News Article

New York Gamer Breaks Tetris Record

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Then needs to lie down

Here at Nintendo Life we often follow the progress of the Donkey Kong arcade world record, with the feat representing, arguably, one of the pinnacles of retro gaming. There are plenty of other Nintendo classics from the 1980s that are still played competitively, however, one being the original Tetris on NES.

As reported by, New York gamer Matthew Buco not only reached the promised land of 999,999 points, but did so quicker than anyone before on Level 26. Much like the saga of Donkey Kong, Tetris high-score chasing has been documented in a film, Ecstasy of Order, which featured the Tetris World Championships that Buco took part in two years ago. As Buco explains, he got close to the record before, so knew it was possible.

I had three games within one Tetris (four line score) of the max-out. I had a 983,000 game this past June. A month later I got a 976,000 and a week before my max-out I had a 990,000 game. It was getting rough getting close so many times but I knew I could get a max score. It was just a matter of getting the right pieces at the right time and playing well at the max speed.

A video of the achievement is below: if you thought you were good at Tetris, check this out.

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User Comments (30)



Geonjaha said:

Theres being good at a game, then being so good that it just becomes somewhat sad. :/ Jus' sayin'



Noire said:

That was mesmerizing. It looked so effortless that I was thinking hey I could do that, and then you realize there's no way in hell. o__o



Capt_N said:

^ Probably not too long. This guy has the right idea: learning, & practicing putting blocks in weird spots. It helps you keep control of the game. Props to this guy.



XCWarrior said:

I'm going to beat this. I didn't know this was a thing. I'm very good at Tetris, I'm pretty sure I could pull this off.

Speaking of, if anyone has Tetris Axis for 3DS, I'd love to swap friend codes with you to compare scores.



Knuckles said:

Whats next? First Super Mario speed run record is broken, now Tetris has its speed record broken. A Sonic 2 speed record is broken? Thats currently around 22 seconds in Emerald Hill Zone Act 1, right?



Ren said:

Wait, why does it cut off? I'm assuming you keep getting points but it doesn't register in the numbers, would've been nice to see it though.
Just to be a stickler the "original" NES Tetris is not the nintendo tetris it's the Tengen version (Atari) released just before that. I got that one first and it's really a lot better, but Nintendo (seeing the cash cow that it is) sued them for selling it unlicensed. It's more like the Arcade version which was the best and had better competitive features like the gameboy one. It's a complex tale, heres a good telling of it:
I looked it up again later to get it for my sister and it's not terribly hard to find if you're a big fan I think it's the better version. You can get one for 50-100 $ on ebay. I remember after I had rented it a few times it disappeared and suddenly a new Nintendo version appeared that only had a boring single player mode and crappy boxed shapes, I never understood why until way later. Thats the one that everyone knows best now, though. It's like the sad tale of Betamax, no one cares about quality when money shows up.



Supremeist said:

Wow, this guy is a beast at Tetris. I love to see some old time records of games every once in a while. Makes you wonder what you could do...



ss213 said:

If you thought that video was impresive, you will automatically stop playing tetris after you see how a real master plays the game:

(during the first minutes you will think the New York guy is an average Gamer, and during the last part of the video you will think he's a noob).



snigel1 said:

@ss213, thats more of an illusion. that guy seems to play a more recent version of tetris where you can slide pieces a little bit after touch down… in the original game boy and nes versions, it's sticky as hell.



chewytapeworm said:

Oh my stars...

Thought the celebration of beating a record would've been slightly more exuberant than "YEEEAAHH!" ...... Well, I would've gone mental.



Kevin said:

I've seen this achievement uploaded by someone on youtube. Not the first time IMO.



Sneaker13 said:

This doesn't really look that difficult. I would love to try it for myself, but I don't have a NES.



armoredghor said:

Very well done. I could follow that pace until about level 18. following it and doing it are two different things though. My hat's off to you my friend.



MightyDork said:

The video stops where it does because Tetris doesn't get any faster after a certain point. If a player is good enough, he can just keep playing at Level 20's speed indefinitely, which makes basing a world record on just score rather difficult. More modern Tetris games, like Tetris Party on Wii/DS, have a marathon mode that ends at Level 15, so high scores are based on who can get the most points in 150 lines.
Since only 3 or 4 people have been recorded as maxing out the score on Nintendo Tetris, Buco is tied with them as far as the score counts, but he's considered having broken the record because he did it with fewer lines than anyone else has, which makes him the "better" Tetris player.

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