Go, Pauline! Dad hacks Donkey Kong for daughter, adds girl power

March 11, 2013 | 12:15 p.m.

When Mike Mika’s 3-year-old daughter said she wanted to play Donkey Kong as Pauline and save Mario, like a good dad, he made it happen.

Mika posted on YouTube the results of his late-night efforts to hack the game and replace Mario with Pauline, turning the damsel in distress into the hero of the day.  Dad’s a hero too.

His “Donkey Kong: Pauline Edition” is above.

The game developer said in his YouTube post that his daughter had played “Super Mario Bros. 2” as Princess Toadstool “and naturally just assumed she could do the same in Donkey Kong.”  But no dice.

Rather than disappoint her, he worked a little magic: “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.”

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Mika, chief creative officer at Other Ocean Interactive, details in Wired how he made the girl-empowering switcheroo.  He notes, however, that he didn’t do this to make a statement, just to make his little girl smile. Still, he wrote, “if this experience has taught me anything, it’s that the world could be just a bit more accommodating.”

Mika made a Pauline patch for those who’d like to give it a whirl.

— Amy Hubbard


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10 Responses to Go, Pauline! Dad hacks Donkey Kong for daughter, adds girl power

  1. Whome says:

    Awesome! What a dad! :)

  2. @kelzebubba says:

    I hope Nintendo bans his system for violating the terms of his user agreement.

  3. ram gopal says:

    the destruction of tradition

  4. Avatar says:

    Nintendo lawyers knocking on Mike's door in 3…2…1

  5. Thoob says:

    Everyone knows that as a woman, Pauline does not have the proper upper body strength to wield the mallet properly, basically insuring that Mario will stay a prisoner of Kong forever. I can't think of any worse actions since the Holocaust.

  6. Babs says:

    You go, girl! Pauline rocks Nintendo.

  7. Fox says:

    Hackers did this years ago. Dumb .

  8. Hannah says:

    I hate to tell of you, but Nintendo is relatively kind when it comes to things like this. When I was young I wrote a letter to Nintendo asking if I could use images from their games for a presentation. They actually replied back and told me that I could, there's a person on youtube who had the same thing happen. He's not making any money off of a game which isn't even on the market anymore, I don't see why they would even bother. Unlike other companies, they aren't sue happy.

  9. Sophie says:

    You go Pauline it’s your time to shine.

  10. JManson says:

    Cute, but not the real world. In reality, women call men for protection. In reality, it’s men who create civilizations, cities, universities, hospitals, and even video game technology.

    “Girl Power” is just an empty slogan. “Man Power” is what makes things happen.

    This girl will grow up to rely on men for everything from her electricity, sewer, garbage, laws, courts, and even the products transported to her local Target.

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