Aracde gamer Billy Mitchell, co-star of the King of Kong documentary, has just lost all of his arcade high score records due to allegations of cheating.
Twin Galaxies, the American governing body that keeps track of arcade high scores, has finished an investigation into allegations that Michell achieved some of his famous high scores through unofficial means. Specifically, they determined that his famous Donkey Kong scores were simply not possible on an unmodified Donkey Kong machine. As the organization demands that all high scores be earned on unmodified machines, they don’t consider his Donkey Kong records to be valid.
Where things get really interesting, though, is when you consider that Twin Galaxies also now considers all of Mitchell’s arcade records across all games to be invalid as well. Their belief seems to be that they simply can’t trust that his remaining scores are valid if his most famous score was rigged.
What that means is that the all-time global leaderboards for certain arcade games have been drastically altered. The most famous change is undoubtedly the top spot on the Donkey Kong leaderboards. Because of Mitchell’s invalidated score, fellow King of Kong star Steve Wiebe is now recognized as the first player to achieve a one million point score in Donkey Kong (legitimately).
If you’ve never seen King of Kong before…well, do so right now. That brilliant documentary followed average guy Steve Wiebe on his quest to set the all-time Donkey Kong high score. Opposing him on the top of the Donkey Kong leaderboards was Billy Mitchell; an old-school arcade gamer who basically built his entire life around his high scores. That documentary heavily implied that Mitchell used his influence in the world of arcade gaming – as well as old-fashioned cheating – to set his famous high scores. As a result, Wiebe’s considerable efforts weren’t officially recognized as the best of all-time.
Twin Galaxies has stated that this investigation officially began when one of their members recognised some anomalies in Mitchell’s high score performance. Their investigation – and two independent investigations – concluded that Mitchell likely used an unofficial Donkey Kong machine. The extent of his cheating wasn’t verified, but the fact that he broke that key rule means that the organisation couldn’t consider his score to be valid.
All in all, it’s a dramatic end to a competition that’s gone on for more than a decade.