Congo Bongo (1983)

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Congo Bongo (1983)
Title image from the game
Game No. 307
Developer Ikegami Tsushinki
Company Sega
Publisher Sega
HVSC-File GAMES/A-F/Congo_Bongo.sid
Release 1983
Platform {{{Platform}}}
Genre Arcade, Platformer (Single Screen)
Gamemode Single player
2 players (in turns)
Operation {{{Width}}}{{{Width}}}
Media Tape-icon.pngCartridge-icon.png
Language Language:english Language:Italian
Information also: Africa Nera
Follower: Congo Bongo (1985)


Voting of the C64-Wiki users (10=the best vote):
5.89 points at 19 votes (rank 642).
You need to be logged in to cast a vote.
C64Games 7 15th June 2008 - "very good" - 4538 downs
Lemon64 6,2 15th June 2008 - 37 votes


In Congo Bongo you take over the role of a jungle hunter who tries to catch a Gorilla named "Congo Bongo". In each of the two levels there are numerous perils between you and Congo in the shape of abysses, torrential rivers, falling coconuts, monkeys gone wild, snakes and rhinos. But hippos, huge piranhas and floating lily leaves will help in crossing the rivers and also monkeys that have taken a seat on your back can be shaken off again . . .


Level 1: Primate Peak[edit]

It'se me Mario! ;-)

In the first level you climb a steep rock wall, cross torrential rivers and fight with a horde of monkeys gone wild, which try to push you from the cliff. At the very top sits "Bongo", obviously a mean relative of "Donkey Kong". It also throws things down on you. But this time no barrels, but coconuts that do not hurt any less. When you have reached the summit of the hill, the game continues with the second level.

Level 2: Lazy Lagoon[edit]


In this level, heavily inspired by Frogger our "hobby Indiana Jones" fights on the back of swimming lily leaves, hippos and piranhas his way through the lagoon. Hardly have you arrived at the other side of the dangerous river, you will be pestered by a rhino gone wild. When you have sneaked past it, you only have to climb the small rock ledge and you have defeated the insidious gorilla.



In the title screen
1   for 1 player
2   for 2 players (in turns)
J   for joystick (both players use the same joystick in port#2)
K   for keyboard

in the game
The character follows the joystick movement.
Press fire button to jump.
Y   = forwards, N   = backwards, G   = left, J   = right
T   = forwards/left, U   = forwards/right
B   = backwards/left, M   = backwards/right
SHIFT  + C~  press at the same time to jump

Course of the game[edit]

Jungle scene 1 "Primate Peak"


Here you try to reach "Congo", who has positioned himself on the peak of the mountain and throws coconuts on you. You lose one of the three lives if you:
- are hit by a coconut
- fall into the water
- fall from a ledge
- or the time has run out
When you have jumped over the crevice, it will break and you cannot go back any more. Now climb the monkey plateau. In the first difficulty level no monkey will jump at you. In the second difficulty level you can be attacked by one, and after the second by two monkeys who will keep you from jumping over the river. From the fourth difficulty level onwards, when already two monkeys sit on you, a third one will appear and throw you over the cliffs. To shake of the monkeys from your back you have to jump on one place three times (press fire button without moving the stick).
After crossing the river try to avoid the coconuts and to reach the summit of the mountain. When you have reached "Congo", you will get to the next jungle scene.

Jungle scene 2 "Lazy Lagoon"


Now you have reached the river. Try to reach the other side with the help of lily leaves and island on the back of hippos and piranhas. Then watch out for the rhinos gone wild. You will loose a life if you:
- fall from a lily leave
- fall from a hippo or a piranha
- fall from an island
- get caught by a piranha
- are touched by a rhino gone wild
- or when the time has run out
Same as in scene 1, the perils get greater with each difficulty grade.

  1. The lily leaves get smaller the higher the difficulty grade is.
  2. In the first and second difficulty grade the piranhas will not snap at you. In the third and fourth difficulty grade only the two piranhas that are at the rightmost will snap at you. From the fifth difficulty grade onwards all piranhas will snap at you. The piranha will warn you by changing its colour to yellow before snapping at you. If you are on its back when it opens its mouth, you will lose a life.

When you reach the other side of the river, beware of the approaching rhinos and climb the last steps to Congo's sleeping berth.


Dependent on the difficulty grade you get bonus points at the start of each scene which are lowered by each 100 points after a short time span until it reaches zero and the time has run out.

Difficulty grade 1 = 5000 bonus points
Difficulty grade 2 = 6000 bonus points
Difficulty grade 3 = 7000 bonus points
Difficulty grade 4 = 8000 bonus points
Difficulty grade 5 or higher = 9000 bonus points

You also get points for:

  • climbing the mountain steps = 10 points
  • jumping on a hippo, lily leave or piranha = 100 points
  • jumping over the crevice = 500 points

When you have earned 10.000 points, you get an extra life.



  • Level 1: At the beginning stay at the left on the stone steps. The monkeys can be shaken off by jumping.
  • Level 2: Only exact timing helps here.


Unlimited lives: Poke 3655,5


Goondoc: "Somehow this game had already fascinated me in the old days, but today I do not really know why. It was probably due to our hero’s nice way to leave the scene, when he gets caught! Only a few video game heroes had such a nice death before the release of this game. But otherwise the conversion to the C64 leaves a lot (if not everything) to be desired. The collision query is above all the worst and really frustrates you! Therefore and due to the bold stealing of an idea, I only give 4 points."

Shakermaker303: "Rather entertaining game. I did not find it that bad and quickly got the hang of it, although the controls were a bit difficult. But I would have liked a few more levels here. 6 out of 10 points for Congo Bongo."

TheRyk: "Hmh, memories... for sure, but not really the good ones. Everything may look rather good, release year considered, but these Mickey Mouse controls are close to unplayable for beginners. Once you got used to the principle and even got over a river remembering on one of the most terrible passages of Last Ninja, you are finally even looking forward to more - but oh noes! Everything just starts from the beginning again, minimally more difficult. All in all, poor 3 points."


  • In 1985 the game was reissued (see Congo Bongo (1985)). This time with contemporary graphics and all four levels of the arcade game (Level 1 (1983) = Level 1 (1985), Level 2 (1983) = Level 4 (1985). The game principle of the two comparable levels has approx. stayed the same.


Congo Bongo (jap: Tip Top) is generally said to be Sega's answer to Nintendo's Donkey Kong, which was released two years before. The common features are hard to miss. In both games the protagonist fights against a monkey that throws around items while gesturing wildly, by jumping and climbing. And they also busily copied other successful games. So e.g. the level 4: Lazy Lagoon reminds a lot of Frogger, which was produced by Sega, but developed by Konami. Furthermore, Congo Bongo and Donkey Kong have with four levels the same number of levels and then start again from the beginning, of course not without raising the difficulty grade.

The isometric alignment of the game area is already known from the game Zaxxon, which was also made by Sega (C64 Version: Synapse Software) and ran on the same hardware in the arcade machine. Although Congo Bongo did not really offer something new, aside from the isometric design which was at that time not used very often, it was very successful and was converted to numerous systems.


Cover Back (UK)

Congo Bongo Flyer


Advertisement for the game


Topscore of Robotron2084
  1. Robotron2084 - 42.270 - 4 (19.01.2010)
  2. TheRyk - 36.420 - 4 (12.03.2011)
  3. H.T.W - 12.330 - 2 (24.02.2009)

#2 TheRyk #3 H.T.W
#2 TheRyk #3 H.T.W


WP-W11.png Bongo Wikipedia: Congo Bongo