It was about three to four years ago when I saw the fantastic documentary entitled King of Kong. Most of you probably already know what the movie was about, but for those few of you that don’t, please allow me to explain.
King of Kong is approprately all about the classic arcade game Donkey Kong, specifically, about the on-going competition to see who has the highest possible score recorded. The movie goes through the origins of the original record holder Billy Mitchell, and the story of teacher and musician Steve Wiebe who attempts to break the record playing on an arcade cabinet in his garage.
For two hours, I watched as Wiebe memorized barrel and spring patterns, and played Donkey Kong hours on end trying to rack up more and more points. Every jump, hammer, and life became crucial as he made his way to the “Kill Screen”, in which the game runs out of memory and unofficially ends. You wouldn’t think that it was a compelling story, but it most certainly was!
What made Steve’s story so fantastic and compelling, is that there was this guy who was just a normal person like the rest of us. He had a job, a loving family, and he liked to play video games. By starting on this quest to become the record holder in Donkey Kong, he got swept up into a whole competition that I don’t think anyone was prepared for how serious and ludicrous it would get.
The ending of the King of Kong shows Wiebe finally trumphing and getting the highest score of Donkey Kong recorded at the time. Since the movie’s release though, Wiebe has been dethroned, by Billy Mitchell and by current record holder Hank Chien. Steve also has been known to play Donkey Kong Jr competitively as well, and while he gained the top spot in February 2010, he has lost out on that record as well when Mark Kiehl regained the top spot in April.
Despite losing out on his records, Steve Wiebe is a fun loving guy who is constantly striving to squeeze out just a few more points out of his favorite classic games, and competes many times on stage in front of hundreds of gaming fans. The staff here at g33kWatch even watched his live attempts to get the Donkey Kong record last year at E3 and were riveted at every moment. Our very own Joey V screamed out in shock when the power at E3 went out and ruined Steve’s third attempt.
With E3 coming up next week, and the one year anniversary of the ghost of Billy Mitchell shorting out the power live on the E3 stage, we here at g33kWatch felt it was appropriate to recognize a complete class act in the competitive classic gaming scene. Steve Wiebe, we are happy to make you this week’s G33K of the W33K and look forward to seeing you break more high scores in the future!
Current High Scores
Donkey Kong :: 1,049,100 – 3rd in the World
Donkey Kong Jr. :: 1,190,400 – 2nd in the World
Stampede :: 2,193 – 20th in the World
Twin Galaxies Profile