Tetris The Grandmaster 3 Terror Instinct
Image: Arika/Tetris Company

Tetris: The Grand Master 3 Terror Instinct is one of a series of challenging Tetris games, released exclusively in Japanese arcades. It is known among Tetris fans for its ridiculously fast modes like Shirase, which speeds up dramatically as you play and isn't for the faint of heart.

For thirteen years, a speedrunner named ZAB has held the world record for its Classic Rule Shirase Mode category, with a recorded time of 4.09.16 (or 4.09.26 IGT). But just three days ago (on September 27th 2022), a Tetris speedrunner named EricICX announced that they had beaten this record with a time of 4:05:30 (as spotted by Gosokkyu). This marks the first new recorded world record in this category for 13 years,

Regarding this achievement, EricICX writes in the video description:

"In TGM3, the meta was set in stone either right at the game's release, or, depending on how you think about it, 17 years before with the release of Sega Tetris. It's a very simple game that's easy to understand but incredibly hard to master, and people have had 17 years so far to master it.

"Contrast this with NES Tetris, where people have only had a single year to master the much more mechanically demanding, in my opinion, playstyle of rolling, along with stacking on the Level 29 killscreen. I don't personally think we'll ever have a hard limit in terms of the records that can be achieved, and it'll eventually just become a battle of who can sit down and play the longest game. It hasn't gotten even close to there yet, but it's seriously getting there.

"Japanese TGM3 players have had 17 years to play TGM3 since it came out, and even more time to play the previous TGM games before it came out. I'm honestly just amazed that it took me, someone with zero experience playing Tetris previously, only three years to exceed, in my opinion, one of the greatest Tetris games ever played of all time."

Clearly, this is an unbelievably impressive feat, but what's most interesting is that EricICX doesn't seem to be retiring just yet. ZAB has another unrecorded time of 4:03 that he apparently got in 2011, and the speedrunner now wants to see whether they can beat that too. You can follow their progress on their YouTube channel, that's if your eyes can keep up.

What's your favorite version of Tetris? Let us know in the comments.

[source youtube.com, via twitter.com]