Thanks to Patrick Scott Patterson with the Examiner for the heads up on this rather sad news. George Leutz was 36 hours into the still standing 28 year-old record for Q*Bert when a machine was unplugged near his, which caused his machine to reset. George had already scored an impressive 16.8 million points and was just past the halfway mark of the 70 hours on one quarter record set by Canadian legend, Rob Gerhardt, back in 1983. The world record attempt was being held at the famed Richie Knucklez in NJ.
First of all a big thanks once again to Twin Galaxies for the heads up on the Tron High-Score crown being handed back to David Cruz, just a week after it was claimed by Donald Hayes! David racked up an incredible score of 11,125,999 points, which took him 16 and 1/2 hours to pull off in a Herculean marathon session. Anyone who has had the privilege of watching the documentary, High-Score, will remember the pain of aging arcade machines throwing a wrench into marathon plays, David himself suffered such a fate as told below from the Twin Galaxies site:
“According to Cruz, he had previously attempted to break the score during a special ‘TRON Off’ tournament alongside Donald Hayes at a Richie Knucklez arcade event a week earlier, but was thwarted by an unfortunate run of cabinet malfunctions.
“The timing of when this was done had a lot to do with Donald’s score; that and the fact that I was not able to properly defend my record due to a faulty machine also made this my top priority,” recalls Cruz.
Touching more on his back and forth with Hayes, Cruz adds: “I don’t know if I would actually call it a rivalry since Donald has so many records. Donald always said that he would take the record back, and he did. We both have proven that we can play for a long time on this game.”
I’m not sure about you all, but when I get digitized again and sent to the Game Grid I think I want David Cruz and Donald Hayes on my side.
Just a few weeks back I reported how Steve Weibe had reclaimed the highly coveted High-Score spot from Billy Mitchell who had reclaimed it from Hank Chien…well, on Dec. 10th it was reported by Twin Galaxies that Chien has yet again nailed the top spot with an additional 3,500 more points for a total of 1,068,000.
From the official interview by Twin Galaxies,
“TG: First off, Hank, congratulations on reclaiming the title belt. How does it feel to get it, lose it to Billy Mitchell, only to have that beaten by Steve Wiebe, and then reclaim it? Was it harder this time?
HC: Thank you! I was obviously very excited to claim the title the first time. However, I knew it was only a matter of time before Billy Mitchell or Steve Wiebe reclaimed it. However I did not expect it to happen on my birthday! Yes, Billy Mitchell’s score was announced on my birthday. I also knew Steve Wiebe was trying over the summer but heard he was having some vertigo issues. When the summer was over, I thought the vertigo had gotten the best of him and was surprised when it was announced in September. I knew the score was still within my reach. Although I was excited to reclaim it, nothing beats the first time! Of course it was harder this time, however I have gotten better since last time so relatively speaking it was a bit easier.”
There is some even more exciting news coming out from Twin Galaxies…but I will leave that until another posting later. A big thanks to Twin Galaxies for the heads up as well as the photo seen above.
Another record shattering High-Score has filtered in by way of Twin Galaxies and this time it is Donald Hayes who has proven his merit on the Game Grid appropriately with Tron, scoring an impressive 9,120,000…and only using one life to do so! I think Kevin Flynn himself said it best with, “It’s all in the wrists.”
Until December 11th the previous owner of the Tron champion title was David Cruz with a score of 7,148,220 back in 2006. Twin Galaxies has posted an interview with Donald at the link above but here is a small excerpt:
TG: What’s your history with Tron? Can you take us through everything leading up to the new record?
DH: “Tron has always been one of my favorite games going back to the early 80s. When my local arcade first got Tron back when I was in high school, it didn’t take me long to figure it out and I broke 1M for the first time in December of 1982. I clearly remember reading a magazine back then which listed the world record at around 800K, so I guess I unofficially had the world record at that time.
My next big experience with Tron happened at the Funspot tournament of 2001. During the event, I scored my personal best of 4.58M and was recognized as the new world record holder. In 2005, David Cruz pushed the bar higher by scoring over 6.7M, and then over 7.1M soon after that.”
I would also like to add that Donald is wearing an awesome Space Fury t-shirt!
I got the book a few years ago and somehow it managed to get pushed to the back of my bookcase. Weird. Well, I was doing a little cleaning this weekend and their it was…a happy surprise. The book is chock full of game shots and packing material and covers the history of video games in “slightly more then a coffee table book” amount of detail. The imagery will make you grin from ear to ear, but if you can tear your peepers away from the eye candy for a few minutes and scope the text you will be happily surprised. The book is both well written and brimming with fun facts.
If I had to come up with a criticism for this perfect Sunday afternoon retro read, it would be that it wasn’t long enough. I could easily have enjoyed this book if it was twice as long. So check out your local library to get a copy or head over to you favorite online vendor and pick one up for under $30.
Pick up High Score! The Illustrated History of Electronic Games at Amazon