Donkey Kong 3

The Arcade Video Game by Nintendo Co., Ltd.

Donkey Kong 3 screenshot


Emulated in MAME ! Coin-Operated Arcade Video Game

Donkey Kong 3 © 1983 Nintendo.

The third and final arcade outing for Donkey Kong sees the giant ape once again cast as the enemy. Unlike the first two Donkey Kong games, the legendary character Mario is not featured in this game. Instead, the player takes on the role of Stanley the Bugman, a gardener who is armed with a bug spray with which he must destroy the swarms of insects that attack him and try to steal his plants.

Each level has five plants that must be protected. Stanley must also spray Kong to force the ape to the top of the screen and complete the level.


Stanley - Stanley's job is to defend the greenhouse that Donkey Kong has invaded. He does this with his trusty bug spray. When Stanley pumps his spray can, the spray travels a certain distance before dissipating so it's not useful against targets that are far away. Stanley primarily uses his bug spray to zap bugs or to make Donkey Kong scoot up the vines that he holds onto. In order to complete each stage, Stanley's goal is to either push Donkey Kong all the way up the vine using bug spray, or defeat every insect present in that stage. There are many ways for Stanley to lose a life, including touching an insect, getting shot by any of the bee stingers, running out of time, or allowing Donkey Kong to slip off the bottom of the vine.

Donkey Kong - Nintendo's favorite simian seems to have been working out a little bit compared to his previous appearances. Donkey Kong attempts to keep himself above harm's way by hanging onto two vines that descend from the greenhouse ceiling. If left alone, Donkey Kong slips down the vines little by little, hoping to land on Stanley by surprise. Occasionally, he will reach over to one of the two beehives along side him and tap them in order to send more bees after Stanley. In the yellow stages, he even grabs coconuts from time to time and lobs them at Stanley's head. Starting in round 15, he will throw coconuts at you regardless of the stage.

Super Spray - One time for every one of Stanley's lives, a more powerful bug spray will be perched on Donkey Kong's right vine. When Stanley pushes Donkey Kong high enough so that his hand is touching the spray, the spray falls to the ground, at which time Stanley can pick it up. The Super Spray lasts for a number of seconds, and continues with Stanley to the next stage until the full time runs out. When this spray is activated, Donkey Kong is forced up the vines much faster, Creepies die when hit, and Queen Bees die in one hit. It will not be replenished after it runs out until Stanley loses a life, so it's not a good idea to plan your strategy around it's use.

Beespy & Buzzbee - These bugs are the primary attack force of the hive. Stanley starts the game squaring off against the Beespies as they swoop down and try to steal Stanley's vegetables. Starting in round 12, the hive switches to their faster and more aggressive soldiers, the Buzzbees. Buzzbees strike at Stanley more directly than Beespies. Either bee may or may not be accompanying a Queen Bee, but they are dangerous either way.

Queen Bees - Starting in round 3, the Queen Bees of the hive will from time to time enter the fray surrounded by their royal escorts. One shot isn't enough to do them in, it simply changes them from red to blue. Even after you shoot them a second time, the threat isn't over. When killed, they split up in to 4 tiny projectiles that can kill you if they connect. You are only safe directly beneath them when they die.

Buttifly & Beetle - Starting in round 6, the Buttiflies escape from the hive. They fly down along the side of the screen until they are even with Stanley, pause for a brief moment, and then charge across the screen in an attempt to collide with him. They disappear after round 16, only to be replaced with Beetles in round 18, who are bigger and a bit harder to dodge. Beetles do not pause as Buttiflies do, and attack immediately.

Moth - The Moth is the mercenary of the bee hive, employed from round 24 and on. They move erratically, so it's slightly difficult to predict where they are going to end up. They will occasionally attack Stanley, or they will swoop down for his vegetables. Don't let them distract you from your efforts to force Donkey Kong up the vine, but don't get in their way either, or let them fly away with your plants.

Creepy - This worm likes to play interference. In the blue and gray stages, he crawls down to the platforms from the plants along the side of the screen. Once he reaches the platform, he will wiggle back and forth and make a nuisance of himself. He cannot be killed by the normal bug spray, but he is quite allergic to it, and spraying him causes him to stop in his tracks until he finishes coughing. He can be persuaded to climb back up the plant for a while if you blast him with spray before he reaches the platforms. In yellow stages, three or more Creepies will slide along the vines below Donkey Kong and try to get in the way of your bug spray. If you hit one, not only with it absorb the spray, but you'll have to wait for it to finish coughing before he will move on and allow you to shoot Kong. They can be killed by super spray.

Beebomb - After an insect successfully steals one of your plants, it turns into a Beebomb. Beebombs circle around a few times near the hive that they came from, and then immediately dive bomb towards Stanley. They are incredibly fast when diving towards you, but due to their direct attack nature, they are easy to defeat as long as you keep your eyes on them and time a blast of bug spray just as they are about to hit you.

Vine Eater - These creatures appear when the bonus timer runs out. When the timer reaches zero, two of these appear on either side of the screen. They are oblivious to bug spray. When they reach the vines, they eat the vine from the bottom up to the ceiling. If they eat the section of vine that Donkey Kong is holding on to, Donkey Kong falls down and Stanley loses a life just as if he had allowed Donkey Kong to drop off the vine himself.


Donkey Kong 3 the  Arcade Video Game
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Main CPU : Zilog Z80 (@ 4 Mhz)
Sound CPU : (2x) N2A03 (@ 1.789772 Mhz)
Sound Chips : (2x) N2A03 (@ 1.789772 Mhz)

Players : 2
Control : 4-way joystick
Buttons : 1 (SPRAY)


Released in October 1983 in Japan, Donkey Kong 3 was Nintendo's 3rd arcade game to feature the hapless ape.

This game came out at the time of the big arcade game collapse. Companies such as Atari, Konami, and Taito saw a drastic reduction in sales for their arcade machines. Smaller arcade companies such as Centuri (producer of "Pleiades" and "Phoenix") simply went out of business. Although some notable games such as "Cloak and Dagger", "Track and Field", and "Elevator Action" were released, none of them had strong sales. Donkey Kong 3 was no exception to what was going on.

First of all, Donkey Kong 3 changed the look of their game. Second, instead of Mario, they now used Stanley the bugs exterminator (This is the second game to feature the character of Stanley; the first time was in the Nintendo Game & Watch Multi Screen game, 'Green House' of 1982). Unfortunately, Donkey Kong 3 was not well received at the arcades and did pretty poorly in sales. It did develop a cult of games who remained loyal to the Donkey Kong series, but it never offered any serious competition.

Stanley also, appear as a trophy in the game Super Smash Bros. Melee.

Dwayne Richard holds the official record for this game with 2,583,000 points on September 21, 2008.

A bootleg was made by Kazutome in 1984 on the "Donkey Kong Junior" hardware!


Beespy : 100 points
Buttifly : 200 points
Buzzbee : 300 points
Insect with Plant : 400 points
Beetle : 700 points
Beebomb : 700 points
Moth : 700 points

NOTE: Killing an insect with a plant will rescue the plant.

The Queen Bee's scoring depends on how many Beespies or Buzzbees are escorting her :
Queen Bee with no escorts : 400 points
Queen Bee with one escort : 700 points
Queen Bee with two escorts : 1,000 points

Creepy : 300 points (can only be killed with Super Spray)

You get 500 points per plant saved. If you save all 5 plants in consecutive levels, you get the following bonus :

First two consecutive levels (at this point, plants are not all full size) : 2,000 points.

Third consecutive level onward (saving all plants after all 5 have grown to full size) : 5,000 points.

If you lose a plant, you will get no plant bonus. Afterwards you'll have to grow a new plant, resetting the plant bonus to 2,000.

You also get the remaining bonus points added to your score when you complete a level. The bonus points start off at 8,000.


• When you start the game, Stanley will start at the bottom, middle of the screen. You job is to move him up to push Donkey Kong out of the area and to defend against the various insects that will plague Stanley. Using the joystick, you can easily navigate on the platforms as long as there is a platform above and below Stanley. Use this ability to maneuver to keep out of harms way.

• Your big goal is to prevent the insects from getting all of your plants. If you lose all of your plants, you lose the game. If you do happen to lose a plant, it takes two levels to grow another one.

• Some players use this to their advantage in order to increase their scores. They let the insect capture the plant, then they shoot the insect to get both the plant and insect bonus. In addition, they collect the bonus for having all five plants at the end of the stage.

• When using the regular bug spray, you will have to go to the top of the platform area and jump up to force Donkey Kong higher while defending yourself against the insects.

• Keep in mind, that the bug spray you start with is pretty weak; both in terms of range and power. Your immediate goal is to get Donkey Kong far enough up the ropes so that the super-bug spray can gets dropped. This will enable you to hit him from the bottom of the platforms and give you more running room to avoid the insects. Keep in mind, this super-bug spray only last for that stage.

• The above will be especially crucial during the yellow stages. The bug spray merely causes the Creepies to choke and cough and it doesn't kill them. Instead, you may end up creating a wall of choking Creepies that block your line of fire from Donkey Kong. Make sure you fire in-between the four rows of Creepies.

• You will note that on the gray stages, there is no middle level, per se. Instead, you must work your way around to the right or left to get to the top platform. This delay could prove crucial since you will have to be very wary of the insects that will have had a head start on you.

• In the later levels, after 18, for the blue and gray stages, the pattern is a little different regarding the coconut throwing. Donkey Kong will throw a coconut to the right, then the left, then to the center.

• As you progress further into the levels, the insects become faster and more aggressive. As a matter of fact, after level 15, their shots are much more accurate when they shoot at Stanley. Also, the insects that don't shoot will home in on Stanley. This will require good joystick control if you are to survive.

• Be aware that the Queen Bees explode into shrapnel when killed. Four pieces will radiate downward. Most of the time, if you are centered under them, the shrapnel will go around Stanley. If you are moving, though, be aware that even though you killed the Queen Bee, you will still have to deal with the aftermath.

• Blue Stage
This is your basic greenhouse stage. There are three platforms stacked in a pyramid, so you can roam anywhere throughout the stage for the best shooting position.
Stanley always starts in the center directly beneath Donkey Kong, so it's usually a good idea to start jump up immediately and spray Kong a few times before Stanley has to worry about any bug threats.
It will take several consecutive shots to convince Kong to climb up the vines considerably. When he is especially high, Stanley is required to jump up and fire or the spray will not hold together by the time it reaches Kong.
Remember that while it is wise to destroy Queen Bees as soon as possible, they still pose a threat when you destroy them, so stay directly beneath them when that second shot connects.
Be mindful of the flight patterns of the bugs, and don't try to rescue a captured vegetable if trying to rescue it would result in death, or if you're sure that you can force Donkey Kong off the screen before the bug brings the vegetable back to the hive. Any bug holding a vegetable when Kong flees will drop it back to the ground.
At higher rounds, pay attention to the sides and force Creepy back up the sides if he is getting too low. If he does manage to reach the platform, you will have to plan your strategy around the times when Creepy is directly beneath Donkey Kong so that you don't end up jumping on him.
The bees have a pattern when they swarm from their hives and come down to attack. Even on the later levels, when extra bees are involved in the attack, they still show patterns. Use this to your advantage.

• Yellow Stage
For the full three stage cycle, this is the final showdown between Stanley and Donkey Kong. With no where left to go, Kong must choose between reaching the floor, or having his head forced in to the beehive positioned precariously above his head.
Any vegetables that were stolen before now are replenished. In this stage, the insect attacks aren't as constant as the other two, but be prepared for a steady flow of vegetable dives.
Instead, Stanley must contend with a pack of Creepies who insist on crawling in Stanley's way and blocking his spray from reaching Donkey Kong. If Stanley's spray does happen to hit a Creepy who is in the way, stop firing immediately and give it time to recover and move on. You can be preemptive about it and attack the Creepies while they are still on the sidelines so they are distracted from interfering with you.
In Donkey Kong's desperation, he will take to lobbing coconuts. Donkey Kong will alternate between throwing coconuts at one of the beehives, and throwing one at you. When you see one drop from the ceiling and in to his hand, stop firing and move Stanley away from his current position and the coconut will sail harmlessly past you.
Force Kong to the top and his head will get stuck in the beehive above.
Donkey Kong likes to throw coconuts down on Stanley. There is a pattern to his throwing. He will first throw one to the left, then one to the center, then one to the right. The left and right coconuts that are thrown are aimed at the beehives, which will release a Beespy or Buzzbee.

• Gray Stage
You won't see it for the first time until round 4 because the first sequence of stages skips this layout.
The gray stage is a lot like the blue stage except the middle platform isn't connected all the way across. Worse yet, the place where it's not connected is directly below Donkey Kong. This means you won't be able to charge up the middle right from the start of the level, giving Kong a few precious seconds to slip down the vine.
You'll have to move far enough to the left or the right to reach the highest platform before you can return to the center and continue to blast Kong with spray. Other than that, all the strategies of Stage 1 apply to Stage 2.
Remember that if you need to drop down from the third platform to the first, it's better to stay alive and make up the time, than to risk Stanley's life if a collision is eminent.
The bees have a pattern when they swarm from their hives and come down to attack. Even on the later levels, when extra bees are involved in the attack, they still show patterns. Use this to your advantage.


1. Donkey Kong (1981)
2. Donkey Kong Junior (1982)
3. Donkey Kong 3 (1983)


Designed and programmed by : Shigeru Miyamoto


NOTE: For ports released in North America, please see the North American version entry; "Donkey Kong 3 [Nintendo Pak]".


Nintendo Famicom japan (jul.4, 1984) "Donkey Kong 3 [Model HVC-DT]"
Nintendo NES europe (sept.15, 1987) "Donkey Kong 3 [Model NES-DT-EEC]"


Sharp X1 japan (1984)
NEC PC-8801 japan (oct.1984)

Game's ROM.
Machine's picture.
F.A.Q. by Kevin Butler A.K.A. War Doc

Page last modified on August 03, 2015