I am Joshua Luke Tolles, and I like Tetris.
I started playing when I was about twelve (in 1993), and I discovered that I was better than everyone I knew by the time I was thirteen or fourteen. Around the year 2000 or so, I began searching the internet to find other good players of the game. I discovered that the utimate goal (back then anyway) was a max out of NES Tetris, which was a different style of play than I was used to....See, back then, I prided myself on my ability to survive endlessly at the highest of speeds, which was what I perceived to be the goal of the game. So I had to re-learn how to play, and optimize scoring (I had to learn how to score Tetrises effectively).
On December 6, 2003, I scored a high score of 416,274. Over the next two and a half years, I inch-wormed my way up in high score by increments of about 50,000 points every six months or so until I got "stuck" at 663,637 on July 28, 2006.
Over the next couple of years, I found myself completely unable to break that high score. Sometimes I laughed, sometimes I raged, sometimes I wept. But no emotions were sufficient to propel me to a new high score. I began my quest in search of a max out, but after five years, I begged through my tears for just one 700,000 game so I could quit and be done with the damned thing forever.
Eventually, I got through my grief and put the Nintendo away in a box, and submitted to my despair. I turned to a new Tetris lover in the form of my X-Box 360's Tetris Evolution. Suddenly I found a game incredibly more fun than the hopeless torture of NES: on-line versus battles! Evolution is the one game I have played that seems to favor the traditional Tetris set-up, so I showed up out of nowhere and quickly climbed the rankings. Alas, my joy was to be short-lived, as the more I played Evolution, as the months ticked away, a terrible monstrosity poisoned our playing field: lag. Lag, lag, lag. Yuck. Eventually the game became unplayable.
So I wasted away for the next couple of years, playing games which were utterly passionless. Tetris Splash could be intense, but no one plays for rank. Tetris Party for Wii was fun, but it lacks something intangible (not to mention people always disconnect from me before I get my points for winning). Tetris Friends was great, except my old computer could barely handle it, and often found myself victim to my old friend lag.
And then everything changed for me.
On a December morning in 2011, I was sitting on my couch, thumbing through the previous day's mail, sipping coffee, with the t.v. going. I am not much of a t.v. watcher, but I was bored that morning. After tiring of the mail, I grabbed the remote, and started flippinng through channels. I wasn't really paying attention to what I was doing, but something incredible flashed on the t.v. as I changed channels: NES Tetris!
By some string of chance, I saw the trailer for Ecstasy of Order on some Saturday morning show (I have no idea which show it was, but maybe Adam Cornelius would know, I should ask him sometime). Even more impressive than seeing NES Tetris, and seeing it featured in a film, was seeing the legendary Jonas Neubauer on t.v! I had some correspondence with Jonas back in the early to mid part of the 2000 decade, and he was the first max out I knew was for real.
So, I knew who Jonas was, but I didn't know who Thor was, but the trailer built up Thor as some unbeatable Tetris God and Jonas was going to face him in battle! So exciting!!
And to even further pump me up, there was a world tournament to crown the greatest NES Tetris player--AND I MISSED IT!!!
Well, I think you know where this is going. The wavering Tetris fire within me erupted into an intense ball of flame, and here I am, with an NES high score of 831,436 and the SNES world record of 664,654, and hungering for a max-out in both games!
Tags: NES SNES Max