The 2007 documentary The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters highlighted the two hottest Donkey Kong players in the world. The hero was Steve Wiebe, while the villain was Billy Mitchell.
In a story that would have Hollywood scratching their heads, the be-mulleted villain won out, posting the highest-ever score on the classic early-1980s Nintendo arcade machine. It brought the guy a certain amount of fame beyond the confines of the diehard arcade gaming community. Adam Sandler’s 2015 movie Pixels, which involved video game characters invading Earth, even saw Peter Dinklage’s character rocking Mitchell’s signature look.
While many questioned the 1,000,000-plus score at the time, Twin Galaxies, who have become the arbiter of all things arcadey and scorey, accepted Mitchell’s records via video evidence. Until now…
Mitchell’s scores have now been removed from Twin Galaxies, and they have also advised the Guinness Book of Records of their decision. He has also been completed banned from Twin Galaxies, with any other records he was recorded as having held removed.
Why? Well, deep examination of the video apparently proved that Mitchell achieved his scores via an emulated version of the Donkey Kong code, rather than on an actual machine with the original board inside, as found in arcades. This means that imperceptible cheats could have been applied that were not possible on the original hardware.
This decision makes Wiebe the first person to have officially achieved over 1,000,000 in Donkey Kong, although there’s no Hollywood ending as his scores have since been topped by the new record holder as of February this year, Robbie Lakeman.
Wow. We thought we were awesome when we cracked the 100,000 mark on the game. Oh well.
Wiebe has spoken with Variety about the situation, claiming “I’m not the champ any more, but getting recognition for being the first to a million is a great consolation. That’s what I was really bummed out about 11 years ago.”
We reckon The King of Kong is now ripe for a sequel, telling the tale of how the once merely lauded Billy Mitchell has now become truly infamous.
Hollywood has their baddie-don’t-win ending after all.