A couple days ago, Donkey Kong record holder Billy Mitchell was stripped of his records and banned. His high scores include 1,062,800 and more million+ performances recorded at separate times. Ultimately, Twin Galaxies – an American organization that tracks video game world records – concluded that the aforementioned performances did not originate from an original unmodified Donkey Kong arcade PCB.
Now, the organization recognizes Steve Wiebe as the official first million point Donkey Kong record holder. Notably, both Wiebe and Mitchell appeared in the famed King of Kong documentary. It is worth mentioning that Mitchell didn’t weigh in on the public dispute and investigation as it was on-going, but it appears he isn’t just rolling over on his record. In fact, Mitchell has vowed to get his record reinstated.
Of course, proving one’s innocence is not a simple feat, considering Twin Galaxies and two independent investigators (one of whom was investigating on Mitchell’s behalf) all concluded that he had used some form of emulation software. Nevertheless, Mitchell promises full transparency with all the necessary evidence to prove his innocence, such as witnesses and documents. Check out Mitchell’s statement below:
While he ends by stating that he has been at it since 1982, some have to wonder why he didn’t defend his records sooner. As the Donkey Kong record holder, he had ample opportunity to weigh in on the investigations and didn’t. It could be that he simply didn’t foresee the possibility of his record being stripped since he seems pretty straightforward about the integrity of the record. Of course, only time will tell if the King of Kong can reclaim his title.
Although the investigation and dispute surrounding these records was already pretty hot, it seems likely it’ll only heat up from here as Mitchell attempts to defend himself. Donkey Kong, which had an easter egg that took 26 years to be found in the Atari 400 port, returns to the public eye during this dispute, and some may argue that the classic arcade game deserves more respect than this situation gives it.
Donkey Kong is available now on numerous platforms, including Arcade and NES.