So you want to play TGM, but don't want to buy the whole arcade system

Thread in 'Discussion' started by PetitPrince, 9 Jan 2015.

1. PetitPrince

There's essentially 2 recommended solution. Let me guide through both of them:

MAME

First of all, Tetrisconcept is not responsible for any kind of copyright infringement you might do, etc etc. I trust you know how to google for the ROM (be sure to get both the regular tgm2 and the "plus" version).

So, you may think that playing TGM would be a simple affair of putting the ROM into MAME and begin to play, right ? WRONG!

It turns out that the Psikyo SH-2 (TGM2 runs on this hardware) driver from vanilla MAME have a few frame of input lag, and that can be noticeable in a high-speed game. Fortunately some chap at SHMUP.com found a workaround (they removed a frame buffer) and now there's a lagless version of MAME. You can find it on this page of the wiki http://tetrisconcept.net/wiki/Modded_MAME .

Unzip this somewhere and use it like a conventional MAME (roms into /roms/, etc...).

Additionnaly, put this in a .txt file and rename in into .bat:

Code:
mametgm64.exe tgm2p -joy -rec lastgame.inp
copy nvram\tgm2p.nv nvram\lastgame.nv
Launching this will automatically launch and record your game (MAME's .inp, very lightweight) along with the state of the game memory so that the replay actually works. To play your game back, use this script (again, put this in a .txt and rename the extension into .bat) :

Code:
mametgm64.exe tgm2p -pb lastgame.inp
(Linux, OSX user, I trust you know enough about your terminal to make a similar script)

Nullpomino

This is the most complete game that exists at the moment. It was programmed by a fellow japense TGMer and completed by some member of Tetrisconcept. Other clones exists, but this one has a wide OS support (Windows, Linux, OSX) and can emulate a wide range of game but its interface in a bit confusing.

Nullpomino concept is that you can play a game in a given *mode* with some *rules* applied to it.

The "modes" correspond to specific implementation of the Tetris game (it can emulate both Mode A and B of Tetris Gameboy, nowadays various Marathon Mode, ...). What we're looking for is
• Grade Mania 1: correspond to the default mode of TGM1.
• Grade Mania 2: correspond to the Master mode of TGM2.
• Grade Mania 3: correspond to the Master mode of TGM3.
• Speed mania 1: correspond to the Death Mode of TGM2.
• Speed mania 2: correspond to the Shirase mode of TGM3.

The "rules" correspond to the behavior of the pieces while ingame. You may have noticed in modern Tetris that the piece doesn't behave the same way as in your trusty Game boy version (notably you can slide the pieces). That's exactly what we're talking about. TGM uses its own rotation system (called "Arika Rotation System" or "ARS" for short) which is distinctively different from nowadays modern Tetris. There's some slight variations between each version of TGM, so be sure to chose the right one in order to have an optimized game. In Nullpomino, the ruleset are called:
• Classic1: correspond to the behavior of TGM1
• Classic2: correspond to the behavior of TGM2
• Classic3: correspond to the behavior of TGM3
The ruleset are conveniently suggested when you chose the appropriate game mode.

With this in mind, let me guide you through the menu to get you properly started. I'll do that with a cunning use of screenshots.

This is the main menu. Go to the option. You can use the arrow keys to move, Enter to select and Escape to go back one level.

Under [General Options] you can set up useful things...

...like audio volume (way too high for my taste by default)

... and the screen size.

Next go to the key config...

... and set up whatever you want. The screenshot shows my config and not the default one, by the way. Several member of this website use this kind of "inverted" setup that mimick a bit what you can find in an actual arcade controller.

Speaking of which...

... Nullpomino support USB gamepad out of the box. If you controller then inputs crazy commands like my trusty PS3 Virta Stick High Grade, do try to change the "Joystick Method" setting.

Back to the main menu, start a game by selecting "Start" (duh).

You'll get to this screen. If you want to play something else than TGM3, select [More...] ...

... to get to this screen. Select [Mania Mode] in order to get the TGM-inspired mode...

... and select the one you want. If you're curious, "Phantom Mania" is the invisible Tetris credit roll, and "Final" is Shirase 1000+ (with the Electronica60 inspired blocks.)

You'll then have to chose the rule applied to this mode. Chose the recommanded one (here, Classic2). You can set the "Current Rules" in the option menu if you fancy playing TGM with the Tetris Game Boy ruleset.

You'll finally end up where you actually play a game. You can cheat and start from a level other than 0, but that's mostly for training purpose. Press A and then...

... enjoy your game and keep stacking !

HELP! I suck at this game!
You sure do. We all began at this state, so don't worry. Also:
3. Keep playing
4. Ask questions of the forum
5. Post your record and find rivals
6. Keep playing

Last edited: 11 Jan 2015
Qlex likes this.
2. Rosti LFC

Worth noting for people playing on MAME (or just for interest in the series) that there are two versions of TGM2.

The original TGM2 nobody plays because ARIKA released a patch to the game. This patch made TGM2 into TGM2+, more commonly known as TAP (for "TGM2: The Absolute Plus"). You need both tgm2 and tgm2p for tgm2p to work. If you can't find T.A. Death mode in your menu then it's because you're playing TGM2 rather than TAP and you're on the unpatched version of the game.

Though really if you're a complete beginner it's best starting off on TGM1 because it's the easiest and has the gentlest difficulty curve in terms of the grading system and speed.

Also TGM3 isn't emulated, so you won't find it on MAME.

I'm not sure if this is the correct place to ask, but I am trying to get Nullpomino to work with my Qanba Q1 stick. It works fine with other games, but Nullpomino thinks it is constantly inputting up and right, no matter which joystick method I select (except "none" but that isn't much good). Any help is greatly appreciated.

4. Caithness

Have you tried rotating the stick around a few times after start up? I seem to remember that flushing out a similar problem for me.

5. Kitaru

You may also want to try setting the deadzone in the controller menu. The center of the stick might be 1px offset or something silly, but adding a non-zero deadzone should let it center correctly.

6. Burbruee

There's a typo in the .bat example I think. Second part says nvrame? which does not exist (and won't be created)

7. PetitPrince

Yes indeed, it's nvram.

8. Shuey

Awesome guide! I look forward to checking this out in more detail when I can make time to!

9. pankratz

Great guide and great site as well! I always wanted to build an arcadestick. No I have no more excuses...

A feature, which fascinated me in the AGDQ-block was the possibility to control the pieces before they will start falling down. Unfortunately I can't use this feature in MAME with TGM2 or in NullpoMino. I try to turn the upcoming pieces while the dropped piece is getting locked, but the next pieces isn't turned at all. Did I get something wrong?

Last edited: 13 Jan 2015
10. PetitPrince

You're supposed to hold the rotation button after a piece is locked.