Todd Rogers has been known within the video game community as a champion for nearly 4 decades, but has been receiving attention recently for negative reasons involving cheating allegations. He started out in the early 1980’s when he broke the record for time (5.51 seconds) in Activision’s Dragster. He gained more fame through his Guiness World Record Book video game feats and eventually became the first professional gamer in world history, as well as being a member of the US National Video Game Team.
Todd was originally seen as a phenom, a true video game master. This began to change after his many years of play when allegations came out that he had cheated in Donkey Kong for the Nintendo Entertainment System. His record of 15,000,000 points on Twin Galaxies, a video game leaderboard, was removed after thorough research found that there was no evidence he had ever gotten that score in the first place!
More recently, however, attention has been focused on what is arguably Todd Rogers’ most iconic high score – Dragster. Speedrunner Eric “Omnigamer” Koziel disassembled the coding of the game and it was concluded that the absolute best score possible is 5.57 seconds. The official record that Rogers owned is 5.51 seconds, which received a lot of flak and is now under serious consideration of being disqualified by Twin Galaxies. (Update: Twin Galaxies has officially thrown out his records and had him banned for life. Guiness has done the same.)
Allegations against his records sprang up again when Barnstorming for the Atari 2600 was broken down by video game designers, who analyzed the code. These designers concluded that Todd’s score was higher than feasibly possible by playing the game in a regular manner. This led to his record being challenged, but in the end, the record remained his. Supposedly, official gaming referees claimed that the documents that tracked the record had a “coffee stain”.
Just a day ago, popular YouTube channel Apollo Legend compiled a list of 1,700 different scores that belonged to Todd. The video went on to break down his “records” in great detail, while also recalling his time as a referee with Twin Galaxies. The 11-minute clip is gaining large attention within the competitive gaming community. It reveals the flaws in his scores, as well as help he might have received from a programmer with the goal of breaking records in a openly dishonest manner. This could potentially be detrimental to Rogers and his public image, as this could lead to more of his records being challenged and potentially removed. He has yet to respond to the video.
This video comes at a very bad time for Rogers, as he already has two scores being challenged at Twin Galaxies. His score of 1,698 in Wabbit is technically impossible, as scores come in multiples of five, and usually max out at 1,300. In addition, Twin Galaxies is also disputing his score of 99,999,990 on The Legendary Axe for the TurboGrafx16. His score would’ve taken over two continuous days of play, and scores only come in multiples of just 50, with the maximum being 99,999,999. His record is being disputed with allegations that he got it by “leeching”, using a technique that required him to take advantage of bugs in the code.
All of these allegations combined seem to be putting a damper on Todd’s reputability, considering the fact that the official record keepers at Twin Galaxies and Activision themselves are disputing the scores make this even worse for him. Todd Rogers was once seen as a world champion gamer, and all of the recent news about him have been strictly negative. The future might see Rogers banned from Twin Galaxies and his records removed in total. The investigations will continue, but it seems that these record keepers are finding more and more evidence that these scores were achieved dishonestly.