Tetris The Absolute: Grand Master 2 | 2000 | Arcade | Arika
That title’s just missing a quick “Turbo” to make it complete, is it not? Convoluted monicker or not, Arika’s Japanese Tetris coin-op has a devious little trick up its sleeve should you manage to prove yourself inhumanly skilled enough to beat it. In a classic example of lulling the player into a false sense of security, the game’s ultimate ranking of Grand Master only becomes available once the credits start to roll. The dev team’s names start to scroll up the screen, but rather than allowing the sore-wristed pro to take a step back and admire his or her achievements, the game forces them to keep on playing through the sequence in order to attain the fabled accolade. But doesn’t the text obscure the stack, or vice versa? Well no. You see that’s the really evil part.
Once the credits start to appear, the stack becomes invisible. Only the falling blocks can be seen, and must be manoeuvred into position by memory alone. To be fair, by reaching this stage in the game the player has probably got enough blocks behind their eyelids to be seeing them for upwards of three weeks, and so can probably play more easily by closing their eyes. It still is, however, a savage approach to the endgame which gives out pats on the back at the same time as delivering punches to the face. See it in action at around 8:00 in the movie below.