Sky Skipper (スカイ・スキッパー, Sukai Sukippā) is an arcade video game by Nintendo released in 1981 after the success of Donkey Kong. Sky Skipper's villainous creatures happen to be apes, possibly due to the success of the Donkey Kong series that Nintendo had previously developed. In the game, the player will have to save his kingdom from the primates by stunning them then saving the king, queen, and various inhabitants of the kingdom. The airplane has a limited amount of fuel, and running out will result in a game over. The game never officially released outside of Japan until the Arcade Archives release in 2018.
The players control the Sky Skipper, a character who flies a plane in search of various animals and the king and queen of your kingdom. A bunch of gorillas have taken all of the creatures and the king and queen captive, and your goal is to set them all free. You'll navigate your plane through a maze like kingdom, and when you come across a gorilla, you must drop a bomb on it (and dodge its bombs as well). Once you do so, it'll be knocked out and the cage to the animal, king or queen will be opened. This is your chance to fly in low enough and save it, then escape. You have a limited amount of fuel, and running into any smoke will cause your plane to be uncontrollable for a short amount of time. If you're running out of fuel, then grabbing a flag on the center platform will refill it.
Efforts to preserve the game
In 2016, a group of arcade collectors started a project to actually recreate a Sky Skipper Arcade cabinet. At the time the only known machine was in the hands of Nintendo themselves. The project started when two boards were discovered but they had been converted to run Popeye. With quite a bit of reverse engineering, the rom images from Mame and with no real documentation they managed to convert them back to Sky Skipper. With no real art other than a Japanese flyer the team was abit stuck. With help from Billy Mitchel they were able to contact Nintendo and get permission to scan and photograph their cabinet to recreate the artwork. The first of the two recreated machines was unveiled to the public in June 2017 in Atlanta, GA and the second was unveiled in the UK later that year.
The game was planned to release in North America after the success of Donkey Kong, but after the test launch of the game was received very poorly, the game was shelved. Miyamoto drew the drawings on the outside of the machine. 10 arcade units were created, but only one known has survived, in Nintendo of America's headquarters. This was used to rip the ROM from to be used in the Arcade Archives release.
The game's characters were featured in the Game Boy classic Game Boy Camera. In the game, after pressing SELECT, choose Link. The Main Menu of the game will then be changed and will feature the King of Wonder Kingdom, the Queen, and the Club Frog. Because the game wasn't very popular, the game has rarely been mentioned and is not very well known. Its negligible appearance in Game Boy Camera was its only cameo appearance.