Well they got him over a barrel!
If you’ve seen the excellent video game documentary The King of Kong then you’ll have heard of Billy Mitchell (no not the one that has a cousin called Phil or Grant…..), the cocky long-time champion of Nintendo’s arcade classic Donkey Kong.
The film chronicles the mid-2000s attempts of new challenger Steve Wiebe to finally best the Donkey Kong high score set years before by Mitchell. Wiebe is portrayed as the underdog to root for, Mitchell the self-assured pro..
Suppose I can spoil the movie now.. Wiebe finally gets his moment – the first ever Donkey Kong score over a million points – ruled out after Mitchell (ahem….) casts a shadow over Wiebe’s claim. To which Billy Mitchell then provides amateur video taped evidence of his own million point run, which arcade high score tracking company Twin Galaxies accepts instead.
I love how this story has a feeling of Pot, Kettle, Black over it (see Karma….)
Billy Mitchell – The lovable rogue not to be mistaken with the one that tampers with arcade machines.
Fast forwarding to today, and the long-running investigation into Mitchell’s Donkey Kong high score has finally garnered a result. A decade on, Twin Galaxies has determined that several of Mitchell’s high scoring achievements could not have been possible on an unmodified Donkey Kong arcade machine – something which official records require, but infact were created using MAME emulation technology.
The result? A change in the history of arcade game high scores the likes we haven’t seen i years!!
Mitchell’s records for all games have been swiped from Twin Galaxies’ official listing and as the ultimate kick in the teeth, they also notified Guinness World Records. Thus making every gamer edition book just that little bit more irrelevant, and resolving the movie with an underdog ending ensureing Steve Wiebe is now rightly recognised as the first player to beat the million score mark.
Suppose the only thing remaining to say is “Billy Mitchell… Ger out of ma pub!”*
*Obligatory Eastenders reference