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Mario has kidnapped Junior's Papa!

Donkey Kong Jr. was originally released in the arcades in 1982 as a sequel to Donkey Kong. In this game, Mario plays the antagonist, finally having captured Donkey Kong, and has put the ape in a locked cage. As Donkey Kong Jr., players will have to make their way through four different levels (Vines, Springboard, Chains and Mario's Hideout) in an attempt to find keys to free the little monkey's father.

Along the way, Mario will send out Snapjaws, swooping purple birds, and electric sparks in an attempt to stop Junior. Junior can defend himself by dropping fruit found around the levels on the heads of his foes. The more foes a piece of fruit hits in a falling sequence, the higher bonus points can be scored.

Junior can also avoid enemies more easily by grabbing hold of two chains or vines at a time to climb away faster, or by jumping over his foes. However, any long fall or falling into the water on certain levels will mean the loss of a life for Junior.

In the final cut scene, Junior will free Donkey Kong and both will escape after giving Mario the boot. Once all four levels are cleared, the game levels will start over at a higher difficulty.

Like the original Donkey Kong, the earlier 1980's console versions do not have all of the levels and animations from the arcade.


Donkey Kong Junior NES Stage 3
Donkey Kong Junior NES Stage 4
Donkey Kong Junior NES Stage 2
Donkey Kong Junior NES Title screen

Promo Images

Donkey Kong Junior Screenshot
Donkey Kong Junior Screenshot
Donkey Kong Junior Screenshot
Donkey Kong Junior Screenshot


Alternate Titles

  • "ドンキーコングJR." -- Japanese spelling
  • "Donkey Kong Jr.-e" -- e-Reader title
  • "Donkey Kong Jr." -- Title on most versions
  • "Donkey Kong Jr" -- ColecoVision in-game title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Nice little sequel, twice as addictive as its predecessor Katakis | カタキス (42880) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
Move over, Mario! This game is awesome! Alex Baumfull (6) 3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars
Donkey Kong is back on Famicom Wave Magatama (4) 2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars

Critic Reviews

The Video Game Critic Jul 26, 2004 A- 91
Retro Game Reviews Nov 24, 2015 8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars 80
Pixel-Heroes.de Dec, 2006 8 out of 10 80
Jeuxvideo.com Jan 06, 2012 15 out of 20 75
HonestGamers (Staff reviews only) Sep 19, 2012 7 out of 10 70
Nintendo Land 2003 58 out of 100 58
The Game Hoard Sep 04, 2019 4 out of 7 57
Power Play Sep, 1988 52 out of 100 52
Happy Computer 1986 52 out of 100 52
1UP! Feb 20, 2009 42 out of 100 42


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Atari 2600 port

Surprisingly, Donkey Kong Jr. for the Atari 2600 was probably the poorest conversion in the history of the franchise. It was over-simplified in every aspect and almost unplayable. That must have been one of the main reasons Nintendo later enforced such strict standards on third party developers.


Donkey Kong Junior had a breakfast cereal released in 1983 by Ralston-Purina. It had strawberry and banana shaped and flavored cereals.


Donkey Kong Jr. was popular enough to have a Saturday morning TV cartoon based on it in the early 1980's. DK Jr. would often use "Monkey Muscles" as his catchphrase.


This is the only Nintendo game where Mario is portrayed as a villain.


  • TeleMatch
    • Issue 04/1984 – Hand-held/Minigames of the Year 1983 (Readers' Vote)
Information also contributed by LepricahnsGold and Silverblade

Related Web Sites

Kartanym (12705) added Donkey Kong Junior (NES) on Sep 27, 2002
Other platforms contributed by Corn Popper (68938), ResidentHazard (3564), Michael Cassidy (21110), Rik Hideto (464545), ed1475 (238), Kartanym (12705), Pseudo_Intellectual (64452), Servo (57355) and LepricahnsGold (142475)
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