"Dr. Kong" has been defeated. Competitive gamer Robbie Lakeman has snatched the world record for the highest ever Donkey Kong score from Hank Chien. Chien, a plastic surgeon in New York, has held sole possession of the title for nearly four years — earning himself the nickname Dr. Kong. Late Thursday night, Lakeman completed a over three-hour session and earned a score of 1,141,800 — 3,200 points better than Chien's prior record. The next day, according to Donkey Blog, he called Dr. Kong himself to tell him to relinquish his crown.
The world record for the original arcade version of Donkey Kong, dating from 1981, has been hotly contested for decades. Competitive players sink thousands of hours into mastering the game — and hoping for a bit of luck — to crack into the top 10. An earlier rivalry between arcade gaming legend Billy Mitchell and ex-Boeing engineer Steve Wiebe was made into a popular 2007 documentary, titled The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters.
Donkey Blog reports that Lakeman's own Donkey Kong quest started two-and-a-half years ago with a simple bet that challenged him to crack the top ten or make it to the "kill screen," a glitch that automatically ends the game. He's streamed his attempts live on Twitch over the past couple of years, but this week, he opted to play alone to relieve the pressure. And it worked. You can watch the entire attempt below, but jump to the 3 hour, 12 minute mark to see his reaction.