For more than 35 years, die-hard arcade fiends have battled to rule the scoreboard in Nintendo’s 1981 classic, Donkey Kong – a fierce competition that was immortalised in the 2007 documentary The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters.

On 5 May 2016, the USA’s Wes Copeland achieved the astounding points haul of 1,218,000, claiming the Guinness World Records title for Highest score on Donkey Kong.

The three-hour attempt not only topped his earlier record of 1,190,000 points, set on 19 Apr 2016 –  but also beat the score of his long-time rival and fellow American, Robbie Lakeman.

Wes argues that this record is one of the most coveted videogaming titles out there. "You will not find the player base, the community or the strategy for any other arcade game in existence," he says.

Experts speculate that Copeland’s performance could actually include every known point in the game.

“If I sat down and played every day for the next five years, I still don’t think I’d be able to beat this score,” he told IGN shortly after breaking the record.

However, the gamer now claims that it could still be beaten with “a lot of luck”.

According to Wes, new strategies have recently been developed that may allow this record to be broken again.

Highest score on Donkey Kong 684

Wes's tips on how to prepare for a Donkey Kong record attempt include warming up the hands and playing loud music - 80s rock n' roll is his go-to genre.

"Whenever you play these games it's best to zone out. It's almost like meditation, you get very zen," he says.

"You just want to approach the game like a stone cold killer. The fireballs smell fear, and if they're afraid they'll come and kill you."

For his photoshoot for the Guinness World Records 2018 Gamer's Edition book, our photography team asked Wes to dress up as the game’s hero, Mario or “Jumpman”.

The record-breaking gamer is pictured below with his real-life girlfriend, dressed as the game's hapless damsel-in-distress.

Highest score on Donkey Kong Wes Copeland

For more incredible videogame achievements, be sure to check out a copy of Guinness World Records 2018 Gamer’s Edition, out now.

Guinness World Records 2018 collection