TGM legend

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Standard and common acronyms File:50%.png

Basic Terms File:25%.png

Main article: Glossary

Appellation standards for Tetris games vary, especially with TGM. To avoid confusion, we list here the basic terms used most frequently when in context with the TGM series. All terms are not yet listed, and the order is still not fixed. If a term is not defined here, it is defined in the glossary and may have its own article.


Main article: Tetromino

In precise language, a block is an element that fills a single square cell of the playfield, and a tetromino (also spelled tetramino or tetrimino) is made of four blocks. But in common use, "block" sometimes refers to a whole tetromino. This wiki uses "block" and "tetromino" with the meanings described in the glossary.

Seven different tetrominoes exist, each with a letter name (I, J, L, O, S, T, or Z). Precise language uses the letter names, but some players use the color names.

Initial orientation of I, L, J, S, Z, T and O Tetramino from TGM classic rotation.
Initial orientation of I, L, J, S, Z, T and O Tetramino from SRS.

Stack File:25%.png

Each time a tetramino is locked in the playfield, it becomes part of the stack. Building a perfect stack is the very essence of all Tetris games, which means stacking each tetramino in a clean manner without making holes. Several other Tetris games pose stacking challenges, and TGM has its own, such as the '>' shape secret grade.

' > ' Secret grade.

Garbage File:25%.png

Garbage is also part of the stack. In Vs. mode, the player receives garbage when the opponent clears more than one line with one tetromino. Garbage appears from the bottom of the playfield and pushes up the current stack. The garbage pattern is a copy of the blocks the opponent player had cleared with the blocks of the line clearing piece removed, with the order reversed from top to bottom.

Garbage also appears in Ti Shirase mode from level 500 to level 999 at regular intervals. The garbage lines, in this case, are generated by copying the bottom-most line.

TGM+ mode also sends periodic garbage that forms a regular pattern.

Combo File:25%.png

Main article: Combo

Line clears with consecutive pieces increase the combo score multiplier. Failing to clear a line with the next piece will reset the combo counter.

Bravo File:25%.png

When the player clears the whole playfield, the message "Bravo" appears on screen (also known as "All Clear"). Bonus points are awarded by multiplying the points scored on a "Bravo" by four.

Frame File:25%.png

Before becoming a game, Tetris is basically a program. The frame is the shortest quantum of time in TGM. Like other games made for the Japanese market, TGM runs at a fixed rate of 60 frames per second. A lot of technical concept analysis use the frame as scale value instead of seconds.

Here is the basic of the gameplay process instruction order in ONE frame (draft) :


  1. Read input
  2. If piece is active:
    1. Rotation
    2. Shift (horizontal movement)
    3. Gravity
    4. Lock
  3. Process delays
  4. Update the screen and play sounds

Until top out or last level complete

In fact this is very complicated, but just be aware of this general concept, and particularly if you want to learn advanced technique in TGM.

Lock Delay File:25%.png

Main article: Lock delay

Unlike in early games such as Tetris for Game Boy, when the tetromino falls onto the stack, it doesn't lock immediately because a short delay still allow you to move it. Lock Delay is visible to the darkening of the tetromino. This feature is necessary as speed increases and critical when reaching 20G. The delay is expressed in frames and the tetromino automatically locks when reaching zero. Lock delay resets each time the tetromino drops one or more steps. SRS also resets Lock Delay when the tetromino is moving and rotating. TGM1 Lock Delay is fixed to thirty frames (~0.5sec) and diminutive as gameplay speed increase on sequels. You can also cancel the Lock delay by pressing Down.

Delay reset
Delay cancel

Initial Rotation System (IRS) File:25%.png

By holding a rotation button during ARE, you can change the initial orientation appearance for the next tetromino. IRS mellows the gameplay as gravity increases and reaches 20G. You can only reorient the tetromino to one quarter turn, which means that it is not cumulative (eg A+C buttons), but IRS can be coupled with IHS.


Level File:25%.png

The level shows the game's progress. Starting from zero, the level increases by one each time a tetramino is distributed, and by the number of completed rows. On average, it increases by 3.5 for each completed row (however see "Level Step" below). If you are a beginner at TGM, the level is the best information to see your performances progress, rather than the chronometer.

Level Step File:25%.png

The Level increment can stop when reaching a Level Step (typically _99 : e.g. 99, 199, 299 etc...). You can pass only by completing a row. Each time you pass a Level Step, the game displays a new background. TGM3 also plays a bell ringing sound each time you are close to the Level Step.

Grade Recognition System (GRS) File:25%.png

ARIKA rewards a player's skill and performance by grade attribution and divides them into class. For example, here is the sorted grade list for the TGM1 unique game mode :

9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, S1, S2, S3, S4, S5, S6, S7, S8, S9, Gm.

Becoming a Gm Class player in TGM1 will require much motivation and perseverance even if comfortable with Tetris games in general. The difficulty in obtaining the Gm grade in TGM2 increases even further. It is speculated that there are approximately 10,000 Gm class players in Japan on TGM1 and no more than 100 Gm players in TGM2 Master Mode. In TGM3, The GM grade was widely believed to be impossible to obtain through normal play, but the Japanese Tetris player 'jin8' finally attained GM on July 28, 2007.

Synchro File:25%.png

A Synchro move is the act of sucessfully inputting both rotation and movement during the same frame. It is commonly executed by loading DAS and using IHS during ARE. Although less useful in low gravity, it becomes essential at 20G for enabling tricky tetramino movements and placements. Synchro moves are not possible under SRS due to the order in which gravity and rotation are processed in each frame.

Zangi-Moves File:25%.png

Main article: Zangi-move


Zangi-Moves are an original ARIKA technique introduced in TAP made possible by the Sonic Drop feature. To perform the move, you press Up to drop the piece, Left or Right to move the piece over, and Down to lock the piece in place. These 3 inputs are performed with a single circular motion of the arcade stick. This is particularly useful when you are playing for time attack, as you save a significant amount of time by not having to return the stick to its neutral position. Zangi-moves are not possible with SRS.


This move is most useful for tucking pieces underneath overhangs, an operation that costs much time in most other Tetris games. However, it is also used in other situations where the speed gain is more subtle. If you wish to place a piece 1 space away from the spawning location, you will do so with a half circle Zangi-Move. If you want to place a piece 1 space away from a wall, you will use DAS to get to the wall quickly, and then you will use a Zangi-Move to place the piece, all in one continuous 3/4 circle Zangi-Move.

Word Origin

The word 'Zangi' comes from Zangief's (Street Fighter II) Spinning Pile Driver move, which requires stick rotation and feels similar.
The following animations just show Zangi-Moves example and don't follow an optimized stacking behavior.

Zangi Example
Zangi Example
Zangi Example

ARE File:75%.png

Main article: ARE

ARE is the period of time (counted in frames) between the lockdown of the previous Tetramino and the appearance of the next one. It makes IRS possible and DAS more effective.

Torikan File:25%.png

Main article: Torikan

Torikan refers to a condition in TAP and Ti where the game reaches a premature end when the player failed to fulfill a certain requirement up to that point.