My Progress in TGM. How do I improve?

Thread in 'Strategy' started by danminer, 14 Feb 2017.

  1. Hello, everyone. I'm danminer, a total noob.
    A little backstory: Living in Russia, I've heard the word "Tetris" many times, but I never really wanted to play it. I thought it was just some kind of a puzzle game for kids. But then, I stumbled upon the TGM Series Exhibition at AGDQ 2016. TGM3 Master Mode blew my mind! I didn't know a simple puzzle game could be so... fast, for lack of a better term. (I wonder how long it took KevinDDR to get so good at Tetris.)
    So, four days ago, I downloaded TGM3, sat down, and tried to learn to play. So this is my progress after a hundred games:
    Best game I've had was grade 4, and my current grade in Master Mode is 7. I play on Classic, I know the basics of IHS and IRS. I've heard something about T-Spins. Do I need to learn to perform them? Are there any general tips to help me improve?
    I appreciate any advice you Tetris veterans might have.
    P.S. I have to attend school, so I play NES Tetris on breaks, just to stay in shape. And I'm sorry for my awful grammar, lack of vocabulary, and any other mistakes you might see. I just don't have a lot of opportunities to practice my English.
    TL; DR: Saw KevinDDR's amazing performance, sat down and played a hundred games of Tetris in TGM3. Came here to ask for advice.

    Attached Files:

  2. Plenty of threads on all of the basic strategies around here, and some very good guides around the internet in general.

    While you don't strictly NEED to be able to perform T-spins particularly, any kind of twists or spins are pretty important to get a hang of in TGM simply for survival reasons, or practical stacking in general. Performing the spins themselves is extremely easy as long as you know they are possible, but with training you'll be able to recognise the setups for these spins faster, and subconsciously know when it's an advantage to set one up. A tight t-spin setup is generally a weakness in a stack, since only a T-piece will be able to clean it up nicely, but it's really not much different from a 3 cell deep hole near the center of your stack, and if you know you have a T-piece coming up, setting up a T-spin can be a good advantage, as with all other overhangs. Here are a few other simple spins and twists that are good to get a hang of:




    That last one can be a bit unintuitive, but realising it exists can really come in handy.

    Of course, if your question was simply if setting up T-spins was important for scoring, then no. TGM3 does not award T-spins. It recognises them, but they don't mean anything.
  3. Thank you. I've read Kitaru's guide on TGM, but I found it difficult to understand because there were many terms I didn't know the meaning of. What is an overhang? How can you possibly survive in 20G? What is pyramid stacking and how do you use it?
  4. "Pyramid stacking" is just a slang term based on the general shape of the Tetris stack when you're stacking to survive in 20g, since you want to allow freedom of movement to both the left and right of where the pieces spawn. That is done by creating a somewhat downward sloping surface, preferably starting from the fifth column - The guide pretty much explains all of that!
    You also want to hold the rotation button before the next piece spawns, so it comes out already rotated. This is called IRS, and also explained in the guide.

    Overhangs is just when a piece lands in a way that there is a non-enclosed hole below it, forcing you to "tuck in" another piece there to avoid creating an actual hole in your stack. It's a fairly self explanatory term :)
  5. Yes, I should've guessed. I've read about the basics of IRS, but I don't use it much. Then again, I didn't get past level 300 yet. It's probably essential to surviving in 20G. Does it matter if I play using a keyboard and not an arcade stick? How long did it take you to get to your grade? Sorry to bother you with questions you've seen many times. Thanks in advance.
  6. Many people (including me) are playing on keyboards and reached impressive grades (take @Nick, he reached S13 in Shrase on Texmaster (a TGM clone) with it). As long as you are comfortable with it, it's perfectly fine. However, if you should ever in the future consider attending a meetup, arcade stick is the standard to use (and the only one easily compatible with a PCB ). I (after 5 months of playing) will switch to a stick quite soon. Let's see how it goes...

    BTW: Do you plan to also play the other games in the TGM series?
  7. Wow. And I was wondering if arcade sticks were superior in some way. Guess it's a matter of taste. I don't think there will ever be a meetup in our country - Tetris isn't played much in Russia, as ironic as it might sound. Besides, I live in a small town, so there aren't as many players as in Moscow or St.Petersburg. I haven't considered playing other TGM games. Should I? And if I should, why?
  8. Joystick vs keyboard is definitely a question of preference, though there are many people who are comfortable with both.
    Personally, I have no clue how on earth people are able to play on keyboard, but if it feels comfortable to you, there's no reason not to. But I do think TGM feels very good with a joystick, the sonic drop is definitely designed with it in mind. If you do decide to switch control setup some time in the future after becoming more experienced and handling fast speeds well, you will probably need to relearn a lot of movement tech.

    Be prepared to practice for years.
  9. Again, preference. Personally I don't like TGM3 at all due to the multiple piece previews and hold button. It changes the game in ways I'm not personally fond of.

    TGM1 is mostly redundant compared to TGM2, but does have a few minor differences that makes it worth spending time with. Most notably it is obviously easier, never going as fast as the later entries, and the grading is much more lenient. So getting a GM grade in TGM1 could easily be one of your first milestones.
    It does have a less friendly randomizer than the later games though, so it punishes stacking mistakes harder
  10. Thanks. I think I'll stick with TGM3 for now, I'm aiming to get S1 in the near future, and it'll probably take a couple of months. With all the tips you've given me, it's definitely possible. Maybe I'll even try playing on my old gamepad, and see how that works out. Unfortunately, it's nearly impossible to find an arcade stick in my town. I'll update the thread when I reach 500 total games played, so be prepared for more questions. Honestly, I didn't expect the Tetris community to be so responsive, but it seems that there are a lot of nice people here. See you after another 400 games.
  11. In addition to this, TGM3 has added floor kicks on the T and I pieces (as well as wall kicks on the I piece) that are not present in earlier TGM games. This can lead to developing stacking habits in TGM3 that are sub-optimal in TGM1 or TGM2+ causing frustration when you can't rotate an I piece into a tetris well. This is one of the reasons I (and many others here, though not everyone) recommend avoiding TGM3 before getting comfortable wtih TGM1 and/or TGM2+.
  12. So much this! I spent about a year and a half in TGM1 and TGM2+ before touching TI, getting a GM in the first game and an orange S9 in the second, a 500 in death. I'm not terrible (definitely not good though), but when I played TI for a few weeks, I was making all kinds of I and T piece mistakes when going back to TGM2+. Only after a week of grinding death am I almost completely free of the bad habits I've formed.

    I definitely recommend playing some TGM1 to get comfortable with the rotation system and all that fun stuff, as it only gets so fast, eventually you'll find it slow. It's also good to start playing 20G on because it doesn't get faster, only the gravity is changed, not the lock delay and ARE and all those other fun parameters which make the next two games so fast.
  13. It took me a long time to become any good. I think it was about like this:
    Started in 2006
    TGM1 GM (13:29.90 IIRC): Feb 2009
    TAP Death M: Dec 2009
    Death GM: June 2010
    Ti Master MM: June 2010
    TAP Master GM: July 2010
    Sub-10 TGM1 GM: March 2011
    First Ti GM exam fail: June 2011
    Idle from 2012-2014
    Shirase 1300: January 2015, although I had 1266 in 2011
    Ti Master GM: January 2015
    Betelgeuse and mycophobia like this.
  14. It took me about nine months to get TGM1 Gm, then a few months after that to get S9 in TAP Master if I remember correctly; this was on keyboard. Then I switched to stick and that took me a few months to adjust, but I found my times improving greatly once I did.

    I read and re-read the wiki pages and that TGM guide on Kitaru's site obsessively during my first year or so of play, who knows whether this helped substantially or not. I also watched TGM videos all the time.

    I suggest giving TGM1 some time, it's not a terribly hard game and you feel all kinds of badass when you get your first Gm :D
    EnchantressOfNumbers likes this.
  15. Damn, you M'ed and GM'ed Death before Master? When did you M Master?
    There seems to be a huge displacement between people's ability to conquer the invisible roll (see Amnesia vs. Kitaru), so I'd say the TAP Master M says more about your overall progress than the GM.
  16. Muf


    Most players do, it's much easier than Master. The only two requirements are: beat the torikan at 3:25, and survive 499 levels of 500 speed.
  17. Piece of cake
  18. Muf


  19. Zaphod77

    Zaphod77 Resident Misinformer

    things that you MUST learn to get anywhere with Classic Rotation.

    First thing is to use both rotation buttons. you will get nowhere real fast without being able to do this.

    Second thing is to unlearn super rotation system, if that's what you are used to before. People who played on much older versions of tetris before drinking TTC's Kool Aid (like me) have a much easier time wrapping their head around Classic. you need to rotate the pieces while they are in the air. you can't just climb over stuff and just mash rotate while you think.

    third thing is you should be pressing and holding the rotation button before the piece enters the stack. This is, as people have said, IRS.

    Fourth thing. don't tap. If you must tap tap as few times as possible. if you need t place a piece close to the wall, hold towards the wall to move it all the way over, then tap back. A very common case of this is the zangi-move. where a quick and smooth movement of the stick will rapidly drop a piece down and lock it into place.

    Say you have a small overhanng on the right side. a J piece if it was dropped down in vertical orientation, then moved one space to the left would lock in place perfectly and fill it. so you IRS the piece clockwise. you hold right. when the piece hits the right wall you then move up, which drops it to the bottom without locking it, then move left to move it to the left once, then move down to lock. on a stick you can do this wit hone smooth circular motion, like you were trying t do a spinning piledriver in street fighter 2, hence the name "Zangi-move". it IS doable on keyboard as well.

    As the pieces start falling faster, you will find them getting stuck easier. This is why you have to start pyramid stacking. this means make the middle higher then the sides, so you can move the pieces to the sides. easy to understand, but really hard to master. it will seen that pieces just don't want to fit, and you will get scared when the center gets high. but keep at it. eventually you will learn. I haven't even really gotten the hang of it yet.

    Your first objective is to simply survive to level 500. After you can do that regularly, you can worry about tetrising and speed, so you can break the torikan. My advice for now is to just ignore grade completely, and worry about reaching level 500. You MUST learn to survive first.

    I read you play NES tetris as well. have you gotten the ufo in type A? have you beat level 9 b type height five? (it's darn hard actually)
    Last edited: 16 Feb 2017
  20. I haven't seen it mentioned yet, but you might want to considering playing a bit more TGM1 or 2 at the beginning, especially while learning 20G stacking, just because the rotation system in TGM3 is more forgiving due to the floor kicks. You don't want to end up forming bad habits around that, which will be harder to deal with when you go back to TGM1 & TAP.

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