Tetris The Absolute The Grand Master 2

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Tetris The Absolute The Grand Master 2
TAP flyer.jpg
Arcade flyer for Tetris The Absolute The Grand Master 2 PLUS
Platform(s)Arcade, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
  • JP: October, 2000
  • JP: December, 2000
PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
  • WW: June 1, 2023
PredecessorTetris The Grand Master
SequelTetris The Grand Master 3 Terror-Instinct
Gameplay info
Next pieces1
Playfield size10 × 20
Hold pieceNo
Hard dropYes (Sonic Drop)
Rotation systemTGM rotation
Arika tap title.jpg
Arika tap ingame.jpg

Tetris The Absolute The Grand Master 2[a] (also known as T.A., and TGM2) is Arika's second title in the TGM series. It is an arcade game published by Psikyo in October 2000. On June 1, 2023 a console version was released for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch as an Arcade Archives title.[1] The Grand Master 2 introduced the less-intimidating Normal mode to attract more casual gamers, as well as an all-new grading system in Master mode, the continuation of TGM's original gameplay.

Two months later in the same year, a free upgrade of the game, titled Tetris The Absolute The Grand Master 2 PLUS (also known as TAP, and TGM2) was released, which added TGM+, T.A. Death, and increased the GM requirements for Master mode. It is very rare to find a The Grand Master 2 arcade PCB that has not been updated to the PLUS version.


Sonic drop

Sonic drop, a hard drop that doesn't lock, was added to the base TGM gameplay, which improves low gravity gameplay by allowing Zangi-moves.

Buffer zone

Above the playfield, the game uses a single-row buffer zone, effectively extending the height of the playfield from 20 to 21. Row 21 allows blocks that lock in it to reappear once the stack is lowered. Any row above it, however, is not part of the buffer zone, meaning that blocks that lock in such rows get deleted and will not reappear once the stack is lowered.

Game modes


Normal mode plays similarly to Master mode in gravity and speed timings, but ends at level 300. At levels 100 and 200 an item block is given to the player. "Free Fall," which eliminates all holes, is given at 100. "Del Even," which clears every other row throughout the field is given at 200. The credit roll challenge is a slow 20g, but playing through it is not required for a "Clear". See scoring bellow for how score is calculated in this mode.

Speed timings

The unit for gravity is G (rows per frame), as a fraction with a constant denominator of 256. This means G = Internal Gravity/256. For example, at levels 90 through 99, the gravity is 64/256G, or 1/4G.

Internal Gravity
Level Internal Gravity
(1/256 G)
Level Internal Gravity
(1/256 G)
0 4 149 48
8 5 156 80
19 6 164 112
35 8 174 128
40 10 180 144
50 12 200 16
60 16 212 48
70 32 221 80
80 48 232 112
90 64 244 144
100 4 256 176
108 5 267 192
119 6 277 208
125 8 287 224
131 12 295 240
139 32 300 5120 (20G)
Level ARE
Line clear
000 - 300 27 16 30 40


Master mode is Arika's evolution of the original Tetris The Grand Master gameplay. In TGM the speed timings remain the same for the entire length of the game. New to The Absolute is shrinking delays that speed up the game after level 500. The length of the game remains the same, with players trying to complete 999 levels.

Speed timings

Internal Gravity[2]
Level Internal Gravity
(1/256 G)
Level Internal Gravity
(1/256 G)
0 4 220 32
30 6 230 64
35 8 233 96
40 10 236 128
50 12 239 160
60 16 243 192
70 32 247 224
80 48 251 256 (1G)
90 64 300 512 (2G)
100 80 330 768 (3G)
120 96 360 1024 (4G)
140 112 400 1280 (5G)
160 128 420 1024 (4G)
170 144 450 768 (3G)
200 4 500 5120 (20G)
Level ARE
Line ARE
Line clear
000 - 499 27 27 16 30 40
500 - 600 27 27 10 30 25
601 - 700 27 18 10 30 16
701 - 800 18 14 10 30 12
801 - 900 14 8 10 30 6
901 - 999 14 8 8 17 6

Line ARE defines the number of frames of ARE to use after a line clear. The player's DAS charge is unmodified during line clear delay, the first frame of "lock flash" that occurs during the beginning of ARE without a line clear, and one frame of level-increment delay a little before the next piece spawns, and the frame a piece spawns.

Grade Recognition System

Main article: Grade Recognition System

A new version of GRS (Grade Recognition System) was developed for The Absolute. This time, instead of the player's score, their speed and skill are taken into account. Additionally, the GM grade requirements have been expanded, including Tetris line clear requirements, faster completion time, and an invisible credit roll challenge, which is called the M-Roll.

In The Absolute, grades go from 9–1, S1–S9, M, GM.

Credit roll

See also: Grade Recognition System#Credit roll

If a player completes 999 levels, the playfield is cleared, and a new challenge starts, with the credits rolling behind the stack. There are two credit rolls in The Absolute Plus, the Fading Roll, and the M-Roll. The Fading Roll is a 1 minute challenge, where pieces in the stack will fade out four seconds after locking. If a player clears the Fading Roll, their rank will be underlined with an orange line, which ranks above green lines, or players who did not clear the Fading Roll with the same grade, regardless of completion time.

If the player unlocks the M-Roll, they are met with an invisible challenge. Pieces turn invisible as soon as they lock down. If the player fails to clear, they are awarded the M grade. If the player clears the M-Roll with less than 32 line clears, they are awarded a Green line GM grade. Surviving the M-Roll with 32 or more line clears will award the player an Orange line GM, the highest possible grade.



TGM+ is a rising garbage mode, similar to Sega's Bloxeed. Players must dig through to survive as they progress through the 999 levels. This mode has speed timings similar to TGM. An internal counter is incremented every time a tetromino is locked down without clearing lines; once this counter reaches , a row of garbage rises from the floor of the playfield, and the counter resets.[d] The garbage follows the fixed pattern shown here, looping every 24 rows.

Unlike other modes, TGM+ has no grades, medals, or ranking. A credit roll is played upon reaching level 999, but similarly to TGM, it is not neccessary to survive the credit roll. After the credit roll, a message "Excellent!" is displayed.

Gravity is the same as Master mode, while speed timings are the same as Normal mode.

T.A. Death

In T.A. Death, gravity is fixed at 20G for the entirety of the game. Combined with increased speed timings, it is one of the most difficult modes to complete in the series.

A video originally titled "Death 800", features a player breaking level 800, went viral under the name "Tetris Japan Finals". This video created widespread knowledge of the game, and is responsible for introducing many of the first Western players to the series.[3]


Only two grades are achievable: M and Gm. The conditions are:

  • The player must reach level 500 under (or equal to) 3:25:00, the M grade is given and the game will continue to 999.
  • Gm is awarded at 999 regardless of time or score. The game continues through the credits, with no effect when playing on or blocking out.

Because of a torikan, if the player reaches level 500 with a time greater than 3:25:00, the timer will stop and the credits will roll. The player is given an "Excellent!" but no grade.

Speed timings

Though Death mode has a fixed gravity of 20G, there are 4 other timings that shape the flow and speed of play.

Level ARE
Line ARE
Line clear
000 - 099 18 14 12 30 12
100 - 199 14 8 12 26 6
200 - 299 14 8 11 22 6
300 - 399 8 8 10 18 6
400 - 499 7 7 8 15 5
500 - 999 6 6 8 15 4

As a result of these timings, there is no time penalty for clearing singles instead of Tetrises from level 100–299. As these values decrease, the options for piece placement gradually reduce, becoming a subset of what was once possible in regular 20G.


Doubles is a two-player cooperative mode that puts both players in one well that is 14 units wide instead of 10. In TAP, it is selectable from the menu. In The Grand Master 2, it was accessed by one player holding down the start button on their side while the other player pressed the other start button to join in. In TAP, one credit pays for both players.

Each player has a separate level counter and lines they clear are only added to their level. Both players must reach level 300 to complete the game. Like in Normal, there are no level stops at 99 or 199, but each player must clear a line to go from 299 to 300. Whichever player reaches 300 first enters the credit roll speed of 20G until the other player also reaches 300, at which point the timer stops and the credits start. It is quite difficult to survive for long in 20G with such a wide well, so winning requires a fine degree of coordination between the players so that they both clear a line to advance to 300 at nearly the same time. Also like Normal, the credit roll can be fast-forwarded by holding down Start, and surviving it does not matter; the score is awarded a green line regardless.

Doubles has some bugs regarding input handling which can result in one player's DAS being instantly charged or their inputs being ignored. These are not currently fully understood, but seem to have to do with inputs that occur on the same frame that one's partner clears a line. There is also odd-looking behavior which could be considered a bug when one player places a piece on top of the other player's piece which clears a line.

Speed timings

Internal Gravity
Level Internal Gravity
(1/256 G)
Level Internal Gravity
(1/256 G)
0 4 119 6
8 5 135 8
19 6 140 10
35 8 150 12
40 10 160 16
50 12 170 32
60 16 180 48
70 32 190 64
80 48 200 80
90 64 220 96
100 4 240 112
108 5 260 128
300 5120 (20G)


See also: Tetris The Grand Master#Vs. Mode
See also: TGM Versus Mode Guide

The versus mode in The Absolute works in a very much like its predecessor, The Grand Master. Each player plays in their own playfield. Clearing two or more lines will cause garbage lines to be sent to the bottom of their opponent's playfield. Unlike garbage in other Tetris games, the garbage holes correspond to the location of the line clearing piece. This means that the usual playing style of the series, of leaving a column down the right for Tetrises is not as beneficial, because if both players do it then any garbage sent will line up with the opponent's Tetris hole. Alternating sides, or using other pieces to clear lines will send garbage that is more difficult to the opponent to clear. Versus mode in Bloxeed and DuelTris worked similarly.

All of the four single player modes can be played in Versus mode, although a Normal mode game will be temporarily converted to Master for the duration of the match, signified by the playfield frame changing from grey stone to grey metal. Normal, Master and Death use their respective speed curves for each player. TGM+ mode has garbage rising automatically from the bottom, in the same way it does on single-player.

To start a versus match, either player picks a mode, and starts as if playing alone. When the second player pushes their respective start button (assuming there is a credit) they will be asked if they want to challenge the other player. If they choose 'yes', then the other player will lose their game, "Here comes a new challenger" will scroll across the screen, and versus mode will start in whatever mode the first player was playing in. To prevent unwanted versus games, the first player can press their start button, which will cause "No more challenger" to display on the opposite field. Pressing the start button again cancels this effect. If a second player starts while "No more challenger" is displayed, then it will skip the challenge menu and go straight to the mode select.

For versus the default target level is 200, and time limit of 2:40:00. The target level can be changed in the game setup (in 100 level increments), with the time increasing or decreasing by 1:20:00 for every 100 levels. If a player tops out their field, then they lose. If neither player tops out their field in the allocated time limit, then the winner is the player with the highest level. If a player reaches the target level then the game ends and they are declared the winner. By default, the overall winner is the first player to win two games, but this can be changed in the game setup.

Items can be turned off by each player holding their respective start buttons as Versus mode is initiated. If A+B is also held down on both players, garbage is also turned off completely, activating what the game calls "Cement mode."


Each player has a green bar to the side of their field. With each piece placement, this bar increases slightly. When the bar is filled, after placing 20 pieces, the next piece the player receives will be an item piece. The shape of the piece is retained, but the appearance of the individual composite blocks will be different, depending on the item. The piece is placed normally, and the item is used automatically when a line containing part of the item piece is cleared. Bloxeed was the inspiration for items,[citation needed] which many of the powerups, like the 16 ton weight, and delete even where the basis of items in The Absolute. Unlike Bloxeed, DuelTris, and Tetris DS, the entire piece counts as the item, instead of only one block of it.

Pieces are chosen using a bag system, with each item having their own weight. Items with a heavier weight are less likely to be chosen first, and is generally why "Dark" is the last item to be dealt in the bag. Once the bag is depleted, it is repeated a second time.

Most of the items from The Grand Master are reused. SPIN FIELD and PRESS FIELD were removed, and COLOR BLOCK, DARK BLOCK, and MIRROR BLOCK were added.

Attack items
DEATH BLOCK Makes the opponent's next block big.
NEGA FIELD Flip the playfield's occupied cells to empty, and empty cells to occupied.
180° FIELD Rotate the playfield upside down and move the newly rotated cells down.
SHOT GUN! Randomly shoot a group of holes in the opponent's stack.
HARD BLOCK The opponent's next piece must be cleared twice to be removed from the playfield.
LASER BLOCK Remove a column of holes in the opponent's stack. The attacker many move the laser by pressing left and right.
ROLL ROLL The opponent's next 3 pieces are auto rotating by a fixed interval.
TRANS FORM The opponent's next 3 pieces will change tetromino every time the piece is rotated.
X-RAY A partially invisible effect is applied to the opponent's stack for a short period.
COLOR BLOCK A partially invisible effect is applied to the opponent's stack for a very short period.
DARK BLOCK Stack becomes fully invisible for a medium period.
MIRROR BLOCK The opponent's stack is mirrored 3 times for each new piece, leaving it mirrored after the 3rd piece.
Defense items
↑ DEL FIELD Deletes the upper half of the player's playfield.
↓ DEL FIELD Deletes the lower half of the player's playfield.
→ MOV FIELD Push every cell in the player's playfield to the right.
← MOV FIELD Push every cell in the player's playfield to the left.
DEL EVEN Deletes every 2nd row in the player's playfield.
Special items
FREE FALL Forces all cells to move down in the player's playfield removing any holes.
EXCHG FIELD Swaps the player's and opponent's playfield.

Medal conditions

Medal conditions[4]
Medal Bronze Silver Gold
AC (All Clear) Complete 1 Bravo Complete 2 Bravos Complete 3 Bravos
RO (Rotation) Rotations/tetromino >= 6/5 from level 0 to 300[i] Rotations/tetromino >= 6/5 from level 300 to 700[i] Rotations/tetromino >= 6/5 from level 700 to 999[i]
ST (Section Time) Approach section time record (<10 seconds slower)[ii] Approach section time record (<5 seconds slower)[ii] Beat section time record[ii]
SK (Skill)
Master 10 Tetrises
Death 5 Tetrises
Big 1 Tetris
Master 20 Tetrises
Death 10 Tetrises
Big 2 Tetrises
Master 35 Tetrises
Death 17 Tetrises
Big 4 Tetrises
RE (Recovery) Perform 1 recovery[iii] Perform 2 recoveries[iii] Perform 4 recoveries[iii]
CO (Combo) Reach a combo of 4.
Big: Reach a combo of 2[iv]
Reach a combo of 5.
Big: Reach a combo of 3[iv]
Reach a combo of 7.
Big: Reach a combo of 4[iv]
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 For each medal's level range, up to 3,000 rotations are counted, with up to 4 rotations per placed tetromino counting towards the total for each medal.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Death ST records reset to the default 42 seconds every time the machine is switched on
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Have 150 or more blocks in the playfield, then clear until <=70 blocks remain
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Single line clears keep the current combo active, but do not add to it.


Like TGM, points are only awarded when the player completes line clears. A bonus for using sonic drop is new to the scoring formula. The Absolute Plus also changes the scoring system, adding a reward for fast play among other changes. The formulas are:



  • is the ceiling function (i.e. the contents are rounded up).
  • Level is the level just before the line clear.
  • Lines is the number of lines you just cleared.
  • Level After Clear is is the level just after the line clear. This is different from for edge cases like reaching 300 in Normal mode, 500 when being torikan-stopped in Death mode, and reaching 999 otherwise.
  • Soft is the cumulative number of frames during which Down was held during the piece's active time. Note that this means manually locking pieces already on the ground will increase the Soft value by 1.
  • Sonic is the number of rows covered by the single greatest sonic drop during the piece's active time. Note that this is non-cumulative.
  • If the previous piece cleared no lines, Combo is reset to 1. This calculation is done before the score calculation:
    Example: A double-triple-single combo will have combo values 3, 7, and 7 respectively.
  • Bravo is equal to 4 if this line clear resulted in a perfect clear, otherwise it is 1.
  • Speed can be no less than 0, and is otherwise equal to:
    where Lock Delay is the number of frames of lock delay given out for that particular level, and Active Time is the number of frames the piece was active (which is a minimum of 1).

Normal mode multiplies line clear scores by 6 and the player is given a time bonus of where Seconds is the clear time in seconds.


Changes between TA and TAP

  • M-Roll conditions have been changed. Notably, the section time conditions have been altered and the required Tetrises per section have been increased for for the first 5 sections.
  • Two new modes have been added, TGM+ and T.A. Death.
  • Scoring formula has been changed, adding an extra term for the level after the line clear and another for placement speed.
  • The method for accessing Doubles has changed and it is selectable from the mode select screen.


Item mode

When selecting either Master or TGM+ mode, hold B and C, then press Start while "READY" is still on-screen. If the code was correctly entered, the "NEXT" text will pulsate when the game starts. This code causes item pieces to appear like in 2-player versus mode, except all effects from items are sent to yourself.

Title screen codes

The following codes should be entered on the title screen, and only take effect in Normal mode and Master mode. Using them disqualifies the score from appearing in the rankings.

Name Code Effect
20G Mode DDDDDDDDCBA Forces maximum gravity.
Big Mode LLLLDCBA Tetrominoes are twice their normal size, simulating a 10 × 5 well.
TLS Mode ABCCBAACB The ghost piece always appears throughout the game.
Key: L = Left, D = Down, U = Up, R = Right

Arcade Archives version

This section needs expansion. You can help TetrisWiki by expanding it.

The Arcade Archives version released for the Nintendo Switch and PS4 features new modes and online leaderboards.


The tables below provide verified lists of archives and files to make sure that Tetris the Absolute the Grand Master 2 and/or Tetris the Absolute the Grand Master 2 Plus can be emulated properly. There aren't any guides, at this point, for dumping these required files from the PCBs; but these files can be searched out on the Internet.

Downloadable Archives
Archive MD5 Hash
tgm2.zip b05e0334f9bfdc70ddb67ab298682ce1
tgm2p.zip e7d45937e7e39a62ed9d927a43c9f623
Required TGM2 Files
File MD5 Hash
1.u22 2e5b07573c26d7848b7bc4090a101dc8
2.u21 a046a504b60d73b177875007b9dc1196
81ts_3l.u6 692775964ab65326a59faff93b4fd3b5
82ts_3h.u14 e525a5bdc61fba20d5ba8cb98da76ab8
83ts_4l.u7 d6e125cb3a78328e4e44734b5d94e7a6
84ts_4h.u15 bd954b63ed5f753b05d6fba446a76b56
85ts_5l.u8 4de3657e0a84c47c4eff2858fe9c4284
86ts_5h.u16 428c2b080db0e9de297a16afe353f95e
87ts_6l.u1 a612c22bff929667e771f30d290c9ec6
88ts_6h.u2 7a95be9538c8ab68cec8a181d43a0541
89ts_7l.u19 e723da63f626cb010cf4e7354ee04d6f
90ts_7h.u20 eed4787610e2c765d386c6cedff9029c
91ts_8l.u28 d9e0dcb0c43c585ed11b06bc2f62ba8f
92ts_8h.u29 a440108aa574ae68eaef865001a6a3a3
93ts_9l.u41 24db7b6b6329ed26e697ac188a84c8c6
94ts_9h.u42 74f5501b8cc62a1332280a30946ee23b
95ts_10l.u58 56a384d97e88bafb38033e9d1b798ec4
96ts_10h.u59 a678c8ede77f2eed977902397238b720
97ts_snd.u52 a3ca101d1535df544ced5eeb63fd1c45
tgm2.default.nv 9b96866fb3f5581548be9ec9f8b1fb13
Required TGM2P Files
File MD5 Hash
1b.u22 b4d96efe098365cd9edc616377d18dae
2b.u21 a32329eb82a7a64747b2b7b9cdf5a570
81ts_3l.u6 692775964ab65326a59faff93b4fd3b5
82ts_3h.u14 e525a5bdc61fba20d5ba8cb98da76ab8
83ts_4l.u7 d6e125cb3a78328e4e44734b5d94e7a6
84ts_4h.u15 bd954b63ed5f753b05d6fba446a76b56
85ts_5l.u8 4de3657e0a84c47c4eff2858fe9c4284
86ts_5h.u16 428c2b080db0e9de297a16afe353f95e
87ts_6l.u1 a612c22bff929667e771f30d290c9ec6
88ts_6h.u2 7a95be9538c8ab68cec8a181d43a0541
89ts_7l.u19 e723da63f626cb010cf4e7354ee04d6f
90ts_7h.u20 eed4787610e2c765d386c6cedff9029c
91ts_8l.u28 d9e0dcb0c43c585ed11b06bc2f62ba8f
92ts_8h.u29 a440108aa574ae68eaef865001a6a3a3
93ts_9l.u41 24db7b6b6329ed26e697ac188a84c8c6
94ts_9h.u42 74f5501b8cc62a1332280a30946ee23b
95ts_10l.u58 56a384d97e88bafb38033e9d1b798ec4
96ts_10h.u59 a678c8ede77f2eed977902397238b720
97ts_snd.u52 a3ca101d1535df544ced5eeb63fd1c45
tgm2p.default.nv 13ab7213275b3ba66d377e901e3f6b7a

The current version of MAME is capable of running Tetris The Absolute The Grand Master 2 and Tetris The Absolute The Grand Master 2 Plus. MAME can either be run as a standalone program on Windows or the Macintosh, or as a core through other Emulator frontends such as RetroArch or OpenEmu (Experimental).

Physical scans

Psikyo SH-2, JP
Tetris The Grand Master 2 The Absolute Plus arcade PCB.jpg
PCB, 310×230×33 mm


  1. Japanese: テトリス ジ・アブソリュート ザ・グランドマスター2 Hepburn: Tetorisu Ji Abusoryūto Za Gurandomasutā 2
  2. RAM Locations:
    • 06064BF1: Current internal speed value (16-bit)
    • 06064BE0: Current Lock Delay value
    • 06064BE1: DAS counter
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 The following timing values are adjusted to what a player would observe, including inclusive DAS counting (internally DAS delay is counted exclusively and ARE excludes lock flash and the last frame).
  4. RAM Locations:
    • 06064C30: Number of tetrominoes played without line clears
    • 06064C31: Position in garbage sequence


  1. "Switch/ PS 4 `akeaka tetorisu ji abusoryūto za gurandomasutā 2 PLUS', 6 tsuki 1-nichi ni haishin. 2000-Nen ni hatsubai sa reta ochimonopazuru gēmu" [Switch / PS4 "Akea Aka Tetris The Absolute The Grandmaster 2 PLUS", delivered on June 1st. A falling object puzzle game released in 2000]. 4Gamer. 2023-05-22. Archived from the original on 2023-05-22. Retrieved 2023-05-22.
  2. http://www.tetrisconcept.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=11130#11130
  3. http://youtube.com/watch?v=J_YqwAzbWRE
  4. http://www.tetrisconcept.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=624

External links