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> Hexion (Arcade, Konami, 1992), real full Hexagon tetris
farter
post Nov 20 2015, 08:57 PM
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Hexion is an arcade game developed by Konami and released in 1992. The original version Hextris was made by David Markley.

The only difference is:
  • tetriminoes are now tetrahexes, which may have up to 6 orientations;
  • a horizontal line is "waving" instead of straight.
It has quite a complete tetris-like engine:
  • full set of 10 one-sided tetrahex:
    IOCYbdSZJL
    where Y, C will only appear after some level;
  • normally 11*20 game field supporting 2 players (and extra BIG, LONG, SLASH mode for only single player)
  • bidirectional rotation (at most 3 taps);
  • 1G das and softdrop;
  • lock delay;
  • nice wallkick;
  • ghost at first stages;
  • Sega-like speed curve capped(?) at 1G;
  • 2-player joint mode and battle mode.
You can play it on MAME, please google for the emulator and ROM yourself...
link from Okey_Dokey: play in web browser

Sarcastic.png i have to say when the it goes fast it's not that easy. something needs to be learnt from the beginning.
but there are some annoying sound fx which you may prefer to avoid by choosing いいえ when asked (after choosing a game mode)...


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Alexandra
post Nov 20 2015, 09:07 PM
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QUOTE(farter @ Nov 20 2015, 01:57 PM) *

You can play it on MAME, please google for the emulator and ROM yourself...


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Okey_Dokey
post Nov 21 2015, 10:49 AM
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That Hexion game is well made. It displayed the ghost/shadow piece (active piece projected down to the bottom) many years before any Tetris game did that (although Hexion takes it away when the game progresses). All 10 pieces are differently colored and when placed, the blocks adopt the color of the row they fall in. Hexion has a similar feeling like the other Japanese Arcade games (fast autoshift speed, lock delay, gravity goes up and down).

The Tetris Wiki doesn't mention Hexagon Tetris games at all (mkay the Pieces page mentions Hextris and Bikaka in one sentence but that's it), although it mentions games that have aboslutely nothing in common with Tetris (e.g. Yoshi's cookies). Tetris is a colorless falling-rotable-blocks game, so is Hexagon Tetris. The only way to make a colorless falling-rotable-blocks game endless is by removing filled lines. So the options to make such a game different from Tetris are very limited. And I think hexagons are one of the best ways to achieve this [small excurs of what options exist: use shapes that don't cosist of 4 cells (e.g. Pentris), introduce some specials (e.g. Tetris Battle Gaiden or Bombliss), use another grid (e.g. Hexagon Tetris), add different layers (e.g. Quadro), let the blocks fall from different directions (e.g. Catchmode in Tetris DS, Welltris or this game), bring it into the third dimension (e.g. Blockout or 3Dtris)].

So I'd like to mention some information about Hexagon Tetris here. I take the following games into account and compare them:
  • Beetris: This old DOS game differs from the other Hexagon Tetris games in many regards. It seems to be first released in 1989. Version 1.3 is from 1992. It's Shareware: You are asked to send some cash per post, if you play it twice.
  • Hextris: This game was first released on Unix systems in 1990. It was ported to other platforms (Mac, PC) later as a Shareware product.
  • Hexion: This Japanese Arcade game was released in 1992. It used a Hextris license although it's different from Hextris in some regards. It's the most polished Hexagon Tetris game.
  • Blockz Hexagon Mode: Blockz is a browser game with asynchronous gameplay (using replays of other players). In case of Hexagon mode, it uses the same rules and matrix sizes as a Windows game from 1996 called BeeTris.
  • Bikaka: This is a Mac game from 1990. I haven't played it, so I won't mention it much.


Grid

All games use a grid consisting of hexagons. The hexagon grid is equivalent to a squared grid where every other column is shifted down by a half cell. Such a squared grid could have been programmed by using only the computers monochronous text mode (like Pajitnov did in case of Tetris), but hexagons look much nicer (especially if you rotate the pieces). Also note, that you get a different layout, if you rotate the grid by 90 degrees (equivalent to a squared grid where every other row is shifted): Horizontal lines are easier to see in this case, but it looks horrible, if gravity kicks in. Note that Bikaka uses this rotated layout.
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Movement

When moving horizontally in Beetris and Blockz, the piece always shifts downwards. If you let's say move 1 column right and then left, you end up 1 row lower. In Hextris and Hexion, the piece shifts up and down alternately. So you end up at the original position when moving 1 column right and then left. Hextris and Hexion also check the downwards shift, if the upward shift fails, which is needed to move a piece under overhangs. Hexion also seems to use a kick system when a rotation fails. You can rotate the piece in both directions in Hexion and Beetris.
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Field Dimensions

All games but Beetris are using a squared matrix (like Tetris). In Blockz, it's 10 columns wide. In Hextris, Bikaka and Hexion it's 12 columns wide. In Hexion there's also a mode with 7 columns (and 36 rows!), a mode with 27 columns, and then there's another mode with a skewed matrix. In Beetris the field looks like non-equilateral hexagon, 15 columns wide at max and 23 rows tall at max.
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Lineclears

Beetris uses diagonal lineclears: At the very bottom a diagonal line contains 8 cells, more towards the top it can contain up to 15 cells (which makes it harder to clear lines if you can't stay at the bottom). All other games use horizontal lineclears, although there are 2 different understandings what a horizontal line is: In Hexion and Blockz, it only considers lines, that have the exact same amount of blocks below in each column (red line in graphics), whereas in Hextris it considers all lines (red and blue lines).
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Pieces

All games but Bikaka use Tetrahexes (Polyhexes consisting of 4 cells) exclusively. Bikaka also uses the 3 Trihexes and the Dihex. In Blockz there's also an extended mode dealing Trihexes and Pentahexes. Hexion offers the Y and C shaped pieces less often than the other Tetrahexes (especially in earlier levels). In Blockz and Beetris the pieces spawn in a random direction. In Hextris and Hexion the pieces spawn vertically except for the O shaped piece.
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farter
post Nov 23 2015, 03:34 PM
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QUOTE(Okey_Dokey @ Nov 21 2015, 06:49 PM) *


Thumbs Up.png thx for so much supplementary related info (especially the online emulator link


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plusdavid
post Jun 4 2019, 09:52 PM
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That is the best write up of the game I have ever seen. Excellent to find it after all these years.

- David Markley

https://hextris.com

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simonlc
post Jun 5 2019, 05:10 PM
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QUOTE(plusdavid @ Jun 4 2019, 05:52 PM) *

That is the best write up of the game I have ever seen. Excellent to find it after all these years.

- David Markley

https://hextris.com

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Hey David, I absolutely love Hexion, and play it all the time! I was wondering if you ever thought of reviving Hextris for a more modern platform like the Switch?

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For fun I've experimented with making my own version with JavaScript, though I never got to a playable state, I was just messing with graphics and stuff.

https://i.imgur.com/ShkdBer.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/rGOtZzv.mp4
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