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A middle-school science teacher and a hot sauce mogul vie for the Guinness World Record on the arcade classic, Donkey Kong in The King Of Kong.

In 1982, Life Magazine assembled the worlds greatest gamers for a photo shoot that would become the center spread of their 1982 Year-In-Photos edition. Billy Mitchell, who would later be named the Gamer of the Century, was one of the invitees.

Mitchell, the World Record holder on Centipede, had been tracking the score on Donkey Kong, and knew he could take that title as well. In front of the 20 best gamers in the world, Billy scored 874,300 points, a record many thought would never be broken.

In 2003, 35 year old family man Steve Wiebe, after losing his job at Boeing, found solace in Donkey Kong. Steve stumbled upon Billy Mitchells record online, and set out to break it. He began perfecting his game every night after his wife and kids went to bed, and not only surpassed Billys record, but ended up with a thought-to-be-impossible 1,000,000 points.

A tidal wave of media coverage followed, and Steve Wiebe quickly became a celebrity in his hometown of Seattle, WA. He also rediscovered his love for teaching, and regained the respect of all who once doubted him. Meanwhile, back in Hollywood, FL, Billy Mitchell hatched a plan to reclaim his fallen Donkey Kong record...
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#1
Weird film this, paints a very bad picture of Billy Mitchell but is entertaining to watch. The scene with Wiebe's just-pooped kid screaming "WIPE MY BUTT" as he is on a DK marathon is hilarious.
#2
Great film if you are interested in video games. Worth the £4.
#3
Comes across very Spinal Tap despite been an authentic documentary, well worth a watch even for non gamers.
#4
I enjoyed this film alot, I think Billy beat Steve's score again after this.
1 Like #5
If you like this, you should also watch Chasing Ghosts: Beyond the Arcade

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0479879/

Not sure if it has had a DVD release (was shown on TV in the States), but is available from all normal 'alternative' sources ;-)
#6
Abvance
I enjoyed this film alot, I think Billy beat Steve's score again after this.

But that score was posted by video, there was no date on it, there were no witnesses and no one checked the machine for ghost boards like they did with Steve.
Everyone should buy this film, just to see what a douche billy is, you think you hate americans now...oh boy! :geek:
#7
This documentary is way more entertaining than it has any right to be considering the subject. Well worth £4 of anyone's money.
#8
I'm not a massive Doco's fan but this was really compelling. Just watched the Bill Maher one 'Religulous' and that was good too. Not forgetting Anvil: The Story of Anvil.

Hot Price
#9
Definitely worth a watch, really enjoyed it, good price too.
#10
I love the Power Glove, it's sooo bad!

http://wiimedia.ign.com/wii/image/article/712/712705/radical-movement-20060614045414220.jpg
#11
MegasXLR
But that score was posted by video, there was no date on it, there were no witnesses and no one checked the machine for ghost boards like they did with Steve.


That is completely and utterly wrong. The world record held by Billy Mitchell was done at a conference in America where he had a large audience watching him do the score live. The boardset was authenticated by Nintendo beforehand, the machine sealed, and then re-authenticated afterwards. Whatsmore, the kill screen wasnt reached, Billy killed off his lives once he had beaten the Steve Wiebe's score....presumably that was some kind of taunt to do that.
#12
dancrawley
If you like this, you should also watch Chasing Ghosts: Beyond the Arcade

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0479879/

Not sure if it has had a DVD release (was shown on TV in the States), but is available from all normal 'alternative' sources ;-)


rep added :) i was hoping there was something similar to this i could watch

btw as for the king of kong its a fantastic movie, one of my favourites
#13
This is one of my favorites. I would recommend this film to anybody - you don't need to have a specific interest in Donkey Kong, or arcade games at all even, to find this enjoyable. If you like the kind of subjects that Louis Theroux covered in his Weird Weekends series, then you'll like this.
I agree with the other comment that "Chasing Ghosts - Beyond the Arcade" is a great follow-up if you like this one. Personally, I'd recommend watching KoK _first_ though.
#14
Tronads
That is completely and utterly wrong. The world record held by Billy Mitchell was done at a conference in America where he had a large audience watching him do the score live. The boardset was authenticated by Nintendo beforehand, the machine sealed, and then re-authenticated afterwards. Whatsmore, the kill screen wasnt reached, Billy killed off his lives once he had beaten the Steve Wiebe's score....presumably that was some kind of taunt to do that.


You're a Billy Mitchell fan? *looks at avatar*
#15
Tronads
That is completely and utterly wrong. The world record held by Billy Mitchell was done at a conference in America where he had a large audience watching him do the score live. The boardset was authenticated by Nintendo beforehand, the machine sealed, and then re-authenticated afterwards. Whatsmore, the kill screen wasnt reached, Billy killed off his lives once he had beaten the Steve Wiebe's score....presumably that was some kind of taunt to do that.

He's never recorded a live score since the 80's, even his wife has never seen him record a live score.
#16
The film is excellent. But please understand there is a lot of fiction thrown in to encourage rivalry and controversy. It is an excellent example of docullusion and a enthralling story to watch.

But don't take it too seriously and definitely don't attempt to use the film as any evidence to back up any debate, like those couple of posts above have.

Misleading times & dates (back and forth phonecalls and events were cut together to appear to be following a fictional timeline), a made up scoreboard (Steve was actually recognised record holder for almost the whole duration of the film! The documentary simply sprinkled out the quotes he made when he wasn't), quotes out of context (the famous live snubbing Billy gives steve is dubbed!) and outright lies (Billie's car didn't drive off. He parked it, came into the restaurant, chatted to and introduced his family to Steve).

Not to mention Billy's interviews. These are the most successful elements of the film. Leading/spurring questions, sense-of-humour signs edited out, a stirred up fued ...and of course, clever selection of the tone of the interviewer that leads you to believe that Billy is speaking quite freely. It's a masterpiece of manipulation. Billy may be over-confident, but over the years of filming, this film created a fantastically hilarious 'worst-of' compilation.

Those examples are just the beginning. I don't want to spoil it as it is a fantastic film. I'd actually much rather believe the story the film portrays than the truth. But the fact that Billy has, since the film, fairly retrieved his high-score is definitely true.
banned#17
There is no disputing Billy is a complete ****** tho. Him and his worshipper Walter Day from Twin Galaxies. To try and spoil Wiebe's new record by submitting a seriously dodgy video tape he held just in case he reached the kill screen was cheap and a low blow in my opinion. Even Walter Day admits the tape should never have been accepted. These facts are well documented and are proof that Day wanted to protect his "star"
banned#18
Ironic comments or not, This video shows his ego in action
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SKZxvDQryA

You gotta respect his Pacman skills tho. He made it a dead game where high scores were concerned.
1 Like #19
Well, Walter Day did admit that, the day after the mistake was made. Steve's score continued to reign at no.1 until about 9 Months later when 'the tape's' score was later verified using the master copy. ( [edit] at which point Steve had already beaten the score, so he continued to stay at the no.1 spot).

King of Kong makes it appear that the tape then put Billy on top of the score board and then shows a picture of the guinness book of records with a caption "Billy's score was submitted to guinness". This is simply a well timed lie. That score was never submitted and by the time it was verified, it was lower than Steve's newest score - this actually put Steve Weibe in the guiness book of records as number 1!

This is in the centre of the illusion the documentry gets across. The whole 'controversial' story hinges on the fact that Billy is protecting his falling empire and doing so desperately and dishonestly. It's a great story, but it really is a make believe one...

...What is interesting to know is that Billy wasn't even the high score holder of Donkey Kong, since between 2000-2003 it was held by "Tim Sczerby". A fact that didn't lend itself well to the story of David (Steve Wiebe) vs Goliath (Billy Mitchell), so Tim Sczerby was simply removed from the film's history!

When Steve got his first twin galaxies high score, He was removing Tim from no.1 spot, not Billy. Billy had said goodbye to his high score and graciously congratulated Tim more than 3 years previously. Then when Billy did not want to go head to head with Steve on a moment's notice, it was really quite understandable. Billy had not played DK for almost two decades. He had lost his high score long ago and it was all in the past. In the end, he did decide to go back into practice, simply because the film was sparking a new interest and competitiveness. The film then creates it's own timeline and score board to make every thing fit into a story of rivalry and mistrust.

Yep, Billy is big-headed. That, on it's own, is actually quiet amusing. It's when he's painted as an Evil entity that he becomes a class A pr!ck, hated by viewers of KoK. It's very unfair on him. He's actually got a sense of humour about himself, while undoubtedly and unashamedly over-confident. This personality carries over to his gameplay itself. Setting it up so that 1,000,000 is hit exactly at the end of a level. Killing of his remaining lives when he could have got a higher score. Those are exactly the types of thing that describe Billy Mitchell's personality. They're actually harmless fun. You've got to remember that this is a video game we're talking about here. Showing off is what makes them fun. In the film's context, this showing off, makes him a hate figure!
#20
danielps2fan
There is no disputing Billy is a complete ****** tho. Him and his worshipper Walter Day from Twin Galaxies. To try and spoil Wiebe's new record by submitting a seriously dodgy video tape he held just in case he reached the kill screen was cheap and a low blow in my opinion. Even Walter Day admits the tape should never have been accepted. These facts are well documented and are proof that Day wanted to protect his "star"

But TG call themselves the governing body of competitive video gaming and so protecting their "star" is wrong.
That's showing favouritism.
#21
I take it you ignored my post above. They didn't protect him. Billy's tape score only saw the light of day for about 12 hours.

And "governing body"? They wished! At the time it was just a bunch of video game nerds who were the only one's who cared enough to attempt such a feat. They lived in there own bubble, happy to take whatever publicity they could get. They weren't so grandiose to imagine they would be under worldwide scrutiny. ...And fwiw, all things considered, their ability to keep an insanely strict but fair record has actually held up amazingly well under scrutiny if you actually believe fact and not fiction.

Honestly, if it wasn't for the film. No one would give a sh!t. The film creates a bitter rivalry that just wasn't there in the first place and would never be there now if the film hadn't slated certain people.

Steve Sander's put it well and he did so in a conference while standing next to the film makers. "It's a good movie. But remember, it is just a movie". The directors nodded in agreement.

When something is put on TV, it does not make it true.
#22
The film needed an antagonist and protagonist, billy and steve fit the bill perfectly. If either of them was missing from the film of the other bloke that held the score was mentioned it would feel like only half a movie.

But there's no denying Billys doucebackability, that mullet, beard & tie combo damn near put me into a fashion coma.
#23
Cheers for the background info PubJoe - interesting to read about the story behind the film
banned#24
pubjoe
They didn't protect him. Billy's tape score only saw the light of day for about 12 hours.

.


The fact is that twin galaxies imediately verified Billy's tape. The score was posted online without due process and was only removed when Robert Mruczek and others at TG questioned some anommilies on the tape. Having previously not alowed Steve's earlier tape submission seems like bias however you look at it. The timing of Billys tape is also a level of his ego. Denying Steve his moment of glory, A live world record score with kill screen.

I realise there are factual missrepresentations in the film but some facts just cant be denied.After getting the original copy of Billys tape the score was reinstated without proof of weather it was done on a Double Donkey board or not(something that they used to deny Wiebe's earlier taped record). I have read all the rebuttal argument on the twin galaxies site so know what is untrue.

One thing you have got to remember is that Walter and Billy go back a long way and its clear Walter used his position to there mutual benefit. Im not a huge Wiebe fan either. Just Like to see fairness and due process. Walter Day is NOT the ideal man to be running an organisation responsible for providing Video Game world record scores to Guinness. He is a shameless self promoting business man with to close ties with people he should be unbiasedly scrutinising.
#25
MegasXLR
He's never recorded a live score since the 80's, even his wife has never seen him record a live score.


I think you need to do a bit of research. You don't seem to be aware of events AFTER KofK was shot.
#26
danielps2fan
The fact is that twin galaxies imediately verified Billy's tape. The score was posted online without due process and was only removed when Robert Mruczek and others at TG questioned some anommilies on the tape. Having previously not alowed Steve's earlier tape submission seems like bias however you look at it. The timing of Billys tape is also a level of his ego. Denying Steve his moment of glory, A live world record score with kill screen.

I realise there are factual missrepresentations in the film but some facts just cant be denied.After getting the original copy of Billys tape the score was reinstated without proof of weather it was done on a Double Donkey board or not(something that they used to deny Wiebe's earlier taped record). I have read all the rebuttal argument on the twin galaxies site so know what is untrue.

One thing you have got to remember is that Walter and Billy go back a long way and its clear Walter used his position to there mutual benefit. Im not a huge Wiebe fan either. Just Like to see fairness and due process. Walter Day is NOT the ideal man to be running an organisation responsible for providing Video Game world record scores to Guinness. He is a shameless self promoting business man with to close ties with people he should be unbiasedly scrutinising.


Good answer.

Yeah. I was going to write a good long post about how Walter's a pretty decent fellow to have obsessively worked on TG his whole life... and that Billy's earned a little trust/leway in his eyes due to past achievements (the same trust as Steve earned in the end too) ...and that, considering Billy's status with the group, of course it was an exciting moment for them to receive a new video. Even so, Twin Galaxies, as a unity, functioned well enough to take down and rethink the score very quickly - which was a pretty good test of their integrity I feel.

But to be honest, we seem to pretty much agree on the main point. TG may not be perfect, but the film should be taken with a sack full of salt.

I've watched King of Kong three times. The first time I really felt for Steve Weibe, but on each viewing, (and with a bit more background info) I've realised more and more what underhand tactics the film uses to get you to think their way. So I've gone from being a Billy hater on the first watch, and now, completely changed my opinion.

I do agree Billy is cocky and big headed. I also think that moments captured on film are hilarious. But I do think that it's worth defending him against the hate that the film brings upon him. I don't think TG+Billy have acted completely superfluously, but I do think they've acted a lot more human than the film wants you to believe.

It's the tender interviews showing Weibe's Sensitivity that get the audience siding with him. The audience is watching a poor innocent broken man facing evil and greed in the world. We want to protect him and we hate anyone that might hurt him. Once the film establishes that, it then goes on to invent it's own time line that really makes events look like TG were repeatedly hitting him when he was down (while Billy was receiving repeated blowjobs while he was up). It really didn't transpire that way whatsoever.

I really can't think of one moment in KOK that was presented without spin. The interviewees are manipulated, quotes/replies are cut out of context, events are falsely timed to appear vindictive and the captions are outright lies. Only one of those factors would be enough to take away the films integrity as a real life documentary. I can't take any 'fact' from the film whatsoever and I certainly can't seriously accept any of the cheating or dishonesty allegations. It can only be treated as fiction. Fictional, but entertaining. Any film that can be discussed for so long must be worth watching!
#27
P.S. Forgot to mention. Hot deal. Thank Millarcat! :-)

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