Dance Dance Revolution

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Ddr gameplay 689.jpg

"Everybody's waiting for you!"

Dance Dance Revolution (commonly abbreviated to "DDR", and previously called Dancing Stage in Europe) is the premier series of Konami's "Bemani" line of music games.

Instead of a controller where you sit on your ass and mash buttons, in DDR you stand on a panel with four arrows and follow the arrow that show up on the screen, by stepping on the matching arrows. Mind-numbingly easy on the lower levels, but insanely hard in the later ones. Kids seem to catch on better than adults for some reason, and a very common sight in arcades is 20-somethings being put to shame by dextrous eight-year-olds.

DDR has spawned a variety of clones, including StepMania, a DDR simulator that allows you to play with user-created stepfiles, and In The Groove, an arcade game series by Roxor Games that caters to fans of Western electronic music as well as DDR veterans looking for a challenge that got into serious trouble with Konami.

Compare Pump It Up, Just Dance, Dance Masters.

The following tropes are common to many or all entries in the Dance Dance Revolution franchise.
For tropes specific to individual installments, visit their respective work pages.
  • After Combat Recovery: In the nonstop modes that use lives instead of a lifebar, you'll often gain a life or two back after each song.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Even the arcade version (well in Asia anyway) isn't immune from having unlocks merely be just alternate outfits.
  • Announcer Chatter: And the arcade games don't offer ways to turn him off.
  • Author Avatar: Naoki Maeda, Junko "Jun" Karashima, and Yuichi "U1" Asami have placed themselves as playable characters in the Hottest Party DDR Wii games. Naoki, NMR, U1 (No not "That" U-1) , and 2MB are also unlockable characters in 5thMIX.
  • Award Bait Song: A number of the slow songs, such as "Remember You" and "Graduation". Both are sparkle synth-heavy, the former has an unplugged version used for the Extra Stage credits in the Japanese PSX version of DDR Extreme, and the latter appears in the Encore Extra Stage credits of DDR Extreme Arcade, as well as being a playable song in that game.
  • Bag of Spilling: DDRMAX did not have any returning songs. Averted with every other sequel in the main series.
  • Big Win Sirens: SuperNOVA plays a siren on the results screen if you unlock the Extra Stage.
  • Bonus Boss: Similar to recent Beatmania games, X2 had an extra stage system known as "Replicant D-Action", where certain songs are revealed by meeting specific patterns in the songs you play. Completing all six songs unlocked the True Final Boss for the Encore Extra Stage, and wiped out your progress on the previous 6. (meaning that to do it again, you had to play them all AGAIN.)
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Several songs that while not that difficult at first glance, become absolutely monstrous in difficulty. Why? Because your stamina will drop faster than a lead weight while playing it. "Flashdance: What A Feeling" (Level 8 Maniac in 3rd Mix) is the first of many, followed by "Sunkiss Drop" (Level 7 Expert in SuperNOVA) is the most recent one.
  • Capcom Sequel Stagnation: 3rd and 4th Mix had "Plus" updates, which added songs from their Korean versions and other tweaks (such as the ability to play Maniac difficulty without going to SSR mode on 3rd Mix, and a All Music mode on 4th)
  • Canon Immigrant: Some songs had their first appearance in more obscure entries before showing up in the core arcade series, such as "AM-3P (303 Bass Mix)" (Konamix -> Extreme) and "Cutie Chaser (Morning Mix)" (Oha Sta. -> MAX USA -> Extreme).
  • Color Coded for Your Convenience: Many of the arrow skins, such as the Vivid, Note, and Solo/Rainbow will color the arrows differently depending on the type of the note (i.e. depending on whether it is a 1/4, 1/8, 1/12, 1/16, etc.) The Flat note skin which was the only one available before 3rd mix (and in 3rd mix, is the default in SSR mode), averts this.
    • The difficulties have also had signature colors; light blue for Beginner, orange for Light, magenta for Standard, green for Heavy, and blue for Challenge.
  • Continuity Nod: The song and video for "Dance Dance Revolution" on Extreme is a remix of the opening themes from 1st to 4th Mix, and its Challenge routine is a medley of chart fragments from notable songs
    • Quite a few of the 3D stages in recent games (especially in Hottest Party 2 and 3, and X and X2 to an extent) have video walls that play some of the old background movies from DDRMAX/MAX2/Extreme era. X3 also has a course of 2nd Mix revivals that does the same with the old sprite animations from that very version.
    • Recent versions offer the old 1st to 5th Mix arrow style as an option (it appears similar to the current one, except its point has a V-shaped "cut" in it rather than a rounded edge.
  • Continuity Reboot: DDRMAX was supposed to be one since it changed so much: it introduced a new scoring system, re-named the difficulty levels, added full motion video backgrounds (and dumped the characters entirely), completely dropped the old level-based difficulty system in favor of the Groove Radar, added an options menu with modifiers, freeze arrows, the Extra Stage, removed every song from previous versions in favor of a completely new soundtrack. Boy, did Konami learn a huge lesson there.
    • A similar reset happened for the Wii and PlayStation 3 versions released in 2010, which were titled just "Dance Dance Revolution" in North America. The Wii version also brought an Unexpected Gameplay Change by removing the "gimmick" modes from Hottest Party and replacing it with a new "Choreography" mode, an extension of hand-based gameplay added on the Wii version to form actual routines using new motions with the Wii controllers (or, in other words, it was trying to be like Just Dance). In Europe however, they got re-branded as "Hottest Party 4" and "New Moves" respectively.
  • Critical Annoyance: Flashing danger background and crowd booing. The arcade version of Extreme was particularly notable. If the player let their lifebar drop too low, the (usually cheerful) background videos would be suddenly replaced with an animation of a shark swimming straight at you. This is unlikely to help you recover.
    • Beginning on the "Extreme U.S." engine (used by that, Extreme 2, and SuperNOVA among others), this was dropped in favor of a flashing "danger" text on the lifebar.
    • Hottest Party doesn't change the background, but the announcer starts shouting at you to stop sucking. Aside from how distracting it is, it feels like the game's mocking you. Thankfully, you can adjust that so it doesn't, or just turn him off entirely.
  • Cultural Translation: In earlier years, none of the US or European versions had songlists close to their Japanese/arcade counterparts. Most of the major Konami originals, but that's all they have in common. This became less of an issue starting with Festival/Extreme/Fusion.
    • America's Dance Dance Revolution Konamix and Europe's Dancing Stage Party Edition are practically identical, except the one Japanese-language song in Konamix got replaced with five licensed songs: "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" by Kylie Minogue, "Don't Stop Movin'" by S Club 7, "My Favourite Game" by The Cardigans, "The Bad Touch" by The Bloodhound Gang and "You Got The Love" by Rufus feat. Chaka Khan. It's also one of the better games to be released in Europe having more songs than many PlayStation 2 versions and the licences weren't bad either.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: There are modifiers which re-arrange the charts using predetermined patterns (i.e. shuffle, mirror, left, right, etc.).
    • Or the other way around, if you play PIU after DDR instead. Still aggravating.
    • In one of the Supernova games, the game's "Master Mode" (AKA Mission Mode) includes a mission where three arrows at a time scroll up the screen and it's your job to step on the arrow that's NOT one of those aforementioned three. Cue tormented cursing of muscle memory.
    • God help you if you initially learned how to play on "Beginner Mode" by returning to the center panel after each note. You're in for a rude awakening once you leave "Beginner Mode."
    • In recent mixes, some classic songs have returned ... but with somewhat different charts.
  • Dance Sensation: Quite a few of the selectable songs are these.
  • Did Not Do the Research: Extreme 2's description of La Bamba. The song has nothing to do with the dance it refers to nor it refers to a "Son". It's a song about being on a boat (Not the one with T-Pain on it) and it was usually played at weddings.
  • Double Play: The Double mode, where you use two dance controllers, has been around since the start of the series for anyone willing to spend twice the money (or lucky enough to have a machine with "Joint Premium" enabled). Older games allowed this mode for one credit, but half the songs (rounded down).
    • 3rdMIX features "Unison" mode, which had the two players share one set of "guide arrows", with the steps being color-coded to indicate who has to hit them. However, you can hit the other player's arrows, making it possible albeit Nintendo Hard to play it alone.
    • One Self-Imposed Challenge is to play Versus mode alone. Better hope there's not many jumps.
  • Easier Than Easy: Beginner mode.
    • In many beginner modes, you get, in place of the background animations and video, your character on a pad showing how to do the steps. Unfortunately, the way they step on the panels (step on panel, then return foot to the center) is a very well-known mistake that stops beginners from progressing past the easiest of songs. Recent versions dropped this feature entirely, and the tutorial levels in the Wii games have used more desirable starting positions.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: Some of the dancers.
  • Excited Song Title!: BRE∀K DOWN! (also qualifies as a Lucky Charms Title) and OVERBLAST!!
    • "aftershock!!" from Universe 3, X2, and DDR II.
  • Exergaming: Although the point is to dance, it does burn calories. Workout Mode allows you to capitalize on this, with calorie counters and song lists designed to be workout courses, as well as a complete lack of the ability to fail out.
  • Fake Difficulty: Songs with exceptionally high BPM ("Drop Out" and the MAX series, just to name a few examples) get their difficulty mainly from their speed. Also, songs with exceptionally low BPM, to the point where you can't see the notes very well because they're so mashed together. Bag is horrible in this regard.
    • Any song that tries to fake you out with sudden stops and BPM changes. Chaos wouldn't be that hard if the whole thing weren't a steaming pile of fake difficulty. Especially on a pad. On a keyboard, you don't have to worry about balancing or shifting your body weight.
    • The Shock Arrows introduced in X, which double as Spikes of Doom. Hitting them results in losing health, your combo being broken, and the arrows becoming invisible for a split second. Horatio on the NA PS2 version is to shock as Chaos is to stops; yes, it's that bad. (Horatio got a much better chart on the AC version.)
    • Battle Mode in the Playstation version of X2 is filled to the brim with Fake Difficulty mods. For example, take a song that's challenging to begin with (like Moonster) and throw in random, semi-applicable modifiers at times, like Sudden on some arrows and double speed on others, and try not to fail.
    • An interesting case is the boss songs on the Xbox 360 games which are harder simply because no one has made a decent dance pad that's compatible with the 360.
  • Fan Service: Yuni's panties and hatless Emi.
    • You're not gonna tell me that Root from Hottest Party 2 isn't fanservice. While we're at it, Chordia in Hottest Party 1 wears a bodice, and Harmony and Domi by themselves are fanservice. Look at their outfits!
    • Zettai Ryouiki: Rena manages to pull this off in her Hottest Party 2 outfit. See for yourself.
    • Jenny in both SuperNOVA games.
  • Fluffy Fashion Feathers: A white or black feather-trimmed angel-themed dress in Dance Dance Revolution (Wii).
  • Forced Tutorial: On Hottest Party 1's Groove Circuit Mode, you have to play a lesson song before you can play any remaining missions on any difficulty level you want. Granted, it at least tells players to not return to the center panel this time around.
    • Choreography mode does so too.
  • Gaiden Game: The Dance Dance Revolution Solo sub-series, which offers a 6-panel mode that utilizes two new "up-left" and "up-right" arrows and has speed modifiers, a few years prior to their "introduction" in DDRMAX. Solo was later just merged back into the 4th Mix series, and went away entirely until Hottest Party 3 (where several songs had a gimmick causing the left or right arrows to rotate out of nowhere into diagonal arrows)
  • Game Breaking Bug: We've had several over the years;
    • Arcade versions before DDR X (those on PS 1- or PlayStation 2-derived hardware) rounded all notes' timing to 64th notes. This was fine for most songs, but it made "bag" and other songs using 24th notes very tricky to time perfectly. Songs with 12th notes, such as "Burning Heat", were affected to a lesser extent. Charts with this bug were fixed on DDR X. bag got a new Challenge chart on X2 which is exactly the same as the Expert chart but with the purposely broken timing.
    • Dance Dance Revolution Extreme for the PlayStation 2 had an especially bad bug: omitting the "Dance Mode" option, which would turn off the non-directional buttons on the controller that would be located in the corners of a dance mat. Since these buttons were also mapped to directions on the dance pad, playing any song on a mat became prohibitively difficult if not impossible, as the player would constantly trigger inadvertent steps by touching the corner buttons during a song.
    • Somehow, the Universe games are notorious for frame rate issues. Some players have been puzzled at how this can even happen on a Xbox 360 in a game like this.
    • The quality of the pads on a particular machine can vary depending on their condition, how often its repaired/cleaned out, etc. Poorly maintained cabinets can turn even the easiest song into a Gambol-grade struggle to get a decent score at all. A variation comes from the DDR X cabinets outside of Japan: someone will probably get a Prefect Full Combo on Valkyrie Dimension Oni before you can have a DDR X machine in North America working just as good as a Japanese model.
  • Game Within a Game: The DDR Tokimeki Mix in Tokimeki Memorial 2 Substories : Dancing Summer Vacation. This fictional DDR game, containing remix of classic songs from Tokimeki Memorial 1 and 2 such as "Motto! MOTTO! Tokimeki" or "Yuuki no Kami-sama", is the center of Dancing Summer Vacation 's storyline, where the characters train themselves on it for the upcoming National DDR Tournament, and is the game's main mini-game.
  • Gratuitous English: The series as a whole is made of this with their songs.
  • Guide Dang It: Lemme know when you finish off DDR Extreme 2's mission mode. Completely. Including mission "THE LAST".
    • This may need a bit of explanation. Out of all the 150-plus missions in the game, at least 40 have secret objectives that unlock missions you couldn't otherwise get to. To unlock THE LAST, you need to beat every last mission in the game, and you also need to do the secret objectives. The last bit of missions are also pretty damn hard, and one of them requires you to get your score into a ridiculously narrow margin.
    • Memories from DDR Extreme US also deserves special mention due to how much work was done by the community to try and find an unlock method for it, since there is no One More Extra Stage. The existence of this missing song could be confirmed in a variety of ways, such as clearing every chart with an A rank (you'll ONLY get the message for doing it on Challenge), checking the messages (the "unlocked all messages" message, which includes a url for a wallpaper, doesn't appear without memories unlocked), or encountering edit data for it (which proves it IS on the game, but doesn't unlock it or produce the RED unlock message). People were actually examining the disc with hex editors to try and figure it out. Ultimately, the unlock method was released... through a Burger King promotion, over 2 years after the game's release.
  • Harder Than Hard: Challenge/Oni difficulty.
    • Debatable. When it's a standalone, Challenge-only remix, than it's sometimes easier than the original song. Any chart with Shock Arrows can go either way, with their lower rating but Fake Difficulty. However, almost anything else falls under this. Especially Fascination MAXX.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels (Basic, Another, and Maniac in the earlier games; Light, Standard, and Heavy between DDRMAX and DDR Extreme; Basic, Difficult, and Expert in the most recent installments)
    • Until 3rdMIX, each foot rating also had a one-word description. In increasing order, starting with 1 foot: Simple, Moderate, Ordinary, Superior, Marvelous, Genuine, Paramount, Exorbitant, Catastrophic.
  • The Immodest Orgasm: A few songs, such as "Oh Nick Please Not So Quick", "Sexy Planet", and "INSERTiON", have sounds you would not expect from a dancing game...
    • Bowdlerization: Some songs that do this, such as "The Earth Light" and "Injection of Love" had these sound effects removed before being used outside of Japan. Ironically, the clean instrumental version of "Injection of Love" was the first to appear anywhere, in America's Extreme 2, whereas the explicit English version (Titled "Injection of Love(e)") was in Japan's Str!ke. "After The Game (Of Love)" also had its lyrics removed in its US appearances.
  • Interface Screw: The speed, boost, visibility (Hidden, Sudden, and Stealth), and other modifiers.
    • Inverted in DDR X. The player is able to have his or her side of the field darkened to see the arrows better.
    • Mixed up with the Gimmick settings. Sudden Arrows, Foot Confusers, and Minimizers/Normalizers come to mind...
  • Konami Code: At least the up-up-down-down-left-right-left-right part. It's appeared in several stepcharts, such as Twinbee Generation X.
  • Large Ham: All of the announcers tend to be like this. They gotta keep you motivated, after all!
    • The DDR X announcer is probably the most hammiest of all. Combine that with his overly cheesy sounding lingo, and you got a hot diggidy pig!
  • Last-Note Nightmare: Most boss songs have the ending significantly harder than the beginning, but a few really seem designed to give that Oh Crap feeling when it happens:
    • MAX. (period) suddenly doubles its speed from 300 to 600 BPM, a record that would not be surpassed for almost nine years.
    • Healing-D-Vision on Challenge, for the vast majority of the song, is deceptively simple for its rating, until the ending which has about three seconds of what is probably the hardest possible step pattern in the game (LURU LDRD LURU LDRD etc.), at 12 steps per second.
    • Pluto Relinquish ends with a long terrifying 400 BPM 8th note stream on Expert and Challenge.
    • Just before the end, Valkyrie dimension drops from 186 BPM to 46 BPM (1/4 speed) as the melody fades out for one measure of complete silence, then it suddenly blasts out four measures of percussion that sounds like machine-gun fire at 372 BPM (double speed).
    • Tohoku EVOLVED might be the ultimate example of this. Most of the song runs at 340 BPM, then the final chord comes and the music fades out...and then five full seconds later, the song goes up to 1020 BPM (triple speed) and there's one more jump that comes out of absolutely nowhere. Thanks to it being an EVOLVED song, this jump is random every time you play it. It was even nastier when this song used to be only playable on Encore Extra Stage, because it was extremely likely that a player would fail right there on the last step.
  • Level Editor: Many of the console versions have included "edit mode", a function that allows you to create custom routines. Some DDR machines even had PS1 memory card slots in front that could be used for this (but of course, only the Japanese PlayStation versions have offered this functionality, and Edit Mode is gone entirely on the Wii versions )). Edits on the arcade version were scrapped on SuperNOVA, but returned on DDR X with support for USB flash drives (and the ability for edit charts popular with players to be deployed to everyone over e-Amusement). Of course, this required DDR X's Japanese PS2 version as a middleman, and even files generated from that wouldn't work on American arcade versions. Konami alleviated this with an online app, but it doesn't support all songs.
  • Licensed Game: While most of the games have their share of licensed songs, there's also the two Japan-release Dancing Stage games, each of which has a songlist consisting almost entirely of the artist in question. There were also quite a few Disney versions; most notably DDR Disney Mix. There was also a Winx Club version which also managed to have a number of new, unexpected (and good) Pop'n music and beatmania IIDX crossovers as well. Unfortunately, given its target audience, it ended up being Easier Than Easy.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Traditionally, the Shuffle modifier does this.
    • The "evolved" series of boss songs uses this in a way. Each of them is named after a major city (it started with cities in Japan, but then went to New York and L.A., followed by London on the most recent game), and most of them have three variations each, picked at random. All three of them open the same, except that they begin to diverge by the halfway point (i.e. one version might steadily speed up, one version might go into an intense breakdown, one may just slow down a bit). There have been two subversions of this however: L.A. Evolved has no variations whatsoever, and Roppongi has a DDR X2-exclusive "ver. D".
    • The console version of SuperNOVA had some missions that required you to play a certain number of songs in a row using a character of a certain gender. The catch? In mission mode, character selection is locked to "Random".
  • Lucky Charms Title: Numerous song titles. Especially songs by Jun. (Love♥Shine, Happy☆Angel, Kimono♥Princess, Sunkiss☆Drop, etc)
  • Market-Based Title: The title Dancing Stage was was used for the European releases until around DDR X, when the DDR name was used for the first time in the region on the Licensed Game DDR Winx Club, which was released everywhere ... but the United Kingdom (possibly due to the fact that Winx isn't as huge in the U.K. as it is in the remainder of Europe)
    • The fourth "Hottest Party" game on the Wii (and the 2010 Xbox 360 and Play Station 3 release) was called just "Dance Dance Revolution" outside of Europe, as it seemed like Konami was trying to relaunch the series. However in Europe, they were re-branded as "DDR Hottest Party 4" and "DDR: New Moves" respectively. The same happened for DDR II, which was renamed "Hottest Party 5"
  • Meido: A few characters have maid costumes, most notably Yuni and Maid-zukin.
  • Mirror Match: The final mission in Disco's story on DDR X's Street Master Mode has Disco playing against himself. Win the mission, and he mentions that he beats himself.
    • There's also worth noting that in the 9th mission in Alice's story in Street master mode has Alice in a dance contest against herself.
  • Musical Theme Naming: All of the Hottest Party characters (save for the Bemani Trio, obviously) are named after something to do with music and rhythm.
  • Multi Platform: Averted in a way in America until the Hottest Party 3 sequel, as each console got its own separate game yearly. PlayStation versions were aligned with the arcade mixes, the Wii had the party play and gimmick-based Hottest Party series, and the Xbox/Xbox 360 versions (Ultramix and Universe) had a more diverse song selection, and often contained songs that appeased North American fans. When Hottest Party 3 came along, they tried hard to make all the versions have pretty much the same content, but they still had different features and engines.
  • Non Indicative Difficulty: The Challenge/Oni charts indicate that they're a harder difficulty than Expert/Heavy, yet for many songs they are slightly to significantly easier.
  • No Budget: Betson by far. Since SuperNOVA, cabinets have been built on a very slim budget. The cabinet problem got even worse on X; while Asia got extremely nice new cabinet design and the ability to retrofit old cabinets for the game, everyone else had to buy a new cabinet. Even worse, the new cabinets were built to be as cheap as possible, and suffered from numerous problems with the pads (which, just to show how lazy they were, were covered with one piece of metal with holes in it for gods sake!) and lag issues with the monitor. Some of these issues seemed to have been rectified upon the release of X2, although there are still reported issues.
  • Nostalgia Level: Dance Dance Revolution's Challenge steps feature bits and pieces of some of the more popular song's steps sprinkled throughout. Also, Paranoia Max (SMM Special), features a lot of patterns from its predecessors, even though most of them are going at double speed.
  • Obvious Beta: Dance Dance Revolution Freedom for the iOS. It still uses the same GUI from DDR X, and all the songs are horribly stepped and synced. Even worse, DDR S and S+ were removed from the iTunes Store upon its release (S was re-posted shortly afterwards, however).
  • Oddly-Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: After three Hottest Party games on the Wii, the next release on the system and the Play Station 3 was just called Dance Dance Revolution in America. However, the Hottest Party name is kept in Europe, and the Play Station 3 version was renamed "Dance Dance Revolution: New Moves" (as a Stealth Pun relating to its PlayStation Move compatibility)
  • Old Shame: Naoki Maeda really regrets 'LET THEM MOVE' (song from 2ndMIX). The song has since become unavailable in Arcade and Console versions for years.
    • Unfortunately for Naoki, although the song disappeared from the main game modes, home version developers had a habit of using it as a tutorial song. It kept appearing in Lesson Mode well into the PlayStation 2 era.
  • Pac-Man Fever: Indeed, this game is well-known enough to be constantly in shows, expy or not.
    • Averted in the film Yes Man, where Jim Carrey's character plays Hana Ranman Flowers on a SuperNOVA cabinet. Despite moving around a bit more than most players would, he actually performs the steps correctly, crossovers and all. Carrey was trained by an expert DDR player just for this scene.
  • Perfect Run Final Boss: One More Extra stage, since renamed to Encore Extra Stage. Basically, if you break your combo (by getting anything below Great or missing a freeze), you lose instantly.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Some of the outfits the dancers wear.
  • Positive Discrimination: The "Asian = godly DDR player" stereotype is quite common.
  • Pretty in Mink: Harmony's fur-trimmed hoodie and boots.
  • Product Placement: Until Extreme, DDR was the main vehicle used by record label Toshiba EMI to promote its dance music compilations Dancemania; the label had made a deal with Konami to advertise the albums in-game, in exchange for letting them use songs from them as the bulk of their soundtrack (in fact, "DDR Solo Bass Mix" pretty much only featured songs from "Dancemania Bass" - bass as in Miami Bass). Additionally, the partnership also allowed the label to distribute the official soundtrack albums, which as a result could contain both the "licensed" music and the original songs. If this seems insignificant, think again: a lot of the iconic music of the franchise's early years came from this arrangement.
    • The EMI partnership was dissolved for SuperNOVA, as Konami instead decided to pursue more ahem, lucrative sources of music for later games that didn't involve deals that weren't valid outside of Japan (which led to; more anime music, more recent J-pop hits, more mainstream American music, etc.)
    • The release of X3 vs. 2nd Mix ties in with the 15th anniversary of the Dancemania series in a way: the "Dancemania Sparkle" album released in 2011 contained several songs made popular by the game, and had an advertisement for X3 vs. 2nd Mix in its liners), and also confirmed that the 2nd Mix soundtrack would also be re-released as well.
  • Rank Inflation: The current grade system goes from E to AAA.
    • And "Perfect" steps can be topped by "Marvelous" steps in some games. First in Nonstop modes only, then full-time beginning on SuperNOVA 2
  • Retraux: A good deal of the songs in X channel genres from The Seventies ("Dance Floor"), The Eighties ("We Come Alive", "We've Got To Make It Tonight", and some of the US exclusives), and The Nineties ("Till The Lonely's Gone").
  • Repurposed Pop Song: In the name of the Rule of Fun. Moonlight Shadow tho? Hello Mood Whiplash!
  • Rhythm Game
  • Sampled Up: Universe 3 features "The Bomb! (These Sounds Fall into My Mind)", a song which samples Chicago's song "Street Player". One year later, Hottest Party 3 featured Pitbull's "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)", which is mainly him rapping over "75, Brazil Street", which also samples "Street Player". How meta can you go?
  • Scare Chord: The sound of losing a life when you have a "battery" lifebar. It can very well cause one to lose their composure and lose even more life.
  • Schizophrenic Difficulty: The more recent boss songs (SuperNOVA onward). Max300, MaxX Unlimited, and The Legend of MAX followed a hard/easy/harder format, but Fascination MaxX's difficulty is all over the place. There's a reason the Naoki alias used is 100-200-400; it's constantly going between those speeds.
  • Scoring Points (Most of the earlier mixes had a scoring system, but it was often ignored in favor of "how many perfects did you get?")
    • From DDRMAX onwards, your grade is determined by a hidden "dance point" system, which came to set the standard for evaluating accuracy. And from DDR SuperNOVA onwards, the on-screen score is essentially the percentage of your dance points vs. maximum dance points mulitplied by some power of ten.
      • With SuperNOVA onwards, Almosts and Boos don't hurt your score NEARLY as much as in Extreme and earlier (they get zero points instead of -4 and -8) although they still take away health. In SuperNOVA 2 you can actually get a AAA with a miss! To counter-act this oddity, SN2 was also the first version to recognize Full Great/Perfect/Marvelous combos on the results screen.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: The Double mode, or using modifiers to make the game harder.
  • Sequel Escalation: Originally, the difficulty ratings went from 1-8 footprints. 3rd Mix added 9's. DDRMAX added MAX 300, the first 10. Then came MaxX Unlimited, The Legend of MAX and Paranoia Survivor MAX, Fascination MAXX and Fascination -eternal love mix-, Pluto / Pluto Relinquish and Dead End Groove Radar Special... each of which would one-up the hardest songs in the previous installment.
    • This progression broke the original rating scheme. MAX 300 and Fascination MAXX are nowhere near the same difficulty, but both were rated a 10 until the scale was extended to 20 and all the songs were re-rated.
  • Sexy Whatever Outfit: In the first three "Hottest Party" games, Jun wears a skimpy version of the Japanese folklore goddess dress, while in the fourth game she wears a sexy angel dress.
    • Also in the fourth game, Ceja wears a sexy lady Navy uniform.
  • Short Title: Long Elaborate Subtitle: ZETA ~The World of Prime Numbers and the Transcendental Being~ from DDR X2 and DDR II.
  • Shout-Out: A couple exist in the Hottest Party series. In some stages, you can see clips of videos from past DDRs, a nice nostalgia bonus for older fans. And another one, that's harder to get unless you really suck or you're trying to get it; when you're doing bad, and the announcer starts to shout abuse at you, one thing he'll say is "Dancer needs groove badly".
  • So Bad It's Good: Music: Beatmania IIDX fans, remember "GOLD RUSH"? Well it's here, and there's not one, but TWO new versions tailored for DDR!
  • Spike Balls of Doom: Some of the songs before SuperNova had this in their background movies. Max 300 is one of the more infamous ones.
    • The Shock arrows that are introduced in most challenge stepcharts in DDR X tend to trip people up.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Is it Challenge or Oni? Even worse, the confusion between Oni the difficulty and Oni the course mode. For difficulty, arcade games referenced it as "Challenge", but used the kanji for Oni to represent it on Japanese versions until SuperNOVA. The Universe series actually did call the difficulty "Oni" (however, given the nature of the Universe games at times, it may have been a Fandom Nod)
    • The capitalization on a lot of things gets a little funky too. PARANOiA, INSERTiON, MaxX, and even the old numbering format (2ndMIX, 3rdMIX, etc.).
  • Super Move Portrait Attack: Since SuperNOVA2 on the Arcade continuity, reaching various combo levels causes a sort of portrait of the player's character to come up in the middle of the screen. Hottest Party 3 takes this further by having the background change to show the character itself doing a victory move at combo milestones (complete with a distracting "REACHED X COMBO!" graphic too!
  • The Movie:
    • La Maquina De Bailar (The Dance Machine) is the unofficial candidate.
    • The BBC's Lord Of The Dance Machine, which followed a UK entrant to an international competition, might count as a Documentary Episode.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Battle mode involves various interface screws like the steps rotating, speeds changing, or arrows disappearing. The computer is unaffected by any of these.
    • Made even more Egregious in Disney Mix where attaining the unlockables can only be done by playing in the Battle mode.
    • At least the computer has terrible accuracy, getting loads of Greats.
  • The Tetris Effect
  • Title Drop: DDR Extremes One More Extra Stage song is titled Dance Dance Revolution. Some Konami original songs, such as Trip Machine AM-3P and (Maybe) "Brilliant 2U" sneak the letters "DDR" into the vocals. B 4 U has "D-D-R!" in the chorus outright
    • Hell, Super Star even starts out with the lead vocalist singing "DDR Bass!"
    • "GOLD RUSH" already had a blatant title-drop for the specific version of the game it came from, but one of two additional versions of it that randomly show up on X2 change the breakdown in the middle of the song to name off either arcade DDR games or home DDR games in Japan.
  • Uncommon Time: Numerous examples.
    • Holic cycles between 7/8, 7/4, and 4/4.
    • PARANOiA ETERNAL is 7/8 for most of the song but 3/4 at the end.
    • Cutie Chaser (and its Morning Mix variation) uses 3/4 time.
    • GO! (Mahalo Mix) uses 5/4.
    • There are other songs that are 7/8, 3/4, or some other random uncommon time the whole time.
  • Unlockable Content
  • Unwinnable: DDRX2 on the PlayStation 2. Well, only if you're going for One Hundred Percent Completion.
  • Video Game Lives: Challenge mode. One More Extra Stages reduce you to one life.
    • SuperNova 2 and later changed the Extra Stage life bar mechanics from no recovering on perfect hits to the health bar system on Challenge mode. The amount of misses you can make depends on your score. This means the Extra Stages can now become OneHitPointWonders as well.
  • Truck Driver's Gear Change: "Can't Stop Fallin' in Love", "Flowers", etc.
  • Up to Eleven: Challenge steps for songs that were already ranked level 10 on the hard difficulty. "PARANOiA Survivor MAX" and "Fascination MaxX" come to mind.
    • Starting with DDR X and Hottest Party 5, the difficulty ratings were re-scaled to be out of 20 instead. Most of the "flashing" 10's from before X got assigned ratings around the 16-18 range.
    • "DEAD END (Groove Radar Special)" comes to mind. It's almost as if the chart author made it as a means to challenge the people who play this game.
    • Valkyrie dimension on Challenge (19/20), enough said.
  • Video Game Remake: As indicated by its title, DDR X3 vs. 2nd Mix features "2nd Mix Mode", an apparent HD remix of DDR 2nd Mix, with most of the songs intact, and with HD graphics. This is most likely in honor of Dancemania's 15th anniversary too (given how important Dancemania was in the early days of DDR), since EMI Japan is also producing a special re-issue of the 2nd Mix soundtrack in honor of the anniversary and as a tie-in for X3
  • Virtual Paper Doll
  • "Wake-Up Call" Boss: The Paranoia series on Basic difficulty.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: "MaxX Unlimited" and "The Legend of MaxX".
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Rena and U1 (comes in blue or purple!), Root's abnormally orange hair, jun who's hair can come in pink. There's also Bridget with her multi-tone hair, and Ceja as well. Those are all characters who appeared in Hottest Party. Emi and Alice from the arcade DDR games also qualify.
    • Charmy had green hair spiked at the side.

The side game DDR Mario Mix contains the following tropes:[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Hijacked By Waluigi: Bowser, the usual Big Bad of the Super Mario Bros.. series, stays out of the plotline until Mario or Luigi gets all of the MacGuffins. He would have usurped the Big Bad title too, had Waluigi, who initiated the plot in the first place because he wanted to Take Over the World, not have been fought very early on in the game, thus leaving the title in disuse for most of the game.
  • Take Over the World: How Waluigi planned to do after he took the 4 music keys. Bowser (Near the end of the story however) Stole the 4 music keys because he's tone deaf.