Retro Let's Play: "Tetris" (1984)

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by elvis, May 1, 2018.

  1. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Retro Let's Play for early May 2018: Tetris

    Originally developed by Russian AI research programmer Alexey Pajitnov in 1984. "Tetris" has a fascinating history of rights, licensing and publishing due to a lot of complexities around the then communist USSR, and some rather shady agreements within a fledgling video games industry.

    As a result of both it's popularity, simplicity to port, and wide distribution, the game was ported to hundreds of devices and systems. HG101's top 47,858 games (which we're following for our list of "Let's Play" games) recently reviewed the Gameboy version (which many consider the original Gameboy's "killer app"), and ranked it number 1 in their list. However for our Let's Play this month, we'll play and talk about any port, platform of version, official or otherwise.

    The word "Tetris" comes from a combination of the Greek word "tetra" (meaning "four"), and Patjinov's favourite sport, tennis. The game consists of "tetriminos" - the entire set of shapes that can be made by putting four squares together with a minimum of one entire side touching another square - falling from the top of the screen to the bottom. The player must arrange these to minimise empty space. On completion of a complete horizontal line of squares, that line is erased, and the gameplay can continue. Making a complete 4-line set in a single move is called "a Tetris", and earns the player more points.

    The gameplay can be level based, or run in an "endless mode". The game itself is simple, but addictive, which has led it to be the highest selling video game of all time, with an estimated 170 million sales since release:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_video_games

    The history of Tetris and it's publishing, licensing and distribution is complex. To avoid a lengthy post, I'll link to a far more detailed documentary on the game's history:



    Obtaining a version of the game to play is trivial. Archive.org has countless versions available for download and play in browser:
    https://archive.org/search.php?query=tetris

    The second version ever made (and the first version available outside of Russia) was for PC running on MS-DOS, and can be played in your browser here (note, you need a numeric keypad to control it sensibly):
    https://archive.org/details/msdos_Tetris_1986

    And either an in-browser or download option here:
    https://www.myabandonware.com/game/tetris-1sp

    And the current rights holder, The Tetris Company, even lets you play it on their website for free:
    https://tetris.com/play-tetris

    Be sure to share with us your Tetris memories, whether they be your first exposure to it, or your favourite version.

    And of course, if you ever think you're pretty good at the game, try "Tetris: The Grand Master" by Arika. Remember that if you ever finish the game, you have to play it in "invisible mode" during the game's credits.

     
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
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  2. power

    power Member

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    oh for reals?

    can we do variations that ppl may not have played like Welltris and stuff like that as a theme - SURELY everyone has played this to death?

    The version i played the most was built into a disk copying program on my Amiga ;) nibble copy was too fast for this version! (Tetracopy).

     
  3. OP
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I was on the fence about it, but I think it's still worth tracking down some of the crazier versions. And heck, I did say we'd play through the HG101 top 47,858 for better or worse. It only just popped up as number 1 last month, to my surprise.

    Sure! It certainly has one hell of a legacy.

    My favourite versions are:

    Bombliss: just getting a line isn't enough, you need to have a bomb in the row to explode. Chain explosions for more points, or combine 4 bombs into a super bomb for extra explosiony goodness:



    Tetris DS: Dual screen Tetris that somehow ends up being even more fun than the Gameboy original, and is IMHO the single best head-to-head competitive Tetris version available. Best of all, it only requires 1 cartridge, and the second Nintendo DS can get the code sent to it wirelessly to play as the second player.

     
  4. Boneman

    Boneman Member

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    Stay well away from the Famicom version :sick::sick::sick:


    tetrii.jpg
     
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  5. kombiman

    kombiman Dis-Member

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  6. nimmers

    nimmers Member

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    I've got the Arcade Sega Naomi version here. Not so good :(
     
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    So my goal this fortnight is to track down and emulate the original Electronika 60 version of this. Hopefully MAME/MESS has this (a quick search suggested it wasn't available as late as a year ago, but maybe that's changed, or there are other ways to play it.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronika_60

    The Electronika 60 is a hardware clone of the LSI-11/PDP-11, shrunk down to terminal size, made by DEC. The PDP-11 is well emulated, so maybe there's a way to play the game code on that?

    I've updated the original post, but the second ever version was ported to PC/MS-DOS, and is available to play in your browser here (a numeric keypad on your keyboard works best):
    https://archive.org/details/msdos_Tetris_1986
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
  8. GumbyNoTalent

    GumbyNoTalent Member

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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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  10. PabloEscobar

    PabloEscobar Member

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    A generation ago, I got my Original Gameboy, it my Parents bought me Super Mario Land with it, but it held little interest compared to Tetris, needless to say, I suffered from Tetris Syndrome for a long time, and still get the occasional flashback, Fond memories of watching that little pixel shuttle launch.

    A While later, a friend also got a gameboy, and I got to experience the joy of utterly destroying another person, sending down line piece after line piece, adding row upon row to my hapless opponents screen.

    Later, the internet came along, and with it, IRC and #Tetrinet... 6 player Tetrinet, more opponents for me to destroy, and more unique ways to destroy them... so much time spent positioning and dropping blocks, block quakeing my opponents, and trying to recover from being block quaked myself.

    We didn't have metrics back then that measured play time, but I'm sure the 1000 hours I've spent on Factorio, would pale in comparison to the total time spent playing Tetris, in one form or another over the years.
     
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  11. th3_hawk

    th3_hawk Member

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    I still have my original Gameboy and Tetris in the cupboard. I rarely (if ever) play any of the other games, but Tetris is one I still bust out from time to time. Sometimes I'll play it on the original Gameboy for real nostalgia, but more often I'll play it on the Gameboy Advance SP because it has a backlit screen which makes everything just a little (much) easier to use.

    I can still pull off a little rocket for scoring over 100,000 in the A-Type game and the big rocket with all the dancers for finishing B-Type level 9 high 5!

    I was just reading a wiki about the game and it seems to say that in the A-Type game it's a missile and that there are three different missiles you can get for 100,000, 150,000 and 200,000 points! Something I didn't know and something I will have to test now :)

    https://harddrop.com/wiki/Tetris_(Game_Boy)
     
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  12. PabloEscobar

    PabloEscobar Member

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    B Type was easy to clock.

    A Type, Down Start. Level 9 - Go.
     
  13. Boneman

    Boneman Member

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    Well then, lets bust out those Gameboys, heres an early score for the week.

    tetris150.jpg
     
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  14. OP
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    The 2017 Classic Tetris World Championships finals:



    This was definitely the joy I got with Tetris DS. I missed the original Gameboy era (was deep into my Sega Master System at the time), but the DS remake did an amazing job of the head-to-head mode. And as above, you only needed one cartridge to do it thanks to the wireless game-sending technology built into the NDS.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
  15. PabloEscobar

    PabloEscobar Member

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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    See the "Tetris Grand Master" video at the end of the first post in this thread.
     
  17. shredder

    shredder Member

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    This doco from 2011/12 was fun. Can't remember offhand if we talked about it here, at the time.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecstasy_of_Order:_The_Tetris_Masters

     
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  18. Boneman

    Boneman Member

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  19. th3_hawk

    th3_hawk Member

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    Pulled out the toys tonight :)

    D215CEE9-ED75-444C-A87F-65DE8F6B3A7E.jpeg 1A5387C7-7D26-48CA-8FB4-4BCE37F9449D.jpeg
     
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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