Billy Mitchell, star of the documentary King of Kong, is no longer officially the first man to score a million points on Donkey Kong. Twin Galaxies, the leading data keeper on competitive gaming, has removed all his records after investigating allegations of cheating.
The organization investigated disputes into three of his Donkey Kong scores: the 1,047,200 covered in the King of Kong documentary and two later scores of 1,050,200 and 1,062,800. The dispute allegations said footage of the gameplay showed the screen displaying images that could not possibly be generated by an original, unmodified Donkey Kong machine. The claim was that Mitchell had instead used a machine running emulation software MAME.
After examining the footage, Twin Galaxies concluded that the game Mitchell used on the first two ‘record’ performances “were not produced by the direct feed output of an original unmodified Donkey Kong Arcade PCB.” With the 1,062,800 score, the organization said it couldn’t reach a conclusion either way and thus didn’t have the certainty needed to call it a legit record.
The adjudication noted that by definition it couldn’t confirm Mitchell had definitely used MAME. The video analysis it used – looking for ‘impossible’ display frames — could only prove a particular system (such as an original/legit machine) hadn’t been used.
Twin Galaxies also noted that “Billy Mitchell had the opportunity to answer questions and contribute to the public dispute thread. However, he was under no obligation to participate in this dispute thread and as such he chose not to do so.”
Not only have Mitchell’s three scores been removed from Twin Galaxies’ records, but he is permanently banned from “participating in our competitive leaderboards.” The organization has notified Guinness World Records of the decision.
With the decision, Twin Galaxies now officially recognizes Steve Wiebe – Mitchell’s key rival in King of Kong – as the first person to score a million points on Donkey Kong.