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Dispute: Jeremy Young - Arcade - Donkey Kong - Points [Hammer Allowed] - Player: Billy L Mitchell - Score: 1,062,800

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Is this a valid dispute?

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  1. 02-01-2018, 05:58 PM
    George Riley:

    Please do not jump the gun on this investigation. Evidence is currently being gathered and you have put out misrepresentations of facts. A comprehensive post is going to be made about this matter soon enough in this thread.
  2. 02-01-2018, 06:06 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by homerwannabee View Post
    Now, to make one thing clear. I did not come up with this information. Some much more knowledgable about the Donkey Kong code was the one who presented the information.
    Who is the source? I think it deserves mentioning? Someone will eventually demand knowing so I'm asking, haha. This off course will lead into the agenda arguments when you bring forth the source so be ready.
  3. 02-01-2018, 06:12 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by thegamer1185 View Post
    Who is the source? I think it deserves mentioning? Someone will eventually demand knowing so I'm asking, haha. This off course will lead into the agenda arguments when you bring forth the source so be ready.
    A comprehensive post is forthcoming. George Riley jumped the gun on an investigation that the Donkey Kong community has been doing, and in the process misrepresented a few facts.

    I would like to ask the TG adjudication community to please be patient. A lot of evidence has been gathered, and we are trying to put it together in a clear and concise way that is easy to understand. A comprehensive post will be made on this matter soon.
  4. 02-01-2018, 06:18 PM
    Yeah, I screwed up. I misinterpreted a major portion of the presentation. Sorry about that.
    Space Jockey (Atari 2600) 1,321,495 3rd highest score in the world.
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  5. 02-02-2018, 08:35 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by dwwnp View Post
    "...and the altogether low skill level on display -- it looks like someone playing at 1.1+ pace who doesn't know how to play at 1.1+ pace and at one point late in the game there's a death that is inconceivable by 1.1+ standards, meaning an action is taken that would never ever be taken by a legitimate 1.1 player."


    RTM REPLY - I'm neither defending nor challenging Bill's scores, but this statement is a bit unfair.

    Don Hayes and I are the world's two best "Super Cobra" players and yet each of us on many an occasion experiences a game death that is quite "basic" in nature. We screwed up...period. Should have not allowed such deaths to happen. But they do.

    Bottom line is that even the best players can experience a bit of a brain fart in gaming or make a beginner-level mistake. It happens, though not very often. Still, it can happen.
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  6. 02-02-2018, 10:23 AM
    This will be a two-post since there is a limit on the number of images allowed in one post. Below, you'll find a large collection of animated GIFs. PLEASE take the time to read this ENTIRE post before jumping to them, and please continue read what is posted AFTER them. In summary, these GIFs show that each of the Donkey Kong world record direct feed recordings presented by Billy Mitchell and verified by TG were generated in MAME and not by original Donkey Kong hardware. These scores are: 1,047,200 (the King of Kong "tape"), 1,050,200 (the Mortgage Brokers score), and 1,062,800 (the Boomers score). In order to demonstrate this, it's necessary to understand how DK images are generated by MAME versus an original PCB.

    Video emulation has changed across MAME versions, but there are basically 4 eras: 0.115 and prior, 0.116 - 0.121, 0.122 - 0.126, 0.127 and newer. Each of these groups or eras show different methods of video emulation as a result of MAMEdev making various improvements. As it currently stands, video emulation is not perfect, but it's closer than it used to be.

    The important bit: prior to version 0.127, MAME generated video in essentially a "snapshot" fashion. The Z80 would run for 1 frame, then the video emulation takes the "snapshot" of that point time and displays the image. Then the Z80 runs for 1 frame, the next snapshot is taken, displayed on the monitor, etc. etc. Real DK hardware, on the other hand, generates video in a "rolling shutter" fashion: the video generator scans left-to-right/bottom-to-top, while the Z80 builds the screen in memory from the opposite direction right-to-left, top-to-bottom. Both video generation and the Z80 are running concurrently with no "snapshots". The result is that it becomes fairly easy to determine WHAT generated the image based on HOW the image has been generated.

    A simple analogy would be this:

    -Real DK hardware generates the image in the same way you would open or close vertical window blinds...from side to side.
    -Older versions of MAME (pre-0.122) generate the image in the same way you would put together a puzzle...piece by piece.

    Since Billy has claimed that his footage is all direct feed, it's also CRUCIAL that we take a look at an extremely well-documented process of creating a direct feed setup for DK. Chris Gleed went through the entire painful process, documenting each step in his journey. You can read about it in the links below. He discusses his hardware choices and provides photo updates throughout. It is very likely that he has the only true DK direct feed setup in existence and his scores have been accepted at DKF and TG. Footage of his direct feed gameplay is included in the GIF collection for comparison...if we are looking at direct feed footage, THIS IS WHAT WE SHOULD SEE.

    Idea: video/audio capture from edge connector
    Donkey Kong Direct Feed How-To


    For further comparison, I've included footage from my own DK cabinet. This was recorded using a Samsung 8 phone filming at 60 fps. This gives us a high-framerate comparison of true DK hardware that is NOT direct feed. It also captures the idiosyncracies in filming a monitor with a camera (brief ghost images or double frames). Since existing footage of Billy's 1.047M and 1.062M are cameras-pointing-at-monitor-playback, those sources will exhibit some of the same effects. Note that this is VERY different from the concepts discussed earlier regarding how video is generated...these are artifacts caused by the external re-recording of the original sources, not artifacts present in the sources themselves.

    Another MAME behavior that is worth pointing out is rotation. Although we see DK in the correct orientation when we play on a real cab, the video is actually generated on its side, with the top of the screen being on the right-hand side. MAME also emulates this incorrectly. If you've read through Chris Gleed's threads, you can see posted photos of correctly rotated DK video. Billy's 1.047M and 1.05M games show the incorrect rotation. The 1.062M recording, however, appears to be the correct orientation. Since MAME versions haven't changed the rotation, it's likely this discrepancy was noticed at some point and corrected for future recordings (simple as using the -ror command).

    A final note before the GIFs: all of this can be independently confirmed by anyone. I am not in sole possession of any critical, secret piece of information here. Knowledgeable hardware experts like Sock Master, who played a crucial role in dissecting all of this, can verify the hardware aspects. Any person can inspect any and all versions of MAME, the provided video sources, and their own hardware if they have it.

    So, with all that being said, let's get to the GIFs. These are small segments from each source, showing the transition from the break screen into the next. Each GIF is showing every frame in the transition; there is no cherry picking here. Each frame in the GIF lasts approximately 750 ms to make it easier to see. As for framerates, the MAME sources, Chris Gleed's direct feed, and my cab are recorded at ~60 fps. Each Billy source is ~30 fps. I apologize in advance for the formatting/placement. :D

    They have been grouped by screen type (barrel, pie, spring, rivet) and show a variety of sources:

    MAME 0.115 (relevant for versions 115 and below)
    MAME 0.117 (relevant for versions 117 - 121)
    MAME 0.122 (relevant for versions 122 - 126)
    MAME 0.194 (relevant for versions 127 - 194)
    Billy 1.047M
    Billy 1.05M
    Billy 1.062M (pie transition only...this is the only transition footage available for this game)
    Chris Gleed 970k Direct Feed

    Test footage from my personal cab, recorded at 60 fps with a Samsung 8 phone

    BARREL TRANSITIONS

    MAME 0.115 and below MAME 0.116 to 0.121 MAME 0.122 to 0.126 MAME 0.127 to present


    Billy 1.047M


    Billy 1.05M


    Chris Gleed 970k Direct Feed


    Jeremy Young Test Footage - 60 fps camera phone



    PIE TRANSITIONS

    MAME 0.115 and below MAME 0.116 to 0.121 MAME 0.122 to 0.126 MAME 0.127 to present




    Billy 1.047M


    Billy 1.05M


    Billy 1.062M


    Chris Gleed 970k Direct Feed


    Jeremy Young Test Footage - 60 fps camera phone
  7. 02-02-2018, 10:24 AM
    SPRING TRANSITIONS

    MAME 0.115 and below MAME 0.116 to 0.121 MAME 0.122 to 0.126 MAME 0.127 to present



    Billy 1.047M


    Billy 1.05M


    Chris Gleed 970k Direct Feed


    Jeremy Young Test Footage - 60 fps camera phone



    RIVET TRANSITIONS

    MAME 0.115 and below MAME 0.116 to 0.121 MAME 0.122 to 0.126 MAME 0.127 to present



    Billy 1.047M


    Billy 1.05M


    Chris Gleed 970k Direct Feed


    Jeremy Young Test Footage - 60 fps camera phone


    Beyond the evidence above, it's worth pointing out some other questions and issues:

    1) While clearly MAME, there is no way to tell exactly how these games were performed. It's possible they were recorded in one shot. Given the play style in Billy's videos, it's more likely that vanilla MAME's INP recording feature was abused, in which a person can re-record an INP as many times as they wish to craft their desired performance.

    2) While many people have seen Billy play in public, there are no known independent, impartial, objective witnesses to any of the The Big 3 WR games. He has never scored over 1,000,000 in a live venue. Billy claimed the 1.047M was done in front of scores of people, but that he had no access to the inside of the machine...so how did he set up the direct feed? The 1.05 was supposedly done at an actual convention, but Billy was conveniently playing in another room. The 1.062 was done in arcade in Florida, but the only live footage from that day was staged (the Boomer board swap) and shows no evidence of a direct feed setup. Todd Rogers, of Dragster infamy, was a supposed witness to the 1.05M and 1.062M games.

    3) It's unclear if ANYONE ever reviewed the 1.062M recording. According to Patrick Scott Patterson, the TG refs present at the IVGHOF event in Ottumwa in 2010 simply voted on whether to accept the score, without reviewing any footage. While PSP's credibility in anything DK-related is questionable, his version of those events is still worth noting.

    4) For Billy, who has taken special care to point out how little he knows about DK hardware, it would have been essentially impossible to create a direct feed setup in the years he was submitting tapes. So, who would have done it for him and why has that person never been a part of any verification discussions? Creating a dual-display version for the Mortage Convention (sending quality video to another room, not just a VCR) would have required even more technical know-how.

    (The remainder of this post is DKF-specific, but provided here for thoroughness)

    So...PLEASE KEEP READING

    In light of the evidence presented here, I am removing Billy Mitchell's current score of 1,062,800 from the Donkey Kong Forum High Score List.

    This score will be replaced with his live score of 933,900, performed at the Midwest Gaming Classic on May 7, 2004. This score was performed in public and was witnessed by at least one TG member as well as Dwayne Richard.

    As DKF's (currently) sole high score moderator, I've taken my responsibilities very seriously. I've always tried to apply what I felt were the community standards to every performance. When Corey Chambers was first crafting the original version of the HSL rules, an important section of the "Auxiliary Rules" was that a score may be accepted without following the main rules as long as it was convincingly supported in multiple other ways. This idea was tested early on with MAME games by Robbie Lakeman and Christian Van Meter...performances that were accepted with no INPs. In my view, this door swings both ways. Scores already on the board are ALWAYS subject to review, and if the preponderance of evidence is against it than the score should be removed, even if no single bit of evidence is a "smoking gun." In my view, we have reached that point with Billy Mitchell.

    The idea to challenge Billy's scores has been floating around for quite some time now. I lodged a formal dispute on TG months ago. A poll on DKF showed an almost even split (10-13) on whether Billy's scores should be removed from our HSL. Top players and former TG officials, some quietly and others not so quietly, have been questioning his gameplay and the circumstances behind his recordings for over a decade. I don't know Billy personally. We've never met and the only time we've been in the same place was KO3. I'm well aware of his importance in gaming history and culture and especially to the arcade and DKF community. I understand this will not be a popular decision. It is not my wish to fracture a community or affect anyone's personal life. But ultimately, I have to do what I think is right.

    Short of live, time-stamped, complete footage (including full views of cab hardware) of the games in question, I will not be reinstating any of Billy's scores in question. Should the community as a whole wish for reinstatement, then I will step down as DKF high score moderator. It's worth noting that there are still other forum mods (and an admin) that can update the scoreboard if they so choose.

    If this community (and others like it) are built on the idea of friendship through competition, camaraderie through our shared pains in pushing ourselves, our friends, and these games to their limits, then we must strive for honesty and legitimacy. A house built on lies is not worth living in.
  8. 02-02-2018, 12:55 PM
    Thank you for your efforts in putting together this body of evidence for discussion by Twin Galaxies members.
    Dave Hawksett
    Head Custodian
    www.TwinGalaxies.com
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  9. 02-02-2018, 01:08 PM
    To clarify, time will be needed for Twin Galaxies to fully-review this evidence. We will do this thoroughly and impartially. In the meantime we will continue to observe this discussion by experts in our community.
    Dave Hawksett
    Head Custodian
    www.TwinGalaxies.com
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  10. 02-02-2018, 02:10 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by xelnia View Post

    -Steve Wiebe claims, in an interview with Mark Alpiger in February 2009, that TG accepted an 885k score from him in 2002, which would have been the arcade world record. There is no apparent record of this game anywhere other than that interview.
    It did exist, and I actually owned the tape for a short while and watched it myself. My memory is a bit hazy as this was 15 years ago, but I remember getting the tape in a box of various tapes to pull video clips from and make online video snips from as per Walter's request. I remember watching the 885k and being very impressed, and I specifically read the name on the tape and was surprised to not see Billy's name on it, but instead Steve Wiebe's! I asked Walter about it, and he seem both concerned and shocked that such a tape fell into my hands. I got the sense that it was 'mis-filed' and purely by accident. I was asked to send it back (I forget whether to him or another referee). What happened to the tape after that I honestly don't know.

    I'm willing to swear in court that it existed and I had the tape in my possession (for a time anyway). In fact, I've often told this story that I was technically the first referee to verify a Steve Wiebe DK tape, albeit accidentally. So rest assured, Steve is telling the truth about that.
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