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The original Donkey Kong game was simple but addictive, a characteristic that has become a hallmark of many Miyamoto games. Playing as Mario, you started at the bottom of a small building that Donkey Kong had ascended. You could walk left and right, climb and descend ladders, and jump over barrels Donkey Kong had thrown or use a hammer to smash them. The pattern of the falling barrels was somewhat random (whether or not they came down a specific ladder), so if you were hanging on a ladder to avoid one barrel, there was always a moment of tension as another one rolled by overhead. Once Mario managed to reach the top and rescue his girlfriend, Pauline, Donkey Kong simply snatched her away and carted her off to level two. The second level was much more challenging, with moving platforms and melting steel. Level three was even harder, with tighter jumps and with Donkey Kong now throwing I-beams at you instead of barrels (one look at this and you'll see the seminal aspects of Super Mario Bros.). Finally, level four had you triggering weak spots in the foundation of the building so that Donkey Kong would fall on his head with a crash. But just when you thought you had won, he'd grab your girl and climb back up. During all but the first level you could pick up Pauline's personal effects for bonus points (a parasol and a purse).
Crazy Kong was a copied version of the original Donkey Kong. It's very close to Nintendo's original but with subtle differences. Notice that Kong's mouth isn't quite how it should be. The title screen also references the game as being Part II, distinguishing it from the original. The levels in Crazy Kong were in an order different from those in the original Donkey Kong arcade game, but other than that, this game was a solid clone.
Though the Atari 2600 largely spawned the home gaming industry, there's no question that this version of Miyamoto's first masterpiece didn't live up to its arcade counterpart. It was difficult, and only two of the four arcade levels were available. Many gamers spent hours trying to reach that third level with hopes of the fourth, which simply didn't exist. The graphics were deplorable as compared with those in the arcade version, and the flaming phantoms on the second stage didn't even move up and down the ladders. Fortunately for the flames, they moved much faster than their arcade counterparts. But skilled gamers could easily defeat them with a simple trick: Jumping over the flaming blobs and the level's trapdoors in a single leap, Mario could pin them to the small platforms on either side of the screen, effectively putting them out of commission for the entirety of the level. The levels then repeated ad infinitum, forcing many an Atari owner to break out the sledgehammer.