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
  • JP: October, 2000
  • JP: December, 2000
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. 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 lock, a hard drop that doesn't lock, was added to the base TGM gameplay, which improves low gravity gameplay by allowing Zangi-moves.

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". For this mode, the player's score is multiplied by six.

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[1]
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 - 899 14 8 10 30 6
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.[2]


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 - 100 18 14 12 30 12
101 - 199 14 8 12 26 6
200 14 8 11 26 6
201 - 299 14 8 11 22 6
300 14 8 10 22 6
301 - 399 8 8 10 18 6
400 8 8 8 18 6
401 - 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 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 similar to Normal, both players must reach level 300 to complete the game. Though the level counter does not stop at every x99 as in standard modes, the final 299 does require a line change to 300. If one player reaches 300 before the other, they enter 20G for the rest of the game. It is quite difficult to survive for long with 20g in such a wide well, so winning requires a fine degree of coordination between the players so that they reach 300 synchronously.


The versus mode in TAP works in a very similar way to that in its predecessor, TGM. Each player has their own field, and clearing two or more lines in their field will cause garbage lines to be sent to the bottom of their opponent's field. Unlike the multiplayer modes 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. Oddly enough, the versus mode in Bloxeed' and Dreamworld's DuelTris worked in a similar manner.

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 frame changing from grey stone to grey metal. The first 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. 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 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 there is a default target level of 200, and a default 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. Again, this can be changed in the game setup.


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, 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. Again, Bloxeed was the inspiration here. Many of the powerups, like the 16 ton weight, and the delete even, are based around the ones in Bloxeed. But unlike in Bloxeed, DuelTris, and Tetris DS, the entire piece counts as the item, instead of just one block of it.

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."

Medal conditions

Medal conditions[3]
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 Rotations/tetromino >= 6/5 from level 300 to 700 Rotations/tetromino >= 6/5 from level 700 to 999
ST (Section Time) Approach section time record (<10 seconds slower)[i] Approach section time record (<5 seconds slower)[i] Beat section time record[i]
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[ii] Perform 2 recoveries[ii] Perform 4 recoveries[ii]
CO (Combo) Reach a combo of 4.
Big: Reach a combo of 2[iii]
Reach a combo of 5.
Big: Reach a combo of 3[iii]
Reach a combo of 7.
Big: Reach a combo of 4[iii]
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Death ST records reset to the default 42 seconds every time the machine is switched on
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Have 150 or more blocks in the playfield, then clear until <=70 blocks remain
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 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:



  • Level is the current level you are on.
  • Lines is the number of lines you just cleared.
  • is rounded up.
  • is rounded up. Importantly, Level After Clear 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 size of 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 amount of time in seconds, rounded up, that the clear time is below 5 minutes.


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 does not disappear after level 100.
Key: L = Left, D = Down, U = Up, R = Right

Physical scans

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


  1. Known in Japan as: Tetorisu Ji Abusoryūto Za Gurandomasutā 2 (テトリス ジ・アブソリュート ザ・グランドマスター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


External links