Unless you own a classic Nintendo console with all the original cartridges, you may find it difficult to play your favorite classics. One of the most iconic franchises that took super fans by storm was the Donkey Kong NES franchise. If you are looking for a way to get back to your roots, then you’ll be happy to hear that there is a way to play every Donkey Kong game for free. You simply need to download a program called an emulator, and then the game for it to run.
This seems like a lot of work. Is this really necessary?
Nothing in life that is worth doing is easy. In this case, there is an easy way out. If you aren’t comfortable with doing all the computer savvy setup stuff, you can simply play the games from within your internet browser. These usually require Adobe Flash Player, and generally work a lot slower than if you just ran the files from your computer directly. This method comes with less flexibility, but it can help you get your Super Nintendo fix pretty quickly.
If you already know what you are doing, and you are just looking for directions, you can skip the crash course below this paragraph. If you aren’t very good with computers, and would like some definition, I recommend that you read the crash course!
Either way, you I will include all of the information for each Donkey Kong game at the bottom of this text.
Consider Buying SNES With Donkey Kong
If you have a little bit of patience(and money to spare), consider just buying the game and system online. Granted that some copies of Donkey Kong are now collectibles, you may still be able to find some cartridges that aren’t in the best condition to be held in a collection. If all you want to do is play the game, then the condition of the cartridge may not matter to you. There is also a new option from Nintendo. They have introduced a compact version of the original SNES with a handful of games preinstalled. Consider grabbing one for yourself, and play more than just Donkey Kong games, but all the classics that made the system so popular.
Another option is to buy the classic consoles from websites like DKoldies that have made a business around collecting and selling old games and consoles for a fair price.
Crash Course: ROMs and Emulator Meaning
It can take a little bit of computer know-how to get started on playing classic games on your computer. The method that is most commonly used today is to download a program called an “Emulator” and then to download the game files, which are called “ROMs”.
What does “emulate” mean?
To emulate a game means to re-create the environment in which the game is meant to run natively. To put it simply, you need to fake a game system that the game’s requirements are built for. An emulator is simply a piece of software that can run games that were shipped for that specific console. If you want to play Donkey Kong NES games, you will need a NES emulator.
To use an emulator, you will need to be a bit comfortable with how you find files on your computer. It also depends on which emulator you choose to use. Some make it very simple, and some are pretty advanced. It is recommended to try a few different ones to see what style suits you best. There is a handful of different emulators out there. I have provided a link to my favorite emulator, ZSNES. With the right computer know-how, you and a friend can play SNES games together over the internet via the NETPLAY feature that it holds.
What does “ROM” mean?
A video game ROM is the file that is widely used for emulation purposes. It is a specially designed type of file that is made to work like a CD, but in the form of a computer file. These files are called images. Without going into too much detail about how computers work, I will simply say that an image file is a copy of some software that is “frozen in time”, much like a cartridge.
When you run a video game emulator, it will look for ROM files to find a game to play.
Is This Legal?
An important question to ask, for sure. When downloading software that you know you could or should pay for, you may feel that you are pirating. There is a clear line that divides which side of the argument you are on.
This is completely legal if you have or have already owned a copy of the game you are downloading. The process of downloading these games can be considered a method of backing up your purchase. In the case that you lose or damage your physical copy, you can still access your legitimate purchase.
Donkey Kong Country ROM
In Donkey Kong Country, Donkey Kong and his pal Diddy Kong are on an adventure to recover their stolen bananas. The evil crocodile villain, King K. Rool has stolen their bananas and made it very difficult to retrieve them. With nostalgic level design, music, and artwork, this game set the Donkey Kong franchise to new heights. Play through approximately 50 unique levels, all with hidden secrets for you to discover.
Donkey Kong Country 2 ROM
After the huge success of Donkey Kong Country 1, an inevitable sequel was produced. King K. Rool is up to his nasty tricks again where he kidnaps the star of this beloved franchise. Play as Diddy Kong and his girlfriend on a rescue mission to save Donkey Kong from his captor. Another well designed 50+ levels to play through!
Donkey Kong Country 3 ROM
The final Donkey Kong Country game for the SNES platform. Play as Diddy Kong and her cousin Kiddy Kong. Traverse through another whopping 50+ levels. A big chapter in the Donkey Kong story awaits you as you meet many new characters that have their own storylines that unfold. A huge leap from the previous games’ storylines!
Donkey Kong 64 ROM
As with all major Nintendo franchises, the biggest players got their own 3D version once the Nintendo 64 came out. It takes a little more(but barely) to run N64 games on your computer. The SNES system was built to run 16-bit games. The Nintendo 64 was built to run 64-bit games. What does this mean? You can essentially have more memory available to you at any given time to run more sophisticated software. The SNES titles mentioned before this paragraph could easily be run in a browser because they require barely any memory to run. This means you will need to use an emulator to play anything that required more memory, like 3D games.