Released along side another Konami game called King Kong 2 (although in this case, King Kong 2: Yomigaeru Densetsu/ "The Resurrected Legend" and coincidentally a totally different game) this game was released to capitalize off the release of the new King Kong movie. Konami never developed a "King Kong 1"; the game is called King Kong 2 simply because of the film; the movie was marketed in Japan under the title"King Kong 2" rather than King Kong Lives.
The game's scenario features Kong escaping a laboratory; unfortunately Kong's girlfriend, Lady Kong, is still held prisoner by the enemies elsewhere. Kong must journey through a variety of disparate and strange worlds and defeat many strange enemies to collect the keys needed to rescue her.
The game features a top-down view of play; Kong can move in eight directions, and is capable of jumping and punching. In addition, Kong has can throw rocks; he can switch between rock throwing and punching mode via the select button. The number of rocks that can be thrown is limited, but rocks are a common item throughout the game and Kong can also find items that permanently increase the stock of his rocks, barring death. The player must navigate Kong through various strange maze-like environments, battling enemies ranging from tanks to giant enraged ducks in order to find the hidden lairs of the bosses who are holding keys to the final area where Lady Kong is help captive.
There are a number of items to be found in the game; they will help make Kong's journey a little easier.
- Heart: Dropped by enemies, these recover Kong's life points by 5.
- Rock: Also dropped by enemies, these replenish Kong's rock stock by 5.
- Hyper bomb: When collected, this destroys all enemies on screen.
- Konami mark: Pick this up to cause Konami Man to spawn.
- Konami Man: Catch Konami Man to completely restore Kong's life.
- Moai Head: These mysterious items grant Kong an extra life.
- Speed: Kong should probably be staying away from "speed", but it increases his movement speed and jump distance if picked up. The effect is permanent until Kong dies.
- Power Rock: Increases the power of Kong's rocks one level. The effect is permanent until Kong dies.
- Rock case: This increases the number of Rocks Kong can hold by 10, to a maximum of 99. Once again the effect is permanent until Kong dies.
- Artificial heart: These permanently increase Kong's HP by 100... barring a death, of course.
- Star rock: Kong is rendered invincible for a short period.
- Key: These are needed to rescue Lady Kong. They are only found after a boss is defeated.
These are the various locations Kong must traverse in order to find the keys to save Lady Kong. Keep in mind there is no linear order; depending on what warps you take you may end up in a much later area that could be too hard for Kong without having him power up more! Be careful and try to play it safe.
Area 1: A military base. Kong begins the game in this area, escaping from a lab apparently located around here. Part of the area is radioactive and loops endlessly; you must find the correct route through! The boss is a giant snail creature named King Pound.
Area 2: A jungle-covered archipelago with ruins of an ancient civilization. Be careful as some of the forests slow down Kong's movement. The boss is King Spider; be careful of his webs, which can freeze Kong!
Area 3: A dark and evil research laboratory. Biological horrors such as flying cat heads and floating mirrors stalk the halls, waiting to strike when Kong lease expects it. The boss is a trio of "King Lizards", fire-breathing fiends that resemble D&D's take on the basilisk.
Area 4: World 4: A city run by a repressive government, located by the sea. All individual thought is forbidden; silence is golden. Tanks patrol the street to maintain public order and obedience... and to destroy Kong. The boss of this area is a giant scallop called "King Pearl".
Area 5: A normal, calm City. Kong explodes upon this community like the force of nature he is! The boss of this area is a stone fiend called King Beast; it vaguely resembles Tetran core of Gradius fame, sporting four rotating limbs.
Area 6: Much like area 5, but now at night and near an amusement park. The boss is a foul and disgusting slime beast named "King Slime"... smaller slimes slough off its body in droves.
Area 7: High atop some mountains, near strange futuristic-structures. Perhaps Kong is not only warping from world to world, but traveling through time? Who knows? All that matters is Lady Kong. There are many places for Kong to fall to his death here, so keep your eyes peeled. The boss is the terrifying King Dragon... his head is his only weak point!
Area 8: Kong enters a city again on his journey; he's close now, very close. Not even the terrifying giant ducks that stalk the streets can keep him from that key! The boss is a giant bee with a deadly sting, the "King Bee"!
Area 9: Finally, the secret location where Lady Kong is being held has been found! Kong must find secret passages to navigate in this treacherous and frightening labyrinth... But for what purpose could Lady Kong have been transported to this dire location? Beware, for the ultimate obstacle stands in the way of Kong's beloved: an army of Cybot Kongs! Will Kong triumph? Only you can decide!