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A New World Record Ends Hank Chien's Reign As Donkey Kong Champion

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In December of 2010, New York area plastic surgeon Hank Chien set the world record high score for Donkey Kong — 1,068,000 points.He topped that score four times over the next two years, setting the score at 1,138,600 in November of 2012. Thursday evening, DK competitor Robbie Lakeman scored 1,141,800 points, ending Chien's reign of terror .

The Donkey Kong world record is one of the most hotly contested records in gaming history. The decade-long rivalry between original 1982 record holder Billy Mitchell and Steve Wiebe is the stuff of legend , as well as the subject of the documentary The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters.


The battle between the two legends came to an end in 2010, when new challenger Hank Chien took the title in February with a score of 1,061,700 points, Mitchell and Wiebe took turns recapturing the title from Chien that year, but he took it back in November 2010 and has been dominating ever since.


Until this weekend, that is. According to the folks at the Donkey Kong Blog, the premiere authority on the competitive Donkey Kong scene, relative newcomer Robbie Lakeman now holds the world record.

Lakeman, know for livestreaming his regular attempts at the record, was offline on Thursday night when he broke Chien's record, but he uploaded the footage above Friday evening. Skip to three hours and twelve minutes in for the big moment.

According to the post on the Donkey Kong Blog, Lakeman's run at the record began around three years ago, when a friend challenged him to get into the top 20. Since then he's become a regular at Kong Off events, where he made no secret he was gunning for Chien.


And now he's made it to number one, and while Robbie Lakeman's score might not stand for long, at least he'll be able to say he was on top.

Check out the Donkey Kong Blog for a full accounting of the record-breaking score, as well as a comprehensive history of the world record that goes beyond anything we've seen in documentary form.


Photo of Lakeman by Dave Danzara