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sandwichmania is a popular Rhythm Game developed by Konami. Considered by many to be one of the forerunners of the modern music game. Of course when they realized how popular the arcade version was, Konami would milk the genre for all its worth with spin-offs (involving dance, fast food, drumming, smacking colored buttons, and waving your hands through proximity sensors like a maniac), and an endless assortment of Mission Pack Sequels and reboots. Originally classified as a "DJ simulator" (the game back then did have more of a hip-hop/house oriented soundtrack), with what the game has evolved into since the dawn of the 21st century, its anything but.

The basic game is simple, players are armed with a 5-key piano-styled keyboard and turntable, and must press keys or scratch the turntable when notes cascade down the screen corresponding to them. This fills up a Groove Gauge; if the gauge finishes above a certain threshold, you pass, it's just that simple. While the game's core is simple enough, things can get real idiotic, real fast.

There have been three major incarnations of the game:

  • beatmania (or "5-key" beatmania), the original series. First released in 1996, lasting with new versions until "THE FINAL" in 2002, where the aging series (it used the exact same hardware for its entire life) was finally discontinued in favor of...
  • beatmania IIDX, first released in 1999 as a spin-off, but becoming the primary series in 2002. Kept the same basic gameplay, but added two additional keys to the control array (for a total of 7), a fancier cabinet (with more lights, more effectors, a widescreen monitor, turntables on opposite ends, an LED marquee, and a bass platform), and a difficulty curve that keeps on getting worse every year. What'd you expect when the 20th version is on its way very soon?
  • beatmania III, a failed remake of the 5-key series using more modern hardware, with higher quality graphics and sound, more effectors, more speakers, effector pedals (which could also be used in special charts), save data on floppy disks, and more. It didn't last long, however, only a few years.

The series is still popular in Japan, but has seen the shores of the United States only once, unfortunately, and shows no signs of another U.S. release.


The Beatmania franchise provides examples of:

  • Akashic Records: The "genre" for the song Almagest. It makes some sense, given the the title of the song, but still...
  • Artifact Title: Inverted for IIDX: the game was originally produced in two different styles of arcade cabinets, the now rare "standard" cabinet, and a "deluxe" cabinet. On the standard cabinet, the game was known as "beatmania II", but the Deluxe cabinets carried the title "beatmania IIDX" on its artwork and software instead. Later on, the standard cabinet was discontinued, leaving only the deluxe one. At this point, "beatmania IIDX" became the official name of the series
  • Ascended Glitch: The song "GAMBOL" was notorious for an infamous bug that gave it unusually small timing windows. It was fixed for the arcade version of Happy Sky (with a fixed version on the Normal difficulty, and the glitched version on the Hyper difficulty). But, when the song was revived on the home version of RED, Konami decided to troll players by adding a new Another chart ... which was simply the Hyper chart with even stricter timing. It gets worse on the home versions of DJ Troopers and Empress, where hidden codes (spelling out "G-J-H" or "G-J-A" by scrolling to songs starting with those letters, and pressing Select on each one) lets the player use those timing windows on any song.
  • Ascended Meme: Some Beatmania DJs themselves use the term "Nidera (弐寺)" instead of Two-D-X when talking about the IIDX series, and Ryu☆ described himself in the comments for Second Heaven as "That 'Somebody Scream!'guy" as a result of Misheard Lyrics.
  • Audio Adaptation: The ROOTS26S[uite] drama CDs centered around the DJ characters.
  • Bonus Boss: Beginning on Distorted, versions have featured new extra stage systems integrating with e-Amusement, where meeting certain conditions in-game unlocks additional boss songs in a themed area; usually only accessible on the Extra Stage, and always under themed aliases. Beating all the songs in the area will either lead to the True Final Boss as the One More Extra Stage ... or just lead to yet another tier of boss songs (Sirius kinda went overboard with this part, but seeing some new tracks from previous boss aliases was a treat for many)
    • On Resort Anthem, this changed a bit. There were still bonus bosses, but instead of an Extra Stage system, there was an event called the World Tour, where earning "dellar points" in-game could be used to unlock various things. Fittingly, the harder unlocks were hidden in the World Tour.
    • Lincle returns to the previous style, the first three bosses involve playing sets with the EX-HARD modifier that are either of the same genre, from the same version, or by the same artist.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: In Resort Anthem, the song "灼熱Beach-Side Bunny" strangely inverts and then subverts this. While it's the One More Extra Stage song, if one listens to it without knowing that, they'd hear... this. Not too intimidating, is it? Tell that to the 667 scratches. Of course, this is a Dj MASS Mad Izm* song, and having a metric ton of scratching is his Recurring Riff.
    • Go all the way back to 10th and you'll find the boss song "One More Lovely", it sounds like it came straight out of a DDR game, and even has "HAPPY" as its genre. Yet, it will definitely make an inexperienced player frown, especially at the end (of course)
  • Boss Rush: Since the implementation of the extra stage systems (which typically contain the harder bonus songs of a style), there will always end up being an Expert mode course which contains said songs. Class mode also provides the infamous Kaiden course, which usually consists of the 4 hardest songs available on that particular game.
  • Bullet Hell: It almost feels like that sometimes ... except you have to hit all the bullets!
    • Parodied in the Retraux song "Tranoid", whose video involves an arcade game consisting of Tran dodging notes directly from its Normal-mode chart.
  • Corner of Woe: Anyone who gets a 78% on a song, 2% below the required gauge to clear it.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: "Spring Rain (lluvia de primavera)", when translated is "Spring Rain (Spring Rain)"
    • Or better yet, SUPER STAR 満-MITSURU- : 満 means Mitsuru.
  • Did Not Do the Research: A potential factor for the failure of beatmania USA (asides from a lack of promotion or American appeal) was its poor timing, which may have been pointed out by X-Play's infamous review which labelled the game as a "Guitar Hero ripoff", despite the fact that the game has been around way before GH even existed.
  • Difficulty Spike: Many of the more difficult songs will end with the gameplay equivalent of a Last-Note Nightmare.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: The original music video for "Last Message" in 7th Style has a 3-second cleavage shot, which has caused many players to accidentally slip up at that point. The video was unfortunately removed when it was revived on Gold CS, as Konami was trying to aim for the Japanese equivalent of an E rating (although the video was already on 7th Style's home version already, and it seemed to have no effect on the rating)
    • Some people consider Dai, a dancer who always appears on HHH songs a lot more distracting ... or just flamboyantly awesome.
      • Super Star -Mitsuru- begs to differ in She Is My Wife. It's impossible to not be distracted watching kors k, Ryu☆, Yoshitaka, and Sota Fujimori taking part in it.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The "Gambol Judgement Another" modifier added in DJ Troopers CS. Its effect is self-explanatory and will more likely than result in you failing any song you attempt it on.
  • Executive Meddling: Bemani is Deader Than Dead in the US because of Konami's incompetence and feet-shuffling, as well as the fact that they were too busy suing Activision and Harmonix to release their own product.
  • Fake Difficulty: You need your life meter to be at 80% or above at the end of a song to pass. Guess how the people who make the notecharts fake the difficulty.
    • As another more egregious example, the song GAMBOL. while managing to avoid the Last-Note Nightmare present in most songs, this song literally alters the timing window based on what difficulty you selected, with ANOTHER making it so strict that nobody to date has full-combo'd the chart. This also resulted in the FREE MODE command "Gambol Judgement Another" (see above)
    • Sirius has hold notes and a related note for the turntable where you have to continuously spin it one direction for the duration of the hold note and then snap it back the other way at the very end of the note. Fittingly, True Final Boss "Almagest" used them a lot.
  • Fan Service: Getting good grades on songs will also put different character art backgrounds on the result screen. Some of this may indeed qualify. No wonder the console versions have gallery modes.
  • Fetish Fuel: The three IIDX girls, among other things.
  • The Four Gods: Cardinal Gate, the Extra Stages from DistorteD (IIDX 13).
    • To be specific, the names of the four gods are aliases of popular Bemani artists. They are, as follows...
      • Byakko = Tatsuya Shimizu, AKA Tatsh
      • Suzaku = Yoshitaka Nishimura, AKA DJ YOSHITAKA
      • Genbu = Jun Wakita, AKA wac AKA Shounen Radio
      • Seiryu = Ryutaro Nakahara, AKA Ryu*, who is well known outside of Bemani
      • Finally, there's a new 5th god known as Kinjishi, which means a combination of all 4 beasts. It's Takayuki Ishikawa, aka dj TAKA, one of the most prolific and famous Bemani composers of all time, and the music director for the Beatmania series itself, just as Naoki Maeda is the director for DDR.
      • Only Suzaku, Seiryu and Genbu have reappeared in further installments so far.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: 5PM ETERNAL's lyrics, my god.
  • Gratuitous English: Many songs in English have this.
    • Most of the English text in promotional materials or in-game also ends up like this. And don't even forget about that infamous "GXPERT" typo from RED.
    • Songs sung or rapped by Paula Terry, Aaron G, and other such Western vocalists make for Surprisingly Good English.
      • And we can't forget about Michael in a boat, now can we? In reality, he was played by an American, Michael Stillwind (from Konami's Hawaii studio), and voiced by DJ Yoshitaka. Stillwind was notably responsible for his work on the Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix and Universe games, and for getting DM Ashura (who won a contest to get onto Universe 2, and then made some later contributions for Universe 3, which later crossed onto X2) a spot on Empress.
  • Harder Than Hard: Black Anothers. Dear God. The song MENDES (pictured in the lead) completely redefines Nintendo Hard, and even the happy, up-beat eurobeat song Flowers isn't safe from this treatment, leading this troper to call it a "Yandere in Bemani song form."
    • Black Anothers are slightly Older Than They Think. The final two stages in Gold CS's Kaiden course, Vanessa and Kamaitachi, have special charts then exclusive to that course. When/If you get to these stages, you'll notice that where the difficulty should be shown, there is blank space. Later console installments give them proper Black Another designations.
    • Here's a video of Mendes played on piano.
    • Oh and then there's the Doubles Black Another version at 2603 notes.
    • Mendes Black Another has been FC'd on a Dual Shock controller ... on half speed in training mode
    • Lincle adds a new modifier, EX-HARD. A variation of the HARD modifier, (which makes the Groove Gauge take more damage for poorly timed hits, but removes the 80% requirement), a single miss reduces it by 18% at once. If this isn't literally Harder than Hard, we don't know what is.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Formally Light 7, 7 Keys, and Another. Happy Sky adjusted the ranking scale and re-named the first two to Normal and Hyper.
    • When it was first introduced, Another was actually another arrangement for the song, typically harder and more complex. Now? Nine times out of ten, it's just a harder chart.
  • Kyu and Dan Ranks: Dan'inintei mode, a.k.a. Class Mode
  • Last-Note Nightmare: Due to how the lifebar works across the series (it must be at or above 80% by the end of the song to pass), a song with a ridiculous ending is practically a series trope on its own.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Some videos outright show this.
  • Marathon Level: Scripted Connection⇒ & Shade, both lasting about 6 minutes long. Both by the same artist to boot. You see, the part of the song you actually play is dependent on the difficulty, and the soundtracks have the full version as all three versions strung together. However, on the console version of Happy Sky (and beginning on Gold AC), all three versions of Scripted Connection have full sets of charts (the N-mix, H-mix, and A-mix respectively). The "long mix" of Scripted Connection is also a hidden track on Happy Sky CS, where it clocks in as the longest single song in the entire series.
    • IIDX Resort Anthem's extra stage, ANTHEM LANDING, also counts as this despite having no long version to play.
  • Mini Game Credits: DistorteD's credits roll lets the player spin around the camera angle on the monotonous 3D backdrop soaring through the background with the turntable, it's not a "game" per say but still.
    • Subverted by Empress, while the credits are not a minigame, the ending theme itself became a playable track ("THANK YOU FOR PLAYING") as part of the final set of timed unlocks, with the credits roll as its background video. Ironically, the song has been revived past Empress, and it still has Empress's credit roll attached to it. The ending for Resort Anthem, "Everlasting Resort", also does the same thing.
    • The subversion is averted for "Vermillion" (Sirius ending theme, debuting on Resort anthem) and "The Last Striker" (DJ Troopers ending theme, debuting on the Play Station 2 version), which have their own dedicated videos.
  • Mission Pack Sequel IIDX has about 19 installments to its name, each with different art/song themes. Not exactly Capcom Sequel Stagnation though, since every mix has new songs, new features, and often remove or bring back older songs,
  • Newer Than They Think: A number of songs, most famously "A", "AA" and any of Osamu Kubota's songs, despite sounding classical, were composed specifically for the series.
  • Nintendo Hard: IIDX is regarded by many Rhythm Game conoisseurs as one of the most hardcore rhythm games in existence, if not the most hardcore.
    • The groove meter 80% passing grade for all songs greatly contributes to this.
  • No Export for You: The 5-key beatmania series had a few US releases, under the name hiphopmania. IIDX had a shot in the US with one console release. which tanked. It did, however, come with an improved version of the Japanese official controller. The arcade version of IIDX 14 GOLD had a couple location tests in the US, but that was the closest Westerners got to an arcade release.
    • Importers began to be screwed over further by the dreaded e-Amusement system beginning on 9th Style (as if that mix had enough bugs already), denying access to boss songs and other fun stuff.
      • However, people from a certain community of American fans managed to reverse engineer the e-Amusement protocols, and build their own implementation of it.
    • Even more so in the recent remix contest for the Sirius OST, as you have to reside in Japan in order to compete. Given the fact that the games are made in Japan, it would help for the artist to be there too, but still...
  • No Fair Cheating: Scores achieved with the "Auto-Scratch" modifier don't get saved. In IIDX, this applies to the "5 keys" modifier as well. With the introduction of continuous notes in IIDX 17, the Legacy Note modifier which removes these has the same effect. Clearing a song with any of these won't save the score, but it is marked as an "Assist Clear".
    • This backfires on people who use the 5key modifier on classic beatmania songs. Using the modifier on them will load up the old 5key chart from beatmaina, but will still count it as an Assist Clear.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: The song "AA." Word of God has confirmed that there is no official pronunciation.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Xepher, and perhaps any Zektbach song actually.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Hazard Mode in Empress. Any negative note judgments other than excess-key-induced POORs will result in a Game Over.
  • Perfect Run Final Boss: One More Extra Stages.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: Not rampant, but many classics in the series ("V" and "Kakumei" especially) are indeed remixes of other classical pieces ("The Four Seasons: Winter" and the "Revolutionary Etude", respectively)
  • Rage Quit: Seeing "78%" (2% lower than the required gauge to pass the song) tends to cause this.
  • Rank Inflation: Grades go from F to AAA. Similarly, in Class mode, you have the 7th through 1st kyu grades, then 1st through 10th dan, and finally, kaiden.
  • Recurring Riff: Every Suzaku song has a distorted guitar screech in it, appropriately dubbed by many fans as the Suzaku Scream.
    • All Dj MASS Mad Izm* songs have a lot of scratching in them, and his boss song for Resort Anthem takes it up to eleven. You thought the Turntable was The Artifact? Think again!
  • Recycled Soundtrack: Songs will often be continually "revived" (remaining alongside new songs on a newer version of the game, or appearing alongside older songs on console versions) quite a few versions, especially if they're fan favorites.
    • "V" is notorious for this. It debuted on 5th Style, and got revived on almost every console version after that until IIDX 1). Fans suspected Konami of "ruining the joke" that "you can't spell 'revival' without 'V'".
    • Then, Empress brought us "V2" ... which was nothing more than a cut of an extended version of V from dj TAKA's album "milestone".
  • Red Zone Remix Vid: Trope creator.
  • Required Spinoff Crossover: Throughout practically every Bemani game actually, songs will often cross over from Beatmania to other games, or vice versa. Special mention goes to Kakumei, a collaboration between dj TAKA and Naoki (who were both the producers for their respective franchises at the time), which appeared as the One More Extra Stage on both IIDX 7th Style and DDRMAX2, both of which were the 7th main release in their respective series. At the same time, a version of "MAX 300" (which was the Extra Stage song on DDRMAX, a first for the series) was also the main Extra Stage on 7th Style, it too being the first Extra Stage in the series.
    • And then you had that awkward cycle when that "Nadeshiko Rock" song from Pop'n practically crossed over to every active Bemani franchise. IIDX included. Followed by "Nadeshiko Metal", except it hasn't reached DDR yet.
    • Then came the LincleLink events for Resort Anthem and Lincle, whose point was to allow players to unlock songs from the latest Jubeat versions on IIDX and vice-versa by playing certain combinations of songs on both.
  • Retraux: The Parallel Rotation extra stage system in SIRIUS.
  • Rule of Fun: It's not really DJ simulation anymore. But does that really matter?
  • Robot Dog: The mascot for SIRIUS is one.
  • Sequel Escalation: The difficulty scale originally went from 1 to 7. Then came the 7+, which were later relabeled as 8. Then there were 8+s. Then Version 12 bumped it up to be out of 12.
    • But, The Computer Is a Lying Bastard. Before Happy Sky introduced 9-12, the 7Keys/Hyper difficulty rating would be exactly the same as the Another difficulty rating. This caused hard songs to be mislabeled. One of the most Egregious examples is "Mr. T (Take me higher)", rated a 10 on Another after Happy Sky, to be labeled as a 4. Even worse than that is "5.1.1.", which up to Happy Sky was rated a 1 on Normal and Hyper, but has a pretty brutal Another chart.
  • Series Mascot: Tran, the Humanoid Alien, he appears in several background videos. But, this hasn't stopped the individual versions from having their own mascots.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: Lincle introduces a series of bosses named after the seven sins.
    • Greed: Mamonis, a man apparently made of shadows who attacks using money. AKA kors k
    • Lust: Ashemu, a succubus with knives. AKA Asaki
    • Sloth: Bulluvegola, a set of stained-glass circles. AKA 96
    • Gluttony: Beridzebeth, some sort of pink mech with wings and a scythe. AKA PRASTIK DANCEFLOOR
    • Pride: Rche, an trap angel with four black wings. AKA Tomosuke
    • Envy: Levaslater, a mech that resembles a blue dragon. AKA Ryu & Starving Trancer
    • Wrath: STN... another mech soldier whose armor falls off in another boss song to reveal the true demon. AKA Tatsh

      Additionally, there are two more songs that aren't any 7 sins, but related to them;
    • Apocalypse: Neulakyussra, a four-armed, three-headed being and the true form of STN, infused with the power of the seven sins. AKA LED-G
    • Rebirth: Cuvelia/Cybele, yet another mech (angel motif). If you're doing good enough in the song, the armor will break to reveal a blue-haired girl with laser-swords floating around her. AKA Taka
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: "Sasoribi"/"Scorpion Fire"/"Anti-Ares", "Ganymede" and "Bag" to name a few (the latter debuting in Dance Dance Revolution first).
  • Spell My Name with an "S": A number of songs have multiple ways to read their names; "Shonen A"/"Kid A" (not that one), and "Gattai Sayo! Strong Jaeger!"/"The Strong Jaeger," just to name a few. This is primaraly a result of the cabinet's LED marquee: since it can only display English characters, songs with foreign titles will usually be inconsistently translated or "romanized" (the practice of converting Japanese characters to a phonetic representation of their pronunciation using the Roman alphabet) on it.
  • Standard Snippet/Sampling: For some bizarre reason, a stock sample of someone yelling "SOMEBODY SCREAM!" appeared in two different songs on Gold (Second Heaven and FIRE FIRE), followed by a sample of someone saying "1-2-3-4-5-6 do it!" appearing on three different songs on DJ Troopers. Two of these were Military Splash songs; one of which, aptly titled "Do it!! Do it!!", consisted almost entirely of that sample..
    • Sampled Up: A kors k boss song on Lincle (fittingly, the one representing the sin of Greed) is pretty much a whole bunch of kors k songs thrown into a blender. No wonder its titled "THE SAMPLING PARADISE"
  • Stellar Name: Jun Wakita's trademark. "Regulus", "Spica" and "Scorpion Fire" are all named after stars (SF is an allusion to Alpha Scorpii/Antares), "moon_child" and "Ganymede" refer to moons, and "Waltz of the Big Dogs" refers to a constellation.
  • Take That: When Ryutaro Nakahara stopped using an asterisk and started to use a star for his Ryu☆ alias, his brother kept asking his "What's with that?" The song Be Quiet is his answer.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: Many of the more pop-ish songs in the franchise will inevitably have videos with this trait. Empress as a whole could also count as this, although thankfully it wasn't as bad as a lot of people thought it would be.
  • The Artifact: Remember back in the day? When this game actually did primarily have hip-hop, and as such an actual justification for having scratching in its controls? Yet, it remains, even though most of the songs are now either hardcore electronica or pop. The IIDX series did start with mostly J-pop and R&B, but then began to diversify, to the point where on most songs, the turntable is just another trigger for sounds that aren't scratching.
    • That hasn't stopped songs with legitimate scratching from showing up in the modern era though. The OMES on Resort Anthem had gratuitous scratching as its main gimmick.
  • Theme Naming: Since the 11th main installment of the IIDX series, every installment has had some sort of color theme to it, with a subtitle relating to the colors, such as "RED" (Revolutionary Energetic Diversification), "Gold,", "DJ Troopers", "Empress", "Sirius", "Resort Anthem", "Lincle", and now "Tricoro"
    • The theme of 19, "Lincle", raised a few eyebrows: either for sounding like Gratuitous English or for breaking the "dark/light" cycle that had begun on 11th (by having a blue and orange logo). However, it began to make sense more when it was revealed that it would integrate with Konami's new "e-Amusement Gate" community, and have linking events with Jubeat Copious (which was released the same day)
    • There's actually a bit of a running joke amongst certain IIDX communities in both Japan and the west that Bemani and Pepsi (and occasionally other soft drink manufacturers) conspire to create new color-coded flavors for each installment. Every subtitled style has a flavor of Pepsi (or Mountain Dew in some cases) that seems literally made for each other; it has extended to other Bemani franchises on occasion, such as Pump It Up with Prime 2015-flavored Pepsi...
    • Also, the Extra Stage songs often have some kind of theme to them. See The Four Gods above. IIDX 16: Empress also has a set of regular One More Extra Stage songs with a sweets theme and an alternative Extra Stage called EMPRESS PLACE that centered around former "empresses" like Cleopatra and Marie Antionette.
    • Similarly, in 15th Style: DJ TROOPERS, there is a new version of Cardinal Gate called Military Splash that has 4 Bemani artists hiding their identities behind battle formation aliases.
      • Lion = dj TAKA
      • Scorpion = Toshiyuki Kakuta, aka L.E.D.
      • Kraken = Ryu*
      • Eagle = Kosuke Saito, aka kors k, who is also a known artist outside of Bemani
      • Humanoid = DJ Yoshitaka
    • In Sirius, the extra stage system was a series of Nostalga Levels based off versions 11 through 15. Each tier had two previously console exclusive tracks, a new remix of a song from that version, and a new song performed under an alias used by a boss song on that version. The songs even used the interface skins from their respective versions.
  • Title Drop: "GOLD RUSH" does this (with the "IIDX GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLD!" Title Scream from the opening), and then proceeds to name off every single IIDX game up to that point during the breakdown
    • This seems to be common across the two Michael a la mode songs, since "B 4 U (BEMANI FOR YOU MIX)" does something similar": the song it remixes already title-drops "D-D-R!" during the chorus, but this remix also rapidly names off other active Bemani franchises as well!
  • Title Scream: IIDX GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLD!
  • Uncanny Valley: Tell this troper that he's not the only one that found Kigonshu's video from IIDX Gold more than just a little creepy.
  • Universal Adaptor Cast: For example, Ereki, White-Haired Pretty Boy has a villain-like demeanor in TERRA'S videos, but is simply a stalking photographer in songs like Love-Shine. This is just one example of very surprising dissonances with personalities in different videos.
    • Interestingly meta in the series' "canon" because every character has externally-established (typically through art books) backgrounds and in actuality are simply people who play IIDX.
  • Variable Mix
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