724: Hell

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There's also a Katamari level where everything is just slightly bigger than you, and a Mario level with a star just out of reach.
Title text: There's also a Katamari level where everything is just slightly bigger than you, and a Mario level with a star just out of reach.

[edit] Explanation

Tetris is a game where the player has to manipulate falling blocks into forming complete rows, which will then be deleted and give point to the player. This comic is a play on this, presenting the player with a version of the game with a curved bottom that renders forming rows nearly impossible. Hell is a mythological and/or religious concept of a posthumous punishment for wrongdoers, depicted in many religions as eternal torment. Here the Tetris player feels he is in Hell when he tries to play this game.

The title text presents similar situations where frustration is likely to occur. Katamari Damacy is a video game in which the player controls a sticky sphere which grows by assimilating objects smaller than itself - so extremely frustrating if none of the objects available is smaller than your sphere. Super Mario is a long-running franchise of platforming games; in most of the games which utilize a 3-dimensional engine, levels are completed by collecting large, golden stars - so very frustrating if one is impossible to reach. The last part may also be a suggestion to the Greek depiction of Tantalus in hell; he tried to reach fruit on a tree but every time he grasped for the fruit the branches bent away. Also see comic 888: Heaven, which presents an opposing situation in which the game is trying to help the player win.

There is a playable version of this comic at Kongregate, which, unsurprisingly, is frustratingly difficult (but not impossible) to play.

[edit] Transcript

[The panel shows the display of a Tetris game where the bottom of the pit is curved into a semicircle making the two blocks at the bottom, a square and a reverse L piece lean crookedly towards each other at the bottom of the pit; an S piece is falling and the next piece is an L piece.]
[Below the panel:]

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That playable version is actually quite fun. My best was 22 pieces on the screen (screenshot). Shine (talk) 18:20, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

Guess what, this is actually scorable. The trick is to form a solid base with your blocks, and play normal tetris over that. 13:56, 21 October 2012‎ (UTC)

I'm not sure if saying the hell came "cannot be won" is worth saying. Keep in mind, the regular game of tetris can't be won either. 01:29, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

"In Soviet Russia, game wastes time with you!"?! 23:28, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

If Heaven was #888, why wasn't Hell #666? --Quicksilver (talk) 02:39, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

Super Mario Bros with a star just out of reach - reference to Tantalus? 03:23, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

For posterity, there's also not tetris, by stabyourself.net, which is similarly hellish in that you freely rotate the tetronimoes, and they will most likely not align perfectly, although its bottom border is a straight line. -- 11:53, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

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