Today in 1984, the birthday of Tetris, the world’s favorite Soviet puzzle video game.

Today we’re talking about a specific version of the game, the one that became a hit on the original Nintendo Entertainment System.

This version has some special quirks that led to some people who helped make Tetris history.

One of the versions of the game you can play on NES Tetris is almost indefinite.

The longer you play and clear lines from the board, the faster the game goes until the player can’t keep up anymore and the board fills up.

It’s not actually indefinite, though, because people figured out some time ago that if a player could play for a really, really long time, at a really, really fast speed, the game would crash.

But most players would have lost the game long before that could happen; the only way to see the game freeze up at the unofficial end was to have a computer play NES Tetris.

That was true until December 2023, when a 13 year old in Oklahoma, Willis Gibson, became the first person to reach the legendary NES Tetris event horizon.

Gibson’s first words after doing the impossible: “Oh my god. Oh. Oh my god. Oh my god. Yes. Oh my god. Oh my god. I’m gonna pass out.”

It was pretty thrilling stuff, but then the NES Tetris world got even wilder.

According to WIRED Magazine, the same community that has been figuring out hacks and tips to reach the kill screen also figured out a way to play past when the kill screen would normally kick in, around level 155 or so.

This is highly technical stuff that coders understand way better than I do, but essentially on Japanese Nintendo sets, you can plug in an extra controller and then hit certain controls on that extra controller at the right times to keep open some of the memory that would otherwise get used so heavily that it would trigger a game crash.

They’re hacking the game’s code from inside itself!

Future players could go even beyond the “end” of Nintendo Tetris, though WIRED notes that this hack can only hold the memory open for so long before the same technical limitations kick in.

And even if they didn’t kick in, the code says that after level 255, anyone who was somehow still playing would essentially loop back to the very beginning: level zero.

Starting tomorrow the town of Metropolis, Illinois is hosting its annual Superman Celebration.

There will be lots of superhero-themed games and activities, but appearances by some of the actors from Superman movies..

And if you’re not sure where to find the festival, just drop by the town’s big Superman statue.

It’s Possible to Hack Tetris From Inside the Game Itself (WIRED)

Metropolis Superman Celebration

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