While there is no shortage of news from the world of tech, including Mark Zuckerberg’s battle for his company, Elon Musk’s crusade to drop a rocket on a bouncy house (seriously), and a number of companies ditching Facebook, let’s focus on something that really matters: Donkey Kong high scores. After years of speculation, competitive arcade gamer Billy Mitchell has been officially stripped of his major high scores.
Now you’re probably wondering, “What did he do that was so horrid to be dethroned as the top arcade player?” Was he using performance-enhancing drugs? No, it’s much worse. You see, Billy Mitchell achieved his major high scores on unofficial hardware. Now, before you grab your torches and pitchforks, let’s get some background information on this now-disgraced gamer.
While he is certainly not a household name, Mitchell became well-known in the gaming world with his appearance in 2007’s The King of Kong: A Fistful Of Quarters, a documentary that covered the world of competitive arcade gaming. The film itself chronicles Mitchell’s 20-year-long high score in Donkey Kong and underdog Steve Wiebe’s attempts to dethrone the former champion. Mitchell was even given a lighthearted parody in the form of “Garrett Bobby Ferguson,” a villain on the popular animated series Regular Show, resulting in him suing the show for, interestingly enough, portraying him as a cheater.
There had been speculation swirling around the legitimacy of Billy Mitchell’s scores for quite some time. This was due to the bizarre nature of how he gathered footage of his record-breaking DK run, which he alleged was done by modifying a classic arcade cabinet to have the ability to record footage. However, a Donkey Kong Forum moderator (and the Robin Hood of this story) by the name of Jeremy Young began putting together evidence that Mitchell’s high score videos were actually recorded using MAME emulation technology rather than traditional means.
At the time of this article’s publication, both Twin Galaxies and the Guinness Book of World Records have officially taken away Mitchell’s records, leaving him with only the fame and money of playing a children’s video game for decades.
Featured image screenshot taken from YouTube channel Retro Gamer Daz