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Donkey Kong Jr. (sometimes referred to as DK Jr. or simply Junior) is the son of the original Donkey Kong. He first debuted in Donkey Kong Jr., an arcade game first released in 1982. It is widely accepted that Donkey Kong Jr. is the modern day Donkey Kong's father. This theory has the original Donkey Kong as his father.
Donkey Kong Jr.
Donkey Kong Jr. made his first appearance in Donkey Kong Jr.; he was the star of the game and the only playable character. Donkey Kong Jr. must save his father, Donkey Kong, who has been imprisoned in a cage by Mario. In this game, Donkey Kong Jr. had to climb on vines, avoiding several enemies in order to complete his quest. If Donkey Kong Jr. had to defend himself, he could do so by dropping fruit on top of his enemies. Donkey Kong Jr. had to find keys in order to unlock the cage with his father imprisoned within. Once Donkey Kong Jr. had collected the keys, he had to work his way up to the cage; once he had unlocked it, he would move on to the next stage. Once Donkey Kong Jr. had completed his entire quest, his father was no longer Mario's captive – Donkey Kong was free.
Donkey Kong Jr. Math
One year later, Donkey Kong Jr. made another playable appearance in the game Donkey Kong Jr. Math. His father stood at the top of the stage, holding a sign with a random number placed on it. Donkey Kong Jr. had to climb amongst multiple vines to gather the correct numbers and mathematical signs to create the number on his father's sign.
This game also starred a pink-colored ape that could be playable in a two-player game; however, Donkey Kong Jr. was still brown in color, and could be played as in both one- and two-player modes.
Donkey Kong (Game Boy)
In this enhanced remake of the original Donkey Kong arcade game, Donkey Kong Jr. aids his father in kidnapping Pauline, and Mario must defeat both of them before rescuing her. For most of the game, DK Jr. stays in areas inaccessible by Mario, activating and deactivating switches in ways that can either help or harm the hero.
Mario Kart Tour
In 1992, Donkey Kong Jr. appeared as a playable character in Super Mario Kart for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. He was classified as a heavyweight character, just as Bowser was. His preferred item was the banana, with which he would litter the racecourses with. His kart had maximum top speeds; however, if he were to drift away from the main course, his speed would decrease greatly. In every Mario Kart title since Mario Kart 64, he has been replaced by the modern Donkey Kong.
In 1995, Donkey Kong Jr. appeared as a playable character once more – this time in Mario's Tennis. He appeared as the only large character in the game, for Bowser was not playable.
Donkey Kong Jr. made his final playable appearance in 2000, in the Nintendo 64 adaption of Mario Tennis. He was classified as a Power Character, who could be secretly unlocked (alongside, oddly enough, the modern Donkey Kong).
Oddly, several games in which Donkey Kong Jr. cameos have him as a species rather than a character. These include the Game & Watch Gallery series and Mario Kart: Double Dash!!. He also makes a cameo in the Game Boy Advance remake of Super Mario Bros. 3, as one of the Mushroom Kings was turned into a creature that looked exactly like him.
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, unlike in Super Smash Bros. Melee, he does not have a trophy. Instead, he has a sticker. The sticker shows Donkey Kong Jr. with a key over his head; the sticker is only referred to as Junior. It raises launch resistance by twenty-one in the Subspace Emissary adventure mode of the game. His other sticker shows him holding a tennis racket from Mario Tennis. Additionally, one of the names that appears when the player presses the "Random Name" button when naming their custom stage is DKJR, which is his name.
Additionally, Diddy Kong of the Donkey Kong Country series is somewhat comparable to Donkey Kong Jr., as a minuscule monkey who aids the older Donkey Kong. In fact, Rare, Ltd. first intended for Diddy to be a redesigned DK Jr., but Nintendo, not liking the extreme changes they made to the character, ordered that he be made different, and Diddy Kong was born.
Appearances in Other Media
Donkey Kong Jr., voiced by Frank Welker, is featured as the main protagonist of the cartoon short Donkey Kong Jr. from the animated series The Saturday Supercade. Here, Donkey Kong Jr., after discovering his father is missing from the circus, decides to track him down with the help of a clumsy biker named Bones.
Donkey Kong Jr. makes an appearance in the Nintendo Adventure Book Doors to Doom. In the book, Mario and Luigi find themselves in Donkey Kong Jr.'s jungle after entering one of the doorways created by Dr. Sporis Von Fungenstein. Upon seeing Mario and Luigi, Donkey Kong Jr. attacks them, forcing the two to flee. Eventually, after a vine-swinging chase, the Mario Bros. escape Donkey Kong Jr.
- As revealed in Retro Gamer magazine.