An arcade game originating from Japan which features two dancing surfaces. The idea is to hit one of or a combination of arrows (up, down, left, right) as they are displayed on the screen in time with the music which is being played. As you move up in difficulty, the movements become more complex which in turn makes the player looks as if they were executing a form of dance. Definitely a public game, and best played with another player. It's harder than you think.

You can find some DDR steppings at

Some of the easier songs to dance to are:

  • Have You Never Been Mellow
  • Boom Boom Dollar
  • Butterfly
  • Dance Dance Revolution has become a hugely successful franchise in a time where most of Japan is suffering under a recession. Actually part of the larger Beatmania (Bemani for short) series of games, it's the sort of game people look at and say, "That's easy", until they actually get up and try it. I've seen people sit and laugh at how bad a player is doing on a four-foot song, until their turn rolls around and they are unable to maintain the simplest sense of rhythm on Silent Hill.

    While a previous writeup (since removed) has proclaimed DDR as the "game of the chigger", I beg to differ. Personally, I think it's hilarious when some holier than thou "cool" kid steps up and thinks he's going to beat the "nerds", and then all but has an aneurysm trying to make sense of the arrows whipping by on the screen. I do agree, though, that watching people try to play in chains, high heels, baggy jeans or tight skirts is loads of fun.

    However, DDR is nothing like what you would do at a club. DDR is Simon with music and feet, matching a predetermined pattern as well as you can. It tests reflexes, coordination, rhythm, and physical fitness -- but it is about as related to dancing as Pong is to table tennis. You get no points for creativity (in fact, it'll often cause you to screw up), and there's no upper body movement to speak of. If it is to be compared to any group activity at all, it is closer to aerobics, calisthenics, or line dancing than anything else.

    Now for a miniature rant: I really hate DDR elitists. You know the type; there are ones for every hobby, every game, and every fandom out there. These are the ones who will sit back and scoff at anyone unable to get more than a C on a Catastrophic-level song, or deride newbies to the game. They erupt in a huge temper tantrum if they miss a single step in their massive combo, and storm off in indignant fury if anyone manages to beat them. They feign boredom when playing against someone else, as if to broadcast the message that such competition is so beneath them. These are the insecure types who have to lord their one talent over everyone else to feel good about themselves, and I will not put up with them.

    The bottom line is that DDR is a game. You may like it, you may despise it, but it's there for recreation and enjoyment -- both the participants' and the audience's. Treat it as such.

    Addendum 01/08/2002: Yes, the song is indeed called Silent Hill, though it has nothing to do with the horror FPS Playstation game of the same name. It is, rather, a slow Christmas ballad. And yes, perhaps the miniature rant on elitism is misplaced, but it was annoying the heck out of me. Being a dick won't get people interested in your game. And if people aren't interested in your game, Konami won't support it. And if Konami won't support it, it will disappear. And then where will your 1337 skills be?


    Dance Dance Revolution

    Dance Dance Revolution aka DDR isn't your normal arcade game. DDR is a Bemani or Music based arcade game by KOJ (Konami of Japan). It is only supposed to be played and used in Japan (the arcade machines that is). So for it to be possible for others to play it, it is illegally imported into the United States and Europe. The point of the game is to try to get a perfect score of AAA in the stage. To see the formulas for scoring in the various versions of the game go to The game itself doesn't really relate to real dancing unless you call dancing steping contious on arrows. To play this game one must hit one of four arrows,up,down,left,right. While doing this you acquire combos based on the number of steps you get in a row correct.
    The ranking for steps goes as follows:

    While playing the game, a health bar is shown at the top of the screen (bottom if one is playing reverse) that shows how well one is doing. If the health bar is at full, or on fire the player is doing an excellent job, if the health bar is low or nothing, the player is doing a bad job and failing their song. The more steps in a row one gets, the more the health bar will go up and just the opposite for missing steps. One must hit steps in sucession in a row to "pass" the song. If one does not hit the steps, or misses (boo,almost, and misses make you fail) so many of them in a row, you fail the song. After the song you get a ranking based on one's proformance.

    The rankings are as follows:
    (Note any ranking with an "S" in it can only be achieved in mixes 3rd Plus and below, where the rankings of "A","AA", and "AAA" do not exist.)

    • AAA or SSS (equal to mastering the song or getting a perfect on every step)
    • AA or SS
    • (equivilant to a AAA on DDR USA or DDR Konamix)
    • S
    • (Im putting this above the A because, one must full combo their song to achieve this ranking and usually one does not do that with an "A" ranking)
    • A
    • (requires a FC in DDR Konamix)
    • B
    • C
    • D
    • E (equal to failing the song)

    Everytime one plays the game they have a choice of certain game modes.

    Single-one player (all mixes)
    Vs.-two player  (all mixes)
    Solo-one player uses 6 panels (solo machines, Konamix,DDR MAX)
    Double-one player both pads (all mixes)
    Nonstop-4 songs in a row (1st-4th mix,8th mix, DDR USA)
    Oni-different courses of songs varying in difficultly. (6th-8th mix,DDR MAX)
    Unison-two players hit the arrows in unison (3rd mix,DDR USA)
    Battle-two players hit the arrows that fly to their side of the screen 
           (4th plus, 5th mix, Konamix) 

    And there are also some sub modes: easy,normal,nonstop,and SSR. Easy (3-5 songs depending on machine) makes the all the songs simplified so newbies can get the hang of the game. Normal (3-5 songs depending on machine) is the regular mode that one usually plays at. Nonstop (4-5 songs depending on machine) is a a selected mix on the machine that adds another song to your game. And SSR (3 songs) is all the songs made really difficult to challenge more experienced players. Song "foot ratings" go from 1 to 10 , 10 being the hardest.
    1. - 1 Simple
    2. - 2 Moderate
    3. - 3 Ordinary
    4. - 4 Superior
    5. - 5 Marvelous
    6. - 6 Genuine
    7. - 7 Paramount
    8. - 8 Exorbitant
    9. - 9 Catastrophic
    10. - 10 Catastrophic+
    11. - 10+ Flashing 10

    Along with this there is also some modifiers that affect how you play
    Hidden- makes the arrow disappear before you hit it
    Sudden- the arrow appears just in time to hit it
    Stealth- the arrows are invisible
    mirror- flips all the steps around
    right- turns all steps 90° to the right
    left- turns all steps 90° to the left
    shuffle- randomly switches steps
    flat- turns off vivid (it's on automatically in some versions)
    little- makes songs easier by removing all inbetween and offbeat steps.
    vivid- turns on the colored arrows for 1/4 steps etc.
    note: the following modes are only in 6th,7th, and 8th mix
    dark- hides the where the arrows should hit.
    reverse- the arrows scroll from the top of the screen instead of the bottom. 
    boost- speeds arrows up just before they reach the top.
    1.5x,2x,3x,4x,5x,8x- makes the arrows move that many times faster.

    Dance Dance Revolution is a fun game to play by oneself or with others.
    The current versions out are:


    A series of music games made by Konami that are called Bemani. Dance Dance Revolution was first seen in Japan, it made its pilgrimage to the States via California.


    To some people, Dance Dance Revolution is about more than just getting SS's on Catastrophic songs. DDR to some is about more than just fulfilling requirements, its also about style.

    There are those in the DDR world who spend their time playing songs on the easier difficulties and do things that the eliteists above could only dream of.


    Freestyling is playing DDR 'to look good.' Think of it like variations on a classical piece. Sure, there are people who can play twinkle, twinkle, little star but then there are those who can take that to the next level.

    Perfect Attack:Freestyling::Toe Tapping:Dancing

    True, Dance Dance Revolution is often just played as a game of skill, matching steps with the arrows on screen, but there are many people who take the game to the next level.

    These are the people that hoard their quarters and other various loose change in order to run down to the local arcade featuring the latest DDR machine. These are the people who spend hours in said arcade, popping quarters into the slot and "dancing" for hours on end in order to perfect their latest moves for competition. Yes, that's right folks, Dance Dance Revolution competitions. This is where the hobbyist is separated from the dedicated professional. At such freestyle competitions, which are held in various cities at various times of the year, people gather to show off their latest DDR tricks. Skills like moonwalking, knee drops, and various forms of breakdancing are often displayed. The more adventurous competetor attemps such crowd pleasers as jumping off the arcade machine or over the bar located behind the dance pads. Some people even pair up, and perform dance routines or skits with their partner. Needless to say, this can be quite entertaining and/or amusing, when the competition is stiff.

    Yes, Dance Dance Revolution is nothing close to actual dancing that normal people do, but it gives gamers and outlet for physical activity. And when a true master of the game steps up to the platform, it's something to be in awe of.

    How to Play Dance Dance Revolution (and Look Good while Playing)

    You may scoff, but Dance Dance Revolution is a good way to have fun and actually does impress a goodly number of people.


    • Follow the music — You want to hit the arrows when they're in the hollow arrow containers at the top (don't laugh, I lost a couple bucks that way), but the beat is a more reliable metric than just trying to see the right point. Trust me, because I made the mistake of ignoring this advice and it makes things difficult later on.
    • Dress appropriately — You may think you look great in platform shoes, oversized pants, or a medieval suit of armor, and maybe you do, but those don't lend themselves to strenuous physical exercise. Make sure you can move freely in whatever you wear, and make sure that if you dress heavily you can remove layers.
      Footwear — Make sure you're comfortable in whatever you choose. I usually take off my shoes and play in my socks, because it allows more fluidity. Players who learn at the arcade generally step harder than I do (in decidedly less fluid but cleaner movements) and prefer shoes, though.
    • Don't move your feet back to the center — It's tempting but will throw your balance. Plus when you get to more difficult songs it's impossible anyway. Be ready to play from any position you may find your feet in.
    • Challenge yourself if you want to get better — I'm not saying you should sqaunder your money by making the first song you pick one you can't do, but that's not an issue at home. If it is, save the hard one for last. If you do songs far harder than you're capable of, you'll come back and find you're capable of much more.
    • Enjoy yourself — Remember, it's a game. Having fun is more important than being "good."

    The "Looking Cool" Part

    Pick and choose from here, you don't need to do them all at once. And several might be mutually exclusive.

    • Try using speed modifiers — from Dance Dance Revolution MAX (6th mix) onwards, when you select a song, if you hold the "enter" button you'll be brought to an options menu with this, among other nifty stuff. Bumping it from 1× to 1.5× or 2× (I prefer the latter) will increase the speed of the arrows but not the actual steps (i.e., although the arrows move faster you are moving at the same speed). The benefits are twofold—not only can you more easily read the arrows (trust me, it's easier), allowing you to focus on the physical aspects more, but you can also easily impress people not who don't play themselves. To them, the faster arrows make the game look more difficult.
    • Move your armsDance Dance Revolution doesn't actually require you to use your arms, but if all the motion is going on below the waist, you'll look at least a little silly. By moving your arms, you'll have something that looks a bit more like "real" dance.
    • Spin — If you can incorporate a 360º turn into your steps, people will definitely be impressed.
    • Memorize steps — If you can pull the moves with "stealth" mode (hides arrows) on, that's pretty good, and it's even better if you can do this looking away from the screen. Shows confidence in yourself and mastery of the game. At least, unless you fail.
    • Freestyle — Sure, getting a perfect score can be fun, and there's nothing wrong with it, but if looking good is your goal, people will be more impressed by handstands and flips and all other matter of tricks and a "D" than a normal dance and an "AAA."
    • Always be surrounded by beautiful women — Not sure why, but this seems to work well even while you're not playing.

    Above all, though, your personal enjoyment is imperative. I said it already, but it's really, really important. Looking good, playing well, none of it's more important than having a good time. At the end of the day, that's all that counts, so don't take anything in this writeup too seriously.

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