New King of Kong crowned, but battle not over

New York doctor Hank Chien has set the new Donkey Kong arcade record, but it could be beat at the Kong-Off competition in March.

Hank Chien
Hank Chien: This man is projecting serious swagger. Twin Galaxies

A full 30 years after Donkey Kong's release, gamers are still holding tight to ancient arcade joysticks in a quest for the next high score.

The latest King of Kong?

Hank Chien, according to video game score certification organization Twin Galaxies. The 35-year-old doctor from Queens, N.Y., has set a new Donkey Kong arcade world record by tallying up a mesmerizing score of 1,068,000 points on the classic 1981 game in 2 hours and 45 minutes. Chien beat out the previous record held by competitor Steve Wiebe (1,064,500 points).

Now the heat is on for Wiebe, a teacher, to strike back (Wiebe, true Donkey Kong afficionados may recall, was filmed in his pursuit of the DK high score in the 2007 documentary "The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters").

The DK arcade scene is actually pretty fierce, with Chien competing not only against Wiebe, but others such as his predecessor, hot-sauce magnate Billy Mitchell. The fate of the barrel-tossing high score will be decided in the upcoming "Kong-Off" competition on March 19-20, where another player could beat Chien's latest score. In an epic battle with the top 10 DK players, the arma-kong-eddon will determine the real King of Kong.

The event will be hosted at Richie Knucklez' Arcade Games in Flemington, N.J. Richie Knucklez? I feel like I should go watch "Out for Justice" now. Hey, Richie!

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