The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (2007) - full transcript

In the early 1980s, legendary Billy Mitchell set a Donkey Kong record that stood for almost 25 years. This documentary follows the assault on the record by Steve Wiebe, an earnest teacher from Washington who took up the game while unemployed. The top scores are monitored by a cadre of players and fans associated with Walter Day, an Iowan who runs Funspot, an annual tournament. Wiebe breaks Mitchell's record in public at Funspot, and Mitchell promptly mails a controversial video tape of himself setting a new record. So Wiebe travels to Florida hoping Mitchell will face him for the 2007 Guinness World Records. Will the mind-game-playing Mitchell engage; who will end up holding the record?

There'll always be
the argument

that video games
are meant to be played for fun.

Believe me,
some of it's a lot of fun.

Video games are meant
to be played at home,

relaxing on a couch
amongst friends.

And they are, and that's fun.

But competitive gaming,

when you wanna attach
your name to a world record,

when you want your name
written into history,
you have to pay the price.

With this, it's just
like me and the machine.

I can... it doesn't matter if you,
you know... if you let me down

or someone else,
it doesn't come through.

I can always go out there.
I'm in control.

Man: And I'm glad
you touch on this.

Do we have enough tape?
This is important.

Everybody, even grandma,

games... meaning checkers, cards,
if not now, in the past.

Show me even
a freakin' nun or a hermit

who hasn't done cards
or checkers.

I don't drink. I don't smoke.
I don't do drugs.

I play video games,

which I think
is far superior an addiction
than any of those other ones.

I wanted to be a hero.

I wanted to be the center
of attention.

I wanted the glory.
I wanted the fame.

I wanted the pretty girls
come at me and say,

"hi. I see that you're good
at centipede."

I had somebody draw
an analogy for me once
that I always remembered.

The top French pilot
in world war I
shot down 24 enemy planes.

The top American pilot...
You don't know his name, do you?

Nobody does.
But it's Eddie rickenbacker.

Shot down 26 enemy planes.

The German ace, the red baron.

Everyone knows
who the red baron is.

That's 'cause he shot down
87 enemy planes.

I mean, he was the best.

There's just... there's a level
of difference between people,

and it translates
into some games.

Donkey Kong and pac-man
and miss pac-man

and galaga and defender,

these are the games
that caught the public eye.

These are the games
people cared about.

And so if you wanna be known
as being world-class,

you've gotta master
one of those games.

I like the simplicity of it,
and that's what
you'll probably hear

from a lot of people
that like retro games

is that it's the simplicity.

Those games challenge
eye-hand coordination,

mind-body coordination,
fast reaction time,

and comprehensive thinking,

on a level
that modern games don't.

Memorization and
pattern recognition is key.

Because for you
to get a single point further

in an old game
from the early eighties

meant a tremendous increase
of skill.

If you do not know
the next pattern coming up

in a tron light-cycle event,
you will lose your life.

Day: Only the die-hards
who, for some reason,

really love those games,
continue to stick with them.

But what we've done is had the
mayor tie off the entire street

so that lifemagazine
could come to town

and photograph the world's
greatest video game players,

who've been flown in
especially for this
lifephotographic session.

All these great superstars
are coming from north Carolina,

California, Canada,
many other places,

to be photographed
as the official world champions

on many different games.

Steve Sanders:
That was the first time
two world-class players

went head-to-head for
a competition was lifemagazine.

Without a doubt, I met players

that were amongst the best
in the world

and maybe even would say
or do whatever they could

to make people believe
they were the best in the world.

Day: Well, at that time,

he was the world record holder
on centipede.

But also at that time,

he was the world record holder
on donkey Kong.

But we didn't know that,
because someone else

was invited there
from Kansas City

who, because of a claim
they had made,

it was presumed that they
were the donkey Kong champion.

Donkey Kong was the one
that I first lied about.

But he had submitted
a bogus score,

and I finally met him there
at lifemagazine,

and I finally sat down
to play him.

Sanders: We had not been there
long, and bill said,

"come on. Let's play."

Mitchell: I went in the arcade
and sat down with donkey Kong,

and I beat him to a pulp.

Well, I was better
than the best.

And I got...
I got 200,000 against bill.

Bill got 800,000
on his first man in that game.

He shellacked me.
He shellacked me.

Basically, he walked away
with his head down and humbled,

and that brought him
to the truth.

And from there,
we worked together.

Well, the Bible...

"as iron sharpens iron,
so one man sharpens another."

Bill made me a better person,

and did so by basically making
me [chuckles] confess.

I've pointed out to Steve
that he's the person he is today

because he came under the wrath
of bill Mitchell.

In front of the 19 top players
in the nation,

actually North America,

he did the highest
donkey Kong score possible

and also found out that the game
ends on the 22nd board.

Since, I so-called
debuted on the scene

at lifemagazine in 1982,

there hasn't been anybody
who's played even close.

Man 1: When Billy Mitchell
walks into an arcade,

you know, everything stops.

There's electricity
around Billy Mitchell.

Everybody wants
to crowd around him.

Everybody wants to see him.

Man 2: You know, everything
about him is perfect, you know?

Billy is just that person.
You know, he wants to represent.

If you could hack
into the machine

and program it to play itself,

you couldn't
even program it that well.

Day: There's a glamour to Billy.
There's a specialness to Billy.

He was the first. He was
the first great, great player.

The fact of the matter is,

bill is thebest classic
arcade gamer of our era.

It's actually carved
a part of my personality

that benefits me every day.

I mean, a burning passion
never to settle for what I have

in my business, in my family.

That's what competitive gaming
has done for me.

He's a winner. Billy Mitchell
is absolutely a winner.

Mitchell: It's sort of like
being in a maze,

but everything you see
is actually sauce.

The all-around
most-seasoned person

in the hot sauce/chicken wing
industry... yeah, for sure, me.

There's a production end of it.
There's the preparation.

When there's the sales
end of it,

there's not somebody
who encompasses

all of those areas like me
that I've ever met.

He sells his hot sauce,
he sells himself.

Day: Because he's so charming
and such a good ambassador

for all gaming
because he's positive,

there's no reason,
in my opinion,

why Billy Mitchell couldn't end
up on a wheaties box someday.

The video arcade classic
has finally been conquered.

On July 4,
at a New Hampshire arcade,

34-year-old Billy Mitchell
became the first person

to master pac-man by recording
the first ever perfect game.

♪ Billy Mitchell
primo joystick dude ♪

♪ amazing in the maze,
he ain't gonna lose ♪

To get through every board,
getting every dot,

every energizer,
every ghost that's applicable,

to reach to the final 256th
screen without dying?

That's... it's impressive
in its own right.

The success of this
was not just because

someone got
a perfect pac-man score,

but because Billy Mitchell
got a perfect pac-man score.

♪ Blue man in the corridor
singing the blues ♪

♪ a perfect game goes down ♪

♪ Billy's on the move ♪

If I have all this good fortune,
if everything's rollin' my way,

if all these balls
have bounced in my favor...

There is some poor bastard
out there

who's getting
the screws put to him.

When I got laid off
and I had time on my hands,

I was thinking,
"well, what can I do

to kind of feel like
I have control of something,"

so I looked at twin galaxies.

I just... well, I typed in
donkey Kong world record,

and some spreadsheet came up,
and I saw what the score was.

It was held by Billy Mitchell,
and it was, like, 874,000.

I go, "hey, I can beat that."

[Playing piano]

Almost there.

Woman: I mean, I'm not the kind
of wife that's needy

that I need him sitting on
the couch with me every night.

I don't need that.

What I need is him in the house
helping me with the kids

or I need him
being with the kids.

So he would want
to come out here and play,

and that would drive me crazy,
'cause he is definitely ocd.

When he is obsessed
on something,

he is so focused,
and I have to be like, "hello."

Um, so then I just said,
"you have to do it at night."

Boy: Is level 2 easy?

Yeah, it's pretty easy.

I've dreamed of, you know,
being a musician for a living.

That's what my dream was.

Nicole: He was brought up to be
that he was smart,

he was an athlete,
he was talented,

and for whatever reason,
he could never get those to fit.

Steve was one of the original
starving grunge bands

here in Seattle,
just starving.

The only people who came
to see him was us.

Man 3: With his music,
it's almost like

he didn't want people to know
he was doing it.

He's a total paradox that way.

♪ I've been looking so long
at these pictures of you ♪

He has maybe a little social
hang-ups here and there

that, um...
That haven't allowed him

to be as successful
on one end as in other ends.

They got
to the state finals,
and Steve couldn't pitch.

Mike Thompson:
I've probably seen Steve
with tears in his eyes

more than any other guy I know,

uh, because of the frustration
that would build in him.

And half the time,
it was on the pitcher's mound.

Steve's dad:
He had hurt his arm.
I had pitched him too much.

I was the manager of the team.

It was a chance for him to shine
in front of thousands of people.

Nicole: That killed him...
That he couldn't pitch

because it's that
competitiveness in him.

♪ And we kissed
as the sky fell in ♪

♪ holding you close ♪

♪ how I always held close ♪

I envisioned him
as, uh, an engineer at boeing.

Steve: My dad worked at boeing
for 30 some years,

and the plan was to go to boeing
and be a lifer,

as they call 'em.

But, um, things didn't work out.

I don't know if he told you
that he was laid off

the day we signed papers
on our house. Yeah.

♪ And you finally found ♪

♪ all your courage
to let it all go ♪

Thompson: He never has quite
reached that pinnacle.

He never quite,
in any of his endeavors,

was regaled
as the number-one guy,

the guy that was better
than the rest

and was on top of the mountain.

Oh, he's just come up short
in a lot of things in his life,

and I just think, you know,

nobody wants to do that
all the time.

♪ Lost in the cold ♪

♪ you were always so lost
in the dark ♪

♪ remembering you ♪

Steve: It has my high score
saved on there from last.

♪ Slow drowned,
you were angels ♪

♪ so much more than everything ♪

♪ hold for the last time ♪

♪ then slip away quietly ♪

Mitchell: What plunged me
into competitive gaming,

never to come out,
was donkey Kong.

Donkey Kong. Well, that was
thefirst ever Mario game.

The whole thing
is a construction site.

It's all these girders
and elevators with ladders

going from one girder
to the next.

The whole goal, the whole time
is to get past the obstacles

that Kong is throwing at you
and get... get the girl.

Well, donkey Kong, without
question, is the hardest game.

It's ridiculously difficult
on the first screen.

Sanders: Donkey Kong
is releasing these barrels.

You got to jump
over the barrels.

You gotta duck
the barrels.

You can grab a hammer
and hammer the barrels.

Okay, the secret
about the barrel board

is you can actually
control the barrels.

Right above this ladder,

you'll do a quick left,
and then a hard right turn.

See how it went down?
Went down again.

Sanders: You gotta get past
all the barrels, the fireballs,

get up the ladders.

And as soon as you get to her,

donkey Kong takes her away
to the next level.

Mitchell: The average donkey
Kong game doesn't last a minute.

It's absolute brutality.

Each of the 18 elevator boards

represents the greatest
challenge in video game playing.

Sanders: The average gamer
on donkey Kong

will never get past
the third elevator stage.

Just the slightest touch from
one of these Springs, kills you.

There's no hammer for them.
There's no way to defeat them.

All you can do is avoid them.
That's it.

Steve: And the secret
to the third elevators

is knowing which spring
to go on,

and then knowing which spring
to move up the ladder on,

and recognizing
when you must retreat.

If you don't time it just
exactly right, you will die.

It boils down
to hardcore skill.

Steve: So I go on that one
because it line up
with the dashed line.

Now I'm waiting for one to line
up with the solid line there.

I have said from the day
I met Steve

that his talent
is in his hands.

He pitched.
He was at basketball.
He's a phenomenal drawer.

And if you ever
seen pictures that he's drawn,

but he's very artistic.

It's operating on some
subconscious level with him,

I think.

When we were driving to Kansas
or whatever, family trips,

he'd sit there,
and for a hundred miles

would bang his head, you know,

four... four time
against the back of the seat.

Five, six, seven, eight, nine...

Steve's mom:
Well, I've often thought that
he maybe is a little autistic,

that he's just
that obsessive compulsive,

'cause he would get
something in his mind.

He wanted to play drums,

and I don't even know
where he got that idea.

This is Derek's drum set,
and it's not too bad.

It's... it does the trick.

[Drums playing]

[Drums continue]

[Drums continue]

The actual game play involves
so much eye-hand coordination,

mind-body coordination,

fast reaction time
and comprehensive thinking.

Such a high level
of precise execution.

So much skill...

Involves so much learning.

You have to have
deep comprehensive intelligence.

Um, for years and years,
it was believed

that Billy's record of 874,000
in 1982

was really the highest score
anyone would ever get.

And in fact, some of us
have played this game

every day or every week
or every month since then,

and no one's
gotten close to that.

No one across
that big length of time

will ever be able to beat
his world record.

[Video game sounds]

Derek, look. You're on TV.

See yourself? Say, "hi."

Derek: No.

I was havin'
the game of my life.

I was... think I got 600,000,
and I hadn't died yet.

And when I started
hearing some noises

coming down the stairs,

[Derek screaming]

And it's all on tape,
and I...

That's the tape I had to send in
to... to twin galaxies.

Everything I'm all about

by practicing
transcendental meditation,

and I like to see
that mirrored

in the way I apply myself
to the video game world,

in that
I seek to find champions

and watch them grow
and become even greater

as they begin to unfold more and
more of their full potential,

which is what we do
when we do tm.

If Walter, through all these
years, all the way since 1982,

hadn't continued
as a labor of love,

then there would be
no central organization

for competitive
video game playing.

Day: Why do we do it?
Because we actually love this.

Because we enjoy this.
We're fascinated by this.

There's just something
in our genes

that my group, twin galaxies,
raising the banner high

to do this and move... move
organized video game playing

into the future.

Walter opened the door

to truly...
I was gonna say international,

but at the very least,
national competitive gaming.

We just happened to call it
twin galaxies.

The name burst into my brain.

Sanders: Walter day didn't
do that by accident.

Didn't get lucky.
He-he created his own empire.

Join us again
for video game news update.

I'm Walter day
at the twin galaxies
international scoreboard.

It's been a wearying thing
being the scorekeeper

because everybody picks on me,
you know?

'Cause I'm the man, you know?
I'm a police officer.

Video games need a guy
like bush, who will say,

"look, this is the way
we're gonna do it.

This is the rule, and if you
don't like it, tough."

You've got to have that.

If you didn't have that
in the NFL, who'd win?

How do you declare a champion
unless there are rules?

And if you break 'em,
you lose.

The best features about him
are also his biggest downfall.

People can just run over him
because he's so nice.

Twin galaxies survives
because people like Walter,

people like Robert mruczek,
people like me,

who participate all for
a passion of competitive gaming.

Nobody draws a paycheck.

I don't see details.
I see big pictures, you know?

I see the big concept that lies
behind the whole issue,

and then I tweak that.

I can't do details and details.

Twin galaxies needs a staff
of detail-oriented people

like Robert mruczek.

Mruczek: Um, anything
that's unexplainable,

out of the ordinary,

we have to keep our eyes
out for.

That's not to say
we're infallible.

When I have to watch that pile
of eight tapes over there

for Dwayne Richard's
two-day nibbler performance,

that's 48 straight hours
of paying attention

to make sure that he's doing
everything correctly.

Package from
the metroid team in Brazil,

some atari 2600 records.

Gotta watch that.

These things take time
to verify.

And I have to look
at every single one of these.

Like I showed you over here.

This is just 200 videotapes.
That's nothing.

This is the real stuff
that I have to do.

I see world's records in my room
set just about every single day.

Some people think
a world's record

is what's set at the Olympics

or at the end
of a baseball season.

I see this every single day,
and not just sometimes once.

- It's exciting.
- Steve: Derek.

- Derek:
Stop playing donkey Kong.
- You stop it.


Derek: Stop playing
donkey Kong!

Yeah, that was close.
That was actually good.

Steve: You stop it![Derek screaming]

Steve: Stop it!

Derek, stop it. No.

Derek: Stop playing
donkey Kong.

Steve: Derek? Derek: Stop playing
donkey Kong.

Derek, I'm gonna
throw away your rest
if you don't stop it. Derek!

Somebody has
accomplished something

that not only I can't do,

that nobody else
has ever been done before,

and it's exciting
to see that firsthand.

That's how you play donkey Kong.

New world record.

Welcome back.
Bill Gates isn't necessarily

the most famous name
in redmond tonight.

Woman: Coming up, meet the man
who's at the top of his game.

A donkey Kong world record.

He was a big celebrity there
for a bit in Seattle.

Steve: I was just doing it.

Just thought it would be
a neat achievement.

I didn't think it would ever
blow up to be a big story.

Nicole: He goes, "you're
the first lady of donkey Kong."

I'm like, "oh, my god."

Thompson: Even though it was
this silly video game thing,

it's not many of us
that have a buddy

who's the best in the world
at something.

That was a godsend to him
in the last couple of years

to get him through.

Like it might be... it was like
a safe haven for him, yeah.

♪ No equality ♪

♪ be still ♪

♪ I will not accept defeat ♪

♪ I will have you ♪

♪ yes, I will have you ♪

♪ I will find a way ♪

♪ and I will have you ♪

We're at kamiakin junior high,

and I'm here in my seventh and
eight grade science classroom.

It's my first year at teaching,

so it's been a challenge,
but very enjoyable so far.

Sand, soil, and the cornstarch.

I went to, uh,
the city university,
which had a program and...

One year,
you had a master's degree,

so we roughed it out
for a year.

And here I am today,
so it finally worked out.

It's fun, and he's
not making it so it's like,

"this is science.
This is boring."

He talks to us about stuff

that's not just like
homework and schoolwork
and school and stuff.

Okay, here is...

My history with donkey Kong is,
I have the world record.

Okay, I didn't know
it was a world record.

It's for donkey Kong,
is it? Oh, my gosh.

There is like... it's...

All the science teachers
here are weird.

Steve deserves
a lot of credit for that

because he also... he also
broke the record
on donkey Kong Jr.

So he-he took two... he took two
of Billy's titles,

like, right away from him.

And I don't mean to sound,
you know, crude or anything.

But he did. He did.
Officially, he did.

That was the last world record
that bill ever had.

That was the last one to go.

He had five world records
in 1985,

and he had the donkey Kong, and
then Steve wiebe took it away.

It's far more difficult
when you're on top,

anybody who's on top,
to stay on top.

Billy's got a lot of things
up his sleeve.

He likes to keep quiet
in situations like that.

So, you know, somebody may have
taken him down now,

but behind closed doors,
Billy's got something planned.

That's Billy Mitchell.

On my phone, it says,
"never surrender."

If somebody
beat his record,

he'd have a plan
to beat it back.

I'm sure.

The worse thing
that could happen

would be to give somebody
the credibility of a score

that doesn't deserve it.

But even far worse than that
would be to deny somebody

the credibility
when they deserved it.

If I'm not there, I don't know.

And get this.

I came home one day
and there was two people

in my garage
looking at my machine.

They wanted to...
They're spies.

It was a Saturday.
It was in July or August.

And my mom was here 'cause I was
getting ready to go to work.

And these guys
knocked on the door,

and I don't think I knew
they were gonna be here at all.

And they said that
who they were,

and they wanted to come in
and look at the machine.

And I knew I had to leave,
and I said,

"I'm not comfortable
in letting you do that.

"I have to go to work.
My mom is here.

"Steve's gonna be home shortly.

You just need to wait.
You just need to wait."

To find out
at an ultra elite level,

whether or not a score is good,

sometimes we have no choice
but to call in the pros.

Bri-Brian kuh,
the donkey Kong player,

went to Steve's place.

Bill asked me to do it,

but I didn't have time
to go do it, so Brian did it.

Went there with one of the most
respected gamers of all time,

Perry Rodgers,
to back him up.

Billy Mitchell and twin galaxies
asked me to, um,

because I live
in the area near him,

to go investigate him.

So we went out to his house.

I mean, I'm the homeowner.
It's my house.

I'm the wife
of the donkey Kong guy.

They should've
respected my wishes

and left my mom alone and not
come in, but they didn't.

They took apart
his donkey Kong machine,

and started taking pictures
of everything.

You know, trying to look
for an excuse

to try to invalidate
his score.

They saw this box

that has Roy shildt's
return address on it.

So they looked over
and they said,

"Roy shildt? Why is
Roy shildt's name on there?"

Roy shildt is the type of gamer
that would like nothing more

than to see twin galaxies
get an egg on its face.

I want you to remember
that no punk bastard

ever got a gnarly piece
of poontang

by being sensitive
and considerate.

He calls himself Mr. Awesome.

He drives the awesomobile
to fame and fortune,

as he says on his web site.

He's jealous of Billy
because Billy gets attention

from beautiful women
wherever he goes.

And, essentially,
he wants to be like Billy.

I mean, I've seen the world
champion cherry pit spitter

on the tonight show
with Jay leno.

And if that guy should be
on the tonight show,

at least I can just... just be
a celebrity for a day.

I didn't even get that.
I got no recognition at all.

I didn't get to be
on any television shows.

It's like I...
It's like I was a ghost,

and I just don't feel
it's right,

and I just want
a little recognition.

I'm not necessarily
to become a celebrity.

Hey, Billy.
How you doing, man?

How you doing? Billy, how are you?

I'm perfect.
Haven't you read?

Twin galaxies does a lot
to promote Billy

'cause it's very much
to twin galaxies' advantage

and very much to the whole
gaming hobby's advantage

for Billy to become a star.

When Walter day
published that book in 1997,

with all those egregious
errors in there,

bill Mitchell saw it.

And he knew they were wrong.
He knew they were mistakes.

But he tried to pretend
like they were real

to try to take
my missile command score down.

Roy and I met
at California extreme,

and he knew that I was...
Had a capability

of beating Billy
on donkey Kong.

Shildt: Steve wiebe is the one
who had unlocked the secrets
to donkey Kong

to figure out how to get
a million points.

He offered to buy me a board,
a donkey Kong board,

because mine had broken.

And I didn't have the money.

So, you know, it was a
mutual-beneficial relationship.

He would buy me a board.

I would have the opportunity
to beat Billy's record,

and at the same time,
I would take Billy down

and seek
Roy's revenge on Billy.

Um, and it seemed good
at the time, you know?

And unknowing to me,
I didn't know the history

between the bad blood
with Roy and Billy, and...

To attempt something like this
for the sole purpose

of taking down
one of bill's scores,

it's like a...
A slap in the face.

They would say
that I somehow monkeyed

with the board or something,

But they wouldn't have
any evidence.

They looked at the board.
They took the pictures
of the board,

and they couldn't find
anything wrong with it.

The fact that
the right gummy substance

on the right chip
out of all these chips,

in the right spot
on the right board.

I mean, I... I... I... I have to say
there's a conspiracy here.

Any board that's worked on
could have a problem.

To find out
that this gamer potentially

has a fraudulent score
has upset Billy's master plan

for what he wanted to do.

I mean, when you come home
and see two guys in your garage,

and you know why...
And you've learned

why they're there,
and you got to...

From a guy like bill Mitchell,
I mean, you know,

who's done crazy thing
after crazy thing

after the next crazy thing,
you know?

Billy Mitchell
was one of the evaluators,
which seemed a little strange

that the guy whose records
Steve is competing against

is deciding whether or not
Steve's records are valid.

Even if that board is
a completely legitimate board,

Roy's taint on it
is too strong.

"Roy shildt's a liar.
Roy shildt's a cheater.

"Roy shildt's full of crap.
Roy shildt's out to get me.

"And he's crazy,
blah, blah, blah, blah."

Well, he threatened
bill Mitchell physically.

Uh, in fact, he has threatened
bill Mitchell's life.

No, I did not.
I did not. I did not.

He threatened his own life
to make it look like me

because for whatever...
To gain leverage

with the other...
With other people, I don't know.

He figured... what he...

What he knows that my missile
command score is genuine.

No matter what I say,
it draws controversy.

Sort of like
the abortion issue.

If you're for it,
you're a son of a gun.

If you're against it,
you're a son of a gun.

Uh, I'm not god.
I don't have all the answers.

And so I have to be careful
how I share my opinions.

So Roy just was trying
to help me out,

and I accepted his offer.

I just, you know...
It's just too bad

that association with him,

I never thought
that would hurt me.

We couldn't accept
a pretender board, so to speak.

So we couldn't
accept the score.

I would encourage Steve
just to leave that board behind,

leave Roy behind, and only play
on other donkey Kong machines

like the one at funspot,
for example.

To me, most importantly,
is you travel

to a sanctioned location,
like funspot.

Uh, that makes it official.

If tomorrow Tiger Woods goes
and he golfs a 59, big deal.

If he does that at Augusta,
that's where it counts.

He's never really
asserted himself

in a way
that I think he should.

Steve: It's been...
Just disappointed so many times

where you just kind of, like,
throw your hands up and go,

"well, let's move on
to the next thing."

Everything would've
fell right into place,

but he forgot about one thing:

That I would... about me

convincing Steve wiebe
not to be a chump,

talking him out of being...
Out of chumpatizing himself.

I didn't think twice about
sending him to back east.

It was like, "absolutely.
Go kick some ass."

Hi. My name is justine barker,
and I'm miss winnipesaukee.

I would like to welcome you
to the seventh annual

American classic arcade museum
tournament at funspot.

Funspot has become thebest
recognized place worldwide

for those who want to set a
world record on a classic game.

♪ You're the best around ♪

♪ nothing's gonna ever
keep you down ♪

♪ you're the best ♪

Man 1: Funspot is themecca
of classic arcade games.

That place is awesome.

Funspot's the premier place

where the media comes
and meets with the superstars.

Man 2: That's... you don't see
maybe a lot of ddg,

which is drop dead gorgeous
if you don't know...

Girls who are playing
the games.

Man 3: The world's best players
of classic games

are coming here
to do what they do best.

Play well.

♪ You're the best around ♪

♪ nothing's gonna ever
keep you down ♪

♪ you're the best ♪

[Car alarm goes off]

♪ ...around ♪

Kuh: Very recently,
just a few months back,

I turned 30, and I retired,

and I moved here
to New Hampshire.

And I live right close
to funspot.

I play games at funspot
every day now.

I'm gonna have ten pieces
of well done bacon,

I'm gonna have
four hardboiled eggs.

I'm gonna have three pancakes,

and hopefully,
play some great games.

Here I am in my garage.

We're gonna give
Billy Mitchell a call,

see if he's up to a challenge
at funspot.

Let's go ahead
and dial him up.

[Beep]Hi. You've reached
bill Mitchell.

I'm sorry
I'm unavailable
to take your call.

Please leave your name
and phone number.

I'll call you back
as soon as possible.
Thank you.

Woman's voice: At the tone,
please record your message.

When you finish recording...

I got a phone message.

Press "1"
for more options.


Hey, Billy.
This is Steve wiebe.

Just calling
to see how you're doin'.

Hope everything's okay
with you.

Just seein' what your plans
are for funspot.

I was... Walter day
invited me out there.

And I was just wonderin'
it'd be cool

if we could maybe, uh,
just have a kind of
friendly competition thing.

I help a lot of people
who wanna go to contests.

When I look at different people
who were my favorites,

- who I'd wanna help,
- aah!

She's at the top of the list.


Oh, my god.

And at the ripe age of 80,
she's gonna go to funspot,

and she's gonna set
a world record on qbert.


That's the challenge.All right.

Is that agreed?

All right.

♪ Nothing's gonna ever
keep you down ♪

♪ you're the best around ♪

♪ nothing's gonna ever
keep you down ♪

Kuh: You know, we have
a donkey Kong machine here

that funspot purchased
in its year of issue,

and it might even be a little
bit tougher to play here.

People complain about getting
too many wild barrels.

And although
it's totally a random element,

uh, if you're gonna set a score,
you come to funspot,

set it on their donkey Kong
that everybody knows about.

They won't give me my record,

so they've urged me to come out
and do it live.

And I think it's cooler
to do it live, too, so...

I'm pretty amped up
about donkey Kong.

Because I am a serious contender
on donkey Kong.

I've been trying
to actually beat the score

that Billy Mitchell
got back in 1982.

Uh, Nicole,
she's, uh... she was stressing

about being home this weekend
with the kids without me.

She's probably getting sick
of the donkey Kong thing.

It doesn't seem to die.

This is a big weekend,
and I'm really hoping
that this fellow shows up

because, um, you know,
he'd like to tell you

that, uh, he's
the donkey Kong champion.

And, um, the fact
of the matter is, um,

all of us have not
seen him play donkey Kong.

Steve: No one
really noticed me at first.

I was kinda lookin' to see
who I'd pay the money to

to get in the tournament,
signed in.

I recognized Robert mruczek.

Zack is about
30 seconds away
from dying.

So I just pretty much walked
over to the donkey Kong machine.

Kuh: Okay. We might
have a good story.

It looks like
the mysterious player

from the west coast,
Steve wiebe is here,

um, playing donkey Kong.

So maybe I, uh...
I'm gonna stop watching
the tournament,

and we'll go over,
see him.

Hey, Walter.You did it, man.

Good to see you.Good to see you.


He didn't say anything
to me, unless he...

Probably a week,
a few days ago.

Steve, apparently,
as I understand it,
is here right now

to prove to everyone
that he's got what it takes.

But with donkey Kong, it's,
you know... it's a little random.

You could get, um, bad luck
with a barrel... with the barrels.

You can get bad luck
with the fireballs,

with the conveyor belts,
with the elevators.

Because that's a tough machine.

These people think that the
machine is possessed, really.

Even bill
thinks it's possessed.

But, um, if Steve can pull off
850,000 or higher

on the machine,
that's a good score.

[Video game sounds]

Well, Billy Mitchell's
the champ, and I guess
that makes me the prodigy.

So we've got the prodigy
against the newcomer.

You can really make a comparison
between an athletic event, um,
and this

because this is, you know,
this is four days of, you know,
really of alertness

and paying attention,
and, uh, you know,

not as hard as doing
a decathlon or a triathlon

but still very, very hard.

[Phone ringing]

Do you want me to get it?

That's funspot.

Hey, Brian. How you doin'?

Steve wiebe walked in,
so I've been over at
the donkey Kong the whole time.

Um, what do you think?

Um, I'm gonna be, uh,
you know, playing

over Steve wiebe's

All right.
I'll talk to you later.

Okay. Bye.

Steve: Brian kuh came over,
and he's one of the guys

that came to my house
that fateful afternoon

to check out my machine.

Kuh: We're about to pass
520,000 on one man.

So we really have, uh,
have a memorable game here
at the funspot tournament.

And maybe... maybe
I'll skip dinner
and squeeze in a game,

and we'll come back
with the score on there.

Come right in, Brian.Yep.

That ape
is very, very cunning,

and he will do
what he needs to to stop you.

I couldn't get up
fast enough, and
it got me on the left.


I scored 229,000 points.

Pretty weak game, considering I
played a few already.

A little bit half
than what Steve scored,

and Steve's up again.

All right.
We brought you to qbert.

You dedicated time to it.

You said you'd give up
some of your other vices
in order to practice.

We're not gonna lose.
We're not gonna be disappointed.
We're going there to win.

But I have one project,
one thing far more important.

What I need you
to deliver is this.

What is this?

This is a score that they've
wanted to see for a long time,

and I've held it
for all too long.

You give it to Robert
or you give it to Walter.

You can lose your luggage,
but don't lose the tape.


I'm doing it
just for the fun of it.

When I do an actual score,
I'll do it in person.

He's a very devious person.

He works things out to his end
very well. [Chuckling]

We're really seeing
a great game here.

Uh, it almost... uh, Steve almost
lost a man right there

at the end of that board.

He got a lucky, lucky break.

The randomness went the opposite
way that it usually goes.

And, uh, Steve
is still going here.

[Video game sounds]

Oh. I didn't see that.

Steve wiebe
is on his second man.

He's at 696,000.

Who is this guy? What? This is Steve wiebe.

I just wanna say hi.Yeah. Nice meeting you.

Yeah, you, too.All right.

He could beat it if he...
If he...

He'd have to have
a really good game.

I don't think he knows
the tricks that Billy knows,

but I hear he's very good
on the escalator stage.

Okay. Well, right now
Steve wiebe has 870,000 points

on an active game
of donkey Kong.

Uh, if he clears
a few more boards,

he's gonna have a shot
at getting to the kill screen.

Uh, as far as I know,
no one has ever achieved
the kill screen

on the donkey Kong machine
at funspot.

Numerous classic games, they
all have something in common.

They have an end
to the game play.

There's not quite enough memory
for the final board.

And it's called a "kill screen"
because basically,

there's no way
to finish the level.

And some sort of random data,
or code, inside the program,

ends up getting used
for what you see on the screen.

Donkey Kong is really strange
in that it actually lets you

play the fi... um,
the kill screen level

for maybe five seconds or so.
Everything looks normal,

and then, suddenly,
Mario just up and dies on you.

The people who could get
besides myself,

that have been seen getting
to the end of donkey Kong...

Gee, now that I think about it,
I don't think anybody has.

If anybody wants to see,
there's a donkey Kong
kill screen coming up.

There's a donkey Kong
kill screen coming up

if anybody wants to watch.

You got to be able
to perform in the show

with someone who's a contender

staring straight at you,
staring at the game,

possibly even playing mind games
with you.

I mean, it's all...
It's part of being a champion.

You have to overcome it.

There's a potential donkey Kong
kill screen if you wanna watch.

I can tell
he's not on my side.

He's one...
He's a disciple of, uh, Billy.

This is, uh... you know, he's
gonna have to play it perfectly.

He's at the hardest part
of donkey Kong.

And, uh, you know,
it's not gonna get any easier.

So we may have
an exciting moment here

or, you know,
the pressure may get to him.

One of those random elements
might happen.

Uh, sounds like
he just cleared another board,

but we could have a wild barrel
or some aggressive fireballs.

I thought I was gonna be
the first funspot kill screen.

And then, I had...
I had three fireballs trap me.

I had the hammer in my hand.
They still got me.

So anything can happen
in donkey Kong.

So, uh, for someone else
to beat me to the kill screen

would be a let down,
but let's see what happens.

Maybe he'll... maybe he'll crack
under the pressure,

and maybe I'll get my chance
to do it first.

There's a donkey Kong
kill screen might be coming up,

if anybody wants to see it.

Hey, Todd,
if you're interested,

there might be
a donkey Kong kill screen

in a couple of minutes.

Steve: I think the energy
kind of picked me up.

I was feeling kind
of like a zombie

in the middle of the game.

But towards the end,
I got, you know,

a little bit of a natural rush
going from the crowd

and the excitement.

So that kind of boosted me

and put me over the top
to complete the game.

The kill screen.
The kill screen kicked in.

This is
the highest donkey Kong
score done in public.

Kuh: Um, Walter day
stated that this was
the highest score ever done,

and this is
the first kill screen

achieved on funspot's machine.

Uh, Steve wiebe has become
the third person

to reach
donkey Kong's kill screen.

[Crowd applauding]

Day: This is completely
hard verification.
You know what I mean?

There's nothing stronger
than having it be done
in front of a crowd.

The process,
it stands for itself.

He did it in front
of all of us,
but this solves

any kind of doubt that there
could have ever been.

♪ around,
nothing's gonna ever... ♪

Now you'll get all the accolades
you deserve and that's...

That's just the way it is
but, you know...

So it's good.

Kuh: And I guess
there was kind of like

an impromptu press conference
after the...

After the score happened.

There were, you know...
There were cameras
on the game.

There were cameras
on Steve wiebe.

There were cameras
on the crowd
looking at Steve wiebe.

I didn't get an exact count
of the people.

There were a lot of other
witnesses in the crowd

and people watchin' it,
so, you know,

we have a verified
score on a legitimate
donkey Kong machine

for Steve wiebe now.

We just got off
the Internet,

where I logged on the front page
of the twin galaxies web site

the news story that Steve wiebe
just scored 985,600 points,

which, essentially,
is the officially recognized

first place score
on the web site.

So he's been announced
as the world champion.

We'll see what happens now
with Steve putting the pressure
back on Billy Mitchell.

Kuh: Thank you.

I think it
hit him pretty hard.

Thank you
for volunteering your phone.

This was
an important call to...

Man: Oh, no, no.
I understand that.

Yeah, I can imagine.

He probably
wasn't real thrilled.

Kuh: Yeah, he said,
now his playing out the tape

that he submitted is more
important, uh... more important
than ever, I guess.

Don't share that with
anybody.Man: No... I... well, obviously.

We've got everybody
on the invitation-only list.

And, uh, you know what?
Walter is here.

We're just kind of, you know,
tellin' jokes and havin' fun.

- Um, who's there?
Like Todd and Duane?
- Yeah.

What I mean is,
it's probably a good idea,
like, if I say hi to Todd?

Actually, would you believe
he's in the middle
of a... of a lady bug game.

I don't think
we wanna interrupt.

We have a lady bug cabaret
in the cabin,

and Todd's got
a score going.

Okay, we're gonna get Walter
on the phone.

Man: Um,
a couple of hours ago,
we were all up at funspot,

and, uh, Brian kuh said

that Billy, um, had a delivery
for us here at the cabin.

Crowd: Oh!

Brian kuh, he's kind of like...

He's kinda like
really good friends with Billy.

He talks to him
all the time.

Um, he said everybody is gonna
wanna see what's on the tape.

Brian kuh is there?

He knows everything to do
with the tape.

He knows to guard the tape
with his life.

I explained to him.

He could lose his life,
but don't lose the tape.

Day: Who wants to hear
the announcement?

So even in Florida,
the long arm of Billy Mitchell

has reached in here
to funspot seven

to cause
more interesting developments.

Now, we're gonna start
on this TV screen
the videotape

and, essentially,
if Steve wiebe or Brian kuh

or anybody else can also beat
the score on that tape

by about 4:00
tomorrow afternoon,

he'll give them $10,000, okay?

And we know Billy Mitchell can
pay these promises, too, okay?

Steve: So he has it
while I'm tryin'
to get a million live.

He has it set out
so people, you know, at funspot

can gather around
and... and look at his tape.

Kuh: Okay, here we are.
We got cameras on the screen,

cameras on the crowd.

No one's gonna miss this moment.


Here we go.

We have every eye in the crowd
focused right on your screen.

Everybody is lookin',
every camera's on here.

We're not gonna miss this
for anything.

I don't think
there's any distraction

that can pull everyone away
right now.

Oh, and look at that.

And with the bonus, we have
the first million point game

of donkey Kong.

And the score...
And the score reads zero.

Six zeroes
all the way across.

[Crowd applauding]

Not even Helen of Troy had
that much... much attention.

Billy kinda steal the show,
and he's not even there.

It's kinda the way
they, you know,

were kind of diffusing
what I was going for, you know,

in hyping up Billy's,
you know, videotape.

Day: 1,047,200 points

is the highest score
any have ever seen.

I don't know. I suppose Walter's
got to get in that office

to that computer now,
doesn't he?

Okay, um, go ahead and, uh...

Go ahead and hand Walter
the phone real quick.

Hi, Billy.

Pretty good.
It's all been wonderful.

Billy's probably
the closest person

to being a jedi
of any of the players,

and he refers to it with humor
as "Obi-Wan Kenobi-ing" people.

Steve wiebe
not having the opportunity

to view anything
that bill Mitchell does.

I mean, bill Mitchell plays
at a great advantage.

When Billy Mitchell
is watching

Steve's world-record
winning tapes,

he's in a position
to study Steve's technique.

When the man says,
"I wanna see your papers,"

and Obi-Wan Kenobi goes,

"you don't need
to see our papers,"

and suddenly the guy says,
"you can go.

I don't need
to see your papers."

Man: You saw the tape,
which is no doubt a copy

because I'm sure
he didn't send the master.

He's gonna send a copy
or the master to Rob mrcuzek,

who is the chief referee
of twin galaxies.

I try to promote twin galaxies
as "integrity above all."

Um, I will do that
with my dying breath.

And if a gamer knowingly cheats
or tries to put one past us,

we will make sure that the score
is not recognized.


Did the gamer pause at any time?

Illegal glitches
or glitch abuse.

Did they cheat?

Did they pause the game
after the load-up

for the purpose
of using a flying erase head

to then reload the game
at different settings?

I gotta look for things
like that.

This tape may be done
in a week, week and a half,

to answer your question.

All these wonderful games
are fixed to the left.

Walter is entering this
into the Internet
as we speak.

Day: Well, Billy Mitchell
is being upgraded.

We're officially submitting
his score.

Kuh: Oh, 1,047,000
and how much, Billy?

Was it 200 or 300?Two hundred.

That's what I thought.

Right on the barrels, yeah.

Steve: It's kind of ironic
that he went...

He was a guy that pushed
for live scores all the time.

And now here I am at funspot
busting my ass
to get a live score

and he just submits
taped scores now
and then gets the record.

[Phone ringing]

[Sighs] World record
headquarters. Can I help you?

If this score, this "donkey
Kong" defines Billy Mitchell,

then why could he not find time
in his life to go to funspot?

Steve did.
Steve has a job.

Steve has a family.
Steve has kids.

He went. Why can't Billy?

Thompson: I think he feels
that pressure to, um,

to meet people's
expectations of him,

and he puts a lot of pressure
on himself,

and if he doesn't succeed,

I think he feels
like he's failed them.

And he feels that deeply,
I think.

If I were to break a million,
he wanted to maybe show that,

you know, I've already done it

because no one knows
that I've done it, too.

[Drums playing]

Steve: I haven't really thought
too much about, um...

You know, the... the controversy.

I've kind of let it go since
i, you know, I went to funspot,

did... did my best.
Got my score up.

I've been killing myself
for like...

With school 12 to 14 hours,

prepping three classes
and grading... every...
Every day after school.

Almost there till eight.

Day: A lot of my songs
are like big rock songs,

with lots of guitars in them,
lots of layers of vocals.

Here's one called "three lies."
I'm gonna sing this to you guys

in the midst
of this cold summer day.

This is who I really am.

I'm some guy out there
who's supposed to be an artist,

who's up there
just getting wild and crazy.

♪ Didn't I tell you ♪

♪ you, you, you, you ♪

♪ never not to love ♪

'Cause I'm being...
I'm being Mr. Scorekeeper,

and I've been doing it
for 25 years,

so there's all these
automaton things I can turn on.

"Okay. Yes.
And the reason for this is that

and that the reason for that
is this,"

now i'm... you know,
I'm ready to...

I'm ready to let it go.

♪ Two lies are more
than plenty ♪

♪ but three lies,
I'll probably be saying ♪

♪ goodbye, love ♪

No matter how many people
get involved in this,

it's still my child,
'cause it came

right out of my psyche,
you know.

But still, the others
are more attached to it,

and they believe
they need it more.

Part of the reason
I'm still here doing it

is for them to help them
have the benefit of this,

or the happiness of this,

so that it can go on
and continue to benefit people.

Because it's
in such a place

that I don't have
to do twin galaxies,

but I really would like
to see it have closure
that's positive.

Boy, I got cold fingers.
It's cold.

I often have people ask me
what my handle is,

what my three initials are.

I mean, come on.
I tell people, "look at me."

What do you think
my three initials were?

If you don't know,
you're not looking hard enough.

Man 1: T.I.E.?


Which one
was I wearing yesterday?

Man 1: The america... man 2: U.S.A.

U.s.a. So I had Latin friends
and I had Canadian friends,

and I always had
to keep the Americans on top.


Man: Hello.
This is a message for Walter.

This is Craig glenday calling
from guinness world records.

Guinness from england called.

They want me
to call them back immediately.


Hello. Craig speaking.

Craig, this is Walter day
with twin galaxies. How are you?

They're announcing to the world
that they trust everything we do

and that they rely
on everything we do

as being true and honest,
and so that's why

they're going with us
as the official scorekeepers

and providers
of electronic gaming content

for their upcoming books.

It's become very complicated.

So to have someone like Walter
and his team

who just know everything
there is to know

about computer games,
um, was for us a godsend.

Since older people
also read your book,

a certain number
of people would care

what the world record
is on donkey Kong.

We look forward
to being part of guinness.

Yeah, yeah. It's just
an, uh, reward to be here,

you know, working
with twin galaxies.

You just recorded a big piece
of twin galaxies' history,

you know?
You saw what it said.

They're announcing to the world
we're the official scorekeepers

and people have
to be verified by us.

Wait until you see
the poster upstairs I just did

to turn the process
of submitting to guinness

into a contest.

When you wanna put a score up

and you wanna have
a title of world champion,

you're competing against
everybody in the world.

You want a title
for your own living room?

Man, I'll send you that title.
Your own arcade?

Man, I'll sign it,
and I'll make up a paper

and I'll send you a plaque.

You want your name in the
guinness book of world records

and in the twin galaxies
international scoreboard?

You have to earn it.
I have to earn it.

There's a lot of scores
I've gotten.

And when the time comes
and the pressure is that hard,

I'll have to do it in a public
forum, as I always have.

[Man speaking]

Is that truthful?

Is that true?
Then we better
get practicing.

The only thing to do is to...

Yeah, go somewhere
and break 1,000,047 live.

And that would be the only way
to do it for sure, you know?

There would be
no gettin' screwed over.

I've got kicked around
like the dog for so long,

I don't trust referees.

This is the contest
that gets them

into the guinness book
of world records,

so they would have
that inspiration.

But as far as my skills, i'm...

Yeah, I'm feeling
on the top of my game.

And I'd love to see bill
defend his title

against Steve weibe,

That'd be great. It's all about
head-to-head competition.

He's kind of one of
my tougher students, he goes,

"yeah. When are you gonna go
kick that guy's ass?"

And I go, "watch your language."

And I go,
"I'm gonna do it here soon."

And if someone is going to break
a classic arcade game record,

they're gonna have
to come prepared.

Maybe that's what I need.

So I can be at my best,
have him there.

♪ Don't lose your grip
on the dreams of the past ♪

♪ you must fight
just to keep them alive ♪

I was hoping Billy
would be there

so we could compete

He's been... always an advocate
of live scores, live scores.

But now, he's all of a sudden
Mr. Videotape.

It just... I mean, I know to win
is, like, so important.

But to blatantly do things
that are against the rules

and know in your heart
that you didn't do it correctly

and get credit for it...

We know what kind of...
Is there any satisfaction there?

I don't see...
I don't see any.

I just need one favor from you.

I know it's... of all
you've done for me, I just...

Give me a shot at it
without you, you know,

kind of, bein' my backbone.

I need to, kind of,
attack it by myself.

It says, "good luck, Steve,
in donkey Kong."

All right.Knock 'em dead.

I will.
You will.

Derek: "Work is for people
who can't play video games.

Billy Mitchell."That's right.

Out of the entire global
classic gaming hobby,

there's one significant rivalry

that's equivalent
to the big rivalries in history:

Yankees/red sox, maris/mantle,
heckle and jeckle.

All the big rivalries
of history, you know.

This is up there
on that level.

So Billy Mitchell and Steve
wiebe are going for the top spot

in the forthcoming book
of world records on donkey Kong.

Hello, Billy.
This is Steve wiebe.

I really think
we need to settle this thing.

May the best man win.

So we'll be seein' you
next week.

He knows I'm going to be there.

It's just a skip away.

A hop, skip, and a jog
from his house, so...

There's really no excuse for him
not to be there.

Never leave home
without it:

"How to win
at donkey Kong."

Yeah, so...

[Girl speaking]

The guinness...
A lot of people are...

Yeah, people...
A lot of people read that book.

This is actually, technically,
a weightlifting glove

because I discovered
in the eighties
that you could buy

a weightlifting glove
which was fingerless,

and I use it to... I used it
to play marble madness.

See the double padding?

Occasionally, I use this
to avoid calluses

from certain joystick games.

You can do marble madness,
a track ball all day long.

Excuse me, guy. I got
a celebrity in the car here.

Can I cut in front of
you? Man: Oh, I'm sorry...

Day: Did you get dropped
off? I got dropped off.

Was Billy driving? Billy was driving.

Well, anyway, welcome
to the dodge city
of video games.

Thank you, Walter.
Happy to be here.

Derek: I want this.

I'll get you some
out of there.

[Video game sounds]

What do you need?

In order: 693,500...


[Chuckles] Yeah.


Yeah. Nicole.

Hi. I'm Nicole.

And this is
little Derek, huh?

Steve: Yeah.

I'm afraid if he can't do it,

he's gonna beat himself up
about it.

I don't know
if that's the forum
in which he will be successful.

I mean,
I know he can be successful.

I'm just afraid,
what if it doesn't happen?

What are you guys gonna do?

You gonna go swimming?
That sounds fun.

Okay. Let's go.

I love you.

Bye. Thank you.

Yeah, the longer I wait,
the more, you know,

pressing, I, you know,
I get more nervous.

So if I do it
the first night,
it'll be great.

Steve wiebe is a trouper.

Steve wiebe has come
to three events

to prove himself in the fire
of in-person competition

and under the stress
of having all eyes on him.





Was it "weeb"
or "weebee"?

That's all right.

Well, most twin galaxies
call me "weeb," so... okay.

And that's a common mistake.Is it?

Either that or "wibe."

But at least, you got
the correct pronunciation.

Steve wiebe is
who I wanted to be

when I grew up
playing donkey Kong.

He's quite the player.

♪ Everybody knows
that the dice are loaded ♪

♪ everybody rolls
with their fingers crossed ♪

♪ everybody knows
the war is over ♪

♪ everybody knows
the good guys lost ♪

♪ everybody knows
the fight was fixed ♪

♪ the poor stay poor ♪

♪ the rich get rich ♪

♪ that's how it goes

♪ everybody knows ♪

Well, maybe they'd like it
if I lose.

I got to try losing some time.

Oh, I can break a million.
I've done it.

I've been on pace...
Two games I got to 850.

I thought I was gonna do it,
and I just got...
Just in a bind.

♪ Is leaking ♪

♪ everybody knows
the captain lied ♪

♪ everybody got
this broken feelin' ♪

♪ like their father
or their dog just died ♪

Does this have my name
on the back or something?

Man: What does it say?

[Sighs] It says, "you have
a yearning for perfection."

Because he's
in, um, his own business,

it's very flexible for him.

He can go over to the school
for events.

He was at an easter egg hunt
the other day.

'Cause he'll... he'll come
in the office someday

and they'll say, "geez,
where is Billy today?"
"Billy's not here."

I told him last night
that he had to come,

that there's no reason for him
not to be here.

He says, "I have 15 reasons
why I can't come."

I said, "they're all b.S."
This is after 1:30
in the morning.

I said, "they're all b.S.
'Cause I have 15 reasons

why you have
to be here tomorrow."

He had a chance to play him
in funspot this year.

He had a chance to play him
in pompano beach.

He had a chance to play him
at California extreme.

That's three of 'em
I can think of right there.

Man: Why wouldn't
he play against Steve?

'Cause he's afraid
he's gonna lose.

Steve: I traveled 3,000 miles
to give myself a chance

to get the world record
and be in guinness.

I hope he can, at least,
come 10 miles

and put his game on the line,
so you make the call.

Where are you?

All right, well, we're,
like, we're all here.

We're all seated and getting
ready to order, so...

Um, okay, let me go down
the list here.

We got Tom Rogers
and his girl.

We got Shawn, Fran,
Jason, and...

That's fair, isn't it?


Man: I'm real sorry he's not...
He didn't come.


Well, you know,
Mark and Steve showed up

unexpectedly and uninvitedly,

but hard to keep them away.Man: Yeah.

And bill just doesn't want
anything to do with him.


All right. See you.

Man: He's got a plan,
so when he comes out

because Billy is Billy,
you know.

And he's gonna come out
with a bang.

Oh, Billy Mitchell
always has a plan.


He likes to keep secrets.Yeah.

He likes surprising people.

He likes... he likes people
seein' him do the unexpected

and say,
"oh, boy, I didn't realize

"you were gonna do
something like that, bill."Yup.

That's how he is.

It's annoying
when somebody's ahead of you.

You know, when you're
not the lead dog,
the view doesn't change,

and I always wanted
the view, so...

He's got
the Roy shildt excuse.

He's got... you know,
he's not gonna show up.

I've heard a lot of talk
of Billy Mitchell,

and I've heard a lot of talk
of strange videos and things.

But I haven't heard much
in the way of him

getting in front
of a camera crew or people

and winning a record
in front of people.

I haven't heard about that yet.
Maybe he did that 25 years ago.

But I haven't heard of him
doing it lately,

and it makes
you wonder why not.

[Video game sounds]

We got him here.
He's here.

Hey, Billy.

Mitchell: Video games
are meant to be played

in a competitive environment,
under pressure, organized,

where you have to perform
literally on demand.

[Man speaking]

Never. Never.

And when you do that,
you have far more credibility

than someone who says,
"oh, I did that last week."

No matter
how good you play tennis,

no matter how good
you play golf,

if you don't play
when you have to play,

if you don't play
when the pressure's on,

you're really
not good enough.

♪ Everybody knows
the deal is rotten ♪

♪ old black Joe's
still pickin' cotton ♪

♪ for your ribbons and bows ♪

Steve: I can handle losing
if he would, at least,
compete against me.

I'm not afraid to lose.

I'm just some no-name guy
from Washington.

Billy is trying to live up
to this image

of being the greatest ever in...

So he's afraid that if he loses,
that's gonna tarnish him.

Steve: Yeah, that was
the game before this.

♪ But just a shining artifact
of the past ♪

♪ everybody knows
the scene is dead ♪

♪ but there's gonna be a... ♪

It's been three days, man,

and the fatigue's
starting to set in,

this mentally,
this, you know,

starting over,
it takes a toll on you.

♪ Everybody knows ♪

♪ everybody knows ♪

♪ everybody knows ♪

♪ that's how it goes ♪

Day: Steve wiebe, I think,
is a very straight shooter.

This is the last day, isn't it?

I think that he gets influenced
sometimes by people,

and, uh...
And that's probably
one of his lessons...

To be stronger in himself.

You know what I mean?
We all have lessons.


Yeah, I'm gonna break then.

Last start? Okay.


Oh, here it is.
This is the last shot.

[Piano playing]

[Piano continues]

[Piano stops]

["Game over" music playing]

I'm done.

It's so heart-breaking.

I guess it's not even
about donkey Kong anymore.

It's... man: What's it about?

Just, uh... I don't know.

It's become
just a game and trying...

For me, trying to get
a score recognized...

And trying to beat this empire
that I'm trying

to break through
and get a fair chance.

'Cause he is not cunning
and manipulative and mean.

He is
a decent person at heart.

In the end...
[Voice breaking]

That's all that matters.

In a funny sort of way,
it's like being the king

and having the advisers
speak their opinions

but then trying to choose
the right answer

and the right path of action
based on the advice.

I think that Steve wiebe has
to be viewed on his own merit

and not on anything alleged
which may have happened.

Steve wiebe feels fine to me.
Doesn't he to you?

Steve wiebe,
could you come up here?

[Man speaking]

- Is it Steve "weebee"?
- Yeah. "Weebee."

- All right.
- That's okay.

For some reason, I keep thinking
it's "weeb." Sorry.

The thing about Steve
is Steve is special.

Steve has gone through
a long history

that don't need
to burden you with,

but I just want to tell you that
I wanted to congratulate you
and shake your hand again,

that as far as I'm concerned,
you are a top player

worthy of the highest regard
from twin galaxies,

and we're very honored
to receive your videotapes

at any time you wanna
record them and send them to us

because we think, uh...

We think your skill set
is on the highest level,

and you're a member
of the family and you're great.

And so you're okay.
You're great, you're...

You make me feel,
uh, really... you're a great performer.


I can only
speak for myself,

but I... I've talked
with Steve,

I talked to his wife,
I talked to his kids,

I've met with him,
talked to him in detail.

And speaking for myself,
I have no question

about his integrity,
his ability,
or anything else.

I mean, he's proven
himself not just
as a donkey Kong player,

but really
as a person of...

Of somebody
who really desires
to do the right thing.

Man: You agree with...
I mean, his...

I'm not familiar enough
with the situation.


I feel I won, that I tried,

and I hope people
will remember it, you know,

this... empty his name tag here.

After I returned from the trip,
Walter e-mailed me

and had these words:

"Steve, your donkey Kong
accomplishment was fantastic.

"After soul searching,
we at twin galaxies

"wish to apologize to you for
such inconsiderate treatment.

"We look forward
to your future exploits

"and are excited
about the amazing
high-score breakthroughs

"you'll be bringing
to the donkey Kong community.

Blessings and friendship.
Walter day."

So that's his, um...

The way he wanted to bring peace
to this situation.


Is it cold?

He was searching, you know?
He was... he wanted something,

and I wanted that for him
'cause I wanted him to be happy.

So now, I see that.

Don't do that.

Do it again. Aah!


♪ Oh, yeah ♪

♪ I wanna go back
to my hometown ♪

♪ I'd be a big shot,
be a little star ♪

♪ and drive the best car
off the lot ♪

♪ I wanna be your lucky winner ♪

[Music stops abruptly]

Baby! New high score!

["Ride of the valkyries"

Captioning performed by
transcription & captioning