Guinness reinstates Billy ‘King of Kong’ Mitchell’s world records

Twin Galaxies still doesn’t recognize Billy’s 'Donkey Kong' and 'Pac-Man' records.

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OTTUMWA, IA - AUGUST 13: Billy Mitchell, the Video Game Player of the Century, poses while Steve Sanders, 'The Orignal King of Kong,' plays Donkey Kong at the launch party for the International Video Game Hall of Fame and Museum on August 13, 2009 in Ottumwa, Iowa. Ottumwa was officially proclaimed the Video Game Capital of the World at the launch party and plans are underway to build a full museum in the small Iowa city. The rivelry of Sanders and Mitchell is documented in the movie 'The King of Kong' where they played each other for the best score ever. (Photo by David Greedy/Getty Images)
David Greedy via Getty Images

Billy "Video Game Player of the Century" Mitchell has been vindicated. Today, Guinness World Records reinstated the Donkey Kong and Pac-Man records that were stripped from Mitchell in 2018. Once again, Mitchell holds the first perfect score on Pac-Man and several records for the highest score on Donkey Kong. He has also redeemed recognition as the first player to reach the kill screen on Donkey Kong and the first gamer to score one million points on Donkey Kong.

Mitchell, also known as the “King of Kong,” had his records expunged by Guinness and Twin Galaxies after an investigation alleged some of his performances on Donkey Kong were not reached on arcade hardware. In May, we heard that Mitchell (also a hot sauce mogul) planned to take Twin Galaxies to court. While Twin Galaxies has not changed its decision, Guinness shared a video explaining its reversal.

According to Guinness World Records Editor-in-Chief Craig Glenday, Guinness reviewed existing evidence, “newly sourced eyewitness testimony,” new expert gameplay analyses and hardware verification. Guinness didn’t necessarily rule out foul play but found that there “just wasn’t sufficient evidence to support the disqualification across the board.”

"After reviewing Billy’s gameplay and reproducing similar games myself, I can honestly say that this is legitimate gameplay," Robbie Lakeman (the current Donkey Kong high-record holder) said in a statement shared by Ars Technica. "I do not see a reason why Billy would need to even use MAME or save states to film both games with this style of play."

Sadly, this saga is not yet over. Twin Galaxies and Guinness are now split, and the hearing for Mitchell’s Twin Galaxies defamation case is scheduled for July 6th.

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