You’re reading Warped Pipes, the series where I try to deconvolute the story of the long running Super Mario video game franchise. This time around, we are getting our sticks and heading to the field in...

Donkey Kong Hockey

Box art
Image: IMDB

Donkey Kong Hockey is one of the later Game & Watch titles and seems to show Mario and DK Sr. engaging in a version of field hockey, based on the box art above. According to the game’s manual:

Donkey Kong and Mario are playing hockey!! The object is to score goals against the opponent. Look out for the referee and “Crazy Spots” that make playing Donkey Kong Hockey a wild game!!

The Events of the Game

This is a pretty straightforward competition between the two characters. Essentially, each competitor stands near his net and tries to block the ball and shoot it into the other’s net. The referee presides over the game and throws a new ball after each point. The moving Crazy Spots change the angle and speed of the ball, leading to a great deal of unpredictability. You can see the game in action below:

If we take the single player mode as the canonical version of events, it is Mario who ultimately wins this game.

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My Interpretation

This is clearly happening during the period in which DK Sr. has been captured and forced to perform, as we saw previously in Donkey Kong Circus. Given how much Mario seemed to be amused by the ape’s antics at the circus, it’s no surprise that he jumped at the chance to interact more directly with DK Sr. Mario is either unbothered by the ape’s bondage or unaware of his true intelligence. Either way, this game no doubt further fueled DK Sr.’s hatred for the man and contributed to him targeting Mario directly in Donkey Kong.

World Building

Basically, all we learn in this game is that sports are a common pastime in this world but that they are somewhat different from those in our world as they feature game-changing powerups and non-human participants. This is certainly something we will see more of in the Mario series.

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The Timeline So Far

Based on my interpretation, this puts Donkey Kong Hockey squarely between Donkey Kong Circus and Donkey Kong 3, resulting in the timeline below:

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Next Up

Next time around we will check back in with our favorite mustachioed pair of brothers on the construction site in the Wrecking Crew games.


Click here to view all entries in the Warped Pipes series.