Video Game / Sound Voltex
Your thundering sound become the flash light that pierces soul of crowd. Get the whole world into the Voltex... Next Generation Music Game.

SOUND VOLTEX (officially abbreviated as SDVX) is a member of Konami's Bemani series of Rhythm Games. It's a variation of beatmania with pretty much identical gameplay, in regards to the "hit the keys when they hit the line" part (but then again, aren't most rhythm games similar to that in the first place?). But instead of the familiar piano keys, it uses four square buttons in a row, accompanied by two larger "FX" buttons directly below them, along with effector knobs on both sides (which you must either slowly rotate in a certain direction, or quickly slam between sides).

The other big distinction is that most of its soundtrack consists mostly of remixes of songs from other Bemani games by doujin musicians; but through Downloadable Content, this aspect quickly went out of control as the game began to be flooded with Vocaloid songs and Touhou remixes (and even long-time meme songs like "Bad Apple", "Help me, ERINNNNNN!!", and even the Nyan Cat song).

There are currently four games in the series, with one receiving a PC port. Subsequent installments are provided as online updates, rather than through upgrade kits:
  • Sound Voltex Booth (2012)
  • Sound Voltex II: Infinite Infection (2013)
    First BEMANI game to be released as an online update. Unlike Booth, where bottom notes can only be hold notes and top notes can only be tap notes, both rows of notes can either be tap or hold notes. Sound Voltex II also introduces the Infinite difficulty, available only on specific songs.
  • Sound Voltex III: Gravity Wars (arcade: 2014; PC: 2017)
    This version of the game introduces the, you guessed it, Gravity difficulty, once again available only on specific songs. Some songs from older versions also received their own Gravity (or GRV, as the game calls it), charts. New charts in this game have even more perspective gimmicks; charts may shake, switch to a top-down view, zoom in and out, etc.

    A PC port is planned for 2017, making it the first SDVX game to be available on a consumer platform.
  • Sound Voltex IV: Heavenly Haven (2016) — current version
    The special difficulty level for this game is Heavenly (HVN), and is currently used for new charts for old songs. There is also a new difficulty level, Maximum (MXM), that lies between Exhaust and Infinite/Gravity/Heavenly. The difficulty scale was changed from 1-16 to 1-20, with charts rated 13 and up being rerated to fit the new scale. An extra stage system similar to DDR A's EXTRA SAVIOR, OMEGA DIMENSION EXTRA TRACK was introduced.

Although the series is pretty new compared to long-running BEMANI series like beatmania and DanceDanceRevolution, its unique twist on falling-note button-pressing gameplay, heavy focus on fan-submitted content from recogonizable and aspiring artists, the lengths to which Konami takes player feedback (in Sound Voltex II, Skill Analyzer charts were voted upon by players rather than being purely hand-picked by staff), and the loving care with which all key contributors to each song (music artist, chart designers (aka "Effectors"), and album art artists) are credited have made Sound Voltex one of the most rapidly-growing BEMANI series. In just three years, the songlist has expanded from 166 in Sound Voltex Booth to over 540 in Sound Voltex III; to compare, jubeat took seven years to reach that point. As of September 2016, Sound Voltex III has over 850 songs to play.

Sound Voltex songs are considered licensed songs, and therefore traditional Sound Voltex soundtracks are not available. However, there is an album of Touhou remixes featured in the series available for purchase: SOUND VOLTEX ULTIMATE TRACKS -Touhou Koumakyou REMIX-, which is a compilation of songs chosen from the Touhou Project EOSDnote  Remix Contest.


  • Alliterative Title:
    • Sound Voltex II -infinite infection-
    • Sound Voltex IV -Heavenly Haven-
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • If your first song is level 7 or lower, you won't get a Game Over if you fail (in Light Start).
    • In Standard Start, failure at the first song will still allow the player to advance to the next stage (although failure in the 2nd song after a failure in the first song will net a game over).
      • As SDVX IV moved the Skill Analyzer into a separate folder in Track Select (found only in the 1st Track), failing the first song or second song of a Skill Analyzer course when Standard Start is used will allow the player to advance to the next stage and same Standard Start settings apply.
    • In the location test version of Gravity Wars, if playing with the Excessive Rate gauge and the gauge hits 0%, instead of a Game Over, the gauge would simply switch to the standard Effective Rate gauge at the amount it would be at if you had been using it from the start. This type of gauge, the "Alternative Rate" gauge, was added into the release version in March 2015.
    • If you are on an analog note that is drifting to either side of the lanes, the game prevents you from going off the note if you're turning too fast.
    • Like in other arcade music games, if at least one player in a multiplayer round clears the track, players who failed will be "saved" and allowed to move to the next track if they have any remaining. This only applies if you are using Effective Rate or Alternative Rate or you're playing local multiplayer, though; if you fail using Excessive Rate or Permissive Rate in online multiplayer you'll disconnect from the other players and get a Game Over anyway.
  • April Fools' Day: "GRACE-chan no chou~zetsu!! GRAVITY kouza w", for AFD 2016. It looks like a Tutorial Level...and then throws in a bunch of interface gimmicks that would make In the Groove marathon creators proud. The only chart it has is a Gravity chart...that's rated a 1.
    • The AFD 2016 chart is back in IV in the same vein of last year.
    • 2018 April Fools Day has you playing "Simon Says" Mini-Game with Voltenizer Maxima.
  • Ascended Meme:
    • The cover art for "Second Heaven Lamaze-REMIX" depicts a 3-scoop ice-cream cone as a reference to the line "Somebody scream!" being Mondegreen'ed into "San-bai ice cream!" ("3-scoop ice cream!")
    • The title of "Konran shoujo Soflan-chan!!" "Soflan" is a term used amongst music game players to refer to sudden, drastic changes in scroll speed, and originated from the beatmania IIDX track "SOFT LANDING ON THE BODY".
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Remember "Nyan Cat" from Sound Voltex Booth? In Sound Voltex II, it gets an Infinite chart. And it's rated a 15.
  • Boss Rush: "KAC 2012 ULTIMATE MEDLEY -HISTORIA SOUND VOLTEX-", from Gravity Wars, is a medley of various Sound Voltex songs, several of which have level 15 or 16 charts.
    • There's also "KAC 2013 ULTIMATE MEDLEY -HISTORIA SOUND VOLTEX-", which comes in "Emperor Side" (also added in Gravity Wars) and "Empress Side" (added in Heavenly Haven).
  • Bowdlerization: The Korean version of Heavenly Haven removes a number of album jackets due to South Korean regulations on suggestive content. The songs are still perfectly playable, but they have generic album jackets now.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: In order to access OMEGA DIMENSION EXTRA TRACK, one must have a full BLASTER gauge at 100%. Alternatively, the extra stage can still be accessed when BLASTER START is played.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": This BEMANI series takes a number of liberties with conventional rhythm game terminology:
    • The judgements are called CRITICAL (perfect), NEAR (slightly off), and ERROR (way off or missing outright).
    • Combo is referred to as Chain, though this is a fairly mild example as the two terms are interchangable in many games.
    • A stage/song is referred to as a "track". Perhaps a subversion, as "track" is the correct catch-all term for music compositions, while the proper definition of "song" is "a composition written for singing", but "song" is used more widely.
    • Clearing a track with no ERROR judgements, known as a Full Combo in other BEMANI games, yields the message "ULTIMATE CHAIN". Getting all CRITICAL judgements results in a "PERFECT ULTIMATE CHAIN".
      • Sound Voltex II and III just gives you a "PERFECT" instead, averting this instance of the trope.
    • The Life Meter is known as the "Effective Rate".
      • During Skill Analyzer courses, where the Life Meter is played straight, it is called the "Permissive Rate".
      • Another straight variation of the life meter, one intended to serve as a counterpart to beatmania IIDX's and Popn Music's HARD gauges, is called "Excessive Rate".
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • The difficulty levels: Novice = Purple, Advanced = Yellow, Exhaust = Red, Infinite = Rainbow/Purple in SDVX IV, Gravity = Orange, Maximum = Black, Heavenly = Blue/White
    • VOL-L notes are colored cyan while VOL-R notes are colored pink. As of Sound Voltex III you can change them to other colors, and yes you can set both knobs' notes to the same color if you really want to.
  • Crossover:
    • Touhou has a particularly large presence, featuring Appeal Cards of the characters and over 50 Touhou arranges. In fact, Sound Voltex II had a location test at the Touhou-centric Reitaisai 10 convention in 2013. It certainly helps that Mayumi Morinaga, a prominent BEMANI vocalist, is also a vocalist for Touhou arrange circle Yuuhei Satellite. There are so many Touhou arranges that they get their own category in SDVX II.
    • As far as BEMANI crossovers go, generally subverted in that most songs that make it over to SDVX get remixed, often by a artist contributing via Sound Voltex Floor.
    • Played straight with the POLICY BREAK and FLOOR INFECTION events beginning in SDVX II. POLICY BREAK is a type of SDVX event in which songs are crossed over from other BEMANI games and left in original form (excluding in-game filters). Examples include "VALLIS-NERIA", "I'm So Happy", and "BabeL ~Next Story~". FLOOR INFECTION is a type of event for other BEMANI games, which goes the other way: Sound Voltex songs get crossed over to other BEMANI games. Examples include "Joyeuse" in GITADORA and "Max Burning!!" in Reflec Beat.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!:
    • Players used to BOOTH charts may get thrown off by long button notes and short FX notes.
    • Players used to charts from the first two games may get thrown for a loop when they encounter VOL trails that start from the middle rather than the edges (i.e. blue and pink beams no longer always mean "turn right" and "turn left", respectively) as well as trails that go outside of the chart lanes.
  • Darker and Edgier: GRAVITY WARS comes after infinite infection and features a black and orange interface, heavy use of guitar in its system music, and a title screen depicting Grace, the Big Bad of the game, looming over the Series Mascots.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: In Heavenly Haven, Standard Start will guarantee three Tracks, even if you fail all of them. It also offers the Alternative Rate System: If you play on the Excessive Rate Life Meter and you drain that out, instead of a Track Crash you'll be instantly switched over to the Effective Rate meter, with the gauge at the level it would be if you had been playing on Effective Rate the entire time, so there's practically no reason not to use Excessive Rate.
  • Double Unlock: Some songs, as well as the Infinite, Gravity, Heavenly and Maximum-difficulty charts for the songs that have said difficulties, require you to fulfill another condition before you are allowed to purchase them in the store, only accessible at the end of your standard game session. In SDVX IV, you can buy the songs while choosing your song at the track select screen.
    • The so-called 'boss songs', namely "For Ultra Players" (with a difficulty of EXH 16), and "Everlasting Message" (GRV 16) have exceptionally complicated unlock conditions as the player has to pass a series of other rather difficult songs to be able to purchase these songs in the shop.
      • Oh, did I forget to mention that those songs on the road to the boss songs have to be unlocked and/or bought as well? Well, they have to be.
    • Infinite Blaster / Blaster Gate unlockable songs are examples in this trope.
    • In order to unlock FIN4LE ~終止編の彼方へ~ and WHITEOUT at the OMEGA DIMENSION EXTRA TRACK, the first eight songs in the EXTRA TRACK folder must be unlocked. This requires a full BLASTER rate to unlock the EXTRA TRACK or alternatively, playing in BLASTER START.
  • Doujin: Doujin music is a major staple of the series.
  • Dramatic Disappearing Display:
    • When "Lachryma《Re:Queen’M》" made its debut as the game's final round song at the 5th KONAMI Arcade Championship, Grace took over the upper 1/3 of the screen, causing all interface elements at the top (score, opponent information, etc.) to vanish.
    • During the 7th KONAMI Arcade Championship, "I" was presented in the same circumstances, with Rasis causing the top half of the inteface to vanish. Then the screen appears to turn off, then back on, with all interface elements in the middle (such as the Effective Rate meter) gone too!
  • Fake Longevity: Playing this game at a Round 1 location in the U.S.? No Blaster Start for you! Have fun playing 15 songs on Excessive Rate just to have one shot at Infinite Blaster! (or Blaster Gate in IV)
  • Fictional Currency: Packets (Pc) and Blocks (Blc). Packets are used to purchase Appeal Cards (i.e. in-game avatars), while Blocks are used to purchase song charts.
  • Gimmick Level:
    • Some charts have a disproportionately high number of knob trails compared to button notes. #Fairy_dancing_in_lake EXH is one of the more infamous examples of this.
    • Basically, if the chart was effected by Hirayasu Matsudo, expect it to be one of these.
    • Attack on Dwarf EXH takes this Up to Eleven. The chart has a maximum chain of 1700, but only contains 24 FX taps and 4 BT holds, which contribute 141 to the chain. The rest is knobs.
    • TWO-TORIAL is a gimmick track in a different way: a large chunk of the chart features some sections where Voltenizer Maxima tells you to "Listen..." to the background track, while the chart scrolling pauses, and then the scrolling resumes as he says "Go!", with you attempting to hit the notes to replicate the measures you just heard.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: One happened during the 4th KAC in 2015 that prevented finalists from playing the intended Final Boss song "Everlasting Message". Instead, they were given a filler round of "For UltraPlayers" (the final round song of the previous KAC) and had to come back a month later for another shot at "Everlasting Message".
  • Harder Than Hard: Exhaust difficulty. Sound Voltex II ups the ante by introducing the Infinite difficulty, which is only available for select songs. 'Sound Voltex III introduces the Gravity difficulty, which has appeared as another extra difficulty for both preexisting songs in previous versions, as well as songs debuting in III. Currently no songs have both Infinite and Gravity difficulties. Sound Voltex IV has the Heavenly and Maximum difficulties.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Novice (NOV), Advanced (ADV), Exhaust (EXH), Maximum (MXMnote ), Infinite (INF) / Gravity (GRV) / Heavenly (HVN)note .
  • Interface Screw:
    • When using a knob, the playfield tilts accordingly. Sound Voltex II will play this straight with charts requiring the knobs to be held at a certain state (thus keeping it tilted).
    • Occasionally, using the knobs will cause the track to Do a Barrel Roll! The crossover boss song "VALLIS-NERIA" is infamous for doing this many times during the chart.
    • Gravity Wars introduces multiple new screws: the chart shaking on certain notes, the chart switching to an overhead view at some points, and the chart zooming in extremely close to the notes, among others.
    • As of Heavenly Haven, four boss songs have a unique screw: at some point in the song, the chart lanes disappear.
    • Heavenly Haven also introduces songs where the chart comes to a complete halt. This was introduced with the song "Doppelganger", and also appears on three other boss songs (Ikazuchi, TWO-TORIAL, I). I in particular also has the screen go completely black during its stop.
  • Joke Level:
    • "Nyan Cat", simply due to the song itself, although the charts are decidedly not joke charts.
    • "GRACE-chan no chou~zetsu!! GRAVITY kouza w", the April Fools' Day joke of 2016.
  • Kaizo Trap:
    • Like in other BEMANI games that have this song, Nostalgia crossover Fly Far Bounce has a small number of notes before the actual ending.
  • Level Ate:
    • Kamome Sano's cutesy french dessert-themed songs like choux a la creme, crepe suzette and eclair au chocolait.
  • Licensed Game:
    • FLOOR songs are considered licensed songs. As such traditional soundtracks are not available.
    • The series is also a Licensed Game series in another sense, in that it includes third-party intellectual properties VOCALOID and Touhou Project.
  • Life Meter:
    • In normal play, you get a special Life Meter called the "Effective Rate". It doesn't end the game if you hit 0%, but you do need to end the song with the meter at 70% or higher to pass.
    • In Skill Analyzer, you get a straight lifebar, the "Permissive Rate", that results in a TRACK CRASH if it hits 0% at any point.
    • Another straight lifebar is available in normal play, called the "Excessive Rate", with a higher penalty for missing.
  • Lighter and Softer: Unlike BOOTH, which primarily uses a blue and black interface, infinite infection uses a primarily pink and white interface. Also, Heavenly Haven uses a blue and white interface in contrast to Gravity Wars's black and orange, more similar to the likes of DDR A and IIDX Happy Sky, and doesn't seem to a villain of some sort...yet.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: You see that character on that song jacket (provided it's not a Vocaloid or Touhou song)? There's a 95% chance that character has a name and a bio. Yes, even the triangle note .
  • Musical Gameplay: Played with. Hitting non-hold notes and long BTN notes won't influence the background track, but hitting long FX notes and following the VOL notes will create filter effects that "mix" the track. If you don't hit any of these notes at all, the track will sound as intended, while doing so will give the impression of mixing a track as part of a DJ's set. This is why chart designers aka "Effectors" are given credit, unlike in most other rhythm games.
  • Nintendo Hard: The buttons are straightforward enough to learn, but the knobs are what give the series its unique flavor of challenge, and often times at the higher levels you'll be constantly juggling knobs and the buttons at the same time, sometimes even having to cross your arms for some patterns.
  • Non-Indicative Name: "TWO-TORIAL" is very much not a Tutorial Level.
  • Noob Bridge: A common newbie mistake is turning the knobs extremely hard for analog notes. In truth, the knobs are quite sensitive and only sharp turns are needed for when notes make sudden lateral shifts.
  • Obvious Beta: During its update launch, playing the MAXIMUM (MXM) chart of FIN4LE ~終止編の彼方へ~ will only load its NOVICE (NOV) chart. It was fixed a day later.
  • Oddly Named Sequel: The second version is actually "Sound Voltex II: Infinite Infection", the third is named "Sound Voltex III: Gravity Wars". and the fourth is named "Sound Voltex IV: Heavenly Haven."
  • Portmanteau: "EXTRACK" = EXTRA + TRACK.
  • Punny Name:
    • The title "Sound Voltex" is a subversion of Japanese Ranguage; given the electronic/futuristic look of the game, its a worthy pun.
    • Rasis's name is pronounced "ray-sis", referring to the extensive use of light "rays" for notes.
    • Grace's name also has a "ray" sound.
  • Required Spinoff Crossover:
    • "FLOWER", though remixed by REDALiCE. The original version was made available in Gravity Wars as part of an inter-company crossover event.
    • Also 凛として咲く花の如く, but also remixed, this time by Machigerita.
  • Sampling: Dreamin' feat Ryu has a lot of samples. (fittingly, some of them are from other Ryu songs such as Second Heaven or Thunderbolt)
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: The maximum difficulty level was previously 15. However, during the Sound Voltex II tournament at KAC (Konami Arcade Championships) 2013 in December, two songs with Exhaust charts rated level 16 were introduced to the finalists: "Bangin' Burst" and "For UltraPlayers". Both songs were added for non-tournament play later that month. A third level 16 chart, "Max Burning!!" on Infinite, was added in September 2014.
    • As of June 2015, there are six songs with level 16 difficulty charts in total, specifically "Everlasting Message", "KAC 2012 ULTIMATE MEDLEY -HISTORIA SOUND VOLTEX-" and "大宇宙ステージ"; as well as the aforementioned songs. Two of these songs, "Everlasting Message" and "KAC 2012 ULTIMATE MEDLEY -HISTORIA SOUND VOLTEX-" were introduced in Sound Voltex III, debuting during the final round of the Sound Voltex III tournament at The 4th KAC on February 2015, while "大宇宙ステージ" had been around since the first SDVX game, Sound Voltex Booth, simply receiving a GRV 16 chart in Gravity Wars.
      • "Everlasting Message" was the winner of The 4th KAC Original Song Contest, and therefore was given the honor of being the final track the finalists had to play during the 4th KAC, debuting with a difficulty of GRV 16.
    • As of August 21st, 2015, four new songs with GRV 16s were introduced into the game ("AΩ", "Blastix Riotz", "Preserved Valkyria", and "XyHATTE").
    • On September 17th, 2015, "XROSS INFECTION" (from Sound Voltex II) received a GRV 16 as well, bringing the total number of 16s in SDVX to 11.
    • In SDVX IV, Lachryma《Re:Queen’M》becomes the first chart to be rated 20 in the new scale. Following the trend is the two new KAC songs Illness Lilin (the final round song) and He4Ven, also rated a 20. Two new Level 20 songs were added such as WHITEOUT and FIN4LE ~終止編の彼方へ~
  • Series Mascot: Rasis, the pink-haired girl seen in a lot of official art, serves as the central mascot.
  • Socialization Bonus:
    • Playing local multiplayer will allow you to play tracks that the other players have unlocked that you have not unlocked yet. However, this won't unlock the track for you to play at any time; you still have to unlock it by yourself.
    • Playing either multiplayer will save you from a Track Crash if at least one other player clears the track and either (a) you're using Effective Rate or Alternative Rate or (b) you're playing local multiplayer. (Failing with Excessive Rate or Permissive Rate in online multiplayer will still disconnect you and end your credit.)
  • Spiritual Successor: To beatmania; it features white keys and black keys in staggered rows to go with the scrolling-note gameplay. It's also a Spiritual Antithesis: whereas beatmania is about putting the complete song together by hitting keys, Sound Voltex has you taking an already-complete song and adding effects on top of it.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Voltenizer Maxima actually has voiced lines in "TWO-TORIAL", telling you to "Listen..." (to the background track) and then "Go!" (replicate what you just heard by playing the relevant portion of the chart). The same gimmick is repeated for the April Fools' Day track "Maxima sensei no mankai!! HEAVENLY kouza".
  • Temporary Online Content: No song was removed from the series until June 1, 2016, when "Cyber Thunder Cider" was removed due to an expired license.
    • Another series of removals in March 2018 actually required "KAC 2012 ULTIMATE MEDLEY" to be retroactively modified to remove the affected song.
  • Testosterone Poisoning: Voltenizer Maxima, a hulking, muscular man whose design is based on the SDVX cabinet.
    • Nishinippori could count as a lesser example. He's a rather ripped man who hardly wears anything, usually shouts in a Large Ham type manner and has a job as a bodyguard.


Alternative Title(s): Sound Voltex Booth