Former 'Warcraft' player almost breaks 'Donkey Kong' arcade world record
Originally published January 12, 2013
Hank Chien's long running Donkey Kong world record may be in jeopardy. On Friday, Jan. 11, Quebec gamer Vincent Lemay literally came a hop, skip and jump away from the top rung of the classic arcade ladder.
Playing at a Colorado video arcade, the 21-year-old former World of Warcraft player reached a final score of 1,135,900, just 2,700 points shy of Chien's Donkey Kong record. The score was verified and posted by a nearby scoreboard official, putting Lemay's score in second place, just behind Chien and now well ahead of famed former champions Billy Mitchell and Steve Wiebe.
"I'm a 21-year-old French Canadian who enjoys bodybuilding," Lemay said in an exclusive chat. "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."
According to Lemay, this set him off on a four-year quest to try and reach the world record, first starting with emulated versions of Donkey Kong before moving on to original arcade cabinets.
"Donkey Kong has been such a pain for me in the past years. As everyone, I have a love/hate feeling with that game," he added. "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 also stated that he is not only aiming for Chien's record, but hopes to put it out of reach as well.
"My goal with this game is 1.2 million points," Lemay added. "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."
Lemay isn't the only recent player to blast past the former champions who starred in The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters. Jeff Willms, another Canadian player, recently posted 1.1 million points, which is now good for third place all-time.