Video Game / DJMAX

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Listen to all the music and select your song!

DJMAX is a Rhythm Game franchise by Pentavision, spanning different versions across consoles.

  • DJMAX Online — The original game, released as a freeware game on PC with additional pay-to-play content. The game plays suspiciously like beatmania, though this is due to be being a clone of Ez2DJ, which was even more like beatmania (complete with turntable) to the point where Konami stepped in and sued. Suffers from a partial case of No Export for You; you couldn't play the Korean version since you need a Korean residence number (which is a crime to falsify); you could play the Japanese and Chinese versions, but the Japanese version... is... well... in Japanese, with mostly Japanese players (which means good luck communicating to other players if you don't speak nihongo), and the Chinese version ran on a rather slow server. The latter two versions shut down some time ago.
    • DJMAX Trilogy — a recent PC game revival with music from DJMAX Online and early DJMAX Portable games, but due to some Executive Meddling (namely, its producer, Forte Escape, leaving Pentavision), updates to it have been put on hold indefinitely, and the inclusion of certain features and bugs further drove it into the ground.
  • DJMAX Portable — By far the most popular DJMAX series, partly for being one of the first—if not the first—successful portable Rhythm Game series. Originally released on (as its title implies) the PSP in 2006, it saw success not only in Korea, but non-Korean countries as well, leading to an "International" release with English text (albeit with poorly-censored songs and the replacement of the song Dreadnought, whose background animations mocked former U.S. President George W. Bush).
    • DJMAX Portable 2 — released in 2007 and held up its ever-growing fanbase.
    • DJMAX Clazziquai Edition — released in 2008 as a somewhat Licensed Game with songs from the Korean band Clazziquai, and is geared towards newer players.
    • DJMAX Black Square — released about a month and a half later, and is targeted at more experienced players.
    • DJMAX Fever — released in late January 2009 as the first DJMAX Portable title to be released outside of South Korea, and its songlist is a mix of the first two Portable titles.
    • DJMAX Portable 3 — the first Portable game since Fever to be released outside Korea (and on the same release date, too). With around 40 songs to choose from (a mix between old returning songs, Technika 2 songs, and new Portable 3 songs), the game is meant to be a return to the roots of the Portable series, hence the numerical naming. The game also features a new mode that utilizes the analog nub to switch to two "turntables" at appropriate times to in a sense remix the song. It was released on October 14, 2010 for the UMD version and October 19 on the PlayStation Network.
  • DJMAX Technika — The Gaiden Game (gameplay-wise) to DJMAX. Taking a departure from its beatmania-like sibling series, its gameplay is a combination of Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan / Elite Beat Agents and Lumines — a "timeline" passes over notes on the screen, which you touch as the timeline passes over them. Brings in songs from all DJMAX games, with a few new ones. A sequel appropriately named DJMAX Technika 2 reworks the system, making overall improvements and updates while adding two new modes and many brand new songs alongside more oldies that weren't in the first game.
    • DJMAX Technika Tune — A sort of Gaiden Game to a Gaiden Game, released on the PlayStation Vita in 2012. While the touch screen allows for standard Technika gameplay, the rear pad allows players to perform hold notes and repeat notes without letting go of the Vita. Due to the small screen, the number of lanes on screen is reduced to 3 from 4, with brand-new charts to match.
    • DJMAX Technika Q — A spin-off developed for the iOS and Android systems and released in Korea in October 2013 and internationally in March 2014. Like Tune above, the number of lanes in gameplay is reduced to 3, but also supports a two-lane mode. Unlike Tune, Q features a new UI. New charts have been made for returning songs to match the altered gameplay, although they are more akin to their arcade counterparts this time around.
  • Tap Sonic — Another spinoff, released for iOS in 2011 and later to Android. Gameplay is similar to the main series, but with the addition of slide notes, where the player slides from one key to off to the side or to another key.
  • DJMAX Respect — The first DJMAX game to be released on a home consoles The title of the game is meant to pay “respect” to the creators of the original DJMAX game, as well as the fans who have been waiting for a new entry in the series, and serve as a "revival" of the franchise. The studio is hopeful this will have high sales, which would mean more entries. So far the songlist includes all songs from the first 2 Portable games (excluding Dreadnought obviously) as well as some originals. Songs from the other games in the series will be released as DLC, the first revealed to be songs and remixes from Trilogy, along with its skin. Metro Project is planned to be the next DLC to be released.

In December of 2008, Konami filed a lawsuit against Pentavision for infringing on Konami's patents with the DJMAX series. While Komani had successfully used lawsuits to terminate Ez2DJ and In The Groove, it doesn't look like anything progressed in Konami's favor. The two corporations settled out of court, apparently letting Pentavision off the hook and Konami retaining the rights to distribute Technika in Japan.

Eventaually, Pentavision was bought by Neowiz sometime before Clazziquai Edition, and sadly, it marked the fall of the franchise. While each installment was still well regarded and highly praised, eventually Neowiz dissolved Pentavision assigning everyone to different areas. Planned DLC for Technika Tune was dropped and Neowiz switched development to focus only on mobile games. Thankfully Techinika Q is getting new updates, and hopefully averted for good if Respect sells well enough.

Though it should be noted that the DJMAX team has quit Neowiz, and have created Nurijoy. Under this new name, the team created two Spiritual Successors to DJMAX. One is known as Beatcraft CYCLON, an arcade game that has gameplay similar to Video Game/maimai. The other is called Superbeat XONIC for the PS Vita (which contains all the songs from CYCLON plus a few new ones, and songs from Arc System Works games), which Nurijoy released worldwide. A version of XONIC on Playstation 4 and Xbox One (with a Nintendo Switch version upcoming as indicated by the ESRB's website) with all the Vita version's DLC songs (minus the Arcsys songs, and Rackin Gravity, which the latter was later added as free DLC), and new DLC to be released as well, with the Switch version getting the first 2 packs free.


TRY YOUR ABILITY! DO IT!

  • Announcer Chatter — While almost all games have this, they're usually relegated to the menus and the result screen. The exception to this are the Multiplayer Battles.
    • Trilogy has the announcer comment when you reach certain combo milestones, and reach certain combo multipliers (As a part of a "Live Mode" that you can turn off) as well as your grade in the results screen.
    • Ray has the announcer call out the Fever level when it is activated.
    • Respect has no announcer whatsoever.
  • Anti-Frustration Features
    • Holding a note for too long will simply give you a MAX 1% instead of a Break. Black Square and Clazziquai Edition have the "Easy Long" effector that makes these overheld notes 100% instead.
    • In Trilogy and Respect, The player's freestyle combo counter doesn't reset when restarting a song, unlike past games where one had to reset the game to preserve their combo, and even then, it didn't work for Portable or Portable 2. (It still gets reset when switching songs in Respect, though you can change freely in Trilogy.)
    • Every song and image can be unlocked at some point simply by racking up the number of songs played, avoiding impossible-to-unlock songs (For example, in Respect, unlocking MASAI for playing 10 online matches when the lack of a PlayStation Plus subscription makes that impossible).
      • In Respect, The final song in mission mode, We're All Gonna Die XB (10 buttons), is preceded by a mission unlocked right before it with relatively easier XB notecharts, giving players a chance to get used to the gimmick. There's also a popup briefly illustrating what L2 and R2 notes will look like in-game, so nobody is caught by surprise.
  • Ascended Meme — Enemy Storm SP/MX in Technika was so reviled that in the background video for "Raise Me Up", a character can be seen screaming "ENEMY STORM SP PATTERN IS DIRTY I HATE THAT PLEASE HELP ME".
  • Affectionate Parody: Someone at Pentavision is playing too much League of Legends.
  • Attract ModeTechnika 2 has a very interactive attract demo.
  • Awesome, but Impractical — Fever in Technika 2. Normally, green MAXes have the point value of rainbow MAXes but minus 1 point. In Fever, you get 1 point of Fever bonus for each green MAX you hit basically making it a rainbow MAX. Useful for reaching 300,000 points, the maximum score for a song. The impracticality comes in trying to activate Fever while dealing with a lot of notes, probably messing up your play for what's basically a tiny amount of additional points.
    • Plus, Fever mode is disabled in Crew Race. Any Fever bonus is disregarded when submitting a course for Crew Race, so there's really little point in activating Fever if you're making such a course.
    • Auto Fever mode pre-Respect. It does Exactly What It Says on the Tin, auto activating Fever when the gauge is filled. However, it lowers the rate the gauge is filled, making it harder to chain Fevers together, something vital to getting high scores in the game! While you can totally play the game without any regards to score, just focusing on combos or accuracy, for example, you might as well play it with the option turned off, if possible.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation — The English language options in every DJMAX game. And then there's any number of songs with English lyrics or text in the vids, such as "Fallen Angel": "Don't walk you away!"
    • Wordof God stated that the team aimed for accurate translations with the international release of Portable 3. However, there are a few typos in the menu, and the videos still had their Engrish text.
  • Bonus BossCnP in DJMAX Portable, Your Own Miracle in Portable 2, both accessible by getting a high enough accuracy in the four stages. Your Own Miracle has a True Final Boss form (in the form of a Hard chart) with not-exactly-known requirements.
    • In Technika, if you can get 95% MAX judgment overall in Technical mode for the first three songs (not 95% for each), you can play a different boss song than you normally would. For example, you would normally get "Come To Me" as a boss song in First Step, but achieving 95% MAX will give you "Lover" instead.
      • The Conquerer Set has two bonus bosses. The first one, "Thor" [Technical] , is unlocked at 95%. The second one, "BlythE" [Technikal] is unlocked at 98%.
      • However, some songs' alternate bosses actually have less notes, so you deliberately need to avoid getting a high enough accuracy to play the higher scoring song.
    • Technika 2 changed the way bonus songs appeared. Instead of requiring 95% MAX, it is based on which songs are selected to play within each set. The songs are "numbered" from 1-6 based on the order they are listed in the set. Each set has a total number related to the difficulty, such as First Step having an 11. If the three songs chosen total to a number below that set number, the first boss song is chosen. If the total is equal or higher, the second boss song is chosen.
    • Technika 3 has (or had) a true Bonus Boss: a 2011 rendition of Supersonic (of S4 League fame). It's playable in one of two ways: as a boss in the Sound Lab Club Mixing set or in one of the three Summer Special Missions.
  • Boss Rush — The Conqueror Set (sort of); all of the songs that can be used for the first 3 stages are boss songs from other Technical sets.
  • Bowdlerization — The MV for Funky People was originally more smoother animated, but it also had large homosexual overtones, so the US version is changed although some of the original appears in the Song Select and MV screens.
  • Bruce Lee Clone — The star of the Astro Fight MV.
  • Copy Protection — Trilogy comes with a USB drive, which contains data needed to run the installation and the game itself, as well as save data.
    • The Portable games, save for Portable 1 and its International Version, have a feature that won't load save data if it wasn't on the PSP it was created on.
  • Darker and EdgierBlack Cat's MV is exactly like Glory Day, but El is a bit more sinister. The crown and Respect logo are more red in the video, as well.
  • Difficulty Spike — If you have to use the easiest 3 songs in a Technical set to get to the 4th stage, the 4th stage will probably decimate you.
  • Disc-One Nuke — In Trilogy, reaching Level 24 unlocks a mission that in turn, upon completion, unlocks one of the best pieces of equipment you can buy: the LPG Note. Its enhancements are +2 in Tech (the judgment window) and +3 in Fever (which increases the rate the Fever gauge is filled). With it, acquiring SSS ranks becomes a complete breeze. Not only that, but getting to that level is much easier than it seems, and in addition, the mission is not that difficult to pass at all.
  • Distracted by the Sexy — Some songs' videos feature some pretty hot ladies, which might make you stare at them instead of the notes you're supposed to be playing.
  • Double UnlockPortable 2, Fever, and Trilogy have you leveling up and completing missions to unlock new characters, interface styles, and notes... or rather, the right to unlock them! You then have to use Gold to be able to use them.
    • Trilogy is the worst example of this. You'll need to complete many different songs just to get the gold and points needed to unlock one avatar! Not to mention that you need to buy songs, but at least those are the cheapest unlocks...
  • Dramatic Disappearing Display — On some songs in Clazziquai Edition and Black Square, there are note-free sections in which the HUD vanishes, giving you a clear view of a climatic part of the song's MV.
  • Early Installment Weirdness — The Online games, along with Portable 1, didn't have a Fever mode, and hold notes only counted as one. Portable 1 also lacked a level system, instead having the game's currency, MAX, work as your "level." It lacked a Mission Mode, as well; its version simply required you to play songs in a row.
    • Technika also lacked Fever, instead having the options to boost music and note sounds. Its scoring system was also different, not having a basic scoring cap of 300,000 points, making higher note charts imperative to getting a high score.
  • Earn Your Fun — With the exception of Portable 1, you need to play songs in Arcade/Stage Mode to unlock it in Free Style. Trilogy unlocks the song for every mode once cleared in stage, but you'll need to unlock each song in each button mode separately in Portable and Respect.
    • Portable 3 requires you to unlock the Hard Style charts by clearing Normal Style charts first, provided the song has one to begin with. Same goes for Turntable Sets to unlock a song's Sampler Set chart, and Workstation Sets require you to clear a specific mission or unlock it via leveling up.
    • Technika's unlocks are temporary; unlock a song or course via a Platinum Crew mission and you'll get three chances to play it. Once you're out of chances, you have to unlock it again, via the same manner.
  • Easier Than Easy — On Technika machines with Platinum Crew enabled, charts on Lite Mode have three lanes instead of four.
    • A fanmade chart makes fun of this by having only one lane of notes.
    • It may have become a Fake Difficulty due to the notes not fully on beat with the wipe, so it can get a bit difficult the first time for people who already play Technika if they decide to give Lite Mode a shot.
    • Clazziaquai Edition had 2 button mode.
  • Easy-Mode MockeryPortable 2 locks you at Level 30 if playing on Easy Mode. You'll earn less points, overall, as well. Some songs won't unlock in Free Mode, either, so you might as well just stick to Normal Mode unless you're really struggling.
    • Using Auto Fever (With exception to Respect) lowers the rate at which the Fever Gauge increases.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita — Featured in the music videos of Oblivion and Heart of Witch.
  • Everything's Better with RainbowsDJ Max Technika 2. From the teaser to actual gameplay, DJ Max Technika 2 just SCREAMS this.
    • With the opening of the Crew Race online system, players can buy items to modify the game interface... and this includes notes with rainbow-colored explosions.
  • Fanservice — Elle's Absolute Cleavage on the box art of Portable 2, Panty Shots in the animation for "Memory of Beach," Gainaxing in "Star Fish"'s animation, just to name a few examples...
  • Fake DifficultyTechnika's Technical/Club mode requires you to finish the first stage with more than 75% life, the second stage with more than 50%, and the third stage with more than 25%. When you combine this with a Life Meter that gets harder to recover each stage...
  • Fake-Out Fade-OutOut Law does this. It seems to end, but the final verse of the song occurs after about a second of dead air. Out Law Reborn has this as well, but thankfully, Portable 3 removes this part.
  • First Kiss — A song title.
  • Game-Breaking Bug
    • In Clazziquai Edition and Black Square, the current song will occasionally skip, becoming clearly out of sync with the chart. And just to make things more insulting for those who play with UMDs, these bugs don't happen if you're using an ISO to play.
      • In DJMAX Trilogy, "Remember" is off-sync to begin with. Thankfully the rest of the game is very, very good at keeping the current chart on-beat with the background music, even if the game hiccups for a bit.
      • Portable 3, at least the digital version, can cause the chart to go off sync when you pause or go into sleep mode.
    • An unknown bug in Portable 3 creates an issue regarding unlocks from missions and the alternative method for obtaining them being playcount. If you reach a playcount number that would unlock something that a mission would also do, the game may bug out and you don't get the unlock. Even if you get the mission, the unlock will still not appear and is Permanently Missable.
    • Inserting credits during Technika 2's tutorial attract demo can cause the machine to freeze up.
  • Gainaxing — "Trip", my goodness.
    • The opening to DJMAX Portable 3 has a bit of this from the middle of the three cover girls.
    • The original music video for Ray of Illuminati was filled to the brim with this.
  • Get Out — A song title.
  • Guide Dang It! — Unlocking Heart of Witch in DJMAX Trilogy. In Free mode, break your combo at 2011.
  • Hard Mode PerksHard Mode, in most games past Portable 2, is a setting in the options menu that makes the timing window stricter, as well as severely increase the damage taken to your life bar, but it not only gives you more points, it will allow you to play 8 button mode (and in Portable 3's case, 6.2 Trax) before you unlock them on Normal Play, which takes quite a bit of level grinding.
  • Harder Than Hard — MX (Maximum) and SC (Super Crazy) in Online and Trilogy, MX and RD (Redesign) in Portable, SP (Special Pattern) in Technika, and WS (Workstation Set) in Portable 3.
  • Have a Nice Death — "YOU NEED MORE PRACTICE! NEVER GIVE IT UP!"
    • Technika 2: "YOU FAILED! GAME OVER!"
    • Ray's announcer tells you to "TRY AGAIN!"
  • Internal Homage — Lots of MVs in the DJMAX universe contain references to previous songs. Examples include:
    • The "Taekwonburi" duck as a statue in "Son of Sun".
    • The "Hard to Start" apple on a book in "First Kiss".
    • "NB Power" in Portable 2 is chock full of cameos, from the "Light House" animals to "Ladymade Star STORM".
    • Remixing mode in Portable 3 is full of this, sampling songs from all over the series (including Portable 3 itself).
    • The current background for "Cherokee" borrows the background sky from "Rain+" a song exclusive to the Korean version of Online. It also includes several references to "Electro Sensibilibity", another Online exclusive.
      • And yet no one has mentioned Blythe, which is probably the ultimate version of this trope. The video references (amongst others) Ask the Wind, Piano Concerto No.1, Eternal Memory, Luv Flow, Enemy Storm, Triple ZOE and OUT LAW. We even have a supposed EZ2DJ reference popping up.
    • BEE-U-TIFUL from Technika 2 follows suit, with references to the wolves from both parts of Proposed, Flower, Wolf, the aforementioned Blyth E, Dark Envy, Eternal Fantasy and even a few of the series' composers.
    • "Glory Day" in Respect, the game's opening song, as well as "Black Cat", has characters from several MVs rising from a "Game Graveyard". The most obvious one and the one with the most screentime is a zombified El, the girl who appears as the "lead singer" in Portable's opening movie.
      • El and the girl exploring the graveyard take Instant Cosplay Surprise up a notch and flat out replace certain characters in a quick montage of old MVs at the end of the video.
      • Those with a keen eye will notice that the gravestones are marked with a variety of artist and illustrator names throughout the series's history.
      • The "Game Graveyard" also appears in the menu's 8 button background, with the gravestones engraved with Portable 1, Portable 2, Portable 3, and Technika.
    • Respect has gear and notes based on almost all of the previous entries, excluding Ray, and Online. Trilogy's skin requires the DLC.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels — This series has quite a few...
    • Online, Portable, and Trilogy had Normal Style (NM), Hard Style (HD), Maximum Style (MX), Super Crazy Style (SC, Online and Trilogy only) and Redesign (RD, Portable only).
    • The original Technika had Lite Pattern (LP), Popular Pattern (PP), Technical Pattern (TP), and Special Pattern (SP).
      • Later arcade variations use the original difficulty names.
    • Portable 3's Remix Mode used Turntable Set (TS), Sampler Set (SS), and Workstation Set (WS).
    • Technika Tune used the game modes for difficulties, so Star, Pop, and Club, and they could only be played on their respective mode and Free Style.
    • Technika Q had Original, Premium, and Signature. They could also be played on 2 or 3 lines.
      • The reboot of Q averts this with Normal, Hard, and Expert, though the 2 and 3 lanes are still available.
  • Later Installment Weirdness
    • Clazziquai Edition and Black Square had many differences.
      • First Portable games to have full motion videos.
      • Replaced Mission with a Club mode, where you go through in game clubs to earn songs, gear, notes, and effectors.
      • Changed the analog notes so they do not have to be spun, though it's still the best way to hit them.
      • Fever can now be limited to 3 in Clazziquai Edition, and up to 7 in Black Square. They also have auto variations, but the gauge will go up more slowly when using them.
      • Notes, Gear, and Characters are purely cosmetic. The Auto bonus is a separate effector.
      • Effectors, with the exception of the basic speed ones, are locked until you unlock them in Club Mode, whereas previously, they were available from the start.
      • 8b has been renamed to 6bFX, so as not to confuse it with 4bFX (Left, up, Triangle, Square, L, and R) that's in the game. (6bFX is only available in Black Square)
      • The only game with 2 button mode. (Clazziquai only)
    • Portable 3 has many differences, as well.
      • Like CE and BS, the Notes and Gear are cosmetic. Unlike those games, however, characters have abilities, once again. 2 characters can be equipped at once to balance out the lack of bonuses on Notes and Gear.
      • Speaking of abilities, Auto Fever and Fever Plus (Increases the maximum Fever level to 7x) have been added to characters.
      • The shop system has been replaced by a random drop system when you level up. Clearing a mission gets you that item immediately.
      • MV Edition, OST, and Album are merged into a Lounge menu.
      • Removed Analog notes completely.
      • The Buttons have been renamed to Trax. 5 and 8 button modes have been removed.
      • Added the Remix Mode in 3.2, 4.2, and 6.2 Trax modes, which allows you to remix the music with the analog stick.
      • MX (Maximum Style) is absent.
      • With exception to the basic Speed modifier, you need to unlock the different effectors.
    • Technika Tune also had plenty of differences.
      • First game in the Technika subseries that isn't an arcade game.
      • Only has 3 lanes instead of 4, due to the Vita's size.
      • Note Skins and Characters have bonuses, like Portable.
      • The difficulty names have been renamed to Star, Pop, and Club.
    • And then there's Respect...
      • The first, and so far, only DJ Max game on a console.
      • Once again, Gear and Notes are cosmetic.
      • Completely removed announcer from the menus.
      • Fever can be turned off altogether or set to auto, similar to BS and CE.
      • Fever also got a few tweaks. It's no longer a score multiplier like usual, but you no longer need to get Max 100% to fill the gauge. Any judgement works. Auto also doesn't decrease the rate the Fever gauge fills, but you can't strategically use it while it's on.
      • The caps for level and combo have been increased.
      • Scoring got drastically reworked, most likely for a fairer multiplayer experience. Like Technika, every song scores exactly 300,000 points at 100% accuracy and no Fever usage, no matter how many notes are in the song. 5x Fever and 100% tends to average 320,000 to 350,000 depending on the song.
      • The first, and so far only game featuring the XB mode, only available in the last two missions of the game
      • While all songs are unlocked in Arcade mode, playing it there won't unlock it in Freestyle, like before. You need to fulfill an accomplishment of some kind to unlock the song for Free Style.
  • Level GrindingPortable 2 and Trilogy had you unlocking some things (including songs) through a level system.
    • Portable 3 dialed this up to eleven, with the first unlockable song appearing at Level 30, not including the RNG you need to get it. Enjoy your 30-song songlist for the first 10+ hours.
    • Technika's Platinum Crew works the same way, with the DJ level determining the bonus Max Points acquired and the Challenge Missions that become available.
  • Licensed Game
    • DJMAX Portable Clazziquai Edition. Interestingly, like the single-band-centric Guitar Hero games, Clazziquai isn't the only licensed band to appear in the game; other licensed musicians include 015B, Garion, and Cooly's Hot Box.
    • Clazziquai and company would appear again in Technika.
    • Technika 3 brings us songs from KARA and Liberty Music Trax.
  • Living Toys: The MV for Seeker is full of this trope
  • Luck-Based Mission — The Randomizer Set in Technika, which randomly picks 4 songs for you to play. Somehow, it has local and international leaderboards, so getting a high-scoring set is a matter of praying that you get songs with high note counts.
    • Games with Mission Modes typically have at least one mission that randomly chooses four songs and requiring you to get below a certain Break amount.
  • Multiplayer
    • Portable 2, Black Square, Clazziquai Edition, Fever, and Hot Tunes allow a two player battle mode.
    • Trilogy and Online allow more than 2 players in a lobby, but only the latter allows you to play with all players at once.
    • Respect allows online and local multiplayer modes
    • Technika 2 had two variants:
      • Duo Mixing is Co-Op Multiplayer, in which the screen is split into two and the two players have their own parts to play with the music. The option to play by one's self with both screens is available.
      • Crew Race is Meta Multiplayer, where players challenge various courses set up by other players. Crews are formed with up to 10 members each, and they all race to top the leaderboards of the best crews by earning Crew Points, which are earned for simply playing or beating a crew's course (which is created by a crew member's best Pop Mixing set and score).
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast"D2" stands for "Dance of Death".
    • Technika 3's hardest club set is called "Fatality". If its name doesn't make you run, then maybe its skull-filled logo will.
    • "We're All Gonna Die" in Respect. The hardest version of it appears in Mission mode, with a playlist of other songs throughout the series that are notorious for being That One Boss. It's also the hardest song in the game utilizing the mission-only XB (10 button) mode.
  • Nintendo Hard
    • Pretty much any song in any game that's level 11 or higher. Before the release of Clazziquai Edition, the highest possible difficulty was 12. Nowadays, it's 15.
    • DJMAX Technika 2's Crew Race mode. Most of the crew courses so far consist of level 8-10 songs, so good luck passing any of them. Barring that, good luck beating any crews' scores, unless you've been playing for many months.
      • Except if you know where to look. Sometimes crews design "Low Score Attack" courses, wherein the director of the course intentionally got as low a score as they could without failing. Challengers are intended to try and score even lower, but the game still counts a higher score as a win and a lower score as a loss. As an added bonus, the extra challenge of skirting failure encourages the players making these courses to use easier songs than they normally would play. However, there are also low score sets which use those 8-10 difficulty songs people have been avoiding, and some crews even use effectors in such courses, sometimes in conjunction with these high-tier songs.
  • No Fair CheatingPortable 3 doesn't allow you to do missions with Fever requirements while Auto Fever's equipped, but the lower rate that the Fever gauge fills while it's equipped makes it harder to get the Fever requirements, anyway.
    • Respect, Fever being its own effector, usually disables Auto Fever on Fever, Score, and Combo missions, with a few exceptions.
  • Non-Indicative Difficulty — Some of the SP charts in Technika are easier than their TP counterparts. "HEXAD" [SP] is regarded by some to be easier than [TP] as a result of the easier beginning and ending.
    • Also, much more obviously, compare "End of the Moonlight" TP and SP.
  • Oh, Crap! — Encountering a song that players either find very difficult or are unfamiliar with as a boss in Technika's Randomizer set will evoke this. Even if you play a set consisting of nothing but NM charts, you might be unlucky enough to run into something like Cypher Gate MX.
    • In Technika Tune, starting up the Club version of "Emblem" may invoke this, as it moves 2.5x as fast as its Star and Pop charts.
    • The Three-Lane Signature/Expert chart in Q for "Leave Me Alone" is a similar case, with the timeline scrolling at a speed that matches the song's actual BPM in the chorus.
    • How about getting to the penultimate mission in Respect and feasting your eyes on XB mode (10 buttons)! And even that doesn't compare to We're All Gonna Die's chart in the last missions...
  • Overly Long Gag — The ending of "The Guilty".
    • The second half of "SuperSonic (Mr. Funky Remix)" consists almost entirely of "SUPERSONIC!"
  • Randomly Drops — The leveling system in Portable 3 works differently. Instead of currency, every level up lets you choose one of 3 blocks, which contains either a new note, a new gear, a new character, a new MV, a new background, or a new song, though, some unlockables require you to reach a specific level, first. Once the player reaches the level cap of 99, any locked items are immediately unlocked.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge — A popular one is playing Technika with "Left Swipe" enabled and getting a group of players to take turns hitting notes, in what is known as "Roulette" play. Results range from clearing the song or set to near-completion to failing Stage 1 of a Technical set.
    • Other challenges simply involve playing with one hand. This is occasionally taken to new heights when the player decides to multitask, in particular eating with one hand while playing with the other.
    • Another is to play Technika not with hands, but with other objects.
  • Serial Escalation — Thought Customizer Set in Technika was the end of the game's challenges? Well, thanks to the Platinum Crew system, you can unlock even more agonizing courses, such as the Challenger Set and the Conqueror Set. The latter of which consists entirely of boss songs.
    • Thought "Son of Sun" was the fastest a chart could go? "D2" is 75% faster than "Son of Sun".
    • How hard can the Crew Race missions get? Take level 8-10 songs, and add forced mods.
  • Shout-Out:
  • So Bad It's Good: Music — "Para Q" from DJMAX Online, "Xlasher" from Technika 2. The latter, due to a serious case of Engrish, may also qualify as Narm Charm.
  • Socialization BonusPortable 2 has Network Battle mode, which allows you to battle against another player. Doing this will allow you to play all songs, no matter how many you have yet to unlock, as well as play the normally Extra Stage Exclusive Your Own Miracle whenever you want. It's also how you unlock certain images without having to rack up play counts.
    • Respect has an entire category of unlockables dedicated to playing Online Matches. Once again, these can be obtained via Play Counts as well.
  • Stock Footage — Several songs in Technika share the same generic animation clips done by Kimys. It gets a little silly in "Thor"; its loading screen claims that the background animation was done by a different person, but when the song loads up, it's Kimys' generic clips that show up instead.
  • Surprisingly Good English — Every song by Ruby Tuesday features English lyrics which, despite the Narm, are actually well put together.
    • Songs featuring the rapper Mike Blunck (or "Mike B") definitely qualify.
  • Stylistic Suck: Manifests in the form of "Low Score Setlist". The players intentionally tries to score as low as possible without failing.
  • Take That! — The MV for "Dreadnought" makes fun of George W. Bush. When DJMAX Portable got an "International" release with English text, it got replaced by "River Flow" and hasn't returned in DJMAX Trilogy or DJMAX Respect.
  • This Is Gonna Suck — On the loading screen for Technika's Specialist Set, a Man in Black appears to take on three Men in Black with circular target-like things. On the screen for The Specialist Set 2, the same Men in Black faces against three monsters in suits, with sweatdrops of nervousness on his head.
    • Also a common reaction for Technika players doing Randomizer whenever That One Song decides to show up. See the Oh, Crap! entry above.
  • Title DropDJMAX Technika 's subtitle is "Beyond the Future". Late into Technika 's "Platinum Crew" service, a song called "Beyond the Future" became available.
  • True Final BossYour Own Miracle in Portable 2 has a Hard Style chart, but the requirements to play this version are unknown.
    • In Technika 's Technical/Club Mixing courses, if you fulfill certain requirements, you'll get an alternate fourth stage.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss — "Area 7" in Technika, which has notes that follow an awkward rhythm.

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