Billy Mitchell Banned by Twin Galaxies, All Donkey Kong Score Records Stripped

The company has notified Guinness World Records of the decision as well.

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Twin Galaxies, the American organization that tracks video game world records, has officially stripped Billy Mitchell of all scores and notified Guinness World Records of the decision. An investigation into Mitchell's feats was sparked when a Twin Galaxies member filed a dispute calling Mitchell's historical and current original arcade Donkey Kong performances into question. Billy Mitchell, if you're not familiar, is the subject of the King of Kong documentary from 2007, which chronicled Mitchell's rivalry with Steve Wiebe. Wiebe is now the official record holder.

Via a thread on the official website, Twin Galaxies revealed all the steps taken since the original complaint was filed. The complaint revolves around the fact that submitted scores for the original arcade Donkey Kong require the use of original arcade hardware and accused Billy Mitchell of using emulation software called MAME. After investigating the claim, including information gathered from a 3rd party Mitchell engaged with on his behalf, the following findings were recorded:

- The taped Donkey Kong score performances of 1,047,200 (the King of Kong "tape"), 1,050,200 (the Mortgage Brokers score) that were historically used by Twin Galaxies to substantiate those scores and place them in the database were not produced by the direct feed output of an original unmodified Donkey Kong Arcade PCB.

- The 1,062,800 (the Boomers score) Donkey Kong performance does not have enough of a body of direct evidence for Twin Galaxies to feel comfortable to make a definitive determination on at this time.

- The 1047 and 1050 score performance videos we have in our possession (and are basing our determinations on) are in fact the performances that were used by previous Twin Galaxies administration as justification for those scores to be entered into the database and for Twin Galaxies to attribute those specific accomplishments to Billy Mitchell. We have several different and unique sources of these performances and access to private historical Twin Galaxies referee e-mail distribution records showing where these sources acquired their copies and what the purpose was.

- Of significant note is that it is very straightforward for anyone to check the authenticity of the 1047 performance source tape by just cross-referencing the digital capture video of the performance that has been posted in this dispute thread with the very public King of Kong movie gameplay footage along with its DVD extras.

- While we know for certain that an unmodified original DK arcade PCB did not output the display seen in the videotaped score performances, we cannot definitively conclude that what is on the tapes is MAME.

- To definitively conclude that MAME was used, Twin Galaxies would need to comprehensively rule out the possibility of all other methods that could produce what is seen on the tapes. This would mean testing all other emulators other than MAME across all other platforms to eliminate the possibility that a different emu was used. It would also mean testing visual effects software and anything else we can think of to be definitively certain. This kind of testing is beyond the scope of the dispute case needs.

The report ends with this official statement from Twin Galaxies, essentially establishing Steve Wiebe as the record holder:

"With this ruling Twin Galaxies can no longer recognize Billy Mitchell as the 1st million point Donkey Kong record holder. According to our findings, Steve Wiebe would be the official 1st million point record holder.

Thanks again to all who contributed time, effort and expertise to this case. 

This dispute is ACCEPTED."

Charles Singletary Jr keeps the updates flowing as the News Editor, breaking stories while investigating the biggest topics in gaming and technology. He's pretty active on Twitter, so feel free to reach out to him @The_CSJR. Got a hot tip? Email him at Charles.Singletary@Shacknews.com.

From The Chatty

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    April 12, 2018 9:45 AM

    Charles Singletary posted a new article, Billy Mitchell Banned by Twin Galaxies, All Donkey Kong Score Records Stripped

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      April 12, 2018 10:09 AM

      ding dong the dick is gone.

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      April 12, 2018 10:10 AM

      Not surprised about Billy Mitchell's Donkey Kong shenanigans. Incidentally, last fall I was playing DK every single day in MAME, just trying to get decent at the game.

      I was recording my scores (with screenshots and vids) and trying various things like "What is the best score I can get before dying and WITHOUT saving in MAME".

      After getting a pretty decent score, I decided to try one marathon run to see what the best score I could get before I was kill-screened. After about 4-5 hours of play -- and generally saving my spots in MAME quite a bit, bit try and get decent scores on each screen -- my highest score is 1,019,300.

      The guys that are getting 1,000,000+ on an actual cabinet are gods.

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      April 12, 2018 6:47 PM

      I get the understanding he was a "Dick" but did he cheat? the conformation im reading and getting is that he used a MAME rather than a Arcade Cabinet Hardware...N

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        April 12, 2018 7:02 PM

        MAME would let you do stuff like automation or use save states to create a perfect game much easier than doing the same thing on an arcade cabinet.

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          April 12, 2018 7:08 PM

          Right but did they have proof of that? Or are they just assuming? Not defending the guy, I mean I get it, but people use MAMES for speed run records all the time

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            April 12, 2018 7:30 PM

            Absolutely, the problem comes from the fact that it wasn't a MAME/emulation record category and Mitchell thus misrepresented the system as original hardware.

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              April 13, 2018 10:00 AM

              No,the rules are pretty clear,and he broke them. They came to the conclusion from evidence that was provided that would contradict that he was playing on an original board. It's pretty cut and dry,and has been for a while,but it's taken this long to cut through the bullshit.

              This guy is a human turn and I can't think of anyone more deserving of what he's getting.

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                April 13, 2018 10:38 AM

                ...right? I don't think we disagree.

                Mitchell, and this is being diplomatic, misrepresented the machine he was using for a category that requires original hardware.

                That is, unless I'm very confused about things, a flagrant breaking of rules.

                The "absolutely," was simply agreeing with Greg that there do exist, at least elsewhere, categories that allow scores/speedruns of games on non-original hardware. Unlike the one in question.