Talk:Tetris (Apple II)

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Any evidence that this actually existed? Every version of the history I've read or watched states plainly that the version Stein saw was the first DOS/IBM-PC-compatible version that Alexi and company at the Academy of Science programmed. It also claims a C-64 version, but the only known C-64 version is the one MirrorSoft created after Stein sub-licensed it to them. Oknazevad (talk) 19:42, 11 May 2021 (UTC)

I have been wondering the same thing. Do you have sources on it being the DOS version they were playing? I don't recall any but it would be great to just sweep this one under the rug as a very old and inaccurate rumor. --simonlc (talk) 20:56, 11 May 2021 (UTC)
No specific source, just the general understanding that at the time Stein saw the game in Hungary the only versions that existed at all were the original Elektronika 60 and the first DOS versions, and no one was still using the E-60 outside the USSR by that point in time. Frankly, without any source to provide evidence for the existence of this supposed version, it should just be deleted, as it's the burden of the one making the claim to provide the evidence, not the one disputing it to prove the negative. Oknazevad (talk) 03:07, 13 May 2021 (UTC)
I completely agree. I'm all for deleting this page... but while writing this comment I remembered an interesting piece of timeline with the IBM version. In Jordan Mechner's journal he speaks about playing Tetris at the office, saying:
Everyone in the office has been playing a lot of Tetris -- a Russian submission for the IBM PC. It’s a classic, like Breakout. But I don’t think Broderbund is going to publish it.
I looked this up to find the date (October 23, 1986) to see how if were it fell next to Stein's discovery on the timeline. In the journal however there is a further entry that I had not seen before:
...a guy who will put his day job on hold for 72 hours and sit down and reverse-engineer an Apple II conversion of Tetris, just for the pleasure of it.
This is dated before any commercial release of Tetris, on January 29, 1987. That's about one year before Spectrum HoloByte and Mirrorsoft released their first versions. As I write this I still have no idea when Stein first saw Tetris. Well we know this source, how reliable is it? Who knows but it mentions the Apple II again. They also say Stein discovered Tetris in July 1986. This would make the discovery before Mechner even played Tetris for the first time. However I don't think it's an impossibility. Despite these sources, I don't think it's valid to have a page for this version as there is just zero information about the actual game itself. The story should live in a more complete section on Stein, Tetris in Hungary, and how Tetris spread west.
Let me know what you think. --simonlc (talk) 05:05, 13 May 2021 (UTC)
I agree that there isn't enough info for a page on the game. I do, however, have a citation for the existence of the Commodore 64 and Apple II versions: Game Over, the book by David Sheff. From page 302 of the 1999 edition:
In June 1986, Stein was at SZKI in Budapest to see Hungarian programs when, on a nearby computer, he noticed "Tetris." He sat down to try the game and couldn't stop playing. "I was not a game player," he said, "so if I liked it, it must be a very good game." He asked the director of the institute where the game had come from, and was told that it had been sent by a friend at the Computer Center of the Academy of Science in Moscow.
The same day, Stein claims, he was shown another "Tetris," this one on a Commodore 64 and Apple II. It was the same game, Stein says he was told, adapted by Hungarian programmers. Although they had obviously converted the Russian program to the other machines, Stein says he told the Hungarians he would license the original PC game from the Russians and the Commodore and Apple versions from the Hungarians.
There is also evidence that the Mirrorsoft Commodore 64 release was based on the Hungarian version, but again there's no info on that version itself. Arcorann (talk) 11:03, 13 May 2021 (UTC)
Considering how very distinct (especially the surrealist sci-fi aesthetic) the C64 version is from the other MirrorSoft releases (which come off more as true ports of a standard design that only vary because of each machine's capabilities) I feel fairly safe in concluding that the C64 version commercially released in Western Europe is the Hungarian version that was being worked on when Stein discovered the game.
But I still am skeptical of there being a Hungarian Apple II version for two simple reasons. First, considering the C64 version, if an Apple II version already existed, MirrorSoft would have released that as well, and they didn't.
And secondly, that after all these years it would have surfaced in some fashion, but it hasn't. The only Apple II version that seems to have any presence on the usual abandonware sites is the Spectrum HoloByte US version. Much as with MirrorSoft's Western European releases (save the C64), the Spectrum HoloByte US releases are essentially ports of the same distinct version just modified to account for the hardware differences. (Same could be said for the ports of the BPS Japanese releases, even the Famicom version, though its graphics are distinctly simplified.)
So perhaps the Hungarians were working on one and it was never completed, or perhaps Stein was told they wanted to make one but it wasn't actually running, or perhaps Sheff is in error. The plain fact is that there is no actual verification of the existence of this supposed version, and the only Apple II version known to the public is the Spectrum HoloByte version. Oknazevad (talk) 23:03, 17 May 2021 (UTC)