Tetris Classic was developed by Sphere and published by Spectrum Holobyte in June of 1992. Two PC versions exist, one for DOS, as well as a 16-bit Windows version that was released shortly thereafter on a compilation CD called "Tetris Gold".
Ruslan and Ludmila
The illustrations on the game screens, in a style reminiscent of the beautiful Russian lacquerwork boxes, depict the story of Rusland and Ludmila from the epic poem by Aleksander Sergeyevich Pushkin. This poem, based on old Russian fairy tales and completed when Pushkin was only 20 years old, is considered a turning point in Russian literature. The theme music as you load the game is based on the overture to the opera "Rusland and Ludmila" written by Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka, considered by many to be the father of Russian classical music.
Princess Ludmila of Kiev has four suitors, of whom she has chosen to marry brave young Ruslan (Level 1 screen). On their wedding night, however, she is magically spirited away by an unseen foce (Level 2 screen). The four suitors decide to rescue her and split up to go off on their quests (Level 3 screen). Ruslan comes to a cave where he meets a mystic hermit (Level 4 screen) who tells him Ludmilla was spirited off by Chernomor, an evil dwarf wizard who makes a habit of kidnapping young maidens in the area. The hermit assures Ruslan that Ludmila will outwit the dwarf and will retain her purity until Ruslan rescues her. He also warns Ruslan that a witch named Nahina (whom the hermit had once wooed in his youth) will try to do him harm.
Rogdai, one of the suitors, treacherously decides to kill Rusland and have Ludmila for himself. The witch Nahina tells him where to find Ruslan, but when the two knights meet it is Rogdai who is killed.
Ludmila, meanwhile, finds herself in Chernomor's enchanted castle with three handmaidens to wait on her and a beautiful garden to wanter though. That evening the dwarf comes to visit her, complete with servants carrying his beard on a pillow before him so he doesn't trip over it. Ludmila bravely attacks the wizard, knocking his hat off and chasing him away.
The witch Nahina comes to visit the dwarf (Level 5 screen), and the pair congratulate each other on all the evil they've done to the two lovers. But after the witch leaves, Chernomor looks all over the palace and can't find Ludmila. The heroine has discovered that the wizard's hat has magical properties, enabling her to become invisible (Level 6 screen). For the next month, while Rusland is slaying giants, witches, and other knights on his way to finding her, Ludmila has the run of Chernomor's castle, becoming invisible at will and taunting the dwarf's servants who try to capture her.
On his way to the dwarf's castle, Ruslan comes across an ancient battlefield with bones and armor scattered all over it. Since he lost his own gear in his fight with Rogdai, he picks up some new armor here - but as for weapons, none of the swords here are good enough for him, so he just picks up a lance as a weapon. Ruslan rides further and finds a gigantic sleeping head, whom he awakens by tickling it's nose with his lance. After nearly being sneezed to death, Ruslan defeats the head in battle (level 7 screen). The head turns out to be Chernomor's brother, who was betrayed by the dwarf and set here on top of an enchanted sword, the only one capable of defeating Chernomor.
Back at the enchanted castle, Chernomor comes up with a plan to catch the elusive, invisible Ludmila. He makes a magical image of a wounded Ruslan. When Ludmila goes to comfort her beloved, crying out to him, the dwarf drops a net on her and puts her in a trance. Just then, the real Ruslan shows up and engages the dwarf in battle (Level 8 screen).
After two days of fighting, Ruslan manages to cut off Chernomor's beard with his magic sword, thus stripping the dwarf of his magical powers (level 9 screen). The warrior ties his beard around his helmet as a trophy, stuff the dwarf into a sack and finds Ludmila, who is in an enchanted sleep from which she can't be roused. Rusland decides to take her back to Kiev, hoping they'll know what to do there (Level 10 screen).
On his travels he encounters Ratmir, another of the suitor's for Ludmila's hand. Ratmir, in his travels, had come across a castle of beautiful, willing women, but after spending some time with them he realized how shallow court life was. Ratmir has since renounced his noble titles and become a humble fisherman married to a lovely shepherdess. He has found all the happiness he needs.
The third of Ludmila's other suitors, Farlaf, has meanwhile made a bargain with Nahina. He sneaks up on Ruslan while he's asleep and stabs him to death. The cowardly suitor then takes the sleeping Ludmila back to her father's court, but doesn't know how to wake her up. At that moment, the marauding Pechenegs, ancient enemies of Ludmila's people, lay siege to Kiev. No one can defeat them.
Meanwhile, the hermit wizard resurrects Ruslan using the magic water of life, and gives the young warrior a magic ring that will wake Ludmila with it's touch. Ruslan rides to the court, singlehandedly defeats the Pechenegs, and wakes Ludmila up. He is so happy to see her alive that, quite generously, he forgives Farlaf for murdering him. The dwarf Chernomor, stripped of his magical powers, becomes a servant in the Kiev court. No one knows or cares what happened to Nahina. Ludmila and Ruslan live happily ever after (High scores screen).