Congo Bongo is a classic arcade game that was released by Sega in 1983. The game was developed by a team of designers and programmers that included Yu Suzuki, who is also known for creating other classic arcade games such as Hang-On and Out Run.
Congo Bongo was released in both upright and cocktail arcade cabinet versions, and it was also later ported to home consoles such as the Atari 2600, Atari 5200, and ColecoVision.
The game is a platformer that takes place in a jungle setting. The player controls a character named Bongo, who is trying to reach the top of a mountain where a gorilla named Congo is located. In order to get to Congo, the player must traverse through four different stages, each with their own obstacles and enemies.
The first stage is called "The Jungle," and it features Bongo running through a dense jungle while avoiding obstacles such as logs and boulders. The second stage is "The Rapids," and it features Bongo riding on a raft down a river while dodging rocks and jumping over waterfalls. The third stage is "The Caves," and it features Bongo running through a series of underground caves while avoiding bats and other hazards. The final stage is "The Mountain," and it features Bongo climbing up a steep mountain while dodging falling rocks and jumping over gaps.
Throughout each stage, Bongo must also avoid the various enemies that are trying to stop him. These enemies include monkeys, snakes, and rhinoceroses. The monkeys can be defeated by jumping on them, while the snakes and rhinoceroses must be avoided altogether. If Bongo comes into contact with an enemy or obstacle, he will lose a life.
In addition to the standard enemies, each stage also features a boss that must be defeated in order to progress to the next stage. The boss in the jungle stage is a giant gorilla, while the boss in the rapids stage is a crocodile. The boss in the caves stage is a dragon, and the boss in the mountain stage is Congo himself.
One of the unique features of Congo Bongo is its use of 3D graphics. While the game is still a 2D side-scrolling platformer, the graphics are rendered in a pseudo-3D perspective that gives the game a more immersive feel. The game also features a catchy soundtrack that is based on African music.
The Congo Bongo arcade machine was powered by a dedicated arcade system board manufactured by Sega. The board, known as the Sega System 1, was used in several other Sega arcade games such as Ninja Princess and Flicky.
The System 1 board featured a Zilog Z80 central processing unit (CPU) clocked at 4 MHz, which handled most of the game's logic and gameplay. It also had a separate Zilog Z80 sound
Congo Bongo was well-received upon its release and is still considered a classic arcade game today. Its colorful graphics, challenging gameplay, and unique 3D perspective helped to set it apart from other arcade games of its time. While it may not be as well-known as other classic arcade games such as Pac-Man or Donkey Kong, Congo Bongo remains a beloved title among retro gaming enthusiasts.