Donkey Kong Restoration April 17, 2011
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
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.
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.
The inside view (above) revealed more good news; the machine was in original configuration
and only moderately dirty.
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
QuarterArcade.com). 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.
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.