Breaking Records: Meet the First Person to Conquer NES Tetris

Tetris is a popular and enduring video game with versions on every console, computer, and gadget. In 1989, the NES version was released with an unbeatable endless mode, until now. A 13-year-old boy, Willis Gibson, has become the first person to ‘beat’ the NES version of Tetris, as announced by YouTuber aGameScout.

Gibson achieved this feat after 38 minutes of gameplay using the rolling technique, which allows players to glide their fingers along the bottom of an NES controller and hit the D-pad up to 20 times per second. This method revolutionized competitive Tetris play a couple of years back, and Gibson had already broken the game’s high score record, level achieved record, and the total number of lines cleared using this technique.

The gameplay session was so frantic that Gibson couldn’t feel his fingers afterwards. He dedicated the achievement to his late father, who passed away in December. The achievement is significant as Gibson is the first person to reach the game’s kill screen, causing the game to crash due to a software overflow error.

Reaching the kill screen is a rite of passage for old-school games, and Gibson’s achievement is a testament to human skill in beating AI programs that have previously reached the kill screen. This achievement adds up to the list of players who have hit the kill screen on classic games like Pac-Man, Dig Dug, and Duck Hunt.