Tetris The Absolute The Grand Master 2 PLUS

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Tetris The Absolute The Grand Master 2 PLUS

Arika tap title.jpg
Developer(s) Arika
Publisher(s) Psikyo
Release Date(s) 2000
Platform(s) Psikyo arcade PCB

Gameplay Info

Next pieces 1
Playfield dimensions 10w
Hold piece No
Hard drop Yes (Sonic Drop)
Rotation system TGM rotation
Has 180 rotation {{{180}}}
Adjustable tuning {{{tuning}}}
Garbage attack type {{{garbage}}}
Garbage blocking type {{{blocking}}}
Website {{{website}}}
Arika tap gameselect.jpg Arika tap ingame.jpg

Tetris The Absolute The Grand Master 2 PLUS (commonly referred to as "TAP" or "TGM2+") is an upgrade that was given away free to owners of Tetris the Absolute: The Grand Master 2, which added a few additional modes, among other changes.

Game Modes


Normal mode behaves similarly to Master Mode in gravity and speed timings, but stops at level 300. At levels 100 and 200 an item block (used in versus mode) is given to the player. "Free Fall," which eliminates all holes, is given at 100. "Del Even," which clears every other row throughout the field is given at 200. The credit roll challenge is a slow 20g, but playing through it is not required for a "Clear". For this mode, the player's score is multiplied by six.

Speed Timings

The unit for gravity is G (rows per frame), as a fraction with a constant denominator of 256. This means G = Internal Gravity/256. For example, at levels 90 through 99, the gravity is 64/256G, or 1/4G.

Internal Gravity
Level Internal Gravity
(1/256 G)
Level Internal Gravity
(1/256 G)
0 4 149 48
8 5 156 80
19 6 164 112
35 8 174 128
40 10 180 144
50 12 200 16
60 16 212 48
70 32 221 80
80 48 232 112
90 64 244 144
100 4 256 176
108 5 267 192
119 6 277 208
125 8 287 224
131 12 295 240
139 32 300 5120 (20G)
Level ARE
Line clear
000 - 300 25 14 30 40
  • RAM Locations
    • 06064BF1: Current internal speed value (16-bit)
    • 06064BE0: Current Lock Delay value
    • 06064BE1: DAS counter


Master mode is Arika's upgrade to the original Tetris The Grand Master gameplay. One of two significant differences is that the speeds continue to increase throughout the 500–999 levels. The other difference is the all-new grading system. The grading mechanism now exists completely independently from the score, and rewards efficient and consistent play throughout the game (for example, it's extremely difficult to attain S9 before level 900).

Other changes include a hard drop that doesn't lock, called a sonic drop, which improves sub-20g play by allowing Zangi-moves. The Grand Master qualifications were also greatly expanded, and includes an invisible challenge during the credit roll where pieces disappear immediately after being locked; topping out results in rank M. Arika hosted a video showing a Gm performance: tgm2master.

Speed Timings

Internal Gravity
Level Internal Gravity
(1/256 G)
Level Internal Gravity
(1/256 G)
0 4 220 32
30 6 230 64
35 8 233 96
40 10 236 128
50 12 239 160
60 16 243 192
70 32 247 224
80 48 251 256 (1G)
90 64 300 512 (2G)
100 80 330 768 (3G)
120 96 360 1024 (4G)
140 112 400 1280 (5G)
160 128 420 1024 (4G)
170 144 450 768 (3G)
200 4 500 5120 (20G)
Level ARE
Line ARE
Line clear
000 - 499 25 25 14 30 40
500 - 599 25 25 8 30 25
600 - 699 25 16 8 30 16
700 - 799 16 12 8 30 12
800 - 899 12 6 8 30 6
900 - 999 12 6 6 17 6

Line ARE defines the number of frames of ARE to use after a line clear. The player's DAS charge is unmodified during line clear delay, the first frame of "lock flash" that occurs during the beginning of ARE without a line clear, and one frame of level-increment delay a little before the next piece spawns, and the frame a piece spawns.

Grade Recognition System

Each time lines are cleared, a hidden parameter ("Internal Grade Points") will increase. When this parameter reaches 100 or more, it will reset to zero and another hidden parameter ("Internal Grade") will increment by one. The table below shows the correspondence between "Internal Grade" and the actual Grade displayed on the screen. To encourage faster and more efficient play, the "Internal Grade Points" will continually drain away, potentially back to zero, for every frame of gameplay the player has control of a tetromino and doesn't have a combo going. The decay rate is dependent on the player's current "Internal Grade" and is shown on the table below in units of frames per point.

The number of "Internal Grade Points" awarded is dependent on 4 other variables:

  • Number of lines cleared: a 4-line clear is generally worth more than a 3-line clear and so on.
  • "Internal Grade": a higher "Internal Grade" generally means less points.
  • The line clear's position in a combo. Note that tetrises are an exception to this. They will score the same number of "Internal Grade Points" regardless of their position in a combo. Just like the CO medal, clearing 2 or more rows will increase the combo, while singles will merely maintain the current position.
  • The player's Level after the line clear.

The following formula determines the "Internal Grade Points" awarded by a particular line clear. The "ceil" indicates that when the Combo Multiplier is applied to the Basic Amount, the game rounds the multiplication up.

Awarded Grade Points = ceil(Basic Amount x Combo Multiplier) x Level Multiplier

The Basic Amount is determined by the player's current "Internal Grade". Also shown is the decay rate mentioned above.

Internal Grade System
Internal Grade Points awarded for:
Single Double Triple Tetris
0 9 125 10 20 40 50
1 8 80 10 20 30 40
2 7 80 10 20 30 40
3 6 50 10 15 30 40
4 5 45 10 15 20 40
5 4 45 5 15 20 30
6 4 45 5 10 20 30
7 3 40 5 10 15 30
8 3 40 5 10 15 30
9 2 40 5 10 15 30
10 2 40 2 12 13 30
11 2 40 2 12 13 30
12 1 30 2 12 13 30
13 1 30 2 12 13 30
14 1 30 2 12 13 30
15 S1 20 2 12 13 30
16 S1 20 2 12 13 30
17 S1 20 2 12 13 30
18 S2 20 2 12 13 30
19 S3 20 2 12 13 30
20 S4 15 2 12 13 30
21 S4 15 2 12 13 30
22 S4 15 2 12 13 30
23 S5 15 2 12 13 30
24 S5 15 2 12 13 30
25 S6 15 2 12 13 30
26 S6 15 2 12 13 30
27 S7 15 2 12 13 30
28 S7 15 2 12 13 30
29 S8 15 2 12 13 30
30 S8 10 2 12 13 30
31 S9 10 2 12 13 30

For example, internal grades 20 through 22 could be thought of as S4-, S4, and S4+, but TAP does not display these differently.

Depending on the number of rows cleared and the current size of the combo, a different combo multiplier is applied to the grade points.

Combo Multiplier
Multiplier for:
Single Double Triple Tetris
1 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0
2 1.2 1.4 1.5 1.0
3 1.2 1.5 1.8 1.0
4 1.4 1.6 2.0 1.0
5 1.4 1.7 2.2 1.0
6 1.4 1.8 2.3 1.0
7 1.4 1.9 2.4 1.0
8 1.5 2.0 2.5 1.0
9 1.5 2.1 2.6 1.0
10 2.0 2.5 3.0 1.0

Finally, depending on the level, one of four level multipliers is applied to the awarded grade points. This equals 1 + floor(level / 250), or equivalently a value from the following lookup table:

Level Multiplier
Level Multiplier
000-249 1
250-499 2
500-749 3
750-999 4

Eg. At level 555, Grade 1, clearing 2 doubles in a combo, the first and second doubles respectively will be worth: ceil(12 x 1.0) x (1 + floor(555 / 250)) = 12 x 3 = 36, ceil(12 x 1.4) x (1 + floor(558 / 250)) = 17 x 3 = 51

This is a complicated system that may be difficult to understand, but it ultimately measures how efficiently and consistently the player can stack and make non-singles in steadily increasing speeds. Further interesting observations about the grading system are as follows:

  • Immediately following a grade increase, the grade points are at 0. There is therefore nothing to lose from building the stack higher, until you clear a line. Basically, grade points do not carry over when going up a grade. For example, it would be a waste of grade points to go for a tetris to go up to 8 when you have 98 grade points.
  • From level 750-999, a tetris will always increase the internal grade.
  • The level multiplier is significant. When you enter section 700 and the music changes, it is a good idea to stack the screen high in order to clear more lines after level 750. Combined with the previous observation, 2 tetrises will get you 2 "Internal Grades" instead of only 1, doubling your rate of progress.
  • Combos aside, even though 2 singles are worth much less than a double, and 4 triples are less than 3 tetrises, 3 doubles are actually worth more than 2 triples.
  • RAM Locations:
    • Internal Grade: 06079378
    • Internal Grade Points: 06079379

The M-Roll

Although it is possible to continue increasing the "Internal Grade" beyond 31, the displayed Grade will stop at S9. In order to achieve the M and Gm Grades, certain conditions must be met in order to activate a special credit roll at level 999 (often called the "M-Roll") where the tetrominoes become invisible as soon as they are locked. The conditions for the "M-Roll" are currently believed to include at least the following:

M-Roll Conditions
Level Time Tetrises Grade
000-999 =<525 seconds (=<08:45:00) S9
000-100 =<65 seconds (=<01:05.00) =>2
100-200 =<65 seconds (=<01:05.00) =>2
200-300 =<65 seconds (=<01:05.00) =>2
300-400 =<65 seconds (=<01:05.00) =>2
400-500 =<65 seconds (=<01:05.00) =>2
500-600 =<2 seconds slower than the average of the first 5 section times (rounded down) =>1
600-700 =<2 seconds slower than section 500-600 =>1
700-800 =<2 seconds slower than section 600-700 =>1
800-900 =<2 seconds slower than section 700-800 =>1
900-999 =<2 seconds slower than section 800-900

Topping out during the "M-Roll" results in the M Grade. Surviving the entirity of the "M-Roll" results in the Green Gm Grade (a green line is displayed on the ranking screen). In addition, clearing at least 32 lines rewards the Orange Gm Grade. The ranking prioritizes Orange Gm over Green Gm, regardless of clear time. Failure to meet the above requirements results in a fading roll, where there is a delay before pieces go invisible.


This mode features speeds similar to the original TGM, with one important gameplay addition to keep the game interesting: rising garbage during play, as in Sega's Bloxeed. An internal counter is incremented every time a tetromino is played without clearing lines; once this counter reaches 13 - floor(level / 100), a row of garbage rises from the floor of the playfield, and the counter resets. The garbage follows the fixed pattern shown below, looping every 24 rows:

  • RAM Locations:
    • 06064C30: Number of tetrominoes played without line clears
    • 06064C31: Position in garbage sequence

There is no grading system, medals, or ranking system in this mode. If you reach level 999, the credit roll will start, but locked tetrominos will not become invisible. Surviving this roll is not required to see the "Excellent!" message.

Speed Timings

  • Gravity speed timings are the same as those of Master mode.
Level ARE
Line clear
000 - 999 25 16 30 40

T.A. Death

T.A. Death mode is identical to Master Mode in gameplay, but the game begins and remains at 20g throughout (similarly to the 20g Mode code). However, how quickly a tetromino is given out, how quickly a tetromino will lock into place, and other values that determine the speed of play steadily change as levels are cleared.

T.A. Death is possibly the most famous mode ever featured in a TGM game. A video originally called Death 800, which features a player breaking level 800, has floated around the Internet under the name Tetris Japan Finals, making the TGM series famous throughout the world. This video is very popular and was singlehandedly responsible for introducing most western players to the TGM series. (People with a recent version of Flash Player can view this video on YouTube. [1]) Arika hosted a much better Gm rank Death Mode video: Death-Gm05.


Only the M and Gm grades are achievable. The conditions are as follows:

  • If the player reaches 500 with a time greater than 3:25:00 the timer will stop, the credits will roll. The "Excellent!" message is displayed and the player will not get a grade.
  • If the player reaches 500 under (or equal to) 3:25:00, the M grade is given and the game will continue to 999.
  • Gm is awarded at 999 regardless of time or score. The game does continue through the credits, but winning or losing at that point has no effect.


Though Death Mode has a fixed gravity of 20g, there are 4 other timings that shape the flow and speed of play.

Level ARE
Line ARE
Line clear
000 - 099 16 12 10 30 12
100 - 199 12 6 10 26 6
200 - 299 12 6 9 22 6
300 - 399 6 6 8 18 6
400 - 499 5 5 6 15 5
500 - 999 4 4 6 15 4

Some repurcussions of this are that there is no time penalty for clearing singles instead of tetrises from level 100 through 299. Also, as these values decrease, the options for tetromino placement are gradually reduced, becoming a subset of what was once possible in 20g.


Doubles is a two player cooperative mode that puts both players in one well that is 14 units wide instead of 10. In TAP, it is selectable from the menu. In TGM2, it was accessed one player holding down the start button on his/her side while the other player pressed the other start button to join in. In TAP, one credit pays for both players.

Each player has a separate level counter, and both players must reach level 300 for the win. Though the level counter does not stop at every x99 as in standard modes, the final 299 does require a line change to 300. If one player reaches 300 before the other, he enters 20g for the rest of the game. It is quite difficult to survive for long with 20g in such a wide well, so winning requires a fine degree of coordination between the players so that they reach 300 synchronously.


The versus mode in TAP works in a very similar way to that in it's predecessor, TGM. Each player has their own field, and clearing two or more lines in their field will cause garbage lines to be sent to the bottom of their opponent's field. Unlike the multiplayer modes in other Tetris games, the garbage holes correspond to the location of the line clearing piece. This means that the usual playing style of the series, of leaving a column down the right for Tetrises is not as beneficial, because if both players do it then any garbage sent will line up with the opponent's Tetris hole. Alternating sides, or using other pieces to clear lines will send garbage that is more difficult to the opponent to clear. Oddly enough, the versus mode in Bloxeed' and Dreamworld's DuelTris worked in a similar manner.

All of the four single player modes can be played in Versus mode. The first player picks a mode, and starts as if playing alone. When the second player pushes their respective start button (assuming there is a credit) they will be asked if they want to challenge the other player. If they choose 'yes', then the other player will lose their game, "Here comes a new challenger" will scroll across the screen, and versus mode will start in whatever mode the first player was playing in. Normal, Master and Death use their respective speed curves for each player. TGM+ mode has garbage rising automatically from the bottom, in the same way it does on single-player. To prevent unwanted versus games, the first player can press their start button, which will cause "no more challenger" to display on the opposite field. Pressing the start button again cancels this effect. If a second player starts while "No more challenger" is displayed, then it will skip the challenge menu and go straight to the mode select.

For versus there is a default target level of 200, and a default time limit of 2:40:00. The target level can be changed in the game setup (in 100 level increments), with the time increasing or decreasing by 1:20:00 for every 100 levels. If a player tops out their field, then they lose. If neither player tops out their field in the allocated time limit, then the winner is the player with the highest level. If a player reaches the target level then the game ends and they are declared the winner. By default, the overall winner is the first player to win two games. Again, this can be changed in the game setup.


Each player has a green bar to the side of their field. With each piece placement, this bar increases slightly. When the bar is filled, the next piece the player receives will be an item piece. The shape of the piece is retained, but the appearance of the individual composite blocks will be different, depending on the item. The piece is placed normally, and the item is used automatically when a line containing part of the item piece is cleared. Again, Bloxeed was the inspiration here. Many of the powerups, like the 16 ton weight, and the delete even, are based around the ones in Bloxeed. But unlike in Bloxeed, DuelTris, and Tetris DS, the entire piece counts as the item, instead of just one block of it.

Items can be turned off by each player holding their respective start buttons as Versus mode is initiated.

Medal Conditions

Medal Bronze Silver Gold
AC (All Clear) Make 1 Bravo Make 2 Bravos Make 3 Bravos
RO (Rotation) Rotations/Tetromino >= 6/5 from level 0 to 300 Rotations/Tetromino >= 6/5 from level 300 to 700 Rotations/Tetromino >= 6/5 from level 700 to 999
ST (Section Time) Approach section time record (<10 seconds slower)
Note: Death ST records reset to the default 42 seconds every time the machine is switched on
Approach section time record (<5 seconds slower)
Note: Death ST records reset to the default 42 seconds every time the machine is switched on
Beat section time record
Note: Death ST records reset to the default 42 seconds every time the machine is switched on
SK (Skill) Master: 10 Tetrises
Death: 5 Tetrises
BIG: 1 Tetris
Master: 20 Tetrises
Death: 10 Tetrises
BIG: 2 Tetrises
Master: 35 Tetrises
Death: 17 Tetrises
BIG: 4 Tetrises
RE (Recovery) Perform 1 "Recovery":
Have 150 or more blocks in the playfield, then clear until <=70 blocks remain once
Perform 2 "Recoveries":
Have 150 or more blocks in the playfield, then clear until <=70 blocks remain twice
Perform 4 "Recoveries":
Have 150 or more blocks in the playfield, then clear until <=70 blocks remain four times
CO (Combo) Make a 4 combo.
BIG: Make a 2 combo
Note: Single line clears keep the current combo active, but do not add to it.
Make a 5 combo.
BIG: Make a 3 combo
Note: Single line clears keep the current combo active, but do not add to it.
Make a 7 combo.
BIG: Make a 4 combo
Note: Single line clears keep the current combo active, but do not add to it.


Unlike the first game in the series, score is completely unimportant in the main game modes. The only mode where score counts for anything is Normal mode. The algorithm is actually different from from the previous version TA, with an added reward for fast play among other changes. The equation is:

Score = ((Level + Lines)/4 + Soft + (2 x Sonic)) x Lines x Combo x Bravo + (Level_After_Clear)/2 + (Speed x 7)


  • Level is the current level you are on.
  • Lines is the number of lines you just cleared.
  • (Level + Lines)/4 is rounded up.
  • (Level_After_Clear)/2 is rounded up. Importantly, Level_After_Clear is different from (Level+Lines) for edge cases like reaching 300 in Normal mode, 500 when being torikan-stopped in Death mode, and reaching 999 otherwise.
  • Soft is the cummulative number frames during which Down was held during the piece's active time. Note that this means manually locking pieces already on the ground will increase the Soft value by 1.
  • Sonic is the size of the single greatest sonic drop during the piece's active time. Note that this is non-cummulative.
  • If the previous piece cleared no lines, Combo is reset to 1. Otherwise and its Combo value is:
    Combo = (previous Combo value) + (2 x Lines) - 2
    Example: A double-triple-single combo will have combo values 3, 7, and 7 respectively.
  • Bravo is equal to 4 if this piece has cleared the screen, and otherwise is 1.
  • Speed can be no less than 0, and is otherwise equal to:
    Speed = Lock Delay - Active Time
Where, Lock Delay is the number of frames of lock delay given out for that particular level, and Active Time is the number of frames the piece was active (which is a minimum of 1).

It should be noted that Normal mode multiplies line clear scores by 6. Also, the player is given a time bonus of 1253 x Seconds where Seconds is the amount of time in seconds, rounded up, that the clear time is below 5 minutes.


  • Item Mode: When selecting either Master or TGM+ mode, hold B and C, then press Start while "READY" is still on-screen. The "NEXT" text should pulsate to indicate that the code was entered correctly. This code causes item blocks to appear like in regular 2-player versus mode play, only all attacks are sent to yourself.

The following codes should be entered at the title screen, and only work in Normal Mode and Master Mode. They disqualify your score from appearing in the rankings.

Key: L = Left, D = Down, U = Up, R = Right


Forces maximum gravity.

  • Big Mode: LLLLDCBA

All tetrominos are very large, simulating a 10x5 well.


The ghost piece function does not disappear after level 100.