Fan-made hacks and conversions of beloved video games are nothing new, but typically it is console games that get a reworking. How often do we see an arcade game changed to incorporate new levels? Not often enough, comparatively. It's a rare treat to consider the case of Jeff Kulczycki and his new levels for Nintendo's original 1981 arcade hit, Donkey Kong. His creation, Donkey Kong II: Jumpman Returns, sports new challenges for Mario and an interesting opportunity for Nintendo. See, unlike many game hackers out there, Kulczycki has actually approached Nintendo to see about making Donkey Kong II an official sequel. Kombo has the details.
In an interview with CoinOpSpace.com (with a transcript available at Rotheblog), Kulczycki is asked if he had "any conversation with Nintendo about using the characters, code, etc. in a game you intended to sell for profit, and if so, did you have their blessing?"
"Good question," he says. "I can share some details. Yes there was contact with Nintendo… I did send them the game and a 'promo package' with artwork and concept sketches and a bunch of stuff… Things seemed positive at first but unfortunately nothing ever came of it. They have strict policies about accepting outside submissions."
He adds, "If you all like the game then let Nintendo know… It would be nice to get them on board 'officially'."
It would certainly be interesting to see, especially if Nintendo decided to use it for Virtual Console Arcade or WiiWare. However, I have my doubts about such a thing happening. But you heard the man: if you like what you see, let Nintendo know!
Am I the only one that finds the original Donkey Kong basically unplayable these days? I recognize and appreciate all that the game has done for both the platformer genre and the video game industry itself, but once I played the 1994 Game Boy update of Donkey Kong that fleshed out the controls and added puzzle elements to the game, I just couldn't go back. 2004's Mario vs Donkey Kong for the Game Boy Advance just cemented that notion further. The old arcade game feels absolutely archaic to me now, and it's one of the very few old classic Nintendo games that I seldom revisit for that reason. Still, it's nice to see new quality content for it after all these years, official or not.