Footage showing the supposed arcade board switch between Mitchell’s high scores.

Wiebe surpassed Mitchell’s record in September of 2010 with a score of 1,064,500. Still, doubts surrounded Mitchell’s score due to the fact that he had allegedly beaten both games on the same cabinet with arcade board swapping in between sessions. The swap, which was ostensibly done just to change which game Mitchell was playing, hatched wild theories that Mitchell could have swapped in a doctored board. A video supposedly showing the Donkey Kong Jr. arcade board being returned exists but no footage of the actual scores outside of Mitchell’s direct feed capture have surfaced.


Another elite player, Wes Copeland, has accused Mitchell’s Donkey Kong score as being bogus, citing what he categorized as a suspiciously fortuitous point gain from a part of the game governed by random number generation, or RNG.

“Most of Billy’s points in his direct feed games comes from blue barrel smashes. These are completely RNG-based, yet somehow his averages are way above the mean,” the former Donkey Kong world record holder wrote on Twitter. “This is evidence of splicing. Billy replayed the boards over and over until he got the right smash RNG to lock in his pace.”


“For all we know, he did a white lie and did it on MAME or something on the computer,” Patterson said. “I’ve had lots of questions over the years.”

Meanwhile, David Nelson has a slightly more charitable opinion of what happened at the time.


“Did anyone have a reason to distrust his honesty or his ability? No,” Nelson said.

Mitchell’s direct feed recording does not show him playing the game nor does it verify the kind of joystick he was using at the time. Without additional video proof, Mitchell’s score may now also be in jeopardy on the Twin Galaxies leaderboards.


“Twin Galaxies is in the process of fully-reviewing the compelling evidence provided by Jeremy Young to support his current score dispute case against Billy Mitchell’s Donkey Kong score,” Twin Galaxies commissioner Dave Hawksett told Kotaku via email. “We will do this thoroughly and impartially. In the meantime we will continue to observe this discussion by experts in the community and will also examine any further evidence that may be provided during this review period. We are taking this matter quite seriously.”

Kotaku reached out to Billy Mitchell, who did not respond after multiple attempts for comment.