Lost Media Archive

Mario vs. Donkey Kong is the first game in the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series, released for Game Boy Advance in 2004. What few people know about this game is that there was e-Reader support for the Japanese and North American versions of the game, with support for the e-Reader being dropped entirely from the European release.

The Cards

Nintendo actually didn't release these cards at retail. Instead, they held a contest in Japan where they would give out the cards to 1,000 winners. There were only 5 known cards made for the event despite the fact that there were actually 13 e-Reader levels in the game(including a test level). While the levels can be accessed without the cards via some hacking, the cards themselves remain incredibly hard to find due to Nintendo only providing a handful of these.

Judging by the screenshots featured on these cards, each of the 5 contained one of the following levels:

  • Card 1: The Long Way
  • Card 2: One Shot Blue
  • Card 3: The Thwamplet
  • Card 4: Danger Flowers? (the screenshot on the card bares little resemblance to the level itself)
  • Card 5: Climb and Fall? (this is a vertical level, while the screenshot on the card features a horizontal level, however they both share the same background. The only other e-Reader level with the same background as Climb and Fall is a dummy level, probably for testing purposes)

Note: The screenshots used on the cards contain some differences from the actual levels when seen in-game, some of the screenshots bare little resemblance to the card's level at all.

The Levels and Level Select Screen

A Level Select screen was made specifically for the e-Reader levels, where you can add or remove levels. Like the levels, the Level Select screen can be accessed through hacking for those who don't own the cards(or any other e-Reader equipment). Interestingly, despite only 5 different cards being known to exist, this Level Select screen contained slots for all 12 e-Reader levels (excluding the dummy level), suggesting that Nintendo might've intended to release cards for all 12 levels at retail at some point.