The retro, classic-gaming scene is never at a shortage for drama, but the past couple of weeks have been especially tumultuous. After seeing Todd Rogers stripped of his Dragster world record and banned from Twin Galaxies, Billy Mitchell found himself the target of cheating allegations of his own, and he too has since had many of his high-scores nixed from the Donkey Kong Forum leaderboards.
The allegations against Mitchell suggest that the King Of Kong star used direct-feeds from MAME, the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator -- that can easily be manipulated -- as proof of some of his high scores, in lieu of an actual arcade machine. And these direct-feeds should not have been allowed under the rules.
To address the allegations, Billy Mitchell appeared on the East Side Dave Show and attempted to lay out his case (Part 1, Part 2). Much of the interview was just Billy reminiscing about the past and espousing his desire to further legitimize eSports and competitive video gaming. The show has a few NSFW moments and is doused with obnoxious silliness, but there were a few interesting morsels of information disseminated, especially when Richie Knucklez calls in to defend Billy.
Richie Knucklez was the focus of a documentary himself – The King Of Arcades – and is still the driving force behind the ‘Kong Off’ competitions where many of the best Donkey Kong players in the world compete. In fact, Kong Off 6 is happening in just a few weeks and will reportedly feature Billy Mitchell and Steve Wiebe, the original stars of King Of Kong: A Fistful Of Quarters that spurred a resurgence in Donkey Kong’s popularity with competitive gamers.
Richie is a long-time friend of Billy’s that’s well-known in the classic gaming scene, not only for his documentary, arcades, and his own Space Invaders world records, but for not mincing words. Richie defends Billy by claiming his friend doesn’t have the technical knowledge to use MAME for recording direct feeds – and even makes a joke about Billy still using a flip phone. He also reiterates the fact that Billy has achieved high scores in numerous games in front of crowds in the past, before dropping a couple of potential bombshells should they prove true.
Late in the show, Richie claims Dwayne Richard, who reportedly provided a video of one of Billy’s supposed MAME direct-feeds, allegedly contacted him to ask for help manipulating a video tape to show Dwayne achieving a high score in Donkey Kong himself. Richie further casts doubt on Dwayne Richard by pointing to Dwayne’s “cheating” in the ‘Man vs Snake: The Long And Twisted Tale Of Nibbler’ documentary and claiming footage that ended up on “the cutting room floor” was even more damning. In all fairness, in what was actually presented in Man vs. Snake, Dwayne didn’t technically cheat, but rather was using a machine with a faulty board-set that affected the pace of the game, which worked in his favor.
Over and above the hearsay, Billy and Richie also make a big announcement – that a sequel to King Of Kong is reportedly in the works, that will document everything that’s taken place since the original documentary was produced, on up to present day. Apparently there are also bombshell announcements on the way that will further the plot, but we will have to wait until Richie makes an appearance on the ESDS to learn what those are. A reporter also seemingly contacted Billy during the show to say he has an explosive interview the correlates some of Richie’s claims, but that still remains to be seen.
Top Image Source: Flickr via David Fulmer