Those sick bastards named a gorilla “donkey”. – Jacob Mauceri
It has been a short forty years since we were first exposed to gaming’s most popular gorilla, Donkey Kong. Who doesn’t know the banana-crazed primate? They have most definitely done everything from throwing barrels to punching crocodiles. There is nothing this gorilla *hasn’t* done. To celebrate such a beloved legacy let’s wind it all back to the beginning.
In 1981, Donkey Kong was released into the world by the Japanese-based company, Nintendo. A stark allegory on the insatiable hunger of the capitalist machine through poaching, Donkey Kong must use his resources, in this case barrels, to avoid the evil capitalist Jumpman. Jumpman representing the American “man” looking to destroy the will and spirit of the lower/middle class. The Lady is representative of the attainment of “traditional American values” at the cost of the disenfranchised. Donkey Kong must try his best to not be defeated and instill a sense of hope for those seeking a better life. Sadly, the cynical nature of the developers puts you in Jumpman’s shoes, so you squash any attempt for a better life for those who are not in power. Weirdly enough, this game is one of the first anti-hero entertainment products (move over Breaking Bad).
To discuss Donkey Kong and his 40-year legacy; Full Circle went out and conducted interviews with those individuals who know the ape the best.
Full Circle: We weren’t sure if we’d be able to get you for an interview! From all of us at Full Circle; we appreciate your time. We also understand that you wish to remain anonymous so we’ll do our best to avoid asking any revealing questions. We’re currently on location for your next game, Super [REDACTED] Galaxy 3, how’s it coming along?
[REDACTED]: It’s-a going well! We plan to push-a da envelope and really expand on what our Mushroom Kingdom galaxy look-a like. We have plenty of surprises in store so I don’t want to give too much away!
FC: That’s very exciting! You’ve obviously worked with Donkey Kong for a number of years on a multitude of projects. What’s it been like to see him grow into his own franchise and help build the “Nintendo” brand that you’ve been spearheading for decades?
[REDACTED]: His own franchise? I-a guess you could call it-a that. He’s essentially just a cheap rip-off of what we’ve been doing for years. Oh you’re-a fighting a giant reptilian with a King Complex? How original.
FC: Well, it’s not totally the same. His games take place in th…..
[REDACTED]: IN THE F%^CKING JUNGLE. You-a don’t have to say it. I’ve been in enough boardroom arguments that I-a know what sets him “apart” from us. It’s-a fine. You’re right; his success only helps-a the Nintendo brand. He’s not that-a bad of a guy. I hear he’s three and a half years sober. Can I ask what this is-a for?
FC: Oh, sorry I thought your Manager told you. We’re doing a 40-year retrospective on DK and re-visiting his accomplishments.
[REDACTED]: You had better-a be pulling my Chain Chomp! I was LITERALLY the star of that first game! HE WAS-A THE VILLAIN! You’re-a celebrating his success when he’s been riding off-a my coattails for the last 40 years?! That hairy gabbagool wouldn’t know success if it bit him in his Mamma Mia!!
Despite the naysayers, Donkey Kong was a commercial and critical success. Everyone loved the game, and was clamouring for more. Alas, the point of the game did not dawn on the great people in 1981. In turn we got games such as Donkey Kong Jr and Donkey Kong 3. The public was subjugated to games that never paralleled to the immense genius that we got in the first game.
Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Junior were on fire. From leading the Academy Awards to dating beauties such as Gossamer and Joan Rivers, there was no stopping them. While they were riding high though, trouble seemed to have torn their relationship, peel after peel…
FC: It’s an honor to sit down with you, Junior. Do you mind being called that? I’m sure you haven’t been called that in a while.
Donkey Kong Jr: Go for it.
FC: You’ve found quite a bit of success outside of Nintendo. We’ve been hearing about your Detroit-based sports bar for a while but it’s surreal sitting in “Kong’s Pad Tai & Thongs.” What’s this career change been like?
DKJ: It’s been good. Considering I was raised with no vocational skills other than grabbing keys to unlock cages. I think I did well for myself. It was a lot of hard work and I had to pay for community college with my residuals from Nintendo. I also had to learn the hard way that not everything is bought and paid for with bananas.
FC: Hahaha I’m sure it was an adjustment. Since we’re on the topic of success; tell us about your father. He’s become a household name in the last 40 years and that’s in no small part to your contribution.
DKJ: Really? Hadn’t really considered myself a huge help but I appreciate that. Yeah, he’s done well for himself. Wasn’t always the best dad but he probably faced a ton of pressure that I didn’t know about. I know he really cleaned up his act following the DUI which is never easy. He’s been clean for about 4 months now.
FC: Sorry, DUI?
DKJ: You haven’t heard of that? It was during one of his “karting” retreats with his friends that I was never invited to. Wario’s Gold Mine back in ’08. He found some prospector’s jug and was drinking out of it before the race began. I guess he was offering it to the other racers but he’d already backwashed bananas and fur into. It wasn’t even HIS fur. He was eating fur off Diddy while he was drunk. Saddest part is he won the race.
FC: He was eating Diddy’s fur? I’m sorry I’m a little confused, aren’t YOU Diddy?
DKJ: Get out.
Despite damning allegations, Donkey Kong continued to trailblaze. From Activia commercials to being the spokesperson for Subway, he had it all. While doing all of that, he was approached by our most royal highness, Rareware, to discuss a new direction. In 1994, British developer, Rareware, released their foray into the Donkey Kong formula. In preparation for this piece, I actually got the original planning notes from Rareware. “Let’s make Super Mario World, put it in the microwave, and put in mine cart levels that no one can beat“. Truly incredible and impeccable approach if you ask me.
With the original Donkey Kong, Nintendo answered the question “what is a God if not ape?” With Donkey Kong Country, Rareware said “you like video games? In your dreams kid.” Donkey Kong Country is video games answer to hatred. The world we knew in 1993 prior to Donkey Kong Country was peaceful and prosperous. The world after Donkey Kong Country? A disaster. Many say the effects of the war that broke out from the release of this game is still felt from today. President Moranis‘s anger from the mine cart levels left the world a culturally desolate and violent place. Rareware is still our corporate overlord much in the vein of Brave New World (all praise Chris and Tim Stamper). We now have to pretend Honey I Shrunk the Kids is not a masterpiece and read content from SuperBroMovies.
FC: Thank you for sitting down with us! I’ll be honest; I didn’t think we’d be able to get you two. When our producer said we had booked the ICE CLIMBERS I thought he was lying.
Nana (Pink): Thank yo…..
Popo (Blue): HELL YEAH BROTHER! You got us! Happy to do it. So you’re doing some story on DK?
FC: Yeah we’re doing a retrospective on his life but, honestly, we’ve got just about everything we need on the lug. We can talk about anything! I’m just excited to be in your presence.
Nana: Oh that’s too swee…
Popo: DUDE! THAT’S WHAT I LOVE TO HEAR!
FC: I know! The three of us should totally grab daiquiris or something after this.
Nana: Please don’t encoura…
Popo: Can we buy some Bartle’s & James for the pre-game?? We’ve lived in Tibet for the last decade and I look 8 years old so you’ll need to be the one to buy.
FC: Oh my god that would be amazing! Of course, I’ll use the FC corporate card.
Nana: So, you were asking about Donke…
Popo: Too bad Donkey Kong won’t be able to come. The hairy oaf’s been sober for a few decades now.
FC: Oh yeah! Donkey Kong! Tell me about how you two first met him.
Nana: It’s actually a funny stor…
Popo: The big guy LITERALLY walked up to us and….
Nana: IF YOU INTURRUPT ME ONE MORE TIME YOU’LL GET A PICKAXE THROUGH THE ACHILLES.
Nana: The silly billy walked up and started flirting with me. Popo took that personally and tried to hit him with his mallet. Once the mallet struck DK the reverberation went straight to the handle and Popo dropped it and started crying. Mario saw the whole thing and that was actually how he came up with the idea for Super Smash Brothers!
FC: Really? I didn’t know you two helped with the creation of SSB.
Popo: It was 100% because of me and you can quote us on that.
Nana: We didn’t appear in the first game because Popo needed carpal tunnel surgery following that incident.
Popo: The dude’s a brick sh!thouse. He’s gotta be taking some type of ‘roid.
FC: That’s fascinating. Now that we’ve got the boring stuff out of the way I want to dig into some of your other ventures. I actually went to your Ice Capade show in Toledo back in ’06.
Popo: Were you the dude who dressed up as Nana and had the mannequin wearing my blue parka?
Popo: Well no one else bought tickets to our nationwide show so it was absolutely you.
Nana: You’re not also the guy who writes the letters, are you?…..
FC: Ha! Good one. So do, um… you guys ever, like, switch jackets when no one else is around?
Popo: It just clicked why you’re not wearing pants.
FC: Because the CDC said so…
Nana: They absolutely did not say that.
Even through the aggression of the Ice Climbers, Donkey Kong took a dark turn. He was found with Funky Kong smoking bones in the Jefferson Avenue McDonald’s parking lot. A representative for Funky Kong declined to comment on the event. Donkey Kong proceeded to start raging with green bananas, random asymmetrical mushrooms, Mickey’s Malt Liquor, and much more. An intervention turned violent when Diddy Kong started throwing peanuts at Donkey Kong.
Donkey Kong began a musical career consisting of music from solely bongo drums. He had zero percussive experience and thought “banging some drums would make me money for more bananas and Mickey’s Malt Liquor.” Donkey Kong’s agent seemed to have not known that there was no market for a bongo drum musical album from washed up video game icon. His album, “Donkey Konga” sold a whopping three copies. Sales records seemed to indicate all three copies were sold in Tibet. He never broke even from this endeavor.
FC: Mr. Kong, we’re honored to have you with us. I’m sure you’ve heard that we’re doing a retrospective on your life and we hoped to ask a few questions to cap off the article. What’s it been like seeing your stature grow over the last few decades?
Donkey Kong: Thank you for the question. It’s been interesting to say the least. Obviously I’ve had some rough patches but I feel like my work ethic was able to make up for my misdeeds. I’ve taken to giving back to my community and neighboring kingdoms. Hyrule is now capable of sustaining their own Panda Express.
FC: Incredible. We’ve obviously followed your career’s ups and downs as well as your own personal ones. What’s life been like for you following your recent loss to that monstrous lizard?
DK: K. Rool? He’s not a bad guy. He actually used to be my banana dealer. Proud to say I’m 44 hours sober now.
FC: Well, congratulations. What’s next for ole’ DK?
DK: “Donkey Kong UNIVERSE.” We’re beating that stupid Italian to the punch. God I hate Italians. Tell me if you’ve heard this one; two Italian brothers walk into my fist…
[Fortunately, for his safety, Jacob Mauceri was not present for this interview]
Following the hate crime story, Donkey Kong dove into the reason he quit cold turkey. It was because his wife, Julia Roberts, threatened to leave him. He spent time in rehabilitation and has been clean ever since. He credits his love to Julia, his kids, Aaliyah’s version of the classic song At Your Best (You Are Love), and the high fiber breakfast cereal, Colon Blow.
We still have time to see how Donkey Kong does with his life and career. The world is still a disgusting mess after the evil tirade of President Moranis. Even with that, Donkey Kong has been twelve years sober. We at Full Circle sincerely wish him nothing but the best for himself, his sobriety, and most importantly, his family. – Jacob Mauceri & Kellen Murack