King of Kong star Billy Mitchell received some great news from Guinness World Records. They have announced that they are reinstating all of his previously removed high scores, including the first million-point Donkey Kong score. Mitchell has threatened legal action against Guinness multiple times over the past few years, along with Twin Galaxies, who have not amended his standings. It doesn't look like they will backdown either. Mitchell released a statement about the news. He had this to say.
Billy Mitchell has fiercely denied that he cheated using a using a MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator) device. It is widely believed that the original Donkey Kong arcade hardware isn't capable of the image transitioning featured in Mitchell's original video. Twin Galaxies removed all of Mitchell's rankings entirely after concluding that he cheated through a mountain of compiled evidence.
As for Guinness World Records, they apparently either got sick of all the lawsuit business, or they really did find some "compelling" new evidence concerning Billy Mitchell's innocence. Apparently eyewitnesses and "expert testimonials" led to their new decision. Whatever the case may be, Mitchell is over the moon about the news. You can read the Guinness statement below.
"In the light of compelling new evidence received by Guinness World Records, the Records Management Team has unanimously decided to reverse decisions made in April 2018 in regards to videogame high scores achieved by Billy Mitchell between 1982 and 2010... This reinstatement also re-recognizes Mr. Mitchell as the first gamer to reach the kill screen on Donkey Kong (7 November 1982) and first gamer to score 1 million points on Donkey Kong (4 June 2005). Guinness World Records is always open to accepting new evidence for historical achievements, and to reviewing new and existing evidence for disputed titles. In this case, a re-examination of the records in question and the emergence of key eyewitness and expert testimonials led to a reversal of earlier disqualifications and the reinstating of Mr. Mitchell's original records. The records archive has been updated accordingly to reflect this."
Billy Mitchell has maintained his innocence a number of times over the past two years. He claims to not know a whole lot about technology and has thanked his fans for providing him with his own evidence to clear his name. In 2018 he said, "There's a lot of other fun stuff I would rather be doing [than clearing my name]. But if it's a cross I have to bear for a little while, that's okay." It's not clear what else he would have rather been doing, but one can imagine that it has a lot to do with American flag ties and organizing them.
It will be interesting to see if Billy Mitchell continues to go after Twin Galaxies now that Guinness World Records has reversed their earlier judgment. For now, it seems that Twin Galaxies will stand by their original decision, along with the evidence that they have acquired over the years. In the meantime, Mitchell will be letting his hair down and loosening his tie to celebrate. You can check out Billy Mitchell's Twitter post about the event above.