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> Tetris Atari eccentricities
bigwig
post Jun 3 2011, 10:21 PM
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This topic is about the classic Atari made Tetris for the arcade. The one highlighted in the James Clewett video and the one pictured here


I've been trying to dig up info on this, as it is the only tetris cabinet in my area. So, does anyone know anything about the piece randomizer, piece spins, or garbage patterns?

http://harddrop.com/wiki/Tetris_(Atari) has some good info on the scoring, but does anyone have any tips or tricks? Also, is there a way to play 2p side besides inserting 2 credits at the start (the cabinet near me works a lot better on that side)?
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Kitaru
post Jun 7 2011, 02:01 AM
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QUOTE(bigwig @ Jun 3 2011, 03:21 PM) *
I've been trying to dig up info on this, as it is the only tetris cabinet in my area. So, does anyone know anything about the piece randomizer, piece spins, or garbage patterns?
Well, the piece sequence is deterministic; the order of pieces is fixed at the moment you start the game rather than gather entropy from variance from player input or time elapsed. It's not the most helpful detail if you're playing in real-time, though you'll notice that both players in a two player game receive the same sequence.

Besides basic rotation being strictly left-handed, pieces can also kick one space to the left. This rule was added to allow pieces to rotate freely against the right-hand wall, but it also allows you to get pieces into some strange places. There aren't many regularly occurring useful twists on account of the explicitly non-centered rotation tables, though.

Garbage patterns haven't been analyzed, but -- if the piece randomization is any indication -- I assume that both players would receive the same garbage sequence.

QUOTE(bigwig @ Jun 3 2011, 03:21 PM) *
...does anyone have any tips or tricks?
The key to a good score is not dying. Sticking Out Tongue.png

More seriously, I can tell you how the autorepeat works. When you hold left or right, the piece will move every 10 frames -- that is, a straight 6hz repeat rate without any initial delay. As in GB, NES, and Tengen Tetris, pressing and holding left or right against a wall will ensure that the piece will move in that direction at the first available moment. So, if you need to slide a piece under an overhang, hold against the wall toward it rather than trying to time a tap left or right once the piece is lined up. You can also use this trick against a solid wall (i.e. no overhang to slide into before the piece locks down) to make the next piece move left or right as soon as it spawns. It's a small optimization compared to the stuff you can do with the slightly better autorepeat featured in NES Tetris or Tengen, but it can still come in handy.

QUOTE(bigwig @ Jun 3 2011, 03:21 PM) *
Also, is there a way to play 2p side besides inserting 2 credits at the start (the cabinet near me works a lot better on that side)?
There doesn't appear to be.


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EnFuego
post Jun 7 2011, 08:42 AM
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I think there is a local arcade by my house that has this cabinet. In the near future I will stop by and play to see if I can discern more information. But as I recall I got frustrated with this game because the rotation buttons are on either side of the joystick and the joystick wasn't in ideal shape.
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zaphod77
post Jun 7 2011, 03:07 PM
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Actually, the game kicks one square to the left.

The secret to huge scores is having an endless supply of quarters, as the scoring never changes no matter how fast the speed, and continuing reduces the speed.

Failing that, triples score 4 lines worth of points, and tetrises score nine lines worth of points, so they are definitely worth clearing if you can also avoid dieing to the memoryless randomizer from hell. (easily as brutal as sega tetris when it's in a bad mood)

When the speed is low, and advancing lines are not being inflicted on you, it's very worthwhile going for tetrises, but when the speed gets up there, survival is more important for those without a large budget.

Also note that just because the rainbow bar is maxed out does NOT mean you have reached the maximum speed. Far from it.

The game has some post entry delay before gravity takes effect, though not nearly as much as tetris kiwamemichi. This lets you madly tap the piece over a column or two before it starts to fall.

Learning how to play with a center gap is worthwhile in this game. this is because pyramiding isn't very useful without lock delay to help.

THe bonus for low puzzle is chump change unless you get the field VERY low. (a bravo or near to it) Usually it's more worthwhile to squeeze in a tetris at the end when you have only one line left, but if the height is an issue, you aren't going to be able to do it.

Most importantly, when the garbage is advancing every three pieces (third level in the section of advancing lines), clearing any line becomes top priority at all times. this is because each line clear delays the entry of garbage. At this point, singles are better, even though they score least, because they delay the entry of garbage more. Under no circumstances even attempt to get a tetris if the rainbow meter is full on one of these levels, as a stack height of seven is suicide at that spee,d much less when the speed truly is maxed.

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Kitaru
post Jun 7 2011, 06:30 PM
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QUOTE(zaphod77 @ Jun 7 2011, 08:07 AM) *
Actually, the game kicks one square to the left.
Fixed; that's what the word I wanted, but apparently my brain and/or fingers had a disagreement.

QUOTE(zaphod77 @ Jun 7 2011, 08:07 AM) *
The secret to huge scores is having an endless supply of quarters, as the scoring never changes no matter how fast the speed, and continuing reduces the speed.
If you just want your initials on the machine, maybe, but of course true top rankers compete on one credit. Sticking Out Tongue.png


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zaphod77
post Jun 8 2011, 01:48 AM
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My point is that the game itself will leave no evidence of your accomplishment, and that someone with a bigger quarter supply can and will knock your high score off.

And hey, i gave serious tips afterwards. Smile.png
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Kitaru
post Jun 8 2011, 07:11 PM
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QUOTE(zaphod77 @ Jun 7 2011, 06:48 PM) *
And hey, i gave serious tips afterwards. Smile.png

Yep, and they were good ones. Smile.png Just doing my part to avoid producing another generation of credit feeders, haha.


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Sisu
post Jun 9 2011, 12:58 AM
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This is my understanding of the high score table. CMIIW Smile.png

You can rack up more points with more quarters, but the score rolls over at 1,000,000 points.

The highest score that will save on the machine is 999,999.

Only the top six high scores are saved on the machine's EEPROM. High scores 7-16 will be erased every time the machine is powered off and replaced by the initials of the design team.

If scores are tied, the most recent score is listed at #1. Followed by the remaining tied scores in the order in which they were achieved:

1. 999,999 FFF <---most recent player to reach max score
2. 999,999 AAA <---1st player to reach max score
3. 999,999 BBB <---2nd player to reach max score
4. 999,999 CCC <---3rd player to reach max score
5. 999,999 DDD <---4th player to reach max score
6. 999,999 EEE <---5th player to reach max score

This is what would the high scores would look like the next time the machine was restarted after a 7th player (GGG) reached 999,999:

1. 999,999 GGG <---most recent player to reach max score
2. 999,999 AAA <---1st player to reach max score
3. 999,999 BBB <---2nd player to reach max score
4. 999,999 CCC <---3rd player to reach max score
5. 999,999 DDD <---4th player to reach max score
6. 999,999 EEE <---5th player to reach max score

Notice FFF has been erased from the permanent rankings. Frown.png

Immortality is possible on one of these machines if you are one of the first five 999,999 scores.

If you are the sixth or later to achieve 999,999, then you will sit at #1...until someone else hits 999,999. In that eventuality, your initials will only last as long as the machine maintains power:



Next we will discuss actually hitting 999,999 without going over. Sticking Out Tongue.png


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Sisu
post Nov 5 2012, 09:33 PM
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One time I experienced what I assume was a glitch. Half a red stick appeared as floating garbage 3/4 up in the matrix. It led to my untimely death. I was deep into a one-credit run on an arcade machine, so needless to say it sucked ass balls. I'll photoshop a pic of what it looked like. I hope to never see it in gameplay again. Undecided.png


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zaphod77
post Nov 8 2012, 03:35 AM
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this version of tetris is a quartersucker, pure and simple.

If anyone manages to max the score in one credit, i will be VERY impressed. SLow autorepeat, no lock delay, only one rotation direction, and most cabinets are not very tap friendly. Once the speed is truly maxed, hypertapping is really your only option.

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Kitaru
post Nov 8 2012, 04:03 AM
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I got ~450k on one credit, got a phonecall, and left. It doesn't require anything approaching true hypertapping speed. It's not that hard.

That, and, we already have evidence of this feat having been accomplished in the form of scores from James Clewett and others.


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Integration
post Nov 8 2012, 09:08 PM
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Why haven't I seen those garbage squares/blocks before in any other game? That's a pretty cool idea!
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Kitaru
post Nov 9 2012, 03:41 AM
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They're actually rather annoying in practice -- you have to be pretty ok with throwing out all previous planning on a moment's notice, even if it was completely reasonable just prior based on all the information available to you. Maybe some sort of visual indicator of when/where they're liable to appear would make them feel like less of an annoying gimmick at times, I don't know.


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zaphod77
post Nov 26 2012, 06:35 PM
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Yeah those single blocks are incredibly annoying. Sometimes they appear somewhere that doesn't matter and you just coast on through, but when they take that ONE spot that you could place your current piece without totally trashing your stack, it gets annoying.

Oddly Shimizu's tetris has an option for a similar feature, except it's much more predictable as to what square it places, if i remember right.
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iphys
post Nov 27 2012, 02:22 AM
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Ah, memories. I remember when the arcade by my school got a shiny new Atari Tetris machine. Tetris was the latest craze, and everyone used to crowd around it at lunch time. One day I got suspended from school, and it was the happiest day of my life because I had the machine all to myself. Thanks to this game I only rotated counterclockwise for the longest time.
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