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09-14-2019 at 12:43 AM
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How Robert Mruczek's MTV interview relates to the Billy Mitchell evidence package

What follows is a series of replies I've made to the revived Donkey Kong dispute thread. I'm reposting them here to my wall, exactly as they appeared there (correcting one image snafu), so they could be collected as a single continuous entry that can be linked to.

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Howdy, everyone! I have some stuff to say about this MTV interview tape which was discovered back in February. This will be long, so I've broken it up into separate comments.

If I may, I would like to first indulge myself with an introduction. My name is Walter, and I'm a writer from Olympia, WA. I have a background in journalism, and while I am not a lawyer nor have I ever passed the bar, I do have a small background in law. I attended military electronics school many years ago, but I am not a technician nor do I consider myself a technical expert - just someone who knows the concepts and terminology.

I became interested in this score dispute by way of the Todd Rogers Dragster dispute, which I casually followed from afar. In late February of 2018, I began researching this dispute and the concluded Dragster dispute more intensely. Rather than investigating for new evidence at that time, as so many others with more applicable expertise were actively doing, I decided to take on the role of silent archivist. The reason you did not see me participate in the official DK dispute was because I made a conscious decision not to become a part of the story I was researching. (So much for that!) I did make a single joke comment in that dispute, days before its conclusion, after it was clear to me as an outside observer what the outcome would be. Eventually, after the conclusion of the Donkey Kong dispute, I did end up publishing some evidentiary discoveries, both relating to the Donkey Kong dispute and the Dragster dispute, after I believed those stories had run their course.

I wish to be up front with the fact that I have in the past referred to Billy as a "liar", a "cheater", and a "fraud". And I am happy to do so again here, because Billy Mitchell is indeed a liar, a cheater, and a fraud. (Those statements are my own, and are not reflective of any other individuals or the sites upon which my statements are posted.) If Mr. Mitchell doesn't like me saying these things, he is free to take me to grown-up court, where I have every confidence in my case. These statements of mine will no doubt be presented by Billy's team as me having some sort of bias against Mr. Mitchell, much as anyone who provides evidence against him has been presented by Billy's associates as having some sort of prejudice in the matter. So I will state for the record that my only bias here is the truth. As a spectator to high score chasing and speedrunning, I want to know that the achievements I and others recognize and celebrate are legitimate, and that contenders are given their fair opportunity both to achieve greatness and to be recognized for it. I have never met nor interacted with Billy Mitchell, nor with Todd Rogers, nor did I ever at any time interact with Jace Hall prior to our public interactions in this revived dispute. If I believed for a moment in Billy's innocence, I would be happily defending him, and using my argumentative and analytical abilities to defend that position. I continue to assert his guilt, not out of bias regarding Billy the person, but because the core objective evidence is undeniable, the circumstantial evidence is overwhelming, and the defenses are shallow and misrepresentative to a seemingly deliberate degree.

If you'd like to read more about the accumulated evidence against Mr. Mitchell, and don't want to wade through all 3,000+ comments here, check out my summary of that evidence, posted to Donkey Kong Forum back in April, on the one year anniversary of the dispute verdict:

http://donkeykongforum.com/index.php?topic=2529.0

With that out of the way, let's get to tonight's top story.

In February of this year, in the course of my exhaustive research, I came across a series of videos, filmed in February 2006, featuring both Robert Mruczek and Billy's 1.047m submission tape. I wrote about this discovery and its implications, posting my final write-up both here on Twin Galaxies and on Donkey Kong Forum, at the links below:

https://www.twingalaxies.com/ersatzcats/wall/6238/a-long-lost-interview-with-robert-mruczek-has-revealed-yet-more-evidence-against-billy-mitchell

http://donkeykongforum.com/index.php?topic=2481.0

The Twin Galaxies dispute process has a reasonable requirement that evidence must be posted to the official dispute thread for it to be taken into consideration. (I consider this a reasonable requirement, given the ease with which I was able to open an account and become a verified member myself.) I encourage anyone who's interested to follow those links to read more about this interview discovery in a more reader-friendly format, but for the purposes of assisting this dispute, I will repost the salient points here, along with an examination of related claims in Billy's recent evidence package.

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In February 2006, Stephen Totilo, then with MTV, published a profile of Robert Mruczek and his work with Twin Galaxies. The written profile can be viewed here:

https://web.archive.org/web/20060412014125/http://www.mtv.com/games/video_games/news/story.jhtml?id=1524620

What was not so easy to find was a series of five related short videos filmed by Totilo (or his assistant) at the location of this interview. Each of these short videos features former Twin Galaxies referee Robert Mruczek, and four of them also feature a TV playing portions of Billy's 1.047m submission on Donkey Kong, which had just been verified and made the official world record less than a month prior. Those four segments can be found here:

http://www.mtv.com/video-clips/q9uio0/increasing-the-stakes

http://www.mtv.com/video-clips/7wual3/outdoing-george-costanza

http://www.mtv.com/video-clips/4l1hdw/preparing-for-the-big-race

http://www.mtv.com/video-clips/k4dw8f/smashing-apart-the-donkey-kong-world-record

As I do not own the copyright on these videos, I'm making no attempt to upload them in part or in whole to either this dispute page or to my YouTube channel. I understand TG's desire to have everything here for the permanent record, but hopefully linking to them, still archived on the MTV site all these years later, will suffice.

The reason these video segments did not appear in last year's dispute was because they had been forgotten. The last link to them I could find anywhere was from 2008, in the old Twin Galaxies forums, and that link (the one in comment #2) no longer operates:

https://www.twingalaxies.com/showthread.php/119264-DK-Oddity

There are a swirl of claims coming from Billy's defense team, including that the tapes that were examined in the dispute last year were not his real tapes, or that his tapes had at some point been switched out by malicious actors. And now, shockingly, we have Billy's claim that his tape was never intended as an official score submission. As for the latter claim, I addressed that in comment #3309 - https://www.twingalaxies.com/showthr...=1#post1053170 - and I do have more to say on that, but that will be another time. For tonight, I'm focusing on asserting that the tape examined in last year's dispute was a faithful copy of Billy's original submission, and that no switching had been done by any malicious actors.

The first thing I did.... Well, the FIRST thing I did was immediately look for and find the girder finger, but we'll get to that. For my written analysis linked above, the first thing I did was to compare the footage seen in these interview snippets to other known copies of Billy's 1.047m score. These included:

- The digitized copy uploaded by Jace Hall in comment #2188 of this dispute: https://www.twingalaxies.com/showthread.php/176004-Dispute-Jeremy-Young-Arcade-Donkey-Kong-Points-Hammer-Allowed-Player-Billy-L-Mitchell-Score-1-062-800?p=959129&viewfull=1#post959129

- The copy made by Dwayne Richard by pointing a video camera at a TV, now reuploaded to YouTube by Tanner Fokkens:

Where applicable, the "Billy vs Steve" side-by-side comparison from the King of Kong DVD extras.

In each instance, the game play seen in the MTV interview was an exact match for the game play seen in the other copies. I created a set of still comparisons to show this, putting the TG copy on the left, the MTV copy in the middle, the Dwayne copy on the right, and the King of Kong copy on the far right where applicable:

A higher-resolution version of that image, with legible timestamps, is available here:

https://i.imgur.com/HaUDwx3.jpg

These stills included a shot of the spring/elevator stage (taken from the video "Preparing for the Big Race"), one of the rivet stage (taken from the video "Outdoing George Costanza"), one of the pie factory stage (taken from the video "Increasing the Stakes"), both of the kill screens on the barrel board (taken from the video "Smashing Apart the Donkey Kong World Record"), and one of the player entering final initials (also from the video "Smashing Apart the Donkey Kong World Record"). Note how some of these segments in the MTV video are captured by pointing a video camera at a TV, while others are captured directly from the VHS tape.

I invite anyone still skeptical that these are copies of the same game play to bring up the links above and compare not only the chosen still screens but also the continuous game play leading up to them and following them. Each of these stills was chosen carefully, as a single, unmistakable point in game play. The rivet stage shows exactly when the top left rivet is removed. The pie factory shows exactly when a given pie is smashed. I had trouble deciding on a singular unmistakable point in the spring stage, eventually settling on the height of Mario's jump as he leapt off the second elevator. The barrel boards show the moment of both kill screens, with a different array of obstacles each time. The initials screen shows the player overshooting the desired letter "S" in the same way each time. Again, I'm not uploading video content which could perhaps fall outside the bounds of fair use. Follow the links and watch for yourself for comparison. We admittedly do not see much of that pie factory level in the MTV interview, however if you watch that stage on the full copies, you'll see that the sequence required to produce those exact circumstances on that exact screen is unique.

The point being, each of these examples of game play are identical, which means they clearly trace back to the same original source, whether that source is a video master copy of arcade Donkey Kong game play, a master copy of emulated Donkey Kong game play, or something like a tool-assisted play or an emulator input file. Either way, the source of that original work is either an authentic Donkey Kong arcade cabinet, or it's not.

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Next we get to previously identified MAME signatures present in each of the three copies being looked at (excluding the King of Kong extras, which does not contain transition screens). The purpose of this post is not to retread everything contained in the 340-page dispute thus far. Thus, I do not seek at this time to open the book on whether or not a given identifier is indeed unique to MAME. If any interested party wishes to contest whether a given identifier is truly indicative of non-arcade origin, that can be hashed out separately from this analysis. Rather, I will simply provide links where appropriate, allowing the assembled body of work in this dispute to speak for itself in that regard.

In the MTV interview, there were a total of three barrel board transition screens captured, with two of them being kill screens. For reference, on the left is what a genuine arcade transition screen should look like, and on the right is what a typical MAME transition screen looks like:

Note that, depending on the recording format, many screens from MAME and from authentic hardware will appear inconclusive. As explained in my original post, as well as in this very score dispute thread, inconclusive screens are the result of distorting effects, including but not limited to rolling shutter, VHS compression, digital compression, or in the event of camera-pointed-at-television, residual images on a CRT screen. Sometimes these effects result in successive frames being split down the middle, and sometimes they result in successive frames being wholly blended into one. I'll leave the detailed explanation of these effects to the technical experts. It's just something to bear in mind. Note that these effects are not magic, and will not create gameplay images out of nothing. They merely distort what was in the original signal.

Both kill screen transitions, as captured in the MTV video, last for four frames. The first of those can be seen here:

Here's a clear example of the infamous girder finger screen, which nobody has been able to recreate on genuine arcade hardware, despite many earnest attempts to do so.

This same girder finger screen could be seen in the YouTube copy of the 1.047m game, but was absent from the Twin Galaxies hosted copy. It's not clear why the otherwise cleaner TG copy did not transfer over those transition frames, other than the fact that individual frames can be lost in any transfer:

Here are the four frames of the second kill screen transition from the MTV interview:

The second frame is an example of an inconclusive frame. Note that, as an inconclusive or blended frame, the portion of the girders we do see are at least consistent with the three girders of the MAME frame, and not consistent with the five-girder arcade screen.

This transition was not captured in the YouTube copy, but was picked up by the high-quality TG version, giving us another view of what was inadvertently missed by MTV's camera:

A third barrel board transition appears on the video "Preparing for the Big Race", however it appears to have missed the key transition frame altogether:

While the girder finger became the most iconic element of the MAME transition screen, through the course of the dispute investigation other MAME signatures became apparent, including two identifiers in this one frame:

As noted by Jace Hall earlier in this dispute (comments 729, 1050, and 1130), arcade direct feed should never render the blue oil barrel in the bottom corner (as seen near Mruczek's finger) without also simultaneously rendering Donkey Kong on the upper girder. MAME, however, does render the two separately.

https://www.twingalaxies.com/showthread.php/176004-Dispute-Jeremy-Young-Arcade-Donkey-Kong-Points-Hammer-Allowed-Player-Billy-L-Mitchell-Score-1-062-800?p=948396&viewfull=1#post948396

https://www.twingalaxies.com/showthread.php/176004-Dispute-Jeremy-Young-Arcade-Donkey-Kong-Points-Hammer-Allowed-Player-Billy-L-Mitchell-Score-1-062-800?p=949681&viewfull=1#post949681

https://www.twingalaxies.com/showthread.php/176004-Dispute-Jeremy-Young-Arcade-Donkey-Kong-Points-Hammer-Allowed-Player-Billy-L-Mitchell-Score-1-062-800?p=949910&viewfull=1#post949910

It should be noted, given the fact that the MTV interview consists of a camera pointed at a television, that this is something that could be explained by aforementioned distortion effects blending multiple frames together. In this dispute, Scoundrl (comment 1127) and Bounty Bob (comment 1133) were able to show examples of such a frame in legitimate game play by Ross Benzinger and Hank Chien:

https://www.twingalaxies.com/showthread.php/176004-Dispute-Jeremy-Young-Arcade-Donkey-Kong-Points-Hammer-Allowed-Player-Billy-L-Mitchell-Score-1-062-800?p=949905&viewfull=1#post949905

https://www.twingalaxies.com/showthread.php/176004-Dispute-Jeremy-Young-Arcade-Donkey-Kong-Points-Hammer-Allowed-Player-Billy-L-Mitchell-Score-1-062-800?p=949914&viewfull=1#post949914

In comment 1145, Jace Hall explained why those frames appeared the way they did, while also being clear that a direct capture could not contain that image because it does not exist in the original rendering:

https://www.twingalaxies.com/showthread.php/176004-Dispute-Jeremy-Young-Arcade-Donkey-Kong-Points-Hammer-Allowed-Player-Billy-L-Mitchell-Score-1-062-800?p=949935&viewfull=1#post949935

For further reference, Chris Gleed in comment 1099 confirmed that image does not exist in genuine direct feed, while Asterra in comment 1147 provided a useful demonstration of this effect:

https://www.twingalaxies.com/showthread.php/176004-Dispute-Jeremy-Young-Arcade-Donkey-Kong-Points-Hammer-Allowed-Player-Billy-L-Mitchell-Score-1-062-800?p=949795&viewfull=1#post949795

https://www.twingalaxies.com/showthread.php/176004-Dispute-Jeremy-Young-Arcade-Donkey-Kong-Points-Hammer-Allowed-Player-Billy-L-Mitchell-Score-1-062-800?p=949937&viewfull=1#post949937

The other MAME signature tied to that oil barrel as it is seen there is that original arcade hardware always generates the bonus timer before the barrel, while MAME of that era always generates the barrel first. DustPuzzle described this phenomenon in comment 1565:

https://www.twingalaxies.com/showthread.php/176004-Dispute-Jeremy-Young-Arcade-Donkey-Kong-Points-Hammer-Allowed-Player-Billy-L-Mitchell-Score-1-062-800?p=953386&viewfull=1#post953386

A minor note is that this appears to be particular to versions of MAME prior to 0.116, which was released in June 2007:

https://www.mamedev.org/oldrel.html

The "barrel before bonus" effect is visible in Jeremy Young's initial MAME evidence presentation on comments 186 and 187:

https://www.twingalaxies.com/showthread.php/176004-Dispute-Jeremy-Young-Arcade-Donkey-Kong-Points-Hammer-Allowed-Player-Billy-L-Mitchell-Score-1-062-800?p=946633&viewfull=1#post946633

The orientation of the actual TV is also incorrect in the MTV interview. This is the same incorrect orientation that was seen in the film King of Kong:

This orientation was cited by Jace Hall in comment 1847 as proof that, regardless of what originally created the video, an undisclosed computer had to have been involved in its output:

https://www.twingalaxies.com/showthread.php/176004-Dispute-Jeremy-Young-Arcade-Donkey-Kong-Points-Hammer-Allowed-Player-Billy-L-Mitchell-Score-1-062-800?p=957216&viewfull=1#post957216

Lastly, it should be pointed out that while certain MAME signatures (such as "barrel before Kong") could be explained away by distortion effects, no such arcade signatures required any such explanation. The video is free of any known arcade identifiers. For example, the so-called "rivet ramp" is an arcade identifier. Upon completion of the rivet stage, MAME will instantaneously stack the blue girders below Kong, while arcade hardware produces a unique transition screen where the girders form a crude ramp. J.C. Harrist explains this phenomenon on comment 2000 of this dispute:

https://www.twingalaxies.com/showthread.php/176004-Dispute-Jeremy-Young-Arcade-Donkey-Kong-Points-Hammer-Allowed-Player-Billy-L-Mitchell-Score-1-062-800?p=958167&viewfull=1#post958167

While dropped frames are a thing, as we've seen, this potential arcade signature is absent from the submission tape shown in the MTV interview:

While the lack of a single arcade-identifying frame is not conclusive, the preponderance of MAME signatures present in the video (including signatures which could not be created through distortion) do establish a basis for evaluating this submission tape. Given the body of evidence in this dispute, there is simply no question that the original performance from which all three of these independent copies are sourced could not have been rendered from genuine arcade hardware. In all likelihood, these tapes originated from MAME, however that proposition is not scientifically provable, for reasons outlined in Twin Galaxies' initial dispute conclusion on comment 3251:

https://www.twingalaxies.com/showthread.php/176004-Dispute-Jeremy-Young-Arcade-Donkey-Kong-Points-Hammer-Allowed-Player-Billy-L-Mitchell-Score-1-062-800?p=964048&viewfull=1#post964048


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Now that we've established (based on the body of technical evidence in this dispute) that these games did not originate from authentic, unmodified Donkey Kong arcade hardware, next we're going to look at what possible origins these tapes could have. At this point, the only explanation that maintains Billy Mitchell's professed innocence is if some other actor, likely one of malicious intent, altered or replaced Billy's real tapes. According to this theory, while Billy's game play would be the same as we've seen, Billy's original tapes would show signs of arcade origin not present in the versions we have access to.

Before I continue, I'm going to begin citing claims and assertions from Billy Mitchell's recent evidence submission. I am restricting myself to the initial 156-page submission which accompanied the legal threat, preserved by Jace Hall on Google Drive. I'm doing all this on my free time, and I simply do not have time to keep up with every unannounced revision and alteration Billy's people wish to conduct. If anything relevant to this particular matter of the Mruczek interview is added to a later revision of their evidence, please feel free to message me with it, or post it to this thread for all to see.

First, let's tackle the topic of alteration. I'll let David Race, on pages 122 and 123 of Billy's evidence packet, speak to this point:

So is Mr. Race suggesting individual frames on a VCR tape were altered? Is he claiming that someone unrolled a VHS tape reel, took a tool of some sort, and painstakingly altered the encoded image on specific spots of the reel to change arcade transition screens into MAME transition screens? I assume Mr. Race is aware that VHS image encoding is a bit more complicated than, say, an old style film reel where you can actually see images with the human eye. Is Mr. Race suggesting that someone took a VHS tape, hit record with a MAME transition running to record over a genuine arcade transition, and super-quickly hit stop again, just to replace those five frames? Is Mr. Race unaware of the surrounding distortion this would cause to the video being recorded over? I mean, we are talking about VHS tapes.

Keep in mind, that wasn't just Mr. Race speaking for himself. That was part of the official evidence package submitted by Billy Mitchell's attorneys. This would all be so much easier to discuss if Mr. Race, and by extension Billy's defense team, simply suggested clear and plausible theories of what could have been done to execute this subterfuge they claim, rather than making vague suggestions that something spooky may have happened.

Let's drop the fairy tale fantasy of how one might alter a pre-existing VHS recording, and switch to the slightly less preposterous proposition that each of Billy's original tapes were replaced outright with forgeries. Let's even completely set aside the nature of how these forgeries were produced and just say, for the sake of argument, that they were. I couldn't honestly tell you how someone with any reasonable amount of time and resources would go about producing a forgery of a 2+ hour playthrough of Donkey Kong to such a painstaking degree that every character movement and random element aligns perfectly such that the forgery would hold up to perpetual scrutiny, with the only difference being that the boards load in MAME and not via genuine arcade hardware. Nor could I honestly tell you how someone with any reasonable amount of time and resources could go through and digitally alter several transition screens of existing recordings pulled off a VHS tape without any noticeable change in variable video quality particular to a given copy while also not missing any other arcade identifiers throughout the run. Nor could I give you a reason why such a person would do all this and then stay silent on the matter until the minute differences were discovered over a decade later. But let's just say, for the sake of discussion, that somehow this was all done, in what would have to be a quite deliberate and earnest attempt to besmirch Billy Mitchell's name with no other apparent goal.

The most crucial element of the MTV interview discovery is not even the MAME signatures, which we've seen on the other available copies, but rather the timeframe. This MTV interview was conducted in February 2006, shortly after Billy's 1.047m submission was verified, and over a year before he claims to have achieved his 1.05m score at the Mortgage Brokers convention.

The recent Billy Mitchell evidence package does post allusions to what could have happened to Billy's tapes (namely, that they were altered or replaced by malicious actors). Often these artifacts are referred to by both sides as "the tapes", or "the performances", as if they are a singular entity.

However, it's important to remember we are talking about two distinctly claimed performances, which Billy claims to have achieved three years apart (2004 and 2007). So to believe Billy's story (as well as the stories of all his friends who signed his statements), it's not enough to believe this fantasy scenario of someone producing forged Billy tapes identical to the originals in every way except for MAME rendering. One would now have to believe this malicious malfeasant swapped out all of Billy Mitchell's legitimate tapes in 2005/6 (in time for the Totilo interview), and then waited until Billy achieved yet another score in 2007, and then conducted yet another operation to swap out all known copies of Billy's new tape yet again, all without making any oversights either in the quality of their forgery or in the existence of unaccounted for copies in the wild.

This scenario, already preposterous, is now made even more outlandish by the fact that this person would have had to actually have access to each of these copies to conduct their caper. They would have had to replace or supply the 1.047m copy provided to Robert Mruczek in January 2006, the 1.047m and 1.05m copies Dwayne uploaded to YouTube years later, any other copies in the world (such as the one Richie Knucklez provided to Jace Hall for the dispute last year), and oh yes, the copy of 1.062m score shown by Billy himself at the Big Bang event in 2010, which also showed MAME signatures.

The only person with that much access to Billy Mitchell's tapes and source material, consistently across each of his submissions, is Billy Mitchell himself.

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Perhaps the most troubling new revelation of all is the new round of recriminations made in an attempt to patch over the growing cracks in Billy's story. Dwayne Richard has been Billy's go-to bogeyman for some time, but he's not the only one getting the blame now.

But let's start with Dwayne. Almost from the day the MAME evidence was presented in February of last year, suggestions were made to the effect that Dwayne had replaced Billy's tapes with fakes done on MAME in an effort to discredit him.

Example 1 - Starting at 51:47, Richie Knucklez said on the East Side Dave Show in early February that Dwayne had approached him in 2009 with an idea to create a fake playthrough of Donkey Kong on MAME to test Twin Galaxies staff:

Example 2 - Starting at 23:17 and again at 47:06, Billy Mitchell twice reiterated this theory at his "Road to Redemption" panel at last year's Southern Fried Gaming Expo, claiming to have emails from Dwayne in 2009 expressing his desire to malign Mr. Mitchell:

Two of these emails are presented in the recent evidence package, on pages 27 and 28:

Billy's team apparently doesn't believe in hi-res images, but we can barely see the dates of those emails are May 23, 2009, and November 6, 2011.

Billy's team is allowed to have a theory of defense, and if their proposed theory is that Dwayne swapped the tapes with forgeries, so be it. We don't have to accept their theory, and their theory should avoid crossing lines of defamation, but they are entitled to a theory.

However, this theory broke down in light of the discovery this last February of the MTV interview, and with it the revelation that Billy's submission tape was showing MAME signatures as early as 2006. In that event, their own evidence against Dwayne works against them. So Dwayne solicited help in 2009 because he wanted to find a way to pass MAME tapes off as arcade? Too bad the Billy tapes were MAME back in 2006. Dwayne said in 2009 that he wanted to set up Billy Mitchell? Too bad the incriminating evidence already existed in 2006.

Also noteworthy is that Dwayne and Billy were on good terms in 2006. Both attended the Pac-Man world championships together in 2007. Dwayne and Billy were even filmed having a casual chat in the hotel room, which was included in one of Dwayne's later documentaries (starting at 47:57):

Thus, in my February analysis, I wrote the following:

> At any rate, we can now say with confidence that Dwayne Richard has been unequivocally exonerated in this whole affair. Setting aside how many years this incriminating MAME evidence sat around without being noticed or pointed out, it would be preposterous to believe Dwayne would be actively soliciting help in framing Billy Mitchell in 2009 if he had already done the deed in 2006.

In light of that evidence, this proposed theory should have been reevaluated. However, Billy's team have decided to stick to their old story, with several references to Dwayne Richard in their recent evidence package. Here on page 22, they make an effort to claim that the tapes examined in the dispute originated from Dwayne:

The document includes the following signed statement from Richie Knucklez, dated August 20th of this year, again repeating the same allegations of a plot by Dwayne in 2009:

On page 144, the document again delves into Dwayne Richard's expressed dislike for Billy Mitchell. Ironically, the writer jokingly laughs off a suggestion that Billy Mitchell is capable of time travel, while effectively accusing Dwayne of concocting a plan in 2009 and then executing it three years earlier in 2006:

Lastly, the writer makes clear their position on page 145, stating that the notion that Dwayne specifically edited Billy's Donkey Kong tapes is "A absolute fact that Jace Hall and Twin Galaxies can not escape" [sic]:

This goes beyond a reasonable right of the defense to suggest a theory of the facts. I propose that this is the work of people who are not even trying to put together a cogent defense. What cannot be denied is that the MAME tape captured by MTV, whatever its origin, stands in direct contradiction to their own evidence against Dwayne, preceding his alleged conspiracy by a matter of years. Regardless of their feelings for Dwayne or his feelings for them, it is downright defamation for them to continue to propose this reckless and meritless theory against their old adversary today.

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The other person now meeting the underside of the Billy Mitchell bus is Robert Mruczek. Mruczek is the key witness attached to this later discovery of the MTV interview, as he is the only one who can truly attest to that tape's origin.

As I discussed back in comment 3309 - https://www.twingalaxies.com/showthr...=1#post1053170 - Mruczek has been crystal clear in his recollection that he received the 1.047m tape submission directly from Billy Mitchell himself, a fact he has recollected again in this very thread. It would seem, however, that Billy's defense team has a different theory, illustrated on pages 9, 10, and 12:

So the best explanation Billy's team could muster is to claim Mruczek took the tape shown at Funspot home with him, then outright lied, and fabricated a whole story about being sent a tape in the mail, all in order to deflect onto others the blame for... verifying Billy's score?

To be clear, their claim of being able to subpoena shipping records means nothing, as records likely no longer exist, and such a shipment could be done from any number of different addresses or using cash. Note also the suggestion that Billy could not have sent a tape of this performance to Mruczek months after the Funspot event because, apparently, no other copies existed.

At first, I laughed off this proposition. But in doing my due diligence, I soon went to look for qualitative differences between the different copies floating around. As established, the game play is uniform throughout all known copies, but there are differing accounts as to the quality of the actual video on each of these copies. For instance, there are several reports, including from both Mruczek and Walter Day, of the copy shown at Funspot being of too low quality to justify acceptance. Mruczek later claims the tape shown in the MTV interview, of which we see a few portions, to be of a more acceptable quality. Noteworthy is that even in the small portions of game play we have, we do see indications of VHS distortion, most visible on two occasions in the video "Outdoing George Costanza":

Based on visible numbers and sequence of game play, I was able to identify that stage as the level 20, 125m stage, starting at score 971,600. Here are those exact moments in the other two full copies of this performance:

As you can see, the same sort of VHS distortion occurs along the left-hand side of the game board at the same time in each of these three copies.

One might be inclined to entertain the thought that these different copies are possibly one and the same physical tape, changing hands throughout the years. Indeed, Mruczek has no recollection of what happened to that 1.047m tape after he adjudicated it, and Billy's team have now put forward the suggestion (although conveniently not the outright assertion) that there were no other copies available to send besides the one sent to Funspot.

However, recall the distortion seen on the million-point rollover, as shown in the film King of Kong:

I don't want to rely too heavily on footage from the actual King of Kong movie, simply to account for the possibility that scenes from a Hollywood film were touched up in post-production to exaggerate the desired effect, something which I have no doubt happens even in faithful documentaries. That said, the quality issues occurring at precisely the moment of the million-point rollover were noted by many witnesses, including Walter Day himself.

Sadly, we do not get to witness the million-point rollover in the MTV interview segments. This would've greatly helped. However, in light of this new suggestion that the MTV tape was the same one shown at Funspot, we are able to compare the multiple accounts of distortion at the moment of the rollover with the digitized copy uploaded by Jace in this dispute:

https://www.twingalaxies.com/showthread.php/176004-Dispute-Jeremy-Young-Arcade-Donkey-Kong-Points-Hammer-Allowed-Player-Billy-L-Mitchell-Score-1-062-800?p=959129&viewfull=1#post959129

As you see, there are no signs of this reported distortion in the Twin Galaxies copy. Also, as relatively low-quality as the YouTube copy is, it too shows no sign whatsoever of such distortion at the rollover (skip to 2:21:55)

One can accept that there was a single submission tape from which each of these copies of varying quality were produced, but only if that original copy was of the highest quality among them. It's rather silly to think that the single original tape had this distortion, and yet the copies made from it were somehow free of these blemishes. Yes, these tapes did all ultimately come from a single original source (whether video or inp file), and yes, many copies were since made, but the 2005 Funspot copy with those noted flaws could not have been the common ancestor among all the copies to appear later.

This still leaves open the particular matter of whether the Funspot tape is the same as the tape Mruczek shows to Stephen Totilo, something which I was not able to ascertain conclusively to my satisfaction based strictly on the available objective evidence. I have no reason to doubt Robert Mruczek or his testimony. His story of being sent a submission tape is consistent with the historical records surrounding Billy's 1.047m submission and recognition on the leaderboard, months after the events at Funspot. While Mruczek has made mistakes like each of us, he is someone who holds truth and integrity to the highest standard, almost to a fault. As much as I wish I could locate something amongst this pile of evidence by which we could settle the matter either way, I can only report what I found. Regardless of what I believe to be the truth, I cannot definitively demonstrate at this time that the tape seen in the MTV interview is distinct from the tape previously shown at Funspot.

That said, I'll close with this observation. Mruczek had to have gotten that tape from somewhere. It did not manifest out of a time portal from the future. But even if we were to accept the new story now given to us by Billy's defense team, that Mruczek acquired that tape from the Funspot event in 2005, and then somehow forgot or lied about it, this claim amazingly bodes worse for Mr. Mitchell than if Mruczek had simply received the tape in the mail as he asserts. This new claim from Billy and his team is tantamount to an admission that the Funspot tape, which we know with absolute documented certainty was sent directly from Billy Mitchell himself, was not arcade rendered, as evidenced by the analysis of the MTV interview above.

In the end, no matter how many stories Billy's team proposes to explain away all these copies shown at all these different venues by all these different people, the fact that his tapes are filled with exclusive MAME renderings is, to quote William Mitchell, Jr., "[an] absolute fact that Jace Hall and Twin Galaxies can not escape".

This wraps up my presentation for tonight. I intend to continue writing shorter observations on Billy Mitchell's disappointing evidence submission for as long as this thread stays open, but for now, as an unbiased outsider who has done extensive research in this case for a year and a half, I recommend in the interest of scoreboard integrity that Billy Mitchell's request for reinstatement be rejected. I recommend his scores stay off any and all official leaderboards, until such time that his team can provide a defense that substantially addresses the core assertions of the dispute and the lasting permanent evidence of video tape recordings which, as it has been demonstrated through rigorous testing by parties on all sides, could not have been produced by authentic arcade hardware.

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