After his young daughter asked why she couldn’t play as a female caracter in the arcade classic “Donkey Kong,” game developer Mike Mika hacked the game so that she could. In the normal version of the game, Super Mario is trying to rescue a girl named Pauline from DK. In Mika’s hacked version, Pauline is now rescuing Mario from the ornery ape.
Mike has previously worked on games for consoles from the Atari 2600 to the Xbox 360. His three-year-old daughter is well versed on classic video games and knows how to play "Pac-Man" and "Super Mario Bros. 2." When she first asked to play “Donkey Kong” as Pauline, he thought it would be impossible, Yahoo News. That didn’t end up being the case.
"But that question!" Mika wrote in an article in Wired magazine. "It kept nagging at me. Kids ask parents all the time for things that just aren't possible. But this time, this was different. I'm a game developer by day. I could do this."
Working with Atari developer Kevin Wilson, Mika worked with a program called Tile Layer Pro. The program let him deconstruct the assets of "Donkey Kong" using an emulated copy of the game.
It wasn’t an easy process. Some of the problems:
- Pauline's character sprite is taller than Mario's by a fair margin
- The background colors did not match Pauline's design
- The "M" for "Mario" next to the bonus score had to be replaced with a "P." [See also:
Mika’s adaptation of the game has been criticized by misogynists for promoting a radical female agenda. "If this experience has taught me anything, it's that the world could be just a bit more accommodating,” Mika said. “And that if something as innocuous as having Mario be saved by Pauline brings out the crazy, maybe we aren't as mature in our view of gender roles as we should be."
Source: (Yahoo News)