Tetris prodigy triggers 'true killscreen' in record-setting run

Willis Gibson, A.K.A blue scuti made history in December 2023 by becoming the first human player to record a killscreen run in Tetris.


Tetris may be a 38-year-old game, but players are still accomplishing amazing things with it even now. In December, history was made in the game by 13-year-old Tetris prodigy Willis Gibson, A.K.A blue scuti. As of now, blue scuti is the only player to have played and recorded a human-controlled “killscreen” run in Tetris on the NES.

Blue scutie shared his accomplishment with the world via his personal YouTube channel on January 1, 2024, but he actually pulled off the feat in December. NES Tetris players had theorized that the game had a killscreen, but the requirements to trigger it are very specific. At Level 29, the game is at its fastest speed and a true killscreen is achieved by clearing a specific line that glitches out the game. It requires playing the game past glitched colors that include dark and translucent tetrominoes that are hard to see in addition to the game going ridiculously fast, and you have to do that for about 40 minutes. An AI was said to have triggered the killscreen, but this was found to be a slightly altered version of the game.

The exact moment blue scuti achieves the killscreen in Tetris
The exact moment blue scuti achieves the killscreen to "beat" NES Tetris is on of elation and relief for the young champion.
Source: blue scuti

Blue scuti had already been making a name for himself in the Tetris community. He has tournament wins to his name even at 13 years old, has appeared at the Classic Tetris World Championships, and has chased records in the game for a while. On December 21, 2023, scuti makes his last of several attempts at the killscreen. He pushed the game to Level 157 where there’s a good chance of achieving the killscreen glitch. He then managed to hit a single-line clear and crashes the game, achieving its “true killscreen”.

As of this time, blue scuti is one of the few players to ever achieve this feat and possibly the first to ever record it. In an interview with the Classic Tetris channel, scuti dedicated the accomplishment to his father, who also passed away in December, as well as his grandparents for their ongoing support of his Tetris efforts.

Tetris may be coming up on 40 years since it first came out, but players around the world continue to accomplish amazing things in it even now. Major congrats to blue scuti for achieving greatness in Tetris even now. Stay tuned as we continue to follow for the latest goings on in the game.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at tj.denzer@shacknews.com and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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