Donkey Kong high score once again belongs to Steve Wiebe

King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters is without question the best videogame film of all time. The documentary told the David and Goliath-level struggle over who holds the record for official highest score in Nintendo’s arcade classic Donkey Kong. Billy Mitchell, the mullet-wearing arcade master and the first person to ever “beat” Pac-Man, had held it for decades, but when challenger Steve Wiebe topped it, Billy’s friends at Twin Galaxies, the official high score keepers for all games, chose to not recognize the score. King of Kong followed Wiebe’s adventure to make that score official. In the years since filming ended the rivals have traded the top spot, with Billy regaining the high score last month. And today Twin Galaxies verified Steve Wiebe’s most recent submission, and he’s the King of Kong once more.

Submitted last month, Wiebe’s score of 1,064,500 was officially recognized, putting him about 2,000 over Billy’s old score. But don’t set that score in stone just yet, as the high score has been in a state of flux since King of Kong was released. In case you didn’t see the movie (you should rent it right now, or watch on Netflix Instant), Billy and Steve have been trading the position for some time, and this could be another situation where Steve finally pulls out a win, only for Billy to come back and reassert his claim. And let’s not forget Hank Chien, a surprise outsider who briefly held the honor and is now at third place.

Above: Steve’s finest hour in King of Kong

The real question is when and how will this all end? As arcade fans know, Donkey Kong, like most old games, has a kill screen, a point at which the levels can repeat no further. That means that theoretically there’s a limit to how many points can be scored. But what is the ceiling? It’s possible Billy Mitchell knows but isn’t sharing. In the past when he’s beaten a high score, Billy immediately stops playing so his competitors won’t know what his highest possbible score could be. Maybe we’ll see him and his intimidating mullet pop up soon, and he’ll score 1,064,600. Only time will tell, but in the meantime let’s celebrate everyman Steve Wiebe and his achievement.

Bonus: Here’s the awesome History of Donkey Kong extra from the King of Kong DVD.

Sep 20, 2010


  • MattoMcFly - September 22, 2010 4:10 a.m.

    It makes a great narrative for a movie that Billy and Steve Wiebe are enemies, but I met them both in Iowa at Big Bang 2010 and they spent a lot of the time chatting and hanging out together. The movie is entertaining but it is a complete fabrication, using a lot of audio and video out of context. I know this because I started writing for Twin Galaxies soon after I saw it thinking the same bad things, but I've talked extensively with Walter Day, Billy Mitchell and a lot of folks from the video and the consensus is that everyone would love that movie to just go away or, even better, for people not to take it as gospel. Because, really, its very far from what actually happened and what has happened since. Unfortunately Twin Galaxies' image got dragged through the mud at the time, but much has changed in just a small amount of years and its slightly unfair to bring up a falsehood about refs cooking the books without doing some basic fact checking with the TG community.
  • rabidpotatochip - September 21, 2010 2:19 p.m.

    Billy Mitchell may have BBQ sauce but Steve Wiebe has awesomesauce.
  • nai1210 - September 21, 2010 10:46 a.m.

    Awesome news,congratulations Steve.The peoples Champion once again. I think there must only be a handfull of guys still rootin for billy mitchell "kill screen coming up" guy obviously will be one but he's an even bigger cock piece than billy,hence why I couldn't even be arsed to remeber/look up his name
  • Goeman - September 21, 2010 8:24 a.m.

    I should also add that Billy Mitchell's 1982 record was lost in 2000 to a guy called Tim Sczerby.
  • Goeman - September 21, 2010 7:49 a.m.

    The King of Kong is a brilliant film but it should be noted that the film doesn't tell the whole truth. It was filmed over 3 years and with the exception of 48hrs Weibe was the Donkey Kong champion for the whole film and had been since 2003. The score he submits at the beginning of the film in 2004 was accepted as the new high score.
  • venture - September 21, 2010 6:14 a.m.

    King of kong was such an emotional movie im so happy for steve.. i wonder how billy mitchell feels right now
  • gmknoble - September 21, 2010 4:11 a.m.

    Alright, just watched it. Billy Mitchell can go fuck himself! ROCK ON STEVE WIEBE
  • FuzzyDeath - September 21, 2010 2:37 a.m.

    Awesome! Steve deserves it. I almost cried when watching King of Kong. Fantastic film.
  • batman5273 - September 21, 2010 2:21 a.m.

    Good Job Steve!! FUCK BILLY MITCHELL! I hope he puts hot sauce on his PENIS!
  • BSGVader - September 21, 2010 1:33 a.m.

    Go Steve!
  • BonafideMyth - September 21, 2010 12:20 a.m.

    You know looking at Billy's beard/mullet style I wondered what he did to allow himself the ability to work on his Kong skills and still stay afloat and I never guessed BBQ Kingpin, but now that makes perfect sense. He looks exactly like a guy who runs a BBQ sauce empire.
  • n00b - September 21, 2010 12:17 a.m.

    @Cyberninja yes they do. Billy Mitchell runs a restaurant chain and sells his own hot sauce brand. and Steve Wiebe has a family and is a teacher
  • GamesRadarCharlieBarratt - September 21, 2010 12:16 a.m.

    @Cyberninja Seriously, listen to Henry. Watch the movie. You will not want to make fun of Steve Wiebe once you have. He probably neglects his life a little too much for this obsession, but he definitely definitely has a life. That's kind of the point, and what separates him from Billy Mitchell... though Billy owns a BBQ sauce empire, so maybe they both "have lives."
  • n00b - September 21, 2010 12:11 a.m.

    good for Steve Wiebe he deserves it. though i bet Billy will poof out of an evil cloud of smoke, stroking his goatee to claim the high score... again
  • Cyberninja - September 20, 2010 11:39 p.m.

    do either have lives is what want to know
  • Redeater - September 20, 2010 11:30 p.m.

    sigh.... While I still think this is a waste of time I am glad that Billy "the douchebag" Mitchell is not #1. Though sadly he will reclaim it soon.
  • gmknoble - September 20, 2010 11:23 p.m.

    I have King of Kong in my Instant Queue, and I've been meaning to watch it. Hank, this article has spurred me to watch it tonight.
  • batmanboy11 - September 20, 2010 11:23 p.m.

    This man is equal parts awesome and insane.
  • ventanger - September 20, 2010 11:18 p.m.

    In related news, Wibe's sons ass still goes unwiped. (You'd get the joke if you saw the movie)
  • Russianred90 - September 20, 2010 11:12 p.m.

    @Bonafidemyth Watch the movie you owe it to yourself also: GO STEVE!

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