Released in arcades back in 1981, Donkey Kong continues to have gamers in heavy competition to achieve the highest score possible. The record high score has exchanged hands once again with Robbie Lakeman reaching an incredible 1,230,100 during a nearly three-and-a-half hour live stream on Facebook this week.
Right around the 3-hour, 19 minute mark is when Lakeman celebrates smashing the previous record of 1,218,000, which was previously held by Wes Copeland and set in May 2016. The two Donkey Kong experts have been trading off the record a few times in previous years. The two seem to have a little bit of a friendly rivalry going with the pursuit of the highest possible scores in the arcade classic from Nintendo.
The challenge of setting the highest Donkey Kong score was made famous by the film The King of Kong in 2007. Chronicling the rivalry between Steve Wiebe and Billy Mitchell, the back-and-forth between the two Donkey Kong experts showed just how intense and personal this rivalry can get.
Wiebe last held the Donkey Kong high score record of 1,064,500 points in January 2011. Wiebe holds the distinction of being the first Donkey Kong player to hit the 1-million point mark in the game. Mitchell has not held the Donkey Kong record since July 2010 and has since focused on his hot sauce business.
What’s impressive is Lakeman admits there is still room for improvement, so we know this record will eventually be passed. Lakeman showed off plenty of tricks of the trade like jumping barrels coming down ladders and some nifty jumping moves to gracefully leap multiple barrels and rack up many points before clearing a level just before time expires. But one has to wonder if simply sitting on a stool for more than three hours forces even the most dedicated gamer to wanting to bring his record attempt to a close just for the sake of being done for the night.
How long Lakeman retains the record remains to be seen, although we can expect Copeland will give it a shot when he feels he has the endurance for a record-setting marathon session. Personally, I’m not sure I could survive a round of Donkey Kong that goes beyond 20 minutes. But then again, I’m not setting aside the time and patience to dedicate myself to a record high score attempt.
[Nintendo Life/Photo: Jon O’Hara]