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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.
Arcade DDR games
DanceDanceRevolution (1998) Received an update that adds Internet Ranking and introduces the Maniac difficulty.
DanceDanceRevolution 2ndMIX (1999)
DanceDanceRevolution 2ndMIX with beatmania IIDX CLUB VERSiON (1999) A spinoff of 2ndMIX that features beatmania IIDX crossovers.
DanceDanceRevolution 2ndMIX AND beatmania IIDX substream CLUB VERSiON 2 (1999) An update to the above, which raises the maximum difficulty rating from 8 to 9.
DanceDanceRevolution 3rdMIX (1999) Notable for having four different versions: The Japanese version, a Korean version that introduces some K-Pop songs but strips out some songs from the Japanese version, a second Korean version that adds more Korean songs, and an Asia-region version that lacks both the songs exclusive to the Japanese version and the Korean songs.
DanceDanceRevolution 3rdMIX PLUS (2000) An Expansion Pack featuring some new songs.
DanceDanceRevolution 4thMIX (2000)
DanceDanceRevolution 4thMIX PLUS (2000)
DanceDanceRevolution 5thMIX (2001) First mainline DDR game to run at 60 frames per second.
DDRMAX -DanceDanceRevolution 6thMIX- (2001) First DDR game to have boss songs thar are (initially) only available on Extra stage.
DDRMAX2 -DanceDanceRevolution 7thMIX- (2002)
DanceDanceRevolution EXTREME (2002)
DanceDanceRevolution SuperNOVA (2006)
DanceDanceRevolution SuperNOVA2 (2007/2008)
DanceDanceRevolution X (2008/2009)
DanceDanceRevolution X2 (2010/2011)
DanceDanceRevolution X3 VS 2ndMIX (2012) Features an HD remake of 2ndMix.
DanceDanceRevolution (2013) The final hardware upgrade for the arcade DDR series, with future installments being pushed through online updates.
DanceDanceRevolution (2014) An update to the above, featuring some interface tweaks and a new UI design.
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)
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 beatmania IIDX's "Cardinal Gate" and related (as if that wasn't the only thing from IIDX that got put on X2, given that IIDX regular TAKA was the producer now) 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.
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).
"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.
Near the end of the classic-scale era, songs that would have easily been rated 10 before were being rated 9 to accommodate the new really hard songs, and in the case of "Paranoia Hades", the Medium chart is rated 8 despite its difficulty.
The ultimate one is probably Conga Oni from Universe 3; traditionally, the licensed songs tend to be the easier songs, and don't have Challenge charts like that.
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.
In imitation of IIDX's dan/class mode, X2 had "Dance Drill" courses. The highest one was Trigger, Healing-D-Vision, PARANOiA ~HADES~, and Pluto Relinquish.
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 appearance in Konamix, though strangely enough, it appeared uncensored in Ultramix a year later.
First-time players are likely to try it, but it generally gets punished in the series, as hitting an arrow fsar too early results in a poor rating which cannot be improved by hitting the arrow again.
Extreme 2 has two missions that require you to get nothing but Boos and press the buttons X times. Of course, this means hammering the arrows when there aren't any actual steps.
CamelCase: Officially, the title is stylized as DanceDanceRevolution, with no spaces.
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)
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 exclusive series)
"X3 vs. 2nd Mix" evokes this kind of naming style with shades of a Marvel vs. Capcom style crossover. However, it is still an otherwise normal sequel to X2.
"Here We Go!" (both in-game, and written most prominently on the screen bezel artwork of 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 Extreme and X3 came with new artwork for the monitor bezel that matched its theme)
"Stay Cool!" and "Show Me Your Moves!" are written everywhere on the old machines; both were used as Announcer Chatter too, especially by the original announcer (1st Mix to DDRMAX).
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.
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; MAX2 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. And don't think about just simply attempting to make a connection to e-Amusement, as Konami only accepts connections from arcades officially registered with the network, and to this date there are zero DDR 2013 machines connected from outside of Asia, though with the expansion of Japanese amusement center chain Round 1 into the United States, DDR 2013 in the West is very much a possibility.
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.
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.
There are modifiers which re-arrange the charts using predetermined patterns (i.e. shuffle, mirror, left, right, etc.).
Playing DDR after playing Pump It Up or the other way round. You may find yourself stepping where there aren't any arrows.
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. When there are two arrows at a time, you're supposed to step on the two others. 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.
Playing songs like "Ska a GO GO" on Expert can prove quite irritating after being used to hitting 4th steps (ALA on the beat, or coded as red) as they feature a lot of isolated 8ths (Color coded as blue.)
Difficulty Spike: Across different eras and different regions, there have been many instances where the hardest official chart(s) legally available were much harder than then next hardest chart(s). One example is the North American version of DDR Supernova; getting to the level of beating Fascination Maxx Oni and Healing-D Vision Oni is not practical without playing imported games, fan-made charts, or other series such as In The Groove.
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.
Used by the Xbox-exclusive Ultramix and Universe sub-series.
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 uses DLC on a long-term cycle; although one arcade's claim of a rigid, bi-monthly schedule has since been proven false, new batches of songs have been added here and there since its original March 2013 release, and a rather significant update came out in May 2014, which introduced an updated interface, and started a fresh 2014 folder.
"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".
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, they're 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.
The game had relatively few songs in comparison to the hundreds playable today, modern-day Expert charts were hidden in a "Step Step Revolution" mode on 3rd (3rd Mix Plus fixed this), the original build of 1st Mix didn't even have the arrows vanish when you hit them, Flat was your only option before 3rd Mix, two players couldn't play on different difficulties, and you didn't even have speed mods yet until DDRMAX! DDR as most people knew it, began to appear on 5th Mix, and was mature by Extreme.
The early DDR games had a very different design than current ones; originally your song selector was a giant "jukebox" wheel of discs with a distinctively clunky sound. 4th Mix shifted to a theme-based sort system along with a song picked with a horizontal selection of 7 slanted banners, though this particular system got a little cumbersome given that said banners were shown as "pages", and when you went beyond what was on screen, it shifted to a completely different page. 5th Mix introduced the more familiar "song wheel" interface that lasted until X before being replaced by the current song select interface that is often compared to the iPod's Cover Flow interface.
Easier Than Easy: Beginner mode. 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.
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.
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. There are two flavors of these: on-beat, musically-justified stops which challenge your sense of rhythm in a challenging but fair manner (not this trope), and the ones that follow no rhyme or reason and you simply have to memorize or react to very quickly. 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. Some stops are the better type, but about two-thirds of the way through the original Pluto, we get a large cluster of nearly random stops "just because".
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 Oni on the NA PS2 version is to shock as Chaos is to stops; yes, it's that bad. Bad enough that they made a new Oni chart in the AC version replacing the PS2 one. Oh, and Pluto The First is the worst for this, with the added stipulation of Shock Arrows for it's Challenge chart. Get your footing wrong and say goodbye to any momentum you had going into it's 440 BPM segment.
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, which 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 yet. Before it was unlocked for regular play, the song could later be played on the Revolution course, where full mod control is restored to the player. However, you only had 4/8 missteps available to complete it.
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.
Follow the Leader: Many clones of DDR were made, most notably StepMania and its commercial variant In The Groove. In these games, ignoring the improvements, you had the same 4-arrow configuration, scrolling up into a gray stepzone, at which point you would get one of five judgments depending on timing, colored just as they are in DDR (except the best judgment), same handling of jumps, hold steps, video clips in the background, a similar-looking song wheel, etc. This ran full-circle as some ideas from those games were later implemented in DDR: lightning is similar to SM's mines. "Chrome" was removed from DDR's interface much like ITG. DDR's "solo" coloring scheme became the basis of ITG's coloring scheme, adding some colors which in turn were later used in DDR's "rainbow" coloring scheme. DDR also saw a jump in boss chart difficulty that was large and sudden enough to chalk up as a reaction to the higher difficulty ceiling in games like ITG.
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 (with orange, blue, and purple for 4th/8th/16th notes respectively) became an option on later games under the name "Solo" — said mod 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. The worst thing about this one is that the option is in the game, and works fine if turned on, there's just no way to turn it on without hacking the save file. Oops.
DDR Universe games can be affected not only by AV lag, but its engine is notorious for frame rate issues when characters and videos are turned on. How is that even possible on an Xbox 360?
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. Since SuperNOVA (and especially X), DDR 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 Raw Thrills DDR X cabinet play just as good as a Japanese model. Things go From Bad to Worse if you're playing on a "battery" meter, which only takes four combo breaks at most to kill you.
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.
DDR Extreme was speculated to be this by fans (especially with the "WE'RE STARTING OVER" tagline on the cabinet artwork, all the revivals, and a certain song on the console version), but that ended up not being the case. It did, however, mark a major hiatus in the arcade series, plus the end of the System 573 era.
Certain changes to the infrastructure on DDR 2013 (with a greater reliance on online patching) have theoretically made it the last version Konami ever needs to release (either that, or it'll be a long while before the next one). However, this has been a general trend across all of the Bemani games lately; they pushed out the Sound Voltex sequel using just a title update rather than a hard drive swap too.
Finishing every mission in Extreme 2's Dance Master Mode. 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.
The song "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. There's no Extra Stage mode that usually unlocks songs, and it doesn't appear through the usual unlock channels either. But its existence could be confirmed in a variety of ways, such as the in-game congratulatory message for unlocking all songs in the game, which won't appear without Memories unlocked, or encountering edit data for it (which proves it that its data definitely exists on the game disk, but doesn't actually unlock it). People were actually examining the disc with hex editors to try and figure it out. Ultimately, the unlock method was released...as a password revealed through a Burger King promotion of all things, over 2 years after the game's release.
"Dance, please! Daaaaaance!" "All this waiting around! What is this, a golf tournament? Foooooooore!"
Harder Than Hard: Challenge/Oni difficulty, in which you need to get through a course of songs with a limited number of lives which are lost whenever you get a bad enough judgment. There are also Challenge/Oni charts on some songs, which are sometimes made for Challenge\Oni courses, and sometimes are just there as Harder Than Hard charts.
Have a Nice Death: The announcer will typically comment on you if you fail the song. 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!"
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.
The early games also gave each foot rating a one-word description. Up to 2ndMIX, the difficulty limit was an 8-footer and the names (in increasing order) were Simple, Moderate, Ordinary, Superior, Marvelous, Genuine, Paramount, and Exorbitant. 3rdMIX added 9-footers and gave them the name Catastrophic, hence the fan term "cata" to refer to the hardest song charts in the game. The interface was dropped before charts with 10-footer difficulties appeared, but the DDR Universe series later established the name "Apocalyptic" for them. X3 vs. 2nd Mix did a retcon and gave the names "Evolutionary" for 9-footers and "Revolutionary" for 10-footers.
I Have Many Names: Several musical contributors are credited under multiple aliases (sometimes associated with different types of songs), but Naoki Maeda uses the most.
The Immodest Orgasm: A few songs, such as "Oh Nick Please Not So Quick", "Sexy Planet", and "INSERTiON", have sounds you would not expect from a dancing game...
The speed, boost, visibility (Hidden, Sudden, and Stealth), and other modifiers.
Inverted in DDR X with the new "Screen Filter" option. 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...
Hitting a Shock Arrow causes, among other things, the chart to turn invisible momentarily.
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)
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, Hottest Party 5 AC, and DDR THE FINAL.
Last Note Nightmare: Most boss songs are designed to have the ending significantly harder than the beginning, but a few seem particularly 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. Oh, and it's the last song in the Legend Road nonstop challenge course as well.
CHAOS's Challenge chart has the usual odd pattern of stops throughout the beginning like its Expert chart, but the ending suddenly abandons the stops in favor of a very convoluted and tricky crossover pattern that even includes a random 16th rest which is very easy to mistime. It's the last song in Boss Rush episode II.
Healing-D-Vision is rated an 18 on Challenge, tied for the highest rating of any song at the time. Yet the first 90% of the song looks rather simple (almost extremely simple when compared to the other insanely hard 18's). Then the ending abruptly throws out the arguably hardest possible crossover step pattern in the game (LURU LDRD LURU LDRD etc.) at a blinding 12 steps per second. Not fun when it's the very last song in Boss Rush episode IV.
Pluto Relinquish ends with a long terrifying 400 BPM 8th note stream on both Expert and Challenge difficulties. And don't forget about the crossovers thrown in everywhere when playing on Challenge. It's the last song in the Boss Rush (Ver.SN 2) course.
Most of Valkyrie dimension runs at a standard 186 BPM. Just before the end, it suddenly drops to 46 BPM (1/4 speed) as the melody drops out for one measure of complete silence, then the speed suddenly jumps to 372 BPM (double speed) and it blasts out four measures of percussion resembling machine-gun fire.
888's ending on Challenge. The song's modest speed throughout the beginning and middle suddenly doubles, and a fast stream of 666 steps per minute begins. Then, as the song's title suggests, the stream speeds up to 888 steps per minute (almost 15 steps per second) right at the very end. It was long regarded as the fastest sustained stream in the entire franchise, for almost three years until Valkyrie dimension's unlocked Challenge chart topped it with a brief 480 BPM 8th note stream (960 steps per minute) at its beginning.
Tohoku EVOLVED might be the ultimate example of this, as the "nightmare" is truly on just the last note. 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 was particularly nasty when the song was only unlockable as a Sudden DeathBonus Boss (aka Encore Extra Stage).
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 the ending death stream of Pluto Relinquish Challenge, then the "final" chord comes and the announcer says "Thank you very much for your best dance!"...then suddenly, Valkyrie dimension Expert's machine-gun ending stream finishes the song.
This becomes stronger if played with the background video on. Most songs with a background video will fade it out when the song is over. PARANOiA Revolution's background video fades out on the "final" chord 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 Disney Mix, and Disney Grooves for the Wii. 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.
Traditionally, the Shuffle modifier does this. Some shuffled charts are harder than others.
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., returning to Tohoku on the most recent game), and most of them have three variations each, picked at random when the song is selected. All three of them sound exactly alike for about the first 1/3 of the song before diverging (i.e. one version might steadily speed up, one version might go into an intense breakdown, one may just slow down a bit), thus the player usually cannot tell which version has been selected until that point.
A few subversions: L.A. Evolved, only existing on the console-exclusive Universe series, has no variations whatsoever. Roppongi Evolved has an arcade-exclusive fourth version which is significantly harder than the other three, and in its debut game it was an Encore Extra Stage to boot. Tohoku Evolved changes nothing but the very last jump; however, it comes at a nearly impossible-to-read BPM, thus keeping the mentality of the player not knowing which version it is until the change appears
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 requires only that the player get a "Perfect" on a single step. Sound easy? That single step is the final jump-freeze of "The Legend of MAX", the speed is set to x8...and Shuffle is turned on, making the jump random. You thought the end of Tohoku Evolved was bad? This is well over twice that speed, and it's an automatic miss if you hit more than two directions, unlike with Tohoku. Thus your only option is to blindly pick a direction and hope you get it right. (You do have a 1-in-4 chance of getting it rather than the truly random 1-in-6 due to how the shuffle modifier works - it will always be one of the corner jumps and will never be L+R [original or 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.)
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, probably because they aired the 4Kids dub there)
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"
Meido: A few characters have maid costumes, most notably Yuni and Maid-zukin.
Micro Transactions: As of DanceDanceRevolution X3, you can play Quick Play mode, in which you pay for your game by the song rather than for an entire round. As of the 2014 game, you can pay to access additional options, such as speed modifiers in x0.25 increments.
Milestone Celebration: Dance Dance Revolution X which was made for the 10th anniversery of the franchise.
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 sponsor a DDR-related television series for a CBS weekend morning block with DiC, known as "Dance Revolution". Unfortunately it was an In (two thirds of its) Name Only children's clone of So You Think You Can Dance that had little to do with the game itself. 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). Even the GameCube got involved with Dance Dance Revolution Mario Mix one time.
Beginning in 2009, Konami decided to be a bit more consistent; the games — which were, in fact, originally announced under the title of Dance Dance Revolution — would now have a common soundtrack between platforms, but each platform still ended up having different engines, interfaces, and features. The PS2 and Wii versions would be known as X2 and Hottest Party 3 respectively on release.
Some of the 3D stages on Hottest Party 2, 3, and DDR X have video screens that play the FMV background videos from the DDRMAX to Extreme era. X2 takes it further with a circular stage that uses DDRMAX FM Vs or IIDX videos as 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).
Challenge/Oni is usually indicative of a chart harder than the Expert/Heavy chart, but for some songs it's actually significantly easier. There's a reason for this though: on the original game where these charts were released, the Heavy charts could be played in normal gameplay, but the Oni charts were exclusive to a special nonstop course in Challenging Mode where the player only had four lives to pass the song. Thus being able to play and pass the Oni chart was effectively harder than doing the same with the Heavy chart. When the songs were ported to newer games this setup effectively got lost.
On another note, any Shock Arrow charts are always exclusive to the Challenge difficulty, regardless of how hard they are. Some songs have Shock Arrow charts as easy as the Basic difficulty, others have it as hard or harder than Expert, and still others make it a completely new and different chart setup.
When song difficulties were capped at 10, new games introducing boss songs harder than those of the previous game often were stuck simply rating the new boss songs a 10 as well, thus making it impossible to tell which boss songs were easy bosses and which were hard, as they were all 10's. DDR Extreme introduced "flashing 10's", which were thought to indicate difficulties higher than a regular 10, but this turned out to be inaccurate as flashing 10's simply indicated which 10-footers were new to the game, whether or not they were harder than non-flashing 10's. The ordeal got particularly bad on the next mix, DDR Supernova, which included not only Expert charts (rated 10) significantly harder than any 10 in the previous game, but then included Challenge charts (still rated 10) significantly harder than those Expert charts. DDR Supernova 2 tried to 'fix' this in a bad way, by deflating the difficulties of (only) boss songs so the hardest chart was a 10 and everything else was below it. The most egregious example is arguably PARANOiA ~HADES~, whose Difficult, Expert, and Challenge charts ought to be the equivalent of a 10, 11, and 12 on the original scale. While DDR Supernova would have labeled all three as 10's, Supernova 2 labeled them an 8, a 9, and a 10, thus creating an "8-footer" song much harder than any non-boss 9-footer in the game. The whole thing was fixed and dropped in DDR X, which threw out the classic 1-to-10 scale and completely reclassified all songs on a 1-to-20 scale, with the original 10's being rated 15 and the hardest 10's being rated 18. (It would take three years before the first 19 was released, and only three songs have ever been rated 19 compared to the dozens of songs rated 15 through 18, so there's now plenty of room to grow.)
Pre-release material for the DDR X soundtrack and PlayStation 2 version leaked a few songs that hadn't been unlocked for play yet (traditionally, the Japanese CS release was usually released later in a arcade version's life, and sometimes had preview songs from the next version on it. This time, possibly to facilitate the USB edits feature, it was released sooner, and all of its "new" songs were unlocked later on AC). 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).
Non-Standard Game Over: Normally in a 2-player game, if one player runs out of Life Meter, they can at least play out the rest of the chart and go to the next stage so long as the other player survives; both only get the FAILED screen if both players fail out. However, in Challenge courses, Extra Stages in X onwards, and other situations that impose the "battery" meter, if a player loses all of their lives, they get an immediate GAME OVER even if the other player is still surviving, and the failed player cannot come back for upcoming stages if it was a Challenge course.
Noob Bridge: A common mistake amongst beginners is returning their feet to the center of the pad after every step, as this is how the on-screen dancer is depicted when playing Beginner mode. This is quite unnecessary; there is no penalty for stepping on panels if there are no notes to hitnote except for the optional "Arrange Mode" in Dance Dance Revolution 1stMIX's PSX port, where stepping where there aren't any arrows costs you a chunk of life, although this is not made obvious unless you take the time to go into one of the series' many tutorial modes. Continuing to play like this uselessly doubles the amount of movement the player has to make and will all but ensure stage failure on anything above a level-4 chart. On the other hand, returning your feet to the center is a viable strategy on Shock Arrow charts, where being on any panel when Shock Arrows pass damages your Life Meter, breaks your combo, causes you to miss out on points, and briefly conceals the chart. The tutorial songs from the Hottest Party games are a bit more informative in regards to this.
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.
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+.
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 HP4 and HP5), and the PS3 version was renamed "Dance Dance Revolution: New Moves"
Old Save Bonus: 5th Mix on PlayStation could unlock all the content on 4th and Extra Mix. Similarly, the Wii's Hottest Party 2 through 5 can unlock content from the preceding version.
Old Shameinvoked: Naoki Maeda really regrets 'LET THEM MOVE' (a song from 2nd Mix). 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.
DDR has appeared constantly in shows and movies, 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.
One More Extra Stage (OMES), since renamed to Encore Extra Stage (EES). Basically, if you ever break your combo even once, by getting anything below a "Great" judgement ("Good" on 2013) or failing to hold a freeze arrow down for its entire length ("N.G."), you lose instantly. Some songs are only playable and/or unlockable through this method.
"Love Is The Power -Re:born-", when exclusive to Encore Extra Stage on X3 vs. 2nd Mix, was a very literal example, triggering an automatic fail for even "Great" judgments (thus all judgments had to be "Perfect" or better). To make up for this, the chart was significantly easier than other EES-exclusive songs.
The game also displays a unique "Attack!! Perfect Full Combo!" message in golden text in the background at the beginning of the song.
The fact that judgments that can continue a player's combo can also fail the song can lead to hilarious results, such as the game awarding a failing grade yet simultaneously displaying a full combo ring with its congratulatory message.
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 deals with different sources of music for later games that did not 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.
The current grading system has grades E, D, C, B, A, AA, and AAA. Fan-game clone StepMania adds AAAA on top of that, and there's even an unofficial patch adding AAAAA.
"Perfect" steps can be topped by "Marvelous" steps in some games. First in Nonstop modes only, then full-time beginning on SuperNOVA 2.
Justified in that the first DDR arcade machines ran at 30 fps and Perfect steps resulted from triggering the arrow within 1 frame (literally the best timing the machine could pick up). When machines were upgraded to 60 fps, the Perfect window had to be scaled to 2 frames to keep player's grades the same. Only then did they add Marvelous timing for the new 1 frame window.
"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 screen normally reading "Cleared" 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.
Regional Bonus: South Korea received two versions of 3rdMIX with songs exclusive to those versions. The first of those two versions adds seven Korean licensed songs, with the second one adding nine more. The songs that debuted in the former would go on to appear in the Japan-exclusive 3rdMIX PLUS, as well as all arcade versions of 4thMIX.
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"). "Din Don Dan", a new song added in 2014, is a throwback to late 1990's Eurodance—a common sight in the early days of DDR.
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)
"End of the Century" samples Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.
"Kakumei" is a dance remix of Chopin's Etude #12, also known as the Revolutionary Etude. Hence the name, which is Japanese for "revolution".
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). Max 300, 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) and with special animations (similar to IIDX) on the gameplay screen.
The Double mode, or using modifiers to make the game harder.
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.
Challenging your stamina by playing songs in quick succession (outside of the course modes) or playing a tough song repeatedly with little rest in-between. Of course, you need to be careful not to wear yourself out in a bad way when doing this.
Originally, the difficulty ratings went from 1-8 footprints. 3rd Mix added 9's. DDRMAX added MAX 300, which MAX2 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.
Of course, a lot of 9s proved to be exhaustive as well, with the ending to Ska a GO GO, the streams of DEAD END and the seemingly endless jumps in DROP OUT will exhaust you before you get to the Extra Stage... The Legend of MAX, with a No Recover life bar.
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.
Those plug-and-play DDR-esque games with NES-grade graphics.
Extreme AC had two major bootlegs; "Extreme Plus" and "DDR Megamix", Megamix was just Extreme with a different title screen, an awful blue menu background, and a caution screen with AT-ST Walkers for some reason and "DON'T FALL OFF !!" Extreme Plus lets you overclock the machine to make songs (and everything else for that matter) 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.
In some stages in the Hottest Party series, 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.
Some of the songs before SuperNova had spike balls 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.
Stop and Go: Stops have been supported by the engine for a long time, with no shortage of Konami Original songs taking advantage of the fact, for better or worse: Most songs in the MAX series have a stop in the middle. Then there's Pluto and Chaos, which are littered with stops that don't fit the music.
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!).
The announcers tend to thank the player if they achieve excellent scores.
Subverted in the boss song "PARANOiA Revolution", which features clips of the 2ndMIX announcer; at the end, the announcer can be heard saying "I'm so impressed I could cry! Thank you very much for your best dance!" Cue ending stream of notes.
DDR Extreme's One More Extra Stage song is titled "Dance Dance Revolution". Some Konami original songs, such as AM-3P and "Brilliant 2U" sneak the letters "DDR" into the vocals. B4U has "D-D-R!" in the chorus outright. "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.
"D2R" has a clever way of doing this. The "D2" part is "Dance Dance", the "R" is obviously "Revolution." Therefore, Dance Dance Revolution.
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. It is also regarded as the worst chart of all time.
POSSESSiON on Challenge. One of the hardest 18s.
Valkyrie dimension on Challenge (19).
Not to be outdone, X3 vs. 2nd Mix has PARANOiA Revolution ... on Challenge. It's also a 19. That should tell you something.
: Challenge mode. You have four lives and lose one for every Good, Almost, Boo and NG. One More Extra Stages reduce you to one life.
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 SuperNOVA 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.
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.