To be the best you have to beat the best, even if that means beating yourself. On 27th February, current Donkey Kong champion Hank Chien did just that.
Nearly a year after he originally broke the record for the highest score on a Donkey Kong arcade machine, the New York surgeon has surpassed his best score, making Steve Wiebe, Billy Mitchell and others' task of usurping him all the more difficult. Twin Galaxies ― the world's official video game scorekeeper ― has announced that the new record now stands at 1,090,400 points as of Friday, 11th March. On beating his previous score of 1,068,000 points set back in January, Chien reveals:
I actually haven't changed my strategy much since my last game. In my previous games, I would always get nervous towards the end, lose confidence and start playing conservatively thereby losing potential points. In this attempt, I had a spare man late into the game, so I was able to play more confidently through most of the game. Surprisingly, even with the spare man, I was still a bit nervous towards the end and shifted a gear down. In addition, I had a great start and lots of points from my lost jumpmen, so I was able to push my score up significantly.
The record was set on a machine at the Funspot arcade in New Hampshire, the very machine that was featured in the 2007 documentary The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters. Chien himself stars in an upcoming documentary that details the motivation behind his entry into the pages of Donkey Kong history. Entitled Doctor Kong, the short film's first screening was met with positive reaction and future screenings are planned at various film festivals and gaming events; of those confirmed, are Midwest Gaming Classic, Funspot 13, and the Kong Off which takes place between 19th-20th March at Richie Knucklez Arcade Games in Flemington, NJ.
Head over to our Dr. Hank Chien Interview to find out what it's like being on the competitive gaming circuit.