Nintendo has Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and Super Mario 3D World in the hopper for release later this year on the Wii U, but both of those blockbuster franchises would not exist without the original Donkey Kong arcade game which arrived thirty-two years ago today. To commemorate the July 9, 1981 release, P Scott Patterson has shared the original marketing flyer distributed to promote the game to arcade operators. Everyone's going ape over Donkey Kong, it seems. Marketing copy never lies. Here's the opening paragraph:
"HELP! HELP!" cries the beautiful maiden as she is dragged up a labyrinth of structural beams by the ominous Donkey Kong. "SNORT. SNORT." Foreboding music warns of the eventual doom that awaits the poor girl, lest she somehow be miraculously rescued. "But, wait! Fear not, fair maiden. Little Mario, the carpenter, is in hot pursuit of you this very moment."
If you read the entire flyer, you'll find that the heroic plumber carpenter is consistently referred to as Little Mario. Super Mario was still years away at that point, but it amuses me how much the flyer hangs on the "little" appellation. It's almost as if players are meant to want to pat Little Mario on the head, saying "Nice try, little buddy!" if he fails to rescue the girl (she's not Pauline yet; that name too is years away). Mario would go on to greater fame and fortune, but at this point in his career, the player is meant to patronize him. Everyone has to start somewhere!