Film: The King of Kong

"World record headquarters, how may I help you?"
Billy Mitchell, answering the phone.

The King of Kong is a 2007 documentary by Seth Gordon about the international top score of the classic arcade game Donkey Kong. The documentary follows Steve Wiebe in his attempt to overtake the top score set by Billy Mitchell in 1982. While following Steve's training regimen and attempts at a home arcade machine to beat the score, the film also goes into how classic arcade international top scores are collected and kept through an international agency known as Twin Galaxies.

This film provides examples of:

  • Avoid the Dreaded G Rating: Inverted. The creators of the documentary intended for the film to get a PG rating, but a single use of the word "poontang" bumped it up to a PG-13. The creators tried to appeal the rating, since that was the only thing in the film that might warrant a PG-13 and for Donkey Kong being a family product, but the MPAA declined.
  • Affably Evil: Billy seems to be a very nice, patriotic businessman, who just so happens to be a great classic arcade game player; and you will think he's scum by the end of the movie.
    • Word of God claims that Billy is much worse than he was shown in the movie.
  • Arch-Enemy: Billy seems to think Roy Shildt is his, many other high level classic arcade gamers agree with him; Shildt, however, does not.
  • Asperger's Syndrome: Steve's wife believes he has a mild case of it.
  • Big Bad: Billy spends the entire movie sitting on his couch directing his friends. He has no direct interaction with the hero of the story, but thwarts him at every turn from a distance using his resources, contacts and reputation until the very end.
  • Challenge Gamer: Billy and Steve are examples of this trope.
  • Documentary Of Lies: While most of the accounts in this movie are truthful, there are a small number of inaccuracies in this film, such as the tape that Billy sent in not being approved by Twin Galaxies, where in the film, it seemed as though it was.
    • When Steve's 1,000,000+ record is rejected, it didn't revert back to Billy's 1982 record. That record had already been broken 3 years previous by Steve himself, and it was reverted back to that.
    • Walter Day posted a point-by-point response to the movie on the Twin Galaxies forum (no longer available, but a partial archive exists here). While he seemingly liked parts of the film, he disputes several events that appeared to happen in it (including the two above).
  • The Dragon: Brian Kuh is this to Billy Mitchell.
  • Kill Screen: A live one is shown during Steve's attempt at Funspot Arcade while he is getting a new record score.
  • Guinness Episode: Non-TV example where as what spurs Steve on near the end of the movie is when Twin Galaxies gets a contract from Guinness that they will be now the official classic arcade score keeping arm of their business.
  • Manipulative Editing: The movie is accused of this by both Billy and Steve.
  • Nintendo Hard: One of the early scenes of the movie explains how hard this game is by making a passing fact that most players won't ever see past the third level of this game.
  • Pac Man Fever
  • Scoring Points: Here, the points are worth a world title.
  • Serious Business
  • The Everyman: Steve is portrayed as this.
  • The Tape Knew You Would Do That: Billy sends in a tape in advance to the Funspot arcade while Steve is there trying to attain a new world record after Steve does attain the new record. Billy's friend shows the tape which has Billy's new record score, which beats the one that Steve just got.
  • What Could Have Been: Bonus material on the DVD reveals that they were covering several different competitive arcade game players in case the story for "King Of Kong" didn't pan out; one of the ones mentioned a Jamaican man with "an almost supernatural talent for Pac-Man".
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Used to show that Steve later officially takes back the lead from Billy.

Alternative Title(s):

The King Of Kong