Wes Copeland breaks Donkey Kong Arcade world record

Wes Copeland has beaten the world record Donkey Kong high score with a perfect 1,218,000 points

Very few games can be beaten with a perfect high score. But as of May 5th, 2016, Wes Copeland has achieved as close to a perfect high score as anyone has come for the 1981 arcade classic: Donkey Kong.

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The video above features a 3-hour long video of the record-breaking feat with a final score of 1,218,000 points. This is 47,500 points more than Copeland’s previous score of 1,170,500 points, and 45,900 points more than the previous record holder, Robbie Lakeman, with 1,172,100 points.

While many players have played Donkey Kong on re-releases, the arcade version is actually unique in that it actually has an “end” in the sense that a coding error results in a kill screen after a certain amount of repetitions. As a result, a maximum high score is possible with the original machines.

In an interview with IGN, Copeland told them that his latest high score was partially the result of luck.

“It could conceivably be beaten with a lot of luck […] […] I think that’s what it’s going to come down to. I’ve stopped playing because I think if I sat down and played every day for the next five years, I still don’t think I’d be able to beat this score. It’s the equivalent of playing poker and being dealt 10 royal flushes in a row.”

The aforementioned ‘luck’ aspect likely has to do with the game’s random generation of obstacles. While stages and traps remain the same, the obstacles Donkey Kong throws at Jumpman — as well as powerup spawns — are at least in part randomly generated. As such, the score of 1,218,000 points may never be reached again.

That is… until someone decides to try to match it.


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David Fisher
Author, GameSkinny columnist, and part-time childhood destroyer. David W. Fisher (otherwise known as RR-sama) is a no B.S. reviewer and journalist who will ensure that you get as close to the facts as humanly possible!