Billy Mitchell, the long-time champion of Donkey Kong, has finally been dethroned, but not because someone finally beat his million+ score, but because he was finally determined a cheater.
For those of you who have watched the video game documentary, The King of Kong, you’ll be familiar of the story of Billy Mitchel and fresh-faced contender Steve Wiebe who came out of nowhere to become the first to achieve a score of over a million on the arcade version of Donkey Kong.
In the documentary we saw in depth how Wiebe became so good at Donkey Kong being portrayed as the underdog as his million point score gets ruled out. The doc continues to show Mitchell, attempt to, and unsuccessfully debunk Wiebe’s score (though his score is thrown out anyway), to then eventually and miraculously sharing a video tape of him achieving a much better score which Twin Galaxies, the biggest tracker of video game scores, is more than happy to accept.
Since then Mitchell has remained the King of Kong, that is, until today as Twin Galaxies declared that Mitchell’s score was technically impossible to achieve without a modified unit. That’s right, he cheated.
Despite the documentary being filmed in the early 2000s, it seems Twin Galaxies have recently been researching these results for the past couple of months following one player filing a dispute. Turns out, according to their findings, the score wasn’t achieved through an arcade machine – required by both Twin Galaxies and Guinness World Records – but an emulator.
“On 02-02-2018 Twin Galaxies member Jeremey Young ( @xelnia ) filed a dispute claim assertion against the validity of Billy Mitchell’s historical and current original arcade Donkey Kong score performances of 1,047,200 (the King of Kong “tape”), 1,050,200 (the Mortgage Brokers score), and 1,062,800 (the Boomers score) on the technical basis of a demonstrated impossibility of original unmodified Donkey Kong arcade hardware to produce specific board transition images shown in the videotaped recordings of those adjudicated performances.”
“With this ruling, Twin Galaxies can no longer recognize Billy Mitchell as the first million point ‘Donkey Kong’ record holder,” the group concluded in its announcement. “According to our findings, Steve Wiebe would be the official 1st million point record holder.”
Of course, over a decade later both Mitchell’s and Wiebe’s records have been beaten many times with the current record, set by 31-year-old Robbie Lakeman, being 1,247,700.