Video Game / Rhythm Heaven

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rhythm-heaven-01_9050.jpg

"Go for a Perfect!"

Rhythm Heaven, known in Japan as Rhythm Tengoku and as Rhythm Paradise in Europe, can best be described as WarioWare meets Elite Beat Agents. The first game in the series was released on the GBA in late 2006, making it the last game that Nintendo developed for the system, and later in arcades as a joint project between Nintendo and SEGA. Naturally this meant that it would be released only in Japan, not unlike the case with MOTHER 3. Despite this, the DS sequel (known as Rhythm Tengoku Gold in Japan) would receive an overseas release to a positive reception.

The gameplay is fairly simple. The game is divided into sets of four or five music-based mini-games, which are completed by pressing buttons (or flicking and tapping the touch screen) in time with the rhythm. Upon completion of each mini-game, the player's performance is evaluated and given a ranking: Try Again, OK, or Superb. If a player gets a Try Again rating, they can't progress to the next mini-game until they can get one of the higher ratings. A Superb rating awards the player with a medal; collecting these allows bonus features such as endless mini-games to be unlocked. Sometimes the game challenges the player to complete a mini-game flawlessly. Doing so nets a Perfect rating, which unlocks bonus information on the mini-game or adds another song to the sound test. After completing a set of games, the player is challenged to a Remix game that includes each game of the set. Completing the Remix unlocks the next set.

The mini-games themselves are exactly what one would expect from the team responsible for WarioWare: Quirky, bizarre, and generally addictive. Examples include:
  • Hitting baseballs expelled by a flowerpot while floating in space
  • Helping a rabbit jump across whales and turtles to reach the moon
  • Stomping around a garden to pluck beets from the ground
  • Shaking and tossing flasks to create hearts in a laboratory devoted to studying the science of love
  • Controlling a member of a quartet of dancing shrimp
  • Piloting a rocket powered by anthropomorphic tuning forks across a surreal landscape
  • Translating what's being said by a jellyfish-like alien on live television
  • Chopping lumber that's provided by a group of stretchy, dancing cats

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Half Rhythm Game, Half Widget Series, Rhythm Heaven is a definite qualifier for one of the best rhythm-based mini-game collections available.

On an interesting note, it is one of the few rhythm games to actually be about "rhythm" and not just rapid timing. That is most prominently featured in Lockstep in Heaven, where you'll cruise after you get how to switch from the beat to off-beat but will be completely impossible if you just try to "muscle" your way through.

The third iteration, Rhythm Heaven Fever, also known in Japan as Minna no Rhythm Tengoku (Everyone's Rhythm Heaven), was released in the States in February 2012. The European port (called Beat the Beat: Rhythm Paradise) was, after an enormous wait, released in July 2012.

Rhythm Heaven/Paradise Megamix, also known as Rhythm Tengoku: The Best+, is the fourth installment in the series, released in June 2015 in Japan, June 2016 in North America, and October 2016 in Europe. It contains 108 games — 30 new and 78 returning from the previous three, some with new variations.

Note: For shorthand, we'll be calling the GBA version Tengoku, the DS version Heaven, the Wii version Fever, and the 3DS version Megamix.

This series provides examples of:

    open/close all folders 

     Tropes 0-G 
  • 100% Completion: Good luck getting a Perfect on every game!
  • 108: Including Endless Games, there are exactly 108 rhythm games in Megamix.
  • 555: All of the phone numbers for Heaven's Phone toy start with 555. In the North American version at least.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Tons of minigame names. Some examples: Rhythm Rally, Blue Birds, Love Lizards, Freeze Frame, Munchy Monk, Drummer Duel, Love Lab, Space Soccer, Beat Bag, Double Date, Figure Fighter, Samurai Slice, Tap Troupe, and Shrimp Shuffle.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: The samurai in Tengoku can cut fog with his katana.
  • All There in the Manual: Winning the gifts will give you background on the various characters. Lampshaded in the reading material for Blue Birds, telling you that it will make the montage scene shown in the game make more sense.
  • All Just a Dream: Blue Bear in Megamix.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: While most humanoid characters have regular skin colors, a few have more unusual colors. Snow-white skin also seems fairly common.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Pretty much every animal in the game. Most notably, the Huebirds of Happiness in Flock Step.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Because of the nature of the series, it can be difficult discerning the gender of several characters. For example, the player rocker in Heaven has an androgynous appearance, and is never referred with any pronouns.
  • Amusement Park: Remix 4 in Heaven, and Remix 6 in Fever.
  • Animal Stereotypes: Heaven has a group of singing frogs, and Fever has pigs as businessmen.
  • Anime Hair: Mandrill's hair in Fever grows to twice its length in Hole In One 2, and by Remix 9, it's grown past the screen and a monkey is climbing it.
  • Annoying Arrows: The Sneaky Spirits in the first game can take an arrow up the nose and only get knocked through the door. However, this may be less because of the arrows and more because of the ghosts.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Talking to the Barista lets you skip any level you're having trouble with, provided you've tried it at least three times. You can do this for as many games as you want, excluding the Remix before the credits and the final one.
    • Fever's Barista gives players the option to watch a perfect run of the level, to see the proper rhythms.
    • Some longer minigames compensate for their length by being much more lenient with the timing. Being slightly offbeat will warn the player slightly, but it'll still count as a successful input and won't break a perfect run. (For example, this can be seen in action with Heaven's Frog Hop here.)
    • Players can only attempt a perfect run on a song three times in a row. After that, they'll have to wait for the game to randomly let them try again. Whether or not this forced break is a good thing is questionable. (Since these breaks stop appearing once the player has gotten a Superb ranking on every level, it's likely that this is to give players a chance to work on other challenges.)
    • If you're doing badly on the practice sessions in Fever, the game allows you to see an auto play of the tutorial. Megamix instead shows a beat-by-beat breakdown of the inputs on the touch screen to tell you exactly when you need to press the button.
    • From Fever onwards, remixes will cue you when the next game is a "keep the beat" type minigame like Monkey Watch, Air Rally, or Donk Donk. Similarly, going from one of these games to a regular one will discount the first few incorrect button presses in case you got used to the beat of the previous game.
    • In Megamix, failing a Perfect Challenge causes the game to end immediately, saving the player the trouble of having to restart it manually. Also, games with lower-quality vocal cues (such as Marching Orders and Frog Hop) feature subtitles so that the player isn't thrown off by misunderstanding the cue.
    • In Frog Hop in Heaven, since the song ends on an interrupted cadence, the game disables the touch screen before the game itself ends so the player doesn't keep tapping by accident.
    • The gatekeepers in Megamix will let you by after failing one of their challenges four times, explicitly citing this trope (and that the game is intended to be fun) as to why.
    • When playing a Life Challenge on the Challenge Train, a Miss will give you a brief period of Mercy Invincibility so that you have a second to regain your bearings without your lives draining away.
    • In previous games, you were able to unlock the track to a game or some other extra flavor text-based material. The problem is, to do that, you have to get a Perfect to unlock that game's extra, which is easier said that done on some levels. In addition, every level either has one or the other, never both. However, Megamix allows you to buy both extras for each stage in the Shop at the Cafe, after getting past the game.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Samurai Slice in Fever involves hunting down some evil spirits who scare a little boy and his sister, trash their house... and steal the little boy's pinwheel. In Samurai Slice 2, said spirits go on to steal a stuffed bunny a salaryman bought for his daughter.
  • Art Evolution: The games' overall style started out somewhat sketchy, but gradually smoothed out over time. There's a noticeable leap with Fever, the first console game in the series. Megamix also highlights this, with older minigames redone in a style more consistent with Fever.
  • Art Shift: Overall, the general style of the series is Thick-Line Animation, but there are several deviations from that look. From the scribbles of Glee Club and Bossa Nova, to the painterly style of Fever's Samurai Slice, to the 3D polygons of Rhythm Rally and Airboarder, no two rhythm games are guaranteed to look alike.
  • Asbestos-Free Cereal: Fever's Packing Pests has you working for a company that produces "Spider-Free Candy". Your job is to keep it spider-free.
  • Ascended Extra: The chameleon from Fever's Endless Remix gets its own game in Megamix.
  • ASCII Art: Parodied. The last part of Power Calligraphy has a face made entirely out of Kanji symbols.
  • Astronomic Zoom:
    • This happens during the climax of Flock Step in Fever. It's yet another trick the game'll use to mess players up.
    • Spaceball's difficulty is almost 100% derived from this; the camera keeps zooming out to show the starry void the player is practicing in.
    • This also happens at one point in Exhibition Match.
  • Audience Participation Song: Fan Club in Heaven. Whenever the singer calls out certain phrases, the monkeys respond by clapping in rhythm. There was even a live version during a concert promoting the game.
  • Badass:
    • Karate Joe, the first character to appear in the Rhythm Heaven series, and who appears in all four games. He's famous for being visibly pleased with himself when he nails a combo. We get to meet his father in Megamix, and he shows that it runs in the family.
    • The Wandering Samurai from Samurai Slice is another prominent example, slashing otherworldly demons with only his katana. Granted, it's usually for mundane reasons like chopping up foodstuffs or rescuing stolen childrens' toys, but that doesn't make it any less awesome.
  • Battle in the Rain: Both versions of Samurai Slice in Fever feature this.
  • Bedsheet Ghost: Sneaky Spirits in Tengoku (where you have to shoot them with arrows) and Big Rock Finish in Heaven.
  • Behind the Black: In the Megamix revival of Munchy Monk, the Practice mode and the start of the main game have Munchy Monk in his usual position at the far right of the screen. Then, just before the game proper begins, he moves forward to reveal that he's had a baby riding on his back the whole time.
  • Big Eater:
    • Any version of Munchy Monk counts as this.
    • Forthington, the cat from Air Rally, seems to be one in the reading material.
    • Whoever is holding the fork in Fork Lifter.
    • Also, the eponymous Blue Bear from Megamix. While he's binge eating to forget his girlfriend, he's shown to have quite an appetite even before their breakup.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • The counting in Munchy Monk is in Chinese in the Japanese version.
    • In Kung Fu Ball, the text on the neon sign on the right-hand side of the screen (利頭夢) doesn't say anything intelligible in Chinese (which you might assume given the minigame's theme), but it can be read as "rizumu" ("rhythm") in Japanese.
    • Power Calligraphy, for the most part, consists of real Japanese characters. レ is katakana and stands for the sound "re". The dash means nothing and is simply for practice later in the song. 力 is kanji that means "power". 己 is kanji that roughly means "self". 寸 stands for an obsolete unit of measure a little longer than an inch. 心 is kanji that means "heart". The last symbol is "tsurunihamarumarumushi"; simply a face made up of Japanese characters, similar to ASCII Art.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: According to the unlockable character notes, the table-tennis aliens from Heaven don't actually eat. They get their energy from playing ping-pong. Some have successfully weaned themselves off by switching to paddleball instead.
  • Blah Blah Blah: Ringside in Fever. The girl asks questions of the wrestler and all we hear is "Wubba dubba dubba, 'zat true?" The wrestler is most likely not paying attention to the questions and is yes-ing her to death. Lampshaded in the game's reading material, where the reporter is asking him actual questions, and he still responds to everything with "Eh." It opens up the possibility that we're hearing what the wrestler hears.
  • Bland-Name Product: The Cheer Readers in the American version of Fever twirl books simply titled "BOOK". In Europe, said books are printed with four circles instead.
  • Blank White Eyes: The Chorus Kids when they sing.
  • Blush Stickers: A lot of characters have these, but most notably is Marshal, the mascot of Fever.
  • Bo Diddley Beat: Forms the basis of the clapping parts of Kitties! in Megamix.
  • Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: The aptly named "Manzai Birds" endless game exclusive to the Japanese version of Fever.
  • Bonus Feature Failure: Of the 18 bonus rhythm games available for purchase from the Shop in Megamix, a whopping twelve of them are from Fever, leaving only three representatives from each of the previous two games. Said representatives tend to be on the underwhelming side:
    • Representing Tengoku: While Bouncy Road is fairly solid (if a bit on the simple side) and Night Walk gets a pass for having a variant included in Fever, Quiz Show is hardly even a rhythm game at all; just about any other game from Tengoku would have been a better pick.
    • Representing Heaven: While Karate Man Kicks! is a totally justified inclusion, The Dazzles seems redundant alongside similar, more fleshed-out games like Cheer Readers and Pajama Party, and Big Rock Finish is a game that's extremely repetitive and overall forgettable. Even more bizarre is the fact that DJ School, a game which received nods in both Fever and Megamix and is one of the most popular games from Heaven, is conspicuously absent.
  • Book Ends: The first three games in the series have one remix that includes every stage in the game. The stages that come first in the remix always appear once more for the finale (Space Dance for Tengoku, Karate Man for Heaven, and Packing Pests for Fever). The Left-Hand, Right-Hand, and Final Remixes in Megamix also follow suit, with Blue Bear, The Clappy Trio, and LumBEARjack respectively.
  • Boss Rush:
    • Remix 7 in Tengoku is a medley of Remixes 1, 2 and 4.
    • Megamix has two challenges where the player must play the first seven Remixes all in a row.
  • Bottomless Pits: In both versions of Night Walk. Fail to jump over one and it's an instant Game Over.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Getting a Superb on Fever's Extra Games or Night Walk will not earn you a medal like the other games.
  • Brick Joke:
    • The reading material for Monkey Watch shows that it was designed to help keep your spirits up by giving you a cheery way to look at the time. The reading material for Mr. Upbeat suggests he bought a Monkey Watch to act as a therapist for his depression.
    • In Heaven's Big Rock Finish, you play a small initial tune to get used to the game's moves. Later on, the tune is extended to an entire song in Remix 7. Guess what game the Remix will make you play right as it's about to finish.
  • Brutal Bonus Level:
    • After getting a Perfect in all of the games in Fever you'll unlock the Endless Remix. The game itself isn't all that hard (in fact, it's arguably the most fun Endless Game in Fever and quite possibly the whole series); what makes it needlessly difficult at first is that, of the five Endless Games used, three of them aren't seen anywhere else, and they don't bother to tell you how they work. This basically forces you to figure it out on your own (or consult a guide) and keep losing until you get it right.
    • One challenge in Megamix forces you to play Lockstep four times in a row, with the "three mistakes and you lose" situation, while the tempo increases every time. Fittingly, it's called "Lockstep Hell" in Japanese. In contrast, the English version sells it in its short but very accurate description:
  • Bullet Time:
    • Sneaky Spirits in the first game; their overdramatic moans are Played for Laughs.
    • There's also a couple parts in Iai Slash from Tengoku where the song slows down and you cut down one of the bigger monsters.
  • Bunnies for Cuteness: You play as one in Bunny Hop from Tengoku.
  • The Cameo: Several characters from past Rhythm Heaven games make occasional appearance in later games.
    • The onions and beets from Tengoku's Rhythm Tweezers appear on the books in Fever's Cheer Readers, as well as the character from Night Walk, DJ Yellow from Heaven's DJ School, and the Space Dancers from Tengoku. The beets also make an appearance in Heaven's Crop Stomp.
    • A Sneaky Spirit can be seen in Heaven's Big Rock Finish.
    • Halfway through Freeze Frame in Heaven a few characters from Tengoku appear watching the race. They are the Rap Men, The Clappy Trio, the Space Dancers, and the monkeys from Tap Dance. A rat from Rat Race and a Sneaky Spirit also sometimes show up in the photos.
    • Tram from Tengoku can be seen on the rating screens of Remix 2 and Figure Fighter 2 in Heaven and Fever, respectively.
    • The character from Tengoku's Night Walk can be seen in Heaven's The Dazzles, hanging on to the stars that appear.
    • Texting "555-ROCK-OUT" in Heaven's phone toy results in the Rap Men's rap song from Tengoku.
    • The instructor from Tengoku's Marching Orders makes an appearance in Fever's Flipper-Flop, this time instructing a bunch of seals.
    • The girl on the platform from Bon*Odori shows up not only on Remix 7's results image in Heaven, but also in the background of Fever's Remix 9.
    • Radio Lady in Heaven appears wearing the Marchers' outfit from Tengoku in Shoot-'Em-Up 2.
    • Multiple characters from Heaven, such as the scientists from Love Lab and the Blue Birds, can be seen outside the window in Fever's Munchy Monk.
    • Pictures of the Rap Men from Tengoku can be seen at the end of Fever's Love Rap and its sequel.
    • DJ Yellow and his student make two cameos in Megamix: their cameo from Cheer Readers, and as alternate heads for the Air Batter during the Lush Remix.
    • As seen on the cover of the game, a member of The Clappy Trio appears as the conductor of Glee Club in Heaven.
    • Munchy Monk appears as the employee in "Packing Pests".
  • Camera Abuse: At one point in Exhibition Match, the camera zooms out dramatically. If you manage to hit the pitch properly, the ball goes flying and cracks the "glass".
  • Captain Obvious: Everyone indulges in this at some point. For example, Monkey in Hole in One:
    "It's my friend, Mandrill! (He's a mandrill.)"
  • Catch Phrase: The descriptions for the remixes all start with some variation on "Let's mix things up!"
  • Cat Smile: Marshal's default expression.
  • Cloudcuckooland: Everywhere. It's even weirder when you realize that all of the games and characters are set in the same universe.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • The first seven remixes in Megamix, where they are all in a Tower each to form a rainbow, to the point it'd be just as easy to name the remixes after their predominant color.
    • Also in Megamix, the Gatekeeper Trio are, from easiest to hardest, yellow (Saffron), blue (Saltwater), and red (Paprika).
    • Additionally in Megamix, Karate Man's light bulbs are color-coded depending on the upcoming combo. Yellow bulbs indicate a kick is coming up, while blue bulbs call for an uppercut.
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer: In Fever's multiplayer mode, Player 1 is blue and Player 2 is orange. This applies to both the regular games and the endless games.
  • Comfort Food: Blue Bear from Megamix is about a bear scarfing donuts and cake as he forlornly remembers his ex-girlfriend.
  • Composite Character: Oddly, Karate Joe's own father serves as one to him in Megamix since he borrows techniques from all of Joe's previous appearances.
  • Console Cameo:
    • A Wii U GamePad appears in Shoot-'Em-Up in Megamix, as the device used for communications between waves.
    • The museum in Megamix has shortcuts to every game, the icon of which is the system of the game it originated from. Games from Tengoku are shown in a Gameboy Advance, Heaven a first model Nintendo DS, a Wii for Fever, and a New Nintendo 3DS for Megamix (even though the game isn't a New Nintendo 3DS exclusive, and can be played on a regular 3DS just fine).
  • Continuity Nod:
    • All over the place. For example, pay attention to the Freeze Frame game in Heaven, and see how many stages/characters from the first game show upnote . There's more in Heaven than in just that stage, but said stage is practically dripping with them.
    • During their break time, Space Dancers tend to play a good game of table tennis, while the Cosmic Dancers became space cowboy soccer players.
    • The reading material for Rhythm Rally 2 shows that Space Gramps, leader of the Space Dancers, is also the chairman of the Rhythm League. Likewise, the reading material for Tap Troupe in Fever implies that he's also the leader of the Tall Tappers.
    • The reading material for Glee Club 2 in Heaven reveals that the conductor used to be in the Clappy Trio from the first game, but moved on to help the Chorus Kids.
    • The Extra Games menu in Fever plays, fittingly enough, a rearrangement of the game selection music from Tengoku.
    • During Remix 7 in Fever, the game briefly shows Karate Joe watching the Karate Man game from Tengoku on a TV.
    • Megamix features a few callbacks of its own in the new minigames. Pajama Party features a song in a very similar style to Love Lab from Heaven, even using the same vocalist. In the Lush Remix, the Spaceball batter from Tengoku is changed to the Pitcher from Fever's Exhibition Match, and she wears masks basked upon DJ Yellow and his student from DJ School in Heaven. Also, the Paddlers from Rhythm Rally 2 are changed to the Cosmic Dancers, complete with tuxedos.
    • Halfway through the final remix in Megamix, the music switches from a medley of minigames to a medley of the four games' respective title screen music. During this, all the characters take on appearances they previously had in the second versions of their minigames.
  • Cool Shades: MC Adore has these by default, DJ Yellow and his student get these in Remix 4 of Heaven, Karate Joe and the Cheer Readers get these in Remix 7 of Fever.... The list goes on.
  • Cool Toy: The Muscle Doll in Figure Fighter.
  • Cosmetic Award:
    • In the first two games, Perfecting all of the Rhythm Games only gets you a message from the creators (as well as unlocking the rest of the Sound Test). It actually unlocks something else in Fever, though.
    • Megamix has badges for accomplishing certain goals, such as getting the medals from every game and levelling your goat up to Level 200. The goat itself only unlocks more pixel icons for the Loading Screens between games.
    • This is lampshaded in-universe with the Reading Material for Rhythm Rally 2, which is presented as a certificate of achievement:
    What? You want to know if you won? Oh, we don't know. See, winning and losing don't matter when you're having such a delightfully rhythmical rally. And here's your certificate!
  • Creative Closing Credits:
    • In Heaven a minigame named Airboarder plays as the credits scroll, which becomes playable later. While it returns in Megamix, it doesn't serve as the credits.
    • Fever likewise has a remake of Night Walk from Tengoku, featuring Marshal as the playable character.
    • In Megamix, the credits appear as you first ascend from the land of Rainbow Towers challenge to the sky. The credits still play if you didn't complete all the remixes required, but you'll stop and fall down at the end.
  • Creator Cameo:
    • Just text "STAFF" on the Police Call toy in Fever. The same cameo is unlocked in Megamix after collecting every badge.
    • Tanaka Soushi, the vocalist behind "WISH - I Can't Wait for You", appears playing guitar near the end of Remix 5 in Tengoku.
  • Crossover: While there were cameos in previous games, Megamix features two WarioWare challenges where characters from the series replace other characters in the minigames. Some examples include Ashley and Red in Tap Trial, Young Cricket and Master Mantis in Munchy Monk, and 9-Volt and 18-Volt in Super Samurai Slice, among others. It's worth noting that WarioWare and Rhythm Heaven are both created by the same development team, Nintendo SPD 1.
  • Crush Blush: During Love Lab in Heaven, and at the end of Double Date in Fever.
  • Cultural Translation: The Korean version of the Rhythm Heaven series, Rhythm World, changes a few graphics to match Korean culture more closely. Notably, there are different character designs for Samurai Slice and its sequel in Rhythm World Wii.
  • Cute Little Fangs: The Chorus Kids and Marshal all sport some.
  • Cuteness Proximity: One of the stages' flavor text seems to be affected by this.
    Title: Kitties!
    Description: THEY'RE SO CUTE YOU GUYS!
  • Deliberately Monochrome: Remix 8 in Fever is sepia-toned, since all the games are being played in old photographs. Most versions of Karate Man are monochrome, usually with blue or orange. Ninja Bodyguard from Tengoku is almost entirely black and white.
  • Demoted to Extra: While this applies to several characters throughout the series, nowhere is this more jarring than with the RAPMEN; despite being two of the very small handful of characters to appear in every game in the series, their appearances outside of Tengoku have been strictly limited to brief cameos only.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The Japanese name for Catch of the Day is literally "Fishing for Fish".
  • Developers' Foresight: Hitting the buttons more than 99 times in Quiz Show makes your podium explode. Hit it even more and eventually the host's panel and then the Quiz sign will explode.
  • Difficulty by Acceleration: The challenge courses in Megamix often increase the tempo of the games, which usually makes them more difficult, though a few become a bit easier that way.
  • Disapproving Look: In several games, the player character gets this look from other characters if you mess up the rhythm.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Rap Women to Rap Men in Tengoku, Hole in One 2 to Hole in One in Fever.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Bossa Nova's vocals are... certainly something. They're made worse in the English version, somehow.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": Most of the characters in the Rhythm Heaven series (mostly in Fever) are known for having generic names, such as Dog, Monkey, Reporter, etc.
  • Donut Mess with a Cop: The police investigator from Police Call. One of his many idle conversations will be to wonder aloud who ate his donut, which will turn out to be the player.
  • Dramatic Thunder: During the final stretch of Samurai Slice in Fever each perfect hit gets accompanied with these.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: The captain of the Blue Birds, whose idea of basic training is riding a tank while the recruits tow it.
  • Dual Wielding: Dog Ninja in Heaven uses two katanas.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • In PAL regions Heaven is named "Rhythm Paradise", and Fever is "Beat the Beat: Rhythm Paradise". Likewise, in Korea, they're Rhythm World and Rhythm World Wii.
    • Additionally, certain names are changed, either for puns or for flavor. For example, Fever's Air Rally characters are Baxter and Forthington, whereas the PAL version retains the original Japanese names of Quick and Slow.
  • Early Game Hell: Megamix has a weird inversion: while the first quarter of the game serves its purpose of easing newcomers into the mechanics of the series, it can be an absolute slog for series veterans who want to get to the meat of the game without having to wade through what is essentially an hour+-long tutorial.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Tengoku has a significant number of differences from its sequels:
    • There are two mini-games (Quiz Show and Night Walk) where you can fail in the middle of the song, rather than being judged on your overall performance at the end.
    • There are eight sets of six mini-games rather than ten sets of five.
    • The background music isn't tailored to match up with the gameplay, some games only having looping music following the same general beat.
    • Several of Tengoku's mini-games don't have any practice at all, which makes it even more like WarioWare.
    • There are significantly fewer audio cues, meaning the player must use their eyes just as much as their ears in many of the mini-games.
    • The remix featuring all the games is not the final remix, but rather the sixth of eight.
    • Some completely new gameplay elements are introduced during remixes (the multi-hit enemies in Doctor Bacteria and the sign blocking your view in Rhythm Tweezers). In later games, remixes review what you already know.
    • There are more minigames based specifically around Japanese culture, with no less than five (Iai Slash/Samurai Slice, The*Bon Odori, Fireworks, Power Calligraphy, and Ninja Bodyguard). Later games tone this down to only one or two, and otherwise keep the themes more general.
    • The original version of Karate Man features a "Flow" meter. Successful hits cause the meter to rise, near misses cause it to drop, and a complete miss empties the meter entirely. It must be above a certain level for Karate Joe to punch boulders. Later versions of Karate Man remove the meter, and in Megamix's remake it's completely absent.
    • Traditionally, the games are reskinned according to a theme when they appear in Remixes, sans the Final-Exam Boss. However, in Tengoku, the only full reskins are for Remixes 3 and 5 (the vocal Remixes); 1, 2, and 4 keep the games the same, while 7 and 8 use a mix of new and old skins, including different ones for the same games (Tap Trial in particular has five reskins in total). Heaven retained this weirdness slightly; Remix 8 only reskins Dog Ninja, while Remix 9 uses a mix of old and new designs.
    • The first two games in the series had a side feature in the form of music lessons unlocked via medals. Tengoku had "Drum Lessons", where you have to copy increasingly complex drum patterns by using every button on the GBA, while Heaven had "Guitar Lessons", which were special games of Rockers set to the music tracks of other games. Both music lessons used a letter-grading system, and the latter was connected to a "Battle of the Bands" Brutal Bonus Level where you played though several songs in a row. Fever quietly dropped music lessons and made Nostalgia Levels the third thing medals unlock.
  • Easter Egg:
    • At the end of Honeybee Remix in Megamix, Karate Joe can punch away his thought about pancakes.
    • In Fever, when Samurai Slice finishes, Wandering Samurai can slice the "To be continued..." text that appears on-screen.
    • In Quiz Show from Tengoku and Megamix, pressing the buttons over 99 times will make the counter explode. Doing this even more will cause the host's counter to explode, followed by the Quiz sign in the background.
  • Edible Theme Naming: In the English version of Megamix, the Gatekeeper Trio are Saffron, Saltwater, and Paprika.
  • Eenie, Meenie, Miny Moai: Moai Doo-Wop, which reveals that they're rather talkative when nobody's watching.
  • Eleventh Hour Super Power: In Tengoku's final remix, Karate Joe enters "Serious" mode, is silhouetted in shadow, loses his flow meter, and gains the ability to consistently hit rocks no matter how well you're playing. The Karate Man portions will also add guitar twangs to the music (with the exception of the final portion) that's not present in the remix, otherwise.
  • Endless Game: Several in each game, unlocked by earning medals on the main games. Most of the time, they're completely unique games, while other times they're looping versions of a main game. Either way, the goal is to go as far as you can without failing. The Rhythm Toys also apply, but unlike the Endless Games they're just for fun and don't keep track of high scores.
  • Enemy Roll Call: Heaven and Fever do this. In Fever, as you might expect, most of the characters move to the music in some way.
  • Even the Subtitler Is Stumped: Invoked with "Second Contact" in Megamix, where messing up at certain parts will cause the alien's translation to read "(unintelligible)".
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Each game has at least one minigame with monkeys involved. This is taken Up to Eleven in Fever, where at least four separate games feature monkeys. Megamix bumps this up to seven. In fact, Pajama Party even outright namedrops, lampshades, and invokes the trope:
    Let's be honest: everything, including pajama parties, is better with monkeys. ESPECIALLY pajama parties.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: Show Time in the first game.
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows: The first seven towers in Megamix, where they are arranged in rainbow order and, when all cleared, produce a rainbow that ascends the player to the next level.
  • Everything's Better with Samurai: The Wandering Samurai, natch.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin:
    • Several of the games have titles that tell you exactly what they're going to be, in every version. Examples include Karate Man, Hanabi (Fireworks), Shoot-'Em-Up, Dog Ninja, Monkey Watch, and Love Rap.
    • This is more apparent when comparing the English and Japanese versions. Built to Scale is simply called "Assembly", Rhythm Rally is "Ping Pong", Packing Pests is "Sorting", and Micro-Row is "Small Organisms".
    • One game in Megamix is just called "Kitties!" No points for guessing what it's about.
  • Fake Longevity:
    • This trope comes into play when trying to unlock the bonuses. As the game is played, the player is randomly given a chance to get a perfect on a randomly selected game. If the player fails three times, they must wait for another random chance. Once the player gets gold medals on all 50 games, they have unlimited "perfect" opportunities, however, it still goes to another one after three attempts. Made more annoying by the fact that some games will require you to perform perfectly (at least for the hard parts) just to get a Superb, making the Perfect system feel arbitrary at times.
    • Presumably done to avert a different form of fake longetivity, which would consist of the player playing the same game hundreds of times in a row, attempting to perfect it. This at least makes the player try different games.
    • In the arcade version of Tengoku, random minigames will start to show "Go for a Perfect!" if you're doing perfect so far partway through. This is to balance out the lack of saving your completion status.
    • The goat-feeding minigame in Megamix reeks of this, as it serves no other purpose than to unlock Cosmetic Awards to go towards 100% Completion, and it takes an excessively large amount of grinding coins to reach the required levels.
  • Fake-Out Fade-Out: At the end of Remix 10 in Fever. Twice.
  • Fan Boy: The Monkeys in Fan Club.
  • Final-Exam Boss:
    • The first three games all have a Remix that consists of every game: Remix 6 in the first game, Remix 10 in the second and third.
    • Averted out of necessity in Megamix, since there are just too many unique games to make a true Final Exam Boss without it running excessively long. Instead, the final three Remixes (Left-Hand, Right-Hand, and Final) are condensed medleys upon themselves, with the Final Remix also featuring the title screen music of all four Rhythm Heaven games. During the title screen medley, you get to play parts of the sequel games, parts of the endless games, and a part of the Rhythm Test.
    • Megamix has a challenge that contains successive plays of the Remixes. The game even calls it a "remix of remixes".
    • Karate Man Senior, the final non-Remix game of Megamix, combines elements of all three versions of Karate Man across the franchise (the basic punching from Tengoku, the kicking from Heaven, and the combos from Fever).
  • Foreign Queasine: Skirted with in the first game, which features a stage requiring you to pluck the hairs off of oddly-faced beets. Yes, the same ones that show up later in Crop Stomp. There's even a lampshade hung on how strange and unappetizing the beets look in one of the Guitar Lessons in Heaven. In fact, the developers for Tengoku actually wanted to put human faces on the beets, but later decided to use cartoon-ish ones, as they found the human faces on the beets to be "too creepy".
  • Funny Afro: A lot of characters end up having afros, most notably the Clappy Trio in Tengoku. Other examples are the Love Posse in Love Rap 2 and portraits of Bach in Lockstep 2.
  • Funny Animal: As mentioned elsewhere on the page, you not only have Dog Ninja and the strange chipmunk-man in Love Lab, but there's also Tram and Poline in the first game, who turn back and forth into foxes as they perform. At least, if you get the timing right.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • Odds are you won't notice them due to focusing on what you're hearing, but quite a few minigames in Fever have things going on in the background, and some of them can be amusing. In Double Date, every time a football is kicked up on-time, you can see it fall in the background and get caught. This continues into Double Date 2, where barnyard animals will catch the football in the air.
    • Not to mention, in both versions of Working Dough, the Game and Watch guy leaves, and he can actually be seen in one of the...balls(?) that the player bounces. He then commandeers a Humongous Mecha in the background.
    • One of the things the Spaceball minigame from Tengoku does to mess up your play (coupled with copious Astronomic Zoom) is having the batter wear various silly masks. When asked about it in the associated email, he always dodges the question.
    • Also in Tengoku, near the end of Power Calligraphy, some dancers will appear on the sides of the screen.
    • During the Karate Man portions in Fever's Remix 9, a cat can be seen just behind Karate Joe. It can even be seen eating a fish a few times.
  • Gainax Ending: A few games. For example, See-Saw ends with See and Saw doing an Air Guitar and then exploding without explanation.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Remix 6 in Heaven contains one of these: if you're completely accurate in your timing, you'll end up tapping the touchscreen while the game is transitioning from Space Soccer to Lockstep, meaning that your input isn't registered. This can be a real slap in the face. The workaround is to tap the screen just after the game finishes transitioning, which allows your input to be registered just within the timing window required.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Megamix might have a story, but it makes no attempt whatsoever to tie the stages themselves into the story, only that they need to be cleared in order to progress. Considering that the stages can be about anything and can have you playing as anyone and anything, there isn't really a way to tie any of these together anyway.
  • Game Show: Quiz Show, which isn't a Pop Quiz despite the name.
  • Generation Xerox: The delinquent from "Ninja Reincarnate" in Tengoku is the descendant of the ninja from the first "Ninja Bodyguard" game, and his girlfriend is a descendant of the lord his ancestor defended. Naturally, they find themselves in a near carbon copy of the situation from the first game.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: invokedIn-universe example. According to the reading material for Double Date, the female student has a band that's really popular in Japan.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Listen to the lyrics of "Tonight", the song from Remix 3 in Fever. It's pretty clear it's about a woman about to have sex for the first time.
  • Golden Super Mode: While feeding the goat in Megamix, if you successfully feed the goat a golden vegetable, it may turn gold and give you unlimited vegetables for a limited time.
  • Gratuitous Disco Sequence: The Clappy Trio in Tengoku, Remix 6 in Heaven, and Remix 7 and Love Rap 2 in Fever.
  • Gratuitous English:
    • In general, the counting for each game is usually in English even in the Japanese version. "Wan! Tsu! Tree! Fow!"
    • The Japanese version of Cheer Readers from Fever ("Let's everybody go!").
    • The music for Karate Man in Tengoku has this as well, which qualifies for "weirdest lyrics in any Rhythm Heaven game ever".
    • All of the speech in Space Dance, even if the game's vocal language is set to English. In fact, the English version has an entirely new intentionally Engrish voice track. Given Space Gramps speaks in Engrish even in text, it's practically a running gag of the game.
  • Guide Dang It:
    • Minor one in Megamix. Quiz Show challenges you to hit the buttons the same number of times as the quiz show host. What it doesn't tell you is that the skill star for this game can only be earned by closely matching the host's rhythm. This is also the way to boost your score beyond 80.
    • In Megamix there are hidden goodies in each of the Endless Games that are made available in the museum by reaching particular scores. Not only does the game never once tell you of their existence, not even from a random tip from the Barista, the scores themselves are incredibly hard to reach and will escape the notice of anyone not that interested in the Endless Games. note 

     Tropes H-P 
  • Hair Decorations: The statue that you control in Moai Doo-Wop is distinguished by the cute bow on it.
  • Hard Mode Filler: After the credits roll in each game, you'll be presented with a new set of minigames, which are simply harder, Palette Swapped versions of previous games.
  • Hard Work Montage: During Blue Birds, which is lampshaded by the reading material.
  • Have a Nice Death: Better get your timing right on Night Walk or else...
    The stars say...
    You fell down a hole.
  • Hot Scientist: Invoked during Love Lab. The female scientist swoons over her senior lab partner, the male scientist, in her diary.
  • Idol Singer: Fan Club is all about one. In fact, it's literally called "Idol" in the Japanese version.
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: In Ninja Bodyguard in Tengoku, your objective is to slice flying arrows in half.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja: Ninja Bodyguard in Tengoku and Dog Ninja in Heaven. The latter is actually deconstructed in the reading material — he chose the path of ninjitsu without realizing that there's not much work for ninjas these days. Instead, he chops up veggies and other miscellaneous objects to raise money for shurikens.
  • Intentional Engrish for Funny: The leader of the Space Dance group speaks in broken English that would give even Fawful a run for his money.
  • Interface Screw:
    • Some of the harder games love darkening everything or putting things in your way, forcing you to rely only on your rhythm and your ability to detect audio cues. One of the most notorious examples comes in Samurai Slice in Fever, which blocks the entire freaking screen with translucent slides.
    • Heaven is also notorious for blocking out 95% of the screen at one point in Built to Scale. And this is the very first stage, mind you.
    • Inverted in Built to Scale 2. It looks like it'll do it again...but easily catches "prepared" players off guard by sending another thing while the lights are still off. The lights come back on immediately after this one.
    • As a general rule, if a game can be played solely off of the audio cues, then the visual cues will be messed with or obscured at some point in the game.
    • One of the challenges in Megamix has the camera slowly pan out to reveal the minigame screen clutched in the jaws of a monster. The speed of the panning increases the worse you do, with it slowing/zooming in slightly for every perfect beat you hit. If you don't perform well enough, eventually the screen will get so small you can't see it properly any more, the monster will eat it, and you'll fail the challenge.
  • Interspecies Romance: The farmer in Second Contact mentions that he's single and briefly flirts with the aliens. This illicits the same shocked expression the human scientists had in the first version of the minigame.
  • Japanese Delinquents: The theme of Remix 5 in Tengoku.
  • Junior Counterpart: Inverted in Megamix with a minigame called Karate Man Senior, starring Karate Joe's father.
  • Kabuki Sounds: Iai Slash/Samurai Slice, Power Calligraphy, and Ninja Bodyguard from Tengoku are all introduced with these.
  • Kaizo Trap:
    • Fever pulls this off in its 10th Remix. The last section of this medley is Packing Pests, and it tricks you into thinking it's finished, only to start up a moment later with a few more beats, then fades to black... and does it again when the music picks up once more for a few final beats. Fake-Out Fade-Out indeed.
    • In Monkey Watch and Flock Step, in which you must continue the beat all the way until the stage fades out completely, with no accompaniment from the music for the last few seconds. People going for a Perfect may be caught off guard when they realize there are a few more inputs at the very end than they expected.
    • Tengoku's Night Walk has this as a result of its unique win condition: you can get through the song and even maintain a perfect by only jumping when you absolutely need to... but you can't actually successfully complete the game without jumping on a preset number of boxes (many more than is required to leisurely reach the goal otherwise) without falling to your doom at the very end, at which point your Perfect streak will also shatter just to rub it in that much more.
  • Keet: Everyone, but stand-out examples are the Space Dancers in Tengoku, DJ Yellow in Heaven ("Scratch-o, hey!"), and the Tall Tappers in Fever ("Okay!").
  • Kitsune: Tram and Pauline from Tengoku are foxes who transform into human children or back each time they jump. Being off-beat causes a partial transformation.
  • Last Lousy Point:
    • The badge for getting the goat to level 200 in Megamix. To elaborate, feeding the goat is done via a Pachinko minigame that gets harder at each 10-level interval. To further elaborate, the goat will likely be around level 40 by the time you've done everything else in the game (including all of the Challenges and Perfect Campaigns), and the game starts getting into Pachinko Hell territory at around 70 and becomes flat out unfair for the last 10 levels. Have fun.
  • Later Installment Weirdness: Megamix has a few differences from the first three installments:
    • There's a plot framing the game to give you a reason to play through the minigames.
    • The strict "hit the beat or missed it" timing is still present, but now there's visual representation on the bottom screen showing how closely you hit the beat, with each minigame giving you a star for hitting one specific beat in it exactly.
    • There's a meter to show a player's performance along with the two or three sets of comments after each mini-game. Fever also had a meter that rated performance, but it was only used during the multiplayer mode.
    • Medals are still here, but have lost their role of unlocking extras. Instead there are coins, which are spent like currency to unlock bonuses instead of unlocking them when you reach certain thresholds. You can earn several coins at once depending on how well you do in a minigame, and you earn coins when replaying minigames, instead of just earning one for the first time you get a Superb. There are other ways to gain coins too.
    • Flow Balls are currency spent to unlock extra minigames from previous Rhythm Heaven games. Similar to the change to using coins, Perfect challenges award said Flow Balls instead of unlocking bonuses upon reaching certain thresholds of Perfects. Flow Balls are also earned through completing Challenge Trains consisting of several minigames in a row, with one or more twists thrown in to mix it up. If you've unlocked all extra minigames, the balls will be exchanged for 30 coins.
    • Instead of the credits and cast playing after all the main minigames are completed, there's a fake-out ending after completing the first remix, a real ending after clearing the other six, and a minigame roll-call after the tenth and final remix.
    • In a more minor example, neither of Megamix's new Karate Man games have lyrics, in contrast with all of the others.
  • Legacy Character: The Munchy Monk in Fever seems to be a different person from the one in Heaven, who appears in the former game's Packing Pests instead.
  • Letting the Air Out of the Band: In Megamix, if you head for Tibby's home of Heaven Land before clearing all of the Rainbow Towers, the music slows to a stop at the end of the credits.
  • Level Ate: Remix 3 in Fever has a kitchen setting. There's also the Citrus Remix and the Donut Remix in Megamix.
  • Luminescent Blush: Not entirely noticeable, but the captain does this in Blue Birds after a successful "stretch out your neck" flick. So does Karate Joe in Fever after a successful combo. Really, if the character doesn't already have Blush Stickers to begin with, this comes into play.
  • Makes Just as Much Sense in Context: The Donk-Donk game in Fever is so weird the English writers don't even try to give it an explanation.
  • Marathon Level:
    • While most levels usually take around one and a half to two minutes, the first three games all have a remix that combines every other level in the game; in Fever, it clocks in at well over three minutes. In Megamix the medley is split into three parts, but the final remix is still nearly four minutes in length.
    • Some of the later Challenge Train stages can string as many as eight games together at once.
  • Mars Needs Women: Inverted with Second Contact in Megamix with a flirty farmer, to the bewilderment of his intergalactic audience.
  • Martial Arts and Crafts: The samurai from the first game returns in an Endless Game in Heaven to... slice watermelons. Similarly, there's Dog Ninja, who uses his insane awesome ninja skills to... slice vegetables and other assorted objects. To be fair, he's just doing it for the money.
  • Masked Luchador: Gives an interview in the Ringside game.
  • Meaningful Name: Tram and Poline, Baxter and Forthington, See and Saw, Bossa and Nova...
  • Medley:
    • The first three games all have a Remix that's a medley of all the previous games. For Heaven and Fever, it's the 10th and final Remix; for Tengoku, it's the 6th Remix before the credits.
    • In Megamix, the medley is split into three parts due to the sheer amount of minigames. The final remix also contains a medley of the main themes throughout the series, going from Tengoku to its own theme.
  • Meganekko: One of The Dazzles, the player character in the Bon*Odori game, and all of the Cheer Readers.
  • Mercy Invincibility: In the challenge courses in Megamix, the Life Goal requires you to play the level with a limited number of mistakes. If you do make a mistake, you will lose one life, but you'll have a small while where you can continue to miss and won't lose another life.
  • Mercy Mode: After failing a certain amount of times in a game, you can ask the Barista to pass it for you. This can be done continuously for every game, excluding a select few.
  • Mickey Mousing: Rat Race ("Stealth Rat" in Japanese, "Cheese Heist" in the Fan Translation) gives you no audio cues past the tutorial and just tells you to "follow your gut" in hitting the beats, forcing you to rely on Mickey Mousingnote  as your cues. It's for this reason that when it later appears in remixes (and Megamix), it gives you the same cues as the tutorial.
  • Minigame Credits: Subverted. Airboarder in Heaven and Night Walk in Fever play themselves the first time they're shown. They become actual minigames afterwards.
  • Mission Control: The Radio Lady between rounds on the Shoot-'Em-Up stages in Heaven, and a group of scientists in First Contact and its sequel in Megamix.
  • Moon Rabbit:
    • One of these appears in Bunny Hop from Tengoku, where it tries to reach the moon by jumping across the ocean.
    • Tengoku's Remix 7 and 8, Remix 2 from Heaven, and Working Dough 2 all feature Orbulon's rabbits from WarioWare.
  • Multiple Endings: Besides the 3 epilogues, some games have different ending animations depending on if or if not you hit the final note. Super Samurai Slice, for example, ends with the princess running off and the samurai blushing with embarrassment if he fails to counter attack the final demon.
  • Mundane Made Awesome:
    • The guiding principle of the game - especially the first game. Whoever thought that writing calligraphy could be so Hot-Blooded and chopping vegetables could be so cool?
    • The samurai's purpose in life in the Fever version of Samurai Slice is battling demons... to retrieve stolen children's toys. The last demon in the portal is always the one carrying it.
    • The mini-game See-Saw involves See and Saw doing acrobatics on a seesaw in order to test it, all while set to blaring metal music. Eventually, the one you control gets launched into the air several times in a row and, if you time the button presses right, he'll fuzz up and land with the explosion on the seesaw. At the end, they'll Air Guitar before exploding from pure awesomeness.
    • Ringside involves a Masked Luchador being interviewed by a reporter in front of the press set to catchy music. The reporter's questions are rendered as "Wubba dubba dubba, 'zat true?" and if done right, he nods to each question. The reporter going "Woah, you go, big guy!" and the crowd going "Pose for the fans!" are both cues to do two different poses, but in the case of the pose for the latter cue, it's either accompanied by dramatic background swirl or a cut to a newspaper article containing a photo of the Masked Luchador performing said pose.
  • Nerf: Air Rally was given less Interface Screw in Megamix. Probably to keep the game at a constant speed, which you need for a game like this.
  • Nintendo Hard:
    • The series is known for being rhythmically strict. There's no "Marvelous", "Great", or "Good" for each beat, either you hit it or you didn't. It becomes even more suffocating when you have to go for a "Perfect". Megamix is a little different; the main timing window a little looser, making medals and Perfects a bit easier to obtain. However, a tighter "Ace" window exists, making it extremely difficult to get maximum points.
    • The way the games grade your performance flies directly in the face of common rhythm game logic. Whereas almost every other rhythm game in existence scores you note-for-note, this series instead grades two or three specific areas and bases your score based on how well you did in each of those. A perfect example comes in Heaven's Built to Scale: You can play the entire rest of the level flawlessly, but if you mess up on the very last note, you'll still only get an OK rating because that last note is graded all by itself. Megamix at least attempts to steer away from this by giving you a numeric score at the end that tells you how close you are to the next rating, so you can at least gauge your progress instead of doing your best and praying the game liked it enough.
    • Tengoku has an arcade port where you play one block of six stages. The catch? Getting less than a Superb costs you one life, and you only get three lives.note  Yes, that means getting an OK instead of Try Again will still cost you one life! Worse, the cabinet buttons are somewhat poorly constructed, resulting in buttons getting stuck frequently—pray it doesn't go off on a platform edge in Night Walk!
    • Megamix has challenge courses that require you to play several games in a row under a "three strikes" system. Many of them increase the tempo of the games, and require nailing a lot of Aces, finishing the game with less than three misses, or getting scores well above the medal threshold.
  • No Name Given:
    • A bunch of characters. Notably, the boy and the girl from Double Date in Fever. Their labels in the cast are "A boy" for the boy, and "His crush" for the girl. It gets somewhat ridiculous considering the weasels have a collective name that's all capitalized (Weasel Couple), alongside other certain named cast members, being a fork (named Fork) and a set of nuts and a bolt (named Widget). They're named Romeo and Julia for the European version, however.
    • The cast of Donk-Donk also goes unnamed in the North American version, instead simply labeling them as "Uh...these guys?"note  Then again, it's quite difficult to put a name on such a cast...
  • Non-Indicative Name: Mr. Upbeat is implied to suffer from depression.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Most of the characters are drastically different in appearance, even in the same art style. Compare, for example, the Munchy Monk to the Wandering Samurai, or the Frogettes to the Space Dancers.
  • Non Standard Game Over: While you normally fail Night Walk in Tengoku by failing to successfully jump on enough nodes, you can also fail and end the game prematurely by falling into a Bottomless Pit. In Night Walk 2, the same can be achieved by jumping into a whale. Either way, the game gives you a special "Try Again" message.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: The first three games have no plot whatsoever outside the rhythm games themselves to a certain degree. Averted in Megamix.
  • No Sense of Direction: The samurai of Samurai Slice calls himself "The Wandering Samurai" partially because he follows the Samurai's code of Bushido and partially because he considers himself to have a generally poor sense of direction.
  • Nostalgia Level:
    • Karate Man, the first mini-game of Tengoku, makes a reappearance near the end of both Heaven and Fever.
    • The Built to Scale game from Heaven has a factory setting much like Polyrhythm from the first game. The Built to Scale game in Fever manages to cram two Nostalgia Levels into one by combining the elements from both aforementioned games.
    • Fever also contains four remastered stages from Tengoku as unlockables, and the Mini-Game Credits sequence is a remake of Night Walk, also from Tengoku.
    • The English version of Fever, to make up for removing Manzai Birds, remade Mr. Upbeat, an Endless Game from Tengoku.
    • Exaggerated in Megamix. The game has seventy-eight total levels returning from the previous three games.
  • Off Model:
    • Heaven has a serious problem with proportioning, typically with arm length. For a specific example, in DJ School, watch DJ Yellow's left hand. It goes through at least three different sizes.
    • The baseball player from the Fever game Exhibition Match has a bit of trouble keeping his arms the same thickness. When in his "neutral stance", his arms look fairly normal, but while swinging, they become twigs.
  • Once an Episode: Karate Joe, the Samurai, and Widget Factory have playable appearances in each game — though there's no new Built to Scale game in Megamix, so the Fever version returns instead.
  • One Last Job: The fan translation of Rat Race as "Cheese Heist" paints it as this.
  • Palette Swap: In each Remix and subsequent sequel, the characters have different clothes and color palettes just to fit with the theme. However, said themes are considerably more elaborate than an average palette swap, such as The Clappy Trio being transformed from disco into the Wild West, or Remix 1 in Fever being entirely tropical-themed.
  • Parental Bonus:
    • After helping two lizards sing their mating call, the game comments that they came together in the end. If you get a Superb, it shows these two lizards with kids, so if you put two and two together...
    • In Love Lab, the two scientists are literally "making love".
    • Meanwhile, Fever has Bossa Nova, whose narrators sound very... enthusiastic.
    • One of the phone numbers you can enter on the Phone toy in Heaven is 555-PECK-YES.
  • Perspective Flip:
    • Listen first to the lyrics in Karate Man in Heaven ("Struck By the Rain") and then to the lyrics in Karate Man in Fever ("Lonely Storm"). The two songs tell the same story of a couple breaking up. "Struck By the Rain" tells it from the female perspective while "Lonely Storm" tells it from the male perspective.
    • For a more traditional example, Second Contact features the alien interpreting for a human to an audience of aliens, the opposite of its predecessor, First Contact.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Miss Ribbon and Cam from Fever.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: The Pirate Crew in Fever. They just like to offer boat rides for pigs from island to island.
  • Piss-Take Rap: Rap Men/Women in Tengoku and Love Rap in Fever. Both are Played for Laughs.
  • Player Nudge:
    • There's usually something on the screen that moves to the rhythm as a visual hint. Even more subtly, if you need a hint of what's coming up next, you should look at the girl. The pitcher in Exhibition Match, the cheerleaders in Drummer Duel, and MC Adore in Love Rap are excellent examples of this. It's also usually a girl's voice that counts for you.
    • In Bossa Nova, if you mess up, the voices briefly say their cues louder before going back to their... normal cues.
    • In Samurai Slice in Fever, if you mess up during the part where the story covers the screen, the words and pictures will get knocked out of the way so that you can see yourself.
  • The Power of Love: A lot of the games deal with love, and so do most of the vocal songs. It goes further than the usual portrayal, however, in that there are also songs that deal with the downsides of love ("Struck by the Rain" and "Lonely Storm" cover a breakup, and "I Love You, My One and Only" is about unrequited love).
  • Product Placement: The lyrical songs in Tengoku have an advertisement for "J.P.Room", who helped develop the game.
  • Punny Name:
    • Tram and Poline from their eponymous game; Ann Glerr, the fisher from Catch of the Day; and Baxter and Forthington from Air Rally are a few examples.
    • Even the minigame titles get in on this; Flock Step, Fork Lifter, Cheer Readers...

     Tropes Q-Z 
  • Rainbow Motif: The first seven remixes in Megamix all correspond to a different color in the rainbow: Barbershop/Red, Citrus/Orange, Honeybee/Yellow, Lush/Green, Machine/Aqua, Donut/Blue, and Songbird/Purple. When all are completed, they form a rainbow that leads Tibby to his home in the clouds.
  • Recycled In Space:
    • The series loves placing things in space that have no reason to be in space. You get to hit baseballs in space, dance in space, and play soccer in space, among others.
    • One game, Rhythm Rally, does wind up playing this trope completely straight, as Rhythm Rally 2 is set in space whereas the first is not.
    • Remix 7 in Fever is space-themed, as is Remix 9 in Heaven before it.
  • Regional Bonus:
    • The PAL version of Fever has both the Japanese and English soundtracks, as well as the voices.
    • The Japanese version of Fever has an Endless Game titled "Manzai Birds". Because it was too difficult to translate properly, localized versions contain a remake of Mr. Upbeat from Tengoku instead.
  • Remixed Level: An interesting take on this appears in Megamix; many of the main games are given stripped-down "story mode" versions with new music and visuals, while retaining the same gameplay.
  • Retraux:
    • Starting in Fever, the practice music for each game is usually a stripped-down chiptune version of the game's actual song.
    • The Endless Game Lady Cupid in Fever is a homage to Kid Icarus, down to the graphics.
    • Megamix features a 16-bit styled rhythm game called Super Samurai Slice. The music and sound effects (aside from the demons exploding) are modern, though.
    • When you feed the goat in Megamix, it takes the form of a pachinko game that uses chiptune music and pixelated graphics.
  • The Reveal: Several minigames throughout the series have some kind of twist at the end.
    • Played for laughs in Exhibition Match in Fever. The reason it takes so long for the pitcher's ball to reach the batter from behind the curtain? A monkey catches the ball mid-flight, waits, then tosses it out to the batter.
    • At a certain point in the game Packing Pests, the camera moves, revealing that the employee is Munchy Monk.
    • Tap Troupe has the troupe's faces at the bottom and their feet at the top. The end reveals that they're actually extremely tall, thus the reason for the frames.
    • Getting a perfect in Heaven's Remix 10 reveals that the Blue Birds' drill sergeant is actually the leader of the Rhythm League.
    • There's a heartwarming one the end of Blue Bear. He hasn't actually broken up; he's just having a bad dream.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Certain minigame titles, like Crop Stomp and Micro-Row.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Many examples. From Fever alone we have the seals in Flipper-Flop, the Weasel Couple in Double Date, and any time monkeys show up.
  • Running Gag: in Megamix, for any version of First Contact, whoever's watching the video feed (Ground Control, Alien Ground Control, or a family watching TV) will either whoop and holler or stare blankly at the screen depending on the action taking place. Particularly for staring blankly, it's the exact same expression drawn on their faces every time.
  • Save the Princess: Super Samurai Slice in Megamix, fitting its Retraux theme. In Super Samurai Slice 2, you rescue four princesses.
  • Say It with Hearts: During Love Rap 2, a pink heart appears in one of the speech bubbles.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge:
    • Doing a "blind" run (e.g. with a blindfold, unplugging the video sub-cable of your AV cable, or simply looking away from the screen) and relying solely on sound cues. It works for most games, though some (such as Night Walk 2 in Tengoku) still force you to use a few visual cues.
    • The opposite, having the screen on but the music off, is also possible in most games. The rhythm is still there, but only visually and internally.
  • Self-Parody: Many of the notes unlocked for getting Perfects, particularly in Fever and Megamix.
  • Sempai/Kohai: The Japanese version of Double Date. The girl is the sempai, the boy is the kohai.
  • Sequel Difficulty Drop:
    • It's generally agreed that Tengoku was much harder than its sequels, with just a few misses resulting in a "Try Again" in most games.
    • This trope hits Megamix hard. For starters, it's comprised mostly of Nostalgia Levels, all but eliminating the learning curve for series veterans. Second, almost the entire first part of the game is comprised of explicitly easier versions of these games. Finally, certain games have themselves received tune-ups in places (most noticeable in Rat Race, which has light signals where there were none in its original incarnation).
  • Series Mascot: The Chorus Kids were a game-specific mascot to Heaven, though their popularity eventually resulted in Suspiciously Similar Substitute Marshal becoming the mascot of Fever. Megamix has Tibby, who also serves as the protagonist of the game's story mode. Some fans will say that Karate Joe is the mascot of the entire series (despite not appearing in marketing) as he has appeared in all four games.
  • Shave And A Haircut: Used as part of Sick Beats and at the end of The Snappy Trio from Tengoku. A variation of the tune begins and ends Catchy Tune in Megamix.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Rhythm Heaven makes many references to other games, such as WarioWare and even Nintendo's GBA-slot based MP3 player, the rarely heard of Play-Yannote .
    • Fever has a Game & Watch character cameo in Working Dough (the reading material refers to him as Mr. Game & Watch), and one of the baseball players in Exhibition Match looks remarkably like something Shigeru Miyamoto had drawn in the '80s.
    • The 2P Endless Game Kung Fu Ball in Fever stars Young Cricket as Player 1.
    • The Fever endless game Lady Cupid, in all of its 8-bit glory, is likely to be a shout-out to Kid Icarus. Her general appearance, including her green hair, could also be a shout-out to Palutena from the same game.
    • MC Adore from Fever's Love Rap bears similarity to both Cynthia and Curly Brace.
    • The European version of Fever adds one in; the boy and girl from Double Date are namechecked as Romeo and Julia in the credits.
    • A doll of Ashley appears in Megamix's Rhythm Museum.
    • The results screen for First Contact in Megamix is titled "Ground Control to Translator Tom".
  • "Simon Says" Mini-Game: Hoo boy. The Rhythm Heaven franchise is notorious for these. A few examples: Quiz Show, Shoot-Em-Up, Moai Doo-Wop, Drummer Duel, Love Lab, Working Dough, Rockers, First Contact....
  • Slapstick: Missing the beat on some scenes causes "you" to either bump against something, or get bumped by something.
  • Slumber Party: Pajama Party from Megamix features a girl dancing with monkeys at a sleepover.
  • Something Completely Different: Quiz Show in Tengoku is the only stage that's not rhythm-based. Instead, it's a straight-up Simon Says Minigame.
  • Sound-Coded for Your Convenience: The Game.
  • Spiritual Successor: Some minigames in later games tend to share elements or otherwise feel very inspired by minigames from previous games. For example:
    • Micro-Row in Fever has identical rhythm to Heaven's Munchy Monk.
    • Heaven and Fever have several games that follow the general marching mechanics of Marching Orders from Tengoku, such as Lockstep in Heaven and Flipper-Flop in Fever.
    • Cheer Readers from Fever is very similar in presentation to The Dazzles from Heaven.
    • Catchy Tune from Megamix bears similarities to Polyrhythm from Tengoku, in that you need to control your left and right hands individually for both games.
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: Tangotronic 3000 in Megamix has 2D characters in a 3D environment. Otherwise, it's averted, as 2D and 3D games are kept separate.
  • Starfish Language: First Contact, a minigame in Megamix, features an astronaut interpreting for an alien lifeform. The alien speaks in a gibberish language consisting of squid-like symbols, and the astronaut translates it into his native tongue. It's inverted with its sequel, where the human speaks in gibberish and the alien translates for an audience of other extraterrestrials.
  • Stealth Pun: In Tengoku, Remix 7 is Remixes 1 + 2 + 4.
  • Super Title 64 Advance: Super Samurai Slice in Megamix is an invocation, to match its 16-bit theme.
  • Surprisingly Good English: The song "I'm a Lady Now" from the Bee Remix in Megamix is in meaningful English even in the Japanese version. (The singer is fluent in English, though not a native speaker.) This makes it the only song to remain intact for the English dub.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Marshal, Cam, and Miss Ribbon in Fever are similar to the Chorus Kids from Heaven. Marshal in particular looks almost exactly like one.
  • Swivel-Chair Antics: Board Meeting in Fever.
  • Take That: Those pigs in the Board Meeting minigame from Fever? They're called "Executives".
  • Take That, Audience!: An in-universe example with Quiz Show, in the Fan Translation for Tengoku.
    A game show that's all style and no substance... just what the viewers want.
  • Theme Naming: Shows up here and there; for example, Ao-kun, Aka-chan, and Kii-yan of the Toss Boys in Tengoku are all named after their respective colors (Blue, Red, and Yellow), and the characters from Air Rally in Fever are named Baxter and Forthington.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: One would think that a couple of hops would be enough to test the safety of any seesaw, yet See and Saw feel the need to repeatedly launch each other several feet into the air to accomplish this task, making one wonder exactly what these seesaws are being used for. The reading material related to See Saw implies that they might have a motivation besides simple testing, while the one for Working Dough explains See and Saw are also the emergency workers for whenever Rookie misses a fuel orb:
    Rookie: It's a good thing See and Saw were waiting below and ready to fling Mr. Game & Watch onto the ship!
    Veteran: Yeah, I keep them ready in case emergencies like that come up.
    Rookie: That was you? Wow, you are so on top of things! I hope to be half as good as you someday.
  • Thick-Line Animation: Becomes more prevalent in later games, due to earlier titles relying on sprite-based animation.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: The lizards in Love Lizard — you play as the much larger female.
  • Too Long; Didn't Dub:
    • Manzai Birds in Fever was never put in localized versions simply because the game focuses around dialogue and puns. To compensate this, other versions of the game contain a remake of Mr. Upbeat, and endless game from Tengoku.
    • Unlike Heaven, Fever doesn't have any dubs besides Japanese, English, and Korean. To make up for it, the PAL version contains the ability to switch between Japanese and English on the fly.
    • None of the new Japanese songs in Megamix have English versions, and if the game is set to English instrumentals play in place of the lyrics. Thankfully, if the audio is set to Japanese the original versions can still be heard even in the localization, though the game won't display any info about them.
  • Totally Radical: An intentional example with Love Rap in Fever. The English dub has the rappers spout lines like "Crazy into you!" and "Fo' sho'!"
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Munchy Monk's eggs/dumplings.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: The Toss Boys of Tengoku. It's more noticeable in Toss Boys 2, where the girl (Aka-chan) gains a more feminine appearance.
  • Ugly Hero, Good-Looking Villain: In Exhibition Match, a cute pitcher girl tries to strike out a homely, mean-looking batter. You play as the latter. You might be thinking you're playing the villain in this case, until it's revealed the pitcher's been cheating with the help of a monkey.
  • Umbrella of Togetherness: The logo for Love Lab in the Japanese version.
  • Unwanted Assistance: Averted with the Cheer Readers, in-universe. You'd think obnoxiously cheering in a library would annoy the hell out of people studying there, but their cheering somehow works! The kid in the Double Date game even praises the fact that he got an A on a recent test with the help of their cheering. Of course, this is all assuming that you did it well. It's played straight when you screw up.
    "Would you keep it down?!"
  • Verbal Tic:
    • The Pop Singer in Fan Club has one, I suppose. And it's wonderful!
    • The captain of the Blue Birds has one too, waaugh!
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • Nothing like swatting candy and catching spiders in Packing Pests.
    • Try getting a high score at Mr. Upbeat. Eventually as the music gets faster, Mr. Upbeat's comments of praise eventually become frantic begging for you to stop because his feet hurt.
      "So... tired... I think I can see through time..."
  • Visual Pun: In Fever, a minigame involves shrimp hopping about to the beat in front of the sea, while a voice counts "1-2-3, A-B-C!". In Japan, shrimp are called "ebi" (pronounced similar to "A B"), making this the Ebi Sea.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: According to the reading material, Baxter and Forthington, who act like a Straight Man and a Big Eater respectively.
  • Voice Grunting: First Contact features this from both parties.
  • Volumetric Mouth: The choir boys from Glee Club.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Remix 2 in Fever. The first one was relatively simple to get you used to the "no practice for you" aspect of Remixes. This one hits you with Monkey Watch straight off the mark. And it's short, so there's only a couple of mistakes between "OK" and "Try Again".
  • Wham Shot: In the Megamix version of Munchy Monk, shortly after the game begins you find the Munchy Monk has become a Munchy Dad!
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?: The Marchers from Tengoku.
  • Westminster Chimes: They sound off after Double Date's tutorial is finished.
  • What Song Was This Again?: In the English localization of Megamix, three songsnote  had their vocals cut out and replaced with an instrumental lead.
  • What the Hell, Player?: Get used to being given annoyed looks by other characters if you keep messing up the beat.
  • Where It All Began: Starting with Heaven, the last original minigame in each installment is a variant on Karate Man, the very first game in the series (as well as the first game played, in Megamix's case). The last Remixes in both Tengoku and Heaven end with Karate Man, as well.
  • Widget Series: The whole series; would you expect anything less from the creators of WarioWare? The weirdness gets plenty of Lampshade Hanging by the English writers, especially in Fever.
    Think you've got what it takes to tap-dance with the monkeys? (Has anyone ever written that sentence before?)
  • A Winner Is You: Winning Heaven is satisfactory, and getting medals unlocks stuff, but getting 1st place in the Battle in the Bands doesn't even unlock anything.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: All over the place. For starters, the female Love Lab professor has green hair, and various other characters have pink hair.
  • You No Take Candle: Mandrill in the European version of Fever. He speaks more normally in the US translation.
  • Your Size May Vary: When Tap Trial from Tengoku was remade for Fever and Megamix, the monkeys got smaller — they come up to the girl's waist in Tengoku, but only up to her knees in the later versions. This was probably done for consistency with the various other monkeys in Fever.

The moderators say...
You described the work flawlessly!
You added all the right tropes!
The spoiler tags didn't trip you up!

☆Superb☆
You got a medal!

Alternative Title(s): Rhythm Heaven Fever, Rhythm Tengoku

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/RhythmHeaven