Mods, Hacks, and Fan Games

So since I brought it up in another post, let's talk about Donkey Kong mods, hacks, and fan games. The two major ones these days are the Pauline Edition and D2K Jumpman Returns, though there are others. I'll mainly be talking about the few that keep the DK flavor, and not the ones that mod the game into other IPs.

Donkey Kong: Pauline Edition is exactly what it says on the tin. You play as Pauline to rescue Mario instead of the other way around. Some versions of the mod replace Pauline's parasol, bag, and hat with tools (presumably belonging to Mario) for Pauline to collect instead.

Given how simple the concept is, I'm somewhat surprised it hasn't happened before. This is notably pretty much Pauline's only playable outing, anywhere.

There's really not a whole lot to the mod, though the story behind it is somewhat adorable. A little girl asked her father how to play as Pauline in Donkey Kong, assuming that she could after playing as Peach in Super Mario Bros. 2. He then went about modding a rom for her so she could do so. Pretty awesome Dad right there.

The other big one is, as I said, D2K. It's a bit more ambitious than the Pauline Edition, tweaking the original four levels of Donkey Kong as well as adding four more, for a pseudo-sequel that is double the size of the original. Additionally, it adds in new level transitions, including an homage to Congo Bongo!

The four new levels are all very inventive, and make use of the sprites on the rom in new and inventive ways. I'm especially fond of the weight puzzle where you have to collect all the hearts.

The four new levels are called the Mixer, the Foundry, the Refinery, and the Incinerator, to go with the existing Barrel, Conveyor, Elevator, & Rivets stages.

Back in the day, Coleco made up some new levels in a similar fashion to D2K for their home version of Donkey Kong Jr, which they were going to call Super Donkey Kong Jr, to denote the differences. Nintendo nixed the project and only a straight port ended up being released. There's still some footage floating around of the new level designs though...

A little out there compared to the jungles and factories of the original, but you have to admit it looks like a fun level to play.

There is also a "Luigi Edition" mod floating around that never really gained much traction... until now. Nintendo themselves have gotten in on the jig, giving us a legit version in the form of the Luigi vs Donkey Kong challenge in NES Remix. Like all the other official Luigi mods (Luigi Bros, Super Luigi Bros, etc), the levels are mirrored. And Green.


It has come to my attention that the Luigi vs. Donkey Kong of NES Remix predates the Luigi Mode mod, so appologies for the initial mix-up.

Unfortunately, aside from the brief attempt at Super DK Jr by Coleco back in the day, there hasn't really been much else done with DK Jr as far as hacks and mods go, and not really anything at all for DK3. It's a shame, as they've found new sprites for Jr in the DK3 rom data, showing that he was going to be in the game at some point. I imagine someone who knows how to do such things could probably whip up some new levels for DK Jr and DK3, as well as giving the little one something to do in the greenhouse to help out his father against that pesky fumigator...