Dad Hacks Donkey Kong so Daughter Can Play as Pauline
Mike Mika earned a few sips from his "World's Best Dad" mug after hacking a classic Nintendo game for his daughter's enjoyment.
The game developer was inspired by his 3-year-old daughter's innocent question while playing Donkey Kong: "How can I play as the girl?"
With the intent of swapping Mario's hero for Pauline's heroine, Mika, chief creative officer at Other Ocean Interactive, set to work inside of the Donkey Kong ROM, replacing sprites and adjusting palettes. All the while, friends were sharing his progress in an ongoing Reddit post and via Twitter, while Mika kept up on Facebook.
After hours of work, Mika added the finishing touches — changing the "M" next to the bonus indicator to a "P" for Pauline — and introduced his daughter to the final product.
"Just like clockwork, she woke up and sat on my lap asking to play Donkey Kong," he wrote in a guest Wired post. "Only this time, she could play as Pauline. She was excited! But for all she knew, I just figured out how to get Pauline to work. And that was fine. I wasn't expecting it to change her life."
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