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The New Tetris

The New Tetris

Developer(s) H2O Entertainment
Publisher(s) Nintendo of America
Release Date(s) 02 Aug 1999 (US)
Platform(s) Nintendo 64

Gameplay Info

Next pieces 3
Playfield dimensions 10w x 20h
Hold piece yes
Hard drop "Firm" drop (with lock delay)
Rotation system Mild wall kick, SRS predecessor

The New Tetris for N64 was developed by H2O and published by Nintendo. Like Tetrisphere before it, The New Tetris features a soundtrack by Neil Voss.

It has lock delay, soft and firm drop, 4×4 squares, hold piece (though not IHS), three next pieces, ghost piece (TLS), and milder wall kick than SRS (notably, T-spin triples don't work but lock delay is still abusable on no-garbage play). The speed never gets anywhere near 20G. [oh? roughly where does it top out?] Colors of some tetrominoes differ from those of the Tetris Guideline: L is magenta, T is yellow, and O is light gray.

Top-out condition is the same as in Atari's Tetяis and the "push" mode of Nintendo's Tetris DS: the game ends when one block is placed above the playfield's top row.

The New Tetris defines twists (known in the manual as "spin moves") differently from the "T-spin" rule used in Tetris Worlds, Tetris DS, and other games that use SRS. In this game, a twist occurs when a tetromino locks in a position such that it cannot move left, right, or up without rotating.

Contents

Tetromino behavior

  • ARE: ca. 500 ms
  • Randomizer: Preliminary data is consistent with a 63-piece bag.
  • Entry position: rows 21-22, centered, JLSTZ rounded to the right
  • Lock delay: ca. 500 ms, step reset, no manual lock
  • DAS: ca. 10 frames, repeating 5 frames
  • Up: Firm drop, not locking
  • Down: Soft drop, not locking
  • Top out: tetromino locks with a block in row 21
The New Tetris: Rotations in free space. Top row: I, O. Next rows: J, L, S, T, Z.

The rotation system of The New Tetris is a predecessor to SRS, with somewhat flexible wall kicks and floor kicks. But surprisingly for a game co-developed by BPS, its handling of J, L, S, and Z in free space is more like Atari Games' arcade game and its unlicensed NES port than like BPS's previous games.

Wall kick is yet to be fully described.

Squares

Main article: Square Platforming

A 4x4 block square made out of four tetrominoes becomes a monolithic square of the same size.

  • A square is entirely within the playfield.
  • If things are projecting out of a 4x4 block region, it is not a square.
  • If it has a hole in it, it is not a square.
  • If it contains blocks that form part of a tetromino or square that was partially removed, it is not a square.
Monosquare
A 4x4 block square made out of four identical tetrominoes.
Multisquare
Any other 4x4 block square made out of four tetrominoes.

Details

If a tetromino forms two overlapping squares at once, the gold wins over silver, the top wins over the bottom, and the left wins over the right. It is not known whether the top-right wins over the bottom-left.

The following diagrams use The New Tetris colors, which are not the same as the later Tetris Guideline colors:

     I
  T  I
GGT  I
GGTT I

Drop O, L, I

GG  II
GGT II
GGT II
GGTTII

Drop O, I

GGTTII
GGTTII
GGTTII
GGTTII

Drop another L

CCCCII
CCCCII
CCCCII
CCCCII

Prefers the square
on the left to the
square on the right

         T
       TTT
        GG
        GG
      IIII
      IIII

Two I, an O,
and an L

      TTTT
      TTTT
        GG
        GG
      IIII
      IIII

Drop L

      TTTT
      TTTT
      GGGG
      GGGG
      IIII
      IIII

Slide in an O

      CCCC
      CCCC
      CCCC
      CCCC
      IIII
      IIII

Prefers the top
square to the
bottom square

    II
 J  II
 J  II
JJ  II

Drop J, I, I

JJ III
JJ III
JJ III
JJ III

Another J and I

JJIIII
JJIIII
JJIIII
JJIIII

Drop another I

JJCCCC
JJCCCC
JJCCCC
JJCCCC

Prefers gold
over silver

GG
GG
TTT
T
TTT
T

Drop L, L, O

GGGG
GGGG
TTT
T
TTTT
TTTT

Drop O and
slide in L

GGGG
GGGG
TTTT
TTTT
TTTT
TTTT

Slide in L

GGGG
GGGG
CCCC
CCCC
CCCC
CCCC

Prefers gold over
silver vertically

Given that The New Tetris is proprietary software, the public does not know exactly how the detection is implemented in the game program. But given the definition of a square above, it is straightforward to transform this definition into an algorithm for recognizing squares that behaves identically to the game's algorithm:

The playfield is stored as a matrix of 10 columns by 20 rows. Each entry has 4 bits for color, 1 bit for right connection, 1 bit for down connection, 1 bit for left connection, 1 bit for up connection, and 1 bit for being part of a tetromino that was broken by a line clear.

Before and after checking for lines, the engine scans the playfield top to bottom, left to right, looking for monosquares and marking them as gold. Then it makes a second pass, looking for multisquares and marking them as silver. To see if there is a square in the 4x4 cell region whose lower left corner is column x of row y:

  1. Make sure that the left edge isn't connected to anything. That is, make sure that the blocks at (x, y), (x, y + 1), (x, y + 2), and (x, y + 3) don't have their left connection bit set to true. Do the same for the other four edges.
  2. Make sure that all cells in the region are filled with blocks.
  3. Make sure that all blocks in the region belong to whole tetrominoes (not tetrominoes with a block broken off, and not pieces of squares that have already been marked).
  4. In the first pass, make sure that all blocks in the region are the same color.

Side note: The author of The New Tetris claims that the game used a different, unspecified, secret algorithm to detect squares.

Scoring

  • 1 point per line cleared
  • 1 bonus point if four lines cleared simultaneously (tetris)
  • 5 points when a 1×4 strip of silver square is cleared
  • 10 points when a 1×4 strip of gold square is cleared
  • no instant reward for
    • completing a 4x4 square
    • spin moves (twists)

So a tetris with all four lines of a silver square is worth 25 points (4 + 1 + 5 * 4), and a tetris with all four lines of a gold square is worth 45 points (4 + 1 + 10 * 4). The greatest possible reward for a single move is therefore 85, as in the following case:

     I
     I
     I
     I
LLLLI-LLLL
LLLLI-LLLL
LLLLI-LLLL
LLLLI-LLLL

The total of 85 is made up of:

  • 4 from the four lines cleared
  • 1 as four were cleared simultaneously
  • 10 × 8 = 80 as eight 1×4 strips of gold are cleared

Game modes

The game modes are:

  • Marathon – game continues indefinitely (or until only one player remains in multiplayer)
  • Ultra – a race to 150 lines
  • Sprint – a three minute countdown

Each mode can be single player or multiplayer. In multiplayer mode up to four players can compete, with the option of no garbage, directed garbage or hot potato garbage.

Garbage modes:

  • None – garbage is disabled
  • Directed – each player can choose the recipient of his or her garbage by using the left and right C buttons
  • Hot potato_ – one player is outlined in red and receives all garbage. When this player completes a line the hot potato moves to a random player (which could be the same one)

In single player mode a computer-controlled opponent can be activated (which also forces garbage mode on), but even on the highest skill level it is not challenging to stronger players. The CPU opponent's name is randomly selected from a set in the ROM; "Nachanca" has been seen to exploit infinity to completely prevent topping out.

Successor: "Square Tetris" mode in Tetris Worlds

See also

Tetris and other puzzle games published by Nintendo {{}}
Console releases: Tetris (NES, Nintendo) | Tetris & Dr. Mario | The New Tetris | Tetris Party
Handheld releases: Tetris (Game Boy) | Tetris DX | Tetris DS
Topics: Nintendo Rotation System

External links

Programmer David Pridie hidden rant


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