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A 13-Year-Old Has Become The First Person To Beat Tetris

5 January 2024 | 2:27 pm | Jessie Lynch

"I'm going to pass out; I can't feel my fingers."

Willis Gibson/ Blue Scuti

Willis Gibson/ Blue Scuti (Youtube)

In a truly historic moment that defies decades of gaming beliefs, 13-year-old Willis Gibson, aka Blue Scuti on YouTube, has become the first person to conquer the NES version of Tetris — 34 years after it was originally released back in 1989.

Gibson, a seasoned Tetris player who embarked on his gaming journey at the age of just 11, posted a video on his YouTube channel capturing the moment of his epic achievement.

The game-ending feat took a mere 38 minutes, as Gibson flawlessly navigated through the escalating challenges of Tetris, showcasing his exceptional skills to the world.

Using techniques like "hyper tapping" and "rolling” allowed him to continue playing well beyond the previously believed limits and culminated in the teen reaching level 157 before it triggered what is now known as the "true kill screen” — the previous “kill screen” believed to be level 29.

As Gibson's screen reached this unprecedented level, Tetris encountered unusual errors, and the falling blocks abruptly ceased, marking the end of the game. Overwhelmed by the moment, Gibson exclaims, "I'm going to pass out; I can't feel my fingers."

Tetris, created by Soviet engineer Alexey Pajitnov in 1984, gained massive popularity after its release on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and Nintendo's Game Boy handheld console in 1989. The game involves arranging falling blocks into perfect horizontal lines at increasing speeds, and dedicated gamers have found various techniques over the years to progress through higher levels.

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The so-called "true kill screen," a phenomenon where the game crashes due to coding errors, was initially believed to be unattainable by humans. In 2021, an AI program named StackRabbit managed to surpass level 237, where the game then froze.

Gibson has now successfully set new world records for Overall Score, Level, Lines, and 19 Score.

Reflecting on the wild achievement, Gibson shared on his YouTube channel, “When I started playing this game, I never expected to ever crash the game or beat it. This run was also the Overall Score, Level, Lines, and 19 Score world record.”

Check out the record-breaking moment below.