The outlawed NES Tetris Nintendo doesn't want you to have!
When Russian Scientist
Alexey Pajitnov created the unique puzzle game Tetris in 1984,
he made one of the most addictive video games in history without question. The
game was so innovative and easy to play that many gaming companies wanted to
get this big license for themselves. Two of those companies were Nintendo
Some of you may remember Tengen's Tetris being released in 1988 along with Gauntlet, RBI baseball, Pac Man and Super Sprint in those cool looking black cartridges. Those 5 games started Tengen's (a.k.a Atari) independence from Nintendo's strict license agreements and this bold movement gave birth to the NES unlicensed software. Tengen created these special cartridges to by pass Nintendo's lock chip to play on the NES console to avoid paying Nintendo's high cartridge fees.
Of course, Nintendo wasn't too happy with this decision and they tried to sue Tengen to teach them a lesson but Nintendo didn't stop there, they noticed something was very wrong with Tengen's Tetris. Nintendo took Atari to court saying that the licensing company of Tengen Tetris: Mirror Soft, didn't have the full rights from the Russian government to Tetris in the first place and a big lawsuit ensued.
After a lengthy court battle Atari loss the case and was forced to destroy its remaining copies of the Tetris game (nearly 300, 000 copies.....yikes!). Nintendo could now easily made a Tetris game themselves if they wanted to. When Nintendo released the Gameboy in 1989, Tetris was the perfect pack in game to introduce the new portable unit and Nintendo made millions off their other versions of Tetris as well.
Some of these older Tengen Tetris games are still around if you look hard enough. Although it is a Rare NES game because there are only 100,000 copies out there, it isn't a holy grail in rarity since the game was still pretty popular during it's original release. You should try and get it anyway (try Ebay or something for under 50 bucks) because the Tengen Tetris is far better than the one player only Nintendo Tetris on NES and who knows, you may even feel like a rebel just owning it, eh?
This is what the game looks like if you decide to look for it?
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