Tetris The Absolute The Grand Master 2 (commonly referred to as "T.A.") is the second arcade game in Arika's TGM series. Among other things, TGM2 introduced the less-intimidating Normal Mode to attract more casual gamers, as well as an all-new grading system in Master Mode, the continuation of TGM's original gameplay. Shortly after TGM2 was released, Arika offered a free upgrade to a PLUS version, which added TGM+ Mode and the famous T.A. Death Mode.
Normal mode behaves similarly to Master Mode in gravity and speed timings, but stops at level 300. At levels 100 and 200 an item block is given to the player. "Free Fall," which eliminates all holes, is given at 100. "Del Even," which clears every other row throughout the field is given at 200. The credit roll challenge is a slow 20g, but playing through it is not required for a "Clear". For this mode, the player's score is multiplied by six.
The unit for gravity is G (rows per frame), as a fraction with a constant denominator of 256. This means G = Internal Gravity/256. For example, at levels 90 through 99, the gravity is 64/256G, or 1/4G.
|000 - 300||25||16||30||40|
Master mode is Arika's upgrade to the original Tetris The Grand Master gameplay. One of two very important differences is that the speeds continue to increase throughout the 500–999 levels. The other difference is the all-new grading system. The grading mechanism now exists completely independently from score, and rewards efficient and consistent play throughout (for example, it's extremely difficult to attain S9 before level 900).
Other changes include a hard drop that doesn't lock, which improves sub-20g play by allowing Zangi-moves. The Grand Master qualifications were also greatly expanded, and includes an invisible challenge during the credit roll where pieces disappear immediately after being locked; topping out results in rank M. Arika is currently hosting a video showing a Gm performance: tgm2master.
|000 - 499||25||16||30||40|
|500 - 599||25||10||30||25|
|600 - 699||25||10||30||16|
|700 - 799||16||10||30||12|
|800 - 899||12||10||30||6|
|900 - 999||12||8||17||6|
Grade Recognition System
Each time lines are cleared, a hidden parameter ("Internal Grade Points") will increase. When this parameter reaches 100 or more, it will reset to zero and another hidden parameter ("Internal Grade") will increment by one. The table below shows the correspondence between "Internal Grade" and the actual Grade displayed on the screen. To encourage faster and more efficient play, the "Internal Grade Points" will continually drain away, potentially back to zero, for every frame of gameplay that the player has control of a tetromino and doesn't have a combo going. The decay rate is dependent on the player's current "Internal Grade" and is shown on the table below in units of frames per point.
The number of "Internal Grade Points" awarded is dependent on 4 other variables:
- Number of lines cleared: a 4-line clear is generally worth more than a 3-line clear and so on.
- "Internal Grade": a higher "Internal Grade" generally means less points.
- The line clear's position in a combo. Note that tetrises are an exception to this. They will score the same number of "Internal Grade Points" regardless of their position in a combo. Just like the CO medal, clearing 2 or more rows will increase the combo, while singles will merely maintain the current position.
- The player's Level after the line clear.
The following formula determines the "Internal Grade Points" awarded by a particular line clear. The "ceil" indicates that when the Combo Multiplier is applied to the Basic Amount, the game rounds the multiplication up.
Awarded Grade Points = ceil(Basic Amount x Combo Multiplier) x Level Multiplier
The Basic Amount is determined by the player's current "Internal Grade". Also shown is the decay rate mentioned above. In the table below, + and - modifiers are used for the purposes of comparison. These modifiers are not actually displayed.
|Internal Grade Points awarded for:|
For example, internal grades 20 through 22 could be thought of as S4-, S4, and S4+, but TA does not display these differently.
Depending on the number of rows cleared and the current size of the combo, a different combo multiplier is applied to the grade points.
Finally, depending on the level, one of four level multipliers is applied to the awarded grade points. This equals 1 + floor(level / 250), or equivalently a value from the following lookup table:
Eg. At level 555, Grade 1, clearing 2 doubles in a combo, the first and second doubles respectively will be worth: ceil(12 x 1.0) x (1 + floor(555 / 250)) = 12 x 3 = 36, ceil(12 x 1.4) x (1 + floor(558 / 250)) = 17 x 3 = 51
This is a complicated system that may be difficult to understand, but it ultimately measures how efficiently and consistently the player can stack and make non-singles in steadily increasing speeds. Further interesting observations about the grading system are as follows:
- Immediately following a grade increase, the grade points are at 0. There is therefore nothing to lose from building the stack higher, until you clear a line.
- From level 750-999, a tetris will always increase the internal grade.
- The level multiplier is significant. When you enter section 700 and the music changes, it is a good idea to stack the screen high in order to clear more lines after level 750. Combined with the previous observation, 2 tetrises will get you 2 "Internal Grades" instead of only 1, doubling your rate of progress.
- Combos aside, even though 2 singles are worth much less than a double, and 4 triples are less than 3 tetrises, 3 doubles are actually worth more than 2 triples.
In order to achieve the M and Gm Grades, certain conditions must be met in order to activate a special credit roll at level 999 (often called the "M-Roll") where the tetrominoes become invisible as soon as they are locked. The conditions for the "M-Roll" differ significantly from the PLUS version, and are currently believed to include at least the following:
|000-500||≤360 seconds (≤06:00:00)|
|000-999||≤570 seconds (≤09:30:00)||S9|
|000-100||≤90 seconds (≤01:30:00)||≥1|
|500-600||≤ average of the first 5 section times (rounded down)||≥1|
|600-700||≤ average of the first 5 section times (rounded down)||≥1|
|700-800||≤ average of the first 5 section times (rounded down)||≥1|
|800-900||≤ average of the first 5 section times (rounded down)||≥1|
|900-999||≤45 seconds (≤00:45:00)|
The M Grade is awarded as soon as the "M-Roll" begins (as opposed to TAP, where the M Grade is only awarded upon topping out), and survival results in the Gm Grade.
Unlike the first game in the series, score is completely unimportant in Master Mode's grading system. The algorithm is identical to TGM1, with an extra bonus added for sonic drops. The equation is:
Score = ((Level + Lines)/4 + Soft + (2 x Sonic)) x Lines x Combo x Bravo
- Level is the current level you are on.
- Lines is the number of lines you just cleared.
- (Level + Lines)/4 is rounded up.
- Soft is the cummulative number frames during which Down was held during the piece's active time. Note that this means manually locking pieces already on the ground will increase the Soft value by 1.
- Sonic is the size of the single greatest sonic drop during the piece's active time. Note that this is non-cummulative.
- If the previous piece cleared no lines, Combo is reset to 1. Otherwise and its Combo value is:
- Combo = (previous Combo value) + (2 x Lines) - 2
- Example: A double-triple-single combo will have combo values 3, 7, and 7 respectively.
- Bravo is equal to 4 if this piece has cleared the screen, and otherwise is 1.
It should be noted that Normal mode multiplies line clear scores by 6. Also, the player is given a time bonus of 1253 x Seconds where Seconds is the amount of time in seconds, rounded up, that the clear time is below 5 minutes.