Sunday, May 30, 2010

In the Wild: Crazy Kong Coin-Op

My wife and I were out at a flea market this morning, where someone had this for sale - a vintage early-1980's Crazy Kong arcade cabinet:

This was one of the more popular illegal copies of Nintendo's Donkey Kong -- it had a new title screen by "Eagle," some rearrangement of the level order and color scheme, and a crudely rendered new logo on the machine itself.  The cabinet's side art is lifted straight from Nintendo's version, although the colors are different -- Pauline has brown hair instead of blonde.

I actually have fond memories of this questionable edition, because my brother and I used to play this bootleg version at a local movie theatre back in the day.  It's highly unlikely this is the same machine, but for the asking price of $200, it was tempting to pick it up for nostalgia's sake.  Fortunately there wasn't room in the trunk for this particular piece of pirate booty.


  1. I played one of these recently at Funspot in New Hampshire. Not sure if I would rather own the actual classic original or this more rare bootleg, but for $200 I would have considered snagging it.

  2. This is MY machine, the actual one i got it from the flea market! lol
    My high score on this is 354,400

    my name is ryan if anyone wants to buy it
    contact me at

    I am moving and this thing will get destroyed if i cant find it a great

  3. As odd as it may seem, KLOV lists this machine not as a bootleg but as an officially licensed product for non-US markets. Not sure how so many of them ended up in the US except that perhaps they were released to meet demand. From my youth I remember playing this version at a corner store. The audio was the audio from Crazy Climber instead of the familiar DK audio and Mario/"Jump-Man" was wearing the colors from Mario Brothers instead of the colors from DK.

  4. That's odd -- I wonder if there were different "Crazy Kongs" out there. This version bears no copyright notice from Nintendo at all, and the sound as I recall was the standard Donkey Kong audio; only the title screen and color palette were obviously altered. Maybe at some point it became a licensed product under legal duress? This kind of underground history is REALLY hard to track down!

  5. Just to update. This machine is now mine. It has the same marks. I have it in Michigan in the Detroit area. Working on improving it.