Ever since the 2007 documentary film The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, the world record score for 1980s arcade hit Donkey Kong has been kind of a big deal. For years, the existing record seemed nigh-on unbeatable, with players pouring their hearts, souls, and stacks of quarters into ageing arcade machines in the name of claiming the title for themselves.
But now there’s a new score to beat, and it comes from a relative newcomer, no less.
If you’re a high-score chaser and happen to have access to an old Donkey Kong arcade board, as of Friday, September 5 the new score to beat is 1,141,800 points.
Robbie Lakeman, who gaming news site Game Informer reports had been chasing the world record for roughly two years–a drop in the ocean compared to some who have been playing the classic coin-op for decades–beat the previous record of 1,138,600 points during a run which took him more than three hours to complete.
The previous record holder, one Dr. Hank Chien, had been at the top of the Donkey Kong table for roughly four years.
If this all sounds immensely nerdy to you and you’re wondering why so many people should make a fuss over a few digits on a decades-old arcade cabinet’s screen, then I recommend you check out the above-mentioned King of Kong immediately. Only then will you truly understand just how much time and effort goes into jumping over those tiny, pixely barrels and trying to rescue a woman in a pink dress from a giant, chest-pounding ape.
Plus, if you haven’t yet seen one-time champion Billy Mitchell parading around the arcades and sneering at his rival Steve Wiebe like a butt-hurt schoolboy, you’re in for a real treat.