Sailor vs. Plumber|
(The Looming Popeye/ Donkey Kong Crossover Battle For the Ages)
With rumors of homebrews Popeye and Mario Brothers ARCADE being released on cart soon dancing around my head, my mind has been brought back to an original idea I've had for awhile now. The recent work from darryl1970, Kevinmos3, Synthpopalooza, and Tep392is in the Atari 7800 platformer scene has been amazing... but have they opened a Pandora's Box, at least in my mind. But first, some little-known history about Popeye and Donkey Kong.
Did you know that the "Jumpman" from Donkey Kong, who later turned out to be our pal Mario from Nintendo fame, was originally slated to be Popeye, the sailor man: the eponymous cartoon hero from the 20's? And... I would assume that Donkey Kong would have been his love rival Bluto, and therefore Pauline would have been his on again/ off again lady-pal, Olive Oyl. Most everything cutesy and fun in the Nintendo universe would have faded away like Marty's family in Back to the Future. "What-ifs?" are interesting. We can all agree that Nintendo made the right call. They made new franchises and a ga-zillion games with Mario & pals, all beginning with the best single screen platformer of all time: Donkey Kong. And then they later cashed in on nostalgia with the second best single screen platformer of all time: Popeye. Win-win.
But what if........
I soon as I heard about that near disasterous mistake in central casting, I immediately wondered how Popeye, with his bar brawling punching mechanics, would have fared in the Donkey Kong games... and conversely, how Mario, the tubby jumpman, would do in Popeye's stead. And what if... what if some crazy hobby programmer in some crazy universe would take on the task of letting us try it out? CAGE MATCH!
Popeye would do well on DK's rivet screen punching the "firefoxes" into bar room oblivion, but since Popeye can't jump, he would have to perform the task of removing rivets, meticulouly. Mario would rule on Popeye's final screen, the pirate ship. He could jump on the vulture's head and knock it out pretty easily while bouncing around the boat with ease. But could the jump man survive Popeye's early screens, with the hag's projectile offense and Bluto's tenacious pursuit... Cue up the old folk song, "If I Had a Hammer."
I would include both titles on one cart: Donkey Kong and Popeye. Play them traditionally if you wish... Lameass. Or... mix it up. Use Popeye to defeat ol' DK... (we will have to think on how the sailor could get through the springeeze screen... too many jumps for the old violent sailor. Maybe we just scrap it). Or... we can have Mario out-athlete drunken Bluto for an eventual roll in the hay with Olive Oyl. Wait a minute... the plumber likes thicc girls. Maybe we can switch the villains and damsels, too! Or not... that could be an option! Canon Villains or Original Villains! You choose~
What I think would be the most fun is a random adventure where you start the game off as your favorite hero, but the screen's villains, and protagonists could randomly switch with a new level, And maybe... just maybe... After the tenth screen... A bonus Level from Donkey Kong........ JUNIOR!
Your hero of choice has to defeat the key level... to win the crown of "Ninetndo Mascot Immortality." Well... we know who wins this. But maybe it would be fun to rewrite history (especially as Atarians). Or maybe you would defend it. The choice is up to you. But... probably not. I'm not pimp enough to make video games and no one is as crazy as I am when it comes to this kinda stuff. Still... fun to think about.
Wait a minute!!! There's More!!!
What if Mario could jump on Bluto's head and knock him in the water? Would that make it too easy? Hmmmm.... interesting. Oh Wait... could spinach make Popeye jump? Would Olive Oyl's hearts make Mario slow down... since... ya know... he's just not that into her? Oh! Oh! Oh! what if.........................
Oh... by the way... already made the box art for my crazy cross-over fantasy game.