Tengen Tetris (Prototype C)

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Title Screen
Tengen Tetris (Prototype C)
Build name N/A
Dump status Released, redump needed
Dumped by Steve Lin
Released by Hidden Palace
File release date January 1, 2022
Origin EPROM cartridge
Labels N/A
Game Tengen Tetris
System NES
Genre Puzzle
Final build JP Unreleased
EU Unreleased
Release date JP Unreleased
EU Unreleased
US May 1989
Download Tengen Tetris (Prototype C) (info)
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A prototype of Tengen Tetris for the NES.


  • Has a different and more basic-looking intro screen. Blocks fall from the top of the screen to slowly reveal the logo.
    • There are no fireworks on this screen, in this version.
    • The copyright text shows as "(C)1988 TENGEN." instead of "(C)1988 TENGEN".
  • The screen border is visually very different, and is green and red instead of blue.
  • Main menu has a slightly different logo to the one used in the final.
    • The differences in the Tetris logo also carry into the gameplay HUD.
  • The main menu has an extra line of licensing info:
  • The handicap select shows "AUDIO BY BRAD FULLER" just as the music select normally would - however, there is no music select in this version, as only one track (Bradinsky) plays in-game.
    • The music sounds a bit different throughout.
  • The credits in the menus have differently spaced lines, and the text is white instead of orange.
  • The HUD at the top of the screen in the menus is wider than in the final game.
    • Additionally, the rows are "HIGH SCORE", "SCORE" and "LINES", rather than "SCORE", "LINES" and "LEVEL".
  • The menu sound effects differ from the final.
  • The blocks all have a different look, with each block being represented by a unique pattern. The blocks look much more primitive than they do in the final as they lack defined borders or a 3D design.
    • The block stats on the right half of the screen do not feature images of the blocks underneath; instead, they're identified by that respective block's unique pattern.
  • The "STATS" text is lower than it is in the final.
  • The "HIGH SCORE" is set to 0 by default instead of 17000, and the high score in the HUD is placed a bit differently to how it appears in the final.
  • The "PAUSE" text does not have a red border around it, in this version.
    • In co-op mode the "PAUSE" is placed to the right side of the screen, for some reason.
  • The "GAME OVER" text has a blue border instead of a red one.
  • There are no Russian dancers or bonus screen each level increase - instead, the game continues as if nothing important had happened.
    • Also, the level increases every 10 lines, instead of every 30.
  • Blocks hold the same colour and pattern when they drop, rather than changing to a different colour like they do in the final.
  • The block dropping sound differs from the final.
  • Blocks often cannot be turned when they are pressed against the wall.
  • There is no high score screen after gameplay.
  • Score numbers for individually placed blocks are always white instead of appearing in multiple colours.
  • Lines clear instantly without any visual effects.
    • When multiple lines are cleared they clear one by one (rather than all at once), but otherwise there's no visual effects.
    • They also do not show text indicating how many lines have been scored ("SINGLE", "DOUBLE", etc).
    • The blocks do not clear from left to right as they do in the final, instead all blocks in a row clear simultaneously.



File Type Date Size Comment SHA-1
Tengen Tetris (Prototype C).nes ROM file 2012-08-19 22:22:16 24 KB ROM file. db02aad33ed9fe6789f7a6723514c529ffb72172


Special thanks to Frank Cifaldi at the Video Game History Foundation and the anonymous donor for this part of the lot! A huge thanks to Hwd45 for researching this prototype!

See also