A 13-year-old boy reaches level 157, passing the legendary 1989 NES game
Tetris has been defeated. After 34 years of its premiere on the NES, Nintendo’s console, a player has managed to reach the final level. In this case the game “crashes” and it is impossible to continue. Until now all games had ended with the blocks stacking up resulting in a Game Over.
The challenges that made it impossible to reach the end
The player who achieved the feat is nicknamed Blue Scuti and is 13 years old. To overcome the challenge he has had to face several problems. The first of them is speedsince with each line eliminated in Tetris, the speed with which the blocks descend increases. This is true until level 29, in which it is virtually impossible to move the blocks to the sides, which means Game over at that level.
In 2011, 22 years after its release, this level was surpassed through a technique that consisted of Press the hand buttons in a certain way to make movements faster. As the years progressed, players surpassed levels until setting the record at level 146. The problem is that another barrier arose that made it difficult to advance.
Upon reaching this level the color palette becomes confusing. Let’s remember that we are talking about the NES version of the game, with features from 1989, such as its low memory, which forced it to save space with diffuse colors. Since its creators—nor anyone—expected someone to reach level 146, in this case the colors were practically indistinguishable.
Finally, at the end of 2023, Blue Scuti reached level 157, causing the game to crashas you can see at minute 38:57 of the video embedded under this paragraph. 34 years after its release, Tetris had been defeated by a human.
It was known that the game had an end
Despite being almost 40 years old, this game has a huge community that studies its mechanics, and until now, tried calculate what is the level at which the final screen was reached. Before addressing the previous calculations, it is important to clarify two things:
- A machine had reached level 237
- The version is NTSC
The final screen is when it crashes. It is not scheduled to happen, because the developers did not appreciate that it was possible for someone to reach a level where it would happen. An AI previously managed to reach level 237but I was playing a modified version, so it doesn’t count. This was designed by programmer Greg Cannon.
At this level the game crashed, which made it possible to verify that there was a moment where it could not continue working. After performing some calculations, he came to the conclusion that the unaltered version was supposed to end at around level 150. Then the “human record” was at level 148, so Blue Scuti surpassed it in no time.
He did it in the NTSC version, a coding system. In the PAL another player had arrived further ahead, but in this one the blocks descend at a speed 20% slower, so it is not counted either. Broadly speaking, NTSC is the American version and PAL is the European version and the rest of the world, although it exists elsewhere. If the news has bitten you, you can play a game in its version for Androidoh even from Facebook.
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