Gaming Post 50: Donkey Kong 1994

I am blown away by how convenient the Random Number Generator can be sometimes. It has decided that the next video game I should talk about is “Donkey Kong” for the Game Boy, sometimes known as “Donkey Kong 1994”. I think it’s one of the most important games when it comes to the lore of the Mario series. What surprises me is that I just mentioned this game in the previous article.


Super Mario isn’t supposed to have a timeline. That said, they already confirmed the official order of the Zelda Timeline, so it isn’t fun talking about that one anymore. Here’s basically what I know about Mario. I consider every piece of Super Mario media to be canon because none of this matters.


In the Yoshi’s Island series. Mario and Luigi are born, but really they are delivered by a stork. They are brought to their parents, but we only see part of their profiles.


Who were their parents and where did they live? The architecture of their house as seen in Yoshi’s New Island implies that the Mario Brothers lived in the Mushroom Land at the time of their birth, but clearly they must have moved to Brooklyn shortly after.

mario's parents house
Mushroom architecture is more common in the Mushroom World than it is on Earth.

In the live action segments of the Super Mario Super Show, Mario and Luigi don’t mention having been to the Mushroom Kingdom at all, which makes me think that they have been living on Earth for many years and they probably don’t remember the Yoshis and all the Kart Racing they did when they were babies (don’t think about it too hard).


On the other hand, in the Basketball game NBA Streets Volume 3, we’re told specifically that Luigi was “born and raised in the Mushroom Kingdom!” but whether or not he was really raised there is open to interpretation.


Before he and Luigi started their plumbing business, Mario became a carpenter and started doing construction work.


Some of you might be wondering if Super Mario could be considered a literary Christ figure. After all, you know that Mario was originally a carpenter, and he also has the power to come back from the dead if he eats a green mushroom. Like Neo from the Matrix, is Super Mario a literary Christ figure?

No. He is not. You’re overthinking this.

One day when Mario was doing his carpentry job at a construction site, a gorilla named Donkey Kong escaped from a nearby circus and captured Mario’s girlfriend Pauline. This sets the stage for the famous arcade game Donkey Kong, where Mario has to jump over barrels and climb ladders on his way to rescue his girlfriend.


The arcade game is three stages long and then repeats until you get a game over. In “Donkey Kong 1994”, we learn that this conflict dragged out for an additional 97 stages.

The first 3% is a remake of the arcade game.

The chase is a long one, and as Mario keeps going, he learns additional moves which help him overcome more varied obstacles. I imagine that at the beginning of the game Mario thinks that he is a regular human, but he chases this Gorilla for a very long time, managing to keep up with it. Because of this, by the game’s conclusion, some doubts arise in Mario’s mind about who he really is. Gorillas are much stronger and agile than humans, so the fact that Mario is able to keep up means that either his heritage is not exclusively from Earth, or that he and his brother simply have an unnatural amount of strength. Mario and Luigi may have abilities that are supernatural. You could call them superhuman, although most people call them the Super Mario Brothers.


I played “Donkey Kong 1994” on the 3DS Virtual Console using official Restore Points. This game is relatively difficult like most of the games from its era. I have a habit of using way too many Restore Points, but I find it efficient and interesting. With all that said, I can say that this is a game that I completed but not necessarily beat.


Some head-canon that I have is that the events of “Donkey Kong 1994” resulted in Mario discovering his particular talents which he would later need in order to defeat Bowser.


After the events of “Donkey Kong 1994”, Mario and Pauline capture Donkey Kong and start working for the Circus that Donkey Kong was an act of. Then Donkey Kong’s son (Donkey Kong Junior) rescues the imprisoned Donkey Kong from Mario in the arcade game Donkey Kong Jr.


On a different occasion, Mario recaptures Donkey Kong and then Donkey Kong escapes again, but this time, it appears to be for good. A series of events, or episodes if you will, follow the antics of one Mario and Pauline who repetitively try and fail to recapture the escaped circus gorilla.


Separately, Donkey Kong Junior befriends a guy named Bones. With the help of Bone’s motorcycle, the two of them start driving around looking for Donkey Kong in order to reunite the gorilla family.


Both of these cartoon series are part of an old TV show called “Saturday Supercade”. Sadly, many segments of Saturday Supercade have been lost to time. Even sadder, there may be Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Junior episodes that are missing and have possibly been destroyed.

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The website claims that every episode of Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Junior has been rediscovered. I’m not so sure that this is true, because even after having dabbled on eBay, I still can’t find the Donkey Kong episodes called “Little Orphan Apey”, “Apey and the Snowbeast”, “Private Donkey Kong”, “Sir Donkey Kong” and “The Pale Whale”. Of the Donkey Kong Junior episodes, I can’t find “The Jungle Boy Ploy” and I have only been able to watch “The Ventriloquist Caper” and “The Great Seal Steal” in Galician. If anyone finds any of these, I would love to know how to watch them. You can contact me most easily on Twitter @Zelgerath.


The underlying assumption is that Mario never captures Donkey Kong again, and Donkey Kong starts living on the Island of Kongo Bongo, but that’s another story.

He becomes cranky.

Although we don’t know what happened to Donkey Kong Junior, Dixie Kong is aware of his signature fighting technique “Monkey Muscle”.


Mario and his brother later start a plumbing business, and on a fateful job, they both get sucked into a pipe that leads them to the Mushroom Kingdom.


When did this happen? It’s hard to say. We know Mario fought in the Vietnam War thanks to the Game & Watch game “Mario’s Bombs Away”, so most of the Mario series probably takes place after 1955.

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We have a continuity problem though. In the Super Mario Super Show, Mario and Luigi are depicted as old dudes, while Princess Toadstool is only 16.


However, we learned in Yoshi’s Island DS that Mario, Luigi, Donkey Kong III (The Future Ruler of Kongo Bongo), Wario, Bowser and Princess Peach were all babies at the same time.


One way this can be explained is that the warp-zone between Brooklyn and the Mushroom Kingdom functions like the wardrobe to Narnia. Time goes by faster on Earth, but after Mario and Luigi found the Mushroom Kingdom, they spent most of their time there, which is why they were able to attend several Olympic Events since 2008 without aging between them.


They also somehow attended the 2020 Olympics which didn’t actually occur on Earth in our timeline. This fact confirms that Mario’s Earth is in fact different than ours.


So in conclusion, “Donkey Kong 1994” is pretty good. Thanks for reading! =)

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