Tetris Battle Gaiden (テトリス バトル外伝 武闘外伝, Tetorisu Batoru Gaiden Butō Gaiden) is a competitive puzzle-battle game, similar to games such as Puzzle Fighter or Puyo Puyo. One can play against a friend or the Computer in a story mode. There is also an included Rensa mode, which ensures a more hyperactive game due to increased gravity. The player can choose from a list of characters in the story mode, including a Dragon or a pumpkin named Halloween.
Tetris Battle Gaiden differs from classic Tetris in its puzzle-fighter style game play. A player will draw tetrominos from the same 3 piece preview as his opponent. The goal of the game is to complete lines of horizontal blocks to clear them from the field. As in most Tetris versus modes, clearing two or more lines at once will send "garbage lines" to the opponent, making it advantageous to set up situations where two or more lines are cleared at once. The player wins when their opponent is unable to place a tetromino into their playing field. Removing lines from their own field and adding lines to their opponent's is also possible through the use of character-specific special abilities. These abilities are obtained through the collection of magic orbs. After a set number of tetrominos passes through the piece preview, a piece containing a magic orb will appear (the default setting is every 5th piece, although this can be changed in the options). These orbs are collected when lines containing them are cleared by a player. When the player activates an ability, the number of magic orbs they have (ranging from one to four) determines the ability they will use. Abilities are unique to each character, and include an earthquake, orbital laser, mirror shield, or the ability to knock away an opponents piece.
The game has three separate modes to select from in the Settings menu. They are Battlis, Tetris, and Rensa.
Battlis is the standard game mode.
A standard Tetris mode. There are no magic pieces and no special abilities, although players still share the same piece preview.
In Rensa mode, whenever a line is cleared, all non-magic blocks above the cleared line fall individually (as opposed to moving together as a line, like in regular Tetris), causing them to fill in any gaps below. This can lead to many-line combos beyond the standard four-line Tetris. This allows players to make comebacks from dire near-loss situations, which in turn causes games to last much longer than normal. Rensa (連鎖, rensa) is the Japanese word that means "chain" or "connection".
There are 8 playable characters in Tetris Battle Gaiden, all with 4 attacks each. The game's two bosses, Dragon and Queen, are only playable by entering the following code on the copyright screen: B, B, X, X, A, Y, A, Y, Up, Left. If done correctly, the copyright text will turn blue. At the character select screen, hold L+A when picking a character to play as Dragon, or R+A to play as Queen.
The abilities of each character are listed below. The amount of magic orbs a player needs to activate an ability correlate to the number next to its name.
Halloween (The Pumpkin Head)
- Fry (フライ, Furai): Completely fills in the bottom 3 lines. These will be cleared and send garbage lines to the opponent upon placing the next piece. Magic orbs in the bottom three rows will be changed to normal blocks to prevent an infinite combo with this ability
- Dark (ダーク, Dāku): Makes the opponent's screen dark for 3 pieces. The piece being dropped by the player will act as a light source.
- Vampire (バンパイア, Banpaia): Steals the opponent's magic crystals from their queue and places them into the player's.
- Bomb (ボム, Bomu): Bombs the opponent's side, leaving them with scattered gaps throughout their playing field.
Mirurun (Pink Bunny)
- Mirurun (ミルルン, Mirurun): The bottom 4 lines of the players board are "smashed down" and removed.
- Reversal (ハンテン, Hanten): Turns the opponent's controls upside down. Hanten is the Japanese word for "reversal" or "inversion".
- Pentarisu (ペンタリス, Pentarisu): Adds 5 garbage rows to the bottom of the opponents board.
- Suritote (スリトテ, Suritote): For each row containing blocks, all gaps will invert to blocks, and all non-magic blocks will invert to gaps.
Shaman (The Tiki Man)
- Moses (モーゼ, Mōze): "Pushes" all blocks towards the center to fill gaps. Leaves empty space on either side of the playing field.
- Rotation (カイテン, Kaiten): When the opponent tries to quick-drop their piece, it will rotate rapidly. In Japanese, kaiten means "rotation".
- Curse (ノロイ, Noroi): Stone blocks (which must be cleared twice to be removed) comes up from the bottom on the opponent's side as they play pieces; more appear if lines are sent. In Japanese, noroi means "curse" or "spell".
- Prayer (イノリ, Inori): Random level 4 ability of one of the other five main characters. The ability may affect the player or the opponent, making it possible for this to be harmful instead of helpful. In Japanese, inori means "prayer".
- Seesaw (シーソー, Shīsō): Pushes the player's bottom two lines over to the opponent.
- Shield (シールド, Shīrudo): Protects the player from garbage lines.
- Fax (ファックス, Fakkusu): Faxes an image of the players current board to the opponent, causing them to be exactly the same.
- Remote Control (リモコン, Remokon): The movement of the opponents next two pieces will mirror the players, essentially allowing the player to briefly control his opponents board.
- Shave (ソル, Soru): Removes a 3-block-wide column from the board. Player chooses what section to remove. In Japanese, soru means "to shave".
- Mirror (ミラー, Mirā): If the opponent uses one of their abilities while this ability is active, it will act as if the player used the opponent's ability, essentially countering it.
- Paralysis (マヒ, Mahi): Prevents the opponent from rotating their next three pieces. In Japanese, mahi means "paralysis" or "numbness".
- Copy (コピー, Copī): The inverse of Aladdin's "fax" ability, this move copies the opponent's play field to the player, causing them to be exactly the same.
Bit (The Peoples)
- Stardust (スターダスト, Sutādasuto): A shower of stars scatter over the board. These stars delete all the blocks on the horizontal row that they land on.
- Fever (フィーバー, Fībā): Causes the next several pieces to be repeats of the current piece. This affects both players. If the piece has a magic orb included in it, it will be included in the repeats as well.
- Gang (ギャング, Gyangu): Steals all magic crystals from the opponent's board and puts them into the player's queue to then use.
- Mambo (マンボ, Manbo): Shakes up opponent's block arrangement. The dimensions of the gaps on the board persist.
- Gather (ヨセ, Yose): Pushes all blocks to one side, leaving a one-block-wide gap. In Japanese, yose means "gathering" or "coming together".
- Deception (マヤカシ, Mayakashi): Causes the next several pieces the opponent gets to be random pieces that are not what the preview field shows. In Japanese, mayakashi means "deception" or "forgery".
- Mess (ダイナシ, Dainashi): Puts a web up on opponent's side which prevents rows above cleared lines from falling. In Japanese, dainashi means to "mess" or "spoil" something.
- Medusa (メデューサ, Medūsa): Turns all of the opponent's blocks into stone blocks. Stone blocks must be cleared twice before they will disappear.
Wolfman (The Samurai)
- Cut (カット, Katto): Cuts away the top four lines of the player's field.
- Nu (ヌー, Nū): Prevents the opponent from quickly dropping their next several pieces.
- Buddies (ナカヨシ, Nakayoshi): While this ability is active, a line will be removed from the player's field (rather than added) for every garbage line sent from the opponent. In Japanese, nakayoshi means "close friend" or "buddy".
- Earth Release (ドトン, Doton): Activates Rensa mode for the player. See the description of Rensa mode above. In Japanese, Doton (土遁) translates as "earth release", but can also be read as "earth style".
There are two boss characters that aren't shown in the main character select screen. Both have unique abilities
- Press (プレス, Puresu): A recovery technique that is a combination of Shaman's "Moses" and Mirurun's "Mirurun" techniques. Pushes all the pieces in to a pile in the center, and the bottom 4 lines are removed
- Select (セレクト, Surekuto): Allows the player to change the falling block using the L and R buttons.
- Roulette (ルーレット, Rūretto): Mixes up the button layout of the opponents controller randomly.
- Change (チェンジ, Chenji): Switches the boards of the two players.
Grand Princess (Queen)
- Hyper Fry (ハイパーフライ, Haipā Furai): A stronger version of Halloween's "fry" ability. Fills in 4 lines instead of 3, which will clear and be sent as garbage lines after the next piece is dropped. Unlike "fry", magic orbs are not turned into regular blocks, making it extremely easy to combo this ability into itself.
- Reverse (リバース, Ribāsu): Reverses right and left of the other player's controller.
- Doubles (ダブルス, Daburusu): Any lines the player clears will send double the amount of garbage to the opponent.
- Clear (クリアー, Kuriā): Removes all the blocks on the the player's own field.