Beatmania (ビートマニア) (styled as beatmania) is a rhythm video
game developed and distributed by Japanese game developer
first released in December 1997. It contributed largely to the boom of
music games in 1998, and the series expanded not only with arcade
sequels, but also moved to home consoles and other portable devices,
achieving a million unit sales. The
Bemani line of music games from
Konami is named after the series, and was first adopted in the arcade
Beatmania 3rdMix and kept ever since. The series came to an
end with the last game being
Beatmania The Final, released in 2002.
Beatmania gave birth to several spinoffs, such as the
series (a more advanced version featuring 7 keys and higher difficulty
levels) and the other being
Beatmania III, a remake of the 5-key
series which featured a more modern hardware platform, a pedal for
optional effects and a 3.5" floppy disk drive to save play records.
While the series was never ported to home computers, there have been
unlicensed hard-drive copies which made it playable on a computer's
keyboard, or even with a modded PlayStation controller. Its popularity
led to non-official simulators, with one of the most popular being
Beatmania and its variants have a following in Japan and all around
the world. The password based Internet Ranking service allowed
competition wherever a machine is available. Today in the United
States, many of the original beatmania cabinets are in the hands of
arcade collectors and
Bemani enthusiasts, and consequently are a rare
sight at many arcades.
1 Basic rules
2 Additional rules
3 Cabinet design
4 Main artists
7 External links
The player is a club DJ who must manipulate the controls according to
the instructions on screen to win the praise of the audience. Each
game consists of a set number of songs of various difficulties, and
each song must attain a certain degree of satisfaction from the
audience in order to progress to the next.
The game controls consist of five plastic vertical rectangular keys
that are arranged in a zigzag pattern like the letter "M" or in
vibraphone type arranged. They resemble the layout of the keys of a
piano (e.g. C, C#, D, D#, and E) and are color-coded in the same
fashion, with the lower row white and top row black. A turntable is to
the right of the five keys, and is turned, or "scratched".
Each key has a corresponding vertical bar onscreen, as does the
turntable. The bars indicate the path which rectangular icons cascade
down towards a horizontal line near the bottom of the screen. The
player must hit the corresponding key or rotate the turntable when the
icon matches with the line, which will trigger a preset sound sample
and recomposes the song properly. Players are judged for each key
press for the accuracy of the timing on a scale of p-great (from
"perfect great"; also called "flashing great"), great, good, bad and
poor. Hitting keys/scratching when corresponding notes are absent will
deplete a bar indicating the audience satisfaction. The passing range
is shown on the bar as a red region on the right, and green for the
failing range on the left. The game may end prematurely if the bar is
completely depleted, but this depends on individual machine settings.
The unit of score in the game is "money". A final grade (A – H) is
given at the end of the game to indicate the player's performance.
This grade is not directly based on the "money score", but is instead
based on the player's overall accuracy.
Various game modes are available, with different rule alterations that
provide suitable challenges for players of various degrees of skill.
Beatmania 2ndMix and Beatmania, inexperienced players can
go through a training stage with DJ Konami, a voice-over that walks
the player through the basics of the game. After the training stage
players can select songs normally and regardless of their performance
won't end a game prematurely. The voice over was not featured in any
Beatmania series game, although a similarly formatted Tutorial
mode was recently added to the
Beatmania IIDX games. Prior to practice
mode players could choose to play a practice stage during normal
Introduced in 6thMIX, Free mode is another practice mode that follows
all the rules of the Normal mode, with passing and failing scores, but
allows the player to play all the predefined number of songs
regardless of each song's difficulty.
A mode for skilled players with courses that predefines the songs to
be played. The rules for this mode have been modified throughout
different versions of the game.
Players must play through all the songs in a set order, with the
audience bar dropping in greater degrees and increasing less. All the
other rules follow the normal mode. Continues are allowed.
Different themed course are given, each running five songs long. The
scoring rules follow that of the previous beatmania.
In addition to the courses format of 2ndMIX, the audience bar is now
full from the beginning, and any decrease will carry onto the next
stage, where good performance does not recover the bar. The audience
bar is characteristically colored in red, and no continues are allowed
upon game over.
completeMIX and after
With the introduction of the Internet Ranking service, scores are now
counted as 2 points for "Just Great" and 1 point for "Great", which
makes the overall EX Score. Upon completion of the course, a password
is given to the player to submit to the official website for worldwide
ranking. All of the internet ranking services have ended and are no
featuring "Dreams Come True"
The Dreams Come True edition uses the same rules as CompleteMIX, but
also features a minigame in between songs where a player can rapidly
scratch to restore life.
First offered in 6thMIX, this mode is designed for the most skilled of
players. A single course is provided, featuring ten of the hardest
songs in a particular version. The audience bar functions similarly to
that of Expert mode, but falling to zero doesn't result in an
immediate game over. Rather, "Danger" is displayed on the screen, and
it will take several subsequent misses to end the game. The bar is
restored after each song, though the bar will be increased to just
barely over "Danger", should it have been in effect at the end of the
Available since 3rdMIX, the Easy mode offers simplified playing
sequences for songs. The selection of Easy and Hard modes were
discarded altogether from 6thMIX and after, with difficulty selection
becoming options within the integrated Normal mode.
Two major styles of the
Beatmania cabinet were originally created, the
standard cabinet, and the mini-style cabinet. The standard cabinet was
taller and wider than the mini-style, and included a 29" screen,
versus the 20" screen on the mini cabinet. The 1P/2P/Effect buttons
were placed on the vertical face of the cabinet on the mini, while
placed between the keys, ahead of the coin drop on standard cabinets.
The mini-cabinet contained 6 speakers, 4 normal mid/high range, and 2
larger subs. The standard cabinet contained 10 speakers, including the
2 subs. Functionally the game boards, HDD, and romchips were the same
between cabinets. Finally, the mini cabinet had a smaller spacing
between the turntable and the keys, and the turntable was
approximately half the diameter of the standard version. Today the
mini-cabinet is much harder to find, especially in the United States.
Beatmania offers many musical genres from different disciplines of
electronic music. Below are some of the artists who made frequent
appearances in the series.
dj nagureo/reo nagumo/tiger YAMATO and other aliases
dj TAKA and other aliases
TOMOSUKE and other aliases
Hiroyuki Togo and other aliases
Naoki Maeda and other aliases
Main article: List of
Beatmania games § Beatmania
Beatmania series has been released on multiple platforms in
addition to its arcade releases. The majority of the games have been
featured on the Sony PlayStation and have also been featured on the
Nintendo Game Boy Color, and the WonderSwan. The North American
Beatmania on the
PlayStation 2 also features
Several key mixes were never ported to home or portable consoles,
Beatmania 7thMix and
Beatmania The Final. Also there are
many console exclusive songs that were never introduced on the Arcade
releases, in mixes such as Gottamix and The Sound Of Tokyo. Many songs
were also released on one mix at the arcades but released on another
style for the consumer versions. The best example of this was Gottamix
2, which contained consumer exclusive songs in addition to the
"Complete Mix 2 Anothers" that were released months earlier as an
The main platform for the series, most other releases were based on
certain titles from the arcade series, or featured a selection of
songs across several of them.
The following are arranged in the order of their release.
Beatmania (December 31, 1997)
Beatmania 2ndMix (March 18, 1998)
Beatmania 3rdMix (September 28, 1998)
Beatmania completeMix (January 19, 1999)
Beatmania 4thMix -the beat goes on- (April 26, 1999)
Beatmania 5thMix -Time to get down- (September 22, 1999)
Beatmania completeMix 2 (January 27, 2000)
Beatmania Club Mix (March 28, 2000)
Beatmania featuring Dreams Come True (May 31, 2000)
Beatmania Core Remix (November 28, 2000)
Beatmania 6thMix – The UK Underground Musics- (July 11, 2001)
Beatmania 7thMix – Keepin' Evolution- (January 31, 2002)
Beatmania The Final (July 26, 2002)
Korean arcade releases
Korean local releases (licensed by Unico Electronics Co. Ltd. (now
Uniana)) removed Japanese vocal songs because of the Korean law in
Beatstage (1998): Logo is a variation of Beatmania, but is actually
2ndMix. "tokai" is not available in this version.
Beatstage 3rdMix (1999): "Believe again (Hyper Mega Mix)" and "Luv to
me Third-Mix" are the English versions from Complete Mix. Believe
Again(80's J-Pop) and Find Out(Soul) are not available in this
Beatstage completeMix (1999): tokai/ Find Out/ Believe Again "Hyper
Mega Mix"(Japanese Version)/ Luv to me(Japanese Version) are not
available in this version.
Beatstage 4thMix -the beat goes on- (1999): No removed songs in this
Beatstage 5thMix -Time to get down- (2000): Gauge method is different
Beatmania 5thMix. It is similar to the HARD gauge in the
beatmania IIDX series. Added Hi-speed 2/3(from completeMix2), and
TOTAL RECALL/KAKATTEKONKAI are not available in this version.
North American arcade releases
Konami released two
Beatmania games in North America under the name
HipHopMania complete Mix (1999): Includes all songs from the Japanese
Beatmania complete Mix.
HipHopMania complete Mix 2 (2000): Includes almost all songs from the
Beatmania complete Mix 2. (Removed 10 songs)
The PlayStation releases were only available for Japan apart from one
which was created especially for the European market . The first game
acted as a key disc, which is required to play the subsequent releases
through disc changing, and were called append discs.
songs could be accessed for certain append discs if the discs were
changed through a specific order.
Beatmania (October 1, 1998): The console release of the arcade 2ndMix.
Acts as a key disc.
Beatmania Append Yebisu Mix: Append disc included with the release of
beatmania containing all new songs. Features the debut of the popular
Bemani artist Sanae Shintani.
Beatmania Append 3rdMix (December 23, 1998): The first stand alone
append disc to be sold. Features various, but not all, new songs from
the arcade 3rdMix in addition to console original tracks. The Expert
Mode from the arcade version was notably excluded.
Beatmania Append 3rdMix Mini: Append disc included with the 3rdMix
soundtrack. Features 5 new songs from the arcade 3rdMix.
Beatmania Append GottaMix (May 29, 1999): The second stand alone
append disc release. Features 19 songs made by KCEJ unique to the
PlayStation console and three songs from 4thMix that served as a
Beatmania Append 4thMix (September 9, 1999): Append disc complete port
of the arcade 4thMix. All new songs from the arcade 4thMix were
included in addition to new console tracks. The Bonus Edit mode can be
accessed if the discs are swapped in the order of 3rdMix, then
GottaMix, then 4thMix. The Bonus Edit mode adds songs from 3rdMix that
were excluded from the previous console port.
Beatmania Append 5thMIX (March 2, 2000): Append disc port of the
arcade 5thMix. All new songs from the arcade were included, with
several console-exclusive songs available in Bonus Edit mode.
Beatmania featuring Dreams Come True (July 21, 2000): Key disc release
of the arcade version of the same name. Features music of the J-Pop
duo Dreams Come True. The difficulty is notably lower than most other
Beatmania Best Hits (July 27, 2000): First console release to drop the
append disc format. It could act as a key disc and access the append
releases. Includes songs from the first
Beatmania up to 5thMix and
GottaMix, chosen through fan votes on the internet.
Beatmania Append GOTTAMIX 2 ~Going Global~ (September 7, 2000): The
official follow up release to GottaMix, again, featuring all new songs
exclusive to the console. The tracks were themed around music from
around the world. The "Another" charts from completeMIX 2 marked as
remixes are available in Bonus Edit mode.
Beatmania Append ClubMix (December 21, 2000): Append disc complete
port of the arcade ClubMIX. Only one new secret console exclusive
track was added. The Bonus Edit mode included tracks from the arcade
completeMIX2 with rearranged button sequences.
Beatmania The Sound of Tokyo! (March 29, 2001): PlayStation exclusive
key disc release. Produced by famous Japanese musician Konishi
Yasuharu. The difficulty of songs were indicated with the number of
passengers on a plane. The songs cover a wide spectrum of skill levels
that suit from beginners to experts.
Beatmania 6thMix + Core Remix (January 31, 2002): Key disc release and
the only coupled release. As the name implies, new songs from the
arcade 6thMix and Core Remix are included. Both the Left Hand Scrach
Mode and the Original Expert Course Mode were carried over from the
console beatmania IIDX series.
Beatmania (Europe) (June 2000): The European version of beatmania
included licensed songs from Moloko, Skank, Les Rhythmes Digitales,
and more. Also included are classic beatmania tracks from various
mixes. The European licenses are also featured in GottaMix 2.
Game Boy Color
Three games were released for the Game Boy color exclusively in Japan.
The first two were backwards compatible with the classic Game Boy.
Beatmania GB (March 11, 1999): Features 10 songs selected from 2ndMix,
3rdMix and Yebisu Mix. Another 10 original songs complete the music
list. The game was developed by
Konami Computer Entertainment Kobe.
Beatmania GB 2 GatchaMix (November 25, 1999): Features 5 songs
selected from GottaMix. Songs from famous artists such as the Yellow
Magic Orchestra, Morning Musume, SMAP,
Utada Hikaru in addition to
animations songs like Mobile Suit Gundam Starship Girl Yamamoto Yohko
make up 20 tracks.
Hideo Kojima is listed as one of the producers and
the title was developed by
Konami Computer Entertainment Japan.
Beatmania GB GatchaMix2 (September 28, 2000): A Game Boy Color
exclusive game, it follows the format of the previous GatchaMix with
console tracks from the PlayStation and other popular licensed songs
from real life artists. This release also had 25 tracks in total.
GatchaMix2 was previously to be
Beatmania GB Net Jam, with the tracks
available for download through the Mobile System GB in Japan.
Wonderswan (April 28, 1999): The only
for the Wonderswan, and also the only title released on the system
from Konami. It featured 11 songs from the arcade 3rdMix. Because of
the better sound processing capabilities for the system, the tracks
closely resembled their arcade counterparts. It made use of the
vertical orientation on the system to better mimic the arcade screen
format. A snap on mini turntable was bundled with the game. Also worth
noting is that on some advertisement material, the game was referred
to as vol.1 of a series, hinting that
Konami had positive expectations
in its sales and planned subsequent releases. It was sold around the
same period as
Bemani Pocket line were portable gaming devices with a monochrome
LCD screen, each featuring a :number of songs in a specific
theme. As with most other
Bemani releases, they were sold only in
Beatmania Pocket: The only version to feature a body that mimicked the
Beatmania Pocket2: The first release to feature a smoother design that
was used with all subsequent releases.
Beatmania Pocket -SummerMix-
Beatmania Pocket -AnimeSong Mix1-: A selection of songs from titles by
Go Nagai. The body had the color scheme of Mazinger Z.
Beatmania Pocket -
Tokimeki Memorial Edition-: Songs from the dating
sim Tokimeki Memorial.
Beatmania Pocket Skeleton: A special release of SummerMIX with a clear
body given away as a prize. 5000 units were given away.
Beatmania Pocket -AnimeSong Mix2- Features songs from titles by
Beatmania Pocket 2000: The internal hardware was updated to improve
sound quality, and was kept for all subsequent releases.
Beatmania Pocket -Enjoy Georgia Signature-: A special edition for the
Georgia Signature novelty goods stores of Japan. It was included
inside a gift package for their Millennium Campaign.
Beatmania Pocket -Hello Kitty Edition-: Hello Kitty's face is molded
on the scratch disc part.
Beatmania Pocket -AnimeSong Mix3-: A selection of songs from titles by
Beatmania Pocket -Tigers version: A special edition for the Hanshin
Tigers baseball team of Japan featuring cheer songs for the team.
Beatmania Pocket -Kawaii! version-: A collaborated release with the
teenage girls' magazine Kawaii!.
Beatmania Pocket -
Tokimeki Memorial 2 edition: Songs from the dating
Tokimeki Memorial 2.
Beatmania Pocket -Love Stories-: A selection of love songs from
Beatmania Pocket -KonaMix-: Various songs from classic
Beatmania Pocket -Best Hits 2000–: Popular songs from various
artists from the year 2000.
Beatmania Pocket -Tigers Version2: A special edition for the Hanshin
Tigers baseball team of Japan featuring cheer songs for the team. New
songs were not added, but a new play-mode was.
^ "Annual Report of a Foreign Private Issuer Form 20-F".
beatmania_terminal – official
Beatmania site (in Japanese)
Comprehensive list of all the bemani Pocket releases with detailed
information on each. (in Japanese)
Beatmania at the Killer List of Videogames
Beatmania notecharts (in Japanese)
Retrofuture, an online scorekeeping site for the home versions of
12: Happy Sky
15: DJ Troopers
18 Resort Anthem