The iconic falling-block video game Tetris has faced an unexpected challenger in the form of 13-year-old Willis Gibson. He has achieved a groundbreaking feat by officially “beating” the original Nintendo version of the game, albeit in a unique way—by pushing it to its limits until it crashed.
Known as “blue scuti” in the gaming community, Willis reached what gamers refer to as a “kill screen,” a point where the Tetris code experiences glitches, resulting in a game crash. While this may not seem like a conventional victory to those who prioritize high scores, it holds significant value in the competitive world of video games. Achieving a kill screen involves pushing both hardware and software to their limits, making it a coveted accomplishment.
This accomplishment is especially noteworthy for Tetris players, as the game was long considered unbeatable. This perception was partly due to the absence of a scripted ending; the continuous descent of four-block shapes posed an ongoing challenge regardless of a player’s stacking skills. Although top players sought to prolong their winning streaks by reaching higher levels, ultimately, the game proved to be an insurmountable opponent for all.
On December 21, Willis achieved a significant milestone by triggering a kill screen on Level 157, marking a triumph over Tetris. This accomplishment is akin to pushing the software beyond its established limits, redefining the boundaries of the legendary game.
The creators of Tetris themselves acknowledge Willis’s achievement. Tetris CEO Maya Rogers congratulated “blue scuti” for this extraordinary feat, emphasizing its defiance of all preconceived limits associated with the iconic game. Rogers, recognizing Tetris’s impending 40th anniversary, hailed Willis’s victory as a “monumental achievement” in a statement.