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Now unlike the Amstrad, the Spectrum can be a bit of a pain when trying to load something because the build in BASIC uses a Macro system, meaning instead of typing words you must press keys that correspond to keywords.
Luckily for loading a game you only have to know how to enter the command LOAD “”, which is ‘J’ (for load) then ‘Shift P’ twice, for the “” part. The later Spectrum models have other easier ways of loading games, but not all software is compatible.
’ Donkey Kong is a much earlier game than the previous covered Raiden, so the systems it was ported to were quite different, this was the 80s when home computers were commonplace.
The first port of Donkey Kong I’m going to look at is one of the most recent additions to the emulator, added in 0.161 it’s the Coleco Handheld which looked something like this A little background information is possible required here. While today you have machines in your pocket that are often more powerful than the PC sitting on your desk, in 1982 we didn’t, even the original Game Boy was not released until 1989, and the only real handhelds with a video display to speak of were things like the Microvision with a 16×16 pixel display.
By default there is one key assigned to toggle this mode on and off and that key is SCRLOCK (Scroll Lock) However some laptops and other modern keyboards (including my wireless Logitech) don’t have this key, so you’ll need to assign something else.
If you’re in that situation then (assuming you have MAME already setup, including ROM paths etc.) you should launch MAME with no parameters and use the internal menu to do the following: Scroll down to “Configure General Inputs” select “User Interface” select “UI Toggle” (it’s about 70% down the list) and assign a new key to it, one that is out the way and unlikely to be used by the emulated systems, personally I picked ‘END’ I will refer to this key as ‘UI TOGGLE’ for the rest of this document, please be aware that if the UI is in ‘active’ state and you press ESC then you WILL exit the emulation so it’s important to remember to toggle it back off after each time you need to use the UI.
In MAME, for a long time, there have been a number of takes on Donkey Kong, the arcade original looked like this: Even in the arcades there were a number of games that ripped off Donkey Kong.
Hit the ‘UI Toggle’ key once more to disable the MAME keys again and hand the keyboard back over to the emulated system. Remember, if you want to exit the emulator hit the ‘UI Toggle’ key (SCRLOCK) before pressing ESC.Hit ‘UI Toggle’ (SCRLOCK by default) to enable the MAME keys.Press F2, this is the keyboard shortcut to start a tape.While very similar in appearance it’s actually a very different piece of code to the original game.The Brazilian ‘Kong’ falls into the same category, it uses the Donkey Kong graphics, but the codebase is entirely different, resulting in a very stiff game with some redesigned levels; don’t be fooled by how similar it looks, there’s not a shred of the original Donkey Kong code in it!
One of the most critically acclaimed ports of Donkey Kong was the one to the Amstrad CPC, and I’m not surprised, for a system that received, for the most part, shoddy reworkings of Spectrum ports that were unflappably slow this is an absolute gem.