Billy Mitchell, 'Donkey Kong' Record-Setter, Stripped of Scores

Billy Mitchell had been the first to reach a 1 million point score in Donkey Kong.                  David Greedy  Getty Images

Billy Mitchell had been the first to reach a 1 million point score in Donkey Kong. David Greedy Getty Images

His record of being the first person to achieve a score of one million in the game now passes to King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters co-star, Steve Wiebe.

The monumental decision comes just months after charges were brought against Mitchell, claiming that his high-score runs in Donkey Kong were achieved on an emulator, and not while playing on an original, unmodified, arcade cabinet motherboard.

Most notable was the 3rd party (Carlos Pinerio) that Billy Mitchell engaged to help examine the dispute case claims on his behalf, utilizing whatever original equipment Billy could provide, whose final finding was consistent with Twin Galaxies investigation and others'. Or in other words, these were the smoking gun that took down the 1,047,200 high score from The King of Kong.

"The rules for submitting scores for the original arcade Donkey Kong competitive leaderboards requires the use of original arcade hardware only", writes Twin Galaxies. His titles have also been stripped from him, meaning that Steve Wiebe, as seen in the King of Kong documentary, is now considered the first million-point record holder in Donkey Kong.

As a result, Twin Galaxies only recognizes scores set on machines with the game's original printed circuit boards (PCBs) and hardware- not those set on emulators or re-created boards.

Donkey Kong player and fan Jeremy Young submitted the evidence with a detailed technical breakdown.

The main reason for this is his suspected use of MAME (emulation software) to achieve his scores, as opposed to using original arcade hardware.


Twin Galaxies have now banned Mitchell from entering scores again and said they have informed Guinness World Records. Wiebe also appeared in the film as Mitchell's main challenger.

Twin Galaxies has stated that this investigation officially began when one of their members recognized some anomalies in Mitchell's high score performance. It's a dramatic shake-up of the the official history of Donkey Kong, which nearly seems to necessitate a new final chapter to the 2007 film.

The investigation was conducted internally by Twin Galaxies with at least two third parties verifying their findings and other experts also giving input.

"Hopefully it is becoming more and more obvious that we care very much about our scoreboard integrity and will continue to improve it step-by-step, no matter how painful or public it might occasionally be", reads its statement.

Wiebe has retired from pursuing the Donkey Kong score, and he rarely comments on the game or his feud with Mitchell publicly.

His record profile on the Twin Galaxies website is now empty.

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