While some of us may consider ourselves useful when playing some old-school games, there are few that are legitimately world-beating retro gamers. Dr. Hank Chien is one of the elite, as he's the record holder for the original Donkey Kong arcade title, an honour that he currently holds despite constant competition from fellow retro masters such as Steve Wiebe and Billy Mitchell.
Having already surpassed one million points, Dr. Chien has now set yet another improved record to raise the bar on the classic arcade title. His new total is 1,110,100 points, and as he explained to video game historian Patrick Scott Patterson he knows that he can do better, and will need to do so in order to keep the record.
This was not a killscreen game. I died two screens shy of the killscreen so my score would have been a little higher, perhaps 1.12 million points. I had a spare man going into Level 21 and was mentally preparing to sacrifice it on the last barrel board and my game was over a few minutes later. That's how Donkey Kong rolls sometimes.
I know currently there are several players who are capable of beating that score. If there was still a Donkey Kong in every pizza parlor I'm sure I wouldn't have the record. I don't know what my limits are on this game. Right now it's about 1.15 million points.
We rather like Dr. Chien and the continuing battle for the Donkey Kong record. We interviewed the champion last year, and let's not forget that Nintendo Life user Blackflag82 won our competition to design the official Team Chien t-shirt: it was rather snazzy, we must say.