Long Live the King: Hank Chien sets new Donkey Kong record

Donkey Kong record holderThe Once and Future King of Donkey Kong, plastic surgeon Dr. Hank Chien, has shattered his own record and once again can claim the title of world record holder, after scoring 1,110,100 points on the Donkey Kong arcade game.

Arcade game high score holders rise and fall all the time, but the Donkey Kong record has special meaning for gamers partly because of the history of the 1981 game itself, but also because of the 2007 film, The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters. The film highlighted the challenging, and often intense competition surrounding the men that all vied for the high score in Donkey Kong.

Chien is a relative latecomer to the competition, at least compared to Steve Wiebe and Billy Mitchell, the primary focuses of the film. Chien set his first world record in March of 2010, knocking off then champ Mitchell. That record didn’t last long though, as Wiebe set yet another high score soon after.

In January of 2011, Chien took the title back from Wiebe with a high score of1,068,000, then last week Chien beat his own record with the new high score. 

“This was not a killscreen game,” Chien told the Examiner. “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.”

Knowing the clout surrounding this game, you can be sure that others are already contemplating how to take the title from Chien. But he’s not done yet. 

 “I don’t know what my limits are on this game,” Chien said in a recent interview. “Right now it’s about 1.15 million points.”