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Video Game / Arcaea

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Two young girls explore a shattered world—filled with sound: a past to be uncoverednote 

"A harmony of light
awaits you in a lost world
of musical conflict..."

Arcaea is a Rhythm Game for iOS and Android by lowiro, released on March 8, 2017 in all major regions.

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 assist features in World mode. 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.


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-Frustration Features:
    • If you unlocked a track that is currently a World mode unlock prior to the 1.5 update, it will stay unlocked instead of you having to grind for it again.
    • Advertisement:
    • If you are playing online and you achieve an EX rank on a song or fail out mid-song with a Hard meter, your Potential will not decrease even if the calculation would have caused it to otherwise.
    • Playing the April Fools' Day songs, which are Joke Levels that introduce all manners of absurd gimmicks, will not affect your Potential.
    • You are allowed to unlock Story segments with a sealed Partner. This can be useful when the condition for a segment requires a Partner who has a skill that affects the Recollection Rate (Zero Hikari, GL Tairitsu, Fracture Hikari, Saya) or the chart (Lethe) or has parameters that reduce Step or Fragment gain (several partners at lower levels, Zero Hikari at higher levels).
    • Fail to unlock Tempestissimo Beyond? The game gives you fixed 11 Fragments so you can keep trying until you unlock it without worrying about breaking the same last two digits requirement, and it even gives 12 Fragments on xx99 Fragments.
  • Anti Poop-Socking:
    • The Stamina system in World mode. Each track you play in World mode uses 2 Stamina out of your 12-Stamina capacity (formerly 6), 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. Unlocking Beyond charts is more restrictive, costing three Stamina per play.
    • The first chapter of World Mode eventually became a "legacy" chapter, meaning now it only costs 1 stamina to play as opposed to two, but players can instead spend 2, 4, or even 6 stamina all at once to add a multiplier to their step count. Fragments can also be spent for an additional multiplier on top of all that.
  • 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 invoked"BEMANI Sound Team" controversy.note 
    • 2019 pulled a similar joke, adding a song only for that day called "Red and Blue and Green", a remix of "Red and Blue" credited to "fn(Arcaea Sound Team)" note . Its chart brings a different kind of Interface Screw, adding a third color of Sky Notes and using all three at once — it's the only chart in the entire game that requires players to use five fingers at once.
    • 2019 also pulled one on players who try to datamine the game: The 2.0.0 update (March 21, 2019) features skeleton data for a song called "Ignotus Afterburn 2". There is no audio file and chart file actually does not contain any chart data, just a message to miners ("You really thought it'd be this easy?"). When version 2.0.2 rolled around on April 1, the song jacket was changed to have "CANCELLED" written on it and the chart file message was changed to an AFD greeting.
    • For 2020, the game gave players the ability to delete World Mode by tapping and holding down on the button for it on the home screen. Doing this throws the player into the exclusive song "Singularity VVVIP", a remix of "Singularity" by "Arcaea Sound Team against. ETIA.", with levels of Interface Screw and Camera Screw on par with "Ignotus Afterburn".
  • Arc Words: For the side story pack "Binary Enfold": "If you can".
  • Art Shift: Most of the Beyond charts' song artwork is just the original art with a distortion effect, but "GOODTEK" notably has a completely different art style, done by Demae rather than Koyama Mai.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Chuni Penguin awards an extra 14 Fragments if you get a perfect score. No, not just a Pure Memory, which is already hard enough for the vast majority of players, you have to get all perfect Pures.
  • Boring, but Practical: Using a Partner with the Easy modifier doesn't feel satisfying compared to using other Partners, Easy clears don't count towards your clear count in the folder listing or your profile, and they don't have the best Frag or Step stats, but they can still fulfill "Clear x song" requirements for unlocking other songs.
  • 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), or quadruple your step gain on the next song.
    • 3.0.0 adds the World Extend folder. As songs are added to it, you get limited time to unlock them by completing their World Mode maps...or you can just buy the folder and unlock all songs in it instantly, including new songs for the folder as they are added.
  • 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 
  • Cap: The standard level cap for Partners is 20. Some Partners have an Awakened form that gives them a new ability (if any) and raises their level cap to 30.
  • Colorblind Mode: Arc Notes are normally blue and pink, but a colorblind toggle changes pink Arcs to yellow.
  • The Computer Is a Lying Bastard: Saya's skill is described as increasing how much Recollection Rate you gain on a Pure and giving none on a Far. What the game doesn't tell you is that her skill also increases Recollection Rate loss on a Lost by three times.
  • Crossover:
    • So far, there have been seven collaboration events with other music games: Dynamix, Lanota, Stellights, Tone Sphere, Groove Coaster, and Chunithm. 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.
    • The HARDCORE TANO*C collab, which features musicians from that label, although the songs that comprise it are Memory Archive songs (and thus must be bought individually) rather than in their own folder.
  • Crutch Character: Zero Hikari has some really high stats at level 1, but they decrease when levelling up, eventually going to 0. This is to represent her literally losing her mind from an overdose of positive Arcaea.
  • Damage Over Time: In the Anomaly event for the Luminous Sky pack, which is triggered on "Ether Strike" with the correct conditions, the Recollection Rate gauge turns into a Hard gauge and goes down every few seconds. Having it fall to 0% won't cause a Track Lost, but getting a Lost at that point will.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Failing a song in standard Music Play mode simply gets you less Fragments and makes you miss out on "Clear x song" requirements for unlocking other songs and Story chapters. Furthermore, Potential is influenced by a combination of song difficulty and grade, but not whether you clear the song. World Mode is even more forgiving on failure, as Step gain is not impacted by it. About the only time failing will cause a significant problem is if it happens mid-song on a Hard meter (thus cutting the song short), and even then the game will prevent your Potential from decreasing in that case. Played straight in Beyond unlocks, as failing a song does impact how much progress you make.
  • Developers' Foresight: The chart credits for "Red and Blue" make references to the Arc Note colors: "-chartaesthesia- RED side" for Past, "side BLUE -chartaesthesia-" for Present, and "-chartaesthesia- LEFT=BLUE RED=RIGHT" for Future. However, if Colorblind Mode, which changes pink (i.e. red) Arc Notes to yellow ones, is enabled, all references to "RED" will be changed to "YELLOW" instead.
  • Do Well, but Not Perfect:
    • In World mode, Stamina steps will only award the Stamina bonus if you stop on it, unlike other kinds of reward steps. If you go past it, you will miss the bonus. Thus a combination of carefully missing notes and a low-Step partner will be needed to collect the bonuses.
    • With Fracture Hikari as your Partner, a strategy for using her high Step stat without reaching 100% and thus going into Hard mode is to either play a song where you can easy-clear but are not skilled enough to reach 100%, or play a song where you can reach 100% but intentionally miss a few notes.
  • Double Unlock:
    • Some songs are earned in World mode, and some through DLC. Then there's songs that not only require DLC packs but also must then be unlocked in World mode. World mode song unlocks also have Present and Future charts locked behind Fragment purchases, meaning that unless you are content with playing them on Past only, DLC World mode songs are Triple Unlocks.
    • Black Fate's two hidden songs, Partner, and Beyond Chart are this taken to an extreme. The procedure for all of them is detailed under Guide Dang It! below, but in total, beyond the steps done in the Black Fate pack itself, you will need to:
      • Obtain Grievous Lady Tairitsu (which necessitates owning Vicious Labyrinth and completing its Anomaly) if you don't have a Challenge-type Event Partner.
      • Obtain Fracture Hikari (which necessitates owning Luminous Sky and completing its Anomaly), as she is required for both the Anomaly and the second hidden song.
      • Unlock Pragmatism (Eternal Core, World Mode Map unlock) and own Ringed Genesis (Adverse Prelude), as they are required for the second hidden song.
    • For songs that have them, Beyond Charts. With the exception of the Black Fate anomaly, Beyond charts have to be unlocked from the Beyond Chapter. In order to even access the Beyond Chapter, your Potential must be at least 9.00 (making it the third unlock to be based on Potential, after Saikyo Strongest Future and the Singularity Challenge). Then, in order to open the map for the chart you want, you have to have unlocked the Future chart on the song. This effectively makes them a possible quintuple unlock: You need to own the song (which itself may require unlocking via World Mode), have the ability to play the Future chart, have raised your Potential to at least 9.00, and complete the Beyond Map for that song's Beyond chart.
  • Downloadable Content:
    • The game has paid DLC packs available; each one comes with a set of songs and most of them also have unlockable Partners. Some of these also must be earned through World Mode.
    • Memory Archive is a collection of individual-purchase DLC songs.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Before the 1.5 update that introduced World mode, speed modifiers were applied by multiplying the track BPM by your chosen multiplierexample , requiring players to do a little mental math to get the scroll speed they want. From 1.5 onwards, scroll speed is solely dictated by the speed settingexample  except when the chart imposes its own scroll multipliers or limitations on scroll speed.
  • Earn Your Fun: Unlocking new songs and Partners requires you to grind your way through World mode, where you climb up staircases to obtain the unlocks; climbing is done by playing charts well, with your Partner applying a multiplier to your step gain. And you can't just play World mode all day, because the game uses a Stamina system with a real-time Cooldown mechanic.
  • Easter Egg: Adding player IDs 000000001 and 000000002 will add Hikari and Tairitsu, respectively, to your friends list. Both of them have a Potential of 6.16 (a Goroawase Number of "lowiro") and neither of them have any song records.
  • 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. Despite all of this however, "easy clears" still count for unlocking other songs and for unlocking Story segments, making it useful for those who play for the story or want to unlock one song but cannot normal-clear its prerequisite(s).
    • Inverted with DORO*C as a Partner; she revises the Life Meter system to instead measure your score and changes the clear condition to a AA rank (9.5 million points). Even though it's almost always harder to get a AA rank than it is to just clear a chart on a normal lifebar (the lifebar is lenient enough that if you secure a AA, it is unlikely you will go under 70% at that point), clearing with her constitutes an easy clear like with Hikari.
    • Zigzagged with Fracture Hikari, depending on your performance. She starts out the song with an Easy meter, so naturally clearing with her results in an easy clear. However, upon reaching 100%, the meter turns into a Hard meter, meaning that depending on how well you do in the last parts of the song it may be easier to just use a standard meter, but even if you reach the changeover you will still get an easy clear. That said, Fracture Hikari has one of the highest Step parameters of any non-Hard partner.
  • 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.
    • For colorblind players, Colorblind Mode doesn't work correctly on the April Fools' Day song "Red and Blue and Green". It changes both green and red Arc Notes to yellow.
  • Gimmick Level:
    • "dropdead" on Past and Future force you to play with a multiplier imposed on your speed setting: 10% on Pastnote , and 25% on Future with some occasional "overdrive" sections that turn your speed up to over 100% of its setting. Averted on Present which does not have any effect on scroll speed.
    • "Red and Blue" on Past has all of its Arc notes be red Arcs (hit with your right hand) and on Present has all of its Arcs be blue (hit with your left hand). Future has both Arc colors, but they often start on the "wrong" side, and hitting the correct color with the correct hand is required or else your hands will be in a position where they cannot complete patterns.
  • Glass Cannon:
    • Generally speaking, high-parameter Partners are saddled with the Hard skill, causing you to fail and negate the high Fragment or Step bonus if you are not careful. Regulus and Pandora Nemesis are the biggest examples of this trope; they have the highest Step and Fragment parameters, respectively (x2.16 and x2.10 multipliers), but use Harder Than Hard meters, with Regulus also losing health when getting Far judgmenmts (not just Lost) and Pandora failing out after 20 misses.
    • Saya, in a different sense. She uses the standard Recollection Rate meter, however she gains twice as much meter on a Pure, none on a Far, and loses three times as much meter on a Lost.
  • 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.
    • Taken to its logical extreme with the Black Fate Anomaly, which has the longest series of steps required of any unlock in the game: You must unlock the song Lost Desire from Chapter 5 in World Mode and progress through the VS Chapters in the Story until you reach the one blocked off by the Anomaly symbol. After this, you have to perform a series of steps to unlock the last Black Fate song, none of which are told to you until after you perform them, and they all have to be done on at least the difficulty of the chart you're unlocking:
      • Using a Challenge-type Partner (HARD gauge), clear Equilibrium.
      • Clear Antagonism with a max recall of 300 or above.
      • Clear Equilibrium, Antagonism, and Dantalion consecutively without playing any other songs.
      • Tap on the far-right condition box and enter a password. (This only has to be done once, but the source of the password is found through an Alternate Reality Game)
    • But wait, it gets even better: All of the above only unlocks the last Black Fate song on the difficulty you performed them on. The anomaly is triggered by matching the last two digits of your Fragments, then using Fracture Hikari to play Tempestissimo and obtaining and maintaining a high enough Recollection Rate determined by her level (or having no LOST) before the halfway point. Doing so forces you to play the second half of the chart from the next difficulty up. If you do this on Future, good luck with sightreading the latter half of the game's first Beyond Chart.
    • Extra icing on the cake: The above is all for the Anomaly visible in the song selection screen. Black Fate has a second hidden song, triggered by unlocking Tempestissimo and then clearing three songs from before Black Fate in Hikari's Story Packs that feature Fracture Hikari in their release order (Pragmatism, Fracture Ray, Ringed Genesis) while using - guess who? - Fracture Hikari. Doing so will immediately cut to a new story sequence and dump you into a new song on Future ? (or Present ?, if performed on Past difficulty), with the background continuously glitching and no way to quit or fail out. Upon completion of the song, the screen will cut out, and the game will appear to restart.
  • 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.
    • Inverted with Zero Hikari. She has perhaps the hardest meter of any partner, instantly falling to 0% on a Lost, yet clearing with her only counts as a normal clear, and her initially-high stats decrease as she levels up, withering away to 0 for both parameters at level 19.
  • Harder Than Hard:
    • Initially, the difficulty scale went from 1 to 9, followed by 9+. However, a later update introduced level 10 charts, causing the 9+ rating to become a subversion of this trope. As of 3.0.0, 9+ has been changed to 10 (and the old 10 to 11), averting this trope.
    • In addition to the Hard gauge that is used when you have Ilith or Grievous Lady Tairitsu as your Partner, there are two even more difficult Hard-class Partners: Regulus (MDA-21) and Pandora Nemesis (MTA-XXX); the former also loses Recollection Rate on Fars and the latter gets a Track Lost after 20 Lost notes.
    • The Black Fate anomaly, quite literally. It's the fourth difficulty 11 chart in the game, and the first to NOT be on Future. This is because the anomaly introduced the entire Arcaea playerbase to Beyond difficulty
  • Hope Spot: Tempest Tairitsu's unique gauge is not controlled directly by your performance; rather, hitting or missing notes affects the rate at which it increases or decreases. Therefore, if the gauge is draining as you hit the last note, it is possible to suffer a Track Lost anyway.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Past (easy), Present (medium), and Future (hard). With the release of Black Fate, a fourth difficulty was introduced: Beyond, the charts of which must be unlocked either from anomalies or from the special Beyond Chapter.
  • 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" or "dropdead", while others will cap the scroll rate so that excess multiplier over a certain point won't have any effect, like in "memoryfactory.lzh".
  • Infinity -1 Sword: Tairitsu's Grievous Lady form has only the third highest Step stat at maximum level (102), but unlke two of the Partners who exceed her Step stat (Ilith (105) and Regulus (108)), she does not have a time constraint on her unlock. There's also Tempest Tairitsu, who naturally caps at 100 Step but can go higher based on the levels of other partners, but the bonus is based on the sum of those other partners divided by 10. GL Tairitsu is also less risky than the other three, as Ilith takes away 100 Fragments if you get a Track Lost, Regulus loses a little meter every time you get a Far judgment, and Tempest Tairitsu has a special Hard gauge that is extremely punishing on consecutive misses.
  • Irony: The world of Arcaea is a world of various memories, yet all of the characters wake up in it with no memories of their own. Lethe is the lone exception, as she retains some memories of her past life as a reaper.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Originally, the difficulty level of 10 (11 as of version 3.0.0) was a spoiler and was restricted to a couple of hidden "boss" songs, but then the TANO*C collab introduced "SAIKYO STRONGER", which was plainly listed as level 10 on Future even if you hadn't bought the track or unlocked the chart yet.
  • Later Installment Weirdness: The 3.0 update changes the menu and results themes, some sound effects, and the score HUD, all of which had been constant since the game's initial release.
  • 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 FARs 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).
  • Luck-Based Mission: Ayu's ability gives you one of several different random amounts of fragments for clearing a song. Unfortunately, some of those amounts are negative, meaning that you can potentially lose fragments.
  • Master of None: Partners with balanced stats are only really useful if you haven't unlocked Partners that specialize in either stat, as Music Play only lets you earn Fragments and not Steps while World only lets you earn Steps and not Fragments (not counting the Fragment rewards for reaching certain tiles, which are fixed regardless of your Partner's Frag stat).
  • Multiple Endings:
    • The Luminous Sky and Vicious Labyrinth stories each have a lettered chapter (1-ZR and 2-D, respectively) that serves as a premature bad ending for the story's respective protagonist. To continue the story towards the correct ending, you have to unlock the chapter's Anomaly track.
    • The ending to "Ether Strike" depends on whether you are playing normally or have triggered the Anomaly. In the latter case, the track keeps going for several more seconds.
  • No Fair Cheating: If the game detects you attempting to switch fingers on the same Arc Note or the same finger for multiple Arcs of different colors, the Arcs you attempted to abuse will turn red and you'll be unable to interact with them for a brief moment.
  • Non-Standard Game Over:
    • If you fail an Anomaly track and your progress towards unlocking it for regular play hasn't reached 100%, "Anomaly Lost" will appear on the results screen along with your current progress.
    • If you fail "Ether Strike" with Anomaly mode active, the screen will fade entirely to white, the music will fade out, and the shutters will close without the "TRACK LOST" text.
  • Ominous Visual Glitch: How Anomaly events play out:
    • In the Vicious Labyrinth DLC pack, fulfilling certain requirements when you reach a certain point in "Axium Crisis" causes the background image to break up, red lines to appear on the screen, and the playfield to shift around in angles. After a few seconds of the game appearing to malfunction, the shutters close to introduce the pack's "boss" song, "Grievous Lady".
    • For Luminous Sky, meeting the requirements at the end of "Ether Strike" causes the track to keep going past where it's supposed to end while the background image starts to warp. After several seconds, it does the same effect above before transitioning into the pack's boss song, "Fracture Ray".
  • One-Word Title
  • Over 100% Completion: 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 
  • Rank Inflation: After the A rank for score, there're also the AA and EX ranks. 3.0.0. adds the EX+ rank.
  • Repeatable Quest:
    • Most mid-song setpieces (notably the story-related Anomaly events that unlock songs) are only available as long as you have not unlocked the hidden song yet (more specifically, the song on the difficulty you're playing on); once you do the Anomaly on all three difficulties and unlock the new song for each one, you can't get the Anomaly again. However, the "If you can" challenge in "Singularity" can be repeated; the only difference is that you must have a level 10 or higher Luna as your Partner instead of Eto and you will not get any special rewards for it (as opposed to the first time, where it unlocks a new area).
    • Once an area in World mode has been completed, you cannot access it again, even for the non-unique rewards (Ether Drops, Awakening materials, etc.), with the exception of one area in Chapter 0 where you can earn Fragments.
  • Retcon: The Stellights collaboration used to be its own folder, but the two songs that made up the folder were later moved into Memory Archive.
  • 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. Other characters appear in the game but these two are the most recurring.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Luna mouths "If you can..." in "Singularity" if you unlock her challenge.
  • Suspicious Video-Game Generosity: World area 4-8, where you unlock "BLRINK", has a +4 Stamina step as the second-to-last step. The step also has a length of 115 that you need to complete before you can finally unlock the song.
  • Temporary Online Content:
    • Several partners are only available to unlock during a period of a few weeks.
    • April Fools' Day tracks are only available on April 1.
  • 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".
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: The April Fools' Day 2020 special song, "Singularity VVVIP", has a unique gimmick in that it is supposed to disable non-Normal Recollection Rate meters, forcing the normal one instead. However, Pandora Nemesis does not recover Recollection Rate even with this gimmick intact, causing you to be stuck at 0%, so even if you get a Pure Memory, the game will still declare a Track Lost.
  • Video Game Setpiece: The game does this for some boss unlock events:
    • Vicious Labyrinth DLC: Meeting certain requirements (a combination of the correct Partner, Partner level, and a high enough Life Meter) on the song "Axium Crisis" triggers what appears to be a malfunctioning of the game itself, with the graphics getting garbled, the sound distorting, and the player seemingly unable to hit notes. After several seconds, a special shutter comes down on the screen to introduce the Final Boss track of the DLC, "Grievous Lady".
    • Luminous Sky DLC: Fulfilling the correct requirements on "Ether Strike" causes the player's Life Meter to suddenly change to a Hard meter (70% pass requirement lifted, but now there is a Game Over if it drops to 0%). The player starts taking Damage Over Time, and as their lifebar decreases the screen gradually fades to white, giving the impression of slowly dying. Should the player make it all the way to the end of the track, it goes on longer than it's supposed to, the player may start getting more points than what is supposed to be the maximum, and visual glitches like in "Axium Crisis" begin to take place, before the song is cut off to introduce "Fracture Ray".
    • Black Fate DLC: Fulfilling a set of conditions will allow you to play the song "Tempestissimo", and should you fulfill specific conditions during that, most of the HUD disappears, the Recollection Rate meter is swapped out for a Harder Than Hard variant of the Hard gauge, Tairitsu appears on the right side of the screen, and the difficulty is kicked up by one level (Past becomes Present, Present becomes Future, and Future becomes Beyond).
  • Wham Line: At the time of the 1.5 update, players unlocking "Grievous Lady" on Future were in for a nasty surprise:note 
    Future 10
    • Repeated again with even more impact with the Black Fate Anomaly in 3.0. The song in question, after unlocking it, is plainly listed as a Future 10 (what used to be a 9+). Play it and satisfy certain conditions, and...
      BEYOND 11

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