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First Completion of NES Tetris Achieved by Determined Player

Blue Scudi/YouTube

Tetris stands as a timeless and widely cherished video game, gracing an array of platforms from consoles to computers and various gadgets. While numerous adaptations introduce story-driven conclusions, the original endless mode remained a formidable challenge, deemed unconquerable by humans until recently. Revealed by YouTuber aGameScout, a groundbreaking achievement unfolded as a 13-year-old, Willis Gibson, aka Blue Scuti on YouTube, emerged as the inaugural individual to “beat” the NES version of Tetris, a feat accomplished 34 years after its initial 1989 release.

The use of quotation marks around “beat” is deliberate, underscoring the distinctive nature of this accomplishment. Gibson, hailing from Oklahoma, didn’t attain an authorized ending, simply because there isn’t one. Instead, his mastery of the game reached such heights that it triggered a rare kill screen, crashing the game. These kill screens typically arise from overflow errors induced by accelerating the game to a point where the software struggles to keep pace.

After 38 minutes of intense gameplay, the teenager accomplished this remarkable feat, capturing the moment on video for posterity. While he stands as the first individual to achieve this feat, an AI program named StackRabbit previously forced a kill screen with the NES Tetris in 2021. A triumph for humanity indeed!

The accomplishment was made possible by employing the rolling technique, a distinctive gameplay style where players smoothly slide their fingers along the bottom of an NES controller, utilizing that momentum to roll the controller into the other hand. Executed with precision, this technique enables up to 20 D-pad hits per second. The introduction of this method marked a revolutionary shift in competitive Tetris play a couple of years ago. Before this particular achievement, the 13-year-old prodigy had already shattered the game’s high score record, level achieved record, and the total number of lines cleared, all through the adept use of the rolling technique.

Gibson, known as Blue Scudi, shared with another YouTuber that he dedicates this extraordinary achievement to his late father, who sadly passed away in December. In an emotional tribute, he revealed that the gameplay session was so intense that he couldn’t feel his fingers afterward.

Attaining the legendary kill screen holds a special significance as a rite of passage in the realm of old-school games. For those familiar with the documentary “King of Kong,” which delves into the competitive world of the Donkey Kong arcade cabinet, the fierce competition for these bragging rights is well-known. The pursuit of hitting the kill screen extends beyond Tetris, with players achieving this milestone in games like Pac-Man, Dig Dug, Duck Hunt, and various others.

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