Designer: Shigeru Miyamoto
Added to my collection: 2002
Total Lifetime Investment : $475 (approx.)
Sale Price: $550
Current Condition : Sold
Donkey Kong Jr. is the second game to feature Nintendo's Mario. In this outing Mario has a name (he was called Jumpman in Donkey Kong), but he's still presumably a carpenter. He didn't officially become a plumber until Mario Bros. in 1983. This game is unique in that it is the first and only game to cast Mario as a villain.
In Donkey Kong Jr., you take control of Junior as he valiantly tries to rescue his wrongfully-imprisoned dad from Mario's cage. To do so you must climb vines and avoid the dangerous Lockjaws--strange things that resemble vine-climbing pirahnas. There are several levels of action in the game, each of which presents Junior with bigger and more dangerous challenges.
I wasn't really looking for a Donkey Kong Jr. machine but, at the November 2, 2002 auction in Winston Salem, NC, I happened to notice a cocktail table version of the game sitting amongst the coin-operated kiddie rides. (There was a guy eating his lunch off of the thing.) I decided to stick around and see what it would go for. The price went higher than I really wanted to pay, but I got caught in the moment (it happens to the best of us at auctions).
The thing that attracted me to the game was the monitor, which is perfectly clear and crisp with very little burn-in. The cabinet has seen better days--the top glass is scratched and the instruction cards apparently got wet and are faded and peeling. There are also water marks under the glass, but I think I can fix them. The joysticks are shot and I don't have the keys to the cabinet (I got it open by reaching way in and prying and poking until I sort of bypassed the locks). It was a bit of a fixer-upper, but it cleaned up nice and, after some work, it plays great.
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