Many video game records are thought to be extremely difficult, if not theoretically impossible to beat. There’s one out there that may in fact be physically impossible to surpass. It’s the fastest time in Dragster, an Activision title by Pitfall! creator David Crane, and the mark was set 30 years ago today.
Empire Arcadia has the full writeup, but Todd Rogers’ time of 5.51 seconds is three-hundredths of a second faster than the time Activision itself calculated to be a perfect run in the game — something no human could match, much less beat. Rogers, however, did. Impressed, if not a little sceptical, Activision flew Rogers out to the Consumer Electronics Show to have him attempt to repeat the feat. He did, matching his 5.51 time.
It is a full tenth of a second faster than the second-place record holder certified by Twin Galaxies, the international video game records authority, for whom Rogers is now a head referee. No one has come close to his 5.51, nor even the theoretically perfect 5.54, in more than 30 years. Some records still survive from console and arcade gaming’s antiquity, but none are older than this one.
Phoenix Dynasty: 30 Years in the making [Empire Arcadia, h/t Lance E.]