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Marathon gamer sets record for longest run on a single quarter: 85 hours

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

The games may be more than 30 years old but the hardcore record-hunters of the classic arcade gaming scene still find new marks to shoot for. And John Salter now has two world records to his name.

Salter, of Oakland, Ohio, played 1980's Armor Attack (pictured) for 85 hours, 16 minutes on a single credit, reports Patrick Scott Patterson. Salter's time beat the old mark of 84 hours, 48 minutes, which George Leutz set on a single credit with Q*Bert in early 2013.

In playing that long, Salter also racked up a score of 2,211,990, which beats Armor Attack's previous world record of 2,009,000—- a record that had stood since Sept. 25, 1982.

Salter began play on Wednesday morning and ended yesterday. Eighty-five hours is more than three days straight, and Salter did not take it on without sleep. His play allowed him to build up huge reserves of extra lives, and he would let them be killed off as he took short naps every eight to 12 hours, before resuming. And yes, he also got up to use the bathroom.

Leutz's endurance record was set in pursuit of the high score in Q*Bert, and it took him four tries to set the mark - including one attempt that ended when someone kicked a power cord elsewhere in the arcade and the surge reset his machine. On Feb. 18, 2013, Leutz finished his 84:48 run, amassing a score of 37,163,080 to topple the Q*Bert all-time high score by more than 4 million.

Salter also had a run at Armor Attack's record scuttled by a malfunction. In Denver last November, his run ended when a button stopped working after more than a million points had been scored.

Recently, Victor Sandberg of Sweden attempted to play Missile Command for 100 hours on a single credit, but his run ended at 71 hours and 41 minutes due to fatigue.

Armor Attack was a vector-graphics game (with a monitor overlay) made by Cinematronics. It was entirely button-controlled — no joystick.

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