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Dad hacks Donkey Kong so daughter can save Mario

A dedicated dad stays up late burning the midnight oil so his 3-year-old daughter's retro gaming wish can come true.

Pauline Donkey Kong
Pauline races to save Mario.
Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

When Mike Mika's young daughter asked if she could play Donkey Kong as a girl and save Mario, he did what any awesome geek dad would do. He stayed up late, hacking Donkey Kong and turning the gender tables on the game.

Mika's Donkey Kong: Pauline Edition lets Mario's girlfriend Pauline (Pauline was around before Princess Peach came along) rescue the hapless Mario from the giant angry gorilla. His daughter was used to playing Super Mario Bros. 2 as Princess Toadstool. She didn't understand why Donkey Kong wouldn't let her do the same. Dad came to the rescue.

"Now I'm up at midnight hacking the ROM, replacing Mario with Pauline," Mika writes. "I'm using the 2010 NES Donkey Kong ROM. I've redrawn Mario's frames and I swapped the palettes in the ROM. I replaced the M at the top with a P for Pauline."

The patch is available so that geek gals everywhere can play the game as Pauline. She has all the powers that Mario usually wields, but she rocks a pink dress and ponytail. It's sweet to see Pauline finally get some glory after decades of waiting for Mario to rescue her.

(Via Reddit)