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Arcaea is a Rhythm Game for iOS and Android by lowiro, released on March 8, 2017.
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The gameplay interface consists of four lanes of notes in a "hallway" perspective (similar to Guitar Hero, Sound Voltex, and CHUNITHM), and basic tap and hold notes may scroll down these lanes, and must be hit when they reach the judgement line. Unique to this game are Sky Notes and Arc Notes; both of these notes appear above the four lanes, with Sky Notes being "airborne" tap notes and Arc Notes being similar to hold notes, except that these notes in particular may twist horizontally and vertically. Harder charts often layer the "air" note types alongside the "floor" notes, requiring the player to use their sense of depth perception to hit the notes accurately.

The base game itself is free, alongside the initial "Arcaea" pack. Real-world money can be spent on Memories, which can then be used to purchase new tracks, song packs, and as one of three means of recharging Stamina in the World mode unlock system. New tracks are added over time through app updates; while many of these are paid DLC, free-of-charge tracks are occasionally added to the "Arcaea" pack. The game also does periodic collaborations with other rhythm games, such as Dynamix, Lanota, Stellights, Tone Sphere, and Groove Coaster.

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Compare Sound Voltex (which has similar "twisty" notes with the same colors, but only in two dimensions) and CHUNITHM (which has similar "aerial" notes and touch-input "note hallway" gameplay).


Arcaea provides examples of:

  • Aerith and Bob: Hikari (Japanese for 'light') and Tairitsu (Japanese for 'conflict'), the Series Mascots. Hikari is a normal Japanese name, but the same can't be said for Tairitsu.
  • All or Nothing: Zero Hikari's skill causes the Recollection Rate to fall to 0% on a Lost, so beyond a certain point in the song, this trope comes into play as even a single Lost will cause you to fail the song, as you're unable to hit enough Pures to recover the gauge to 70%.
  • Anti Poop-Socking: The Stamina system in World mode. Each track you play in World mode uses 2 Stamina out of your 6-Stamina capacity, and every time you play a track you gain steps and your partner gains EXP. Stamina can be recharged either by waiting in real time, following this trope, or by spending Fragments or Memories. Running out of Stamina won't stop you from playing the game, as you can still play in Music Play mode all you want, but you won't be able to make any World progress until you get at least two blocks back.
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  • April Fools' Day: 2018 brought a joke song and chart "Ignotus Afterburn" which is "Ignotus" mashed up with other songs, and the chart is very screwy mimicking Sound Voltex's own April Fools. The track is credited to "Arcaea Sound Team", a nod to BEMANI's "BEMANI Sound Team" controversy.note 
  • Arc Words: For the side story pack "Binary Enfold": "If you can".
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Intially averted, with song packs being the only things that could be purchased with Memories, but then World mode was added in version 1.5 and allows you to spend Memories to recharge your Stamina, if you don't feel like waiting to get it all back or spending your Fragments (which can only be done periodically).
  • Call a Hit Point a "Smeerp":
    • The three judgement ranks are called Pure (accurate), Far (slightly off), and Lost (miss).
    • Combo is known as Recall, and a full combo (no Losts) is called a "Full Recall".
    • An all-Pure Full Recall is called a "Pure Memory".note 
  • Crossover: So far, there have been four collaboration events with other music games: Dynamix, Lanota, Stellights, and Tone Sphere. The crossovers manifest in the form of DLC packs for each game, each with tracks from those games and their respective mascots to unlock as Partners. A fifth collab with Groove Coaster is scheduled for early 2019.
  • Crutch Character: Zero Hikari has some really high stats at level 1, but they decrease when levelling up, eventually going to 0.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: Hikari and the Partner pair Hikari & Fisica both have Easy gauges, causing you to lose less of your gauge when missing notes. However, their Fragment and Step parameters are lower than those of other Partners. Your clear status will also be rendered in a green font instead of purple as a reminder that you used a Support type skill to get the clear, as well as not contribute to the clear status in your profile card. Unless you cleared with a Full Recall or Pure Memory, in which case that takes priority instead, and does contribute to the clear status.
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • Due to the way Android processes sounds, the hit sounds are comically laggy on the Android version. This is why that version defaults hit sounds to off (whereas the iOS version, which doesn't suffer from this problem, defaults them to on).
    • The Future chart of "Axium Crisis" had a bug at the last Arc note that randomly gives one less combo, preventing you from getting Full Recall or Pure Memory even if you don't have a single Lost. This was patched soon after.
  • Guide Dang It!
    • To unlock Grievous Lady, you need to play Axium Crisis, while playing with Tairitsu as your partner.note  Then, at a specific point in the song, if your Recollection Rate is high enough (depending on difficulty and Tairitsu's level), you'll then be sent to play it as an anomaly, which you must clear with a hard gauge or play enough times to get 100% on the song menu to unlock it for free play at that difficulty or below, as well as the World chart for GL Tairitsu. Nothing details this.
    • Obtaining the other anomaly in the game, Fracture Ray, is even worse. First, you have to unlock Zero Hikari. Then, you need to level her up to a certain point based on difficulty,note  and when you hit level 8, it becomes even more painful to level her up further due to her skill which makes all LOST notes empty the entire recollection gauge. Then, you have to play Ether Strike with a Sealed Zero Hikari as your partner, and have your recollection gauge above a (level-dependent) threshold at the song's drop. Unlike Grivious Lady, doing this will instead change your recollection gauge to a continuously-draining challenge gauge, and you'll have to clear the remainder of the song without suffering a lost that would put you at or below 0, with the screen fading to white as it approaches 0. Doing this will cause a brief extension of the chart to appear (and the fail condition to be lifted), followed by Fracture Ray as an anomaly song (with a Hard Gauge). Clear the anomaly song (or repeatedly obtain it and fail it enough times), and it will be unlocked on that difficulty and below as well as the World Map for Fracture Hikari. Just like with Grevious Lady, nothing in the game details this, and this is the only time in the game that an unlock is tied to using a specific partner that is sealed.
    • Unlocking 2-3 for Binary Enfold is a pain, too. This time, you need to unlock Eto from 2-2, level her up to at least Level 6, then play Singularity, but if your potential is too high, you'll need to play on the Present or even Future chart (5.0 and 10.0 respectively) in order to get the chance. At the "If You Can" part, the floor will disappear and Luna will appear in the background. You need to clear this part of the song without getting too many Lost notes (the maximum losts you can get depends on Eto's level) then clear the song.
  • Hard Mode Perks: "Grievous Lady" Tairitsu and Ilith both have the "Hard" skill, which gives you a traditional Life Meter in place of the standard Recollection Rate gauge that starts at 100%, will result in a Track Complete if you finish with any percentage remaining, but will result in a Track Lost if the gauge hits 0% at any point. Ilith in particular will also take 100 Fragments away from you if you get a Track Lost. Both of these Partners also have higher Step parameters than any other Partner in the game, accelerating your World mode progress. Your clear status (if not a Full Recall or Pure Memory) will additionally be rendered in a red font instead of the usual purple one.
  • Harder Than Hard: The chart difficulty level scale goes from 1 to 9, and then 9+. And beyond that, 10 is a rating reserved for hidden boss song tracks (of which there are currently two: "Grievous Lady" and "Fracture Ray") which require unlocking by playing the story chapter's song (which has a 9+ rating for the Future difficulty level) in the same song pack with some variation of the featured character, under certain conditions.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Past (easy), Present (medium), and Future (hard).
  • Interface Screw:
    • Upon fulfilling specific requirements in the track "Axium Crisis", the game appears to glitch out, with the sound going haywire, the note track changing angles, and the background image breaking up into pieces. The track then cuts out to introduce the Vicious Labyrinth's Anomaly (and one of the game's two Final Boss tracks), "Grievous Lady".
    • Similarly, fulfilling even more specific requirements in "Ether Strike" causes another interface screw: The recollection gauge turns red as if it were a Hard Gauge, and the screen starts whiting out more the closer it gets to 0. Finishing the song under those conditions triggers that the Luminous Sky's Anomaly Track, "Fracture Ray", the other Final Boss track, with no other advance warning just like as the other Anomaly.
    • Some tracks will override your speed multiplier setting, either by introducing its own speed multiplier (which is applied multiplicatively) like in "cry of viella", while others will cap the scroll rate so that excess multiplier over a certain point won't have any effect, like in "memoryfactory.lzh".
    • The April Fools' Day song for 2018, Ignotus Afterburn.
  • Life Meter:
    • The game has a "Recollection Rate" gauge that must be built up to 70% or higher to clear the track.
    • Two partners, Tairitsu's "Grievous Lady" form and Ilith, have "Hard" gauges that start out full, don't need to be at 70% for a clear, but will fail you instantly if they hit 0% at any point.
    • The Chunithm event adds two more HARD gauge partners that are even stricter: MDA-21 [Regulus], which makes any FA Rs you get decrease the Recollection Rate instead of increasing it, and MTA-XXX [Pandora Nemesis], which auto-fails the song if you miss 20 notes. In addition, the non-event Chunithm partner uses a Chunitm gauge with a clear requirement of 7 (which is effectively just a reskin of the standard gauge).
  • One-Word Title
  • Rank Inflation:
    • After the A rank for score, there're also the AA and EX ranks.
    • The maximum score appears to be 10 million, but if you hit a Pure extra-accurately, or keep a hold or Arc note held down for a tick, you will gain 1 additional point, and if you get a Pure Memory you'll have a score of slightly over 10 million (for example, if you get a PM and you hit 300 notes with these "super" Pures, your final score will be 10'000'300). In practice, it's impossible to have a score of exactly 10 million if there are any hold or Arc notes in the chart.note 
  • Scoring Points: The maximum score is nominally 10 million points. You get 10 million divided by the number of notes for a Pure, 5 million divided by the number of notes for a Far, and 0 for a Lost. Additionally, if you get a very accurate Pure, or get a Pure from maintaining a hold note or Arc note, you'll gain one additional point; in practice, pretty much all Pure Memory runs have scores of just slightly over 10 million each.
  • Series Mascot: Hikari and Tairitsu, the two girls prominently shown on the title screen and in promotional artwork.
  • Trick Boss: How the Final Boss track, "Grievous Lady", is introduced: Once the requirements are met, play "Axium Crisis", and have your Recollection Rate at or above a certain point when you reach the "anomaly" within the track. The game interface and audio will briefly go ape and then the "track loading" shutters will appear, introducing the unlocked track. The other Final Boss track, "Fracture Ray", has something similar with "Ether Strike".
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