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Video Game / Cytus

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Cytus is a Rhythm Game developed for iOS, Android, and PS Vita 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.

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.

Cytus contains examples of:

  • Actually Four Mooks: "Hay Fields" ends with a note...followed immediately by a note in the opposite direction stacked on top of it.
  • After the End: In Timeline, 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 game's official website reveals several pieces of information that aren't mentioned at all in game, including the game's storyline, and the name of the girl seen on the title screen, the app icon, and the chapter splash screens: Vanessa. This changed with the latest update which adds the manual into the hidden songs from Cytus Alive.
    • Also in the same vein, the two girls featured in Chapter K are named Rosabel (Red) and Iris (Blue).
    • 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.
  • Alternate Continuity: Clear the first 9 songs of the Knight chapter to unlock an 10th song, "Music. The Eternity of Us", that depicts an alternate timeline where Iris and Rosabel stay friends.
  • Apocalypse How:
    • Class 5. The website's storyline information states in Chapter II that a mysterious virus wipes out all sentient life on Earth, except for robots.
    • Timeline depicts a Class 0 when an earthquake destroys a major power plant in Taiwan and renders a large chunk of the country, especially capital city Taipei, uninhabitable. It fortunately recovers in two centuries' time, with vegetation and farming taking back the city ruins.
  • Bonus Boss: All secret songs (except "Saika ver.B") are level 9 on Hard. "Conflict" and "L2 ver.B" especially stand out in difficulty.
    • Freedom Dive has a bonus chart from version 10 onward, accessed by swiping down over the title.
  • Bonus Feature Failure: The "Alive" songs don't track your TP records.
  • 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.
  • Concept Album:
    • The "Chapter K" album tells a story inspired by the cover art for the song "Holy Knight", while the "Alive" album gives us the main plot of the game.
    • Chapter T tells the history of Taiwan, where Rayark is based, starting from 6 million BC and going to the present, and then continuing into a future where Taiwan falling back onto the use of nuclear energy causes a national disaster.
    • Chapter L, in a similar vein to Chapter K, tells the story of the two boys on the cover art of "L". The full story can be read here.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • All songs in Chapter L have, at one point, their respective numbers appear in at least one of the charts.
  • 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.
  • Green Aesop: The Timeline chapter seems like a retelling of Taiwan's history through visual art and music...right up until the song representing the year 2057, "Protest". Faced with a an energy crisis coupled with tech corporations' demand for energy, the government of Taiwan falls back onto nuclear energy rather than alternative sources, resulting in protests across the country. This leads to disaster two years later 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.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Happens in Chapter L. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, this trope is still in force if you're trying for a full combo, Million Master, or 100 TP run:
    • "The Fallen Bloom" features a cutscene at the end that depicts Iris killing Rosabel, followed by one single note.
    • "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.
  • Marathon Level:
    • Many songs from Cytus Alive, 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.
    • 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.
    • The shortest song in Chapter L is "L5:Lapse", which is 4 minutes and 38 seconds long. The rest range from five minutes to seven and a half!
  • 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: Chapter L had its charts reduced in difficulty in response to player complaints. However, the original charts are still available via Easter Eggs.
  • 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.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Rosabel and Iris from Chapter K, respectively.
  • Retraux: Chapter R: Retro, as the name suggests. It consists entirely of chiptunesnote . 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 repsonse 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.
    • 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.
    • Chapter L follows the same unlock pattern as Chapter K.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Iris and Meteor from Chapter K and L, respectively. Several songs have characters on their artwork who qualify as well.
  • Zero-Effort Boss: The title track of chapter X, 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