After decades of playing the game defies belief, 13-year-old Willis Gibson, known as Blue Scuti on YouTube, has become the first person to conquer the classic video game Tetris.
The completion of the game was achieved during a live stream where he reached level 157, causing what is known as the “true kill screen”.
Gibson, a seasoned Tetris player who started at age 11, posted a video of the historic moment on his YouTube channel.
Amazingly, it only took him 38 minutes to complete the game, much to the delight of the Tetris community.
When Gibson's screen reached level 157, Tetris experienced strange errors and blocks stopped falling, which meant game over. Sinking into his chair, Gibson exclaimed, “I'm going to make up my mind; I can't feel my fingers.”
Tetris level 29 was supposed to be the “kill screen” because the speed of the falling blocks increases rapidly. However, players can now continue playing beyond this level due to their increasing skill. In addition, new techniques including “hypertapping” and “rolling” allow players to deploy blocks at incredible speeds.
Tetris, created by Soviet engineer Alexei Pajitnov in 1984It became very popular after the release of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and Nintendo's Game Boy handheld console in 1989.
The game involves arranging falling blocks into perfect horizontal lines at increasing speed. Over the years, dedicated players have discovered various techniques, including hypertapping, to advance to higher levels, revealing dazzling patterns and colors in the process.
As for the “true kill screen” – when the game crashes due to coding inefficiencies – it was originally thought to be out of reach for humans. In 2021, an AI program called StackRabbit, created by programmer Greg Cannon, managed to get past level 237, where the game finally froze.
Gibson's achievement challenges the long-held belief that only AI can achieve a true kill screen.
The Tetris community has been investigating the kill screen bug and found that it may have been triggered earlier than level 237.
Gibson successfully achieved this in 157 levels, setting new world records for total score, level, lines and 19 points.
Reflecting on his unexpected achievement, Gibson shared on his YouTube channel, “When I started playing this game, I never expected to ever crash or beat the game. This run was also a world record for total points, level, lines and 19 points.