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Video Game / Pump It Up

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Everybody dance to the PUMP sound. You can move your feet in the PUMP stage.

Pump It Up is a rhythm game series developed by Andamiro. The gameplay focuses on stepping on panels on the floor that correspond to the four basic diagonal directions and a center panel, all in time to music. If this sounds a lot like DanceDanceRevolution, it is a lot like DDR: in fact, the game's first installment was also released in 1999. Some have speculated that the two games may have been developed at around the same time.

However, while they may have similar mechanics, the slight differences between them make them both unique in their own right. First, there's the aforementioned pad layout of 4 diagonal arrows and a center panel. Then, there's the soundtrack. Unlike DDR's greater focus on J-pop and electronica, Pump primarily has Korean hip-hop and pop as its dominant genres. Just like DDR, there's also original music by a few in-house artists, often by Yahpp and his former in-house group BanYa, who often perform classical and rock music. Yes, you heard that right. Additionally, the differing pad layout can create a much wider variety of routines, and on higher difficulties, they can get really hard really fast. It is obvious why the highest 5-panel and 10-panel difficulties are named "Crazy" and "Nightmare" respectively.


There are two separate series of Pump It Up. The primary series comes from Andamiro directly, with the latest version of the game being Pump It Up XX. Games are generally released globally, though some songs are added exclusively for or removed for specific regions. This series is popular in its home country of South Korea, as well as Latin America too. The secondary series was made due to competitor DDR being more popular in the United States and Japan at the time. It uses a different engine (StepMania to be precise), and thus can be considered a series of GaidenGames.

Despite the cabinets from FX to TX having HD displays, proper 16:9 graphics support didn't exist until Prime. XX became the first game to only be officially supported on cabinets with built-in widescreen displays, including the new LX cabinet. With the release of XX, nearly every BGA from earlier games have been re-mastered in HD and modified to fit the widescreen aspect ratio.


    open/close all folders 

    Main arcade series games 
  • Pump It Up: The 1st Dance Floor (July 1999)
  • Pump It Up: The 2nd Dance Floor (December 1999)
  • Pump It Up The O.B.G: The 3rd Dance Floor (May 2000)
  • Pump It Up The O.B.G: The Season Evolution Dance Floor (September 2000)
  • Pump It Up Perfect Collection (December 2000)
  • Pump It Up EXTRA (January 2001)
    Introduced Hold notes for step charts, as well as the Rush and Alternate modifiers.
  • Pump It Up The PREMIERE: International Dance Floor (June 2001)
    First main arcade game to be released internationally.
  • Pump It Up The PREX: International Dance Floor (November 2001)
  • Pump It Up The Rebirth: The 8th Dance Floor (January 2002)
  • Pump It Up The PREMIERE 2: The International 2nd Dance Floor (March 2002)
  • Pump It Up The PREX 2 (November 2002)
  • Pump It Up The PREMIERE 3: The International 3rd Dance Floor (May 2003)
  • Pump It Up The PREX 3: The International 4th Dance Floor (October 2003)
  • Pump It Up EXCEED (April 2004)
  • Pump It Up EXCEED 2 (November 2004)
  • Pump It Up ZERO (February 2006)
    First arcade game to include missions for unlocking items and songs.
  • Pump It Up NX: New Xenesis (December 2006)
  • Pump It Up NX2 (December 2007)
    Introduces the ability to load and save profiles on USB flash drives.
  • Pump It Up NX Absolute (December 2008)
  • Pump It Up Fiesta (March 2010)
    The main game mode is now split into two parts: Basic mode and Full mode. The old difficulty names have also been scrapped in favor of a numerical rating system.
  • Pump It Up Fiesta EX (January 2011)
  • Pump It Up Fiesta 2 (November 2012)
  • Pump It Up PRIME (November 2014)
    First main arcade game with 16:9 graphics and online service support. Also introduces Rank mode.
  • Pump It Up PRIME2 (November 2016)
    Introduces the Auto-Velocity modifier; also the first main arcade game to utilize the AM.PASS user card data system.
  • Pump It Up XX (January 2019)
    Released in celebration of the franchise's 20th anniversary.

    Spin-off arcade series games 
  • Pump It Up Pro (August 2007)
    Produced by an external studio known as "Fun in Motion" (which initially consisted primarily of the In the Groove staff). This was primarily made as a response to Konami killing In The Groove through a lawsuit and then selling their own games with poor quality cabinets (Andamiro had produced cabinets for In the Groove 2 that have a lot in common under the hood with Pump "GX" cabinets).
  • Pump It Up Pro 2 (February 2010)
    Produced by the same team as above (though some of the In the Groove alumni had also left the team). This brought a number of original songs to the series at the cost of most of the Korean licenses: it is perhaps due to that the game did not do as well as expected.
  • Pump It Up Infinity (January 2013)
    Produced by a staff referring to themselves as "Team Infinity". This uses a later version of the StepMania engine to allow for combining the best of both the Korean Pump flavor and the innovations of the Pro series.

    Home port spin-offs 
  • Pump It Up M: Beat Finger Step (January 2020)
    Announced in time for Pump It Up's 20th Anniversary, the game went into closed beta in September 2019 and entered public release in January 2020 for both Apple iOS devices and Android devices with Google Play Store access. The game's library is, like Pump It Up Pro 2, mostly original songs, perhaps to save on licensing costs, as the game runs on the free-to-play model and new songs are unlocked either by grinding on pre-unlocked songs for in-game currency or by buying in-game currency outright.

Has nothing to do with the Elvis Costello song, even though it could make a nice Title Drop. Likewise with the Joe Budden song.

Hey! Why don't you just get up and trope man?

  • Actually Four Mooks: Some charts feature extremely short hold notes that are worth a lot of combo, to the point where missing what appears to be an otherwise inconsequential step can lead to the 51 miss combo needed for a Game Over. A grand example exists in "King of Sales" S21, which features all-diagonal quad steps that appear to be just standard steps but are actually worth 50 combo each.
  • Alice Allusion: The BGA for "K.O.A. - Alice in Wonderworld" from NX Absolute depicts an Action Girl version of Alice fighting hordes and hordes of Card Soldiers. At one point, she even disposes of one of them by ripping it in half with a chainsaw! She completes her mission by defeating the Queen of Hearts.
  • Already Done for You: Some of the mission mode charts are basically free attempts at seeing how you do.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: The Revolution MV is about a group of vampire armies marching, and one of them found a human woman who was hiding from them. He bit her on her neck, as usual since he’s a vampire. The woman gets corrupted into a vampire like them.
  • Announcer Chatter: Averted in comparison to DDR, there is no in-game announcer, though there has always been announcers in the menus and result screen.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • A common machine setting in the franchise is "Stage Break". Having it off means that you only fail after you amass a combo of 50 misses (tl;dr you likely Rage Quit) and depleting the lifebar doesn't end the song. However, in this state, clearing a song without depleting the lifebar is known as a "stage pass". Typically, machines are configured to not fail the player on the first stage at all, and have the aforementioned 50 combo behavior on subsequent stages. Recent games turn off Stage Break by default, and it can only occur on Rank Mode.
    • On Fiesta and later, the game restricts some of its functionality if players do not sign in with a profile (on a USB drive, or AM.PASS card on Prime 2 and later), hiding most of the harder difficulties and certain features, and sometimes only giving a small handful of songs to play. Though there is a Cheat Code listed for "Full Mode".
    • Pump Pro 2's routine mode doesn't seem to fail the players at all, even if the health bar goes to zero. Regardless, you get a Game Over if you get a grade of F even in the first stage - if you accumulate an excessively high number of total misses (Higher level nightmare charts can still be passed with over 100 total misses, depending on the song).
    • In case you play a combination of normal-length, REMIX, and / or FULL songs that leave you with only one heart left, you'll be restricted to the Short Cut channel on your last stage, which features half-length (i.e. approximately one minute) songs so that the game doesn't shortchange you.
    • From Fiesta onwards, if the machine is offline or you don't have a USB drive with your authentication data, you can still use a "Full Mode" code to unlock all of the songs and their charts as well as the command window.
  • Art Shift: Multiple times throughout the BGA to "Rapper's Delight".
  • Attract Mode: Common in all of the arcade games. Some of the games' opening theme music can also be played in-game as Short Cut songs.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Plenty of females in the BGAs do this.
    • In the Guitar Man BGA, the swordswoman takes off her jacket to reveal her sports bra before engaging in fighting, perhaps to appear more badass.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Some songs don't have difficult patterns, but drain your stamina very quickly.
    • "Get This Party Started" from Prex 3 is a very good example of this trope. The Normal, Hard, and Free Style charts are standard for a pop song, but Crazy and Nightmare have not only a max combo of over 660 including long notes, but also patterns that to this day are still very difficult to play through! They're so bad, rumor has it Andamiro fired the guy who made them.
    • "We Are" from OBG is one of the songs you start the game with. Typically songs you start the game with are easy so newbies won't be so intimidated. Instead, "We Are" is chock full of strange body motions, relentless jump-step-jump combos, and reversing (occasionally randomized) running patterns. Many players dread this song anywhere, especially early in their song set due to how fast it can drain you. Oh, and that's on easy mode: it gets worse from there!
    • The Full version of Canon D doesn't seem scary at first glance. Canon D is not a very hard song in it's regular format and the full version starts out fairly easy. However, all difficulties listed for the full song version of Canon D are actually averaged difficulties. The "level 9" version, for example, starts out around level 5 difficulty goes up a little at a time to around level 12. The song is also twice the length of normal which can and does leave players drained to start with and then the Difficulty Spike at the end hits to wipe them out!
  • Butterfly of Doom: Final Audition Episodes 1, 2-1, and 2-2.
  • Cat Concerto: "Turkey March Minimal Tunes", "Hungarian Dance V", "Higgledy Piggledy"
  • The Cancan Song:
    • "Can Can" by F2 System was revealed as the bonus-exclusive final boss song of Pump It Up Extra. It comes with two stupid, uninspired, and almost unplayable-at-standard-manners Lv12 and Lv14 stepcharts, and they are all hard to even full-combo.
    • Another Can-Can arrangement by Sr. Lan Belmont, titled "Can-can (Orpheus in The Party Mix)", appears in XX.
  • Christmas Episode: While the songs are not exactly connected to Christmas (see below for examples which are), the BGAs for Wayo Wayo from Extra and Native from Fiesta EX are themed around the season.
  • Christmas Songs:
    • Rolling Christmas from Perfect Collection is a remix of "Joy to the World" and "Jingle Bells", and X-Tree from Fiesta remixes "Santa Claus is Coming To Town", "Jingle Bell Rock" and "Jingle Bells" all in one song.
    • Additionally, All I Want for X-Mas from Perfect Collection, Snow Dream from NX and Christmas Memories from Prime 2 (originally from O2Jam) are all connected to the season, and their BGAs reflect it.
  • Classic Cheat Code:
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: Routine/Co-op charts. Each player gets their own color of arrows to step on.note  Co-op charts at minimum require two players, with some requiring three, four, or even five players at once; the number required is shown in place of the difficulty level (mainline games) or under the chart specifications (Pro and Infinity).
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer: Both World Max two-player missions and Pro 2's routine mode use these. World Max doesn't limit it to just two, though...witness Three Attack. The Double Performance charts from Fiesta onwards do this too.
  • Combos: Keep hitting arrows in a row to increase. Also inverted: you can get combos for missing steps in a row. Missing 51 (30 in Pro and Pro 2) in a row causes a Game Over.
  • The Computer Is a Lying Bastard: Sometimes, the song information just lies to you. In the track Pañuelito Rojo, the tempo is listed as 98, but all charts above level 10 have double that tempo, causing unwitting players to ail out due to an unforecasted scroll speed twice as fast as they can handle.
  • Continuing is Painful: Fail a mission on Zero or NX, and you have to pay full price for one more shot at the song. Hope you've recharged your energy within 30 seconds...
  • Cool Shades:
    • In the BGA for Guitar Man, the gunman puts on a pair of shades before engaging in fighting zombies.
    • Rolling Christmas notably features Santa Claus wearing these, as well.
  • Cover Version:
    • Premiere featured several uncredited covers of songs that were popular at the time, such as Marc Anthony's "I Need To Know", Jennifer Lopez's "Let's Get Loud", and a-Ha's "Take On Me". Rebirth also added a cover of Gloria Estefan's "Conga" to the list, and Exceed also brought a cover of Sixpence None the Richer's "Kiss Me", sung by Debbie Scott.
    • In-series example: Crash's "What Do You Really Want?" from Exceed is a cover of Monochrome's song of the same name, which was present in 1st Dance Floor. In turn, that song was originally composed by the late Shin Haechul, the lead singer of the Korean band N.EX.T, some of whose songs were also licensed for the series.
    • "Snow Dream" from NX is a reinterpreted cover of BeautifulDay's "Christmas Memories", a song that was eventually crossed over and remastered by Warak from O2Jam to Prime 2.
  • Creator Provincialism: As a result of being made by a Korean company, a lot of the songs feature Korean lyrics or are licensed Korean songs. Notably this game has always had Korean songs, while rival game Dance Dance Revolution mainly used Western songs for licenses in earlier games and only started to really feature distinctly Japanese songs in the mainline games in the fifth main game.
  • Critical Annoyance: Some mission charts require you to finish with dangerously low health.
  • Crossover:
    • A September 2015 Prime update adds two songs that may be very familiar to some players: "Bad Apple!! feat. nomico" and "Four Seasons of Loneliness". Both songs are available as 2-heart cuts and full songs, with the short version of "Four Seasons" and both versions of "Bad Apple!!" having their respective music videos available.
    • Prime 2 introduced a new "Xross" channel for songs licensed from other rhythm games such as O2Jam and EZ2AC. Notably, in-house artist SHK also composed music for the former; his song "Death Moon" made its PIU debut in this game.
  • Curse Cut Short: Bust Back.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Immediately going from this to DanceDanceRevolution / In the Groove or vice versa can have this effect.
  • Dark World: Dark Shantomia in NX2 (renamed Phantomia in NX Absolute).
  • Derivative Differentiation: The game is infamous for being DanceDanceRevolution but with an inverted panel setup (diagonals and center panel, as opposed to DDR's cardinal directions), to the point where it's been accused of ribbing DDR. However as time has passed, the dev team have made strides to differentiate it from its four-panel rival, with heavy use of gimmicky Nintendo Hard charts with looser timing windows to make up for it, variable number of songs per credit (longer songs means less songs per credit, while shorter songs do the opposite), extensive use of K-pop songs, a more open approach to songs having multiple charts (wherein basically, each song can have as many charts as the developers want and charts are named by type and difficulty level rather than something more rigid like DDR's Basic-Difficult-Expert-Challenge), Co-Op Multiplayer charts where players may cross over to each other's side or even three to five players play at the same time, and the publishing company's effort to release the games worldwide as opposed to invokedkeeping them restricted to a select few countries.
  • Do Well, But Not Perfect:
    • In NXA, some World Max goals require this.
    • Pump it Up M has goals that require you to get a specific grade such as A.
  • Double Unlock: The games with World Max use this. Once you get the songs, you have to pay mileage in order to play them.
  • Downer Ending:
    • Can be overlapped with Cruel Twist Ending, depending on your interpretation. In Oh! Rosa, the story is about a woman who worked as a spy fell in love with the man. While on her mission, it turns out her assassination target is her lover! She couldn’t do it because of that, she told him she’s a spy, it turns out that her lover is also a spy from opposing organization, aimed a gun to her head and killing her immediately!
    • Downplayed in Pump-made BGA for Baby V.O.X.’s By Chance: The man in the middle of snowy place saw a woman in front of him, he recognizes her as his ex-girlfriend. Then he suddenly remembered some heartwarming memories they had made when they used to be lovers, including their plan and wishes of marriage. But sadly they broke up for unknown reason, and he knew he had to move on so he ignored the woman who passed him over at the end.
  • Downloadable Content: Some of the songs for NXA are like this. Additionally, the upgrade patches in Fiesta onwards.
  • Double Play: Freestyle and Nightmare modes in the older games, Double and Double Performance in the newer ones. A partial example exists in the form of Half Double, in which the player uses the center six panels (1P's center, up-right, down-right, and 2P's center, up-left, and down-left). Unlike many Rhythm Games that charge a second credit to play their respective double modes, Pump's doubles modes have historically been playable on a single credit, and modern versions allow you to switch between single and double charts between stages. Double charts are a major staple of high-level Pump play; unlike in DDR or ITG where double charts are considered optional challenges, the game and official tournaments expect players to be able to play double charts in addition to single charts.
  • Dynamic Difficulty: Some charts change depending on if you have missed notes or not. This is usually noticed in the old Division mode or select mission charts.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • Some of the earliest games invokednever left South Korea. This quickly stopped being the case and all new Pump games are now globally released, albeit with some regional differences in songlists.
    • Up until 2010 with the release of Fiesta, songs typically had only four or five charts that had actual difficulty names (Normal, Hard, Crazy, Double (later Freestyle), Nightmare). Extra charts were put in a separate "Another" folder in Zero. From Fiesta onwards, charts are named after the play style and the difficulty rating and songs can have as many charts as the developers want.
    • Stepchart design during its earliest times. There has been instances where the original charts no longer exists in future releases due to editing or complaints filed by players. This trend stopped after the release of Fiesta, although some of the charts may return in Mission Mode.
    • Stepchart leveling. The earlier installments had difficulty all over the place (up to lvl 12), but songs at level 5 or 9 were harder than most of the songs in the game. Exceed-NXA stretched it to 22-24 plus, but still had songs that exceeded their given difficulty like Get The party Started. While Fiesta was praised for giving FULL MODE (i.e. no longer categorizing in 5 difficulties), several older charts were still using the classic ratings. It finally took up to XX to adjust almost all of the charts properly.
  • Easy Level Trick:
    • For those who are sufficiently heavy, there are two ways to play Pumptris Quattro S17: actually hit the steps in time, or—noting that preemptively holding down a hold arrow carries no penalty and that all of the steps in this chart are holds—sit down with your hands, feet, and butt holding down all five panels for the easiest SSS ever.
      • Averted in XX, where the old S17 chart has been modified to include step notes at the start of the holds; it's also re-rated to an S18.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery:
    • Playing on the Easy Station on Zero or NX allows you to play 3 songs, but you can't qualify for a 4th.
    • Averted in Fiesta onwards, where you can still play a full set of 3 or 4 songs in Basic Mode, given that you get a decent grade on each stage.
  • Everything's Better with Samurai: The Solitary songs. The BGA for Solitary 1.5 is more of an Affectionate Parody take on its predecessors, but it still qualifies.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: Beethoven Virus's S6 chart is the best example.
    • Starian, Sorceress Elise and Com'back, in the same difficulty level, are examples too.
  • Exergaming: The Double charts can easily give a good workout. As with In The Groove, a "multiplayer" version of Pro with wireless pads was produced as well, which is primarily aimed at fitness centers.
    • NX2 even has a calorie and oxygen intake counter for each song, tallying them up when your game ends.
  • Fake Difficulty: Two sources here (at least).
    • Most of the charts are designed to be able to use your feet for the whole song. Some have forced hands, where you have to use your hand (or something else) to hit the panels. Prominent examples include Ignition Starts Crazy, Bee Nightmare, Miss's Story Crazy, and Chimera Crazy & Nightmare.
    • A good number of the mission charts don't always use the same constant BPM as the arcade charts of the same song. Part of playing the chart means to be ready for any gimmick, for you generally aren't told of them before you first play the chart.
    • "Uprock" has a pretty sick rhythm. The only problem is, on Crazy, the arrows also move to this same rhythm. Literally. And "Nobody" in Fiesta 2 as well.
    • Will-o-The-Wisp has a flashing squiggly blue and red background in parts of the song. This actually is a Magic Eye trick that can cause phantom arrows to appear in those areas! The timing and whether the arrows appear seems to be randomized.
    • Some Double charts have jumps that require you to hit panels on the opposite sides of the stage at once. Hope you like doing the splits!
  • Falling Blocks: Block Game
  • Female Gaze: Most K-Pop songs with their music videos, but "Fantastic Baby" is a notable example.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: There are both Fire and Ice noteskins available.
  • Flying Saucer: Alien Attack in World Max 2. They also make appearances in the BGAs for Com'back, Clap Your Hands, Love Is a Danger Zone, and Astral Song.
  • Gaiden Game:
    • Pump It Up Pro, which is a Spiritual Successor to In the Groove
    • At Amusement Expo 2012 in Las Vegas, a another Gaiden surfaced in the form of "Pump It Up Infinity"; it shares characteristics with Pro (i.e. StepMania engine, etc.), but is more like the "classic" series, and has involvement from Korean staff as well.
  • Gainaxing: "Ba Be Loo Be Ra"; try not to get Distracted by the Sexy.
  • Genre Roulette: Applies to both the songs and the background animations.
  • Gimmick Level: Blame or thank the step artists for these. They sure don't hold back:
    • A couple of the old Hard charts, like Beethoven Virus and Winter, where parts of the song want you to spin.
    • Join The Party CZ. Hold one arrow in the center the entire time or break your combo.
    • Bee Freestyle may count too.
    • And at least half the "Another"s, inlcuding Pumptris Quattro Crazy Another.
    • Stretch your legs wide in Wi-Ex Doc-Va D23.
    • Fiesta 2's Passacaglia S20 or D22. Enjoy the seesaw scrolling on the chorus parts.
    • Yeo Rae A S13 on Fiesta 2. Don't even think about doing speed mods, you are forced to play it on 1x speed, regardless of setting. Good luck having magnifying glasses playing it or try to memorize the chart.
    • Super Fantasy S19 and D21. Get ready for flash photography on the chorus where sections of the song may seem to have no arrows, but once that camera clicks, it isn't the photo finish you expect. Oh, and enjoy the wub scrolling as well.
    • Before Routine charts were officially introduced, a few songs in Zero had Another Nightmare charts that required two players to play, such as Love Is A Danger Zone 2.
    • Then there's VV D27 from Infinity. An asskicker chart with 200BPM 24th runs and out-of-nowhere special effects.
    • Pump It Up Prime 2 (1.10) releases Nakakapagpabagabag by Dasu. Most of the step charts consists of the stop-and-go BPM tricks, while abusing various patterns of double-tapping different arrows while holding an arrow. Dasu's other song, 86, would also use this gimmick in the latter's charts.
    • Pump It Up Prime 2 (2.00) releases Twist of Fate. The S18 and D20 charts completely show down during the chorus at very difficult to read BPM. Like Yeo Rae A, this speed cannot be modified in any way.
  • Global Currency:
    • NX Series: Even IN SPACE!, Mileage is the one currency used all over.
    • In Prime onwards, use your PP (dance points) to unlock harder charts of specific songs online.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: "U Inside My Dim Memory" from NX.
  • Guest Fighter: Featuring Guest Song with it as well.
    • Touhou Project makes an appearance with Bad Apple!! feat. Nomico. Quite fitting since both games represent Nintendo Hard. In-house artist MAX also made several Touhou arrangements in Prime onwards.
    • Vocaloid's Kagamine Len makes an appearance in Dasu's songs Nakakapagpabagabag and 86.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Many things in World Max, Quest World, and Mission Zone can do this to you.
    • The unlock conditions for Club Night's co-op chart on XX are very obscure, to the extent that those who did unlock it don't even know how they did it. Averted when many of the unlocks became available by grinding for points on the online item shop.
  • Hard Mode Perks: Rank Mode forces on Very Hard Judge (timing windows are stricter), stage break (instant Game Over if your lifebar hits 0), and visible BGA among other things, but allows you to score more points. It's possible to get an all-Perfect run but still not beat the machine best or world record unless you turn Rank Mode on.
  • Harder Than Hard:
    • "Crazy" difficulty for single-pad charts.
    • "Another" songs have new sets of charts that sometimes surpass the difficulty of even the Crazy and Nightmare charts.
    • Generally averted in Fiesta onwards due to the charts being referred to by their difficulty levels.
  • Have a Nice Death:
    • "Hey! Why don't you just get up and dance man?"
    • Averted in Pump it Up M as the July 2020 update changed it to a "Stage Failed" screen but the voiceover is still the same.
  • 100% Completion: A possible goal with NX2 and NXA. NXA ups the ante by having the Arcade mode songs count: you have to get an S rank on all of them (A rank if the chart is above 4 skulls).
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Normal, Hard, and Crazy for single-pad charts, Freestyle and the aptly-named Nightmare for double-pad charts. Averted in World Max (listed in 1-5 bars) and from Fiesta onwards, as the difficulty levels are classified numerically.
  • Instant Awesome: Just Add Mecha!: Xenesis, Mission Possible -Blowback-, and Robot Battle!.
  • Interface Screw: This can occur either through various chart gimmicks or appearance modifiers.
    • Common when playing mission or course modes. Some missions allow you to avert this trope by paying mileage to make the effects go away.
    • Pro 2 introduces Fake Notes to the mix. These are notes that look like the normal arrows, but are...well, fake. They were first noticed in this gauntlet course. Fake notes are available in StepMania 5 as well.
    • Infinity has a mission called "Jonathan's Nightmare", which is "Jonathan's Dream" except with a noteskin that is the bird from the background video. It's fitting until you realize that the background video actually has a scene with an entire flock of them.
    • The latest 1.01 update of Prime 2 has a song called "Just Kiddin". Hope you enjoy its motion-sickness-inducing BGA courtesy of Daicon, also known as MiLa.
    • Pretty much any BGA by Daicon under the MiLa and Felnya aliases can present interface screws at some areas.
  • Last Note Nightmare: Some songs have notes appeared suddenly, and unreachable or ends with tons of notes in some cases.
  • Later Installment Weirdness: Prime 2 introduces the Auto-Velocity modifier, which causes the chart to scroll at the player's desired tempo regardless of the song's tempo, rather than the traditional method of the player having to use speed multipliers and calculate how much multiplier they need.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: There are some cameos from franchises that aren’t made by Andamiro:
    • Hatsune Miku from "Vocaloid" at the end of "Sugar Conspiracy Theory"‘s background animation, with her back facing front.
    • There are some iconic "Touhou Project" characters like Hakurei Reimu, Marisa Kirisame, Yuki & Mai, etc. in the background animation of "Kasou Shinja" and "Creed ~1st Desire~". Their eyes are hidden sometimes, though not in "Reminiscence", where we can see Yuka Kazami’s and Marisa’s face.
  • Level Editor: Different ones are available for the differing series.
    • The Pump It Up Pro series has two methods for creating stepcharts. One is StepMania itself, assuming one can find the music. The other is Pump Pro Edits' fan-built online editor (provided Internet Explorer isn't used).
    • Fiesta EX recently released StepEdit Lite for creating custom charts for a good chunk of its songs. The custom charts can be either loaded to a USB drive or shared in the UCS web page.
  • Level Grinding: Mileage for World Max.
  • Lighter and Softer: The Pro team developed a children's spin-off called Pump it Up Jump, which has a smaller cabinet and a soundtrack consisting primarily of arrangements of children's songs and crossovers from both the Pro and main arcade series. It is said that the game had been developed primarily for Chuck E. Cheese's to replace their aging Exceed machines (in fact, the cabinet was actually customized to have Chuck E. Cheese branding).
  • Limited Animation: There are some BGAs which lacks of animations, especially the post-Prime ones.
    • District 1. Despite some neat characterless 3D animations, some still two-dimensional character graphics of anime girls are just randomly pasted on 3D graphic animations.
    • Played straight in Sweetronic. It has some repetitive still image characters. At least this background animation still has the narration (but not very deep) about the battle between Candy Girl and Princess Chocolate. But the reason why they battle is unknown.
    • Poseidon, has a Boss Battle themed background animation which only uses one or two character graphic(s) with The Ken Burns Effect. However, it’s downplayed thanks to a program which animates a single two-dimensional artwork graphic also known as Live2D and Red-Fox, who helped Linus (the illustrator for this animation) in animating the character he drew.
  • Loading Screen: Back in the original CD-based arcade versions, the song banner was displayed across the entire screen while the game loaded the music, BGA, and stepchart from disk. After the transition to HDDs all but eliminated load times, the banners are still shown for a fixed period of time, out of tradition. NXA gained one in places that never had one before.
  • Lost in Translation: The reason why your legs are split in far arrows in Sober D14 and D17 is because the song at that exact part references a Korean idiom about damaging yourself when you extend your legs too far. Also counts as a pun.
    Song: If you only chase after money, power and fame, your crotch is gonna rip and you're gonna fall.
  • Love Hurts: The Love is a Danger Zone songs have very difficult charts on the higher difficulties, especially after Exceed 2.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Hidden Parts is arguably one of the most well known, but there are others.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: PXNDX's 'Narcicista por Excelencia' is a song about a guy not accepting his appearance and getting obsessed with looking better to attract a girl's attention in a very somber note. The background animation is a very colourful setting featuring Andamiro's mascots having a great time.
  • Male Gaze: Comes in 2 different flavors:
    • Most of the original animations containing a female is expected to see a sort of this. Examples include the BGAs of "Mistake" and the infamous "Ba Be Loo Be Ra", as mentioned above. Other examples include "Hello William", "Magic", and "Native", which have the same dance routine in all of those three songs, the 2 Action Girls in "Unique", and almost any song that has the artist Daicon (as MiLa/Felnya) doing artwork in it such as "Katkoi" and "Magical Vacation".
    • Most K-Pop songs from Fiesta onward have their original music videos as the background animation.
  • Monster Mash:
  • Multi-Platform: A home version of Exceed was released for the PS2 and the Xbox, but they don’t sell very well.
    • There was also a PC port of Perfect Collection, complete with expansion packs. Prex 3 was also released for PC later on, and is notable for being the last officially ported PIU game for this platform.
    • As part of the franchise's 20th anniversary, Andamiro released two new home versions: Pump It Up H5 for web browsers and Pump It Up M for Android/iOS. So far, these games only contain a selection of original songs from the main arcade series as well as a handful of exclusive songs in the latter. Unlike the previous console ports, these two games don’t have any background animations at all (including Pump It Up M’s exclusive songs)
  • Mythology Gag: Pump Pro 2 has a course-exclusive song called "In the Groove"; its artwork uses a recolor of the In the Groove logo. The course mode also contains a course entitled "The Trinity", which features several In the Groove songs ("Zodiac", "Esperanza", "Robotix" and "Utopia") with charts generated from their 4-panel charts.
  • Nintendo Hard:
    • Rivals In the Groove for the most challenging game involving stepping on panels. While the arcade style charts do not have mines in them (except on Pro, where the charts are done in a more In The Groove-like style, and thus can contain mines and rolls), some mission mode charts have them, and can actually require the player to hit the mines in order to pass the mission.
    • Takes this to a whole new level if the arcade machine's owner has enabled stage break, where the player gets an instant Game Over if the lifebar depletes, and it drains much more quickly than ITG does. In this case anything you pass will have a grade of A or higher. Fortunately stage break does not affect the first song of the credit.
    • In DDR, doubles charts are designed so that the widest jump you ever have to make is a vertical arrow on one side and the other side's inner horizontal arrow. No such mercy exists in Pump It Up, where doubles charts can feature jumps and rolls that require your feet to be on extreme opposite sides of the stage. Don't pull a muscle!
    • That said, Pump has looser timing windows than DDR, making it easier to get a perfect run on a Pump chart than it is to get a Perfect Full Combo on a DDR chart of the same difficulty. However, this often comes at the cost of Pump having a larger density of "boss" charts than DDR. That said, the Hard Judge and Very Hard Judge options exist for players who think that Pump's usual timing windows are too easy.
  • No-Damage Run: Sudden Death Mode on the Exceed home versions. Missing even one arrow means failure.
  • No Name Given: Most of the characters in the background animations are unnamed. That said, there are a few notable aversions to this trope:
    • "Get Your Groove On" from Rebirth gives out its protagonists' names as Joe (blond man), Gon (the man in a hat), and Pinky (pink-haired woman).
    • "DJ Otada" from NX Absolute names its protagonists as Hwang or Hwangdong (the Ninja), Hwany (the wizard), and Teddy (the fighter). Their enemies are named as well: the Three Ghosts, Mad Coin, and Fish Man.
    • "K.O.A. - Alice in Wonderworld" from NX Absolute. See Alice Allusion above.
    • "U Got 2 Know" from Fiesta and its sequels - "We Got 2 Know" from Fiesta EX, "U Got Me Rocking" from Fiesta 2 and "U Got Me Crazy" from Prime - feature a group of five heroes: Karate Master Choi, Western Gunner Sun, Grand Magician Zhuge, Super Archery Robin and Sword Master Jeanne. Unfortunately played straight with the head of Mabus Corporation and his Mecha-Mooks, as well as with the fuchsia-haired Greek Chorus character introduced in "We Got 2 Know".
    • "Elise" from Infinity, crossed over to the main series in Fiesta 2, has four named protagonists: Lilith, Elana, Sara and Elena.
    • In a Freeze-Frame Bonus, "Step" from Prime 2 reveals the name of the character in "Sugar Conspiracy Theory" (from Prime) as Satoko Amami.
    • Some series mascots also have their own official names like Seulki (female mascot from Exceed), Taeyo (male mascot from Exceed), Jiwan (male mascot from NX series), Prima (female) and Primo (male) for Prime, Mari (female) and Mori (male) for Prime 2, etc.
  • Noob Bridge: Bracketing, or pressing 2 panels at once with one foot across the corner brackets of the panel, is absolutely necessary to reliably hit 3-panel jumps (and in Double charts, 4-panel) and "delayed bracket" steps (which consist of center+diagonal followed rapidly by another diagonal, or vice versa), both of which become common patterns as you enter the double-digit levels, but nowhere in the game are you taught this. Most beginners who see a 3-panel jump may try to use their hands, either hurting them or missing the notes around the jump. The only times you have to actually use your hands are when you hit quad-diagonal steps, most notably in "Starian" S7 and "King of Sales" S21.
  • Nostalgia Level: Some of the World Max missions are this.
  • Not the Intended Use: The latest cabinet design, LX, added a webcam feature. The latest patches of Prime2 allow registered machines online to take photos, if players choose to snap a picture or not. Needless to say, certain players have took inappropriate pictures, which can be seen in the photo gallery section of the website.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: "Pumptris Quattro" S18 (previously S17) was altered in XX to now require actually time the beginnings of the hold steps, instead of allowing the player to cheese their way to a SSS by sitting on all five panels. Notably, this is not done by replacing the holds with taps followed immediately by holds, it's a chart-specific rule; the autoplay feature doesn't account for this as demonstrated by official footage of the chart.
  • Old Save Bonus:
  • Old-School Dogfight: Final Audition 3 U.F., Naissance and Requiem.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Final Audition Ep. 2-X in NXA, Meteorize and Requiem in Prime, Sarabande in Prime2, and Vanish in XX.
  • One-Hit Kill: Plenty for sure...
    • The mines in the Item War mission. As a variant, Pump It Up Exceed for the home consoles also have a mode where getting a miss kills you, but bads do not.
    • Various songs that have hold steps that can generate over 51 misses if missed, which is enough to immediately stop the song and game over, even with stage break settings. Superman D23 was the first infamous example of this when missing a stretch jump can cause that. Other songs at higher difficulties also force a hold. It's like the step artists really want you to not miss those at all.
  • Only Smart People May Pass: Brain Shower on NXA and based missions on Fiesta.
  • Permanently Missable Content:
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: Nearly every Pump version has at least one or more remixes of classical pieces in its soundtrack, with examples such as "Beethoven Virus", "Turkey March", "Dr. M", "Pump Me Amadeus", "Csikos Post", "Winter", "Bee", "Canon-D", "Ugly Dee", "Caprice of Otada", "DJ Otada", "Sorceress Elise", "Xenesis", "Red Swan", "Super Fantasy", etc. The only exception is "Mr. Larpus", which is actually a sped-up cover of The Surfaris' "Wipe Out".
    • As of the Prime 2 2018 update, the game has three different remixes of Piano Sonata No. 8, 3rd Movement: "Beethoven Virus" by BanYa, "Latino Virus" by Warak, and now "V3" by Beautiful Day (an O2Jam crossover). Indeed, the developers picked up on the first two with the "Beethoven Influenza" Remix medley.
  • Rank Inflation: From worst to best: F, D, C, B, A, S. Getting an S requires not missing. Fiesta added an SS ranking for getting nothing but Perfects. The Pro series uses SS for both Superbs and Perfects.
    • XX changes the scale a bit by making SS achievable with Greats, and all-Perfects now being an SSS. Also, grades A and lower now have two flavors: in color when you get stage pass, and in grey with "damage" on it and distorted Announcer Chatter when your lifebar hits 0 at any point in a stage. That said, the experience of getting an A is never the same.
    • M adds the AA and AAA grades, and the grade system has been slightly modified to be determined based on a player's accuracy rate rather than whether they broke combo or not.
  • Rated M for Manly: PIU is mostly manly hip-hop, classical, and remixes of video game music. Background animations typically feature cute/sexy women, manly men, cats or robots. It has five pads instead of four and features special modes just for showing off. It's almost like they took one look at DDR, proclaimed it "girly", then decided to go the other way!
  • Recycled IN SPACE!: Brain Shower is Pump It Up WITH BASIC ELEMENTARY QUESTIONS.
    • This is one of the goals in NXA's World Max: to get to space.
  • Regional Bonus: While the soundtracks of each international release have been rather consistent, there are still a few cases where songs have been exclusive to specific markets, either due to licensing issues, but more often as a legitimate regional bonus.
    • "Tell Me" was only included on Korean versions of NX2, but was added to the international editions on NX Absolute.
    • The Spanish and Portugese versions have had a few bonus songs, including "Danza Kuduro", "Rabiosa", and "Lovumba" on Fiesta 2, and "Limbo", "Que Viva la Vida" and "Melodia" on Prime.
    • Prime 2 got a regional bonus on the Philippines, in the form of "Hush" by Yassi Pressman and Nadine Lustre. Averted in XX, where said song is made available in all regions.
  • Remixed Level: Remixes are a feature in many Pump titles: they are special songs that are typically a medley or similar mashup of songs, usually with a theme (such as being by the same artist, similar themes, etc). Some remixes (such as Fiesta EX's "Vacuum Cleaner" and Prime's "PARADOXX") veer into boss territory as well.
  • Schizophrenic Difficulty: Hot Issue D26 from Fiesta EX. Hot girls in the background with a god-awful chart. The difficulty seesaws all over the place from having easier parts in the early run to having ridiculously hard parts like the 4-arrow bracket jumps in the middle of the song to the 32nd note steams at the last third of the song that is impossible to full combo. This chart was originally a scrapped joke chart that later on became official at the end of the machine's last patches, as well as a returning unlock for Fiesta 2.
    • The infamous Naissance S20. Try to drill jump as fast as possible. Or if you want some more challenge, Prime Quest Zone offers you Naissance D25. (Bonus leg stretching.)
    • Guitar Man S18 and D20 from NX2 1.20, sharing the same ideas with both Hot Issue and Naissance, were quickly replaced short after. Unfortunately, the original charts made their comeback in Infinity.
      • As of Prime 2, these charts are also back in the main arcade games.
    • 1949 D28. Good luck stage-passing it.
  • Scoring Points: Most official tournaments use the score you get at the end of the round. Scoring is primarily combo based: once you hit 50 combo, each step is worth more points. Any time you have to hit three or more arrows at once also offers bonuses. Note that unlike DDR, hold notes give multiple Perfect judgments instead of a single one at the end, so holding down those long notes is imperative.
  • Secret Level: Quite a few in World Max. Some can only be found after defeating a Boss Song in a world: Jump on both red arrows while on the Dragon in the volcano world to access one such song. Pro 2 has some secret levels in their courses: one of them has a title of all ?????s until playing far enough reveals that it is Boulafacet.
  • Sequel Escalation: The hardest charts of each mix keep on getting topped by newer versions. Prex 3 started the trend, and it has continued up until NXA for many players.
  • Serial Escalation: Regular "You're supposed to beat this" songs once you get past level 10 regularly demand hitting three or even four arrows at once. The game tops out around level 25-30 without difficulty mods.
    • Dance Vibrations on "Another Single" difficulty makes you to hold one arrow the entire time while hitting two more arrows in time with the music. The designers want you to use hands instead of feet for all the non-hold arrows if you want the SS score.
    • Bee on "Another Nightmare"- An intentionally impossible song that is best played by using SEVEN people on two mats. Some people still manage to beat it. For your curiosity, click on the title and see what this world's first lifebar pass ever is like.
  • Serious Business: World Pump Festival. Officially presented by the company itself. Got what it takes to be a world champion?
  • Shout-Out:
    • The BGA for "Cannon X.1" is an obvious one to Neon Genesis Evangelion or Final Fantasy.
    • "Adios" from NXA contains references to Star Wars, such as Stormtrooper Expies.
    • Both "Phantom" and "Phantom: Intermezzo" are remixes of the theme from The Phantom of the Opera. The BGA for the latter even adapts the plot of the musical!
    • "Bust Back" from NX featured a doll of a Wonder Woman Expy. Surprisingly, NX2 brought a new version of the BGA which shows the doll dressed as the actual Wonder Woman!
    • The BGA for "Handsome Character That Pass" from NX is a homage to Shoujo genre anime.
    • "Superman" from Fiesta EX goes without saying. A character cosplaying as Batman also appears in the BGA for this song.
    • The Step 2, 3, and Boss charts for "Twist of Fate" on Prime 2 Quest Zone are a gigantic League of Legends joke relating to the character Twisted Fate:
      • Step 2 has a blue noteskin and scrolls at a high speed
      • Step 3 has a red noteskin and scrolls at 1x speed. In other words, it's slowed.
      • Boss has a yellow noteskin and BPM gimmicks where the chart only moves when notes are hit. In other words, it's stunned.
    • XX revealed the full name of the girl character from Red Snow: Lyra D. Fersen.
  • Socialization Bonus: Present in both the mainline and Pro series.
    • In the mainline Pump series, there are World Max/Quest missions that require 2 or more players to complete properly. Until those are beaten, other charts inside the mode may be hidden for quite some time.
    • The Pro series has Routine mode, which offers charts designed for two players not counting Pink Fuzzy Bunnies anyway to enjoy.
  • Speedy Techno Remake: BanYa's materials are all (slightly) sped up techno/hard rock remixes of classical pieces. Since BanYa, Yahpp, and msgoon left Andamiro, other commissioned and in-house artists such as SHK and MAX filled in the gap with their own classical remixes.
  • Spell My Name with an "S":
    • Cordiality vs. Another Truth
    • May also be a case of I Have Many Names, like "Caution", which became "Don't Bother Me" in later versions, or "Mistake", which was known as "Guilty Conscience" before NX.
  • Spiritual Successor: The Pro series is considered a spiritual sequel to In the Groove, as it has many of the same developers (including Kyle Ward), uses StepMania as its engine, has a course mode with visual distractions, mines, edit mode, etc. It even shares quite a bit of its soundtrack with ITG (some of which allegedly destined for the cancelled ITG 3; including "VVV" by ZiGZaG, the third song in ITG's recurring Vertex series, and "Take Me Back", a vocal version of the name entry music from ITG 2). Since the development team worked with Andamiro, it was quite unlikely the Pro series would fall victim to the same legal action that In The Groove did.
  • Sports Game: Some countries consider this game as a sport.
  • Stealth Pun: A Progressive course on Pro only consists of "Turkey March" and "Slam". Turkeyslam was a prominent U.S. community member at the time.
  • The Stinger: Get two S grades in the Remix mode on Exceed 2 to be able to "play" RAW.
  • Take That!:
  • Title Drop:
    • "Pump it up" was prominently pronounced in the chorus of Banya's "Free Style". The song was, however, absent for a long time - it was removed in Extra and only returned in Fiesta.
    • The title drop also occurs on several other songs such as "Witch Doctor #1" from NX and "Up & Up (Produced by AWAL)" from Prime 2.
  • Tournament Play:
    • Every year, Andamiro hosts a National Pump Festival, a major international tournament. The World Pump Festival happened in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2011, and 2016 (originally 2015 but was delayed).
    • Prominent U.S. player and streamer happyf333tz has organized a tournament known as "Avalanche", inspired by the "stamina" format currently popular in the In the Groove community, where players are given a 3-hour nonstop block to play and score on as many doubles charts as possible.
  • Tragic Keepsake: In the BGA for Canon-D (pictured above), the girl's necklace is actually the pupil of a robotic eye that helped her escape treacherous robots, but ultimately got killed saving her. But the robot gets revived at the end by her, anyway...
  • Translation Train Wreck:
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay:
  • At higher levels, the game likes to throw out unexpected gimmicks left and right which no sightreader will be prepared for, such as BPM changes, pauses in the chart, and extreme body motions that one has to mentally prepare for if they want to make them amidst the endless mass of steps.
  • Pump It Up Exceed beta test, along with broken scoring systems, included many hard-ass charts, which were eventually replaced in the official patch. However, some of its Beta Nightmare charts made its way to NX World Tour as a troll.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable: The original version of Pro's "Up and Down" course was supposed to have a modifier gimmick on the last song, "Heel and Toe" that was supposed to make it look like the arrows were coming from both the top and bottom at once. Unfortunately, it didn't quite work right (blame refresh rates mainly). The first patch replaced said song with "Monkey Fingers", with a new modifier script that actually worked.
  • Unlockable Content:
    • The mainline Pump games with mission charts can have songs unlocked by beating more and more charts. The Pro series has pad codes that are entered on a specific screen.
    • XX also includes charts for default songs that need to be unlocked by fulfilling certain conditions.
  • Unwinnable: A bug in older versions of NXA can prevent players from completing World Max.
  • Unwinnable by Design:
    • The progressive course "Make Haste!", from Pro 2. For starters, the entire course uses a modifier called Accelerando (the song goes faster when you do well, and slows down when you do poorly). Each song in the course also has a mod that slowly activates throughout the entire song, and if it fully activates, the song is impossible to finish (i.e. Stealth). Therefore, it is more directly up to how well the player is doing that determines if the song will finish in time.
    • FFF mission from Prime's Mission Zone. The third stage requires you to clear D22 chart with 1450 total steps or more. The last 4 holds are replaced with rolls, which means you have to step on panels 200 times in 5 seconds in order to clear it. Alternatively, redo it over and over until the D24 is revealed and gets enough steps for you to do it
  • Unwinnable Joke Game:
    • RAW is not really meant to be played however, since its a sort of credits roll.
    • Bee (Another-Nightmare)'s chart is also impossible to play and also spells out names.
  • Use Your Head: One such way of hitting quintuple arrows. Or, if you're fast enough, you may fall butt-first on the center pad, while your hands hit the rear arrows and your feet hit the ones at the front. Or if you're small or otherwise have short legs, hit the front arrows with your hands, the back arrows with your feet, and the middle arrow with one knee. Great way to get bruised knees, though.
  • Video-Game Lives: Pump Pro 2's new Gauntlet Mode.
  • Villain Protagonist:
    • The video for "Phantom" is about alien creatures taking over and enslaving the Earth.
    • It is also implied that the woman in "Nightmare" and "Close Your Eyes" murdered her lover and is on the lam.
    • The BGA for "Napalm" from Fiesta features a Mad Bomber with a price on her head as the protagonist, complete with a "Wanted" poster.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: The hero in the Wild West-style BGA for "Gun Rock" fights bad guys this way.
  • Wrongfully Attributed: Super Stylin`, a crossover song from Xross collaboration between PIU, EZ2AC, and O2Jam, was attributed as O2Jam song, but actually it's not from O2Jam PC, Analog or even U. But it's originally came from Pop Stage although it's one of O2Jam series.

Hey! Why don't you just get up and dance man?!?