News Article

Warcraft-Loving Canadian Almost Becomes The King Of Kong

Posted by Damien McFerran

Vincent Lemay just 2,700 points shy of Hank Chien's record

There are plenty of vintage video games out there which tempt modern-day players to accomplish a record-breaking score, but Nintendo's Donkey Kong seems to get more attention than most - thanks largely to the amazing 2008 documentary film King of Kong, which charted the titanic battle between Billy Mitchell and Steve Wiebe to grab the world record.

Since the film was released, a new king has been crowned: Dr. Hank Chien. Chien has been top of the pile for quite some time now, but his dominance clearly isn't assured - as the arrival of a new name on the Donkey Kong circuit proves.

French Canadian Vincent Lemay - who was something of a World of Warcraft lover before turning his attention to stopping massive apes - posted a score of 1,135,900, which is just 2,700 points short of Chien's own personal best. It puts Lemay in second place in the world rankings, just behind Chien and in front of former champs Mitchell and Wiebe.

Lemay has since spoken exclusively to Patrick Scott Patterson, and explained how he got involved with the game:

I obviously didn't grow up in the arcade environment. One day, I asked my father what he used to play and he answered with Donkey Kong.

Donkey Kong has been such a pain for me in the past years. As everyone, I have a love/hate feeling with that game. Most of the time, I hate this game, but once in a while, I get a love feeling from that game, and that's all I need to keep trying to push my high score higher! But despite coming short of the record, I am extremely happy of my score.

Lemay clearly isn't lacking in confidence, and says that he hopes to not only smash Chien's record, but also achieve a score which will stand the test of time:

My goal with this game is 1.2 million points. Hank told me if the record is above 1.17 million he won't try to beat it, though I'm sure he would sooner or later. No one has achieved it yet.

Could we see a new King of Kong crowned in the near future?

[via patrickscottpatterson.com]

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User Comments (26)

WhiteTrashGuy

#3

WhiteTrashGuy said:

I read that the KING OF KONG team were making a sequel, but they had to change it up once Dr. Chien got involved. (Much like they did with the first film, which was originally supposed to be about classic gaming) Does anyone know what's going on with that?

hydeks

#4

hydeks said:

wahoo for canada!!! :) It'll be awesome if a fellow Canadian was King of Kong :)

NintyMan

#5

NintyMan said:

Whether it's sports or video games, the champion always has to watch out for the next guy coming to topple him.

Scollurio

#6

Scollurio said:

I just don't get how someone can be so comitted to a game as old and as boring as this. I know retro and all, but still at the end of the day I'd find a million better things to do... and even if it is just doing my tax... :D

Vincent_Lemay

#7

Vincent_Lemay said:

Hey everyone, this is Vincent Lemay! Thanks for the kind comments ;-).

Scollurio: Me neither, I have no idea how I was able to spend 4 years of my life to play that game! haha. Donkey Kong is frustrating, but addictive! haha.

Kyloctopus: Haha, don't feel bad for me ;-). I'm very good friend with Hank Chien, and being that close to his record is pretty funny actually (but I'm still gonna kick his butt soon, hopefully! ;-)).

WhiteTrashGuy: I heard rumors about a sequel of KoK... but I think it's only rumors. We'll see!

Hydeks: There's also another canadian (Jeff Willms), and he won the last Kong Off (held in Denver, Colorado (a DK competition with all the best DK players). Canada represents! haha ;-).

I'm often streaming/talking about Donkey Kong on my Facebook. If you're interested, be free to friend me, and if you have any question regarding Donkey Kong, it will be my pleasure to talk with you!

https://www.facebook.com/vlemay3

aaronsullivan

#8

aaronsullivan said:

@Scollurio
Boring? Mastery of just about anything is highly involved and means pushing yourself to your limits. Some video games offer very little but Donkey Kong has enough randomness and difficulty that simple memorization isn't an option. Good luck mastering your taxes though, I hope you beat your record. :)

gefflt

#9

gefflt said:

Nice to see some recognition of a fellow French Canadian!
Beau travail; keep it up! :)

Vincent_Lemay

#10

Vincent_Lemay said:

@aaronsullivan
You're totally right. This game might looks easy, but it's such a pain! So much randomness is involved, which means that every single game is different than the others. It usually takes people months to reach the end of the game (kill screen), and definitely more than a year just to break 1m. You gotta love playing this game if you want to score high! ;-).

Vincent_Lemay

#11

Vincent_Lemay said:

@gefflt Thank you, I appreciate ;-). Spending years playing that game, it's always heart-warming (if that word exist, haha) to be congratulated by other people like you ;-).

WiiLovePeace

#12

WiiLovePeace said:

Awesome! I greatly enjoyed King of Kong, & hence it would be awesome if all this action from others gets whoever made the documentary to make a King of Kong II :D Congrats on the amazing high score, keep going! :D (NL should do an interview with this guy)

TheRavingTimes

#14

TheRavingTimes said:

Playing Donkey Kong today it feels slow-paced but for it's time there's no denying that it was the best for it's time.

AyeHaley

#15

AyeHaley said:

Kudos to the cute guy :3 I'm glad there are places on the web where he doesn't get bashed. (I'm looking at you Kotaku)

gojiguy

#16

gojiguy said:

Donkey Kong is on fire in the past few years.

TOO BAD NINTENDO REFUSES TO RE-RELEASE IT ANYWHERE. HA. HA. HA.

gblock

#17

gblock said:

Congrads on almost getting there V, that short I'm sure you'll get there soon :)

gojiguy, I wouldn't mind seeing them release a 2d/3d redo (not remake) of it (with DK Jr and DK3(in the same graphic style as New Super Mario Bros) with the original arcade versions as well, and make it a bundle. You'd figure with all the press the original DK is getting, that the Big N would try to capitalize on it...

ReshiramZekrom

#19

ReshiramZekrom said:

Yay! Canadian! *Starts to hum Canada's national anthem

It would be nice to see a Canadian set a record on DK and then have it featured in the Gamer's Edition of Guinness World Records. I'd be grinning my face off.

MAB

#22

MAB said:

Billy Mitchell probably sabotaged your game with a faulty microchip or something... We will blame Billy ;) everyone else does.

Scollurio

#23

Scollurio said:

Grats to Vincent and what the hell about the people trying to make fun of me just because I don't enjoy repetitive chores? Obviously mastering something is pushing yourself to the limits and being involved and YES it IS boring. Being able to play guitar perfectly is FUN, getting their probably not so, especially in the beginning when youre only practicing single chords over and over without the feeling of acomplishment when you play a song the first time "nice to the ear".

I can respect one's decision to play a boring old game over and over, it just isn't my kind of thing to do. Thats all.

Did you know there's people that collect their navel-fluff in jars? Talking about mastering a thing...

A1234

#24

A1234 said:

Vincent, were you one of the MAME players? where is this score posted? for what company? congrats on the arcade score!

Vincent_Lemay

#25

Vincent_Lemay said:

@ZIMMS I retired from MAME playing at least a year ago! haha (I now have my own cabinet at home).
This score, well, is posted on the official Twin Galaxies scoreboard (but the website is unavailable for the moment). You can search for Twin Galaxies on Facebook though!
At the Kong Off 2, a MAME player named Jeff Willms kicked everyone's butt by doing 1,105m, haha. It was his first time playing on a real arcade machine, so HUGE props for him, it's definitely an amazing achievement to do it live ;-).

Drawdler

#26

Drawdler said:

Ahh, I love arcade games! I've never played a true cabinet one, but I have played some ports of them. A lot of classic gems there. :) The feeling of getting a great score is wonderful.
I watched King of Kong, that film was awesome. I think a sequel with the newer champions would have potential!
Congratulations on the high score @Vincent_Lemay! :)

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