Nintendo Classic Tetris Finally Beaten After 34 Years by 13-Year-Old

Wow! 13-year-old American Willis Gibson last week livestreamed himself finally beating the 1990 Nintendo Entertainment System classic Tetris by reaching the killscreen at level 157, after which point the game has been officially completed according to Tetris world championship rules. It took the Tetris speedrunning community 34 long years to reach this point.

Willis played for 38 minutes using the rolling fingers technique to reach level 157, and instead of the game continuing infinite levels until the player fails, he crashed the game to beat it fully! Upon breaking the world record he said: “Oh oh oh, oh my god! I’m going to pass out, I can’t feel my fingers.”

Watch aGameScout‘s impressive Mini Documentary of Willis AKA Blue Scuti finally beating Tetris.

After 34 Years, Someone Finally Beat Tetris

Timeline for the Tetris World Record Roundup:

  • [00:00] — Blue Scuti set a new Tetris world record, reaching level 157, triggering a game crash, a significant milestone in the game’s history.
  • [00:53] — NES Tetris initially had a barrier at level 29, called the “killscreen,” but players like Thor Aackerlund broke it with techniques like hypertapping.
  • [02:46] — The introduction of the rolling technique in 2020 revolutionized the game, enabling players to reach higher levels. EricICX shattered records, reaching level 95 in 2021.
  • [04:10] — The game’s glitched color palettes started causing visibility issues at higher levels, posing a new challenge for players attempting to set records.
  • [05:30] — EricICX achieved glitched colors on the NTSC version but faced challenges due to visibility and endurance. The record game lasted nearly 40 minutes.
  • [08:22] — Blue Scuti emerged as a rising player, challenging the record. After multiple attempts, he became the first to beat the glitched colors and reach level 157.
  • [11:52] — Blue Scuti’s achievement marked a turning point, showing that NES Tetris, once considered unbeatable, could be conquered by a skilled player. The community experienced a renaissance in record chasing.
  • [12:50] — After the game crash, players contemplate new challenges, including efficient game crashes and avoiding the crash altogether. Blue Scuti’s success inspires the community.
  • [15:12] — A potential ultimate achievement in NES Tetris involves reaching level 255, the last level that can be stored in the game’s memory, offering a unique challenge and reset back to level 0.

Watch the full playthrough next. With rolling players theoretically playing forever or as long as the game can handle, this video features CTWC 2023 semi-finalist 13 year old Blue Scuti doing something that has never been done before… He LITERALLY BREAKS AND DEFEATS THE GAME!

Timeline of the complete VOD:

  • [00:00] — Intro
  • [00:30] — Level 19
  • [04:57] — Level 20-28
  • [07:42] — Level 29-49
  • [12:46] — Level 50-69
  • [17:37] — Level 70-89
  • [22:28] — Level 90-119
  • [29:45] — Level 120-137
  • [34:08] — Colors Reached: Level 138-145
  • [36:06] — Level 146-148
  • [36:49] — Level 149-153
  • [38:03] — Level 154-155
  • [38:21] — Level 156-157
  • [43:20] — Interview

However, the world record was a bittersweet victory for Willis, who dedicated the game to his father, Adam Gibson, who died just 12 days before his December 26, 2023 win. Amazing that (presumably) Tetris helped him cope with his loss in a positive manner.

Willis Gibson summed up his achievement in a post-interview with these final words: “If you set your mind to something and you put work into it, most likely you will get it if you try hard enough.” What a legend, and at only 13 years old the Tetris community has got some great representation here. 🙂

What’s the highest level you ever reached with Tetris?