Strategy Guide - Guide for Beat Mania
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****************************************************************************** ---------- BEAT MANIA (2nd Arcade Edition) ---------- ---------- Including Yabisu "Append" Mix ---------- NEW UPDATE: Now includes Complete list of songs for BeatMania: The complete 3rd Mini-mix! The Modern DJ's Guide to Better Beat Mixing Or "How to play Beat-mania without Ruining your Dual Shock Controller" By: Alex "DJ Smiley" Bicomong Version 1.0 New updates as of Dec. 22, 1998 I can be reached at [email protected] ****************************************************************************** THE LEGAL STUFF: Beat Mania is a trademark of Konami Corp. Yada, yada, yada and all that other useless legal drivel that only people who make 6 figure salaries and drive Bavarian automobiles are interested in) Sigh, and I guess an FAQ wouldn't be complete without one, so here goes nothin'... DISCLAIMER: (Hey, you knew it was coming, right?) This FAQ is an original work. Trademark Alex Bicomong, Copyright 1998. All rights reserved. It may not be altered, edited in any way and no part of this FAQ may be reproduced without the author's express written consent. Any use for commercial purposes is strictly prohibited (FAQ's were made to help people get the most out of a game, not make some shmuck or some magazine get rich). If you want to put it on your website, that's fine, just as long as you ask me first ([email protected]), print it in its entirety, and give credit where credit is due. Finally, any trademark or copyrighted items that are mentioned below are the property of their owners, and no infringement is intended by this author. GAMEFAQS.COM has helped me out so much on all the Japanese games that we don't have strategy guides for here in the U.S. and in turn, I wanted to give a little something back... By the way, this is my first shot at an FAQ, so if you spot something wrong, it's probably just a, a. a misprint! Don't blame the author, blame it on uh, the inadequacies of Windows '98...yeah, that's it! Okay, now that the legislative mumbo-jumbo is out of the way, ON TO THE GAME!!! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ TABLE OF CONTENTS: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1. Brief History and Background 2. Game Set-up 3. Controls 4. Scratching Techniques and other tips 5. Complete List of Songs for Arcade mix and Yabisu Append Discs (Updated to include Beatmania: 3rd Mini-mix) 6. Acknowledgements ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ I. BRIEF HISTORY AND BACKGROUND ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ This 2-disc game is a fun (and I warn you, completely addictive) music and rhythm based "DJ" game, in the tradition of games such as Pa-rappa the Rapper, or Bust-a-groove. If you liked any of the above two, then chances are you will not be pushing the eject button on top of your PSX for quite some time once you slam this sucka in the lid. However, the songs here are much more in line with "true hip-hop" if you know what I mean. It even has "flavor-flave" samples, of Public Enemy Fame. No "ribbit-ribbit, I can't hold it..." or goofy looking "Master Onion" here. Alright, now that my shameless plug for the game is over, (You can send the check in the mail, Konami.) let's proceed to the history. This outlandish game took the Japanese arcades by storm, culminating in an additional 3 sequels being made, one right after the other. However, the playstation version only has 2 Beatmania games out right now (Thanks to Tom Sharp for the correct info!) which are: Beamania: 2nd Arcade Mix, which includes the Yabisu Append disc, and Beatmania: Complete 3rd Mini- mix. Don't despair though, because there are 2 more sequels planned: One with songs by a prolific Beatmania song writer and composer, Tomohirata (Gee, did I get that name right? The upcoming releases are in the manual of the Beatmania 3rd Mini-mix, but I can't find it...don't you hate that?) and one that is a Remix album. This game is so popular that in Japan, it reportedly outsold Metal Gear Solid, the now famous Solid Snake vehicle. The Japanese version not only comes with the game, but soundtracks as well. Some of the songs have become top J-POP favorites in Tokyo! As a testament to the game's popularity, the game was able to spawn the creation of its own controller. Much like shooting games have optional gun accessories, Beatmania can be played the way it was meant to be played - with a "TURN-TABLE" controller made by ASCII. Yes, retailing for about $45, the PSX compatible controller fully resembles an actual DJ turn- table, and I hear it works great! (I hope to order one myself sometime soon...) Some players overseas have even mastered the style of using two such controller ambidextrously, which makes it look for all intents and purposes, just like a real DJ spinning wax on 2 wheels of steel. In fact, the arcade coin-op has 2 actual turntables that the player must manipulate - now that's fresh! Or in Bust-a-groove terms... "SO NAASTY!" Hopefully, the game will be ported over here just like Sony ported Bust-a- move, ahem, or should I say Bust-a-groove, as the corporate pundits have so cleverly renamed it. On a final note, it helps to have a good quality surround sound system on your TV when you play the game, because it brings every nuance, every note to life. (Eg: In 2 player "DJ Battle", if you have a stereo sound set-up, the DJ "speaks" to each of you separately through different speakers!) But I digress... On with the quest to expose the delights of this game to the uninitiated. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ II. GAME SET-UP ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ The game's basic plot consists of pressing buttons on your playstation at the proper time, which is when a "note" of the song reaches the red line at the bottom of the screen. If done correctly, the pressing of the buttons activates a certain designated sound or music effect, that when combined with the background track that is already playing, makes for some pretty funky songs. The "practice mode" in Normal game play does a fine job of teaching the gamer the basic mechanics of the game. The main draw of the game is the infinite variety of songs and sounds that are housed within it. You are bound to like at least a couple of `em out of the more than 2 dozen or so tracks that are offered in this game. To name a few, the game has hip-hop, house ambient, techno, rave, jazz, break beats, ballads, (yes - ballads! What the hell?) and others more traditional types of songs your mom and pop would probably recognize. You are then scored depending on how well you did, as well as ranked on your over-all capabilities as a DJ. The beautiful thing about this game is that it can be played by anyone, young or old, and you can learn how to play it in one minute - no complicated controls, no having to solve complicated puzzles that take hours, or find clues. It only takes one game to get hooked, and the replay value is tremendous. ((Sigh - more shameless plugging!)) This is a game you can even play with a girlfriend who hates the traditional run-of-the-mill sports games or fighting games. Beatmania is a definite must at any College Frat Party you're throwing. Everyone is gonna want a turn on the controller once they start bobbing their heads to the music - guaranteed! I myself like it `cuz it's a game that you can play if you only have 10 minutes left before work, or you're trying to squeeze in a game before your next class. There are several different modes to keep the gamer amused, from training, to freeplay (just mess around!), to having the computer play the songs for you automatically and even an excellent review mode wherein the game coaches you and goes over how well you did note for note. So how does one play the game? Read on! ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ III. CONTROLS ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ The diagram below illustrates the controls best. As previously stated, the game calls for pressing a certain button at a certain time, or in many cases, many certain buttons all at the same time. I know it sounds easy, but there is more than meets the eye to this game. It takes hand-eye-to-eye coordination, an excellent sense of rhythm, an ear for music, and steady nerves. Yes, parents out there, this game is an excellent learning tool for the kiddies! (Yet another shameless plug... hey, can you tell how much I love this game?) So without further ado, here is more or less what the screen looks like, along with the necessary controller/button info: I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I Left control pad button is I===I I I I This note is colored grey. I I I I I L1 or L2 button is I === I I I This note is colored blue. I I I I I Square button is I I===I I I This note is colored grey. I I I I I R1 or R2 button is I I === I I This note is colored blue. I I I I I X button is I I I===I I This note is colored grey. I I I I I Circle button is I I I I======I This note is colored orange. I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I -------------------- -------------------- Once the note drops to the red bar at the bottom of the screen, that's when you should press the button that is assigned to each note. If done correctly, the computer will flash the prompt: "GREAT". If you do it acceptably so-so, the computer will flash "GOOD". Do it a little late or early, you will see "BAD". Press something you're not supposed to press or do it way too early or late, or don't press anything at all when you're supposed to, and the PSX will flash "POOR". Doesn't sound too complicated, does it? Try one of the techno songs at difficulty 5 and you'll see it's not all that easy. Sometimes, 2 or 3 notes come down simultaneously, and another 3 after that. You can end up twisting your fingers into knots trying to keep up sometimes! ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ IV. SCRATCHING TECHNIQUES AND OTHER TIPS ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ I'm assuming you've already played the game a few times and would just like some more info on the game. It's really something that if you practice, you can improve your skills. I say this because the pattern and timing of the songs are not random. If you play one song enough, you can memorize the whole thing and play the song correctly without even looking at the note guide on the screen - you would know which buttons to press just by listening to the background music (In fact, there is a mode in freeplay that "hides" the notes that come down, leaving you with only your instinct as to when to press the buttons). It also helps to have SOME sense of rhythm... For timing, I like to press the button just as the bottom of the note hits the red bar. This gets you a "GREAT" prompt 99% of the time. Also, I like to re- assign the controller designation for the leftmost note from the left control pad button to the Triangle button. That way, all the notes are within easy reach of one finger, which makes for easy "perfect" games. A perfect game is one where all of the notes in a certain song were played "GREAT", with no "GOOD", "BAD" or "POOR" ratings (It's 3110 extra points, by the way). There's also an "EDGE BONUS" if you manage to score just enough to land on the qualifying line that lets you move on to the next level - not too high or too little. The "DJ BATTLE" mode, which you can access after successfully completing 2 songs in "NORMAL MODE", is an excellent way to build your skills (Plus, you have got to check out that DJ you're battling - he's so wack it's funny! Trust me, take one look at this chump and you'll bust a gut cracking up!) The best technique is to listen to the song and remember approximately when a certain sounds effect or note comes in, and rather than looking at the screen, press the button after hearing the part of the song where you think it belongs. This can be practiced by entering the "Free" mode and then choosing "Hidden." In this mode, the notes fade from view before they reach the red line, leaving the gamer to rely on his/her inner sense of timing as to when to press the button. If you feel like coming up with some dope-ass tracks of your own, you can freestyle too! The Ambient song "Greed-eater" and Bossa Groove "Papaya Bossa" - French version are excellent for messing around, and you can come up with some truly kickin' songs that sound nowhere near the original. However, the game does recommend following the designated beat, (that is the object of the game after all) in order to get the highest maximum score. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ V. COMPLETE LIST OF SONGS FOR BOTH DISCS ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Once you've played a song on the game mode, you can access that song on the "training mode". If you haven't yet played a song on the game mode, you will see "???" where the song should be. For some reason, (and I haven't figured it out yet.any one who does, feel free to contact me and I will update this FAQ and give you credit) the computer exposes certain songs after you complete certain ones beforehand. Eg: My friends and I somehow seemed to always get "Konamix" and "Japanese Hip-hop" filled in last even though they're not the last songs on the order of difficulty. Here are all the songs, by disc, in order of ascending difficulty. P.S. I marked the songs I really liked with an asterisk (*) at the end. I gotta admit some of the songs are just really stupid, but some of them I wouldn't hesitate to play at a club! They're that good. Hell, I bump some of the beatmania tracks in my ride every now and then. So if you happen to go to Southern California and you pass by a black Honda CRX bumping the rave song "E-motion" from the Beatmania 2nd Arcade edition, wave hi! --Disc 1: Beat Mania 2nd Arcade Mix-- 1) Hip-hop "U Gotta Groove" 2) Reggae "Jam Jam Reggae" 3) Ambient "Beginning of Life" (1 Player mode only) * 4) Ambient "Greed Eater" (2 Player mode only) * 5) Break Beats "2 Gorgeous 4 U" * 6) Ballade "Do You Love Me" 7) Techno "Overdoser" (Romo Mix) 8) Hip-hop Street Mix "U Gotta Groove Triple `Mazin dub" 9) Japanese Hip-hop "Tokai" 10) DJ Battle 11) Konamix "Salamander Beat Crush Mix" * 12) Soul "Love So Groovy" 13) Rave "E-motion" * 14) House Spiritual Mix "Love so Groovy Nite's After Luv Mix" 15) Minimal Techno Mix "Overdoser" (Driving Dub Mix) 16) House "20.November" * 17) Ska "Ska a Go Go" 18) Drum `N Bass Mix "Deep Clear Eyes" 19) Hard Tekno "Acid Bomb" 20) Rave "E-motion" (2nd Mix) * -This last song is probably the best one if played in 2-Player mode correctly. Having a surround sound speaker system with your TV really helps the game stand out, since most of it is sound based. We played this at my friend's house with his zillion dollar surround sound set-up and it sounded rad! Then I brought the game home and played it on my 1960ish one-speaker TV. Talk about severe depression... --Disc 2: Yabisu "Append" Mix-- 1) Funk "Cat Song - theme of UPA" 2) Style Garage "Body" * 3) Bossa Groove "Papayapa Bossa" * 4) Asian Traditional "Changing the Asia" * 5) Speed Garage "Ain't it Good" * 6) Funky Jazz Groove "Stop the Violence" * 7) Hard House "I.C.B." 8) Bigbeat Mix "Metal Gear Solid" (Main Theme) * -This song contains visuals from the game (solid and liquid snake fighting, the now infamous "no smoking sign" found in many areas that snake flagrantly defies) and even contains some sound samples from the game (soliton radar sound effects, laser camera movements, Otacon's wimpy: "I've done all I can do, snake!" 9) Bossa Groove (French Version) "La Bossanova de Fabienne" * --New Update; Disc 3: Complete 3rd Mini-mix-- 1) Ambient "Life Goes On" 2) Soul "Find Out" 3) House "Wild I-O" 4) Reggae "Queen's Jamaica" 5) World Groove "Tribe Groove" (There are only 5 songs on the Complete Mini-mix) When I first got it, I felt a little ripped off, but it did come with a groovin' soundtrack that included some of the songs from the Arcade 2nd edition game. Besides, it is only meant as an add-on for the Beatmania series, and not a separate stand alone-game. Warning: Do not buy the 3rd Mix if you don't have Beatmania: The 2nd arcade edition. You won't be able to play it without the prequel. ****************************************************************************** VI. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: ****************************************************************************** --A Big up to my homey David "DJ TACO" M., without whom this FAQ would not have been possible. To borrow a phrase, "What up, fool!?!" Thanks for the game, PIKA, PIKA, PIKA!!! Oh and by the way... "I am STILL the king of this game!" Stick to wack-ass "King of Crusher"! Maybe you can make an FAQ for that dope game. TAP MANA! Bompire Butt! Heh, heh. "I love you guys, man..." (In a drunken voice) Found that Valient wing yet? It's right next to the obsidian blade and the nova shield! --Thanks to Chris "Here.you take it!" V. for contributing all those tips, carrying our sodas into the house in the pouring rain and teaching me how to match a vest, scarf and gloves, and just plain being a dope, cool-ass hat guy! "OH NOOOO!!!" Don't forget to play that ace-in-the-hole card in Magic: "Distraught Ronnie..." So when are we getting the Big-screen TV? Imagine that...a life-size Robot with a Laser-Shank! "GO TOOO HELLLLLLL! --A Fat shout-out to "Hep-cat Jive-daddy" Shawn H. for play-testing all those "Special CD-R's." You should make an FAQ for Brave Fencer Musashi, homey, if you can get off the phone with Erica for one minute! "You gotta throw that at `em every once in a while..." Licked any good chests lately? Oh, and don't forget to salt Kwazi up today... Ha, ha, ha! -- Major props to Konami for a kick-ass game line that caters to us Hip-hop enthusiasts...Hey, when are you porting this game and all those hyped sequels over to the United States? --And a hearty thanks to GAMEFAQS.COM for putting my FAQ on and helping all of us get the most out of our overseas games! --Finally, thanks to Pentium and Homer Simpson for collaborating on a cranial implant which "...limited covalence inhibitors and created triple-dense carbohydrates", thus giving the world the Super-Donut! Excelsior!