When actor Parker Mills stepped into a Donkey Kong costume to promote the launch of Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D at the Los Angeles Zoo last year, he most likely assumed the job would be a piece of cake — after all, what's better than being the mighty Kong for a day, right?
However, Mills ended up earning more than just his pay-check for the gig. He suffered an aortic dissection for his troubles — the tearing of aortic walls — which meant he had to undergo major heart surgery and get a permanent defibrillator installed.
Mills is now suing Nintendo, claiming that unsafe working conditions contributed to his illness. He says he was denied proper breaks and wasn't given the ice packs which would have helped him remain cool while working in blistering LA heat. He also says that Nintendo was supposed to provide him with an official escort to assist in his activities, but this never happened.
While the situation might sound comical on paper, Mills has clearly suffered an incredible hardship and received life-changing injuries as a result of taking on this job. It remains to be seen if Nintendo itself will ultimately be held accountable — our friends at Eurogamer have contacted the company, but it has declined to comment.