If you’ve seen Seth Gordon’s excellent documentary/real-life underdog sports movie The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, you’ll be aware of sometime Donkey Kong record-holder Billy Mitchell. You’ll likely have his smirking visage imprinted on your brain as clearly as his bald-eagle ties. He’s the guy who fought a vicious campaign to prevent record-breaking newcomer Steve Wiebe from becoming the first player to score a million points in the classic arcade game - successfully, as it turned out, with record-keepers Twin Galaxies accepting Mitchell’s run over Wiebe’s.
By many accounts, Mitchell isn’t quite as much of an asshole as he’s made out to be in the movie, but a new twist in the story will bring satisfaction to audiences who left the theatre loathing the man.
The competitive arcade gamer, hot sauce magnate, and self-styled American icon was found this week to have achieved several of his high scores on a emulators - not the original arcade machines required by Twin Galaxies’ scorekeepers. The ruling comes after a decade of debate, during which Twin Galaxies “meticulously tested and investigated” Mitchell’s claims and alleged record-breaking tapes. Third-party investigators hired by Mitchell even came to the same conclusion: even if he didn’t necessarily cheat, per se, Mitchell’s emulator-powered runs can’t be allowed in the record books.
Oddly enough, coming years after King of Kong's release, both Mitchell and Weibe’s records are now long outdated, with Robbie Lakeman holding the current record at 1,247,700 points. But now, every single one of Mitchell’s records has been erased from Twin Galaxies’ record books. Guinness has been notified. History has been amended. And most importantly, Steve Wiebe is now officially the first player in history to score a million points on Donkey Kong.