In a surprise announcement made at E3, Nintendo announced the re-release of two long-lost arcade games on the Nintendo eShop’s Arcade Archives. These games are the original Donkey Kong, available now, and Sky Skipper, which will be released in July.
Donkey Kong is one of Nintendo’s earliest milestones as a video game company. It was one of Shigeru Miyamoto’s first jobs in game design, it was the company’s first major hit, and it introduced a couple of Nintendo’s most popular characters, along with Pauline, who recently appeared in Super Mario Odyssey. Versions of Donkey Kong have appeared on various platforms, but this is the first official re-release of the original arcade ROM.
Hamster, the company that publishes the Arcade Archives, went the extra mile with the re-release by allowing players to choose between three versions and two scoring modes. The versions include the original Japanese version, a patched Japanese version that fixed some bugs, and the international version America got in 1981. For scoring, players can choose between the classic Hi Score Mode or Caravan Mode, which gives players five minutes to earn as many points as they can.
The other re-released arcade game is more of an official release. Sky Skipper is a 1981 game that has the players control a pilot named Mr. You, who must save a playing card suit-themed royal family from angry gorillas. Ten arcade cabinets (with art made by Shigeru Miyamoto) were made for location tests in bars and arcades around America, but only one cabinet exists today at Nintendo’s headquarters. That cabinet supplied the ROM for the Arcade Archives.
Arcade Archives Donkey Kong is available now and costs $7.99. Sky Skipper will be available to play sometime in July. Other titles released under Arcade Archives include Mario Bros., Punch-out!!, and Vs. Super Mario Bros., a modified version of the original game that uses levels from the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2, known in America as The Lost Levels.