Robert Mruczek – 2008 April 13

Email from Robert Mruczek in response to a request for input on the Donkey Kong Timeline, With his consent, it is posted here without editing. Some comments refer to wording that has been changed in the timeline.

From: Robert Mruczek
Subject: RTM 4TH REPLY - - help with dk timeline?
Date: April 13, 2008 11:02:11 PM PDT
To: Jason Brown

Hi Jason:

I need to state up front and for the record that all comments made by me post-Dec19/06 are made as a gamer and not as a Twin Galaxies staff member.

A few “glaring” mistakes and/or corrections/clarifications/expoundings so far, in no particular order…

1st – 7/18/03

On the FunSpot discussion thread announcing the score, Darren Harris says that Steve Wiebe’s score was made on a “Double Donkey Kong” game. Harris does not publicly disclose the reason for this accusation. Robert Mruczek promises to investigate.

RTM REPLY – this was a key thread that I may have missed or did not take action on ASAP. I found out much later that there was a few non-TG/Funspot forum that Darren and later Dwayne Richard posted on in which this DDK issue was first discussed, outside of my knowledge. After the DKJr score was posted to the TG site, if I remember correctly, Darren was on this thread (RGVAC ?) in which the issue of DDK was first discussed. After the DK 947K was posted, a follow-up to the thread was on this site and the person that actually sold Steve the DDK boardset chimed in and said that he was the one who also sold Steve the DDK. I just wish this non-TG/Funspot thread was brought to my attention much earlier.

Truth be told by the time I found out about it, and after Darren’s previous Funspot forum post in which no definitive investigation resulted, a lot would have been different, or rather could have. Hindsight is a wonderful notion !!

2nd – 2/24/08

Mruczek used this claim to insinuate that the entire Wiebe family are untrustworthy liars. Mruczek does not explain how this demeaning statement directed at Steve Wiebe by one of his own children is evidence of bias of the film.

RTM REPLY – actually my primary intent was to suggest that there was no way that this girl could have on her own came up with that sound byte. Speaking objectively she can barely pronounce Guinness, looks left and right when her moment comes up, and it just does not come off as genuine. Seth and Ed said that Nicole Wiebe and Steve did not coach the kid. They did NOT say they they (Seth/Ed) did the coaching. That question remains open in my mind. Honestly, it seemed a little hoakey. Considering that the “Wipe My Butt” comment that the boy made was actually from an earlier performance and yet they showed it as if it was from his 1.006M performance, I have to think of the old expression “fool me once, shame on you…”

3rd – 7-10/03

He does not say if Mitchell was given any of the extensive documentation and diagramming compiled in the verification process.

RTM REPLY – correct in that Bill never saw the tape, but I did discuss with him the point thresholds to determine if they were feasible. As the highest score yet I needed to ascertain if they were even remotely possible. Little did I know that Bill already had a 1M score stockpiled on tape, and possibly more. That would have solved a lot of problems had he released that tape early on. I know why he did not, or rather I strongly suspect why. Personally, I would have released them, but I divert from the original topic here.

4th – 11/09/03

In subsequent discussion, Robert Mruczek responds by saying he places “a great deal of implicit trust and respect in the integrity of fellow TG Board of Director member, Bill Mitchell.” Mruczek does not contradict the claim that Mitchell is the current record holder, nor does he mention Tim Sczerby.

RTM REPLY – Amazingly even by this time I had yetto receive ANY confirmation from Walter as to the specifics or means of submission for the Tim Szcerby score !!

5th – 2004 (month)

According to Robert Mruczek, Billy Mitchell “submitted” a taped with a score of 1,014,000, but it was never recognized by Twin Galaxies because “it was never formally submitted to TG for consideration”

RTM REPLY – actually this is more like Jul-Aug/04 and coincides with the Lincoln Center event hosted by Graham Leggert on video games. Bill came to NYC, along with Walter and also visiting gamers Ken Sweet and Jennifer Moore. Brian Kuh was present and so was Zach Hample. Bill revealed in front of a large crowd his 1M performance which was actually playing ion the lobby before the show began. Initially Bill was not going to submit this but then he decided what the heck and gave me the tape. This was around the time I also crafted that 29 page Microsoft WORD document highlighting the two 1M scores submitted by Bill and Steve, and before I was 100% sure that a DDK board was previously owned by Steve. The common sense approach was that since no one at TG ever told him he could NOT use a DDK board, and as he definitely used one for the 947K, we could not be 100% sure that he did not use it for one or more of the other three subsequent taped performances, and so the comparative article was put on hold.

Note that I have the article if you are ever curious to see or incorporate into your findings. At the very least it shows no partiality towards either gamer, and shows that TG was all set to announce Steve’s 1M score until the clear evidence of the DDK boardset was verified without a shadow of doubt.

6th – 5/29/04

RTM REPLY – this one is where recollections start to get shaky. This is just a point worth noting. When the 985Kon tape was sent, the second DK submission by Steve, I forget if it was the 947K or 985K that started with 27 credits in the machine, but Chris Ayra pointed out the significance in this…credits in reserve prevent the splash screen from appearing which is key in determining the boardset. If it just says “Nintendo” instead of “Intendo of America”, for example, that’s a huge difference and carries with it some implications. Steve was told of this and the two next submissions did not start with credits in the machine.

7th – 7/04/04

RTM REPLY – it is interesting to note that in the KoK film it is suggested that at the beginning of the film, when Steve “breaks” the record of Bill Mitchell, that this was NOT in fact the very first tape he sent in to TG…it was the fourth. You can even tell from the press announcement footage…Steve looks visibly younger, and it was from the 947K versus the 1.006M. That I was not too fond of as it was a clearcut rewrite of history. The movie also suggests that Steve was the first to crack 1M. This is a sore point with the players involved. What I say below is the recap as I understand it and as I was told. Apparently, Bill had at some point earlier, either after the 985K or 1.006M submission spoke to Steve and informed him that he already had a previous score of 1.014M. The problem was, calling it from a referee perspective, Steve actually submitted the tape whereas Bill did not. I empathize with Bill here greatly, and have a pretty good idea why he withheld the score for so long, nearly a year before Steve turned his in (according to Bill), but the fact remained that this was the first received 1M score on DK. Unfortunately the possibility that it was a DDK score put an asterisk on the performance. That is why, and I forget exactly where, I stated that TG had received a newly submitted score on DK but could not yet reveal the specifics as it was being investogated. I am fairly sure I said that between Jul-Aug/04.

Not too long thereafter, Steve had arranged with Mark Alpiger to post a DVD on Ebay of the 1M performance, marketing it as the 1st 1M on the title. It was clear to me even then that the issue of “who was first” was very important to Steve. As you could see from my write-up article the one that never was published officially, I did not even address this issue as it would detract from the PR impact of having simultaneous 1M submissions to report. However, if Steve’s turned out to be a DDK, an issue that became a reality after I had already written my article, releasing it would have been devastating to TG so it was never formally published. We already had egg on our face once over this matter…twice would have been too much. And so the score was withheld at that time.

8th – 8/15/08

Brian Kuh and Perry Rodgers visit Nicole and Steve Wiebe’s house with research instructions supplied by Twin Galaxies. The nature of the visit is disputed. [ NAME ] is quoted in King of Kong claiming that this visit was made at the request of Billy Mitchell.

RTM REPLY – A few things are understated here. For starters, as I understand it from speaking with Brian, Perry, Bill, Dwayne and Walter, this is pretty much what happened, and you can quote me on this…and anything else stated in my E-MAIL to you.

As the story goes, Brian Kuh was already gung ho to pay a visit to the Ground Kontrol arcade in Portland Oregon, the location where Bill Carlton and others were turning in some impressive marks on Asteroids and Missile Command. Brien at that time I believe was already “retired”…note the quotes as in the here and now (2008) Brian occassionally seeks part-time employment to supplement his gaming hobby, go figure. Anyway, the DK submission of 1.006M hit. The 985K was already being watched for issues, and then the 999.5K came and I still had not been given a green light from Chris Ayra on the 985K. Then the 1.006M came as an announcement from Steve just a few days later. An article on the 985K was written but never published but I never bothered to write one on the 999.5K, not after the 1.006M was announced. Wouldn’t make any sense.

Moving on, Bill apparently talked to Brian about an interesting possibility…since he was already planning on going to the west coast, why not kill two birds with one stone and pay a visit to Steve Wiebe. Originally it was discussed that Dwayne meet brian there but for reasons I can’t recall Dwayne was unable to, and so Perry Rodgers, the former “Galaxian” world champion, had agreed to meet Brian in that area and they could go together.

I was told that Steve was called in advance but do not remember the details on when…before Brian actually went to the west coast, once he arrived…so I am not the best person to say. However, I was told that Steve was made aware of the arrival. Brian was told, in all fairness, and according to my best recollection, that Steve would meet them there at the proposed time. Unfortunately, they arrived early or Steve was delayed. Either way, they announced themselves and he was not there. Steve’s wife told them to wait in the car but another household person, a lady, possibly a grandmother or something, let them into the garage area.

Note that Steve’s machine’s back door was locked and only Steve, I was told, had the key. So at no time prior to Steve’s arrival did they “rip apart” his machine as is suggested by Seth/Ed/Roy in the pic. That is total BS and borderline slander/libel, whichever is applicable. Once Steve arrived, however, at some point they realized that there were boxes there and one of which had Roy’s name on it, and they all looked like boards. Steve, so I have been told, took that one away from them and said something to the effect that Roy would not like it if they saw that…so I was told by Brian.

Brian took some pics of the inside of the game and the board itself. He also played a game with Steve and found it a tell-tale sign that Steve’s high score was already on the machine, meaning it was a high-score kit boardset, which also did not help the case that the 1.006M might have been a non-authorized boardset. Roy’s involvement certainly did not help as he was previously on record as stating how he wanted to stick it to TG. between this, and previous posts on the TG site by newbies on the forum claiming they can blow one past TG (referees) and it was clear that prudence dictated to hold up on the story announcement at that time.

9th – 11/10/04

Wiebe publicly accepts Robert Mruczek’s offer to come out, and leaves a phone message Mruczek. Mruczek tries to email Wiebe. They are seemingly unable to connect.

RTM REPLY – I have a problem with the first part of this statement. My at-home phone HAS no answering machine, only my at-work number does. And I never received a message from Steve at work. I will swear on that. As for my E-MAIL, this was no fault of my own or Steve’s. After the 947K score, Steve was difficult to contact via E-MAIL and I assume that was due to the sheer volume of press he was receiving, so while I did try to get thru, I was unsuccessful. The forums were the most public way to handle this. It would have been even easier via TG forum PM, but Steve chose not to use that option. I was always able to be contacted as I have neither wife nor children, and was largely at work until the wee hours back then on a daily basis, so contacting me at work was the easiest way possible. Strangely that did not happen. But I cannot control who calls me, when and how often. But I did at least publicly provide my contact information and it was also readily available on the TG website. Of the two of us, Steve was more difficult to contact, and sadly his own developing prominence and quasi-celebrity status was not exactly helping this. But I know that I tried and that’s what counts.

10th – Also 11/10/04

Robert Mruczek publicly announces on that “due to the involvement of a 3rd party individual,” Steve Wiebe’s boards were all in doubt and none of his videotaped scores could be verified.

RTM REPLY – once it was clearly established from the forums that a DDK boardset or more were purchased on behalf of Steve or for Steve regardless of by whom, and the fact that one was actually present when Brian paid a visit, we could no longer be 100% certain of which submission(s) were DDK and which were not. Roy’s “taint” on the matter as I previously explained did not help matters.

At some point, Walter and Bill spoke with Steve…I think this was within the range of Aug-Nov/04. They found out, from Steve, the “beginnings” of how he first became involved with Roy, but this was not the first response that Steve gave them on the subject. Only Walter and Bill spoke to Steve during this call and you would have to ask them. I was simply told of the outcome. Steve told them that he had some arrangement with Roy, either for Steve training Roy on DK, or Roy owing something to Steve and giving him a boardset in exchange. Steve also said that with Roy offering him free boards, who was he (Steve) to say no seeing how this person was giving him something for free, and I personally do not fault Steve for that, but I do wish he gave a little more thought to the person that he was dealing with. Roy had early on in their arrangement mentioned Bill Mitchell and TG, and Steve should have put 2+2 together and realized that Roy had an agenda, but he either did not see this, did not want to see it, or did not care as he was getting a free board out of it. Either way, I wish he never met Roy and vice versa. By himself Steve’s a great guy, but Roy seems to have misguided him and Steve, for reasons of his own, played along with it. Whether he did so freely or unwittingly, that is nearly a moot point now, and one that can never truly be answered except by Steve and Roy.

11th – 3/01/05

At this point, Mruczek had closely examined and documented the tapes of four record scores by Steve Wiebe. However Steve Wiebe had not yet received any high scoring strategies from Robert Mruczek

RTM REPLY – This is incorrect. I sent BOTH Steve and Bill my completed yet unreleased comparative articles citing their 1.006M and 1.014M performance. I sent them the EXCEL spreadsheets as well. In fact, I spoke with Steve on at least two occassions, and publicly stated as much on the forums, that after watching his performance, it was clear that he had the potential for higher. I also discussed some specifics and analysis from my spreasheet data, and pointed out where the two gamers differed startegically in the various stages. For example, I discussed how in the hammer stage Steve made more points on top than Bill, and this was again the 1.006M vs 1.014M performances. I discussed my logic as to why. I also discussed the pie factory differences and how both players shared the same propensity overall to point press on all stages thru perhaps level 10, then stave off, and then press again once they reached level 17-18. I suggested that eventually, one of them will want to try pressing every step of the way, and whoever can first pull it off…press in every stage successfully and reach stage 115 on the 1st life, then milk three times and go to the kill…that would be a nearly unbeatable record. Bil lwas told same, yet neither player had tried that to date.

Unrelated, when Steve submitted 1.049M, he came closest to pressing in every stage than either player had to date. Thus I always said in that one that his performance seemed “solid” to me…it was simply an extension of his Funspot 985.6K performance supplemented by additional hunting.

Anyway, back to the main topic, Steve was most DEFINITELY told the strategies and had them sent to him for review. I will stake my reputation on this. Bill was told as well, as I had also mentioned.

12th – Funspot 2005

According to Mark Alpiger, Roy Shildt was banned from the 2005 tournament because he allegedly made a FunSpot employee cry with abusive phone calls.

RTM REPLY – That alone was not why he was banned. Certainly issuing death threats to Bill and threatening to meet him in the FS parking lot to stelle their differences with boxing gloves did not help either, but badgering FS staff, including Gary Vincent, and some gamers at their homes, all of which did not heko. Plus Roy had attended FS 2003 and spent the majority of his time pestering gamers with handing out xerox copies of some documents he had. Roy was also at that time have pestering TG over the budding “Missile Command” scores by Tony Temple and that ridiculous dip switch nonsense, and he was also pestering the management at Sun Valley. Gary spoke with Bob Lawton, who actually owns Funspot, and the decision to ban Roy was a Funspot decision, not a TG decision. And yes, he DID make some girl at FS cry, so I was told, with his abusive phone call. On a related note, Roy was also single-handedly the reason Gary Vincent shut down the Funspot forums, so he was acting true to form.

13th – Funspot 2005

When Wiebe finished playing, Brian Kuh did not allow him to see any of Mitchell’s tape.

RTM REPLY – Where do I even begin on this !! The KoK movies made a shambles out of what really happened here, so much that it is a freaking sin, pardon my french.

For starters, Bill had not attended a Funspot tournament since I think 2002 due to personal reasons I would prefer not to get into. There was no chance he would attend FS 2005. On the forums I would typically respond that no one knew whether Bill would attend or not as he announced no plans. On the forums he never did as he never so much as posted, but I was not given permission to absolutely state as a fact he would not attend, so I would routinely say he would not. Steve Wiebe, for that matter, never announced to anyone that he would be coming. That KoK “phone call” to Bill is a joke and a half. No physical way to even prove he called Bill. May as well make an entire movie based on alleged phone calls and call it fiction. Come to think of it, there were a few phone calls in this film that showed Steve calling someone, but no proof of response or acknowledgement. Laughable.

Without any prior knowledge of Steve attending, Bill arranged to have Doris Self bring a special tape to FS. Doris arrived BEFORE the competition began. The tape she handed to me we tried to watch on Wednesday night before the event. It was the wrong tape. Bill was called and then arranged to have Greg Erway pick up an air express package at the airport on the way to FS. That arrived Thursday, the first day of the event. Whether this was all to add to the “drama” of it, we will never know, but this second tape was sent express mail on late Thursday, BEFORE anyone even knew Steve would be showing up. After the event, we wacthed the first third of the tape in the cabin rented by NOT Brian Kuh as KoK states but the one rented by the Crams, Don Hayes, David Nelson, Chris McClard, Jenn Moore and others.

Note that Steve did not even arrived until Friday. Brian was told by Bill IN ADVANCE that this was a one-showing ONLY of the tape and that would be it. This was also NOT, as of when we started to watch this tape, an actual submission but was for “entertainment purposes only”. We watched the first third in the cabin, about 30 of us. It was clear that Bill was on a tear to prove himself in this performance as he was taking risks like you would not believe. After a certain point Brian cut the tape with the intent to show part 2 the next day. The problem was, so many of us were there that the cabin renters could not even get a space to sit let alone sleep and some of them were not thrilled at all at this and we were NOT allowed a second night of showing that tape there, so we determined to show part 2 in my cabin on Friday.

Steve arrived Friday. I met up with him early on, and not too long thereafter he started to play DK. On this day he hit a live 985.6K, the highest live score ever, and his new verified best considering that the 1.006M was problematic. It was a great performance. had he arrived at the kill with two extra men he could have made 1M live.

We retired to the cabins after the competition ended for the day. Steve at some point visited my cabin. Brian was to show the tape and unfortunately Brian told Steve he could not watch, citing instructions given to him by Bill. On one hand I can understand as they are top rivals on the title. On the other, Steve knew no secrets that Bill did not, and Bill only knew a bit more than Steve, largely barrel-related. Personally i’d have let him watch. As it stood, a small group of us remained to watch, including two (2) of the film guys, Ross and Josh…I think it was Ross Tuttle, a guy mentioned in the koK credits. We watched the second third and it was there that we spotted the infamous “glitch” in the 600K range that made this tape questionable. Mind you, it was still not a formal submission anyway.

Most of the group left while some of us stayed to watch the rest…of course I did as it was my cabin !! The final score was 1,047,200 and I noticed a few things as well whichI will get into soon enough below. On the day of Saturday, Brian was on auto-pilot and was annoying several people with his attempts to grandstand the the tape. Apparently his initial goal was to hoist a TV set ON TOP of the machine that Steve was playing at. Total bullcrap and unsportsmanlike. He also tried to ask a notable attendee who had table space to make room for him and the TV and was wisely rebuffed. At some point they set up the TV at the far end and started the performance from the beginning I believe. This happened BEFORE 6:00pm and probably no later than 4:00pm as we still had yet to leave for the traditional end-of-event dinner at Patricks that night. Many people watched the tape and as expected it drew a big crowd. Steve, meanwhile, was still playing.

The tape reached 800K, 900K and kept going up. Ed Cunningham was standing right by me and asked me some questions along the way such as where do I think he will reach, etc. I knew the result but kept quiet as if I did not and simply speculated as to the probable score range outcome. And that 1M “glitch” as the score rolled to all zeroes…that’s BS…everyone there saw a clean score. I maintain that the makers of KoK intentionally fudged that footage in the same fashion that, in the Jean Claude Van Damme movie “Lionheart” the female fighting event hostess fudged the previously clear footage of the fighter “Attila” to show some potential bettors. I believe this to be a fact.

The score finished at 1,047,200 points. Now, I promised I would state more on this and I shall. Steve’s original score was 947,200 and Bill passed this by exactly 100K. Further, he was intentionally dumping points prior to the level 20 elevator stage JUST so he could finish a stage at exactly all zeroes. Only the elevator stage can guarantee a precise finishing time. Bill then, n the eight (8) stages that followed, made only 47,200 points even though his average for a set of six (6) stages is between 55-58K. He dumped points just so he could get 100K more than Steve, and even wasted his last two lives. This was a 1.095-1.110M game if I ever saw one…wasted for sake of proving a point. true, Bill offered $10K to anyone who could at that event break that score, but “anyone” would of course only be Steve. Bill did not know Steve would show, which is why when Walter told me much later that this bounty was planned ahead of time, I was no longer sure I trusted that part. I do believe that the arrival and playing of the tape itself was done without knowing Steve would show at all, but I am NOT 100% sure that the announcement of the $10K prize was also planned. Maybe it was…but I can never truly be sure.

Several members of TG thought that playing the tape while Steve was still present and attempting an even higher score was tacky and grandstanding, and this was a subject I discussed at GREAT length with a former TG senior staffer would pointedly resigned after this failed PR attempt. While Bill’s offer of $10K was itself real, regardless of circumstances, it had a stink of one-upsmanship. After the dinner at “Patricks” we returned to the arcade and when the event closed for the day we returned to teh cabins. Not long thereafter, with Steve Wiebe in my cabin, I think, with Alpiger and some others like Kelly Flewin and Martin Bedard, I headed off to the Cram cabin with Walter, Dwayne, David nelson and in front of a good 20+ people I really chewed into Walter over what I said was the most disgusting show of tackiness that I had ever seen as a TG staffer. Not everyone agreed with me…maybe 1-2 people did not but the majority did. This was an unrecoded chastising of Walter for presiding over this and I was also personally ashamed at having not done more to stop it myself.

Later, post-event, Bill actually called a LOT of the people present when the tape was showing and personally apologized for the stunt. Though it was not his intent to grandstand as he did not know in advance Steve was attending, the fact that he DID attend should have made him rethink the plan to show the tape right then and there.

Four (4) last facts on the matter…

FACT (1) – the KoK film suggests that when we were watching the tape in the cabins for the first night we did not allow Steve to watch, and in fact koK shows Steve still playing by himself at FS. The fact is that Steve was not even there when we watched the first leg, and immediately before watching it I believe it is Greg Bond being interviewed that states that FS had already closed…so just how was Steve playing DK there by himself, and that’s besides the fact that he was not even there to begin with ?

FACT (2) – Walter posting that score annoyed the bejesus out of me. I had earlier left for the airport to return home and he did so without my knowledge. I did not even discover the score on the TG site until I noticed it on the front page as the new world record. I consulted with former TG fellow Board member Brien King and we agreed the score should be immediately taken down, and I did that personally. It was the right think to do.

FACT (3) – the way I hear it, the idea to put the TV set on top of the game Steve was playing was entirely Brian Kuh’s. Small wonder that after the event he was no longer an FS staff member. Unfreaking believable. I told a fellow TG staffer, actually two, Greg erway and the former senior staffer who resigned post-FS 2005, that if Roy Schildt ever needed ammunition that TG showed favouritism towards Bill, this distasteful display was more than enough firepower…and this was before we even knew that KoK was being filmed.

FACT (4) – this actually I found out after stripping Bill of that score. I knew Walter posted it, but it wasn’t until much later that I knew that Walter allowed himself to be FILMED entering the score. Lord only knows if they filmed his fingers entering his password on that computer in Randy Lawton’s work area. So I immediately switched all sensitive TG passwords with admin privileges accordingly as a prudent security measure. To this day I believe that this was among the biggest boneheaded decisions that Walter ever made while in charge of TG.

14th – 6/08/05

Walter Day sends and email to Steve Wiebe apologizing for playing Billy Mitchell’s tape at the same time that Wiebe was playing. Day does not apologize for immediately certifying Billy Mitchell’s score based on an unverified duplicate videotape.

RTM REPLY – I never was consulted on this letter and was still chief referee at the time. That irked me. Neither was fellow Board member Brien King.

15th – 6/06/06

(wow…what a date !!)

Billy Mitchell’s videotaped score is “formally and definitively approved” as a world record. It is the first million point score validated by Twin Galaxies.

RTM REPLY – approx 8-9 months later the formal master tape of the 1.047M arrived and I performed the authentication. Basically the score was entered but without the usual massive write-up that I did. I decided that while the score was good, I did not want to rub salt in an old wound by further glorifying it. This was a sorepoint in TG history and needed to be handled without fanfare, I felt…regardless of the significance of the score. Plus I was personally annoyed at the fact that the score was intentionally 100K more than the first submission by Steve as a way of Bill basically announcing “here, just because I could” (meaning still pass you, waste lives and points, and as an afterthought, pull off an even 000,000 and 100K more than the previous score, all in the same game. I like Bill as a person and respect him as a gamer, but intentionally doing this, the score I mean, that’s grandstanding in my book, or at the very least showing off with a message built in. Bill was always regarded as a kind of “ambassador of good will” in his role with TG, so I did not see this as becoming of that role. That’s just the way that I feel.

16th – 1/30/06

According to Robert Mruczek, Steve Wiebe’s 2003 score was removed from the Donkey Kong database. Also around this time (?), all of Steve Wiebe’s submitted videotaped scores were formally rejected by Twin Galaxies.

RTM REPLY – with noprecise way to determine which of Steve’s taped performances were valid…which were DDK or not, and that included Donkey Kong Junior, we had to come to a fateful decision and reject the scores as classic DK and classic DKJr. At some point, and I do not recall when, Walter issued some statement stating that he would classify the DDK DK score under it’s own category until such a time when Steve could beat that under a real DK machine, and same for the DKJr score. These were both sticking points much earlier when Steve’s submissions were first though to be DDK…do we open a Pandora’s box and start to track hybrids, clones and hacks of existing titles just because the scores are good ? We initially felt it would diminish the prominence of the scores on the real deal, so this decision to maintain but split Steve’s scores was I guess a kind of peace-offering or Solomon-like decision by Walter. Not all referees liked that one, but in this case it was probably best to do…speaking as a former TG referee.

17th – 4/06-09/06

Events as depicted in King of Kong are contested by representatives of Twin Galaxies. According to Walter Day, Billy Mitchell felt that Steve Wiebe was “under the guidance” of Roy Shildt (Mr. Awesome) and therefore did not want Wiebe to come to his restaurant. But Day objects to the way King of Kong portrays Mitchell’s desire to avoid contact with Wiebe.

RTM REPLY – Walter I believe addressed this on the TG website. What he may NOT have mentioned is that Todd Rogers owns LIVE FOOTAGE of Bill entering his restaurant, coming to Steve Wiebe, introducing his own family to Steve’s and I think even signing the TG book if I remember Todd telling me correctly. That restaurant scene as depicted in the KoK film is clearly night and day with what happened and leads auidences to believe that Bill is being a real ass seeing how this is is own restaurant and all. While Bill’s”character” of Bill-the-gamer may not always rub people the right way, the real Bill, the one whodonates to make-a-Wish etc, that’s an entirely different person. And KoK actively seeks to destroy that image. As a friend of Bill I found that to be appauling.

18th – 8/29/06

Steve Wiebe submits a videotaped score of 1,049,100 to Twin Galaxies. This is the score shown at the end of King of Kong

RTM REPLY – I believe that I explained myself here in exhaustive detail on both the Picturehouse KoK forum and on the TG forum. Steve’s performance to me was “solid”, and let me clarify what I mean by that soon enough, but purely on technical grounds I could not accept this score as is. I even called Bill same-day I started to watch the tape to break the news the instant I saw the break in continuity at the beginning. damn sad thing to see as a referee. Steve insrted the board and then the camera stopped right there and jumped to Steve standing in front of an already powered up DK machine and inserted a coin to play. At the very end, he eventually focused the camera on the top left quadrant and then for 20-25seconds was n the back of the machine off-camera, and THEN manually swung the camera around to theback to show the board was the same. I’m sorry, but rules are rulesand this broke the rules.

Until approx Nov/06 we debated this amongst ourselves. Eventually, due to issues OTHER than this verification, I resigned on 12/19/06, issues clearly discussed in detail on a separate thread on the TG site.

Walter himself later took up the verification task. I cannot fully comment on that as I was no longer a TG staffer and had nothing to do with this validation attempt. But regardless of how Walter handled this, I still will maintain that no matter what, I followed proper procedure with the validation of this score which I thought was “solid”. And on that note…

With my personal understanding of hoe DK behaves, it surely looked “solid”…the points matched up, the scores were adding properly, I did not see any obvious glitch abuse. Looked good to me. However, some games have nuances that only a real pro will know (more on “pro” next). For example, the fireballs can, at a certain specific stage, catch Mario when chasing him. If you did not know this then you would not, even if you saw it, realize this, so just keep that in mind. A gaming referee is not an all-knowing, infallible robot. And when it comes to the inner behaviour of some titles, a true expert is needed to catch the most difficult to spot issues with a performance.

That said, I think I have spotted all that I could.

My old computer is down and if you are interested I can send you my original DK articles AND my koK annotations and time index of errors. Let me know. As for a phone interview, I gave you so much data here that maybe that will not even be necessary, but you can call me if you like.

And last but not least, for the record, all comments made by me post-Dec19/06 are made as a gamer and not as a Twin Galaxies staff member.

I hope you enjoyed my comments. Sorry for taking so long to send.