Can King Of Kong ‘Cheat’, Billy Mitchell Clear His Name?

Can King Of Kong ‘Cheat’, Billy Mitchell Clear His Name?


Former Donkey Kong record holder, Billy Mitchell, responds to having his gaming records expunged and vows to clear his name. 

Billy Mitchell, a Hot Sauce magnate with a penchant for a mullet hairstyle and a stars and stripes tie, rose to fame as the villain of retro gaming documentary ‘King of Kong’. But If you’ve read any gaming news outlet in the last week you won’t have been able to miss the story that Mitchell has been stripped of all of his long standing video game records.

Doubt was raised over the legitimacy of Mitchell’s record breaking hi-scores in ‘Donkey Kong’ and it all comes down to the hardware and transitions.

As per the rules laid down by Twin Galaxies, the recognised body that tracks video game records, all attempts must be made and completed on original arcade hardware. In this instance and original ‘Donkey Kong’ arcade cabinet.

But Mitchell’s scores, which some have been sceptical of for many years, were finally called into question by Twin Galaxies member Jeremey Young who, having scrutinised Billy Mitchell’s video submissions, filed an official dispute.

Young’s evidence of foul play revolves around the technicalities of how the game “transitions”. In layman’s terms, Young spotted significant differences in the way the graphic components of each level spawn on-screen between Mitchell’s videos, and original cabinet hardware. Cabinet hardware will load graphic elements, like the ladders or platforms, in a distinctive pattern.

Young’s discovery seemed to prove that Mitchell’s world record playthrough videos were not performed on original arcade hardware as the graphic components transitioned differently. In fact the patterns correlated with those you would see in an emulated version of the game.

In short, records created using emulators are not considered legitimate due to the ease with which games can be manipulated to give players an advantage.

Following a lengthy investigation Twin Galaxies came to a final judgement. Jeremey Young’s dispute was upheld and all records for all games held by Billy Mitchell were expunged from the Twin Galaxies’ leaderboards. Guinness World Records promptly followed suit.

You can read Twin Galaxies’ detailed summary here.

This story might have legs yet though. Billy Mitchell has broken his silence following the revelation for Old School Gamer Magazine. In this recorded statement Mitchell claims to be compiling evidence that will clear his name.



The video was recorded at  the Midwest Gaming Classic where Mitchell was in attendance.

The shamed gaming star claims that a thorough investigation is underway gathering information dating back 35 years that will prove his records to be legitimate.

We wait with bated breath.

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Will Harrison

About the author | Will Harrison

Founder of The Unheard Nerd. A husband and father of two girls, Will is a fan of Nerdcore Hip-Hop, a comics fiend, a podcast host and champion of independent nerd culture. | Follow will on twitter: @TheUnheardNerd

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