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Under the Wrath
by Kevin

Our hearts rejoiced this week when Steve Wiebe once again achieved the world high score for Donkey Kong. The tale of the epic rivalry between Wiebe and the former high score holder, Billy Mitchell, is chronicled in the 2007 documentary The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters.

I don’t want to cover the entire story; the documentary is well done and worth watching, but the overall idea is that Wiebe is the classic underdog figure and Mitchell is an arrogant hot sauce making archfiend with rat-like features.

Well rested and ready to peddle pestilence to all!

Wiebe purchases a Donkey Kong arcade machine and attempts to beat Mitchell’s high score of 874,300, which he has held since the 1980s. He succeeds, and submits a tape to Twin Galaxies, an organization which keeps track of high scores in arcade games. Ultimately, Mitchell argues that the only valid scores are ones achieved in public. This is a policy Ratface himself disregards by submitting low quality video tapes of his own scores.

The long and short of it is that Wiebe wins and loses graciously multiple times throughout the film with no more than a few quiet tears of disappointment shed while Mitchell refuses to acknowledge his friendly challenges, and at one point even meets Wiebe and refuses to make eye contact with him. Even when Wiebe does beat his high score in public, Mitchell seems to melt through a wall in a puff of acrid smoke or an equally villainous pool of filthy black ichor to present a video tape of his newest triumph. He clearly was never taught how to be a gracious loser. It seems far more likely that growing up he was taught to just flip the board of checkers over whenever a game began to go south.

This week, Wiebe reached the score of 1,064,500 and is now the holder of the Donkey Kong world high score once again. Good triumphs over evil yet again. Of course, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time until Billy Mitchell rears his ugly greasy-haired head once more. There has to be some way to put a stop to this.

-Kevin