Tetris [Upright model]

Arcade Video game published 33 years ago by Atari Games

Tetris [Upright model] screenshot

Listed and emulated in MAME.

Tetris © 1989 Atari Games.

Tetris is a legendary tile-matching puzzle game for one or two players in which a random sequence of Tetriminos (geometric shapes composed of four square blocks) fall down the playing field and must be destroyed by positioning them to form complete horizontal lines.

The Tetriminos can be moved left and right and can be rotated 90 degrees. When a complete horizontal line is created, it gets destroyed and any block above the deleted line will fall. Once a certain number of lines have been cleared, the player progresses to the next stage, in which the Tetriminos begin to fall faster, giving players less time to plan and react.

The game's seven tetrominos are:
* I (also a "straight polyomino"): four blocks in a straight line.
* O (also a "square polyomino"): four blocks in a 2×2 square.
* T (also a "T-polyomino"): a row of three blocks with one added below the center.
* J: a row of three blocks with one added below the right side.
* L: a row of three blocks with one added below the left side.
* S: two stacked horizontal dominoes with the top one offset to the right.
* Z: two stacked horizontal dominoes with the top one offset to the left.

All seven Tetriminos are capable of single and double line clears. The I, J, and L pieces are able to clear triples. Only the I Tetrimino has the capacity to clear four lines simultaneously and this is referred to as a "Tetris".

The game ends when the stack of Tetriminos reaches the top of the playing field and no new Tetriminos are able to enter the play-field.

Goodies for Tetris [Upright model]
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Upright model

Game ID : 136066

Main CPU : MOS Technology M6502 (@ 1.789772 Mhz)
Sound Chips : (2x) POKEY (@ 1.789772 Mhz)

Screen orientation : Horizontal
Video resolution : 336 x 240 pixels

Players : 2
Control : 8-way joystick
Buttons : 1


Even if the title screen says 1988, Atari's Tetris was released in February 1989.

Tetris is a classic and easily the most famous puzzle-themed video game of all time and is still one of the most popular games today.

Inspired by a pentominoes game he played as a child, Alexey Pajitnov created "Tetris" on an Electronica 60 and released it on June 6, 1984 while he was working for the Dorodnitsyn Computing Centre of the Academy of Science of the Soviet Union in Moscow. He derived its name from the Greek numerical prefix tetra- (all of the game's pieces contain four segments) and tennis, Pajitnov's favorite sport. The game was ported to the IBM PC by Vadim Gerasimov and started to spread around Moscow.

Due to the Soviets' political structure at the time, the inventor, Alexey Pajitnov was not able to patent his game and earned no royalties from the game. This also gave rise to many unofficial "Tetris" clones for all manner of machines.

"Tetris" created a rights war when it was released. Several different companies attempted to secure publishing rights to various consoles and due to some miscommunication, Atari (owners of Tengen) thought they had the rights to publish Tetris on the NES. After selling a great number of copies, they found out that they didn't own the rights and had to pull the remaining copies off the shelf. A licensed version was planned but never released. This is a shame as the Tengen version is considered superior to the later Nintendo version. Tengen's version has split-screen multi-player, 2 player versus mode, computer versus mode and co-op mode.

A pirate version was released by 'Video Games' in 1989 (See 'Updates' for more information).

Goodies for Tetris [Upright model]
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(members only)

The bootleg version (made by 'Video Games') shares a different 'Staff screen' (See Staff section for the original), here is the bootleg one :
Project leader : James Bond
Video Graphics : Tom Catson
Engineer : Ted Tedious
Technician : Log Dreaming
Audio : Bill Cody


Placing a piece : 0 to 500 points

Filling lines across :
Single : 50 points
Double : 150 points
Triple : 400 points
Quadruple 'tetris' : 900 points

Starting on round 4 : 20,000 points
Starting on round 7 : 40,000 points

The end of round bonus depends on how many incomplete lines the player has at the bottom of the well when the round ends :
0 lines : 2,100 points
2 lines : 1,710 points
3 lines : 1,530 points
4 lines : 1,360 points
5 lines : 1,200 points
6 lines : 1,050 points
7 lines : 910 points
8 lines : 780 points
9 lines : 660 points
10 lines : 550 points
11 lines : 450 points
12 lines : 360 points
13 lines : 280 points
14 lines : 210 points
15 lines : 150 points
16 lines : 100 points
17 lines : 60 points
18 lines : 30 points
19 lines : 10 points


While on attract mode, if you pull player 1 joystick to the left and player 2 joystick to the right simultaneously the demo steps into its next phase. If you repeat it a few times the music will start playing...

If you tap the 'rotate' buttons when the guy in the doorway is doing his 'victory dance' a hook will reach out from the side and drag him away by the neck. If you do it when he is just dropping down to do the 'Cossack Kicks', he'll dodge the hook the first time, but get caught by it on the return.


Project leader : Kelly Turner
Programmed by : Norm Avellar, Kelly Turner, Ed Logg
Video graphics by : Kris Moser
Engineer : Doug Snyder
Technician : Glenn Mcnamara
Audio by : Brad Fuller


Nintendo NES ("Tengen Tetris"). This port was not licensed by Nintendo and was only released in North America.


Game's ROM.
Machine's picture.