Splatterhouse: Chicago woman sets new arcade game world record
by Patrick Scott Patterson
Originally published October 21, 2013
The cult classic beat-em-up Splatterhouse has a new world record champion.
Caitlin Oliver, a 30-year-old Chicago native, achieved the new record score of 493,700 points on Saturday, October 19 while playing live at Windy City destination Galloping Ghost Arcade. Oliver's new mark, which was set during a live internet broadcast, shatters the previous record mark of 373,100 points set last year at the same location by Anthony Paparo, according to the Aurcade high score database. The score has been submitted to longtime world record adjudicators Twin Galaxies for complete verification.
Caitlin's new world record mark makes her the first woman in years to set a world record on a video arcade game. It also marks the latest chapter in a longtime history with the Namco classic.
"I first got my hands on Splatterhouse as a young girl," she recalled. "My father picked up a TurboGrafx-16 for me one lucky Christmas and he was always good about letting me pick out a game to rent for the weekend at the local video rental stores. Once I got it home I was totally hooked. Gross monsters, corpses, skeletons; it had it all."
Oliver also stated that she believes her interest in the game tied into her love for horror films starting at an even younger age.
"I was a pretty weird little girl," she said. "If you ask my mother she'll tell you that my favorite movie as a child was Night of the Living Dead. Supposedly, if it was on TV and you changed the channel away from it I'd start crying until you turned it back on. That's according to her, I personally have no recollection of that at all, but I'd believe it."
Originally, the idea of pursuing a world record score is not something Oliver considered until it was suggested by a friend while playing at the Galloping Ghost one evening. After thinking of Steve Wiebe's story in 2007 film The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, she said he decided to prepare to take a shot.
"Nobody starts out as a world record holder, you have to work at it," she stated. "I didn't expect to get it so quickly after making the decision to go for it, however it helps that I spent about 20 years before it playing the TurboGrafx version. There were certain parts that I knew were my actual weak points and I had to figure out the mechanics to work on those."
Caitlin's record-setting performance was not the first time she broke the record on Saturday night. By the time she set her 493,700 point score she had already defeated Paparo's record with a score of 405,100 before deciding to push the score higher.
"The first time I finished, when I initially topped Anthony's score, I thought my heart was going to pound straight through my chest," Oliver said. "It was possibly the most intense rush of adrenaline I've ever felt in my life. It was unreal to have decided to work to accomplish something and proceed to become the best in the world at something. Utterly incredible feeling. I nearly ran outside for a cigarette afterwards."
Oliver states her new Splatterhouse record has received a great deal of support from others in the arcade gaming community.
"The huge outpouring of support from everyone, including hall of fame level arcade players, gamers everywhere, friends, family, has been overwhelming and was completely unexpected," she added. "It was one of the greatest moments in my life and everyone supporting me helped make it feel like that. The deepest gratitude from the bottom of my heart."
Caitlin Oliver also added that she might not be done setting arcade records as of yet. The owner of the arcade suggested Sega's Altered Beast as her next potential world record target.
Less than 24 hours after this story went worldwide, picked up by a great deal of mainstream media including Fox News, MSN and Kotaku, Paparo regained the record with a score of 515,800 points.
Not to be outdone, Caitlin returned the favor on Wednesday night, October 23 and regained the record with 533,600 points.