Tool-assisted game movies
When human skills are just not enough

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N64 Magical Tetris Challenge

[Tier: Moons]N64 Magical Tetris Challenge (USA) "maximum score" in 01:57.38 by PoochyEXE.
Bizhawk movie (.bkm) (date: 2014-09-28)
MKV file via BitTorrent (Modern HQ) (size: 17.07 MB, length: 02:18)
MP4 file via BitTorrent (Compatibility) (size: 11.75 MB, length: 02:18)
Mirror archive.org (MKV Modern HQ)
Mirror archive.org (MP4 Compatibility)
Watch on (www.youtube.com)
Submission #4423 — Author's comments
Discuss this movie
Obsoletes movie #2623 (03:31.47)
Rating: 6.8 (10.5 votes)
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- Aims for maximum score
- Uses hardest difficulty
- Genre: Puzzle
One of the few N64 titles to be in 2D, Magical Tetris Challenge is another port of Tetris, this time featuring Mickey Mouse.

Watch as PoochyEXE completely destroys this short game, racking up as many points as possible before the AI tries to kill itself.

[Tier: Moons]N64 Magical Tetris Challenge (USA) "maximum score" in 03:31.47 by PoochyEXE.
Bizhawk movie (.bkm) (date: 2014-06-23)
MP4 file via BitTorrent (Compatibility) (size: 14.04 MB, length: 03:52)
MKV file via BitTorrent (Modern HQ) (size: 13.75 MB, length: 03:52)
Mirror archive.org (MP4 Compatibility)
Mirror archive.org (MKV Modern HQ)
Watch on (www.youtube.com)
Submission #4333 — Author's comments
Discuss this movie
Rating: 6.9 (6.5 votes)
View Publication
- Aims for maximum score
- Uses easiest difficulty
- Genre: Puzzle

This movie has been obsoleted!

Click here to see the movie that obsoleted it.
One of the few N64 titles to be in 2D, Magical Tetris Challenge is another port of Tetris, this time featuring Mickey Mouse.

Watch as PoochyEXE completely destroys this short game, racking up as many points as possible before the AI tries to kill itself.

#17083308284907754 - Magical Tetris Challenge Max Score Expert Difficulty
Magical Tetris Challenge (USA) Max Score Expert.bkm (699kB bkm movie [N64])
Uploaded 2014-08-31 08:00:16 by PoochyEXE (9 files)
For N64 Magical Tetris Challenge (4 files)
In 01:57.38 [7043 frames], 559 rerecords)
6435 views, 1521 downloads
A proof of concept of a run on Expert mode with a 17 combo and 3 All Clears. It's 123 frames and 5 seconds of in-game time slower than my current submission, but it demonstrates an alternate path that may show some promise.
Info (4 comments) Download

#15306566489978047 - Magical Tetris Challenge (USA) "Max Score" Earliest Movie End
Magical Tetris Challenge (USA) Quick End.bkm (1024kB bkm movie [NES])
Uploaded 2014-06-12 07:37:04 by PoochyEXE (9 files)
For N64 Magical Tetris Challenge (4 files)
In 02:52.05 [10340 frames], 2834 rerecords)
6585 views, 1340 downloads
This movie successfully maxes out the score counter in Endless Mode, ending the movie as quickly as possible. Input ends after 10339 frames, but it takes a bit longer for the AI to die and award the stage bonus that pushes the score over 999,999,999.

Next (final) steps: Finish off the AI as quick as possible, then suicide to properly end the game (and enter "TAS" onto the leaderboards).

Info (2 comments) Download

#15287653434621117 - N64 Magical Tetris Challenge "Endless Max Score" WIP V2
Magical Tetris Challenge (USA) WIP V2.bkm (563kB bkm movie [NES])
Uploaded 2014-06-11 11:10:32 by PoochyEXE (9 files)
For N64 Magical Tetris Challenge (4 files)
In 01:34.31 [5668 frames], 2236 rerecords)
6472 views, 2676 downloads
WIP of an attempt to max out the score counter as fast as possible. Redid almost all of the first stage from scratch with a much better route. Currently ends on the last frame of the 3rd All Clear animation before the game starts taking input again. The AI will get KO'ed about 12 seconds later regardless of any subsequent input and award a massive stage bonus (542.4M if no further input, can probably be increased slightly with a counterattack or two).

Next steps: Figure out the optimal number of times to advance the seed before the next stage starts, then repeat. 3 All Clears and a 13 combo should be enough to counterstop.

Info Download

#15265235427776890 - N64 Magical Tetris Challenge "Endless Max Score" WIP
Magical Tetris Challenge (USA).bkm (980kB bkm movie [NES])
Uploaded 2014-06-10 10:56:43 by PoochyEXE (9 files)
For N64 Magical Tetris Challenge (4 files)
In 02:44.63 [9894 frames], 1182 rerecords)
6537 views, 1245 downloads
WIP of an attempt to max out the score counter as fast as possible. Currently ends on stage 2 after an All Clear to bring the bonus subtotal to 400K and change, with a 20X bonus multiplier. Piece sequence should have a rush of I pieces just far away enough to build up a good combo stack by the time it hits, for another large combo that should hopefully send the multiplier over 1000X.
Info Download

Magical Tetris Challenge is a rather obscure Tetris game made by Capcom in 1998. Like a lot of Tetris games, the objective is to clear multiple lines at once and/or clear lines with consecutive pieces to send attacks to your opponent, and whoever fills their field to the top first loses. But unlike most Tetris games, attacks don't come in the form of rising rows of garbage blocks. Instead, sending attacks fills up your opponent's queue with unusual, harder to use "magical" pieces which they then have to place.

The magical pieces start out as pentominoes. However, if you clear a line while you have magical pieces in your queue, you can counter some of your magical pieces, which turn into square blocks and are sent back to your opponent, showing up as "?"s in their queue. These are 2x2 square blocks after the first counter, but they can be countered right back, and they grow with every volley up to a maximum size of 5x5 after 4 counters.

If you let your queue fill to capacity, any overflow turns existing pieces in your queue into "!". A "!" piece can't be countered, and they're massive pieces you really do NOT want to get, such as pyramids and diamonds.

One other unique feature is a meter in the bottom corner. Single-line clears that don't counter anything fill up the meter. When it reaches the maximum, after the next piece you drop, your entire playing field will collapse down to the bottom, your lowest column gets removed entirely, and then everything above meter's height is erased and the meter grows longer for next time. Doing an All Clear is the only way to shrink the meter back down.

Tetris Parameters

  • ARE: 31 frames
  • Line clear delay: (16 + # of lines cleared) frames, skips ARE
  • DAS: (Likely not useful for TAS purposes)
    • Delay: 9 frames (first auto-shift occurs on frame 10)
    • Repeat rate: 1G (1 block/frame)
    • Does not charge during ARE.
    • Reversing direction without a frame of empty input preserves the charge.
  • Lock delay: 30 frames, no resets
  • Soft drop speed: 1G (1 block/frame)

Luck Manipulation

The game appears to always start with the same seed for the first round after boot, much like Sega's 1988 arcade Tetris and its famous "power-on pattern".

However, there are ways to advance the seed in mid-game without dropping a piece, meaning the piece sequence will not always be entirely the same throughout the match. Sending magical pieces advances the seed; each pentomino sent increments the seed when it gets added to the queue, while "!" and "?" pieces need to be verified. Clearing a line also advances the seed.

Since both players share the second-to-next piece in the middle when neither player has any magical pieces queued, it's possible to manipulate luck by simply stalling and waiting for the opponent to drop a piece.

Additionally, when the meter does its thing, the next several pieces in the sequence are guaranteed to be I's. Presumably this was programmed to help the player who just triggered their meter, since it tends to leave a flat playing field with one deep canyon in it, where an I would be extremely useful and anything else would be of minimal use. But with some luck manipulation and/or good timing, this can be exploited to get an All Clear.


Line Clears

The base values are as follows, with the nth hit in a combo multiplied by 2^n:

Lines Name Points
1 Single 100
2 Double 250
3 Triple 750
4 Tetris 3000
5 Pentris 5000

End of Stage Bonus

  • Time bonus: The faster the more points, the exact formula has yet to be determined.
  • 1,000 points for each countered magical piece
  • 100,000 points for each All Clear

Bonus Multiplier

The multiplier is based purely on the highest combo achieved in the stage.
Max Combo Multiplier
0 x2
1 x1
2 x2
3 x5
4 x10
5 x20
6 x40
7 x100
8 x200
9 x400
10 x800
11 x1000
12 x1200
13 x1400
14 x1600
15 x1800
16 x2000
17 x3000
18 x4000
19 x5000
20 x10000


In Endless Mode, you also gain 1 point after each stage, added during the stage transition.

Magic Meter

The meter starts at level 2. Each time it triggers, it increases by one level (up to the max of 5), and each All Clear decreases it by one level. Levels map to heights (in blocks) as follows:

Meter stage Normal Handicapped
1 2 6
2 4 8
3 5 10
4 6 12
5 (max) 7 ?

On Easy, the AI gets a handicapped meter. On Expert, the player gets a handicapped meter. Otherwise, the normal heights apply.

Only singles can generate "charges" that fill the meter. It takes 8 charges to fill one block of the meter. However, if you have pieces in your queue that can be countered, charges will go towards countering instead of the meter. After 30 seconds have passed in the match, the intensity level goes to LV-2 and singles start generating 2 charges each plus 1 attack.

There's a delay between the line clear and the charge actually being added to the meter, as illustrated by the attack object flying up to the top of the playfield and then moving back down to the meter. This appears to vary based on how much of the meter is already filled and whether or not the player has any magical pieces in their queue.

When it's full, the playfield collapses, dropping all blocks down as far as possible, then the lowest column is removed entirely and everything above the top of the meter is removed.

The playfield collapse triggered by the meter takes an additional 4 frames per hole (i.e. any empty cell with one or more blocks above it) and 1 frame per block in the lowest column (post-collapse).


Easy and Normal mode appear to use the same AI, except in Normal mode the AI plays a bit faster. Expert uses a different AI, which will stall and wait for just the right piece to come up in the shared piece preview.

Attack Table

The number of magical pieces sent or countered in an attack depends on the number of lines cleared, whether or not it was part of a combo, and most notably the intensity level in the top center of the screen.

Clear LV-1 LV-2 LV-3 LV-4
Single 0+1 1+2 1+2 2+2
Double 3 3 4 4
Triple 4 4 5 6
Tetris 6 6 7 8
Pentris ? 10 10 10

Note on singles: Singles are special because they can contribute to your Magic Meter instead of sending garbage, but the charge will go towards countering instead if possible. In other words, a value of X+Y is processed as follows:

  1. Send X magical pieces, countering if possible.
  2. Counter up to Y pieces.
  3. Any of the Y charges not used to counter in step 2 go towards filling up the Magic Meter.

Combos add +1 to each clear from the 2nd hit onwards. For a single+combo, the combo's +1 counters first.


R to skip cutscenes and menu transitions.

Hard drop + rotate on the same frame: The game processes the drop, then the rotation, and then sets remaining lock delay to 0 -- similar to the behavior that allows Synchro moves in Tetris: The Grand Master.