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March 20, 2018
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Obscure 1984 Donkey Kong game released online

February 27, 2018 | By Alissa McAloon

February 27, 2018 | By Alissa McAloon
More: Console/PC, Video

A fan-led effort to salvage Donkey Kong 3: The Great Counterattack has engineered a version of the rare Japanese game that can be played with a modern emulator. 

Donkey Kong was one of many Nintendo properties licensed out to developer Hudson Soft in the 1980s to become disc-based games for Japanese home computers.

Kotaku reports that most of these rare spinoffs had made their way online thanks to unofficial efforts, but some titles like Donkey Kong 3: The Great Counterattack eluded the grasp of those fans until recently. 

The Great Counterattack itself represents a notable period in video game history and the significant effort made to make the Japanese game available worldwide is something worth paying attention to, especially as groups like the ESA butt heads with video game conservationists over preservation efforts.

In December, a group of fans was able to pick up a copy of the game in an online auction for roughly $415. From there, members of the group gathered the tech they’d need to dump the Maxell CF-2D discs housing Donkey Kong 3: The Great Counterattack to a modern computer where the game could then be made to run with an emulator. Famicomical, one of the major players in the effort, shared the nitty-gritty details of the dump itself over on Medium in a post that hardware-minded game developers might find interesting as well.

The result, a Space Invader-style classic Donkey Kong game, can be seen in action in the video above. 

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