Dance Dance Revolution (officially stylized as DanceDanceRevolution, commonly abbreviated to "DDR", and previously called Dancing Stage in Europe) is the premier series of Konami's Bemani line of music games.Instead of a controller where you sit on your ass and mash buttons (Unless the home versions have any indication), in DDR you stand on a panel with four arrows and follow the arrow that show up on the screen, by stepping on the matching arrows. Mind-numbingly easy on the lower levels, but insanely hard in the later ones. Kids seem to catch on better than adults for some reason, and a very common sight in arcades is 20-somethings being put to shame by dextrous eight-year-olds.DDR has spawned a variety of clones, including StepMania, a DDR simulator that allows you to play with user-created stepfiles, and In The Groove, an arcade game series by Roxor Games that caters to fans of Western electronic music as well as DDR veterans looking for a challenge that got into serious trouble with Konami.Compare Pump It Up, Just Dance, Dance Masters.Note:DanceDanceRevolution has two rating scales: the classic 1-10 scale, and the current 1-20 scalenote all old difficulties are roughly multiplied by 1.5; "MAX 300" on Expert, for reference is a 10 on the old scale and a 15 on the current scale used from DanceDanceRevolution X onwards. When using difficulty ratings, please specify which scale you're using if the context doesn't make it clear.
These tropes are gonna be off the hook!
After Combat Recovery: In the nonstop modes that use lives instead of a lifebar, you'll often gain a life or two back after each song.
Author Avatar: Naoki Maeda, Junko "Jun" Karashima, and Yuichi "U1" Asami have placed themselves as playable characters in the Hottest Party DDR Wii games. Naoki, NMR, U1 (No not "That" U-1) , and 2MB (A U1 Alias) are also unlockable characters in 5thMIX.
Autosave: The games save if there is any important changes.
Award Bait Song: A number of the slow songs, such as "Love Again", "Remember You" and "Graduation". All three are sparkle synth-heavy, and "Graduation" has an acoustic version used for the credits on DDR Extreme (both Arcade and PS2)
Bad Export for You: In DDR, this is a side-effect of Cultural Translation, and an issue for international players aiming for a more arcade-like experience (or on a quest to AAA PFCevery last song). U.S.PlayStation releases that are branded after a certain arcade version were usually In Name And 50% Of The Content Only (most of the original music would remain, but the J-pop and Dancemania tracks would get replaced by domestic music) while the Japanese PlayStation releases were more accurate content-wise (and usually had bonus content and songs from the next arcade version too). If Europe got a release at all, it would usually have European and British pop and be part of the separate Dancing Stage continuity.
Beginning on SuperNOVA, Konami got the bright idea to release the American PS2 version before the Japanese versions. Missing songs and features that came through unlocks or the Japanese PS2 version got held over to the next release, if not at all. The European release came after the Japanese version, but did they get a Regional Bonus? Nope! The worst example came with SuperNOVA2, as if not getting the arcade version at all was bad enough, the PS2 version was way behind schedule, and was just the U.S. version with fewer songs (replacing most of the licenses with oneEurovision Song Contest reject!note "Cara Mia" qualified for the final of Meoldiefestivalen, the Swedish national final, but didn't win.) The same happened with X between Japan and the U.S.; even worse, it did not include the Japanese version's ability to export edits to a USB flash drive for use on the arcade version.
Also look at how significantly different the PlayStation's "DDR X2" (which was basically Hottest Party 3's content on a more colorful and metropolitan-looking version of DDR X JP) was in comparison to the arcade version, which was also In Name And 50% Of The Content Only (but in a good way)
The Wii's Hottest Party games, for the most part, subvert this. The North American and European releases are pretty much the same; aside from language support, gaps between their releases, and branding (despite switching to the DDR name worldwide, European releases had different logos for no reason, but actually kept the Hottest Party branding that was dropped in the U.S.). In Japan, the first one was close (with a few odd song replacements and a new boss America would not get until HP3 and X2 US), but the second and third editions were localized as "Furu Furu Party" and "Music Fit" respectively, with an array of J-pop licenses to replace much of the U.S./European music. The latter was notably the final DDR console game to be released in Japan at all.
The debut of Konami's e-Amusement system (a system that uses a smart card to save statistics, progress, and the like across all of Konami's arcade games online) on SuperNOVA frustrated many American players, since the game's unlock system and other features had a dependency to it, and it's exclusive to Asia. This left American SuperNOVA cabinets without complete access to all of the game's content (although a software patch distributed via CD for sync issues did unlock one of the main boss songs for regular play).
However, you've got to give Konami credit for at least trying: a SuperNOVA2 machine in Naperville was the test site for a beta test of e-Amusement in the United States. Due to a lack of interest (probably due to how complicated it was, requiring a subscription and special hardware to work. By contrast, Golden Tee Live pulls off online functionality out of the box) it didn't launch. Code-based unlocks would also return on SN 2 outside of Asia, thankfully, done In The Groove style with codes inputted on the title screen by players.
For X, due to cost concerns, North America and Europe did not get the highly anticipated new machine design that Japan got. Raw Thrills (who had previously worked with Konami on a arcade version of Guitar Hero) designed a more frugal variation for the American market. Unfortunately, these machines were plagued by a poor sound system, an uncalibrated monitor, and most prominently, very crappy pads, which among other things, replaced the classic "grid" of panels with a single piece of metal.
Some adjustments were made for X2 (including building the pads more like the pre-X design, and making the cabinet look a little more aesthetically pleasing ... by adding a few more decals), but problems still surfaced. Even worse, due to concerns that the SN 2 to X hardware upgrade would be too much for operators to handle (SuperNOVA and In The Groove1 needed them too, yet they managed! What gives?), they refused to offer upgrade kits for legacy machines.
Bag of Spilling: DDRMAX did not have any returning songs. Averted with every other sequel in the main series.
Bonus Boss: The Encore/One More Extra Stage. On the newer versions, throughout the "life" of a mix, new bosses are cycled in as the extra and encore.
X2 featured Replicant D-Action, an extra stage system inspired by that of recent beatmania games (as if that wasn't the only thing from IIDX that got put on X2) Certain songs were unlocked by meeting particular conditions in-game. Completing all six songs unlocked the True Final Boss for the Encore Extra Stage, and wiped out your progress on the previous 6. This was a very tedious ordeal, for obvious reasons.
X3 vs. 2nd Mix had bonus bosses hidden in 2nd Mix Mode.
Boss in Mook Clothing: Several songs that while not that difficult at first glance, become absolutely monstrous in difficulty. Why? Because your stamina will drop faster than a lead weight while playing it. "Flashdance: What A Feeling" (Level 8 Maniac in 3rd Mix) is the first of many, followed by "Sunkiss Drop" (Level 7 Expert in SuperNOVA) is the most recent one.
"So Deep (Perfect Sphere Remix)" from DDRMAX is also a particularly infamous one; it's a 9 on Heavy, but its filled to the brim with tiring gallops.
The ultimate one is probably Conga Oni from Universe 3. Traditionally, the licenses tend to be the easier songs, not a level 10! (old scale, of course)
Boss Rush: The first real one was DDR Extreme's "Legend Road" Oni course; which featured all three of the original Max songs, Sakura, and PARANOiA Survivor Max on Challenge; then considered to be the hardest songs in the franchise up to that point.
Boss Warning Siren: A siren plays if you unlock the Extra Stage. Also in earlier games with the Extra Stage system:
Try Extra Stage!!
Button Mashing: In console versions to tackle the really tough songs that cant possibly be accomplished by dance pad.
Canon Immigrant: Some songs had their first appearance in more obscure entries before showing up in the core arcade series, such as "AM-3P (303 Bass Mix)" (Konamix -> Extreme), and "Cutie Chaser (Morning Mix)" (Oha Sta. -> MAX USA -> Extreme). A whole bunch of songs from Universe 3 (including one that was Universe 3 Downloadable Content.) also made the jump to X2 (and then went back to America full circle on the Wii version DDR II)
Capcom Sequel Stagnation: 3rd and 4th Mix had "Plus" variants, which added songs from their Korean versions and other tweaks (such as the ability to play Maniac difficulty without going to SSR mode on 3rd Mix, and a All Music mode on 4th) 4th Mix also had a version compatible with the Solo cabinets (which previously had their own continuity)
"X3 vs. 2nd Mix" evokes this kind of naming style too, with shades of a Marvel vs. Capcom style crossover.
Catch Phrase: "Here We Go!" (both in-game, and written most prominently on the artwork above the monitor on most pre-X cabinets (SuperNOVA and SuperNOVA 2 tried to introduce the slogan "Freak That Body" on its cabinet artwork, but failed. Every upgrade kit for classic-style cabinets between SuperNOVA and X3 came with new artwork for the monitor bezel)
"Stay Cool!" and "Show Me Your Moves" are also written everywhere on the old machines as well; both were used as Announcer Chatter too, especially by the original announcer (1st Mix to DDRMAX).
Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Since 3rd Mix, the Vivid, Note, and Solo/Rainbow will color the arrows differently depending on the type of the note (i.e. depending on whether it is a 1/4, 1/8, 1/12, 1/16, etc.) Of course, this point has a counterpoint in the form of the "Flat" modifier, which makes all the arrows use the 1/4 color.
The difficulties have also had signature colors; light blue for Beginner, orange for Easy, magenta for Difficult, green for Expert, and dark blue for Challenge.
The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Battle mode involves various interface screws like the steps rotating, speeds changing, or arrows disappearing. The computer is unaffected by any of these.
Made even more egregious in Disney Mix where attaining the unlockables can only be done by playing in the Battle mode.
At least the computer has terrible accuracy, getting loads of Greats.
Continuity Reboot: DDRMAX was supposed to be one since it changed so much: it introduced a new scoring system, introduced an overhauled difficulty system (with new difficulty names, and replacing old difficulty level system with the Groove Radar, a 5-point graph that rates charts on certain characteristics), introduced a new options menu to replace pad codes, dropped the 3D characters, added new full motion video backgrounds, freeze arrows, the new Extra Stage system, and console ports migrating to the PlayStation 2. But of course, it also removed every song from previous versions in favor of a completely new soundtrack. Boy, did Konami learn a huge lesson there; MAX 2 and Extreme were focused on undoing this carnage.
A similar reset happened for the Wii and PlayStation 3 versions released in 2010, which were titled just "Dance Dance Revolution" in North America. The Wii version also brought an Unexpected Gameplay Change by extending its motion control integration into a new Just Dance-esque "Choreography" mode, which used special charts containing a variety of new hand motions for the Wii Remote and Nunchuck to form more varied routines (Meanwhile, the PS3 version had players using the PlayStation Move wand to hit targets in the corner of the screen. It wasn't that great) In Europe however, they got re-branded as "Hottest Party 4" and "New Moves" respectively. The next game "Dance Dance Revolution II", was essentially the console port of X3 vs 2nd Mix (if it followed the same pattern of the U.S. PS2 releases, that is; as most of it was an X2 AC catchup)
The 2013 arcade version is also titled just "Dance Dance Revolution"; a new white cabinet design was also introduced for this version, featuring a relatively stripped down design (most of the fancy lights from the X cabinet are now gone), a 42-inch display, a more pronounced shelf under the screen, no more USB ports, and revised pads that don't light up anymore. While it feels like the types of changes Betson would do to cheapen things, lo and behold, it was Konami who did this. The idea is that this is the final upgrade for the arcade DDR series, with new songs and other content distributed through Konami's e-Amusement network.
Copy Protection: The 2013 arcade game requires a connection to Konami's e-Amusement network in order to run, as it is part of Konami's shared-profit "e-Amusement Participation" network. No connection, no DDR for you.
Critical Annoyance: The flashing danger background and crowd booing. The arcade version of Extreme was particularly notable. If the player let their lifebar drop too low, the (usually cheerful) background videos would be suddenly replaced with an animation of a shark swimming straight at you. This is unlikely to help you recover.
It was even more distracting on 2nd Mix, with the background blinking quickly to a flashing orange background with scrolling caution triangles. On top of that, 2ndMIX's lifebar was cruel enough that this distraction most likely contributes to your failure. For accuracy, this effect also came up in X3's 2nd Mix mode; the struggle to clear PARANOiA Revolution caused a lot of players to see this.
Beginning on Extreme U.S./Fusion/Festival, there's now just a flashing "Danger!" text overlayed on top of the lifebar.
Hottest Party doesn't change the background, but the announcer starts shouting at you to stop sucking. Aside from how distracting it is, it feels like the game's mocking you. Thankfully, you can adjust that so it doesn't, or just turn him off entirely.
Cultural Translation: In earlier years, none of the US or European versions had songlists close to their Japanese/arcade counterparts. Most of the major Konami originals, but that's all they have in common. This became less of an issue starting with Festival/Extreme/Fusion.
America's Dance Dance Revolution Konamix and Europe's Dancing Stage Party Edition are practically identical, except the one Japanese-language song in Konamix got replaced with five licensed songs: "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" by Kylie Minogue, "Don't Stop Movin'" by S Club 7, "My Favourite Game" by The Cardigans, "The Bad Touch" by The Bloodhound Gang and "You Got The Love" by Rufus feat. Chaka Khan. It's also one of the better games to be released in Europe having more songs than many PS2 versions and the licences weren't bad either.
Damn You, Muscle Memory: There are modifiers which re-arrange the charts using predetermined patterns (i.e. shuffle, mirror, left, right, etc.).
Or the other way around, if you play PIU after DDR instead. Still aggravating.
In one of the Super NOVA games, the game's "Master Mode" (AKA Mission Mode) includes a mission where three arrows at a time scroll up the screen and it's your job to step on the arrow that's NOT one of those aforementioned three. Cue tormented cursing of muscle memory.
God help you if you initially learned how to play on "Beginner Mode" by returning to the center panel after each note. You're in for a rude awakening once you leave "Beginner Mode."
DDR X3's boss "Tohoku EVOLVED" takes this to a whole new level: While most Evolved songs do have more noticeable variations, the only thing that changes is a ridiculously high-speed jump at the end.
A visual feature on some missions that merely swaps the up and down columns is enough to throw off long-time players.
Double Play: The Double mode, where you use two dance controllers, has been around since the start of the series for anyone willing to spend twice the money (or lucky enough to have a machine with "Joint Premium" enabled). Older games allowed this mode for one credit, but half the songs (rounded down).
3rdMIX features "Unison" mode, which had the two players share one set of "guide arrows", with the steps being color-coded to indicate who has to hit them. However, you can hit the other player's arrows, making it possible albeit Nintendo Hard to play it alone.
Following a trend also carried by other Bemani games, X3 began pushing out more songs through patches later in its life. The new 2013 edition will use DLC on a long-term cycle: Word of God says new songs will be added as DLC every two months, and new bosses (plus a new interface theme) every six.
Dub Name Change: "Rin to shite saku hana no gotoku" gets re-named to just "Nadeshiko" on English versions of DDR X; unless they were trying to indirectly censor "shite", someone may misinterpreted its Fan Nickname "Nadeshiko Rock" (coming from the genre its identified with on pop'n music)
This happens a lot to songs with convoluted Japanese titles. Some examples include:
DDR X2's 不沈艦CANDY is transliterated as YELLOW CANDY despite "不沈艦" literally means "Unsinkable battleship".
DDR SuperNOVA's 夢幻ノ光 is transliterated as Mugen despite that the whole thing is read as "Mugen no Hikari".
Dummied Out: Some versions, especially console versions, have contained unused charts, music, and graphics. The infamous "Oni Glitch" on Extreme AC exposes some strange and sometimes incomplete Challenge charts; such as a hilariously incomplete "Last Message" chart that consists of nothing until part-way in (where there is a random L/R stream, and later a sequence only using Lefts), an equally bizarre "Higher (Next Morning Mix)" that only consists of lefts, and complete "Love <3 Shine" and "Dam Dariam" charts. Though, the latter fits the song in an awkward way; its almost as if those were steps for a completely different song!
The "Master Song List" is a file contained in many U.S. console versions that often lists the songs from that version, but also sometimes lists songs not in the game. Often, some of these mystery songs end up on future versions.
In many beginner modes, you get, in place of the background animations and video, your character on a pad showing how to do the steps. Unfortunately, the way they step on the panels (step on panel, then return foot to the center) is a very well-known mistake that stops beginners from progressing past the easiest of songs. Recent versions dropped this feature entirely, and the tutorial levels in the Wii games have used more desirable starting positions.
Executive Meddling: Due to some form of expiring license for the vocals, a new version of "Dynamite Rave" was recorded for the international arcade versions of DDR X (which also made an appearance on Hottest Party 3 as a "new" song with completely different charts, alongside several other similar remakes)
The infamous Raw Thrills DDR X cabinets were also a form of this due to cost concern; the game even had location tests and convention showings in a Japanese cabinet (although, sans the light sticks in later tests)
Exergaming: Although the point is to dance, it does burn calories. Workout Mode allows you to capitalize on this, with calorie counters and song lists designed to be workout courses, as well as a complete lack of the ability to fail out. Through e-Amusement profiles on the arcade version, players can also store their weight for calorie counts on the results screen too.
Konami released a special version of DDR intended for use in fitness centers in Japan, and also released a similar version in the U.S. known as the "Classroom Edition"; unfortunately, well, see the YMMV page for details.
Fake Difficulty: Songs with exceptionally low BPM, to the point where you can't see the notes very well because they're so mashed together. Bag is horrible in this regard. Then there are songs with a made-up high BPM ("Drop Out" and the MAX series, just to name a few examples where the in-game BPM is double the song's real BPM), just so they can be made more difficult without looking like Bag. Then there are songs that do both by having the BPM arbitrarily double or half itself at certain points and still play like the MAX series during the slow sections.
A prime example: The Private BEMANI Academy song "Elemental Creation" has charts that alternate between 212, 424, and 106 BPM. In all other BEMANI games, including games where BPM influences the appearance of notes, the song is pegged at a constant 212 BPM.
Any song that tries to fake you out with sudden stops and BPM changes. Chaos wouldn't be that hard if the whole thing weren't a steaming pile of fake difficulty. Especially on a pad. On a keyboard, you don't have to worry about balancing or shifting your body weight. Then there's the Pluto series, which takes the speed and stamina requirements of the MAX series and packs it with BPM changes and short stops.
The Shock Arrows introduced in X, which double as Spikes of Doom. Hitting them results in losing health, your combo being broken, and the arrows becoming invisible for a split second. Horatio on the NA PS2 version is to shock as Chaos is to stops; yes, it's that bad. (Horatio got a much better chart on the AC version.)
Battle Mode is filled to the brim with Fake Difficulty mods. For example, take a song that's challenging to begin with (like Moonster) and throw in random, semi-applicable modifiers at times, like Sudden on some arrows and double speed on others, and try not to fail.
An interesting case is the boss songs on the Xbox 360 games which are harder simply because no one has made a decent dance pad that's compatible with the 360. Thenagain, there's also the bizarre frame rate issues the Xbox 360 versions have too, HD lag, etc.
One of X3's boss songs, "PARANOiA Revolution", used to have to be played within 2nd Mix Mode, emulates 2nd Mix's nuances. This meant no speed mods, forced flat, and having to play a 10-footer in the skin of a game where 10-footers (or 9-footers for that matter) didn't even exist.
You're not gonna tell me that Root from Hottest Party 2 isn't fanservice. While we're at it, Chordia in Hottest Party 1 wears a bodice, and Harmony and Domi by themselves are fanservice. Look at their outfits!
jun shows a lot of her legs in the Hottest Party series.
Forced Tutorial: On Hottest Party 1's Groove Circuit Mode, you have to play a lesson song before you can play any remaining missions on any difficulty level you want. Granted, it at least tells players to not return to the center panel this time around.
Choreography mode does so too.
Gaiden Game: The Dance Dance Revolution Solo sub-series, which offers a 6-panel mode that utilizes two new "up-left" and "up-right" arrows and has speed modifiers in an options menu, a few years prior to their "introduction" in DDRMAX. Solo was later just merged back into the 4th Mix series, and went away entirely until Hottest Party 3 (where a few songs had a gimmick causing some of the left or right arrows to be replaced with diagonal arrows). ** The unique arrow color scheme from the Solo games (which in hindsight, are closer to those used by In The Groove, with orange, blue, and purple for 4th/8th/16th notes respectively) became an option on later games (and was re-named "Rainbow" beginning on SN1)
Arcade versions before DDR X (those on PlayStation-derived hardware) rounded all notes' timing to 64th notes. This was fine for most songs, but it made "bag" and other songs using 24th notes very tricky to time perfectly. Songs with 12th notes, such as "Burning Heat", were affected to a lesser extent. Charts with this bug were fixed on DDR X (which switched to Windows XP). bag got a new Challenge chart on X2 which is exactly the same as the Expert chart but with the purposely broken timing.
Dance Dance Revolution Extreme for the PS2 had an especially bad bug: omitting the "Dance Mode" option, which would turn off the non-directional buttons on the controller that would be located in the corners of a dance mat. Since these buttons were also mapped to directions on the dance pad, playing any song on a mat became prohibitively difficult if not impossible, as the player would constantly trigger inadvertent steps by touching the corner buttons during a song.
DDR Universe games can be affected by HD lag, and its engine is notorious for frame rate issues when characters and videos are turned on. On a console of such power, how is this even possible?
The quality of the pads on a particular machine can vary depending on their condition, how often its repaired/cleaned out, etc. Poorly maintained cabinets can turn even the easiest song into a major struggle to get a decent score at all. The DDR X cabinets outside of Japan have awful pads as a standard feature: someone will probably get a Perfect Full Combo on Valkyrie dimension Oni before someone ever makes a DDR X cabinet in the U.S. play just as good as a Japanese model.
DDR 2013 has been plagued by bug after bug. First, there were the performance issues between different cabinet types (particularly those which were upgraded), and then this (which was temporarily fixed by disabling the stages with FMV backdrops entirely)
Game Within a Game: The DDR Tokimeki Mix in Tokimeki Memorial 2 Substories : Dancing Summer Vacation. This fictional DDR game, containing remix of classic songs from Tokimeki Memorial 1 and 2 such as "Motto! MOTTO! Tokimeki" or "Yuuki no Kami-sama", is the center of Dancing Summer Vacation 's storyline, where the characters train themselves on it for the upcoming National DDR Tournament, and is the game's main mini-game.
Grand Finale: DDR Extreme was speculated to be this (especially with the "WE'RE STARTING OVER" tagline, all the revivals, and a certain song on the console version), but that ended up not being the case.
Certain changes to the infrastructure on DDR 2013 (with a greater reliance on online patching) may make it theoretically be the last version Konami ever needs to release (either that, or it'll be a long while before the next one).
Guide Dang It: Lemme know when you finish off DDR Extreme 2's mission mode. Completely. Including mission "THE LAST".
This may need a bit of explanation. Out of all the 150-plus missions in the game, at least 40 have secret objectives that unlock missions you couldn't otherwise get to (like secret exits in Super Mario World). To unlock THE LAST, you need to beat every last mission in the game, and you also need to do the secret objectives. The last bit of missions are also pretty damn hard, and one of them requires you to get your score into a ridiculously narrow margin. There's also a bit of a sidequest involving finding hidden arrows which is not hard but somewhat tedious; you pay points, the game tells you where the arrow is, you play the song again and hit it. Fortunately there aren't a ridiculous number of these.
Memories from DDR Extreme US also deserves special mention due to how much work was done by the community to try and find an unlock method for it, since there is no One More Extra Stage. The existence of this missing song could be confirmed in a variety of ways, such as clearing every chart with an A rank (you'll ONLY get the message for doing it on Challenge), checking the messages (the "unlocked all messages" message, which includes a url for a wallpaper, doesn't appear without memories unlocked), or encountering edit data for it (which proves it IS on the game, but doesn't unlock it or produce the RED unlock message). People were actually examining the disc with hex editors to try and figure it out. Ultimately, the unlock method was released... through a Burger King promotion, over 2 years after the game's release.
Debatable. When it's a standalone, Challenge-only remix, than it's sometimes easier than the original song. Any chart with Shock Arrows can go either way, with their lower rating but Fake Difficulty. However, almost anything else falls under this. Especially Fascination MAXX.
2ndMIX's announcer is particularly harsh; on Normal mode, failing a song will just yield the usual words of comfort, but on Hard and All Music, he'll bluntly tell you to "get out of here" or "go back home, you can't handle this!"
Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels (Basic, Another, and Maniac in the earlier games; Light, Standard, and Heavy between DDRMAX and DDR Extreme; Basic, Difficult, and Expert in the most recent installments)
Until 3rdMIX, each foot rating also had a one-word description. In increasing order, starting with 1 foot: Simple, Moderate, Ordinary, Superior, Marvelous, Genuine, Paramount, Exorbitant, Catastrophic.
I Have Many Names: Several musical contributors are credited under multiple names, but Naoki Maeda uses the most.
Bowdlerization: Some songs that do this, such as "The Earth Light" and "Injection of Love" had these sound effects removed before being used outside of Japan. Ironically, the clean instrumental version of "Injection of Love" was the first to appear anywhere, in America's Extreme 2, whereas the explicit English version (Titled "Injection of Love(e)") was in Japan's Str!ke. "After The Game (Of Love)" also had its lyrics removed in its US appearances.
Interface Screw: The speed, boost, visibility (Hidden, Sudden, and Stealth), and other modifiers.
Inverted in DDR X. The player is able to have his or her side of the field darkened to see the arrows better.
Mixed up with the Gimmick settings. Sudden Arrows, Foot Confusers, and Minimizers/Normalizers come to mind...
Konami Code: It's never been a cheat, but fittingly, the up-up-down-down-left-right-left-right part has appeared in several songs, including "Twinbee ~Generation X~", "30 Lives", and "Make a Jam!" The latter gets bonus points for also being a remix of the jingle from Konami's old "walking logo" intro, while "30 Lives" is literally a pop song referencing the Contra cheat its most famously associated with (the code itself gets chanted in a refrain. Fittingly, this is where the aforementioned step sequence is located in the chart)
Large Ham: All of the announcers tend to be like this. They gotta keep you motivated, after all!
The DDR X announcer is probably the most hammiest of all, thanks to being a Jive Turkey. It may have fit well on X due to its urban theme, but it sticks out like a sore thumb on what are essentially Extreme II and Hottest Party 5 AC.
Last Note Nightmare: Most boss songs have the ending significantly harder than the beginning, but a few really seem designed to give that Oh Crap feeling when it happens:
MAX. (period) suddenly doubles its speed from 300 to 600 BPM, a record that would not be surpassed for almost nine years.
Healing-D-Vision on Challenge, for the vast majority of the song, is deceptively simple for its rating, until the ending which has about three seconds of what is probably the hardest possible step pattern in the game (LURU LDRD LURU LDRD etc.), at 12 steps per second.
Pluto Relinquish ends with a long terrifying 400 BPM 8th note stream on Expert and Challenge.
Just before the end, Valkyrie dimension drops from its standard 186 BPM to 46 BPM (1/4 speed) as the melody fades out for one measure of complete silence, then it suddenly blasts out four measures of percussion resembling machine-gun fire at 372 BPM (double speed).
Tohoku EVOLVED might be the ultimate example of this. Most of the song runs at 340 BPM, then the final chord comes and the music fades out...and then a full five seconds later, the song's speed triples to 1020 BPM and there's one more jump that comes out of absolutely nowhere, which changes every time its played. This becomes particularly nasty when played as a Sudden DeathBonus Boss.
PARANOiA Revolution's Expert chart plays tribute to a few of the above songs, as it is composed of pieces of charts from other boss songs. Toward the ending, the steps match those of Pluto Relinquish Challenge's ending stream, then the "final" chord comes and the announcer says "Thank you very much for your best dance!"...then Valkyrie dimension Expert's ending machine-gun stream comes out of nowhere to finish the song.
If PARANOiA Revolution is played on 2ndMIX Mode, then this becomes stronger, since most songs have a background video that fades out when the song is over. PARANOiA Revolution's background video fades out after the Pluto Relinquish Challenge stream, but then it suddenly fades back in right on time for the Valkyrie dimension Expert stream before fading out a second time for real.
Edits on the arcade version were scrapped on SuperNOVA, but returned on DDR X with support for USB flash drives and integration with the e-Amusement (and the ability for edit charts popular with players to be deployed to other machines). Of course, this required DDR X's Japanese PS2 version as a middleman, and even files generated from that wouldn't work on American arcade versions. Konami alleviated this with an online app, but it doesn't support all songs.
X2 and X3 posed a slight problem to all regions; since there wasn't a PS2 version that could link with it, it made creating edits for new songs a bit more of a hassle. While some Japanese players found a workaround for making edits for these songs, it seems as if Konami has caught them - a software patch for X3 completely removes the ability to load edits for anything beyond X.
Licensed Game: While most of the games have their share of licensed songs, there's also the two Japan-release Dancing Stage games, each of which has a songlist consisting almost entirely of the artist in question. There were also quite a few Disney versions; most notably DDR Disney Mix. There was also a Winx Club version which also managed to have a number of new, unexpected (and good) pop'n music and beatmania IIDX crossovers as well. Unfortunately, given its target audience, it ended up being Easier Than Easy. Same went for the recent Disney Grooves edition (which too was based more off Hottest Party)
The "evolved" series of boss songs uses this in a way. Each of them is named after a major city (it started with cities in Japan, but then went to New York and L.A., followed by Tohoku on the most recent game), and most of them have three variations each, picked at random. All three of them open the same, except that they begin to diverge by the halfway point (i.e. one version might steadily speed up, one version might go into an intense breakdown, one may just slow down a bit).
There have been three subversions of this, however. L.A. Evolved from the Universe series has no variations whatsoever. Roppongi Evolved has a DDR X2-exclusive "ver. D" which is significantly harder than the other 3. Tohoku Evolved only changes the last jump. However, that last jump comes in at a very hard-to-read BPM.
The console version of SuperNOVA had some missions that required you to play a certain number of songs in a row using a character of a certain gender. The catch? In mission mode, character selection is locked to "Random".
In the US console version, DDR Extreme's Mission 49 makes you get "Perfect" on the final jump-freeze of "The Legend of MAX" with x8 and Shuffle. You thought the end of Tohoku Evolved was bad? This is more than twice that speed, and it's an automatic miss if you hit more than two directions. (You do have a 1-in-4 chance of getting it due to how the shuffle modifier works - it'll never be L+R [mirror] or U+D [Left or Right])
Lucky Charms Title: Numerous song titles. Especially songs by Kosaka Riyu (Love♥Shine, Candy♥, etc.) and Jun (Happy☆Angel, Kimono♥Princess, Sunkiss☆Drop, Sweet Sweet♥Magic etc.)
Market-Based Title: The title Dancing Stage was was used for the European releases until around DDR X, when the DDR name was used for the first time in the region on the Licensed GameDDRWinx Club, which was released everywhere in Europe, except for the United Kingdom (most likely due to the fact that Winx isn't as big in the U.K. as it is in the rest of Europe. Maybe because they allegedly aired the 4Kids dub?)
The fourth "Hottest Party" game on the Wii (and the 2010 Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 release) was called just "Dance Dance Revolution" outside of Europe, as it seemed like Konami was trying to relaunch the series. However in Europe, they were re-branded as "DDR Hottest Party 4" and "DDR: New Moves" respectively. The same happened for DDR II, which was renamed "Hottest Party 5"
La Maquina De Bailar (The Dance Machine) is the unofficial candidate.
The BBC's Lord Of The Dance Machine, which followed a UK entrant to an international competition, might count as a Documentary Episode.
Then there's "The FP", a recent film involving a post-apocalyptic gang war surrounding the game "Beat Beat Revelation"
While not a film, Konami did co-produce a DDR-related television series for a CBS weekend morning block with DiC, known as "Dance Revolution"; unfortunately it was In Name Only (well, 2 thirds of its name), and ended up being more like a kid's version of So You Think You Can Dance. The closest their house band, the Slumber Party Girls, ever got into something DDR related, was a medley on the DDR SuperNOVA/Ultramix 4 limited edition soundtrack album.
Multi-Platform: Averted in a way in America until the Hottest Party 3 sequel, as each console got its own separate game yearly. PlayStation versions were aligned with the arcade mixes, the Wii had the party play and gimmick-based Hottest Party series, and the Xbox/Xbox 360 versions (Ultramix and Universe) had a more diverse song selection (which often involved rather interesting and unexpected Bemani crossovers), Downloadable Content and Xbox Live multiplayer, Fandom Nods galore, and more "advanced" play styles (such as the infamous Quad mode). When Hottest Party 3 came along, they tried hard to make all the versions have pretty much the same content, but they still had different features and engines.
Some of the 3D stages (especially in Hottest Party 2 and 3, and also X to an extent) have video screens that play background videos from the DDRMAX/MAX2/Extreme era. X2 takes it further with a circular stage that wraps custom arrangements of DDRMAX FM Vs or IIDX videos across their skybox.
The old arrow style from 1st to 5th Mix (which basically, looks like the current one, except with a V-shaped slit in them) became an option on X.
Both MAX. (period) and Paranoia Revolution contain a scene in their background videos where the original Paranoia is selected and loaded on an old DDR version (on the first PlayStation version in the former, and through 2nd Mix Mode on the latter).
Name's the Same: There are two different songs named Fantasy, one which debuted in MAX and another which debuted in MAX2. Yes, they both made it onto Extreme too.
There are two different songs named Stay, one which debuted in MAX2 and another which debuted in Extreme.
The PlayStation game Extra Mix (which has the Solo sub-series songs and the songs new to 4th Mix Plus) has three pairs of same-named titles: I'm Alive, Together Forever, and Sky High.
DDR Ultramix 3 for Xbox has two songs named Come With Me.
No Budget: Betson by far. Since SuperNOVA, cabinets have been built on a very slim budget. The cabinet problem got even worse on X; while Asia got extremely nice new cabinet design and the ability to retrofit old cabinets for the game, everyone else had to buy a new Raw Thrills cabinet. Even worse, the new cabinets were cheaply built, and suffered from numerous problems with the pads (which, just to show how lazy they were, were covered with one piece of metal with holes in it, as opposed to the traditional array of square panels), a weak sound system, the navigation buttons being on a tacky looking blank metal panel, and lag issues with the monitor. Some of these issues seemed to have been rectified upon the release of X2 (which added more decals and a more traditional pad design), but not quite.
No Export for You: After Dance Dance Revolution USA (which was a fork of 3rd Mix) was released, no new arcade version would be released in America until SuperNOVA. Even Europe got some in between with Dancing Stage EuroMix 2 (which had songs from MAX and MAX 2, and a design based off MAX 2) and Dancing Stage Fusion (in turn based off America's Extreme CS; it was the first PlayStation 2-based arcade DDR game, setting the stage for SuperNOVA. It was also the one in that Madonna video.).
America never got arcade-accurate PlayStation ports like Japan did either. Even the ones that looked like their arcade counterparts (like MAX, MAX2 and SuperNOVA) had significantly different music lineups.
Despite getting SuperNOVA, Europe did not get the arcade version of SuperNOVA 2 at all, since Europe-wide export restrictions on the PlayStation 2 revision used in the hardware suddenly took effect and prevented them from selling kits anymore. This was rectified on X, as it now uses a PC like every other Bemani title. This didn't stop them from releasing a version for the home PS2, however. Of course, Konami screwed it up, as usual.
The tables have turned: Music Fit (Hottest Party 3 JP) was the final console DDR game released in Japan. In fact, Konami has all but given up on making new versions of arcade Bemani titles on major consoles in Japan (except on portable devices, and even some of those are outsourced). Most of the new songs on X3 vs. 2nd Mix were from Hottest Party 4/DDR 2010 and Hottest Party 5/DDR II, inverting the traditional struggle of America waiting from songs from the arcade release.
The Ultramix and Universe games were also never released in Japan. Some songs from Ultramix however, did get dispersed through several other titles, including DDR Festival (based off Extreme US) and STRiKE (based off Extreme 2). Some songs from Universe 3 also made an unexpected appearance on X2.
With no international release for X3, it seems as if we are back to how things were before SuperNOVA, except with the added complication of e-Amusement, again (though these issues are in no way exclusive to DDR). DDR 2013 will only be available as a leased rental with revenue sharing (like many other Japanese arcade games of the era), making importing even more impossible. Though there may be hope, as Konami seems to have made an ally in the American locations of Japanese arcade/bowling chain Round1...
Non-Indicative Difficulty: The Challenge/Oni charts indicate that they're a harder difficulty than Expert/Heavy, yet for many songs they are slightly to significantly easier. Either that, or they're shock arrow charts.
Paranoia Hades Medium, arguably in two ways. One, it's eight feet on the classic scale, but plays like a very hard nine at least. Two, (the arguable one) it's harder than the Hard chart.
Pre-release material for the DDR X soundtrack and PlayStation 2 version accidentally leaked few a songs that hadn't been unlocked for play yet. Fans were quick to speculate that one of these songs, "real-high-SPEED", was going to be the True Final Boss of X. It ended up just being a J-pop song - and not a very fast one either. Later on X2, Konami decided to be a troll and place said song at the end of a course on X2 called "Speed Master" (which actually was full of fast songs, save that one).
Nostalgia Level: Some charts act like this for those familiar with the series.
From Extreme, Dance Dance Revolution's Oni/Challenge steps (both single and double) feature bits and pieces of some of the more popular song's steps sprinkled throughout (and is even a remix of the old opening videos used until 5th Mix).
PARANOiA MAX (dirty mix) will play the stepchart for the original PARANOiA when selected through Roulette in most AC/CS titles, with EXTREME (CS NA) being a notable exception. In DDR X AC, the same rule applies when the X-Special chart is selected in roulette, only working for Singles play however.
From DDR X3, Paranoia Revolution's Expert chart uses patterns from many of the fast boss songs on a song that usually stays on 360 BPM. When played in 2nd Mix Mode, it also forced 1x speed and flat, just like the good old days.
The Hottest Party series starting with the third, had remixes of the songs in the previous games, this continues in the Dance Dance Revolution Wii games.
Obvious Beta: Dance Dance Revolution Freedom for the iOS. It still uses the same GUI from DDR X, and all the songs are horribly stepped and synced. Even worse, DDR S and S+ were removed from the iTunes Store upon its release. Thankfully, a month after its release, they took it down and re-released S+.
Dance Dance Revolution Pocket Edition, where do you even begin? After abruptly pulling down Dance Wars (which was like S+ but with obligatory social gaming elements), Konami randomly released this new version for iOS in October 2013. But what's wrong with it? Everything. Firstly, you have to mirror it to an Apple TV device connected to a TV; because to "play" it, you put your iWhatever in your pants pocket (securely, we must add. Good luck fitting an iPad in there), and it tries to pick up your motions using its gyroscope and accelerometer. Good idea in concept, had they not based everything off the Classroom Edition (which itself is bad enough); meaning there's no real "game" at all, it uses automatically generated charts, and the audio quality is poor as well.
Oddly Named Sequel: After three Hottest Party games on the Wii, the next release on the system and the PS3 was just called Dance Dance Revolution in America. However, the Hottest Party name was kept in Europe (creating HP 4 and HP 5), and the PS3 version was renamed "Dance Dance Revolution: New Moves" (as a Stealth Pun relating to its PlayStation Move compatibility)
Old Shame: Naoki Maeda really regrets 'LET THEM MOVE' (song from 2ndMIX). The song has since become unavailable in Arcade and Console versions for years.
Unfortunately for Naoki, although the song disappeared from the main game modes, home version developers had a habit of using it as a tutorial song. It kept appearing in Lesson Mode well into the PS2 era.
Pac-Man Fever: Indeed, this game is well-known enough to be constantly in shows, expy or not.
Averted in the film Yes Man, where a scene features Jim Carrey's character playing "Flowers" on SuperNOVA, and actually playing it well (crossovers and all). He was apparently trained by an expert player, and it showed.
Perfect Run Final Boss: One More Extra stage, since renamed to Encore Extra Stage. Basically, if you break your combo (by getting anything below a "Great" judgement or failing to hold a freeze arrow down for its entire length), you lose instantly.
"Love Is The Power -reborn-", a special Encore Extra Stage on X3 vs. 2nd Mix, literally requires a Perfect run to be cleared. Even getting a "Great" will end it! Its only an X-scale 10.
Playing Against Type: PARANOiA ~=[HADES=]~, considered by many to be one of the most unsettling songs in the series, is an instance of this. For those who don't know, αTYPE-300 is Jun, writer of Happy Hardcore tracks such as SUNKiSS ♡ DROP, Raspberry♥Heart, and TRUE♥LOVE. How can one artist create two completely different styles? A simple trip to the underworld will do that to you.
Product Placement: Until Extreme, DDR was the main vehicle used by record label Toshiba EMI to promote its dance music compilations Dancemania; the label had made a deal with Konami to advertise the albums in-game (typically in attract mode), in exchange for letting them use songs from them as the bulk of their soundtrack (in fact, Solo Bass Mix was sourced almost exclusively from "Dancemania Bass", as in Miami Bass). Additionally, the partnership also allowed the label to distribute the official DDR soundtrack albums, which as a result could contain both the "licensed" music and the original songs.
The EMI partnership was dissolved for SuperNOVA, as Konami instead decided to pursue more ahem, lucrative sources of music for later games that didn't involve deals that weren't valid outside of Japan (which led to; more anime music, more recent J-pop hits, more mainstream American music, etc.)
The release of X3 vs. 2nd Mix brought the return of Dancemania in a way; the game partially tied in with the 15th anniversary of the series. The "Dancemania Sparkle" album released in 2011 (as the celebratory album) contained several songs made popular by DDR, and announced a re-release of the 2nd Mix soundtrack.
Pun: In the Japanese arcade release of X, there is a ranking course consisting of the songs "1998", "Dance Dance Revolution", "Will", and "Flourish" in that order.
Real Life Writes the Plot: "Tohoku EVOLVED" (the Darker and Edgier remix of "London EVOLVED"), refers to 2011's devastating earthquake and tsunami which caused severe damage in the Tohoku region. When beaten, the Cleared screen instead reads "Pray for All".
DDR 2010 features a song titled "On the Night of a Still Wind", which some have interpreted as a tribute to Michael Stillwind Borenstein; whose credits to the series included his work with Konami's Hawaii studio (who was responsible for the Ultramix and Universe games), and getting DM Ashura to become the first ever American artist to ever be on IIDX.
Retraux: A good deal of the songs in X channel genres from The Seventies ("Dance Floor"), The Eighties ("We Come Alive", "We've Got To Make It Tonight", and some of the US exclusives), and The Nineties ("Till The Lonely's Gone").
Revival By Commercialization: Earlier versions of DDR brought dance music musicians Smile.dk, the late Captain Jack, and others to fame. The former gained enough fame to perform in several different countries, including the U.S.
Rhythm Game: One of several Japanese games of this type to really take off overseas (Beatmania did get a few U.S. arcade versions, but they flopped)
Scare Chord: The sound of losing a life when you have a "battery" lifebar. It can very well cause one to lose their composure and lose even more life.
Toned down since X. It's barely audible now, you can only hear it if you listen really close.
Schizophrenic Difficulty: The more recent boss songs (SuperNOVA onward). Max300, MaxX Unlimited, and The Legend of MAX followed a hard/easy/harder format, but Fascination MaxX's difficulty is all over the place. There's a reason the Naoki alias used is 100-200-400; it's constantly going between those speeds.
Scoring Points: Most of the earlier mixes had a scoring system, but it was often ignored in favor of "how many perfects did you get?"
From DDRMAX onwards, your grade is determined by a hidden "dance point" system, which came to set the standard for evaluating accuracy. And from DDR SuperNOVA onwards, the on-screen score is essentially the percentage of your dance points vs. maximum dance points mulitplied by some power of ten.
With SuperNOVA onwards, Almosts and Boos don't hurt your score NEARLY as much as in Extreme and earlier (they get zero points instead of -4 and -8) although they still take away health.
The scoring system on SuperNOVA 2 onwards was dramatically overhauled to be score-based; each step has a specific point total (the result of dividing 1,000,000, the maximum score, by the number of steps/freezes in a song). Getting a Marvelous adds this base amount to the score, Perfects and Greats award slightly lesser values divided or subtracted out of it, and Goods and worse are worth nothing. Grades also became score-based as well; you only need 990,000 or more to get a AAA, which means you can now get a AAA without getting all Perfects as had formerly been the case. To counter-act this side-effect, the game also started to officially recognize full combos on the results screen (i.e. AAA with a "Perfect Full Combo!" badge)
There's also the "freestyle" players (who were very prominent around the 3rd/4th Mix era in both Japan and America), who try to perform an actual routine to the song with actual moves, often with spectacular results.
The original PlayStation version had a mode called "Arrange Mode", which penalizes you with an "Ouch!" for hitting any panel when there isn't an arrow there.
Sequel Escalation: Originally, the difficulty ratings went from 1-8 footprints. 3rd Mix added 9's. DDRMAX added MAX 300, which MAX 2 revealed to be the first 10. Then came MaxX Unlimited, The Legend of MAX and Paranoia Survivor MAX, Fascination MAXX and Fascination -eternal love mix-, Pluto / Pluto Relinquish and Dead End Groove Radar Special... each of which would one-up the hardest songs in the previous installment.
This progression broke the original rating scheme. MAX 300 and Fascination MAXX are nowhere near the same difficulty, but both were rated a 10 until the scale was extended to 20 and all the songs were re-rated.
Sequel Difficulty Drop: On Hottest Party 4 (CS) and DDR 2013 (AC), Goods no longer break your combo, nor do they drain your life meter on Extra Stages or the "Risky" option. It doesn't affect how scores are calculated, though.
Sexy Whatever Outfit: In the second and third "Hottest Party" games, Jun wears a skimpy version of the Japanese folklore goddess dress, while in the fourth and fifth games she wears a sexy angel dress.
Also in the fourth game, Ceja wears a sexy lady Navy uniform.
Extreme AC had two major bootlegs; "Extreme Plus" and "DDR Megamix", Extreme Plus was just Extreme with a different title screen, an awful blue menu background, and a caution screen reading "DON'T FALL OFF !!" Extreme Plus lets you overclock the machine to make songs go faster, has brown menu backgrounds, and replaces most of the menu graphics and the title screen with pictures of scantily clad men and women for no apparent reason.
Shout-Out: A couple exist in the Hottest Party series. In some stages, you can see clips of videos from past DDRs, a nice nostalgia bonus for older fans. And another one, that's harder to get unless you really suck or you're trying to get it; when you're doing bad, and the announcer starts to shout abuse at you, one thing he'll say is "Dancer needs groove badly".
In DDR X, the announcer sometimes starts stages by saying "Show me..." and obviously intends for players who are familiar with the series to finish with "your moves!"
Emi's full name, Emi Toshiba, is/was a shout-out to Toshiba-EMI, the label responsible for the Dancemania albums. EMI bought out Toshiba's share in the joint venture in 2007 and re-named it EMI Music Japan.
Soundtrack Dissonance: While most Extra Stage/boss songs have an ominous feel to them, jun's recent boss songs (such as "KIMONO♥PRINCESS", "UNBELIEVABLE (Sparky remix)", "SILVER☆DREAM") are the exact opposite.
Spell My Name with an S: Is it Challenge or Oni? Even worse, the confusion between Oni the difficulty and Oni the course mode. For difficulty, arcade games referred to it as "Challenge", but was marked with the kanji for Oni to represent it on Japanese versions until SuperNOVA (Nonstop and Oni mode were merged into a single "Course" mode on recent versions too). The Universe series actually did call the difficulty "Oni"; though it may have been a Fandom Nod, like many other things in that series.
The capitalization on a lot of things gets a little funky too. PARANOiA, INSERTiON, MaxX, and even the old numbering format (2ndMIX, 3rdMIX, etc.).
Satomi Takasugi is spelled as Sotomi Takasugi in US/EU DDR X2 AC.
Spike Balls of Doom: Some of the songs before SuperNova had this in their background movies. Max 300 is one of the more infamous ones.
The Shock arrows that are introduced in most challenge stepcharts in DDR X tend to trip people up.
Super Move Portrait Attack: Since SuperNOVA2 AC, reaching various combo levels causes a sort of portrait of the player's character to come up in the middle of the screen. Hottest Party 3 takes this further by having the background change to show the character itself doing a victory move at combo milestones (complete with a distracting "REACHED X COMBO!" graphic, which blocks your view of the arrows!).
Title Drop: DDR Extremes One More Extra Stage song is titled Dance Dance Revolution. Some Konami original songs, such as Trip MachineAM-3P'' and (Maybe) "Brilliant 2U" sneak the letters "DDR" into the vocals. B 4 U has "D-D-R!" in the chorus outright
Hell, Super Star even starts out with the lead vocalist singing "DDR Bass!"
"GOLD RUSH" already had a blatant title-drop for the specific version of the IIDX game it came from, but one of two additional versions of it that randomly show up on X2 change the breakdown in the middle of the song to name off either arcade DDR games or home DDR games in Japan.
"D 2 R" has a clever way of doing this. The "D2" part is "Dance Dance", the "R" is obviously "Revolution." Therefore, Dance Dance Revolution.
Up to Eleven: Challenge steps for songs that were already ranked level 10 on the Expert (Heavy) difficulty. "PARANOiA Survivor MAX" and "Fascination MaxX" come to mind. (It doesn't help that the ten ranking is flashing on both Heavy AND Challenge for the former, meaning that the song is not to be messed with.)
Starting with DDR X and Hottest Party 5, the difficulty ratings were re-scaled to be out of 20 instead. Most of the "flashing" 10's from before X got assigned ratings around the 16-18 range.
"DEAD END (Groove Radar Special)" comes to mind. It's almost as if the chart author made it as a means to challenge the people who play this game.
Valkyrie dimension on Challenge (19/20), enough said.
Not to be outdone, X3 vs. 2nd Mix has PARANOiA Revolution ... on Challenge. It's also a 19. That should tell you something.
SuperNova 2 and later changed the Extra Stage life bar mechanics from no recovering on perfect hits to the health bar system on Challenge mode. The amount of misses you can make depends on your score. This means the Extra Stages can now become One Hit Point Wonders as well.
Changed in X, which gave you one more life than Super NOVA 2.
And changed again in X2. Extra Stage since then always gives you 4 lives.
DDR X3 VS 2ndMIX kicks it up a notch with the last Encore Extra Stage, LOVE IS THE POWER -Re:born-. It's a 10, while in general, Encore Extra Stage songs are 16s and above. The twist is that getting just one GREAT will cause you to lose your only life, failing you out.
Video Game Remake: As indicated by its title, DDR X3 vs. 2nd Mix features "2nd Mix Mode", a re-creation of 2nd Mix with HD graphics and most of the songs intact. This came partly to celebrate the 15-year anniversary of the DanceMania album series; EMI Japan also put out a re-release of the soundtrack of 2nd Mix as a tie-in.
What Could Have Been: The trailer for a 2009 DDR game on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 (which would have accompanied X2 PS2 and Hottest Party 3) showed a revolutionary new face of DDR; with 3D stages closer in style to Guitar Hero, a themable interface, DLC from every arcade DDR game, "Octo-Move" 8-panel mode, and mainstays such as Edit Mode, and more. But somehow, existence of it was only presented at E3 2009, and then the game was shoved aside in favor of Dance Masters. But, when news of a PS3 version re-surfaced in 2010, fans hoped it would finally be the game they were hoping for. What they got just threw everything out the window: it was built off the DDR 2010 content (The least said about that one, the better), 8-panel mode was only on Challenge charts (with a very confusing layout that shoved the corner arrows in the same lanes as Left and Right), and it did not the same extent of DLC as originally promised.
A Solo 5thMIX was planned and some 6-panel charts had been written for it when it got scrapped. Speaking of Solo, Solo 2000 also had unused files for a "Dancing Stage Solo", indicating a European release was planned but scrapped.
Knowing how many people hate the interface of DDR Extreme U.S., pre-release screenshots actually showed using the arcade version's interface.
Early screenshots of Extreme 2 showed "Tunak Tunak Tun" (yes, that song. The one with the Indian guy) as part of its soundtrack.
The Dancemania remix of the theme song from Final Fantasy VIII was supposed to appear in 5thMIX, but they dropped it at the end.
You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Rena and U1 (comes in blue or purple!), Root's abnormally orange hair, jun who's hair can come in pink. There's also Bridget with her multi-tone hair, and Ceja as well. Those are all characters who appeared in Hottest Party. Emi and Alice from the arcade DDR games also qualify.