The The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters – Review


The The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters is a documentary story about the world high score record for the Nintendo arcade classic, Donkey Kong. While this may not sound that interesting the story is full of interesting characters and has an epic conflict between the two men who are vying for the title, the reigning king and the pretender to the throne.

The current king is Billy Mitchell, who has been the Donkey Kong record holder from 1982. In many people eyes Mitchell is legend and in his own words ‘a winner’. Mitchell is the owner of a thriving chicken wing, sauce business and believes his skill and success in video games has helped him to become a success in life, he’s not short or confidence or self belief.

The newcomer is Steve Wiebe a 35 year old family man who is considered by his friends and wife to be an almost man. After reaching the upper levels in various occupations including baseball and music, he has never quite tasted the success of being the number one, or at the point where he could be, he has never reached his full potential.

The duel begins when Steve Wiebe gets laid off from his job, while he has an abundance of spare time he sees Mitchell’s high score in Donkey Kong and starts to play, ending up getting very, very good at the game. The plot begins to thicken when Wiebe gets help from an old rival of Mitchell a man who goes by the name of ‘Mr Awesome’ and unbeknown to Wiebe has a serious history with Mitchell. This is the beauty of The King of Kong, it has real life characters that are straight out of a movie story, they are all great in front of the camera and there is a lot of tension and emotion and comradeship. One of the best supporting cast is Walter Day, a video game veteran player who is now a referee. Day is a real character in his own right, he is the owner of a website called Twin Galaxies that authenticates new record attempts on classic video games, and is well respected in the community. Mitchell himself is big character and has a lot of friends inside the scoring community, and Wiebe finds himself being watched and under a lot of pressure from Mitchell’s close friends.

Eventually the story leads us up to the guiness world records, where Walter Day is organizing a selection of video game high scores to be printed in the book for the first time ever. Now the competition is on but who is going to come out on top, does being the best mean making sacrifices for good guy Wiebe or will Mitchell and his henchmen succeed. It really is one you have to watch, for anyone with an interest in video games or documentaries The King of Kong : A Fistful of Quarters, comes highly recommended.