King of Kong Billy Mitchell has again been accused of cheating. Allegedly, new evidence suggests he didn’t use original hardware for some of his record-breaking Donkey Kong runs.
After Speedrun YouTuber Karl Jobst, newly found photos show that Mitchell used an eight-way joystick instead of the original machine’s four-way joystick on at least one of the disputed records. An eight-way joystick would allow gamers to perform feats that would be impossible for gamers with original hardware. If Mitchell had used this machine, he would have had an advantage over other potential record holders.
In 2018, arcade high score website Twin Galaxies and the Guinness Book of World Records removed three of Billy Mitchell’s Donkey Kong scores after the record holder was accused of cheating. Supposedly, the tapes of the three scores prove that Mitchell used an emulator rather than an original arcade machine. Twin Galaxies records and ranks high scores from emulator games, albeit in a separate category.
Mitchell claimed the tapes were fake and appealed to witnesses who were present when he received the recordings. In 2020, Guinness restored both of Mitchell’s records, although Twin Galaxies disagreed with the verdict. The California State Second Court granted Mitchell permission to sue Twin Galaxies for defamation in 2021. The lawsuit is ongoing.
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