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Donkey Kong Restoration April 17, 2011

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Donkey Kong is widely regarded by competitive classic arcade game players as THE game to master. It's incredibly tough right from the first screen. There was a great documentary movie made about this subject entitled King of Kong, A Fistful of Quarters from Picturehouse films. If you haven't seen this movie yet, get it--it received good reviews. It can also be seen in its entirety on YouTubeŽ, split up into nine parts.

Donkey Kong is one of the last machines I wanted to have in my collection. I found one (again on Craig's List) that was in amazing condition for $450. It had been purchased back in the 80's by a homeowner in an auction, so it had very little wear & tear or running time.

Donkey Kong arrives!

You can probably tell from the photo above that the marquee, bezel, and control panel are in excellent condition. The main problems are the holes drilled in the front for a coin door lock bar and some vandalism to the coin door.

Looks to be in good shape and and all-original inside.

The inside view (above) revealed more good news; the machine was in original configuration and only moderately dirty.

Side view shows normal issues.

The sides have very light wear & tear. The top and bottom corners will need to be rebuilt and the side art is missing (I already it on order from The cabinets on these Nintendo games were covered with a "gel coat" like that used on boats. Fixing the dings will be a little more of a challenge.

As always, my main concern on these classic arcade games is the monitor. I was willing to pay $450 for this machine because of the condition of the original Sanyo CRT monitor. It works like new with no burn-in, sharp pure colors, deep black blacks, no noise, and no distortion. It won't even need to be re-capped. Excellent!

The monitor looks AWESOME!

The biggest issue will be restoring the coin door (below). It was vandalized in an attempt to pry the door open. They may have been successful as the frame is badly bent out of shape, the top hinge is broken, and the door is so badly sprung that it won't close. I think I can hammer & dolly this back into shape and do a little metal finishing and fill work. I'll know soon.

Vandals did a lot of damage to the coin door.

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