Billy Mitchell, known for holding the Donkey Kong world record and being in the classic video game documentary The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, just got some great news: the Guinness World Records is reinstating his status and records they once stripped from him.
Back in 2018, Billy Mitchell had been accused of cheating by using an emulator rather than a legitimate Donkey Kong circuit board. An investigation had looked into a few of his Donkey Kong scores and found them suspect. After their investigations, both Twin Galaxies and the Guinness World Records took Mitchell's world records down. But, now, Mitchell is standing in victory on social media thanks to a recent report by the Guinness World Records. Check it out:
This is good news for Billy Mitchell and his fans. However, it should be noted that only the Guinness World Records reinstated his records. As of now, the Twin Galaxies has not.
Originally, fellow Twin Galaxies gamer Jeremey Young brought forth the allegations against Billy Mitchell, claiming that the original Donkey Kong arcade hardware can’t produce the image transitions that are shown on Billy Mitchell’s video. Twin Galaxies concluded Billy Mitchell cheated using a MAME device and removed him from its rankings entirely. It even banned him from competing in its tournaments.
At that time, Billy Mitchell responded a number of times to the accusations. He first responded on February 2018, saying:
I'm the least tech savvy guy in the world, so I'd be lost without the kindness of people I've never met before, calling me with information and insight. In some ways, it's a bummer. There's a lot of other fun stuff I would rather be doing [than clearing my name]. But if it's a cross I have to bear for a little while, that's okay.
Later in April, Billy Mitchell made a brief statement on camera, saying he disagreed with the accusations. He also seemed to be fully cooperative with the investigation and believed the findings would prove he was professional and followed the rules. Now, after two years, it looks like things have gone his way.
Of course, Billy Mitchell isn’t the only gamer to be put under heavy scrutiny for their video game world records at Twin Galaxies. Around the same time, Todd Rogers, who claimed the fastest time of 5.51 seconds in Dragster, also had his record stripped after it was proven to be impossible to do so.
The competitive story of gamers fighting for the top score in Donkey Kong was highlighted in the well-reviewed documentary The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, which followed up-and-comer gamer Steve Wiebe trying to beat Billy Mitchell’s high score and the drama that unfolds because of it.
The Guinness World Records largely relies on information from Twin Galaxies. Now that it's reinstated Billy Mitchell, it’ll be interesting to see how Twin Galaxies responds, if at all.