Asteroids has a new world champion. At 10:18pm Pacific time on April 5, Seattle locksmith John McAllister achieved an approximate score of 41,338,740 on an original Asteroids arcade cabinet, besting Scott Safran’s 1982 score of 41,336,440.The score will not officially appear on the Twin Galaxies website until officials have had a chance to review all 58 hours of McAllister’s recorded play session, but given his previous track record and integrity, no complications are expected.
The world record high score for Atari’s arcade classic Asteroids, which has stood for over two decades, is about to be broken.At nearly 39 million points, Seattle native John McAllister is hours away from claiming the top slot on Twin Galaxies, the acting authority on videogame scores. The previous record of 41,336,440 by Scott Safran has remain unchallenged since November 13, 1982.Competitive Asteroids play is more a test of endurance than skill – Safran’s original high score was the result of a 60-hour marathon run. McCallister is closing in on that fast, having just surpassed 54 hours at press time.As an arcade game, Asteroids of course has no pause button. When McCallister needs to take short breaks from the game, his only option is to simply walk away and let some of his reserved lives get eaten away.It has been long assumed in the competitive gaming community that Safran’s original record would forever remain unchallenged. “”Everyone always talks about records that will never be broken,”” Twin Galaxy founder Walter Day told Newsweek in 2002, “”well this is the one that really won’t.””Unfortunately, Safran isn’t around to defend his title. After a years-long search by Twin Galaxies to find Safran and honor him officially, it was discovered that he passed away in 1989, having fallen from his sixth story apartment balcony trying to rescue his cat, Samson. The posthumous award was presented instead to his family in a November 2002 ceremony.