Steve Wiebe Speaks About Twin Galaxies, Donkey Kong, & Billy Mitchell

John Gaudiosi,

April 13, 2018 2:15 PM

In the debacle centered around Billy Mitchell's records, Steve Wiebe has oft been considered the party wronged by any issue of validity. In the wake of recent events, Wiebe shares his thoughts on Billy, Kong, and Twin Galaxies as a whole.

UPDATE (4/13/2018 - 5:20PM): At the behest of a curious reader, we have clarified the term "drop the game" used by John Gaudiosi in the fifth paragraph and Steve Wiebe in the sixth paragraph.

When it comes to the recent Donkey Kong dispute, in which Twin Galaxies ruled one of Billy Mitchell’s Donkey Kong record invalid and stripped him of all his records, there’s one person who has been vindicated – after 11 long years. Steve Wiebe, the teacher from Redmond, WA who battled Mitchell in the critically acclaimed Seth Gordon documentary, The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, now is recognized as the first player ever to break one million points in Donkey Kong.

“I never thought that it would come around again this way,” Wiebe told Twin Galaxies. “I know they wanted to do a Hollywood version of the documentary, and they couldn’t get anything to click. I never would have thought it would have been Billy’s actions that brought all of this attention again.”

While Wiebe is a full-time teacher in Redmond, he has been following the wave of news surrounding the scandal. With this recent ordeal, Wiebe is now considered and recognized as the first person to get 1-million points in Donkey Kong.

Wiebe's orignal 1 million points was made on August 3, 2006. The score set was 1,049,100.
Wiebe's orignal verified and recognized 1 million point game was made on August 3, 2006. The score set was 1,049,100.

“A lot of friends have fired off articles of me being the first to a million, and that’s something that I always wanted to be known for back in the day,” Wiebe said.

The one thing that always nagged Wiebe in the back of his mind was how Mitchell could achieve a high score in the manner he did. A notable factor in Mitchell's sessions is that he would sometimes "drop the game" by killing off his remaining lives four to five stages before the kill screen that ends the game instead of finishing it out and maximizing his points, a practice thought puzzling to many who observed Mitchell's play.

“I’d have to spend a month in the garage to eclipse a record, and I would never just drop the game,” Wiebe said.

Wiebe watches The King of Kong every year, showing the documentary to his students.

“They always get a kick out of it, and every year my hair has more gray,” Wiebe said.

But he doesn’t spend time gaming much anymore. With his record constantly shifting downward on Twin Galaxies' official scoreboard, he’s not looking to break any additional records.

“The record is really something you have to deeply get invested in,” Wiebe said. “I’d have to play 10-12 hours a day for who knows how long to get Robbie’s record now. I’m happy I had my time. The score I got back in the day was a good score. I’m fine with where I fit in with the records.”

Steve Wiebe continued to play and compete in Donkey Kong well into the 2010 decade, as he is shown here beside Robbie Lakeman at the Kong Offs in 2015.
Steve Wiebe continued to play and compete in Donkey Kong well into the 2010 decade, as he is shown here beside Robbie Lakeman at the Kong Offs in 2015. [Photo by William McEvoy]

Wiebe is also appreciative of Twin Galaxies, which is the reason he now holds the one record that was always the most important to him.

“I have to credit Jace Hall, who I met once a few years back at an event,” Wiebe said. “I know that he had some big ideas at the time working on changing what Twin Galaxies was doing. When you look at their website, it’s amazing how much it’s expanded. There used to be a couple of side advertisements and you’d just look and see what the high scores were. Now modern gaming is a big chunk of what Twin Galaxies does. And Jace instituted a new dispute system where gamers can look at old scores and analyze things like Billy’s. Todd Rogers’ scores were recently tossed for the same thing -- being fraudulent for entering referees scores without verification. I don’t think Walter would have imagined how much Twin Galaxies is involved with modern gaming now. I think he’d lost his inspiration and passion, but I can see Jace has brought in a new kind of angle. It’s cool for the new gamers involved.”

Want to catch up fully on the situation around Mitchell's records? Check out our interview with Wes Copeland, Donkey Kong's current #2 record holder, as well as Billy Mitchell reportedly giving an official statement this weekend during the Midwest Gaming Classic.


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