News Article

Hank Chien Breaks Previous DK Record, Climbs Further Up the Ladder

Posted by Trevor Chan

The high score just got higher

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.


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User Comments (19)



Punny said:

He's got it going on like... wait - Nintendo owns that saying now...



Neko_Ichigofan said:

How in the world do you score over 1,000,000 points on the DK arcade game 0_0
my personal best is only 898,500



DarkLloyd said:

H-H-H...Here we go!
So they're finally here, performing for you
If you know the words, you can join in too
Put your hands together if you want to clap
As we take you through this fun-ky rap! HUH!

D. K.! Donkey Kong!

  • He's the leader of the bunch. You know him well.
    He's finally back to kick some tail!
    His coconut gun can fire in spurts
    If he shoots ya, it's gonna hurt!
    He's bigger! faster! and stronger too!
    He's the first member of the DK crew!
    D. K.! Donkey Kong! HEY!
    D. K.! Donkey Kong is here!

This Kong's got style, so listen up dudes!
She shrinks in size to suit her mood!
She's quick n' nimble when she needs to be
She floats in air and climbs up trees!

If you choose her, you won't choose wrong
With a skip and a hop, she's ONE COOL KONG!

D. K.! Donkey Kong!

He has no style, he has no grace
This Kong...has a funny face
He can handstand when he wants to
And stretch his arms out just for you!
In-flate himself just like a balloon

This cra-zy Kong just digs this tune! HEY!
D. K.! (D. K.!) Donkey Kong!
D. K.! (D. K.!) Donkey Kong is here!

He's back again, and about time, too
And this time, he's in the mood!

He can fly real high
with his jetpack on...
With his pistols out, he's one tough Kong!
He can make you smile when you hear his tune...

But, Kremlings beware
'cause he's out after you!
D. K.! Donkey Kong!
D. K.! Donkey Kong!

D. K.! Donkey Kong!
D. K....

Fi-nal-ly, he's here for you!
It's the LAST member of the D. K. crew!
This Kong' strong, it isn't funny!
Can make a Kremling cry out for Mummy!

He can pick up a boulder with relative ease
Makes crushing rocks seem such a breeze
He may move slow; he can't jump high
But this Kong's one heck of a guy! Hehehe...

Come on Cranky!
Take it to the stage!

** Walnuts, peanuts, pineapple smells!
Grapes, melons, oranges, and coconut shells!

Oh, yeah! fades

whos gonna come for me now sucka



shinesprite said:

@BlackFira that was great! You certainly have a superb memory, however my steel trap caught a few minor flaws (eg. "Come on Cranky, Take it to the Fridge!").



DarkLloyd said:

awsome @shrinsprite certainly brings back memorys, sadly i cant remeber if i ever finished that game or not but it was one of my favourites alone side marioparty 3 and goldeneye



Capt_N said:

A Fistful of Dollars stars Clint Eastwood. A Fistful of Quarters is the documentary subtitle. Caught ya red-handed, NintendoLife!

Unless of course, it was a typo...

Edit: Unless I'm unaware of another DK documentary that goes by that name, lol.



Deviant_Mugen said:

What else can you expect from a man whose career involves having dexterous hands? Keep up that lead, Hank...



Capt_N said:

I wonder how much memory the DK rap took up in the N64 cart?

I also wonder if the highest score is allowed to continue after someone reaches the kill screen, if they haven't lost any Marios/Jumpman/Jumpmen during the whole thing. I should watch KoK:FoQ again.



Neko_Ichigofan said:

I went to my local arcade & played some DK Arcade & I scored 932,000
anybody else have a personal best DK Arcade score thats higher?
how long is DK Arcade?
Never-ending 0_0 ?



StarDust4Ever said:

@Rukiafan23: That's really something to boast about - You are pretty good! My personal best is probably in the ballpark of 40,000-60,000. I'm extremely lucky if I manage to save Pauline twice on a single play

PS - I believe there is some sort of kill screen on level 22 or 23 or something. You start playing the barrel stage and moments later Jumpman mysteriously dies for no reason. But I do have a theory about why that occurs: Perhaps at this difficulty setting, there are too many barrels onscreen for the GPU to render them all. When this happens on NES hardware, the enemy sprites flicker to compensate. Perhaps on the original DK hardware, the umteenth sprite just doesn't render at all, but collisions with it are still computed logically. This would create an invisible barrel of death which is humanly impossible to avoid. Perhaps if someone ever did a tool-assisted speedrun, then at the moment of death, the user could back up the simulation a few frames and simply hit the jump button to avoid the invisible barrel. In this way, it may be possible for a game to progress indefinitely, up until a buffer overflow garbles up the 256th stage, aka PacMan style.



Neko_Ichigofan said:

I think it's a bug found in early model games as I've had the same thing happen to me while playing DK Arcade at a local pizza parlor 4 times in a row 0_0
but the one at my local arcade never does that

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