Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix for Microsoft Xbox FAQ v.1.2 by Michael Kelehan mkfaqs2 at hotmail dot com Mike Kelehan on Xbox Live January 22, 2004 _________________ Table of Contents Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜ I. Introduction II. Game Modes a. Game Mode b. Battle Mode i. Score Battle ii. Point Battle c. Workout Mode d. Challenge Mode e. Training Mode f. Edit Mode g. Records h. Options III. Xbox Live a. How to Play b. Live Features i. Friends List ii. Players List iii. Voice Options iv. Player Options v. Player Rankings vi. Download New Content c. Etiquette IV. Songs a. Initial Songs b. Hidden Songs c. Download Songs i. Song Pack 1 ii. Song Pack 2 V. DDR Strategy a. Health Tips b. Feel the Beat c. Stay Off the Center! d. Tricky Step Patterns i. Triples ii. Crossovers iii. Gallops iv. Streams VI. Dance Pads a. Mat Options i. Xbox Mats ii. PlayStation Soft Mats iii. PlayStation Hard Platforms b. Mat Modification VII. FAQ VIII. DDR Terminology IX. Version History X. Closing _______________ I. Introduction Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜ Welcome to the Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix FAQ. Every mix of DDR except for this one has a FAQ, so it's high time one gets made, I say. First, I'll talk to the audience new to the game. Dance Dance Revolution is a very simple game: arrows scroll to the top of the screen, and when one hits the top, you press the corresponding button on your dance pad. If the arrow is longer than usual, you hold it down until it's off the screen. If you miss, you lose life; if you hit it at the right time, you gain life. Run out of life, you're done, but make it to the end of the song and you pass. That's it. It's easy to learn, but as you might imagine, it can get crazy later on... and horribly fun. DDR is a member of Konami's Bemani series, which consists of rhythm games that use special controllers. You CAN play the game with a normal Xbox controller, but that's just nowhere near as fun as moving your body to play. This FAQ will assume that you're using a dance pad. What makes this mix different from the numerous mixes on the PS1 and PS2? New to DDR are Battle Mode, for 1-4 players, and Xbox Live internet play. New to the US is Challenge Mode. All of these modes will be explained in the next section. What do other mixes have that this doesn't? Beginner and Lesson mode for the new players, Oni and Nonstop modes for the experts. Also, this has only two background dancers... but then, DDRMAX had zero. ______________ II. Game Modes Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜ This is the meat of the game, for one or two players. First you pick the type of game: Single, for one player; Versus, for two players; or Double, for one player on two dance pads. If you have the means for Double, I highly recommend trying it. Next, you pick your difficulty, either Light, Standard, or Heavy. Every song has three different sets of steps, one for each of these settings. Light steps are easier than Standard steps for the same song, which are in turn easier than Heavy steps. However, all difficulties have a wide range; Max 300 on Light is harder than After the Game of Love on Heavy. Okay, now we get to the song selection. Use left and right to pick your song. If you want to change difficulties, press up twice to go easier and down twice to go harder. To resort the songs, press Start. Doing so switches between normal song order, sort by speed, sort alphabetically, and sort by how often it's been played. Under the song's banner on the left of the screen is a number of feet, from one to ten. The more feet, the harder the song. There's also the Groove Radar, which requires a Ph.D. to read. Air is how many jumps are in the song, Freeze is how many freeze arrows you'll see, and the other three just tell you how tired you'll be afterwards. To be more specific, it's widely believed that Stream is the overall density of the steps, Voltage is the peak density of the steps, and Chaos is the irregularity of the steps, but Konami hasn't ever (to my knowledge) gone on the record with exactly what they mean, so I wouldn't worry about them. Generally, the higher the area of the radar, the harder the song... but it's easier to just go by feet. Press A to select your song, or B to go back a screen. If you hold A, you can change options, like the speed of the arrows (turning this up can make slower songs easier to read), the time you get to see the arrows (make them disappear halfway or just appear halfway), or change the difficulty if you forgot to earlier. New to the Xbox version are Help Arrows, which flash yellow. If you turn this option on, successfully hitting a Help Arrow will give you back a good deal of life. Now, we're playing. Step accurately to get a high score. Don't fail. The less on your mind now, the better. When an arrow reaches the top, it gives you one of these five words telling you how well you hit it: Perfect: Timing was spot-on. You get life back, a good amount of points, and your combo counter increases by one. Combos mean nothing aside from personal glory, being able to tell your friends, "I got a 200 combo!" Great: You hit it pretty well. You'll get a little life back, a few points, and your combo goes up one. Good: Timing was so-so. Your life won't be affected, but you won't get any points. This or any worse ranking will reset your combo to zero. Almost: Timing could be a lot better. You'll lose life. Boo: You were way off, or didn't hit it at all. You'll lose a good amount of life. Once you're done, you'll get a grade based on how well you did, ranging from E (failed) to AAA (got all Perfects). Ready to play again? Here, you can compete against friends to see who's the best dancer. If you want, you can even play against computer players... although why you'd want to escapes me. i. Score Battle For two to four players. Pick a song and a difficulty setting, and play until the song is over. Whoever gets the most points wins. It's like the regular Game Mode, except all players must be on the same difficulty level. ii. Point Battle This one's more interesting. It's only for two players. Each player gets 16 points, and every time a player makes a step worse than the other, they lose a point. For instance, if player 1 gets a Great while player 2 gets a Perfect, player 1 loses a point. The game ends when one player reaches zero. If that never happens, whoever has the most points at the end of a song wins. It's a great way to determine who's better at a hard song without playing through the whole thing and killing yourself. Are you fat? Do you want to stop being fat? Play this mode to track how many calories you burn while playing the game. Back in the day, the Japanese DDR 4th Mix and Extra Mix had this mode, where you have to meet strange challenges to pass stages. These might be to get all Goods on a song, or dance to one song while another plays... crazy stuff. Now, this mode hits the US, and maybe you'll like it. I don't play this mode ever, since I'm on Live all the time, but all the challenges are self-explanatory. If a song is bothering you with its difficulty, try it here. You can play without worrying about failure, or slow the song down to learn complex step patterns. You can even turn on Assist, which is a metronome that helps you keep the beat. Make your own steps to songs, save them to the hard drive, and play them. Can you make better steps than Konami? Consult your instruction manual to learn the specifics of how to work the editor. View how often you've played each song and the best score you've gotten on it. You can also delete records, which you might do if someone else set them or you set them with a controller. Adjust all sorts of options, like difficulty, announcer voices (I say turn them off), dancers (same), and even turn the arrows into turtles. Why not, I say. ______________ III. Xbox Live Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜ This... this is where the fun is. Play against total strangers or best friends. Find out if you're better than the rest of the world, and even if you're not, you'll have a great time doing it. You can play in either of the two battle modes with people across the country. While you're on Live, instructions for navigating the menus rotate on the bottom right of the screen. Look down there if said menus confuse and/or infuriate you. There are two ways you can join an existing game. Select Quickmatch to be randomly thrown in an open game. If you pick Optimatch, you can narrow down your search for specific songs, difficulties, and modes, and then select from a list of open games that match your criteria. To see a list of all open games, select Optimatch and leave all fields on "Any." A quick note: there are a few bugs on Optimatch. If you get an empty list of games, press up to see the games. If you get a short list of games, but none are yellow (indicating that you don't have one selected), press up to see more. But let's say there aren't any games open that you want to play. Make your own by selecting Create Game. You pick a song, pick a difficulty, pick a mode, and choose how many players can play. You choose how many slots to have open, each of which can be filled by another player. This doesn't include you, so if you wanted a game for up to 4 players, you'd leave 3 slots. Public slots can be joined by anyone, but private slots can only be joined by your Friends. When you create the game, you're the "host," and so you're responsible for starting the game, which we'll talk about in a bit. When you're in the game, you'll have a list of the players on the left, along with what type of controller they're using. If there's a plus-shaped icon, they're using an Xbox dance pad, while a Controller S indicates that the player is using either an Xbox controller or a PSX dance pad. On the right is a menu where you can access your Friends list, player list, and voice options, which will be covered in the next session. You can hit Quit to exit the game and go back to the Live menu. If you joined the game, the top button is Ready, which you have to click on before the game can start. The host can click Start when everyone else is ready. Unready players appear dimmed out to the host. During the game, you can see everyone's playfield. Everyone has the same arrows, so it's not necessary to look at anyone else's field. You know which one belongs to you because it has a number on the bottom. A green circle indicates a player that's connected to you, while a red one means that you lost your connection to that player, but they're still playing and you'll still get points if you beat them. At the end of the game, you see a results screen. You can see how everyone did, and talk to them about it. For everyone you beat, you get a point for the game rankings, so the more you play, the higher you'll rank. Once you press A, you're thrown back to the Live menu, so if you want to play again, you'll have to get into another game. i. Friends List You can maintain a list of Friends across the Live service, sort of like an instant messenger buddy list. It'll tell you who's online and in what game. You can invite some of them to join your game, even if they're playing something else. If you want to add someone to your Friends List, there are three ways. One, you can click on them from the Players List (which will come next) and send a Friend Invite. The next time they're on their Friends List, they'll see your invite, and can accept or decline it. You can also send an invite by manually entering the player's name in the Xbox Live Dashboard, which you get to by clicking Xbox Live on the main Dashboard when you boot up the system with no game in the drive. Finally, you can accept someone else's invite to add them to your list. Friends are mutual; if you're on someone's list, they're on yours. When you get a Friend Request while you're on Live, a blue icon that looks like a triangular man appears on the bottom right of your screen. When someone invites you to join their game, you'll get a blue icon with an envelope. Little-known fact: you can view the online status of your friends without being on Live at all. If you go to the Xbox Live section of Xbox.com and then go to My Live, you can sign in with your .Net Passport (Hotmail account) and link it to your Gamertag. You can then view what your friends are playing from any PC. ii. Players List If you click Players in a game, or go to Players List from Player Options, you can pull up a list of the last few people you've seen on Live. You can see their voice options as well, which we'll discuss in the next section. If you want to, you can invite any of them to your Friends List, or mute them if they're really getting on your nerves. iii. Voice Options Here, you can choose if you want other players' voices to go in your earpiece (default), through the TV (good if you want to hear players talking while you play, since it's a pain to dance with the headset on), or off, if you're tired of hearing people altogether. You can also turn on voice masking, but please don't. iv. Player Options Not too much fun stuff here. You can change your online status to make yourself appear offline, in case you want to play but are dodging your friends, you antisocial hermit. You can also go to the Players List and change your Voice Options. v. Player Rankings Are you in it for the fun, or the glory? Ultramix gives you both, with these rankings. Score and Point Battle Rankings are the real draw here, where whoever beat the most players gets the highest ranking. It also lists how many rivals everyone has played, so you can get an idea of who's winning all the time and who's brute forcing their way to the top. There are also rankings for offline song play, which uses your best score from all three difficulties, individually, on both Single and Double. Now, since score is a function of the number of feet (a maximum of 50,000,000 points times the number of feet), the highest Light Single scores will be AAAs on Ready Steady Go and La Senorita Virtual. I would've preferred individual song rankings, but what can you do. While viewing rankings, you can press A to go to one of three places on the list: Yourself, Top 100, and Friends. The first two are pretty obvious; the third takes you to a list of your friends and lets you choose who you want to view. You can then see exactly where they're ranked. Perfect for rivalries. I'll get you, Kloaked Spirit, if it's the last thing I doooooooooooo... The Y button will refresh the rankings, if you stay on the list for a while. For offline score rankings, press X to upload your scores. If you have a better one than the last one you uploaded, it'll send the higher one and show you how you improved in the rankings. vi. Download New Content This is the shop, where you can buy new songs. $5 for 5 songs is the going rate right now, and it'll probably stay that way. Rumor has it that Microsoft won't allow anything to be sold for less than $5, which is ridiculous, but then, that wouldn't be the first ridiculous rule in the video game industry. Remember that Sony used to have an all-games-must-have-endings rule, so no puzzle games, and Nintendo wouldn't allow the word "death" in game titles. The best and worst thing about playing online is the other players. They can be great, they can be awful. You want to be one of the former, don't you? 1. Stay calm. If someone doesn't start up the game, give them some time, or calmly ask them if they're ready to start. Don't get crazy about steps you miss, or players who beat you. 2. Shut up during the song. It's usually best to take your mic off while you play, so people don't hear you panting in exhaustion. If you want to say "Aw!" when you miss a step, or "Nice!" when someone full combos a tough part, go ahead; that's why we have voice chat. Screaming into the mic or singing along really, really pisses people off, and will 100% always get you muted by everyone. Remember, it saves who mutes you, so there are no second chances. 3. Tolerance is important. Other players may have a controller icon next to their name, indicating that they're either using a regular Xbox controller or a PSX dance mat. That's how they want to play, and it's not hurting you. Let them enjoy their game any way they want to. You can still win. 4. Don't use voice masking. Every Xbox Live game has voice masking, for privacy reasons. In actuality, it just annoys people, and makes it harder to understand what you say. Just don't use it. 5. Enjoy the game. This is a game; enjoy it. Don't get hung up on anything, like controller users or your mat acting up or ANYTHING. Just have fun. _________ IV. Songs Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜ This is what you came for, isn't it? Ultramix doesn't have the highest number of songs ever, but it's still not too shabby. The song list will follow this format: SONG TITLE Artist Beats per minute (bpm) Difficulty on Single Light/Standard/Heavy Double Light/Standard/Heavy Information, if any The information could be the song's history, tips on playing it, or whatever I want. It's my FAQ. For hidden songs, the Information will always contain the conditions you need to meet to unlock them. .59 dj TAKA 134bpm 4/6/7 4/6/7 What's that name mean? .59 in Japanese is pronounced "tengokyuu," while "tengoku" means "heaven." Get it? A fun song to start out the song list. You'll see this online a lot; everyone seems to like it. Once you've got a hang of reading streams of arrows, this becomes a joy to play on Heavy. ABSOLUTE (CUFF-N-STUFF IT MIX) Thuggie D. 146bpm 3/6/6 4/7/7 A cool new mix of the DDR classic Absolute, which was originally a Beatmania classic. The part in the end will screw you up every time, and remember that steps are worth more points later in the song, so it can be beneficial to practice just the last few seconds in Training Mode. AFTER THE GAME OF LOVE NPD3 105bpm 1/4/5 2/4/6 This originally appeared in the US without its lyrics in Konamix as After the Game, but now you can hear it in its full beasty glory. How the game's rated E with it in there, I'll never know. This may be the first song you AAA, and it's the only one foot song in the game. If you want to start Doubles play with a one foot song, tough luck. BALLAD FOR YOU NM featuring Thomas Howard 64bpm 2/5/7 2/5/7 Thomas Howard returns with a song that, believe it or not, is even sappier than Silent Hill. The song, not the game. Without pumping up the speed, you'll have trouble with this one even on Standard. It's not seen online very often, simply because it's not too much fun. But maybe you'll like it. CAN'T STOP FALLIN' IN LOVE (SPEED MIX) Naoki 170bpm 4/6/9 4/6/9 A favorite from 5th Mix, making its US debut. Playing on Light can give a first-timer an opportunity to practice crossovers, and playing on Heavy isn't complicated but it gets your blood pumping. If you've got the skill to beat 9-footers and you're full of energy, this one can be a lot of fun, and will blow the minds of your friends. CANDY(HEART) Riyu Kosaka 180bpm 3/5/7 3/5/7 The version of Candy mysteriously absent from MAX2 US. Oddly enough, the Heavy steps in this one are the same as Candy(star)'s, which explains why I remember having more fun playing them in MAX2 JP. The Standard steps are still plenty fun, though. CASTLES IN THE SKY Ian Van Dahl featuring Marsha 140bpm 3/6/8 3/7/9 Exclusive US licensed track. You might lose the timing on some of the arrows when they switch to the offbeats, so watch the color of the arrows carefully. Also, on Heavy, watch for gallops where you might think you're doing 8th beats. Try it with the arrows sped up a few times to get the hang of where they are, and watch them carefully after that. DIVE Be For U 155bpm 4/5/8 4/6/7 Every DDR game since 4th Mix had a version of Dive, I think. This is the one that started it all. Fun steps on Light and Standard, not on Heavy I think. DO THAT THANG (M*A*S*H RADIO EDIT) Masai 123bpm 4/7/8 4/7/8 Exclusive US licensed track. Many think this is the best of them. It's the only one with a real video playing in the background. Steps aren't too rough, nor are they too simple. DROP THE BOMB SY S F MIX Scotty D. 150bpm 3/5/7 3/5/8 This was the big unlock in MAX US, which required playing 500 songs to unlock. You get to play it right out of the box. An online favorite, thoroughly enjoyable and not too tricky on any difficulty. DXY! TaQ 148bpm 4/6/8 4/6/8 Eh. ELECTRO TUNED (THE SUBS MIX) TaQ 125bpm 5/6/9 4/6/8 EXOTIC ETHNIC RevenG 190bpm 4/5/9 4/6/9 RevenG's always good for a challenge. HEALING VISION De-sire 49-196bpm 3/6/8 3/6/9 A good, new-agey track that you need to beat to get its tougher brother. It starts really slow, then picks up to become quite fast, so messing with the speed will bite you in the tail at some point. Your best bet to learn this, if you can't do it the normal way, is to practice it in Training Mode. HYPNOTIC CRISIS Blue Destroyers 134bpm 5/6/9 5/7/9 HYSTERIA Naoki190 190bpm 4/6/8 3/5/7 INFINITE PRAYER L. E. D. Light featuring Goro 137bpm 2/6/7 2/6/7 INSERTION (MACHINE GUN KELLY MIX) Thuggie D. 69-139bpm 3/5/7 3/6/7 What does that name MEAN? KEEP ON MOVIN' (DMX MIX) N. M. R.-typeG 132bpm 3/5/7 4/5/7 KEEP YA BODY MOVIN' Thuggie D. 95bpm 2/4/5 2/4/6 This is pretty slow, but it can be fun. New players like to play this one, and veterans can join in. Freestyling with your upper body just sort of happens. KIND LADY Okuyatos 134bpm 4/6/7 4/5/8 I dare you to tell me you don't like Kind Lady. I dare you. Enjoyable song, enjoyable steps... it's on every mix for a reason. LA SENORITA VIRTUAL 2MB 180bpm 7/8/8 6/7/8 The only song with roughly the same difficulty on all three difficulties, although they all have different steps. I wonder why they didn't include the original La Senorita; it's much better. LET THE BEAT HIT EM! (CLASSIC R&B STYLE) Stone Bros. 102bpm 3/5/6 3/5/6 LET'S TALK IT OVER Shin Murayama featuring Argie Phine 100bpm 2/5/6 2/4/7 LOOK TO THE SKY: TRUE COLOR MIX Sy S. F. featuring Anna 140bpm 3/5/7 2/5/7 I hope you like this guy's work. I hear tell DJ Sota is going to replace Naoki as the music director for future DDR versions. I look forward to it. LUV TO ME (DISCO MIX) Tiger Yamato 154bpm 4/7/9 4/8/8 You might be surprised at how much you like this song. I was. Originally from the now-obscure Bemani game Para Para Paradise. ON THE JAZZ Johnny Dynamite! 130bpm 2/5/7 3/5/7 Another favorite for new players. This is just an SOB on Heavy, though. You have to KNOW the song to be able to do it, and even then, it's rough. Again, try it sped up a few times. OVERBLAST!! L. E. D. Light 147bpm 3/6/7 3/5/8 Also fun. Knowing the song ahead of time can really help with some of the steps, so try it on Light and Standard before jumping in Heavy. PARANOIA ETERNAL STM200 204bpm 5/6/9 5/6/9 Every mix of DDR has had at least one mix of Paranoia. Some people have their favorite version, but if you ask me, they all sort of blend together. They're always known for their challenge, so good luck with this one. QUICKENING dj TAKA 150bpm 3/5/6 3/5/7 READY STEADY GO Paul Oakenfold 64-256bpm 7/8/9 6/8/9 Exclusive US licensed track. Don't be fooled into thinking this is super- tough, because it's not. The arrows speed up at one point where the song doesn't really do so; you'll know that part is coming when you see the arrows spaced out twice as much as before. Keep the same beat, and you're fine. SANA MOLLETE NE ENTE Togo Project featuring Sana 90bpm 2/5/8 2/5/8 "If it's only 90bpm, how can it be 8 feet?" You've clearly never heard of Bag. Try it on Heavy, just try it, without turning up the speed. Holy hell, did you see all those arrows? After playing it a few times, though, you can read them with some help from memorization. SECRET RENDEZ-VOUS Divas 98bpm 2/5/7 2/5/7 Good for beginners on Light, and another tough reader for Heavy without speeding up the arrows. SEXY PLANET Crystal Aliens 180bpm 5/6/7 4/5/7 Oni remix is actually a better song, which is rare, but we don't get that. SHINY DISCO BALLS Who Da Funk 132bpm 4/6/7 5/7/8 Exclusive US licensed track. The original version has more lyrics other than just the title, but they don't add too much. You like it or you don't; I think I do. SO IN LOVE Caramel S. 112bpm 3/6/7 4/6/7 Eh. SUPERSTAR DJ Rich featuring Tail Bros. 128bpm 5/6/8 4/6/8 SWEET SWEET (HEART) MAGIC Jun 180bpm 3/6/9 3/6/9 This one will get you on Heavy. It's got one of those pauses midway in the song that'll really trip you up if you're not expecting it... so expect it. THE EARTH LIGHT L. E. D. Light 144bpm 5/6/8 5/6/7 THERE 4 YOU Thuggie D. 112bpm 3/5/6 3/5/7 TRIP MACHINE (LUV MIX) 2MB 160bpm 6/7/8 7/8/9 The Trip Machines, like the Paranoias, are known for their challenge. They're built from the ground up for that purpose, although I would argue that they sound a lot better than the Paranoias. TSUGARU RevenG vs. De-Sire 160bpm 3/6/9 4/7/9 Ah, gallops. It's one of those songs that you try and say, "OH SWEET JESUS! HOW AM I EVER TO DO THAT?" And then you do, but just barely. You keep doing it, and it gets easier and easier, until it takes almost no effort to pass. At least, that's how it is for me. COLORS (FOR EXTREME) dj TAKA 150bpm 3/5/7 3/5/7 Play 90-100 songs to unlock this. The easiest way to unlock this quickly, if you play online a lot but not offline, is to repeatedly start songs and then hold Back to quit them. That'll get you the Colors in about 5 minutes. This is a very fun song that a lot of people like to play online, so I do recommend getting it quickly. On DDR Extreme, this has Oni steps that clock in at 9 feet, but we don't get them in this version. Still, the 7-foot Heavy steps are a lot of fun. GRADIUSIC CYBER (ANOTHER) TAKA 160bpm 7/8/9 7/9/10 Get a AA on any song to unlock this one. This is a tough song that's different from the Gradiusic Cyber you may be used to, hence the "Another," even though the game itself makes no mention that it's Another version. HEALING VISION (ANGELIC MIX) 2MB 44-196bpm 5/7/9 5/7/9 Pass Healing Vision on all three difficulties to get this. The Heavy steps on this are widely regarded as one of the hardest 9-footers around, so good luck with them. It's tiring, very tiring. This is known for its abrupt pause in the middle that will take you totally by surprise, and then jump right back in full swing, so watch out for it. MAX300 Omega 300bpm 6/8/10 6/8/10 Get a AAA on any song, or land on it in Roulette and pass it. The original bad boy, this one will hurt you. Some of the self-proclaimed DDR experts will say that this is an easy song, but they're what we call "poseurs." It's hard, very hard, and there's nothing wrong with that. Warm up before you attempt this. The steps aren't complicated, there's just a lot of them, and they fly at you at an alarming rate. MGS2 MISSION R L. E. D. Light 150bpm 4/5/7 4/6/8 Get an A on any song to get this remix of music from the great MGS2, a game known more for its terrible story than its excellent gameplay. The Heavy version has what I call machine gun steps, in which you'll have to step the same two arrows very rapidly. Just keep hammering on them until it's over without worry of timing and you'll get most, if not all of them. ORION .78 (CIVILIZATION MIX) 2MB 200bpm 6/8/9 6/8/9 Either play 300 songs or beat all of Challenge Mode for this very unimpressive song. Yes, it's just my opinion... but man, I hate this one. It's a challenge, but if Jesus himself picked it on Live, I wouldn't play it with him. PARANOIA REBIRTH 190' 190bpm 6/7/9 6/8/9 Beat all three difficulties of Paranoia Eternal to get the Rebirth. If you've heard one Paranoia... PUT YOUR FAITH IN ME (SATURDAY NIGHT MIX) Uzi-lay 120bpm 3/5/6 3/5/6 Just fail any song to get this one. If you haven't gotten it yet, then you will; just keep playing 9-10 foot songs and it'll happen. It's a nice remix of an old DDR favorite. Not too hard, downright relaxing in fact. SANA MOLLETE NE ENTE (BLT STYLE) Togo Project featuring Sana 88-180bpm 2/5/7 2/5/8 Conquer all three difficulties of the first Sana to unlock this sandwich-titled mix. It starts at the same speed as the first, but then kicks in to twice that. A personal favorite. If you're having trouble unlocking it, try doubling the speed on Sana. All Song Packs are $5 each, and contain 5 songs. Click Download New Content on Xbox Live to get them. There isn't, and almost certainly won't be, a way for users without Live to get them. i. Song Pack 1 ABYSS dj TAKA 142bpm 2/5/7 3/5/7 A fun song from 5th Mix. I was hesitant to buy the song pack at first, since there are only two new songs, but then I remembered that I really like Abyss. Think back... you probably do too. BURNIN' THE FLOOR Naoki 154bpm 4/6/7 4/6/8 Stock Naoki fare. Fun but unmemorable. BURNING HEAT! (3 OPTION MIX) Mr. T. featuring Motoaki F. 164bpm 2/5/9 2/6/9 Unlike Gradiusic Cyber, which was only inspired by Gradius, this one is straight-up based on it. It's even got some of the old classic sounds towards the end. And, on Heavy, it's a beast. Real easy on Light, tough as all hell on Heavy, this one runs the gamut. Something for everyone. IN MY EYES Ric 142bpm 3/5/6 4/5/6 One of the two new-to-DDR songs in SP1, it's very good. I hope you like freeze arrows, because this has some great ones. This is the song that sold me on the pack. MIND PARASITE Tomosuke 145bpm 3/6/7 3/6/8 The other new song in SP1, and also lots of fun. Also, like In My Eyes, it's got some great freezes. Maybe that's going to be standard for new songs in Song Packs? ii. Song Pack 2 SP2 has been announced, but no idea when it'll be out. As more info comes, I'll update this section. AFRONOVA PRIMEVAL 8 bit FIRE DUB Asletics MIDNITE BLAZE U1 Jewel Style SOMETHING WONDERFUL L. E. D. OUTER LIMITS L. E. D. -G _______________ V. DDR Strategy Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜ This is a section mainly for players new to DDR, since DDR gameplay hasn't changed at all since the introduction of freeze arrows... and even that wasn't a huge change from when DDR was introduced back in 1998. The only Xbox- specific strategy is this: when you play on Live, don't wear the headset. You may trip on the cord. The number one tip I can give you is to practice, and practice a lot. Your skill is directly related to how much you've played, so keep at it, and don't get discouraged. Keep challenging yourself, too; if you can beat 5-foot songs, play sixes now and then. Keeping your controller in good working order is an important part of playing any game, and in this one, your whole body is your controller. Don't eat less than a half hour before playing, and be sure to stretch before playing, or you might cramp up. If stomach cramps occur, eat a banana and wait a while before continuing play. Drink lots of water before, during, and after play - not soda or juice. Gatorade is fine, but water really is best. If you're tired, take a break before the next song. You should push yourself to get better, but not too hard. Another important thing to remember that many people forget is that you don't need to slam on the arrows for them to register on home mats. That saves you quite a bit of energy, when you learn you only need to lift your foot a little bit. With jumps, bend your knees to exert less energy and make less noise. The lighter you hit the arrows, the longer you can play. Beginning players often make the mistake of watching the arrows rise to the top and trying to hit them at the right time using visual cues alone. That makes sense, except this is a music game, and so the music is there to help. The stationary arrows on the top of the screen flash with the beat of the music, and most notes (especially on Light mode) are in perfect synch with that beat. Watch the stationary arrows flash at the beginning of the song before the arrows start rising and get a feel for the song's beat, and hit the arrows with that beat. To summarize, you watch WHAT arrows to hit, but you listen and feel WHEN to hit them. To keep the beat throughout the song, it may help to count out the beat quietly (one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four...) or breathe in and out with alternating beats. Also, remember that you're not penalized for extra steps. I like to make steps at every beat, even if there are no arrows, just to make sure I keep right on the beat. When you're trying to AAA a song, that's essential. Some songs like to change up beats on you, like Ready Steady Go, or even come to a sudden stop and start up again, like Sweet Sweet and Healing Vision Angelic. The only way you can be prepared for this is by playing the song enough to anticipate it. Every beginner, bar none, makes the same mistake in the beginning: they step on an arrow, then return the foot to the center of the pad. This is absolutely, positively NOT what you want to do, period. It means that you're effectively making two steps instead of one, thus making it twice as hard on yourself. In addition, this can cause missteps, because while you think your foot's in the middle, it's actually on the edge of one of the arrows, so when you try to hit that arrow with your other foot, it doesn't register. The simple solution is to keep your foot on the arrow until you need to move it. The next arrow you need to hit with that foot could very well be the arrow it's on, saving you some energy. When you've played a lot, you stop seeing individual arrows and see patterns. Recognizing and knowing what to do with these patters is the key to moving from having difficulty on 4-foot songs to being able to do 8-footers in your sleep. I'll be using some abbreviations here: L left arrow R right arrow U up arrow D down arrow LF left foot RF right foot i. Triples A triple is a set of three arrows, with the first and last on consecutive beats and the middle one between them. You have to hit these twice as fast as regular beats, and so it trips people up. The important thing to remember is that you want to alternate feet. If the triple is, say, U-R-D, you'll want to hit it LF-RF-LF. You do not want to go RF-RF-LF or LF-RF-RF, because that would involve moving your right foot very quickly, and it would not only tire you out faster, but send your accuracy down the crapper. Of course, if the triple involves two of the same step in a row, like L-L-R or U-U-L, you'll want to hit them with the same foot. That's the only exception to the rule. A special kind of triple starts with either L or R and ends on the opposite arrow, which requires a crossover. ii. Crossovers You'll want to do a crossover if you see one of these four triple patterns: L-D-R R-D-L L-U-R R-U-L You'll remember I said that for triples you want to hit them with alternating feet, and I stand by that rule. "But," you may be thinking, "that would require me to hit L with RF, or R with LF! Such a thing is unnatural!" That's exactly what I want you to do. It's called a crossover because your foot crosses over to the other side of the mat, where it usually isn't. Let's use L-D-R as an example. A beginner might hit it LF-RF-RF, which is totally what we don't want, because you're using RF twice in a row. If you've already started the triple LF-RF, go ahead and bring LF over to R to finish it up. If you see the crossover coming a mile away, you can start it with RF, so you'll end with RF on R, which is a much more desirable position. Either way is fine, though; I honestly usually do that one LF-RF-LF myself. Can't Stop Fallin' In Love (Speed Mix) is a great song to use to master the crossover. Its Light steps use L-D-R-D-L on regular beats, so you can practice it without much pressure. Its heavy steps have large streams of crossovers, so once you can pass that you'll be set to use the technique for the rest of your natural life. iii. Gallops Yes, like a horse. A gallop is a set of two arrows very close to each other, like a triple but without the third step, and often much much closer together. Tsugaru on Standard and particularly Heavy has a lot of these. The trick is to treat these like jumps, but to land on one of them a little before the other. You absolutely don't want to use the same foot for a gallop, unless it's an emergency. You might find yourself in a position where you pretty much have to unless you want to face away from the screen, and then it's okay, but don't come crying to me if you get a Good. Shiny Disco Balls has some nice, slow gallop practice on all three difficulties, when the singer is saying, "Disco, disco, disco, shiny disco, disco..." Tsugaru Heavy, as mentioned before, is your test for gallop mastery. iv. Streams Some songs have long streams of arrows on and in between the beats. Speeding up the arrow flow to 1.5x can help read them. The key, as before, is to alternate feet as much as possible. Sometimes, it'll make it easier to use the same foot twice in a row, but as a general rule try to minimize that. This just takes practice. ______________ VI. Dance Pads Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜ Like most Bemani games, you can play with a stock controller, but getting the special game-specific one is much more fun. To get the most out of DDR, you'll have to get a dance pad, but there's more to it... i. Xbox Mats Probably the easiest thing to do is get an Xbox-specific mat. Easily the best of these is the Konami Dance Dance Revolution Controller, or simply Konami mat, but as of now the only way to get it is from either the bundle, where it adds $20-$25 to the cost of the game, or from RedOctane.com, where it's a whopping $45. Still, it's the most accurate soft mat out there, and has two memory card slots built right into it so you can plug in your voice communicator. For some annoying reason, you can't just plug your communicator into controller 2 and talk through that, so you'll have to pay extra for that feature on the mat. In addition to the official mat, there are a number of unofficial soft mats, from such companies as Naki and Mad Catz. These range from $20-$30, but be careful; many have no expansion slots, so you'll have to plug in your controller every time you want to talk. They also tend to break faster than the Konami mat, starting to miss steps that you clearly hit, and slide around on the floor more. Some are universal for PSX and Xbox, which is a good deal in theory... but remember, you're sacrificing quality for convenience. Ignition-style Xbox mats are starting to appear, at websites like levelsix.com. These tend to be more comfortable and less slidy, thanks to a 1" foam insert in the mat. This drives the cost up, but can improve your game just because it can never bunch up by design. However, again, these aren't official, so you don't really know how long they will last. If you want a good soft mat, the best thing to do (in my opinion, anyway) is to get a Konami mat with the bundle when you buy the game, and then modify it, which will be discussed shortly. ii. PlayStation Soft Mats If you, like so many Ultramix players, already have a PSX or PS2 version of DDR, you almost certainly already have a mat. With a PS-Xbox controller adaptor (various brands, $25 or so), you can use that mat on your Xbox. It's cheaper than getting a Konami mat separate, but not cheaper than getting it in the bundle. Make sure you try it before throwing away the receipt, though, as a lot of converters have a split-second delay between button press and action, which is murder for DDR. There are a few other caveats, though. The first problem, and the only one that will affect your gameplay, is that you can't turn button input off. That means that the X, O, and in some mats triangle and square buttons will register as arrows when you step on them. This can cause trouble in more ways than you might think. For example, let's say you need to press up, then down. You step on up with the front of your right foot, but your heel goes on the X button. The game, then, believes you're already hitting the down arrow, so when you press down, nothing happens, and you get a Boo. While it may not sound it, that sort of thing will happen all the time, and really bug you. The other problems have to do with Live play. Not all converters have the standard Xbox expansion slots on them, so you wouldn't be able to talk on Live. Even if they do, they don't come with the handy headset extension cable that Xbox mats do, so you'll have to go up to the adaptor to talk and then go back to the mat to dance. Also, no matter what adaptor you use, you'll show up as a controller user to other players, so the less tolerant may scream at you and refuse to start the game. It's best to just mute them and go somewhere else; they're not worth the trouble. If you've already got a Konami mat for PSX, that's pretty much just like the Xbox mat, but you'll have to deal with button input and you won't have the headset port. Not bad for a second mat for Versus and Doubles play. Third party mats tend to be the same as third party Xbox mats; in fact, most third party Xbox mats are just PSX mats with a different controller connector. They don't come recommended. There is one company, however, that makes and sells soft mats of arguably higher quality than Konami themselves... but at a price. This is RedOctane. They make a soft thin mat with excellent accuracy for $50, and the real Ignition for $100. The Ignition is widely regarded as the Rolex of soft mats, and if you're not into modding, you can't do better for the PSX. However, us Xbox users will still have to deal with the above mentioned conversion woes. You can get the Ignition from redoctane.com and some GameStop/Babbage's stores. iii. PlayStation Hard Platforms Serious DDR players will swear that the only way to play is on a hard surface with a hard platform made of metal, with buttons either of hard plastic or plexiglass. You can find some of these online, for around $100. For $200, you can get RedOctane's model, which is, as you'd expect, better. These platforms do have a problem with breaking, though, and if you like to play in socks, you might get yourself a nice blister. Also, if you miss a jump and land on a corner of the thing, you could be in some serious pain. On the plus side, they won't slide at all, and you can wear shoes. Some also even have bars you can hang on to, to help you pass Max 300 without draining your stamina. But if you're willing to spend the money on a great hard platform, there's only one way to go: the Cobalt Flux, from CobaltFlux.com. This SOB runs about $300, but those who've bought them swear they're worth every penny. If the Ignition is a Rolex, this is Big Ben. And not only that, but there's tell that the CF folks are working on their own Xbox adaptor for it, so it'll be recognized as a mat on Live and you won't have to worry about the normal conversion issues. It's pricey, but if you're bleeding money and love DDR, look into it. Without a doubt, the easiest mats to get your hands on are soft ones, but they have problems. They bunch up, they slide around, and on a thick carpet, accuracy isn't great. For a little bit of money, though, you can mod it, and really enhance your experience. First, if you plan on playing Double, you absolutely need to tape the two mats together. Having them slide about will make the game not only more difficult, but actually impossible. The mod that I use is simple. Start with a Konami mat. Any soft mat will do, but the Konami mat is, as mentioned earlier, the best of them. Now, get yourself an Ignition mat insert from RedOctane.com's DDR store, located here: http://www.redoctane.com/ddr.html Ignition Pad Dense Foam Insert, in the Other subsection of the PSX section, $15. Okay, got it? Now tape your mat down on top of it really tight with some good packing tape. I like to use long strips in a "C" shape, wrapping around both the mat and the insert. One on both sides of each arrow, for a total of 8 strips of tape. Boom, you're done. Those inserts are what makes the Ignition style mats so good, because they absorb the pressure of the steps and much of the sound while maintaining the mat's accuracy. It won't bunch up and will slide less. It won't stop sliding entirely, but it won't slide enough to screw you up even if you're playing Max 300 Heavy. Want to play with shoes on? You can mod your mat further by either cutting a hard plastic carpet cover and taping that on top, or taping on a RedOctane mat cover. It's also $15 from the same page as the insert. If you're playing with shoes on, and noise level isn't important, you can replace the Ignition insert in the first step with a piece of plywood, the thicker the better. It won't absorb the shock, so it'll be like dancing on a hardwood floor, but it won't slide at all. I think using the Ignition insert is more comfortable, but others swear by plywood. No matter which route you take, you've got a great mat now, at not too bad of a cost. And all it took was some ingenuity, and lots and lots of tape. ________ VII. FAQ Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜ Oh, right, this is a FAQ, isn't it? Okay, here we go. Q: Can I make steps to the songs I ripped to my Xbox hard drive and dance to them? A: No. If you could do that, why would you ever download new songs? Follow the money, as they say. Q: Will Konami release the song packs on disc, so those of us who don't have Live can get them? A: No, never. See, if that happened, one person would buy the disc, and then he'd install it on all of his friends' Xboxes. That causes Konami to lose more money. Q: What about downloading new steps to songs? Surely, you can do that. A: Nope, not yet anyway. Q: How to I unlock more dancers? A: You can't. Sure, there's only two, but at least the choreography is much better than in past DDR games. I turn them off, anyway. Q: Why should I pay $5 for 5 songs? Shouldn't all downloads be free? A: Well, you payed $40 for 50 songs, so it's not much worse. I say be thankful Konami's giving you the option to expand your song library at all. Song Packs are an option, not a requirement; no one's forcing you to download them. Q: When's the next Song Pack coming out? A: No one will know until it's actually out. Just check every day or so. Q: I got a higher letter grade than the one that was saved, but my old, worse grade is still there! What gives? A: It saves the best score, and score and letter grade are calculated based on different criteria. While a better score generally yields a better grade, it doesn't always (see next question for why). So, if you get an A on a song with a worse score than the B you got before, it keeps the B. Q: Both myself and someone else full comboed a song online, but I got more perfects. However, he won! What up? A: Steps are worth more towards the end of the song. If he got his Greats in the beginning and you got yours in the end, he wins. Q: Why does it say I completed all of the challenges in Challenge Mode? I know I didn't. A: Once you play 300 songs in Game Mode, it says you completed all the challenges. It's a bug in the game. Q: My combo was higher than the total number of Greats and Perfects I got in the song. How so? A: Jumps count as two towards the combo, but only one towards the final count. The difference in the tally is the number of jumps you did. Q: I got a AA without getting a full combo once. Not only that, but one time I got a full combo and only got a single A! A: AA does NOT mean full combo. That's a common misconception, and indeed you're more likely to get the AA if you FC the song. However, it's not a requirement. If you get 160 Perfects, 8 Greats, and 2 Goods, you're a shoo-in for a AA. If you get 100 Perfects and 70 Greats, though, it's looking more like an A or B. Q: Is the timing different from the PS versions? A: Yes. You get used to it after a few days, but then you need to totally relearn PS timing when you switch back. It's a pain. Q: When I play DDR in the arcades, there's no Almost step grade, and there's one called "Miss." A: Yeah, that's something they've always changed for American releases. In Japan, Boo is the second worst you can do, and Miss is the absolute worst. For us, Boo was changed to Almost, and Miss was changed to Boo. This is, I assume, to not discourage people. Almost implies that you nearly got it, and just a little more effort is required, while Boo implies you didn't try at all. The Japanese will Boo you if they know you tried and yet you still fail... and that's just mean. Q: I broke/lost my mic. Do I need to buy a new one? A: Not necessarily. If your mic adaptor still works, you can use almost any cell phone headset. Take the adaptor into Radio Shack or another such store and ask. Q: Is playing on Live any fun? A: Yes, a lot of fun. Q: Is modding the mat really worth the trouble? A: Yes. Q: Should I get a Naki or Mad Catz mat? A: No, get the bundle pack when you get the game. Q: If someone's using a controller, isn't that cheating? A: Konami wouldn't put the option in if that was the case. I always use a mat, and I certainly don't mind playing against controller users. It is true that there's a stamina advantage on 8-10 foot songs, but playing online is generally an accuracy battle, and you can be just as accurate on a pad. Q: Is the Konami mat perfect? A: No mat is perfect. My Konami mat's dropping some steps, but it's the best out there. Q: Do you play a lot? A: 2000 rivals or so. Q: Do any girls play? A: Plenty, and none of them want to touch you, so stop asking. Q: I'll bet you cheat. You and that BPTX. A: We really don't. _____________________ VIII. DDR Terminology Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜ Like any good community, the DDR crowd has developed their own terms for various things. You tend to pick up on a few here and there, but if someone on Live tells you that they "couldn't FC a cata for my life until I got a CF, and now I SDG them all the time," there's no shame in being a little befuddled, and so this section was created. Bar - Arcade machines have a bar in the back that you can hold on to in order to better keep your balance, and to decrease the amount of weight on your feet. Some believe this to be cheating, others point to the fact that Konami put them there. While home mats generally don't have these, some hard platforms do, and some people like to use chairs as makeshift bars. Beatmania - The original Bemani series, played with 5 or 7 keys and a turntable. Some really like this game, but it's known for its high learning curve, so it's winning few new fans and thus its popularity is waning. Bemani - Konami's music series. It contains several subseries in itself, including DDR, Beatmania, Guitar Freaks, Drummania, and Karaoke Revolution, just to name a few. Every game uses a special controller. DDR and Karaoke Revolution are the only ones available in the US. Cata - Short for "catastrophic," refers to 9-foot songs. Early DDR games had a word for each level of difficulty, like "simple" and "exhorbitant." Even after this practice stopped, people continued to refer to 9-footers as catas. Crossovers - See section V-d-ii. Cobalt Flux (CF) - See section VI-a-iii. Dance With Intensity (DWI) - A DDR simulator for the PC. As using Bemani songs on this is largely illegal, it won't be discussed here. Full combo (FC) - To complete a song with only Great and Perfect steps, so your combo is the highest it can be. You're more likely to get a AA if you FC the song, but it's not definite. Gallops - See section V-d-iii. Single digit great (SDG) - To complete a song with only 9 or less Greats, and no Goods, Almosts, or Boos. Stepmania - A DDR simulator for the PC. As using Bemani songs on this is largely illegal, it won't be discussed here. Streams - See section V-d-iv. Triples - See section V-d-i. ___________________ IX. Version History Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜ v.1.2 1/22/2004: Added DDR Terminology, added new Qs to the FAQ, and was a little more specific with the mat mod. And, of course, SP2 info. v.1.1 1/21/2004: Added DDR Strategy section, and cleaned up a few loose bits pointed out to me by GameFAQs message board users. v.1.0 1/17/2004: First version. Expect more about the songs, and more strategies later. __________ X. Closing Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜Ã˜ That's it for the Ultramix FAQ. It's easily the biggest FAQ I've written yet, and I totally didn't expect it to be. I hope you enjoyed it; writing it was a pleasure. Keep buying Bemani games, and I'll see you on Live! This FAQ is copyright 2004 Michael Kelehan. Dance Dance Revolution is a trademark of Konami. Distribution of this FAQ is permitted (in fact, it's encouraged) as long as it isn't altered in any way. Don't sell it.