Well, well, well. Here we are again. Just a couple months ago Todd Rogers, who held the most gaming records in history, had his records removed after decades of work. Now, another gaming giant has fallen.
This time around it's none other than Billy Mitchell. You've probably seen him in a picture standing next to a Donkey Kong arcade machine with his glistening mullet. Or maybe he was standing next to a Ms. Pac-Man machine with an American flag tie lined up perfectly with his well-groomed beard.
Whatever the case, Billy Mitchell has long been regarded a king of gaming records, termed "Gamer of the Century" by game developers who were shocked as his gaming performances that included a perfect score in Pac-Man.
Yet, after years of reign, today Twin Galaxies made an official statement on its website saying that "after months of researching" it has found Billy Mitchell's records to be fraudulent. All records have been removed, and he has been banned from the leaderboard indefinitely, a soul-crushing blow to a man once regarded as the king of video games.
Below were a few of Twin Galaxies' findings:
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.
During the past couple years the gaming record community has gravitated toward livestreaming, where skilled gamers, such as TheMexicanRunner, allow anyone with an internet connection to watch them make a run for new records, adding validity to their accomplishments.
With this, the era of people making up big leaderboard numbers and providing sketchy evidence will fade into distant memory.