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Cytus is a Rhythm Game developed for iOS, Android, PS Vitanote  and Nintendo Switch by Rayark.

The game can be described as a horizontal, non-splitscreen version of DJMax Technika: A black scan line scrolls up and down and you must hit notes as the line goes over them. Occasionally, there are "hold" notes that must be held down until the entire note passes, and "drag" notes where the note must be dragged as the line sweeps over it.

Cytus is available for 1.99 USD. Initially, Rayark adapted a "Million Downloads Plan": three chapters were initially available with the next two chapters being DLC purchases, and every 100,000 downloads would reveal a new chapter and unlock the oldest DLC-locked chapter, the idea being to reach 1 million downloads to provide roughly 100 additional songs total. This goal was met in March 2015, and as of Cytus 8.0, released in July 2015, all ten main chapters, as well as the special chapters Symphony, Knight, and Million are available for play upon purchase, with 149 songs across all of these chapters. The special chapters Prologue, Retro, Timeline and Deemo can be purchased separately for 4.99 USD each, alongside Night Keepers for 3.99 USD and L for 9.99 USD, bringing up the song count to 200 songs for roughly 36 USD.

The game features several different stories, told through music, visual eyecatches, and sometimes supplemental material:

  • Alive is the main story of the game, featuring a world where humanity has been wiped out by a virus and people undergoing voluntary Brain Uploading to live on as androids.
  • Knight is based off of the eyecatch for the Chapter V track "Holy Knight", and shows two childhood best friends becoming separated, with one becoming a knight and the other becoming the queen of a rivaling nation, with tragic results.
  • Timeline, composed by the Video Game Orchestra, tells the history of Taiwan and then continues into the future to tell a Green Aesop.
  • L is based off of ICE's "L" series of existing tracks, including "L" and "L2" from Chapter VII, and is about a conflict between the heavens and Earth and two boys who end up caught in the big picture.

An arcade Cytus game, Cytus OMEGA, was announced at the Japanese arcade expo JAEPO in February 2015, and location tests were held in July 2015. It went into Vaporware status before being ultimately canceled in 2018.

A sequel, Cytus II , was released on January 17, 2018 for iOS and March 7 for Android. It features two new note types, the "flick" note and a longer variation of the hold note, as well as charts where the scanline can change speed. It also has a new story, told more directly through in-universe internet posts.

An Updated Re-release of the original game by FlyhighWorks, Cytus α, was released for Nintendo Switch in digital format on April 25, 2019, and in physical format in Japan on the same day with the North American version to follow on May 14 and the European/Australian version to come at a future undetermined date. α includes the option to play with buttons (much like on VOEZ and Deemo on Switch, also Rayark games ported by FHW), an online matchmaking versus feature, an updated visual interface, and new songs including a DJMAX crossover chapter and an Omega chapter that includes songs from the cancelled Cytus OMEGA. Instead of chapters being DLC, each has to be unlocked by fulfilling certain conditions in a prior chapter.

Cytus contains examples of (story spoilers only hidden for locked tracks):

    open/close all folders 

    General Tropes 
  • Actually Four Mooks: "Hay Fields" ends with a note...followed immediately by a note in the opposite direction stacked on top of it. Its hidden counterpart "Infinite Fields" does the same trick.
  • All There in the Manual: The hidden songs don't have their names shown. They do have official namesnote , but you'll have to look at soundtracks or their artist's websites to learn them, or use the Twitter and Facebook share buttons (until an update turned sharing into just posting screenshots). α on the other hand does show the hidden tracks' titles plainly when you play them.
  • Bonus Feature Failure: The "Alive" songs don't track your TP records.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: Thought "FREEDOM DiVE" was sadistic enough? Meet "FREEDOM D↓VE" (yes, with a down arrow), a Secret Level accessed by swiping down on the former song's eyecatch at the song select screen that has 2,000 notes in 140 seconds in its Hard chart. Don't break your device's screen!
  • Call-Back: Chapter Million is made up entirely of remixes of earlier songs; thus, the artwork features many characters from those songs. Chapter R has these characters (like the warrior from "Sanctity" or the rabbit creatures from "Sweetness And Love") appear as well.
  • The Computer Is a Lying Bastard: The track preview for "L" in the original versions of the game is actually from "L2 (Ver. A)". Averted in α, where the preview is actually from "L" itself.
  • Concept Album: Alive, Knight (Chapter K), Timeline (Chapter T), and L (Chapter L). More details in their respective folders below.
  • Conlang: The lyrics to "conflict" are composed of made-up words.
  • Crossover:
    • One with Rayark's second rhythm game, Deemo in the form of Chapter D. Deemo got many songs from Cytus in return, including all of Chapter K and Chapter L.
    • Cytus α has a DJMAX chapter. Notably, one of the tracks in it, "SuperSonic", is from S4 League, making it a double example.
  • Double Unlock: A crowdsourced example; every 100,000 downloads would reveal a new chapter, but it would be made available as a DLC chapter until 200,000 downloads later. This is no longer the case as of 8.0.
  • Downloadable Content:
    • Chapters Retro, Prologue, Timeline, Deemo and Nightkeepers are all separate purchases, at 4.99 USD each. The L chapter notably costs 9.99 instead, double that of the other DLC chapters. The entire package totals up to 36.93 USD, including the initial game purchase. While the Million Download plan was still in progress, this temporarily applied to chapters V through K as well.
    • α averts this; instead, all chapters besides Chapter 1 and DJMAX have to be unlocked by fulfilling specific in-game conditions. It's also notably more expensive than the smartphone versions with all DLC, at 49.99 USD, although it does have DJMAX and Cytus Omega tracks (which are not in the original versions) to balance out the difference.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Earlier chapters have a lot of charts with half-speed scanlines, unlike more recent chapters where almost every song has a normal-speed scanline. The 7.0 update revised a lot of early-chapter charts so that they are not only different, but also have normal-speed scanlines.
  • Earn Your Fun: α starts you with only Chapter 1 and the DJMAX chapter and requires you to unlock the other chapters, unlike the original smart-device version where (as of the end of the million-downloads campaign) all the main chapters, S, and K are available immediately with the rest as DLC. Specifically, the mainline chapters each require you to get 5,000,000 total high score in the previous chapter, while the branch-off chapters require you to clear 8 tracks in the root chapter or achieve a set number of wins in online matchmaking mode.
  • Easter Egg:
    • In Chapter R, each song has an alternate title shown when it is the next or previous song available for selection. When arranged in order of first to last song in the chapter, the first letter of each title spells out the phrase "SHOTA4EVER".
    • At the end of the Hard chart to "Entrance", the drag notes form a dollar sign.
    • "Area 184 -Platinum Mix-"'s Hard chart spells out "AREA 184" in drag notes, followed by a "P" in click notes (representing the 'Platinum' in the song title). This also references the same pattern in "Area 184".
    • "Brionac"'s Hard chart spells out "PROJ" in click notes, referencing the song's artist, Project Grimoire.
    • "Do Not Wake"'s Hard chart spells out the song title near the end.
    • "Halloween Party"'s Hard chart has a drag note coupled which click notes which, when turned sideways, resemble a Jack-o'-lantern. At the same point in the Easy chart, the number '31' is formed instead, referring to October 31st.
    • "Twenty One" has drag notes at the end of the song which form the number '21'.
    • "Masquerade" on Hard has a series of drag, click and hold notes form butterflies.
    • The beginning of "SuperSonic" on Hard has drag notes spell out "S4" at the start of the chart.
  • Flawless Victory: Completing a song with all Perfects, and therefore the maximum score of 1 million, earns you the "Million Master" rank. Averted with getting 100% TP, which does not get its own flashy animation.
  • Freemium: While the game can be played for free, players would have to wait for 30 seconds before they could play a song, unless they purchase the "full version" of the game. Also, numerous chaptersnote  can only be accessed after additional payments.
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • The game has sync issues on certain devices. As many rhythm game players know, having the song be out of sync with the chart is very, very bad. Fortunately, an update allows players to calibrate timing offsets.
    • For whatever reason, hidden charts with a "swipe across the eyecatch" requirement (both alternate versions of "Slit" and "FREEDOM D↓VE", for example) are a lot more difficult to reach in α than in the original smart-device versions.
  • Harder Than Hard: The Hard chart for any track where both charts are rated level 9, such as "L" and both parts of "L2".
  • Interface Spoiler: If, after completing all listed songs in a chapter, the "cleared songs" counter does not show that you've played every song in the chapter, it means there's hidden songs in the chapter.
  • Kaizo Trap: While the pass conditions are lenient enough that you will very unlikely get screwed over from blundering the last few notes (just score 700,000 points), this trope is still in force if you're trying for a full combo, Million Master, or 100 TP run. "Hay Fields" on Hard has one note at the end... right on top of another. This makes it practically invisible, and many players have missed the final note in the song because of this. Ditto for the Sequel Song, "Infinite Fields".
  • Little Bit Beastly: The boy on "Future World"'s artwork.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Vocaloid original song It’s a Beautiful World, despite the positive song title and colorful song image, the actual lyrics ironically tells about the world is actually not beautiful as wars break out, diseases, famines and other disasters. The figure of a child girl holding a gun behind her back in the song image makes this thing makes sense.
  • Lucky Charms Title: "FREEDOM D↓VE", the hidden, even harder version of "FREEDOM DiVE".
  • Marathon Level:
    • Outside of Alive and L, three of the longest songs are "Scherzo" (4:11), "STORIA" (4:14), and "The Long Years" (5:00).
    • While nowhere near as long as the above examples, many songs in the Million chapter clock in at 3-4 minutes when other chapters' songs typically clock in at the arcade-esque length of 1:45-2:30.
  • Mini-Game Credits: Like the other Cytus Alive songs, "The New World" has cutscenes while the song plays. Rather than tell the story of Cytus, though, these mainly serve to show the credits.
  • Nerf: "FREEDOM DiVE" had a more difficult chart in a beta version of Lambda; it was mainly toned down because of technical issues on other devices. Parts of the scrapped chart can be found in the "FREEDOM D↓VE" Hard chart.
  • Number of the Beast: "Future World" on Hard has 666 notes.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: Chapter S: Symphony, which consists of remixes and arranges of classical songs.
  • Retraux: Chapter R: Retro, as the name suggests. It consists entirely of chiptunes with one exception: the original version of "Conflict", which is a Secret Level. Each song has a pixel art eyecatch.
  • Rock Me, Amadeus!:
    • The "Symphony" chapter comprises arranged of classical songs, with many of them being rock arranges.
    • "The Blocks We Loved" by KillerBlood is an arrangement of Russian folk song "Korobeiniki", otherwise known as "that Tetris song".
    • "Solar Wind" is an arrangement of Vivaldi's Concerto #2 in G Minor, Op.8, RV 315,"L'Estate"(Summer).
    • "Scherzo" contains bits and pieces of Handel's Sarabande.
  • Scoring Points:
    • The standard point system, which is based on your note timing and, to an extent, your combo. As there is no Life Meter, your score is used to determine whether you clear or fail a song; you need 700,000 points or better for a clear.
    • The "TP" system, which was implemented in response to players complaining that the game's Perfect window is too wide. When you get a Perfect, you will get one of two different splashes: a Perfect with a green-and-orange splash, and a Perfect with a black splash; the former gives out more TP (100% of per-note TP) than the latter (70%). A Good will give out 30%, and anything less gives out 0%. TP is not combo-based, so where you make mistakes is irrelevant.
  • Secret Level: Some songs on the song select screen have splash screens that can be interacted with to unlock hidden songs. Many of these will require a guide to figure out. "Entrance", "∅" and "L" are notable in that their splash screens hide two hidden songs each.
  • Shareware: The Android free version has a "cooldown" period prior to each song. The cooldown becomes longer the longer you continously play songs. Buying the full version lifts the cooldown mechanic.
  • Shout-Out: "The Blocks We Loved" is none other than a remix of the original Tetris theme!
  • Title Theme Drop: "Loom", the current title theme, can be played in-game by going to the splash screen for Chapter VII and tapping on either of the cleared-song counters. The previous title theme, "The Beginning", can be played in the same way by tapping the song counters on Chapter Million.
  • True Final Boss: Chapter R lists "conflict(YM2151 edit)" as the last track in it. The original hidden track of the chapter is unlocked on this chapter's splash screen; said hidden track is the original "conflict".
  • Updated Re-release:
    • Cytus Lambda for the Vita. For a single purchase, it includes all Chapters from the get-go, with bonus chapters as free updates, as well as Chapter: Prologue, which at the time of release was Vita-exclusive. Unfortunately, it got the axe along with the PlayStation Mobile service in 2015, meaning Retro, Timeline, and Deemo are not included and the game is no longer available for purchase.
    • Cytus α on Switch. It features a new visual interface, an online multiplayer versus mode, new tracks including from DJMAX and the scrapped Cytus Omega, among other things. Everything other than Chapter 1 and the DJMAX chapter have to be unlocked by playing songs, racking up total high score, or defeating online opponents.
  • A Winner Is You: The game treats you getting a Million Master rank with a special animation and a "Master" medal, but getting 100% TP? You get the same treatment as a standard Master rank and nothing else.

    Alive (all spoilers unmarked) 
  • All There in the Manual: Initially, you had to look up the official website to read the story, but Cytus α allows you to read it in-game; each segment is unlocked by playing tracks.
  • Apocalypse How: Class 5: Planetary Scale, (all multicellular) Species Extinction. A mysterious virus wipes out all sentient life on Earth, except for robots.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Operators, effectively robots with human minds uploaded into them, were met with wide backlash at first due to the moral and ethical questions surrounding them, but when a mysterious virus threatens to wipe out humanity, global health organizations and governments authorize use of Operators if it means preserving humanity, though of course they still have worrying questions about the concept of digital immortality.
  • Human Popsicle: Although, as described above, most lifeforms were killed by the virus, there were a few survivors who froze themselves in cryo-pods. "Another Me" depicts the robotic Vanessa finding her human body frozen.
  • Marathon Level: Many songs from this chapter, but most notably:
    • "Vanessa" from Chapter V, which is seven minutes long, the longest song in the entire game until Chapter L was released. Despite this, however, its Hard chart of 1564 notes still doesn't have the highest notecount of any non-Ch.L chart in the game; that honor goes to "L2 (ver.B)" on Hard, which is four minutes shorter but beats "Vanessa" by six notes.
    • "Disaster" and "Buried" from Chapter II and IX come close at six minutes.
    • On the flipside, there's The New World in Chapter X, which gives us the grand total of one note after the entirety of the credits in both easy and hard.
  • Zero-Effort Boss: "The New World" is very long and has all of one note at the end. Subverted, in that although you just need that one Perfect to get the Million Master rank, it is just as easy to fail by mistiming or missing that note.note 

    Knight (unmarked spoilers for the first eight songs except "The Fallen Bloom" ending) 
  • All There in the Manual: The two girls' names are not revealed in-game, but officially they are Iris (blue) and Rosabell (red).
  • Alternate Continuity:
    • "Music. The Eternity of Us" is the final song in the chapter and, heartbreakingly, is a non-canon song in which the entire ordeal never happened and the two girls remained friends.
    • "Genesys" from the Million chapter shows Iris and Rosabell working together as detectives to solve a dead person case, specifically that of Deemo.
  • Artifact of Doom: Whatever the Forbidden Codex did to Rosabell, it caused her to turn into a war-hungry despot.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Iris kills her childhood friend Rosabell, who had become the queen of a warring enemy empire and, presumably, gone mad with power from the Forbidden Codex's influence.
  • Double Unlock: "Music. The Eternity of Us" requires playing "Where You Are Not" first, which in turn requires playing the first eight songs first.
  • Fighting Your Friend: The story builds up to Iris and Rosabell representing warring nations. And ultimately, fighting one another to the death.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Rosabell goes from being best friends with Iris to a malicious conquest-seeking monarch.
  • Image Song: "Knight of Firmament" for Iris, "Lord of Crimson Rose" for Rosabell.
  • Kaizo Trap: "The Fallen Bloom" features a cutscene at the end that depicts Iris killing Rosabel, followed by one single note.
  • Mood Whiplash: Invoked with the final track, "Music. The Eternity of Us". In contrast to the previous few tracks which build up to an intense fight between Iris and Rosabell with the former killing the latter, it shows the two of them grown up together, still the closest of friends. It's a What If? / Alternate Continuity scenario meant to tell the player "This is the future that they could've had, and it will never happen."
  • Psychotic Smirk: Rosabell shows one after she takes the throne in "Lord of Crimson Rose", presumably corrupted by the influence of the Forbidden Codex.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Iris and the kingdom she represents have triumphed in "Where You Are Not"...but this victory came at the cost of her best friend, who's now dead by her hands.
  • Royal Blood: When Rosabell's parents are killed, she's forced to take up the throne that they were fatally removed from.
  • Secret Level: Differing from the usual Secret Levels in Cytus, Chapter K requires you to play through the first eight songs before you unlock the ninth and tenth song respectively. And yes, you have to play the ninth before you unlock the tenth.
  • Show, Don't Tell: Unlike the other stories, Knight doesn't really have a lot of text to describe what's happening, even in supplemental material; much of the story is shown in eyecatches and through song lyrics and is left to player interpretation.

    Timeline (all spoilers unmarked) 
  • After the End: Taiwan is shown to be recovering two centuries after the earthquake and nuclear disaster of 2059, with plants covering long-abandoned-and-later-repurposed 21st-century buildings.
  • All There in the Manual: The story is told through a web page that can be reached by scanning the QR code that makes up the track icon for "Phubbing". Or you can click here.
  • Apocalypse How: Class 0: Regional Scale, Societal Disruption or Collapse. Much of Taiwan's population is evacuated due to nuclear reactor meltdown.
  • Bittersweet Ending: A large chunk of Taiwan ends up becoming uninhabitable due to a nuclear disaster in 2059 ("Catastrophe"). Millions of people evacuated, although some chose to stay in order to guard the lands and tombs of their fallen family. Two centuries later in 2245 ("Rebirth"), the island has largely recovered; the eyecatch shows several plots of land being used to grow vegetables, with the two mascot girls cheerfully looking upon a plant growing healthily in a pot.
  • Book Ends: The first track, "Penglai Movement" features a shot of Yu Shan, the tallest mountain in Taiwan. The final track, "A New Home", shows the same mountain.
  • Green Aesop: In 2057 ("Protest"), the government of Taiwan, faced with a an energy crisis coupled with tech corporations' demand for energy, falls back onto nuclear energy rather than alternative sources, resulting in protests across the country. This leads to disaster two years later ("Catastrophe") when a major earthquake destroys the nuclear power plant and causes radioactive material to spread throughout the country, forcing mass evacuations from the capital city of Taipei. Eventually, natural fauna grows back after two centuries of human non-interference and nature is allowed to thrive in the area once again ("Rebirth").note 
  • Human Aliens: You wouldn't know that the two girls in every eyecatch are actually aliens without reading the story webpages.
  • Take That!: "Phubbing" is a criticism of modern smartphone culture, discussing the phenomenon of people constantly being on their smartphones even when they're together with friends and family. Given that the game is primarily played on smart devices like Rayark's other games, it doubles as Self-Deprecation and a potential jab at the player if they're currently playing the game in a social environment.
  • Time Abyss: The two girls you see in every track's eyecatch? They're actually aliens who record the timeline of Taiwan, and do so for millions of years, everything from the Penglai Movement of 6 million BC to the 23rd century AD and beyond.
  • You Bastard!: "Phubbing" is a jab at people who spend all their time on their smartphones even in social settings, and given that most Rayark games are played on smart devices (including smartphones), it has the vibe of "Having fun playing Cytus instead of talking to your friends?"

    L (unmarked spoilers for "L1" through "L8") 
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The updated charts are the only ones in the game to have scanlines that run at four times the tracks' BPM, as all of the tracks in this chapter are really slow.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Meteor sacrifices his soul in order to stop Viz's rampage, ending the conflict between heaven and Earth. Meteo closes the connection between the two worlds and, having lost everything at this point, kills himself.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: In its original form, Chapter L was a Brutal Bonus Chapter, with a relatively brutal price tag to boot (9.99 USD; the other DLC packs cost half as much and the base game is only 1.99 USD). All of the original charts are rated 9 on Hard and Easy, have slow scanlines (due to the fact that the tracks are actually quite slow), and each track is at least 4 1/2 minutes long. A patch was later released in which the original charts are replaced with new, easier charts with more reasonable scanline speeds, although the original charts are still available as Secret Levels.
  • Double Unlock: "L10" requires playing "L9" first, and "L9" in turn requires playing "L1" through "L8" first.
  • Downer Beginning: "L1: The Devastated Lower" is the first track in the chapter and shows Meteo just after his hometown has been destroyed and his family killed.
  • Easter Egg: All songs have, at one point, their respective numbers appear in at least one of the original charts.
  • Fake Difficulty: The original Hard charts have extremely slow scanlines, making it quite difficult to read the chart. This is because the tracks are actually very slow, each at less than 80 BPM; the scans are already running at double speed. The original Easy charts and the new charts are using quadruple-speed timelines for readability.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Twice. First, Meteor gives up his life to weaken Viz enough for Meteo to regain control of his body; then, Meteo stabs himself in the heart to deal the finishing blow.
  • Marathon Level The shortest track in the chapter is "L5:Lapse", which is 4 minutes and 38 seconds long. The rest range from five minutes to seven and a half!
  • Nerf: The chapter had its charts reduced in difficulty in response to player complaints. However, the original charts are still available via Easter Eggs.
  • Secret Level:
    • Chapter L follows the same unlock pattern as Chapter K: clear songs 1-8 to unlock song 9, clear song 9 to unlock song 10.
    • As of version 9.1, Chapter L's original charts are still available as hidden charts, by finding the flashing 'L' logo in each song's eyecatch and tapping its location.