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Dad Hacks Donkey Kong for Daughter

Video game developer Mike Mika started playing Donkey Kong with his daughter Ellis when she was only 2 years old. While the toddler loved playing the game with her dad, the now 3-year-old decided last week she was tired of the same ol' setup: The big, bad Donkey Kong kidnaps damsel-in-distress Pauline, who must be rescued by the hero Mario. She wondered, "Why it couldn't be the other way around?"

So, her dad did what any proud pops would do (well, one that had the skills to do it). He hacked the ROM of the game so the damsel/white-knight roles in the game were switched, and Pauline could rescue Mario.

"I make games for a living, so I realized I should be able to solve this problem," said Mika, who is the chief creative officer at Other Ocean Interactive and has worked on games like Super Street Fighter and Rock Band.

After getting some advice from a friend, Mika reconfigured the 2010 NES Donkey Kong version they were playing and created Donkey Kong: Pauline Edition. (Check out the video of his work, below).

So how does Ellis feel about what her dad did?

"She was very excited. She wanted to play that character pretty bad," Mika told NBC News. "For all she knew I just figured out a way to make the character show up. She didn't realize I'd spent the time on it."

Don't worry, Mike. We're pretty sure she'll think it's cool when she gets older.

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