Donkey Kong is one of the most iconic games characters of all time but he may not have existed had Nintendo followed their original idea.
In the latest 'Iwata Asks' interview, Shigeru Miyamoto admits that Donkey Kong was originally meant to be a Popeye game. "I sketched out a few ideas for games using Popeye," said Miyamoto. "At that point, Yokoi-san was good enough to bring these ideas to the President's attention and in the end one of the ideas received official approval. Yokoi-san thought that designers would become necessary members of development teams in order to make games in the future. And that's how Donkey Kong came about."
"But originally it was going to be a Popeye game," Iwata continued.
"That's right," Miyamoto responded. "But while I can't recall exactly why it was, we were unable to use Popeye in that title. It really felt like the ladder had been pulled out from under us, so to speak."
"It was a really lucky break! So next we began to flesh out the idea for a game based on the concept we had come up with."
Imagine a world without Donkey Kong. No Donkey Kong would mean no Jumpman. And without Jumpman we wouldn't have Mario!