by Brett Thomas
Great mods are everywhere, and can come from all sorts of inspirations. Whether you find yours from a favourite era, decorating style, or piece of entertainment media, odds are that there is a mod that either has been made or is just screaming for you to build it.
Popular culture is rarely a choice theme for mods, usually because it very rarely intersects with geek culture. However, there are a few things that truly permeate a public consciousness and are immediately recognisable - my friends, I'm talking about retro games. That's right - Pong, Pac-man, Mario and, of course... Tetris.
Ah, Tetris. I think there are few true "puzzle" games that have created such a phenomenon as this Russian born brain teaser. It was a powerful force brought to us from the Soviet Bloc at the time, and the creator actually has quite a horror story of unpaid royalties and international copyright issues. His story could make the RIAA almost be satisfied that it's getting anything at all. Almost.
Well, whether you love it, hate it, or stole its code to sell in Windows Entertainment Packs (ahem...) since Windows 3.1, one thing is for sure - I don't need to tell you about the game, because you already know it...and so does your grandmother. And maybe that's why this little piece of gaming nostalgia deserves tribute - in the form of an over three metre high mod.
The project was created by the Spanish gaming clan Planet Express Klan, and it turned out to be a beautiful conglomerate of LAN rigged computers. I could tell you how they built it, but I think it's better that they do that themselves.
And so, without further ado, I bring to you - Planet Express Klan and the Tetris mod.
Introduction and Inspiration
During the eighties, the amusement arcades were full of young people spending their money on those colourful and addictive games, most of which at that time had very poor quality graphics. Despite that, people still played - hey, it was the eighties...discrete graphics didn't even exist yet!
Left - The Atari version of Tetris, stolen from Russia with love and made to eat our quarters and pence;
Right - The Windows Entertainment Pack version of Tetris, stolen from Russia with love and made to eat our work productivity.
Out of all of those great games though there was one which got people hooked all over the world - Tetris. The game seemed so very simple...all you had to do was place every little piece into a wall. Of course, simple doesn't mean easy - blocks dropped quicker and quicker, and the minutes flew by just as quickly. Thousands of colourful hours in eight bits, double matches trying to be the best in the “hall of fame”!
The idea of the new Planet Express Klan project arose from these fond memories. It would be based in a retro style, with very bright colours. It also had to be of huge proportions, as it would need to hold the gaming rigs of each of our clan.
The idea was there, the only thing left was to carry out the project…