Tetris Makes Surprise Appearance at Nintendo World Championships 2017
Nintendo shocks competitors with Tetris on the original Game Boy!
New York Comic Con took over the Big Apple this past weekend, and while attendees stuffed their bags with comic books, toys and other collectibles inside of the Jacob Javits Center, there was plenty of action outside at the official 2017 Nintendo World Championships, which took place at the famous Manhattan Center on Saturday, October 7.
Twenty-four gamers competed against each other across five challenging stages, culminating in a championship round that had us biting our nails while cheering our favorite competitors. Multiple games made an appearance, like Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Arms and Splatoon 2, but there was also a blast from the past… Tetris on the original Game Boy!
Yes, the mother of all puzzle games was a surprise entrant, much to the delight of the hyped-up crowd that roared in approval when the familiar Tetris music played through the speakers.
Tetris appeared in Stage 4 of the Nintendo World Championships, specifically the Stage 4 Underground. Each of the five stages at this event had an Underground, where players with the lowest scores received one last opportunity to rejoin the competition while those who lost were officially eliminated; additional Underground games included Balloon Fight in Stage 1, Bird & Beans in Stage 2, Donkey Kong Country Returns in Stage 3, and Mario Party 2 in Stage 5.
Six players fell into Underground Stage 4, but only 2 moved on to Stage 5. The challenge? Get the highest score possible within 3 minutes, and players had the option to restart as many times as they wanted. So in other words, if they were unable to get a good score in one game, they could intentionally stack Tetriminos to the top of the Matrix and end their current run in order to start over again. Simple, right? Not exactly.
For starters, the whole world was watching, so no pressure! On top of that, the game was set to 0 hearts (level 10), so those Tetriminos fell fast right from the beginning, and with every 10 lines, the game moved up a level, forcing players to make split-second maneuvers under intense pressure.
Would they play it safe and clear lines one at a time (40 points for a single line, 100 for a double and 300 for a triple), or go for a Tetris Line Clear worth 1,200 points? Decisions! With the crowd cheering them on, those six players put their Tetris skills on display and stacked Tetriminos all over the place. One player by the name 360Chrism intentionally restarted after making some tricky maneuvers, while Dan S stacked three I-Tetriminos on top of each other, which ultimately led to a quick restart.
It was a crazy 3 minutes, and afterwards, the Nintendo referees immediately crunched the numbers, notebooks in hand. Although they did not reveal the final Tetris scores, Dan S and player Kyle W emerged victorious. However, they did not win the competition. Player Thomas Gonda defeated the 2015 winner, John Numbers, in Super Mario Odyssey to become the 2017 Nintendo World champion!
Whew! What a competition! Congratulations to Thomas Gonda, and we can’t wait until the next Nintendo World Championships! Who knows? Perhaps the critically acclaimed Tetris DS will be there!