|Ad for the Radar Scope tabletop machine.|
|Mario closes in on rescuing Pauline from Donkey Kong...or so he thinks.|
|Original Donkey Kong cabinet art.|
|Coleco's mini-arcade version of Donkey Kong.|
|1983 CBS ad.|
CBS was looking to get in on the video game craze and to combat ABC’s Pac-Man produced by Hanna-Barbera. Figuring to hedge their bets, they licensed several gaming properties and commissioned former Hanna-Barbera employees Joe Ruby and Ken Spears to handle it through their company Ruby-Spears Productions. The resulting series was Saturday Supercade. Making up the Supercade every week were segments based on Frogger, Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr., while Q*bert and Pitfall! rotated weekly.
|The animated Donkey Kong.|
Donkey Kong saw the giant ape (Soupy Sales, who received top-billing of the Supercade) as a circus performer who finally escaped his captivity and went on the run. Charged with bringing him back was Mario (Peter Cullen) and Kong’s trainer, Pauline (Judy Strangis), who was changed from Mario’s girlfriend to his niece. Ken Boyer and Patrick A. Ventura created the character models that adapted the cabinet artwork into cleaner television stars.
|Mario and Pauline on the endless quest.|
Kong was portrayed as both being intelligent enough to avoid Mario’s traps, causing them to backfire on him constantly, but yet also dumb enough to display limited speech (typically his name) and constantly fall into the schemes of criminals who wanted to use him. Often, Mario and Pauline would find themselves having to simultaneously rescue Kong and thwart the criminals while preventing the big ape from escaping their grasp. Likewise, despite their always trying to capture him, Kong never hesitated to stop and rescue the pair from any danger they end up in. In keeping with the game, Pauline would be most often the one in need of saving (although Mario got the occasional rescue as well). In the second season, Stanley made an appearance in the episode “Greenhouse Gorilla.”
|Stanley the exterminator with Pauline.|
|Nintendo's warranty logo featuring Mario.|
|Super Game Boy title screen for Donkey Kong '94.|
Originally posted in 2015. Updated in 2019.