Monkey business

Stephen Radosh might be more famous nowadays for creating the TV show Catchphrase - which remains incredibly popular in the UK - but he also has quite a history in the video game arena, too.

Radosh kicked off his career decades ago working for a publisher which produced textbooks before helping to bring Chess simulation Sargon to market, and he would eventually join Atari before moving onto Sega, where he experienced a rather bizarre case of cross-licensing.

Speaking to Game Informer, Radosh explains that in the '80s Sega "somehow" got the rights to Nintendo's massively popular Donkey Kong, and that he even developed an arcade game where players controlled Kong in the role of a parking attendant:

You were dodging cars that were pulling in and out of the lot, and you had to get X number of cars parked in spaces.

The reason the game never saw the light of day in arcades was due to Sega - which was owned by Paramount (previously known as Gulf and Western) at the time - was sold off to David Rosen (one of the original co-founders of the company) and Hayao Nakayama in Japan.

Radosh would find himself at Philips shortly afterwards, and was tasked with creating content for the company's ill-fated CD-i console. As we all know, Philips was the firm that jumped into bed with Nintendo following the collapse of the deal with Sony which should have resulted in the SNES PlayStation. While Nintendo ultimately decided against creating a system with Philips, it allowed the Dutch company access to some of its properties to soften the blow - resulting in infamous games such as Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon and Hotel Mario.

Radosh was expecting a fight when it came to developing these games, but found that Nintendo was actually quite easy to work with, aside from getting the obvious approval for certain elements:

I still had to get approval from Nintendo on everything, because these were their trademark characters. And anyone who owns trademark characters will tell you, you don't want Link having sex with Zelda on the ramparts of the castle.

Radosh admits that he never spoke directly with Shigeru Miyamoto, but insists that the creator of Mario and Zelda was positive about the projects and would have seen them numerous times during development:

Yes. I'm pretty sure he would have – everything was still under their control ultimately. The meetings were short, amicable, fun, lot of laughs.

They loved Hotel Mario – that was the first one that got the greenlight. Hotel Mario was my design, and it was a game that kills me; I still can't win at my own game.

The full interview is well worth a look. Let us know what you think about the Donkey Kong revelation by posting a comment.