Published: Fri, April 13, 2018

Donkey Kong record holder Billy Mitchell stripped of high scores

Donkey Kong record holder Billy Mitchell stripped of high scores

The top spot now belongs to Steve Wiebe.

Now one of the biggest controversies that had been raised was that Mitchell had been setting scores on Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr. on a MAME board, which means he wasn't actually playing the original game but a one modified to modern standards, merely emulated. While Twin Galaxies can't prove Mitchell's scores were achieved on MAME specifically, they do know for a fact that none of his high scores were achieved through an unmodified arcade system. Removing all his his scores would mean stripping Mitchell of his achievement of being the first person to get a ideal score on the original Pac-Man arcade along with other high scores and records. That's right, he cheated.

However, Mitchell is one of the highest-scoring gamers of all time and has earned his place in the geeky stardom halls of fame and the Guinness Book of World Records.

"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. "The rules for submitting scores for the original arcade "Donkey Kong" competitive leaderboards requires the use of original arcade hardware only", reads the Twin Galaxies verdict. They trade "Donkey Kong" records throughout the film, and even then, Mitchell was accused of submitting sham tapes of his wins.

The ban has no effect on the current world record in Donkey Kong, which now sits at the 1.247 million points set by Robbie Lakeman in February.


The investigation was conducted internally by Twin Galaxies with at least two third parties verifying their findings and other experts also giving input. What this means is that the high scores were not achieved on an arcade machine, which is an official requirement.

Mitchell, who said in February that the "original tape" would vindicate his scores (and that he never used MAME), chose not to directly respond to Twin Galaxies questions about those performances, the administration said (he has also not responded to a request for comment from Ars Technica).

This led Twin Galaxies to conclude that there was enough evidence Mitchell's scores were not set on original hardware but rather were pulled from MAME gameplay.

His record profile on the Twin Galaxies website is now empty. The emulation software is strictly forbidden for record submissions for the classic arcade-style games. But, Twin Galaxies puts the score up anyway, sending Steve Wiebe home packing.

Billy Mitchell held many world records and some for a very long time that was still unbeaten. Their belief seems to be that they simply can't trust that his remaining scores are valid if his most famous score was rigged.

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