More often than not, you can show someone any of the seven Tetris blocks without any context and they’ll probably know exactly what you mean. That’s just how ubiquitous this classic puzzle game has become. While the gameplay can be seen as simplistic, and rightly so, this is a big part of what makes the game so magical and addictive.
As with any endeavor that has relatively few moving parts, success largely comes down to skillful execution. There’s nowhere to hide when it comes to playing Tetris, so the challenge of Tetris speedruns leads on quite logically from this.
Although there isn’t really a defined endpoint in any variation of the game, this dependence on player skill has helped Tetris enjoy great popularity on the speedrunning scene. The fast pace of the gameplay and frantic button presses are very familiar to speedrunners who have invented ways to test their Tetris mettle competitively.
This usually involves reaching a specified number of cleared lines, such as 100, or obtaining a certain amount of points, which tends to be 300,000. Here, we’re going to look at an impressive run from one of the most renowned Tetris speedrunners, Koryan. Strap yourselves in for a blisteringly fast, record-beating run.
How Do Speedruns Work?
There’s a lot of skill and patience involved when it comes to speedruns. In addition, players must have a deep passion for the game they’re running. This is because of the huge amount of practice they must do, and also due to the nature of the speedrunning world.
Records can stand for many years, or be broken in a flash. This all depends on the competition and the discovery of new glitches. There are usually records for different kinds of speedruns, as well, each with its own rules.
The most common types are any%, low%, and 100%, with varying levels of completion allowed. But there are also glitchless runs and even insane blindfolded ones. All of them offer a substantial challenge to the player, as well as a huge accomplishment. Not only that; viewers love to watch along, too.
Koryan’s Tetris Speedrun: Highlights
Overall, this 300K point run is pretty short as far as speedruns go, coming in at just under 5 minutes. There are a few factors that contribute to making this run incredible:
- The record has gone unbeaten for over 5 years
- An insane number of four-line clears pulled off, netting a huge 12,000 points each time
- Koryan never got closer than 4 rows to the top of the screen
- 21 seconds faster than the 2nd-place run.
All in all, this is a great run, proved by the fact that it hasn’t been beaten in over 5 years. These types of runs are all pretty impressive. This is especially true considering there aren’t really any glitches that can be exploited during a Tetris game.
Pretty much every time an I block came on the screen, Koryan managed to execute a 4-line clear. This strategic placement delivers an insane 12,000 points on the Game Boy version of the game.
Being able to maintain these line clears without getting close to the top of the screen is an impressive feat. Skill and patience are required in spades to keep your cool and wait for the right moment.
It’s hard to really see anywhere that Koryan went wrong during this run. Lines were cleared virtually as quickly as possible. The only factor that could possibly shorten the finish time would be maneuvering the blocks even quicker. But considering he’s already placing them in the blink of an eye, there doesn’t seem to be much that can be done to make this run stand out even more.
The History of Tetris Speedruns
Tetris has been around for almost half a century, and Tetris speedruns have existed for almost as long. Platforms like Twitch have helped rejuvenate speedrunning and make it accessible. But Tetris has always seen much love in the competitive community.
The Game Boy version was pivotal in the development of Tetris contests, as was the introduction of the internet. There are many Tetris tournaments to participate in these days, both on- and offline. One of the most well-known is the Classic Tetris World Championship.
This has been held annually in Portland for the last 13 years. The puzzling title lends itself brilliantly to competitive challenges, and Tetris contests show no signs of stopping anytime soon.
The Background on Koryan
Koryan has been competitively playing Tetris since 2010 and quickly made a name for himself. He’s achieved several world records across different versions of the game.
He currently holds 1st place records for the classic Famicom version, Super Tetris 3, and Tetris with Cardcaptor Sakura, as well as for Game Boy Tetris. Koryan is a big lover of puzzle games in general and is a formidable player at all of these. You can check him out on his Twitch profile here.
Equal parts iconic and addicting, Tetris has stood the test of time; not only in the puzzle game genre, but in the competitive gaming arena, too. There are often no glitches to take advantage of.
This leaves success solely up to the skill and reflexes of the player. Koryan has an extremely impressive track record for Tetris speedruns. It’s likely his Game Boy record will stay strong at the top spot for quite some time.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Radachynskyi Serhii/Shutterstock.com.