You may have already seen/heard this story as it has been running around the gaming sites last week. Mike Mika, a game designer, is now an official candidate for the Coolest Dad Awards. As seen on Reddit and Mike's own YouTube channel he has hacked the classic arcade game Donkey Kong in order to appease his child's desires. Here's the story in Mike's own words:
"My three year old daughter and I play a lot of old games together. Her favorite is Donkey Kong. Two days ago, she asked me if she could play as the girl and save Mario. She's played as Princess Toadstool in Super Mario Bros. 2 and naturally just assumed she could do the same in Donkey Kong. I told her we couldn't in that particular Mario game, she seemed really bummed out by that. So what else am I supposed to do? Now I'm up at midnight hacking the ROM, replacing Mario with Pauline. I'm using the 2010 NES Donkey Kong ROM. I've redrawn Mario's frames and I swapped the palettes in the ROM. I replaced the M at the top with a P for Pauline. Thanks to Kevin Wilson for giving me the lead on the tools and advice."
Behold, the result of Mike's work:
Should you know of any girl gamers who would also prefer to play this classic game as Pauline instead of the go-to savior Mario you can download the Pauline DK patch from the above YouTube page. For more see Mike's own article over on Wired.
This is the second time that Donkey Kong has brought about a compelling real-world story in recent years. Seek out the much under-appreciated documentary The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters to know what I'm referring to.