets:

1. No 100 bonus for jumping near Kong's foot.

2. Bonus items are laid out incorrectly.

3. Wrong crash animation when Kong is upside down - Mario and Pauline spaced too far apart.

4. Fire Critters too slow and too 'dumb'.

 

Elevator Screen:

1. Spring behavior is completely wrong. It also only does the same one pattern.

2. Elevators move way too slowly.

3. Fire critters too slow

4. Able to always reach the highest adjacent platform from the right-most elevator.

5. Can reach and climb the ladder to Pauline on higher levels from top of ladder entry point of platform, when that should only be attainable from starting over from the top of the right-most elevator on the platform and timed correctly movement on higher levels.

 

On none of the levels does Pauline cry out for "HELP!" - I mean come on, how hard would that have been to add? :P

 

You're also forced to play Japanese board order. The US board order cannot be selected. Other 'lazy' things like the hammer animation missing the "smash" down extra graphics really did not have to be the case.

 

Overall the entire game is too easy (Game "A" or "B"), it starts way too easy and the difficulty only revs up somewhat. It never comes near the challenge of the Arcade.

 

The above is not all-inclusive of the issues, but the most disturbing aspect is the gameplay being off in several places coupled with the easy "challenge". Each board has at least one if not several key areas that are wrong or off respecting gameplay, IMHO - significantly.

 

Its actual difficulty sort of compares to playing 2600 Ms. Pac-Man 'Teddy Bear' modes. The game starts with a One Teddy Bear setting, and overall difficulty ramps up to somewhere between 2 and 3 Teddy Bears (It could be argued that Pie Foundry edition does reach 3 Teddy Bears), but never the complete 4 ghost monster challenge. :(

 

Does it have nice looking resolution? Sure. But so does the original NES DK - They're both stretched too much horizontally though (Which adds to the easier factor). Additionally, better colors could have been selected in some places and given it does have the resolution to handle the Arcade boards more appropriately, it really should have had an upgrade to level layouts on top of ramping up the difficulty to match the Arcade - Or at least make it closer, as well as choosing between US or Japan board order.

 

It's a shame too, I still love owing the cart, but just throwing in the pie factory (And miss executing two major key gameplay elements correctly for that level), does not make up for all the issues - especially gameplay related ones - that should have been improved upon to better match, if not mimic exact, the Arcade.

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I saw Perry's post stating "I think it turned out good enough." and was about to reply back..."Don't make me post the list again, Perry" - Glad Marco linked to it instead...lol.

 

Perry's humility, while endearing, is grossly understating how close it is to the Arcade. As posted in the link Marco provided above, I am not joking when I tell you that is the short list.

 

We have dozens upon dozens of pages of discussion and meticulous taking apart of the Arcade and 7800 ports. Let me not forget mentioning the work Marco did respecting improving the graphics, the man has it down to an exact science. I'm talking as perfectly accurate and ratio proportioned precise as possible. No stone was left unturned.

 

I was beyond humbled and appreciative when working (Read 'testing and providing my layman input') with both these outstanding individuals, and while I would welcome a Donkey Kong Arcade Edition to get released for the ColecoVision, or even better for someone to take 'Donkey Kong Pie Foundry' on the NES and add the remaining missing aspects of the Arcade and correct all the issues, as it stands right now, Perry's Donkey Kong remake on the 7800 is hands-down the best 'home' version available.

Thanks for the kind words Trebor. :) The details I left out are pretty minor, so overall I think it's a very accurate port. But I have a hard time forgetting about them because I'm so familiar with the details of the arcade machine. I won't worry about it though because they won't be noticed by many.

 

My biggest concern has actually been that people might find it too difficult. I did add a "novice" setting, but I think that is still more difficult than the NES version. ;)

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Ironically I just read an article about the different versions of Donkey Kong in Retro Gamer magazine the other night.

Interesting stuff. Really helped Nintendo get things going.

 

Anyone see "King of Kong: A fistful of quarters"?

 

Storyline

In the early 1980s, legendary Billy Mitchell set a Donkey Kong record that stood for almost 25 years. This documentary follows the assault on the record by Steve Wiebe, an earnest teacher from Washington who took up the game while unemployed. The top scores are monitored by a cadre of players and fans associated with Walter Day, an Iowan who runs Funspot, an annual tournament. Wiebe breaks Mitchell's record in public at Funspot, and Mitchell promptly mails a controversial video tape of himself setting a new record. So Wiebe travels to Florida hoping Mitchell will face him for the 2007 Guinness World Records. Will the mind-game-playing Mitchell engage; who will end up holding the record?

 

I caught it on TV a long time ago. Was interesting enough to watch.

 

 

Edited by Wyluli Wolf
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I was beyond humbled and appreciative when working (Read 'testing and providing my layman input') with both these ...

 

To get an idea about "providing my layman input", read:

 

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/211946-what-is-the-best-home-port-of-donkey-kong/?p=2948054

;)

 

Again, a special thanks to Trebor for his tremendous help with the testing and for the many valuable analysis and suggestions.

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My biggest concern has actually been that people might find it too difficult. I did add a "novice" setting, but I think that is still more difficult than the NES version. ;)

 

Perry,

not discourage me, one day I will reach the kill screen on my 7800! :)

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My biggest concern has actually been that people might find it too difficult. I did add a "novice" setting, but I think that is still more difficult than the NES version. ;)

 

Original Donkey Kong on the 7800 has the comparable difficulty level settings of the NES version(s)...And many of the same flaws...

That's if it still can 'be stomached' after playing your remake...lol. :-D

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I have DK for the various systems

 

1- CV

2-2600, 7800, 400

3-Coleco DK Intellivision, (THE BAD ONE) I also have DK AND D2K from ELEKTRONITE which are just unbelievably well done ports!

 

I actually find 2600 DK quite good, since it's the 1st DK I ever owned, very charming game it is indeed. I find 400 (8-bit) DK to be quite impressive, Mario on steroids! :lolblue: man is he FAST in this version. I would have to say for me, ELEKTRONITE DK'S are the absolute BEST, especially D2K!!!!! :thumbsup: ;)

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Not sure of the best version but my favourite official port is the Vic 20 version. It's chunky and a little slow but it holds its own and it's the version I know best. :)

 

For me, a more intersting question would be what is the best clone with 'improvements' and extra features...

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Unfortunately (and sadly) Donkey Kong Pie Foundry (aka Original Edition) is missing a lot more than the above, which really should not be the case.

 

Ramp Screen:

1. Kong does not throw blue barrels (Those are the barrels that become fire critters)

2. First barrel always drops directly down.

3. Hammer placement is wrong.

4. The same limitation as the original NES Donkey Kong - The fire critters never go higher than the second platform due to the missing code which allows hammers to smash them (Hence, the reason for number 3).

 

Pie/Cement Factory:

[besides the aforementioned wrong entrance of the fire critters]

1. Kong doesn't move from left to right.

2. Bonus item placement is wrong.

3. Fire Criter numbers do not match level increase - Even at level 3 there are still only two on the board. :?

 

Rivets:

1. No 100 bonus for jumping near Kong's foot.

2. Bonus items are laid out incorrectly.

3. Wrong crash animation when Kong is upside down - Mario and Pauline spaced too far apart.

4. Fire Critters too slow and too 'dumb'.

 

Elevator Screen:

1. Spring behavior is completely wrong. It also only does the same one pattern.

2. Elevators move way too slowly.

3. Fire critters too slow

4. Able to always reach the highest adjacent platform from the right-most elevator.

5. Can reach and climb the ladder to Pauline on higher levels from top of ladder entry point of platform, when that should only be attainable from starting over from the top of the right-most elevator on the platform and timed correctly movement on higher levels.

 

On none of the levels does Pauline cry out for "HELP!" - I mean come on, how hard would that have been to add? :P

 

You're also forced to play Japanese board order. The US board order cannot be selected. Other 'lazy' things like the hammer animation missing the "smash" down extra graphics really did not have to be the case.

 

Overall the entire game is too easy (Game "A" or "B"), it starts way too easy and the difficulty only revs up somewhat. It never comes near the challenge of the Arcade.

 

The above is not all-inclusive of the issues, but the most disturbing aspect is the gameplay being off in several places coupled with the easy "challenge". Each board has at least one if not several key areas that are wrong or off respecting gameplay, IMHO - significantly.

 

Its actual difficulty sort of compares to playing 2600 Ms. Pac-Man 'Teddy Bear' modes. The game starts with a One Teddy Bear setting, and overall difficulty ramps up to somewhere between 2 and 3 Teddy Bears (It could be argued that Pie Foundry edition does reach 3 Teddy Bears), but never the complete 4 ghost monster challenge. :(

 

Does it have nice looking resolution? Sure. But so does the original NES DK - They're both stretched too much horizontally though (Which adds to the easier factor). Additionally, better colors could have been selected in some places and given it does have the resolution to handle the Arcade boards more appropriately, it really should have had an upgrade to level layouts on top of ramping up the difficulty to match the Arcade - Or at least make it closer, as well as choosing between US or Japan board order.

 

It's a shame too, I still love owing the cart, but just throwing in the pie factory (And miss executing two major key gameplay elements correctly for that level), does not make up for all the issues - especially gameplay related ones - that should have been improved upon to better match, if not mimic exact, the Arcade.

This post is just beautiful. I play the Arcade DK every time I order a pizza at a local shop and every little thing wrong with every port was nailed in this post. The internet is a better place because of it.

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A lot of people seem to judge Donkey Kong versions by how fun they are to play rather than how accurate they are vs the arcade version.
I also notice that some people refer to their "favorite" and others "disqualify" newer versions.

The big problem I have with using fun as a key measure of which is best is that a game can be very different from the arcade game and still be fun.

I'm not sure "What is the best home port" implies favorite but then it's a bit open ended. Best how? Favorite seems to mean whatever version someone grew up with though and I'm not sure it's a good measure of which is best.

Frankly, the only reason I see to "disqualify" versions is so you can justify naming your computer/console's version as best.

If we are going to start disqualifying versions we should also disqualify versions that lack arcade features. Anyone that looks at that laundry list of features that are wrong with or missing from just one version should see there would only be a couple versions that wouldn't be eliminated if you start doing that. Most ports are Donkey Kong in name only if you are really picky.

I have a hunch not everyone spent enough time playing the actual arcade machine to learn all those little details that many, if not most, versions are lacking.

You had to spend a lot of quarters or learn a lot of tricks from someone that knew the game well.

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A lot of people seem to judge Donkey Kong versions by how fun they are to play rather than how accurate they are vs the arcade version.

 

Because judging a ****GAME***** by how fun it is to play is wrong because...

 

 

 

If we are going to start disqualifying versions we should also disqualify versions that lack arcade features.

 

 

If a game was officially licensed and legally sold as Donkey Kong then it is a legitimate version of Donkey Kong, even if there is something lacking when compared to the arcade. An officially licensed, legal, and legitimate version of Donkey Kong should *not* be disqualified no matter how crappy it is.

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My view of home ports was shaped back when it was expected that they wouldn't be arcade-perfect. So, arcade-perfection isn't important to me. I can always fire up MAME if I want that. What I look for is what the home ports provided that the arcade games didn't: difficulty levels, game variations, and, ideally, an amped up level of fun since they're not made to gobble quarters.

 

Just my .02.

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