Twin Galaxies And DK Forum Top 20 Donkey Kong World Record Scores

Presented for your information and adulation: the official top 20 Donkey Kong scores, as tracked/verified by Twin Galaxies International (from 1982-2013) and the community of experts and top players at Donkey Kong Forum (since 2013).

If you're coming in "off the street"—perhaps from a Google search after a viewing of The King of Kong—the first thing to know is that a great deal has changed since the movie, which was filmed almost a decade ago, and whose release ushered in a new and extremely competitive playing field.

Neither Steve Wiebe nor Billy Mitchell hold the Donkey Kong world record anymore, though both are still highly revered. Wiebe remains active and a serious force to be reckoned with, particularly in live events like the recent Kong Offs. While he has not had the time or inclination to pursue the world record since 2010, most of today's top players agree that Wiebe has the potential to reclaim it. Mitchell, on the other hand, is no longer competing.

Since 2010, the world record has been held by Dr. Hank Chien, a plastic surgeon from New York City. Mitchell reclaimed it that year, with Wiebe then taking it from Mitchell, but Chien soon beat both and has held it ever since.

The "Billy vs. Steve" era is now history. The movie brought hundreds of new competitors to the game from all over the world (even Eminem!). Brilliant, talented "next generation" players like Chien, Ross Benziger, Vincent Lemay, Jeff Willms, and Dean Saglio have risen to the top.

This list is only the top 20 out of hundreds of players ranked on the Donkey Kong Forum High Score List. Click to see the whole list, if you would like to submit a score, or to join us in one of our regular online tournaments.

This leaderboard was last maintained on August 21st, 2014.

IMPORTANT: As of March 2014, Twin Galaxies—which disappeared for several months after the Kong Off 3—has re-emerged with a new owner Jace Hall. The organization is in the midst of a restructuring period and is not accepting new submissions yet. Bear with them! Please see this post for more details.

Arcade Machine World Record*
1,138,600Hank Chien11/1/2012

MAME Emulator World Record*
1,206,800Dean Saglio10/4/2013

3rd Through 20th

#ScorePlayerDatePlatformRef
31,137,100Robbie Lakeman7/29/2014Arcade
41,136,500Ross Benziger9/26/2013Arcade
51,135,900Vincent Lemay1/11/2013Arcade
61,107,600Jeff Willms8/15/2011MAME
71,103,700Jeff Wolfe10/30/2013Arcade
81,094,100Steve Wiltshire 1/19/2014Arcade
91,091,400Dave McCrary2/23/2014Arcade
101,089,400Phil Tudose8/5/2013MAME
111,076,000Mike Groesbeck 5/17/2014Arcade
121,064,500Steve Wiebe8/30/2010Arcade
131,062,800Billy Mitchell7/31/2010Arcade
141,060,600Corey Chambers8/21/2014Arcade
151,052,900Mark Kiehl8/7/2012Arcade
161,037,500Shaun Boyd5/21/2012Arcade
171,034,700Tim Sczerby2/24/2010Arcade
181,028,200Wes Copeland5/4/2014MAME
191,025,200Jon McKinnell7/7/2013Arcade
201,012,800 Kyle Goewert4/27/2012Arcade

A note on world records: The Donkey Kong world record as it is known and recognized by Twin Galaxies, Guinness, other score-trackers, the media, the general public, and purists/traditionalists can only be set on an original 1981 arcade machine. Hence, Hank Chien is the reigning world champion, even though Dean Saglio's MAME Arcade Machine Emulator score is higher than Chien's arcade score.

Some maintain an alternate view that since the game is emulated 100% accurately on MAME, the record should be whatever the highest score is, irrespective of platform. This view would see Saglio as the champ, with Chien in 2nd.

Without delving into the particulars of the debate, let it be sufficient to note that there are strong cases for both positions. For neutrality's sake, the two records are treated here as parallel entities, or perhaps a split title, with neither being ranked as "1st" or "2nd", and the rankings from there on starting at 3rd place.

This solution honors the traditional perception of the world record being necessarily tied to the original arcade hardware (and Chien's publicly-recognized status as the Donkey Kong champion), while also respecting the fact that Saglio has technically achieved the highest score.

60 comments:

Anonymous said...

So does this mean Dean Saglio can beat Steve, Billy and Hank?

Anonymous said...

im just glad that billy doesnt hold the donkey kong record. more over, that he is now in third hahahahahaahahahaha

Joseph Carroll said...

Whenever twingalaxies gets back up. Ill then be able to send in my donkey kong arcade score to be in the top 20! They've been down probably two weeks so I hope it's nothing bad.

Chrispy said...

Nice job, Joseph! I Googled you. Looks like you've been working on this for a couple of years now. Did you manage to kill-screen the game?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Eminem story!

Anonymous said...

Haha billy is third, billy ant the best no more.
Think billy needs to practice more. Maybe get some glasses to
Help him in his old age

Anonymous said...

Interesting fact: NES Tetris scores are highly analagous to DK scores. This post is correct in calling DK the most competitive top 10 in gaming... but we are coming up :)

http://tetrisconcept.net/forum/showthread.html?t=1918

Anonymous said...

Billy will be always the dk champion. he did it back in '82, without internet, guides, etc. and at the same time he held world records in major games like centipede, burger time, pacman...

Chrispy said...

Agreed. In the future, I am going to write on that topic. Not only did Billy have DK nailed literally decades before anybody else (and in a total information vacuum), he was 17 years old when he did it! Love him or hate him, he's phenomenal.

Anonymous said...

Ive had my machine since May and Im in the 480,000 range for my high score. For you experienced players, is this decent progression?

blitzkrieg_ZA said...

Would like to see some south african players in the top 20 I'm well on my way with a score 490,600

Anonymous said...

Chrispy raises a good point of interest...is MItchell the youngest verified kill-screener in DK, or has someone done so before the age of 17 ?

Robert T Mruczek
Former Twin Galaxies chief referee
Star Wars classic arcade marathin champion

Anonymous said...

After another viewing of King of Kong just then, I literally could not be happier to see Hank S Chien as current arcade champ-
Sincerest congratualations to him, and sincerest congratulations to that other champion in 2nd place- ecstatic you're sitting above that narcissistic oxygen thief!

Anonymous said...

There should be a separate category for Live Kong records. Wiebe for President.

Anonymous said...

Please have respect for the original players like Billy. They made their scores at a time when everone was playing the game and not a handful like today. Basically people like Billy beat all comers

Anonymous said...

Please acknowledge that obnoxious, self glorification of one's own self is offensive to all others,regardless of a played up or played down verbal delivery, and for that reason alone, cannot, and should not, be praised, heralded or otherwise.
This applies then, and this applies now.
Great people are known as that only by way of the profession's of others.

Brielle Franklin said...

I never knew how people can score so high on arcade game machines. I once spent a few hours playing a game and I still did not win, nor did I get any kind of high score. You guys are awesome to have such a score!

Joseph Carroll said...

I never turned my score in to Twin, looks like they are really going downhill. Robert was a great person to have on there team and it's showing that the fall of this empire has come. I heard right when I was getting my dvd ready to send in they were only accepting top scores only. I haven't really played in months. Way to take the fun out the game twin galaxies.

Anonymous said...

Billy L Mitchell suck my dick

Anonymous said...

Here here!

David West said...

To all "Billy haters", I totally sympathize with your view of him. And watching "King of Kong", Billy Mitchell came off as being super arrogant, petty, childish and downright ignorant.

However, I hear from not only one source, that he and Steve Wiebe are good friends IRL. Is this true, and if it is, did this come to be after the documentary was made or before?.. does this change what we saw in the film? Possibly!

This of course brings the objectivity of the documentary into play.

All I'm saying is this: Watching the film, I thought Billy was an asshole, but now I'm not so sure.

I do know a few pro gamers (and wannabe pros), who many of you would regard as being just that; assholes, and you might very well be right! is Billy one of these?.. maybe. Can we be sure?.. no!

Dennis said...

Twin Galaxies is back online! Sweet!

Anonymous said...

Maybe it has been posted before...but why arent the two scores that was on the show fistful of qtrs on this list for mitchell and weebe?

Anonymous said...

I have a quick question i have a 60 in 1 arcade machine it has a small computer chip that runs 60 games would this be consider a MAME style of play even though it has a the classic arcade conrtols and body style? thnx also ive been playing since march 7th 2013 and my best score is 214,600 on lvl 7 is that good

Chrispy said...

The two questions after Dennis...

Anonymous 1: Twin Galaxies only allows one score per player. As soon as you beat one of your previous scores, the old one is replaced with the new one. Billy and Steve have both beaten the scores they achieved in the movie.

Anonymous 2: Unfortunately, 60-in-1 boards are not (currently) accepted by Twin Galaxies for Donkey Kong scores. However, the rules for DK are "in limbo" right now, so that might change within the next few months. As for your 214,600 score, it's good, and it shows you have the potential to go a lot further in the game. If you have more questions about playing and recording for TG and in competitions, you'll be welcomed with open arms at The Donkey Kong Forum.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Chrispy i have gotten a score of 287,300 since then but ive been practicing point pressing and it is difficult. I live 35 minutes from Funspot and been playing there at least twice a week the original game has a better joystick then mine. They have a classic arcade tournement the first week of june from thursday to sunday i hope to see some top cuntenders there, steve weibe was there a month ago but i didnt get to see him he did a random pop in when he was on vacation with his family in maine. But i hope to get alot better by then but who knows thanks again and if anyone is going to funspot in june hit me up on this post my name is roger champagne and could always use some pointers from the pros.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to add Chrispy thnx for that forum has alot of helpful hints broken down then just watching youtube clips of world record videos. Thnx again :) ill record me playing in the next couple days and post it on youtube under donkey kong champagne.

Anonymous said...

just put up a score today at funspot of 397,900 with 2 deaths that should have never happend i was at 11.3 level and trust me when i say that damn game was not making nething easy. and yes it is the machine in the king of kong and there is no way brian kuh could have got a kill screen and only getting 545,000 point i wasnt point pressing and gettin alot of stages down to 3 to 400 bonus points left

Anonymous said...

Brian Kuh has never gotten a kill screen. Hes homless living I n Laconia

Anonymous said...

yea i heard that just yesterday when i was at funspot, someone said even funspot fired him lol.. how can u retire at 30 with no money lol. More like retarted at 30. Maybe if he got a KS he would have been rich and famous

Chrispy said...

You're welcome, J'lo!

Anonymous said...

Billy mitchell is such a pussy

Anonymous said...

Billy Mitchell has already done what everyone else is trying to emulate. Everyone after Mitchell is a poser!

Anonymous said...

Billy Mitchell is the world champion at being a complete ****wit!

Anonymous said...

After watching the King of Kong, it's come to my attention that Steve Wiebe is the only person on the documentary that has had sex with a woman.

Anonymous said...

Billy, your hot sauce tastes like Donkey Kongs jizz!

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Karnage said...

wow

Anonymous said...

Hey look above at the escort service thumbnail...It's Billy Mitchell's wife!! minus about 30 years and a penis.

Too bad about the scores list...I'd rather see a straight list of the top scores and owner not really a list of top scores by individual. To see how close the scores are and multiple scores placed in the top 20 would be interesting.

Joe Cimmarrusti said...

I have to say that after watching that movie a few years ago, I wanted an actual Donkey Kong machine. Since that movie, the prices of such original hardware has steadily increased in price. Actually, retro gaming for even old consoles has increased in value and I think "King of Kong", Twin Galaxies and Guiness Book Gamers Addition has been the source. I purchased an amazing Donkey Kong machine over 1.5 years ago and left it at my sisters who dwells 800kms away...I finally got it into my garage 2 weeks ago and tried it last night...on Mame I've broken 90,000 on this machine haven't broken 50,000 yet. Lots to practice here.
P.S. Don't pick on Billy Mitchell, it's a massive blow when considered an arcade god for 25 years then slated another mortal. He is still one of the greatest gamers of all time and that should be respected.
cheers,

SEADRIVE

Anonymous said...

In 1983, I and many others witnessed my friend Henri Lony reaching level 22 with 3 lives left.
I do not remember his score but it was over a million. (In my memory he reached level 23 but everybody says that is impossible so it must have been level 22)

This happened in Tilburg, Netherlands(gameroom: 26).

In my oppinion he still holds the World record.

He never played the game again because of disappointment of this death level.

Duck Life 3 said...

You are welcome :)

Anonymous said...

back in the 80's use to play the game till kill screen on original machine.then by accident found a way past it so just carried on playing,got monies worth for 10 pence!!

Anonymous said...

You can't say you found a way past kill screen and not divulge any details about how to do that...

Anonymous said...

all good as long as Wiebe is better than MItchell ^^

Jonathan Adams said...

Billy Mitchell is a stud. The documentary was edited in such a way as to make him the villain. Did he make a few poor choices? Yes. Did Steve Weibe ignore his family and children for long stretches of time to pursue a foolish dream? Yes. Somehow we all love Steve and hate Billy. To do so is ignorant of reality. Until the movie was released, Billy Mitchell was a friend to the friendless and many, many people lived vicariously through him. My gut feeling is: he still is, and they still do.

BTW, order his wing sauces! Damn good stuff!

bubblegum casting said...

Those are some high scores!

Anonymous said...

Billy Mitchell is a jerk

Anonymous said...

Who cares if you're a the master of anything if you're an unpleasant person. I used to think ego and unpleasantness only existed in professional high-profile sports. Then, I saw King of Kong and thought that it may exist in other spheres but had doubts as I thought it the movie might have been a matter of spin and slanted editing. Then, I met Billy in person and I realized, unbelievable assholes, who are almost self parodies, actually exist in every niche sphere in the world. Billy Mitchell was once the king of the dumbest kingdom. Now, he's not even that.

Anonymous said...

forever live clasic games!!!

Dissertation services said...

Who cares if you're a the master of anything if you're an unpleasant person. I used to think ego and unpleasantness only existed in professional high-profile sports. Then, I saw King of Kong and thought that it may exist in other spheres but had doubts as I thought it the movie might have been a matter of spin and slanted editing. Then, I met Billy in person and I realized, unbelievable assholes, who are almost self parodies, actually exist in every niche sphere in the world. Billy Mitchell was once the king of the dumbest kingdom. Now, he's not even that.

allen said...

Can You Please Upgrade Dave McCrary. allen.

xxdemo said...

Billy Mitchell, what a unpleasant guy.

Also, when did he do a public record last time?

nata said...

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Anonymous said...

Just for the record, Billy Mitchell is not a great gamer. He was at the Life magazine event in 82 but LOST. He has never won a tournament in his career, and placed dead last in the latest Kong Off. In fact even the idea that he held the record for Donkey Kong when the movie was made is just plain made up.

Billy and Walter are great at making stuff up. They've been doing it for years. It's just utterly laughable that Walter can call himself and impartial judge of anything. He's been Billy's bitch since the mid 80's.

Anonymous said...

OMG, thank you Anonymous from Dec'13.... Billy is the biggest cheater of the dumbest kingdom. I just saw King of Kong and it made me sad for humanity. It's a great movie in that it's a reflection on politics and humanity. Confident assholes can unfortunately win over skill and knowledge with deception and being in the know. Sad, sad, sad....

Luis said...

D. Kong forever!

Anonymous said...

I've just seen that film and yes billy came over arrogant. Plums like that don't have real friends.

Anonymous said...

Billy Mitchell is a C**t! And Steve Weibe is a humble hero. I want to be like him when I grow up.

Anonymous said...

Steve Wiebe one position ahead of the douche. humble determination beats flashy arrogance. nice

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