13-year-old gaming streamer Blue Scuti has become the first human to beat the classic Tetris game on the Nintendo Entertainment System, almost 35 years after its release. Previously, the game had only been beaten by artificial intelligence. Blue achieved the feat during a semi-final round of the Classic Tetris World Championship (CTWC) and set three world records in the process: the highest overall score (6,850,560), the highest level achieved (Level 157), and the most total number of lines (1,511). Wow!
The game is “beat” when it crashes, and the screen freezes. For the first two decades of the game’s existence, it was believed that progress past level 29 was impossible because the pieces are falling so fast that holding left or right will not move a piece all the way to one side or the other before it reaches the bottom. That led gamers to start getting creative with how they used their controllers.
According to Polygon, Blue’s strategy “was a culmination of the technique that younger players have been developing in recent years. These newer strategies, like ‘hypertapping’ and later ‘rolling,’ emerged in 2016 and 2020 respectively, allowing players to operate the NES controller even faster than the buttons by tapping the underside of the controller.” I’ve seen players doing that in videos and wondered what was happening! That explains it. Me? I’m lucky to hit the right button at all, let alone at lightning speed.