|Back in the October issue of VIDEO GAMES, 18-year-old
Dale Rees, of Cocoa Beach, Fla., slapped our wrist for printing an erroneous Defender high
score. Rees added that he would be going for the record - 33 million points at the
time - and asked if we would like a report on "the event."
"Certainly," we replied. Two months hence the following article
article arrived in the mail.
the age of five, I was told that my coordination would never be right. I couldn't
even touch my nose with my hand. And here I am preparing to top the Defender high
It's 10 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 28, when I pop my quarter into the machine at the Game
Tunnel in Merrit Island, Fla. My first ship goes down at 62,375. My first soda
goes down as I start to climb to the big bonus level of 990,000.
I'm well into the fourth million when the game room begins to fill up. It's
already way past dinner-time when someone brings me a burger; another friend supplies
Pac-Man cookies for some quick energy. By 11 p.m. - as I pass the 14 million mark -
the spectators are beginning to thin out. A leather pad I designed is doing a good
job keeping the cabinet's hard edge from gnawing at my wrists - no soreness yet.
Dwayne Coffman, my Defender-playing partner, talks me through the wee hours. By 6
a.m. (Wednesday) my score stands at 22 million. I'm hungry again. Dwayne feeds
me an Egg MacMuffin and coffee. Suddenly, nature calls - I hold off until the last
|moment, make a mad dash to the bathroom, throw some cold
water on my face and race back to Defender. Incredibly, only three of my
well-stocked ships have been lost.
By noon, Milt Salamon, a local newspaper reporter,
arrives, followed by the local TV crew. Soon the room is
flooded with bright lights, and I'm being asked lots of questions.
In the background, I hear a live radio D.J. informing all of Cocoa Beach what I've
accomplished so far. Then my mother arrives and spoonfeeds me chili in between
attack waves. Even in three-second gulps, the hot food is calming.
At 5 p.m. I reach the magic 33 million point. While friends whistle
congratulations for achieving the goal I set, I decided to run the machine up to 34
million before quitting. Then I get some shocking news. According to the Twin
Galaxies National Scoreboard, in Iowa, the Defender high score is 52 million!
Even though I hadn't planned on a second night without sleep, I keep going.
By 11 p.m., at 39 million, I'm in pain. The ice packs scorekeeper
Guy Kent has been putting on my knuckles are no longer helping; my right foot,
(Continued on page 105)