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Tetris: The Grand Master

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Tetris: The Grand Master
Arcade flyer for Tetris: The Grand Master 3 – Terror‑Instinct
AQ Interactive[d]
Hamster[e] [f]
Composer(s)Shinji Hosoe
Ayako Saso
Xbox 360[d]
Nintendo Switch[e][f]
PlayStation 4[e][f]
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer
Arcade systemSony ZN-2[a]
Psikyo SH2[b]
Taito Type X[c]

Tetris: The Grand Master (テトリス ザ・グランドマスター, Tetorisu: Za Gurando Masutā) is a series of puzzle arcade video games created by Arika.

Released in Japan in August 1998, Tetris: The Grand Master was followed by two sequels: Tetris: The Absolute – The Grand Master 2 in October 2000 (with a Plus update released in December 2000), and Tetris: The Grand Master 3 – Terror‑Instinct in March 2005. A spin-off console game, Tetris: The Grand Master Ace, was published by AQ Interactive on December 10, 2005 and was a launch title for the Xbox 360's Japan release. On December 1, 2022, Tetris: The Grand Master was released for the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 as part of the Arcade Archives series. This was followed by Tetris: The Absolute – The Grand Master 2 Plus on June 1, 2023.


The basic gameplay of Tetris: The Grand Master is similar to that of other Tetris games. The player must move and rotate tetromino-shaped pieces falling into a well to form horizontal lines, which will then be cleared. During gameplay, the game automatically gives ranks to the player according to their score, starting from 9 up to Grand Master (GM), roughly following the dan ranking system. The game speeds up rapidly, eventually reaching instant gravity, where blocks appear immediately at the bottom, and upwards of three tetrominoes per seconds.

Tetris: The Grand Master's gameplay is heavily inspired by Sega's Japanese arcade version of Tetris, released 10 years earlier. It uses a modified version of that game's rotation system, the same color scheme for tetrominoes, and relies heavily on mechanics such as lock delay, similar to Sega's game.

The main goal in Tetris: The Grand Master is to score points, awarding the player a higher grade. The game ends when a player reaches level 999. If the player scored enough points, they will be awarded with the grade S9. To achieve the grade GM, the player must also meet some time requirements during play. If the player tops out before reaching level 999, the game ends, awarding the player the current grade and its "mastering time", the time at which the grade was awarded during gameplay.


Tetris: The Grand Master[edit]

The original game was released in Japanese arcades in August 1998.

On November 1, 2021, Arika president Ichiro Mihara posted on Twitter that a formal announcement for the upcoming release of a home port of the Tetris: The Grand Master series was being delayed, thus revealing that a home port for the series was currently in development.[1][2][3] A year later, Arika announced on Twitter that Hamster Corporation licensed the first Tetris: The Grand Master game as part of their Arcade Archives series, to be released on December 1, 2022, for the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4.[4]

Tetris: The Absolute – The Grand Master 2[edit]

Tetris: The Absolute – The Grand Master 2 was released in 2000, and added additional modes of play. One of these new modes is the Master mode, which extends the classic Tetris: The Grand Master gameplay with larger speed increases, more requirements to achieve the M or GM grades, and an additional challenge when the M rank is achieved where the player must survive the credits roll with the additional handicap of the tetrominoes turning invisible upon locking. Additional modes include a more casual Normal mode, a Versus mode enhanced with item battles, and a two-player co-op mode.

An update, Tetris: The Absolute – The Grand Master 2 Plus, added additional modes such as "TGM+", which adds rising garbage blocks to the game field, and "T.A. Death" where the game begins at 20G (maximum gravity where blocks appear at the bottom instantly) and every other aspect of the game also speeds up steadily.

A port based on the Plus version for Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 was announced by Hamster Corporation as part of their Arcade Archives series. It was released on June 1, 2023.[5]

Tetris: The Grand Master 3 – Terror‑Instinct[edit]

Tetris: The Grand Master 3 – Terror‑Instinct was released in 2005. The game runs on PC-based hardware, specifically the Taito Type X. The level system has been expanded in many forms with increasingly stricter requirements to reach the Grand Master rank. Modes include Easy, Sakura (a puzzle mode also seen in Tetris With Cardcaptor Sakura: Eternal Heart), the traditional Master mode, and Shirase (an extension of T.A. Death with even harsher speed, garbage, and levels beyond 999). It also features World and Classic Rules, the former added by Arika due to The Tetris Company's then-recent policy changes.

Tetris: The Grand Master Ace[edit]

Released in 2005 as a Japan-only launch title for the Xbox 360, this was the only game in the series exclusive to home consoles.[6]

Unreleased games[edit]

PlayStation port[edit]

Tetris: The Grand Master was to be ported to the PlayStation in 1999, but because of a licensing restriction the port was canceled.[7]

TGM-K (tentative name)[edit]

In July 2004 Arika announced TGM-K for release on the PlayStation Portable.[8] However, development was abandoned when Arika could not secure a license because of a combination of Electronic Arts having the license for the PSP, and The Tetris Company's concern about the proliferation of TGM clones.[9]

Tetris: The Grand Master 4 – The Masters of Round[edit]

In September 2009, Tetris: The Grand Master 4 – The Masters of Round was unveiled at the Amusement Machine Show.[10][11] Tetris: The Grand Master 4 was supposed to run on the Sega RingWide hardware. On September 18, 2010, Arika Vice President Ichiro Mihara announced the cancellation of The Grand Master 4 on his blog.[12] In July 2015, Arika began location testing The Grand Master 4 in Japan[13] and the United States.[14] The titled was changed to The Grand Master 2015 reflecting the lack of a Tetris license or planned release.


  1. ^ a b c d Tetris: The Grand Master
  2. ^ a b c d Tetris: The Absolute – The Grand Master 2
  3. ^ a b c d Tetris: The Grand Master 3 – Terror-Instinct
  4. ^ a b c Tetris: The Grand Master Ace
  5. ^ a b c d Arcade Archives – Tetris: The Grand Master
  6. ^ a b c d Arcade Archives - Tetris: The Absolute - The Grand Master 2 Plus


  1. ^ "Mihara revealing an announcement regarding an upcoming Tetris: The Grand Master game is being delayed". Twitter. Retrieved 19 May 2022.
  2. ^ "Tetris: The Grand Master home port seemingly announced via delay of announcement". Destructoid. 2 November 2021. Retrieved 19 May 2022.
  3. ^ "Random: Tetris: The Grand Master Home Port Announcement Revealed By Announcement Delay". Nintendo Life. November 2021. Retrieved 23 May 2022.
  4. ^ "The hardest Tetris game ever is coming to Switch and PS4". Polygon. 23 November 2022. Retrieved 26 Nov 2022.
  5. ^ Norman, Jim (2023-05-22). "Tetris The Absolute Grandmaster 2 Plus Slots Into Hamster's Arcade Archives Next Month". Nintendo Life. Retrieved 2023-05-22.
  6. ^ "Tetris: The Grand Master Ace". aqi.co.jp (in Japanese). MarvelousAQL. Archived from the original on 11 March 2010. Retrieved 2016-03-15.
  7. ^ アリカの「テトリス ザ・グランドマスター」 版権元の方針によって発売中止に
  8. ^ 「プレイステーション・ポータブル」(PSP) 国内参入ソフトウェアメーカー59社、ソフトウェアラインナップ59タイトル
  9. ^ Mihara's sub Layer Retrieved 1 October 2009.
  10. ^ Tetris THE GRAND MASTER4 THE MASTERS OF ROUND. :第47回 アミューズメントマシンショー セガ公式HP
  11. ^ Sega to release Tetris: The Grandmaster 4 The Masters of Round
  12. ^ Mihara's sub Layer 2010/09/18
  13. ^ Official Taito Hey Arcade Twitter announcement
  14. ^ "The Grand Master 2015 Arcade Testing In The US June 13th-14th". Arcade Heroes. 8 June 2015. Retrieved 26 June 2015.

External links[edit]