Perfect Donkey Kong run sets new world record score

All hail the new, possibly last King of Kong

The world of competitive Donkey Kong is still lit. If you’re far removed from the high-score chasing of the King of Kong documentary era, when Billy Mitchell, Steve Wiebe, and Hank Chien were jockeying for supremacy, note that their once-record scores now pale in comparison. It’s like being in awe of Dennis Scott hitting 267 three-pointers in a season two decades ago when Steph Curry just finished the year with 402.

Wiebe and Mitchell are now 18th and 19th on the all-time list, respectively. Chien actually took the all-time high score in 2010 and then again in 2011. Since then, however, a new rivalry has led to the top spot trading hands between Wes Copeland and Robbie Lakeman.

Copeland is the man of the hour. He took the number one spot in January, had lost it to Lakeman by April, but just turned in a score of 1,218,000 on May 5 that could prove insurmountable. He played on arcade cabinet, beginning to end, without dying once.

Chien’s once-world-record score is only 1,061,700. Copeland creamed Lakeman’s last score, also on an arcade cabinet, by 28,200. He also topped Dean Saglio’s 2013 emulation record by 11,200, giving him top honors regardless of set up.

“This will be my last record score,” Copeland wrote on Facebook. “I don’t believe I can put up a game any higher than this.” His rival Lakeman replied, “I’m not lucky enough. Good enough, but not lucky enough.”

All hail the new, possibly last King of Kong

Steven Hansen