Nintendo’s U.S. explosion started 34 years ago today, with Donkey Kong

A big, mean ape is the reason Nintendo caught fire with American audiences.

Take a moment to thank Donkey Kong today, which is the 34th anniversary of the original game’s arrival in the States. Legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto came up with the titular primate and his mustachioed arch-nemesis — “Jumpman” at the time, the prototypical Mario — as Nintendo pushed to gain stateside traction.

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