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.”

GALLERY: The year in video games

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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