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Dad hacks Donkey Kong, switches Mario out with Pauline for 3-year-old daughter

Father uses tech savvy to make girl’s wish come true

When YouTube user Mike Mika’s three-year-old daughter asked to play as Pauline instead of Mario in Donkey Kong, he didn’t simply tell her it couldn’t be done: he spent long nights hacking the game to make it happen.

The result? “Donkey Kong: Pauline Edition”.

Donkey Kong Pauline Edition

Pauline in Donkey Kong

The chief creative officer at Other Ocean Interactive / late-night video game hacker describes how the situation came about in his original YouTube post:

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?

Specifically, he redrew all of Mario’s frames and swapped the palettes in the ROM. He also replaced the “M” at the top with a “P” for Pauline.

Mika points out that there were no political motivations behind this project — he just wanted to make his little girl happy, though he did write, “if this experience has taught me anything, it’s that the world could be just a bit more accommodating.”

Video of the game he developed in action is below. For those interested in doing it themselves, Mika also made the Pauline patch available for download (at the bottom of the description).

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