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larzini's picture

You Just Can't Kill the Kong

Every now and then something useful comes along in a MySpace bulletin, and no, it has nothing to do with a Macy's gift certificate or a free iPhone. If only MySpace itself was more user-friendly, seriously, how about the ability to forward bulletins, sometimes I think the whole thing is held together by Scotch tape, and powered by roomful of daisy chained solar powered calculators.

I haven't posted or read much here in awhile, but I think I've got something of interest to the main demographic of AA, and a quick search didn't come up with anything on it. Which would make this the post equivalent of the folks that have to be the first commenter somewhere and add nothing to the conversation but, "Frist!" (And that would be the correct spelling over at Crooks & Liars.)

My lengthy intros usually offer more of an appetizer leaving thinner picking for the entree, but this is the closest I've come to breaking out of writer's block in some time.

The Retro-meme blog has an interview with Jeff Kulczycki. Yes, The Jeff Kulczycki! OK, I didn't know who he was, but I figured some of you are in the know. Jeff is the man behind D2K: Jumpman Returns, which we can refer to as Donkey Kong II. 4 new levels of Kong, our favorite mustachio'ed, crack-free plumber, the beloved damsel in distress, and those zany fireballs. I told you this was good. And if this was posted before somewhere on AA, please point to the link in the comments. It's too late to stop me, but go ahead. Did I do an AA search under Kulczycki? Yep, I did, and no, he's not there.

The interview goes through the idea process for the different levels, and the discoveries within the original code of the game that triggered some new innovation. Jeff actually found an unused sprite in the code of what looked to be a falling pie from the conveyor belt level and incorporated that in to one of the new levels. Jeff's website goes into greater details at his website, as well as his article at Hyperspace Arcade, describing each level, featuring development screenshots, and explaining why some things worked the way they did in the original. Did you ever jump a barrel and get no points? Sucked, didn't it? Well, it had to do with the location of the barrel at the peak of your jump, so just be happy you made the jump and weren't down a life. I always felt that points came secondary to levels, especially with the original Donkey Kong. My family used to run a convenience store that housed a Congorilla machine for a spell. If you cut your teeth on that, and then jump to a real Donkey Kong machine, you realize how easy you had it.

While you're at Retro-Meme, check out the very thorough Donkey Kong posting, which seems to serves as a love letter to the author's favorite video game or just a strong argument as to why he thinks it's the greatest game and why you should as well.

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