Wes Copeland retook arcade gaming's most coveted high score with what may be the most perfect game of Donkey Kong ever played.
Copeland, who reclaimed the mark in January only to lose it again in April, set a new all-time, all-platforms (MAME and arcade cabinet) mark for Donkey Kong with a jaw-dropping 1,218,000 on May 5. (The game's score, pictured above, rolls over at 1 million). The mark is 28,200 better than Robbie Lakeman's previous arcade record, set April 11, and is 11,200 better than Dean Saglio's MAME record set Oct. 4, 2013. Copeland was playing on a cabinet.
It's how he took the title, though that's so staggering. Copeland did not lose a single Mario in the game. He took his first life all the way from the first level all the way to the end, cashing in the extra lives to obliterate all comers.
"This will be my last record score," Copeland wrote on Facebook. "I don't believe I can put up a game any higher than this." Copeland had set 1.2 million as his ultimate goal in Donkey Kong, and said he'd retire from competition if he could reach that.
This also may mean the end of the Donkey Kong world record hunt across the board. Lakeman, responding to Copeland, said "I'm not lucky enough. Good enough, but not lucky enough."
Donkey Kong, launched in 1981, is probably the most coveted arcade game world record, certainly since it was= made famous in the 2007 documentary The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, chronicling the rivalry of two others who had held the record (the pair, Steve Wiebe and Billy Mitchell, are now 18th and 19th on the all-time list, respectively.)
A New York doctor, Hank Chien, took the record in 2010 and again in 2011, before Copeland and Lakeman's rivalry saw the mark change hands multiple times over the past four years.
Update: Below is video of Copeland's assault on the record. It took nearly three hours and 20 minutes to accomplish the feat.