Meet the 13-Year-Old Gamer Who Shattered the ‘Unbeatable’ Tetris Record
A 13-year-old gamer, Willis Gibson, has achieved the unimaginable by becoming the first player to break the original Nintendo version of Tetris. While this may not seem like a traditional victory, Willis managed to trigger a “kill screen,” a coveted achievement in the gaming world where the game glitches and crashes. Tetris, a game known for its unbeatable nature, has finally been conquered by a young prodigy.
A Monumental Achievement in the Gaming World
For gamers who believed that Tetris had no scripted ending, Willis’s victory is a groundbreaking achievement. The game had always challenged players to extend their winning streaks by reaching higher levels, but in the end, it defeated them all. However, Willis managed to trigger a kill screen on Level 157, pushing the game’s software beyond its limits and making history.
The CEO of Tetris, Maya Rogers, praised Willis for his extraordinary accomplishment and acknowledged the significance of his victory. With Tetris celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, Willis’s achievement is seen as a monumental milestone in the game’s history.
A Long Road to Victory
The journey to defeating Tetris has been a long and challenging one. Early on, players struggled to progress beyond the 20s and 30s levels due to their lack of knowledge about advanced techniques. One major roadblock was Level 29, where the blocks fell faster than the in-game controller could respond. However, over time, players discovered new techniques and methods to overcome these obstacles and reach higher levels.
In 2011, a player used a technique called “hypertapping” to reach Level 30 by rhythmically vibrating their fingers to move the controller faster. This technique enabled players to progress even further, with one reaching Level 35 by 2018. Another breakthrough came in 2020 when a gamer combined a multifinger technique with a rolling approach, allowing them to reach Level 95. However, as players pushed the game’s limits, new challenges emerged.
The Rise of Glitches and Technical Challenges
The original developers of Tetris never anticipated players pushing the game to such extremes, resulting in unforeseen glitches and technical challenges. At higher levels, random color combinations appeared on the screen, making it difficult to distinguish the blocks from the background. This issue, combined with increasingly longer game durations of over 40 minutes, slowed down progress.
To break this logjam, a Tetris-playing AI program called StackRabbit was created. It managed to reach Level 237 before crashing the game, demonstrating that game-ending glitches could be triggered by specific events. This inspired human players to map out all possible scenarios that could cause crashes in the original game, eventually compiling a large spreadsheet detailing the most likely conditions for a crash.
Willis’s Remarkable Triumph
Armed with this knowledge, Willis embarked on his quest to shatter the Tetris record. In a nail-biting livestream video, he reaches Level 157 and triggers the kill screen, causing him to react with a mix of shock and excitement. After the game crashes, Willis even mentions feeling lightheaded and unable to feel his fingers due to the intensity of the moment.
Willis Gibson’s victory in breaking the “unbeatable” Tetris record is an inspiration to gamers everywhere. His skill, determination, and ability to push the boundaries of the game serve as a testament to the ever-evolving nature of the gaming world. As Tetris celebrates its 40th anniversary, Willis’s achievement will undoubtedly be remembered as a defining moment in the game’s history.