Box Art Bombshells: “Congo Bongo” (Colecovision, 80s August Special)

Welcome back to 80s August, The Splintering’s month-long celebration of the greatest decade since Istanbul was still Constantinople!

We’re marking this festive occasion by introducing an all-new feature here at The Splintering: Box Art Bombshells, where we reveal the completely fabricated super really-real events that inspired some of the wackiest and weirdest box art from gaming history.

We’re kicking off this new feature with the Colecovision port of Congo Bongo, SEGA’s isometric arcade game intended to go head-to-head with Nintendo’s Donkey Kong.

Don’t tickle me there, Snakey!

25 February 1984

O, why did I not simply walk away after that gorilla burned down my tent? Why did I give in to my desire for retribution? The horrors – the infinite horrors – to which I have been subject since hitting my “game over” have been nigh unbearable. The ape responsible for burning my tent, whom I now call Bongo, has me captured, tortured, and at my wits’ end. 

I have little chance for escape, though all that keeps me from even darker thoughts are my prayers for rescue.

            – Dr. Samuel “Safari Sam” Bartholomew

26 March 1984

My past several weeks have been filled with nothing but forced servitude to my cruel animal masters. All attempts at suicide have been thwarted. Even my effort to meet my end by starving myself ended in failure, as the apes managed to force-feed me by… proctologic means.

My guardian angels have truly turned their backs on me. I have been forced to do unspeakable things, ghastly things, with all of the creatures of the deep jungle. The monkeys have taken a liking to fondling my body, and if I do not repay them with a smile, they call for the constrictors to asphyxiate me until I crack a grin for them.

One of the ape females in particular, whom I have named Dorine, seems to have taken a dreadful interest in me. I dare not recount the full extent of our interactions, but the bananas, lord forgive me, I have never used bananas for such sinful purposes!

Will I ever be delivered from this unnatural nightmare?

            – Dr. Samuel “Safari Sam” Bartholomew

Forced to serve the beasts of the earth…

15 April 1984

Dorine comes to me last night to… lie with me in my cage. Can I blame my all-swallowing sadness, or the frayed ends of my sanity? Oh God, I gave in! I embraced Dorine’s advances! We shared each other as man and woman!

Heaven, forgive me!

            – Dr. Samuel Bartholomew

21 August 1984

I have come to understand the language of the apes over these past several months. It has become fairly clear to me from what Dorine says to her fellow apes that she believes herself to be pregnant. The most troubling thing is that I have not seen her lie intimately with any of the other apes…

I can’t possibly be mine, can it? No, I refuse to entertain such a dreadful thought any further.

            – Dr. Samuel Bartholomew

28 December 1984

Truly I am cursed!

A monstrous affront to the heavens now walks the earth, and I am forced to call this abomination… my son…

When you bongo the Congo…

* Congo Bongo box art taken from

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