Twin Galaxies came down hard on retro arcade gaming legend Billy Mitchell, one of the stars of the documentary “King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters,” stripping him of all high scores submitted and banning him from future competitions. Now in the aftermath of that decision, Mitchell stated in a video released over the weekend that he intends to clear his name and prove the legitimacy of the scores he submitted as far back as 35 years ago.
For anyone who has not seen the documentary and may not be familiar with the arcade gaming scene, there is a bit of cult following, especially as it pertains to the classics. Twin Galaxies is the organization that officially tracks high scores and rankings, and submits relevant information to Guinness World Records. The documentary focused on the original Donkey Kong arcade game, for which Mitchell was recognized as being the first player to reach 1 million points. And for a long time, he held an officially recognized high score of 1,062,8000 points.
The documentary, released in 2007, focused on attempts by newcomer Steve Wiebe to surpass Mitchell’s high score, which he had set in 1982. Mitchell was cast as a sort of villain for refusing several challenges to compete against Wiebe in public. The documentary also focused on Mitchell’s video submissions and the speculation that at least one of the tapes he sent to Twin Galaxies was fraudulent.
Suspicions grew over time, and more recently Twin Galaxies opened an investigation into Mitchell’s score submissions. Specifically, the organization was looking into claims that Mitchell used MAME (emulation software) to achieve his scores rather than original, unaltered arcade cabinet hardware. Twin Galaxies prohibits the use of MAME for high score submissions because it’s possible to manipulate the results.
It was ultimately determined that Mitchell did in fact use MAME to achieve his scores, hence the harsh penalty. Mitchell, however, is holding firm that his scores were legitimate, and he intends to prove it.
“The fact of the matter is now there is a true professional due diligence being done to investigate things that happened as far as 35 years ago, in a professional manner, not in a shock jock mentality designed to create hits. We will show that everything that has been done, everything was done professionally, according to the rules, according to the scoreboard, the integrity that was set up,” Mitchell said.
He also said that the everything will be transparent, including witness statements, documents, and anything else related to his effort to prove he did not cheat. In short, the saga continues.
Thumbnail and Top Image Source: YouTube via Ryan Burger