Donkey Kong 1981 Nintendo
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Credit: Nintendo

This Chicago arcade bar’s shout-out to vintage Donkey Kong is a barrel of fun

Contributed by
May 8, 2019

Watch out for that barrel, dude, it's coming straight for you!

Bars that double as arcades are cool, sure, but they're even cooler when they go the extra mile in paying homage and deference to that halcyon era of when you'd spend an entire summer afternoon emptying your piggy bank full of quarters in an effort to get the high score on Centipede or Donkey Kong

A shining example of this is Replay Lakeview, a "barcade" in Chicago that recreated the famous girder-like platforms seen in the first-ever Donkey Kong game from 1981. Originally a villain within the Nintendo canon, the iconic gorilla kidnapped a princess named Daisy and spent most of the game throwing barrels and other obstacles at a mustachioed, overall-wearing man named Jumpman. Of course, this protagonist was the initial version of the Italian plumber we now know and love as Super Mario.

The arcade-inspired stairs/outdoor patio first got SYFY WIRE's attention after it popped up on Reddit from a user known as u/celticnowandforever. We loved it so much, in fact, that we included the installation in our latest edition of Reddit Roundup with Jackie Jennings and Angélique Roché, which you can watch below.

Here are two photos of the Donkey Kong-inspired patio/stairs, during the day and night, both kindly provided to us by Replay Lakeview's general manager, Niko Drake.

Donkey Kong patio Replay Chicago

Credit: Replay

Donkey Kong patio Replay bar Chicago

Credit: Replay

While it's been nearly 40 years since this game arrived on the scene, millennials have quite the relationship with the title if they grew up playing 1999's Donkey Kong 64 for the Nintendo 64 console. In order to progress toward the final boss battle with King K. Rool, players must first beat several levels of the '81 game and obtain the elusive RareWare Coin. You probably just rage-destroyed your computer or mobile device reading that summary because, man, was that a hard-ass challenge!


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