After months of analysis and testimony, record-keeping site Twin Galaxies has made a final decision to remove Todd Rogers’ disputed Dragster 5.51 seconds time and ban him from any further rank on their leaderboards. “Based on the complete body of evidence presented in this official dispute thread, Twin Galaxies administrative staff has unanimously decided to remove all of Todd Rogers’ scores as well as ban him from participating in our competitive leaderboards. We have notified Guinness World Records of our decision.” Twin Galaxies said in a statement on their forums. Previously, Twin Galaxies and the Guinness Book of World Records had listed this as the longest-standing video game record.
The record came under scrutiny in the past months after Eric “Omnigamer” Koziel was able to determine through a breakdown of the game’s code that the fastest possible time is 5.57 seconds, and not the 5.51 seconds that had been claimed by Rogers since 1981. Rogers disputed Koziel’s analysis, noting that it had been verified by Activision in 1982, with a Polaroid photo as proof. Goldeneye and Perfect Dark speedrunner Karl Jobst had compiled a list of other suspicious scores and records Rogers had claimed without proof, many of which were orders of magnitude higher than the second place score
Twin Galaxies asked famed electronics hacker and modder Ben Heck to work with Rogers to see if a result was possible under any circumstance. Rogers claimed that he had achieved 5.51 in a live setting at the 1982 Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago as well as another event in Detroit. After extensive testing and reverse-engineering of the Atari 2600 hardware and the Dragster game, Heck and Rogers were unable to replicate the claimed 5.51 record, with 5.57 remaining the fastest known possible time.
“The presented software analysis model concluded that achieving score times of less than 5.57 seconds is not possible under standard and normal play conditions. “ Twin Galaxies said. Former Twin Galaxies Contributing Editor and Chief Referee Robert Mruczek had also noted in a lengthy post on Twin Galaxies’ forums other records that were suspect due to unverifiable information and lax moderation standards allowing self-entry into the leaderboards.