I’ve always wondered how two of the most popular characters in the world of video games, Mario and Donkey Kong, found themselves at odds, considering most of the DK games cast him as a hero and Mario is a good guy too. So how did the gorilla and the plumber end up bitter enemies?
It turns out the enmity started in the 1984 Game & Watch title Donkey Kong Circus, in which DK is imprisoned by Mario and forced to perform for his amusement:
This makes sense given the little-known narrative of Donkey Kong (1981) was confirmed by Shigeru Miyamoto himself in a 2016 interview: “Mario kept Donkey Kong locked up, so he escaped with his girlfriend.” Thus, the original Donkey Kong arcade game gets recontextualized. Instead of kidnapping Pauline (or “Lady”) for seemingly no reason, Donkey Kong is seeking…
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