This past week not only saw a changing of the guard with a new Donkey Kong world-record, it also saw what could possibly be the last Donkey Kong world record we’ll ever witness. On May 5, former record holder Wes Copeland reclaimed his crown by setting a monstrous score of 1,218,000 after what is believed to be a perfect game.
3 hours and 20 minutes of blistering arcade gameplay, and Copeland didn’t die a single time. The only way this new score can be beaten is through random chance, meaning Donkey Kong throws a perfect barrel pattern which allows a player to move through the stage faster for a higher bonus. Copeland’s score, played on a classic arcade board, is 28,200 higher than Robbie Lakeman’s arcade score and 11,200 higher than Dean Saglio’s MAME record.
Following the score, Copeland stated on Facebook that he would retire from pursuing a higher record, living up to a former statement that 1.2 million points was his goal.
This will be my last record score. I don’t believe I can put up a game any higher than this.
The Donkey Kong high-score took on an all new meaning following the excellent 2007 documentary King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters. The rivalry between Steve Wiebe and Billy Mitchell might be outdated with the two now ranked 18th and 19th respectively on the all time list, but it’s still a great watch. Check it out if you haven’t, and keep an eye out for any other classic arcade documentaries.
It’s still one of the most exciting scenes in video gaming.