Tetris (NES)

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Tetris - NES - USA.jpg
Platform: NES
Year: 1989
Developer: Nintendo R&D1
Buy: Amazon
This page is for the NES game developed by Nintendo, for other versions see Tetris.

Tetris is an action puzzle game where you must direct various odd-shaped blocks to the bottom of a well while attempting to line them up to form complete horizontal lines. When a complete horizontal line is formed, it is be removed from the well, and the more lines you can remove with a single block, the more points you score. As you progress through the game, the speed increases making it more difficult.

There are two types of modes in the game; A-Type and B-Type. In A-Type, the game is a simple marathon run where the goal is to accumulate as many lines as you can. In B-Type, the goal is to clear twenty-five lines. B-Type also includes six Height modes (0-6) which create rows of 'garbage' blocks. Some consider clearing Level 9 Height 5 as beating the game, though the game has no true ending.

Despite being such a simple concept, few games have caused such cultural sensation which lasted decades. Two other versions of Tetris were released for the NES, the unlicensed port from Tengen, and the Japanese version developed by BPS.


Tetris - NES - Title.png

Title screen.

Tetris - NES - Main Menu.png

The main menu.

Tetris - NES - B-Type Menu.png

The B-Type menu.

Tetris - NES - A-Type.png

About to get a Tetris in the A-Type game.

Tetris - NES - Success.png


Tetris - NES - Victory.png

Finished a B-Type game.


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Tetris - NES - Album Art.jpg

Tetris contains music both composed and arranged by Hirokazu Tanaka. He also did the Game Boy version, which is considered more popular.

Tanaka put together some decent music for the Nintendo version of Tetris. Music 1 is an arranged version of Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from "The Nutcracker Suite" by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Music 2 has a nice traditional Russian sound to it. Music 3 is a very mellow tune and the same song played when you were put on hold for calling Nintendo. The music played after a Game B victory is Toréador Song from the opera "Carmen" by Georges Bizet. The three in-game tunes speed up when the well is almost completely full of blocks, as to add urgency and tension to the game. The game also has an unused piece of music. Due to its length, the fact that it doesn't loop, and because it's the only part of the game to lack music, it is thought that this song was meant to played at the game's title screen.

Tanaka wrote the music in assembly macros in his sound driver.


# Title ComposerArranger Length Listen Download
01 Music 1 Pyotr Ilyich TchaikovskyHirokazu Tanaka 1:59
02 Music 1 - Fast Pyotr Ilyich TchaikovskyHirokazu Tanaka 1:04
03 Music 2 Hirokazu TanakaHirokazu Tanaka 1:19
04 Music 2 - Fast Hirokazu TanakaHirokazu Tanaka 0:56
05 Music 3 Hirokazu TanakaHirokazu Tanaka 0:58
06 Music 3 - Fast Hirokazu TanakaHirokazu Tanaka 0:42
07 Success! Hirokazu TanakaHirokazu Tanaka 0:02
08 Victory Georges BizetHirokazu Tanaka 0:35
09 High Score Hirokazu TanakaHirokazu Tanaka 1:14
10 Unknown Hirokazu TanakaHirokazu Tanaka 0:25


(Source: Verification from composer. Game lacks credits)

Though the game does not have credits, Hirokazu Tanaka has taken credit for the music. In addition, composer Alexander Brandon, who is friends with Tanaka, has verified that Tanaka is the composer. Also, some of the sound effects were reused in Hello Kitty World (FC) which credits Tanaka in its staff roll. The game also uses Tanaka's custom sound engine.

Game Rip



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Ripping NES music is a very arduous process that is beyond the scope of this site.


  USA.svg   USA
Tetris - NES - USA.jpg
Title: Tetris
Platform: NES
Released: 1989-11-??
Publisher: Nintendo of America Inc.
  Germany.svg   Germany
Tetris - NES - Germany.jpg
Title: Tetris
Platform: NES
Released: 1990-02-23
Publisher: Nintendo Co, Ltd.