Questions related to movie "King of Kong."

Just saw this documentary about the quest to achieve the all time high score on Donkey Kong. It’s pretty interesting, even if you’re not a big video game buff.

It’s been a long time since I’ve played any arcade games, so I was wondering about a few things

Anyway, at several points they mention making it so far into the game on only one, “man,” which I assume means they haven’t used up any of their lives. My question is, do they have to pump any additional quarters into the machine along the way? Is it possible to make it through all levels all the way up to the kill screen, racking up a million points in the process, on a single quarter assuming they don’t lose any lives along the way?

Also, is it possible to just stay in one spot racking up points by crushing barrels?

And, another thing I was wondering about - there’s a scene where after Steve Wiebe sends in a videotape of him beating Billy Mitchell’s two-decade-old high score, a couple of guys show up at his house and inspect the boards in his machine. Apparently they find a weld to be a little off, or something along those lines - I’m not much of a tech person. I was wondering if someone here might be able to explain how that would affect the game play and make it easier for someone to achieve a high score on it.

Yes, it’s all on a single quarter. As far as I know, every record on Twin Galaxies is all based on a single credit (ie, the cost it costs to play once). I believe you start with two additional lives in Donkey Kong, and can earn a few more as you reach certain point milestones.

Nope, the “bonus timer” is also a time limit–if it runs out, you lose a life, so you have to keep moving.

From what I remember, some part of the chipset wasn’t original. As such, it couldn’t be verified that it plays exactly like the original units, at least by Twin Galaxy standards.

Interesting. So, I guess if getting a really high score is your goal, then it’s not enough to simply make it through all the levels. You’ve got to have a strategy to rack up a bunch of points along the way, while also trying to beat the timer.

HA! Kids these days. The earliest video games didn’t have “continue?” You put in a quarter, you got three lives, and that was it; when you died, it was “game over”, and if you put in another quarter, you started again from the beginning.

Today, games tell a story, and like most stories, they have a finish line. The first video games didn’t; play continued until you either lost all your lives or the machine failed (the kill screen). There was no “end” to Space Invaders, or Asteroids, or Centipede, or Pac-Man, or Donkey Kong. Much like life itself, you kept on going until you died.

I don’t think many of the original arcade games had any ending to them. You just played the same levels over and over again but they just became more difficult.
There was no end goal to reach.
(Donkey Kong did have a supposed ‘kill screen’ though that wasn’t really the end of the game but a programing error that caused the game to freeze up at a certain point)

Part of the movie showed how the players find and memorize specific patterns and solutions for each screen.

Although your questions came out of viewing the movie, they’re actually about the game, so I’m moving this to the Game Room.

twickster, Cafe Society moderator