March 1st, 2012 - "If things do indeed 'come in threes,' is the next right around the corner?"
I wrote the above in reference to the latest inductees to the million-point elite, only a few weeks ago after Mark Kiehl's recent million-point game. As it turned out, the "rule of threes" almost held!
On February 11th, Estel Goffinet—current record holder on the no-hammer variation of Donkey Kong and arguably the best no-hammerer in the world—approached the big milestone of standard (hammer-allowed) play by coming within a breath of "the million." He missed the mark by a gut-wrenching 200 points, with a final score of 999,800. Oh the humanity!
In the words of Twin Galaxies referee Stephen Boyer:
"Just two more barrel jumps, one more hammer smash, one more man, ANYTHING to gain another 200 pts. would have been nice. It didn't happen but it's still a new #6 score for this game."
No Donkey Kong player has ever gotten so close to "rolling it over" only to come up short (and let's hope, for their sakes, that it never happens to another!) Goffinet's agonizing slip-through-the-cracks brings to mind Dave McCrary's 998,600 point game from April 2011, which hung over McCrary for most of the year until he was finally able to get the gorilla off his back on December 30th.The news, however, is not all bad: with this game, Goffinet shoots from 13th place (850,600) all the way up to 6th in the rankings. This is an impressive feat in an area of the Donkey Kong leaderboard where one must fight for every inch: the point spreads are narrower, but so much harder to bridge.
It has been a remarkable couple of months for competitive Donkey Kong. Is it something in the air? Is it anticipation for the upcoming Kong Off 2 being held this fall in Colorado? For whatever reason, a lot of action has erupted at the top of the leaderboard, and there's no telling what will happen next.