The recently dethroned “King Kong” champion promised in a video over the weekend that a new investigation will prove that he didn’t cheat.
“I’ve been asked to address things that are recently in the media,” Billy Mitchell said in a YouTube video on Sunday recorded for Old School Gamer Magazine, for which he is an advisor. “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. Not 2014-forward by the current regime, who wants to reach back 35 years. Everything will be transparent. Everything will be available. I wish I had it in my hands right now, I wish I could hand it to you. But it’s taken a considerable amount of time. Witnesses, documents, everything will be made available to you. Nothing will be withheld. You absolutely have my commitment to that. We’ve been at this since 1982, and it’s not gonna stop now.”
Mitchell has not responded to a request for comment from Variety.
Last week, Twin Galaxies, the official international score keeper for video game high scores and Guinness World Records announced that Mitchell’s famous “Donkey Kong” score of 1,047,200 was not achieved on an arcade machine — a requirement for Twin Galaxies and Guinness — but rather through the use of emulation software. Using emulated software, and not the original circuit board version of the game, means a player could cheat in any number of potentially undetectable ways. That’s why all submitted high scores must be from playing on original, unmodified arcade machine.
Twin Galaxies said it was rescinding all of Mitchell’s high scores because of the discovery and banning him from submitting future scores. On Friday, Guinness World Records told Variety that it was also rescinding his world records and would be announcing who the new title holders would be in the future.
Mitchell’s “Donkey Kong” high score was made famous in the documentary “King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters.” In an interview with Variety last week, Steve Wiebe, who was the “protagonist” in the documentary, said being back in the news after 11 years has been “surreal.” The new ruling from Twin Galaxies means that Wiebe is now considered to be the first person to break a million points in “Donkey Kong.”
“I’m not the champ any more, but getting recognition for being the first to a million is a great consolation,” Wiebe said. “That’s what I was really bummed out about 11 years ago.”