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Topic: Donkey Kong could have been a Popeye game

Posts 1 to 19 of 19

Agriculture

I thought you people might find this interesting. When the original Donkey Kong game, and Mario's debut game, was being developed, Nintendo first tried to get a license to use Popeye, Bluto and Olive Oyl. They didn't get any deal and had to invent their own character; Jump Man, later named Mario. A similar thing happened with Mega Man. Capcom had a license to make video games with the anime character Astro Boy, but it had expired by the time Mega Man 1 was made, so they had to invent Mega Man.

It's pretty amazing to think that if the cartoon business had recognized how much video games would grow, they could have owned so much of the video game business intellectual property. No Mario, Donkey Kong or Mega Man. Eventually of course the video game industry would invest in their own characters, but many of the classic games from the 8-bit era would have been licensed cartoon characters. Imagine if Super Mario Bros was just a Popeye game, and Donkey Kong Country was just the game where you got to play as Bluto.

Agriculture

ReaderRagfish

Pretty sure most of us already knew this.

It does bring up an issue with licensed games: if they do well it's harder to make sequels than if it was an original property. If Mario was Popeye, Nintendo would have to get the licensing every time they wanted to make a game, which would not always happen/be cheap/allow as much freedom.

Still waiting for Atlus to make Snowboard Kids 3

HobbitGamer

Ironically enough, once Nintendo was granted licensing to make a Popeye game, it was found to be too similar to DK and didn’t hold interest.

HobbitGamer

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Agriculture

ReaderRagfish wrote:

It does bring up an issue with licensed games: if they do well it's harder to make sequels than if it was an original property. If Mario was Popeye, Nintendo would have to get the licensing every time they wanted to make a game, which would not always happen/be cheap/allow as much freedom.

The part about not allowing so much freedom was probably why Disney games didn't do so well after the NES era. Other properties had full freedom to do what they wanted, while Disney had opinions about what was appropriate.

Agriculture

NintoRich

The idea for the game Donkey Kong was actually inspired by a specific Popeye cartoon from 1934 as Miyamoto was a fan, I don't think this fact is common knowledge but there is an (Iwata Asks) interview out there that confirms this

For those interested you can watch the specific cartoon here -
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x44xxuz

It's pretty funny actually!

Rich

NintoRich

Darknyht

@Agriculture That was an issue even when Disney was the company producing/developing the game. A major reason Disney Infinity failed was because of all the strange nonsensical rules that was forced upon it. Like characters from different worlds couldn't interact anywhere but the Toybox mode, and Star Wars/Marvel really has to have 300 characters no one cares about because they are seen for 5 minutes in a movie/TV Show.

Darknyht

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ReaderRagfish

@Darknyht Didn't the same thing happen with Superman 64? Apparently beta versions of the game are actually not too bad, but they had to scrap a lot of their work due to the company in charge of the license not approving much of it. As a result, developers had to scrap a lot of work and quickly make changes, causing it to become the terrible game where the world's strongest hero flies through rings.

Still waiting for Atlus to make Snowboard Kids 3

Agriculture

Darknyht wrote:

@Agriculture That was an issue even when Disney was the company producing/developing the game. A major reason Disney Infinity failed was because of all the strange nonsensical rules that was forced upon it. Like characters from different worlds couldn't interact anywhere but the Toybox mode, and Star Wars/Marvel really has to have 300 characters no one cares about because they are seen for 5 minutes in a movie/TV Show.

That's very interesting to hear. Disney is getting into the streaming business and that kind of attitude could spell disaster there, given how creators on for example Netflix are given lots of creative freedom. Disney bought Family Guy as you may know, and I can't imagine that show being popular without going outside of what is acceptable to the general viewer.

Disney do hold a lot of gaming properties and they probably need to change their attitude to allow game developers to do what they want.

Agriculture

Darknyht

@Agriculture This article does a good job of summing up the issues around Disney Infinity (https://screenrant.com/why-disney-infinity-was-cancelled/)

@ReaderRagfish I believe NESWorld bought and released a Prototype ROM of the game prior to interference from the licensor.

Darknyht

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Tasuki

A little late to the party pal. This has been common knowledge for years now.

Push Square Moderator and all around retro gamer.

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Shane76

Just Imagine a world where instead of Super Mario we have Super Popeye, Mind Blown!!!! and yes I have always loved Popeye

Shane76

Moroboshi876

According to "Console Wars", when in North America they were expecting the arcade game that would eventually be the first success of Nintendo, they were expecting Popeye, as was intended, but at the last moment the Japanese division couldn't get the license and Miyamoto designed Donkey Kong, which arrived to the US without the receiving end knowing anything about that game, aside from that was a "game with a gorilla".

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KingMike

Agriculture wrote:

Disney do hold a lot of gaming properties and they probably need to change their attitude to allow game developers to do what they want.

I think some involvement with game development is a good thing.
I think it is respectable if Disney won't allow complete trash to be made with their characters (surprisingly even the lowest-expectation Disney games I've seen seem like they had at least tolerable quality). Pick pretty much any THQ game for the NES if you want to see the sub-mediocre level I'm talking about.

KingMike

toiletduck

ReaderRagfish wrote:

Pretty sure most of us already knew this.

Tasuki wrote:

A little late to the party pal. This has been common knowledge for years now.

Comments like these add absolutely nothing to the discussion.
1) Not everybody knows
2) Nobody cares that you guys already know and think everybody knows
3) It's a nice topic to have some discussion about, as you can see in all other comments

@Tasuki and @ReaderRagfish what makes you think such contributions are valuable? To make you feel better about yourselves that you know something that the TS (and with him probably a lot of other people) also knows?

toiletduck

ReaderRagfish

@toiletduck Try reading my post again before accusing me for not adding to the discussion a month and a half later.

ReaderRagfish wrote:

Pretty sure most of us already knew this.

It does bring up an issue with licensed games: if they do well it's harder to make sequels than if it was an original property. If Mario was Popeye, Nintendo would have to get the licensing every time they wanted to make a game, which would not always happen/be cheap/allow as much freedom.

Still waiting for Atlus to make Snowboard Kids 3

Nemodius

I remember hearing this over the ages, it makes me wonder, Donkey Kong was the one game that almost singlehandedly set up Nintendo as an arcade powerhouse, its popularity gave interest in making Mario Bros. and eventually Super Mario Bros. and we know how that all lead Nintendo to a home console direction and everything since, but if DK had remained Popeye, what direction would Nintendo have gone....

would it have tried to inspire a "Mario Bros." type game, but instead of pipes, girders, koopas and such, would it have had various sea creatures ???, what about Mario's classic weapon selection, fire and hammer ???, what would a sailor use ??? would it have inspired "Super Popeye", almost 40 years later, would we be playing "Popeye Kart 8 Deluxe", "New Super Popeye U", "Bluto: Maine Freeze",

if the original Nintendo MAME games had died in the arcade, would there even been a Metroid, Zelda, Pokemon ???

what about success.....if Nintendo had died out in the arcade and not made the Famicom/NES, would Sega not have seen the possibility of their own and created the Master System ???, which then inspired technological advances, marketing campaign strategies still in use, ect., ect.

if Shigeru Miyamoto said "ok, Popeye it is." instead of "I think I got something that will work better !!!"
would Nintendo have even made it past the early 90's as an arcade game maker when it died out ???
what would console game systems (and games) be like today, remember, Nintendo not only revolutionized, several times, home console gaming and portable gaming, but innovated fantastic new ways of interacting in gameplay

time travel is like that, one tiny pebble in the pool and surfing at the end, but no pebble or a pebble dropped somewhere else ???

wrap your minds around that......
wait, you can't, because since Nintendo never made a console ********[fast forwarding]********* there is no Nintendo Life website to read this and think "Does it matter if it had been Popeye or not ???", WHOA !!!

Edited on by Nemodius

"If failure is the greatest teacher, how come we are not the most superior beings in the universe ???"

toiletduck

ReaderRagfish wrote:

@toiletduck Try reading my post again before accusing me for not adding to the discussion a month and a half later.

ReaderRagfish wrote:

Pretty sure most of us already knew this.

It does bring up an issue with licensed games: if they do well it's harder to make sequels than if it was an original property. If Mario was Popeye, Nintendo would have to get the licensing every time they wanted to make a game, which would not always happen/be cheap/allow as much freedom.

I'm saying that that first smartassy sentence doesn't add anything. Question still stands: why is that a necessary addition to your post? Does it add any value to the rest of your post so that it justifies bashing the topic starter?

It's nothing to you personal, I like reading your contributions. I just don't like additions like that.

toiletduck

ReaderRagfish

@toiletduck Yeah, I realized at the time that just saying "everyone knows this" can come off as "Ho ho! You are far behind everyone else in knowledge, old sport!" so I made sure to actually contribute to the conversation in a respectful tone so it didn't come off as bashing him.

Didn't quite work from the looks of it

Still waiting for Atlus to make Snowboard Kids 3

toiletduck

@ReaderRagfish well on my hand I probably overreacted a little bit. Let's keep it at a misunderstanding and we're both meaning well

toiletduck

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