News Article

Coleco Wants to Bring Back Their Version of Donkey Kong

Posted by Tim Latshaw

Might also be interested in ColecoVision on Virtual Console

Who's up for a quick history lesson? While Donkey Kong is purely Nintendo's furry, banana-breathed baby, the company originally granted Coleco rights to produce console and tabletop versions of the hit arcade game. Coleco bundled Donkey Kong with their new ColecoVision in 1982, then ported the game to other systems including the Atari 2600 and Commodore 64. Nintendo didn't release their own console version of Donkey Kong until 1983, but still made bank off the royalties from the other versions sold.

Although Coleco would fade out of the scene as a modern contender, they still carry a substantial amount of nostalgic respect. The company plans on releasing the ColecoVision Flashback, a throwback to their original console, this fall and have expressed an interest in having an ape join the party.

Upon announcing their upcoming system on Twitter, the topic of Donkey Kong was brought up. Coleco's response was short and sweet:

An equally short reply was provided when the script was flipped and they were asked if they'd like to hop onto Nintendo's Virtual Console:

It is of course difficult to know just where Coleco is at this point in trying to secure Donkey Kong for the Flashback and what legal hoops might be involved (if Nintendo is even open to the idea at all). Would you mind seeing Donkey Kong reappear on a non-Nintendo system? How about ColecoVision appearing on Virtual Console? Input your responses on your number pad controllers below.

[via gonintendo.com, gonintendo.com]

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User Comments (57)

2Sang

#1

2Sang said:

YES!

My uncle used to work for coleco. I think it would be really cool to have some pre-NES games on virtual console. They should have atari, g&w, and even a few other creative ideas like virtual versions of old nintendo toys like the love tester and ultrahand (that isn't the cn remake).

millarrp

#2

millarrp said:

I wouldn't object to Coleco games on the virtual console, maybe at a couple bucks a game....

NintendoFan64

#4

NintendoFan64 said:

Well, Colecovision games on Virtual Console would be interesting. I mean, it'd be nice to get some non-Nintendo consoles on the service, especially since Sega isn't adding their systems to it at the moment.

Anguspuss

#5

Anguspuss said:

Coleco exist only in name some company bought the name. Most of the games were rip offs of other games which is a bit dodgy sorry its a bit google play store,

ECMIM

#6

ECMIM said:

Frankly, I'd prefer the original arcade iterations of most of the best Coleco games--stuff like Venture, Cosmic Avenger and, yes, Donkey Kong (plus Jr. and 3).

(That isn't to say some Smurf's Adventure or otherwise might not also be worthwhile.)

Birthday_Boy

#7

Birthday_Boy said:

Instead of that, why doesn't Nintendo just bring the arcade version of Donkey Kong to Virtual Console?

WanderFan91

#9

WanderFan91 said:

Supposing they do go through with this (for which probability I'm not entirely positive), you know what Colecovision game would be great for them to re-release (should they get Konami's permission)? Antarctic Adventure. I only played the Famicom version on plug-and-plays (and loved it), though I don't think there's much difference between the two. Another reason for this: it was the only version of the game that saw an American release (that, and its only official PAL release was on the original MSX system), so chances would be likely. But a gamer can dream.

It's fun to play in short bursts from what I recall.

To each their own

JustinH

#10

JustinH said:

I'd be OK with the repro. I'd definitely give a Colecovision game on the VC a look, too.

QuickSilver88

#11

QuickSilver88 said:

Coleco was awsome and had some of the best arcade adaptations of early games. Zaxxon was a favorite and so was the Rally game that had a wheel accesory. There was an early SRPG game that I don't even remember the name but I stayed up and played it all night at a sleep over in jr high.

Lalivero

#12

Lalivero said:

Funny, I have a Colecovision I just dusted off that I haven't played in a bit.

Interesting....

hcfwesker

#13

hcfwesker said:

Colecovision was my first console as a kid <3 Must have FrontLine & Venture on VC, please!

Hero-of-WiiU

#14

Hero-of-WiiU said:

I'd pay 2$ tops for Donkey Kong as I only got to the second level when I played it at Dave' and Busters.

retro_player_22

#15

retro_player_22 said:

According to what I remember, the Colecovision version of Donkey Kong is one of the few port that actually featured the pie factory level (the level missing from the Atari & NES versions) from the arcade game. Might check it out if Nintendo ever allowed them to release it for VC.

ajcismo

#16

ajcismo said:

Colecovision was my first console. I'd love to see it on the VC since mines been packed away in a box for decades and probably doesn't work. Had some GREAT arcade ports from the early 80s that blew the 2600 out of the water and sported some really odd controllers too. Please tell me I'm not the only one who remembers the Super Action Controller with the 4-finger buttons. I'd be curious as to how well oldies like Zaxxon, Venture, Cosmic Avenger, Mousetrap & Popeye (amongst others) have held up 30 years later. Count me in!

aaronsullivan

#19

aaronsullivan said:

@ECMIM My thoughts as well. It was most impressive when it came to arcade ports. Smurfs graphics were cool and was one of the first games to really resemble the non-videogame property it featured, but the controls were so awful. Venture was my favorite I think and Mr. Do (and Zaxxon was just impressive at the time). So, I agree, sadly. I'd rather play the original arcade games. Why can't we get those on VC? There's a TON of those I'd pay for.

@Anguspuss I didn't know this. Do you have a source? Most of the games I remember were officially licensed ports of arcade games and a few brand tie-ins (Smurfs, Cabbage Patch Kids).

Nionel

#20

Nionel said:

IF we're talking about putting some pre-NES consoles on VC, then I think Intellivision deserves to belong in the conversation as well. It was a fun system as well and I think it could find a nice fanbase on the Wii U.

aaronsullivan

#21

aaronsullivan said:

@Nionel Yeah, I'd be up for that, but... it's such a hard sell. Atari 2600 and Intellivision had such primitive graphics that it's not adorable pixel art to modern audiences it's just plain abstract.

Utopia from Intellivision and Yar's Revenge and Haunted House from Atari 2600 would be my top pics .

joey302

#22

joey302 said:

omg!!! i would kill for colecovision on virtual console!!! atari classics too!! here are some favorites of mine from both systems: asteroids,centipede, millipede, missile command, tempest, crystal castles, battlezone, yars, space duel, pitfall, megamania, stampede, seaquest, mouse trap, venture, mr do, frenzy, gorf, smurf, carnival, star master, pitfall ll, enduro, cosmic avenger, demon
attack, air sea battle, super breakout, berzerk, zipper ll, lady bug, star raiders, kaboom!, keystone kapers, river raid, maze craze, atari pinball, ballblazer, and sooooo many others i just can't think of right now!!!! someone make it happen!!!! my money awaits!!!!!!!

joey302

#23

joey302 said:

that being said i do assume licensing issues here. i will be all over the colecovision flashback console though and will be curious to see what games it will have!!!

the_shpydar

#28

the_shpydar said:

ColecoVision on WiiU VC would be a perfect fit, since they could emulate the CV controller's keypad on the touchscreen (this would work equally well with Intellivision also).

One big hurdle is that a very large portion of CV's library (and most of the best games released for the system) were licensed arcade ports from other companies, so there would be the obvious legal difficulties.

Good thing i still have my CV in perfect working order (even if the controllers are rubbish :D )

Pahvi

#29

Pahvi said:

@WanderFan91 I'd like to see MSX on Wii U VC outside Japan. Penguin Adventure (looks a lot like Antarctic Adventure, and I played them both when I was a kid) has already been released there.

The system - at least in theory - supported two-button joysticks. In Nemesis (think Gradius), one button for shooting and the other for selecting the powerup.

theRED1

#30

theRED1 said:

Yes! I remember ColecoVision as a kid! I would go to my buddy Marty's house and play his. Way better version than the Nintendo one! Next Zaxxon!

DualWielding

#33

DualWielding said:

I really doubt Nintendo would allow Donkey Kong on anything non-Nintendo... they may be open to colecovision on VC

GuitarAnthony

#34

GuitarAnthony said:

Little historical note that many may not know. Nintendo wanted to license the Colecovision for Japan and were actively seeking a deal with Coleco but Nintendo wanted systems at cost whereas Coleco offered 10% below retail so it never happened.

Captain_Gonru

#35

Captain_Gonru said:

Oh my yes.
Anyone know if the Flashback will be able to take carts, like the Genesis one, or just preloaded games, like the 2600 version? My Colecovision died a few years back, so a legal alternate way to play would be nice.
Also, glad to here so much love for Venture. Its one of my all time favorites, and it rarely gets mentioned, I find.

daveh30

#37

daveh30 said:

I'd want to see N64 games on Wii U VC, and Virtual Boy games on 3DS VC first... but there are a couple CV games i'd pop a couple bucks to play again on VC.

NTELLIGENTMAN

#38

NTELLIGENTMAN said:

I bought a ColecoVision with 2600 module for $35 two years ago. It was an alright system, but the controllers weren't great and it was far better to play 2600 games on a 2600 (or Sears Video Arcade I or II)

Anguspuss

#40

Anguspuss said:

@aaronsullivan Im not sure if they were released by the company or knock offs by a third party but do remember games that were copies form other systems. Ill ask one of my friends who owned it

timtimdaunholy

#43

timtimdaunholy said:

YES YES
Colecovision was one of my first consoles,

Hands down the best of that generation, and if you wanted to play a 2600 game just get the adapter
.

Darknyht

#44

Darknyht said:

We had an Intellivision II as a kid (along with Odyssey II), but I remember borrowing this and Donkey Kong, Jr. from the neighbor. Only realized later that my dad had somehow hacked the console to let the games play. I would love to see Intellivision games on the Wii U Virtual Console.

KnightRider666

#47

KnightRider666 said:

Their version of Donkey is weird because DK is on the right side of the screen instead of the left, but I'd surely take it!

7th_lutz

#48

7th_lutz said:

@Captain_Gonru
The Colecovision Flashback doesn't take carts.

I am saying that because there is a person on Atariage that actually knows info about the Intellivision and Colecovision Flashbacks. The person said it doesn't take carts and doesn't sd Slots.

TDS_Computer

#49

TDS_Computer said:

A friend of mine had "The Smurfs" on Colecovision back in the day... I thought he was pretty wierd until I played it. Gorgeous game and a lot of fun!

StarDust4Ever

#52

StarDust4Ever said:

@WanderFan91 If you want to play Antarctic Adventure, pick up the Dollar General version of the Coleco Flashback. Antarctic Adventure is the exclusive 61st game on the Dollar General Flashback. The Toy-R-Us and Sams Club versions only have 60 games. Donkey Kong is not one of them sadly.

Full list of games that will be featured:
http://www.armchairarcade.com/neo/node/5720

DinoFett

#54

DinoFett said:

Yes to Colecovision,Intellivision,Atari 2600 400/800 7800 games.
Then have Nintendo make remixes of these games just like Nes Remix.

reali-tglitch

#55

reali-tglitch said:

Doesn't sound too bad.

I own Intellivision Lives, and used to own a Coleco, as well. Games like that for $0.99 a pop would be perfect.

Birthday_Boy

#57

Birthday_Boy said:

@Thats-what-she It may have the arcade stages, but the original edition doesn't play exactly like the arcade version, which was the whole charm of the coleco version. Now, we can easily port the arcade version 100% but I question why Nintendo doesn't do it.

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