Tetris The Grand Master

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Tetris The Grand Master
Developer(s) Arika
Publisher(s) Capcom
Release date(s) 1998
Platform(s) Arcade
Gameplay Info
Next pieces 1
Playfield dimensions 10x20
Hold piece No
Hard drop No
Rotation system
Arika tgm1 title.jpg Arika tgm1 ingame.jpg

Tetris: The Grand Master is the first arcade game in Arika's TGM series.

Gameplay

TODO: I think we should possibly include one of those anatomy screenshot dealies that points everything out (score, grade, time, and level). Sort of like in the IRS patent. Maybe with a caption that says "beginners should care most about level, while advanced players care only about their time". Or something.

Unlike typical tetris games where the goal is indefinite survival and a high score, TGM is a challenge where you have a finite opportunity to attain a high Grade. With the exception of the final grade of Grand Master, grade is derived from your score. This indirectly makes the grading system strongly favour survival, with a special emphasis on clearing non-singles late in the game during 20g.

With only a small number of grades, there are often ties. The highscore table ranks a tied grade higher if it was attained faster. In practice, solid play will award players the highest rank of Grand Master. As such, for adequately skilled players the game becomes a time attack to level 999.

Level

Level has a unique implementation in TGM. The level counter will increase by 1 for every piece that enters the well. It will also increase by 1 for each line cleared. The game ends once level 999 is reached.

When you are about to increment the hundreds digit (eg. at level 399), only line clears will count towards your level. Level 998 is treated similarly, with a final line clear required to reach 999 and finish.

Speed

ARE is fixed at 30 frames.

DAS is fixed at 15 frames.

Lock time is fixed at (somebody look this up).

Line Clear time is fixed at (somebody look this up).

Gravity does not increase uniformly, unlike many other tetris games. It rises and falls, depending on the level, as follows:

Level Speed
0 to 199 1/64G to 1/1.8G
200 to 299 1/64G to 1G
300 to 399 2G to 4G
400 to 499 5G to 3G
500 to 999 20G

The player can force constant 20G, by pressing ↓↓↓↓ ↓↓↓↓ C B A before starting the game, though this will exclude their play from the highscore list. Unlike TGM2, the lockdown time, line clear time, ARE and DAS time do not change throughout the game.

Scoring

TGM shares the same scoring gimmicks of many other Tetris games, though they are not quite implemented the same way:

  • You receive more points for clearing more lines at once.
  • Lines are worth more with each passing level. (The nature of "level" in TGM, however, means the amount of points a line is worth is constantly changing.)
  • You receive points for forcing a piece down. (Though only when this results in cleared lines!)

There are a few scoring gimmicks unique to TGM:

  • You receive a combo bonus for clearing lines with consecutive pieces.
  • You receive a bravo bonus for clearing the entire screen.

Incidentally, for all players good enough to attain the rank of S9 score becomes irrelevant and the focus changes to a time attack rather than a score attack. Nevertheless, here is a more technical description of the scoring formula:

Score = ((Level + Lines)/4 + Drop) x Lines x Combo x Bravo

Where:

  • Level is the current level you are on.
  • Lines is the number of lines you just cleared.
  • (Level + Lines)/4 is rounded up.
  • Drop is the number of spaces you manually dropped the piece. The last space your piece falls does not contribute to this, however locking the piece once it has landed will add 1 to the Drop.
  • Combo returns to 1 by default every time a piece does not clear lines. Otherwise, it is :
    Combo = Combo - 1 + (2 x Lines - 1)
  • Bravo is equal to 4 if this piece has cleared the screen, and otherwise is 1.

Grading

In TGM1 grade is entirely determined by score. As you pass certain milestones, TGM will assign you the next grade:

Grade Required Score Grade Required Score
9 0 S1 16,000
8 400 S2 22,000
7 800 S3 30,000
6 1,400 S4 40,000
5 2,000 S5 52,000
4 3,500 S6 66,000
3 5,500 S7 82,000
2 8,000 S8 100,000
1 12,000 S9 120,000
GM 126,000*

*In addition to this, to achieve Grand Master rank the player must reach grade 1 before level 300, grade S4 before level 500, grade S9 before level 999, and level 999 at or before 13:30:00.