This walkthrough was originally written for DDR Ultramix: Dance Dance Revolution on the Xbox, but the walkthrough is still applicable to the PS2 version of the game.
Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix
for Microsoft Xbox
FAQ v.1.4 by Michael Kelehan
mkfaqs2 at hotmail dot com
Mike Kelehan on Xbox Live
February 26, 2004
Table of Contents
II. Game Modes
a. Game Mode
b. Battle Mode
i. Score Battle
ii. Point Battle
c. Workout Mode
d. Challenge Mode
e. Training Mode
f. Edit Mode
III. Xbox Live
a. How to Play
b. Live Features
i. Friends List
ii. Players List
iii. Voice Options
iv. Player Options
v. Player Rankings
vi. Download New Content
a. Initial Songs
b. Hidden Songs
c. Download Songs
i. Song Pack 1
ii. Song Pack 2
iii. Song Pack 3
V. DDR Strategy
a. Health Tips
b. Feel the Beat
c. Stay Off the Center!
d. Tricky Step Patterns
VI. Dance Pads
a. Mat Options
i. Xbox Mats
ii. PlayStation Soft Mats
iii. PlayStation Hard Platforms
b. Mat Modification
VIII. DDR Terminology
IX. Version History
Welcome to the Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix FAQ. Every mix of DDR except
for this one has a FAQ, so it's high time one gets made, I say.
First, I'll talk to the audience new to the game. Dance Dance Revolution is a
very simple game: arrows scroll to the top of the screen, and when one hits the
top, you press the corresponding button on your dance pad. If the arrow is
longer than usual, you hold it down until it's off the screen. If you miss, you
lose life; if you hit it at the right time, you gain life. Run out of life,
you're done, but make it to the end of the song and you pass. That's it. It's
easy to learn, but as you might imagine, it can get crazy later on... and
DDR is a member of Konami's Bemani series, which consists of rhythm games that
use special controllers. You CAN play the game with a normal Xbox controller,
but that's just nowhere near as fun as moving your body to play. This FAQ will
assume that you're using a dance pad.
What makes this mix different from the numerous mixes on the PS1 and PS2? New
to DDR are Battle Mode, for 1-4 players, and Xbox Live internet play. New to
the US is Challenge Mode. All of these modes will be explained in the next
What do other mixes have that this doesn't? Beginner and Lesson mode for the
new players, Oni and Nonstop modes for the experts. Also, this has only two
background dancers... but then, DDRMAX had zero.
II. Game Modes
This is the meat of the game, for one or two players. First you pick the type
of game: Single, for one player; Versus, for two players; or Double, for one
player on two dance pads. If you have the means for Double, I highly
recommend trying it.
Next, you pick your difficulty, either Light, Standard, or Heavy. Every song
has three different sets of steps, one for each of these settings. Light steps
are easier than Standard steps for the same song, which are in turn easier than
Heavy steps. However, all difficulties have a wide range; Max 300 on Light is
harder than After the Game of Love on Heavy.
Okay, now we get to the song selection. Use left and right to pick your song.
If you want to change difficulties, press up twice to go easier and down twice
to go harder. To resort the songs, press Start. Doing so switches between
normal song order, sort by speed, sort alphabetically, and sort by how often
it's been played. Under the song's banner on the left of the screen is a
number of feet, from one to ten. The more feet, the harder the song. There's
also the Groove Radar, which requires a Ph.D. to read. Air is how many jumps
are in the song, Freeze is how many freeze arrows you'll see, and the other
three just tell you how tired you'll be afterwards. To be more specific, it's
widely believed that Stream is the overall density of the steps, Voltage is
the peak density of the steps, and Chaos is the irregularity of the steps, but
Konami hasn't ever (to my knowledge) gone on the record with exactly what they
mean, so I wouldn't worry about them. Generally, the higher the
area of the radar, the harder the song... but it's easier to just go by feet.
Press A to select your song, or B to go back a screen. If you hold A, you can
change options, like the speed of the arrows (turning this up can make slower
songs easier to read), the time you get to see the arrows (make them disappear
halfway or just appear halfway), or change the difficulty if you forgot to
earlier. New to the Xbox version are Help Arrows, which flash yellow. If you
turn this option on, successfully hitting a Help Arrow will give you back a
good deal of life.
Now, we're playing. Step accurately to get a high score. Don't fail. The
less on your mind now, the better.
When an arrow reaches the top, it gives you one of these five words telling
you how well you hit it:
Perfect: Timing was spot-on. You get life back, a good amount of points, and
your combo counter increases by one. Combos mean nothing aside from
personal glory, being able to tell your friends, "I got a 200 combo!"
Great: You hit it pretty well. You'll get a little life back, a few points,
and your combo goes up one.
Good: Timing was so-so. Your life won't be affected, but you won't get any
points. This or any worse ranking will reset your combo to zero.
Almost: Timing could be a lot better. You'll lose life.
Boo: You were way off, or didn't hit it at all. You'll lose a good amount
Once you're done, you'll get a grade based on how well you did, ranging from E
(failed) to AAA (got all Perfects). Ready to play again?
Here, you can compete against friends to see who's the best dancer. If you
want, you can even play against computer players... although why you'd want to
i. Score Battle
For two to four players. Pick a song and a difficulty setting, and play until
the song is over. Whoever gets the most points wins. It's like the regular
Game Mode, except all players must be on the same difficulty level.
ii. Point Battle
This one's more interesting. It's only for two players. Each player gets 16
points, and every time a player makes a step worse than the other, they lose
a point. For instance, if player 1 gets a Great while player 2 gets a Perfect,
player 1 loses a point. The game ends when one player reaches zero. If that
never happens, whoever has the most points at the end of a song wins. It's a
great way to determine who's better at a hard song without playing through the
whole thing and killing yourself.
Are you fat? Do you want to stop being fat? Play this mode to track how many
calories you burn while playing the game.
Back in the day, the Japanese DDR 4th Mix and Extra Mix had this mode, where
you have to meet strange challenges to pass stages. These might be to get all
Goods on a song, or dance to one song while another plays... crazy stuff. Now,
this mode hits the US, and maybe you'll like it. I don't play this mode ever,
since I'm on Live all the time, but all the challenges are self-explanatory.
If a song is bothering you with its difficulty, try it here. You can play
without worrying about failure, or slow the song down to learn complex step
patterns. You can even turn on Assist, which is a metronome that helps you
keep the beat.
Make your own steps to songs, save them to the hard drive, and play them. Can
you make better steps than Konami? Consult your instruction manual to learn
the specifics of how to work the editor.
View how often you've played each song and the best score you've gotten on it.
You can also delete records, which you might do if someone else set them or
you set them with a controller.
Adjust all sorts of options, like difficulty, announcer voices (I say turn them
off), dancers (same), and even turn the arrows into turtles. Why not, I say.
III. Xbox Live
This... this is where the fun is. Play against total strangers or best
friends. Find out if you're better than the rest of the world, and even if
you're not, you'll have a great time doing it. You can play in either of the
two battle modes with people across the country.
While you're on Live, instructions for navigating the menus rotate on the
bottom right of the screen. Look down there if said menus confuse and/or
There are two ways you can join an existing game. Select Quickmatch to be
randomly thrown in an open game. If you pick Optimatch, you can narrow down
your search for specific songs, difficulties, and modes, and then select from
a list of open games that match your criteria. To see a list of all open
games, select Optimatch and leave all fields on "Any."
A quick note: there are a few bugs on Optimatch. If you get an empty list of
games, press up to see the games. If you get a short list of games, but none
are yellow (indicating that you don't have one selected), press up to see more.
But let's say there aren't any games open that you want to play. Make your
own by selecting Create Game. You pick a song, pick a difficulty, pick a mode,
and choose how many players can play. You choose how many slots to have open,
each of which can be filled by another player. This doesn't include you, so if
you wanted a game for up to 4 players, you'd leave 3 slots. Public slots can
be joined by anyone, but private slots can only be joined by your Friends.
When you create the game, you're the "host," and so you're responsible for
starting the game, which we'll talk about in a bit.
When you're in the game, you'll have a list of the players on the left, along
with what type of controller they're using. If there's a plus-shaped icon,
they're using an Xbox dance pad, while a Controller S indicates that the player
is using either an Xbox controller or a PSX dance pad. On the right is a menu
where you can access your Friends list, player list, and voice options, which
will be covered in the next session. You can hit Quit to exit the game and go
back to the Live menu. If you joined the game, the top button is Ready, which
you have to click on before the game can start. The host can click Start when
everyone else is ready. Unready players appear dimmed out to the host.
During the game, you can see everyone's playfield. Everyone has the same
arrows, so it's not necessary to look at anyone else's field. You know which
one belongs to you because it has a number on the bottom. A green circle
indicates a player that's connected to you, while a red one means that you lost
your connection to that player, but they're still playing and you'll still get
points if you beat them.
At the end of the game, you see a results screen. You can see how everyone
did, and talk to them about it. For everyone you beat, you get a point for the
game rankings, so the more you play, the higher you'll rank. Once you press A,
you're thrown back to the Live menu, so if you want to play again, you'll have
to get into another game.
i. Friends List
You can maintain a list of Friends across the Live service, sort of like an
instant messenger buddy list. It'll tell you who's online and in what game.
You can invite some of them to join your game, even if they're playing
If you want to add someone to your Friends List, there are three ways. One,
you can click on them from the Players List (which will come next) and send a
Friend Invite. The next time they're on their Friends List, they'll see your
invite, and can accept or decline it. You can also send an invite by manually
entering the player's name in the Xbox Live Dashboard, which you get to by
clicking Xbox Live on the main Dashboard when you boot up the system with no
game in the drive. Finally, you can accept someone else's invite to add them
to your list. Friends are mutual; if you're on someone's list, they're on
When you get a Friend Request while you're on Live, a blue icon that looks like
a triangular man appears on the bottom right of your screen. When someone
invites you to join their game, you'll get a blue icon with an envelope.
Little-known fact: you can view the online status of your friends without being
on Live at all. If you go to the Xbox Live section of Xbox.com and then go to
My Live, you can sign in with your .Net Passport (Hotmail account) and link it
to your Gamertag. You can then view what your friends are playing from any PC.
ii. Players List
If you click Players in a game, or go to Players List from Player Options, you
can pull up a list of the last few people you've seen on Live. You can see
their voice options as well, which we'll discuss in the next section. If you
want to, you can invite any of them to your Friends List, or mute them if
they're really getting on your nerves.
iii. Voice Options
Here, you can choose if you want other players' voices to go in your earpiece
(default), through the TV (good if you want to hear players talking while you
play, since it's a pain to dance with the headset on), or off, if you're tired
of hearing people altogether. You can also turn on voice masking, but please
iv. Player Options
Not too much fun stuff here. You can change your online status to make
yourself appear offline, in case you want to play but are dodging your friends,
you antisocial hermit. You can also go to the Players List and change your
v. Player Rankings
Are you in it for the fun, or the glory? Ultramix gives you both, with these
rankings. Score and Point Battle Rankings are the real draw here, where
whoever beat the most players gets the highest ranking. It also lists how many
rivals everyone has played, so you can get an idea of who's winning all the
time and who's brute forcing their way to the top.
There are also rankings for offline song play, which uses your best score from
all three difficulties, individually, on both Single and Double. Now, since
score is a function of the number of feet (a maximum of 50,000,000 points times
the number of feet), the highest Light Single scores will be AAAs on Ready
Steady Go and La Senorita Virtual. I would've preferred individual song
rankings, but what can you do.
While viewing rankings, you can press A to go to one of three places on the
list: Yourself, Top 100, and Friends. The first two are pretty obvious; the
third takes you to a list of your friends and lets you choose who you want to
view. You can then see exactly where they're ranked. Perfect for rivalries.
I'll get you, Kloaked Spirit, if it's the last thing I doooooooooooo...
The Y button will refresh the rankings, if you stay on the list for a while.
For offline score rankings, press X to upload your scores. If you have a
better one than the last one you uploaded, it'll send the higher one and show
you how you improved in the rankings.
vi. Download New Content
This is the shop, where you can buy new songs. $5 for 5 songs is the going
rate right now, and it'll probably stay that way. Rumor has it that Microsoft
won't allow anything to be sold for less than $5, which is ridiculous, but
then, that wouldn't be the first ridiculous rule in the video game industry.
Remember that Sony used to have an all-games-must-have-endings rule, so no
puzzle games, and Nintendo wouldn't allow the word "death" in game titles.
The best and worst thing about playing online is the other players. They can
be great, they can be awful. You want to be one of the former, don't you?
1. Stay calm.
If someone doesn't start up the game, give them some time, or calmly ask them
if they're ready to start. Don't get crazy about steps you miss, or players
who beat you.
2. Shut up during the song.
It's usually best to take your mic off while you play, so people don't hear
you panting in exhaustion. If you want to say "Aw!" when you miss a step, or
"Nice!" when someone full combos a tough part, go ahead; that's why we have
voice chat. Screaming into the mic or singing along really, really pisses
people off, and will 100% always get you muted by everyone. Remember, it saves
who mutes you, so there are no second chances.
3. Tolerance is important.
Other players may have a controller icon next to their name, indicating that
they're either using a regular Xbox controller or a PSX dance mat. That's how
they want to play, and it's not hurting you. Let them enjoy their game any way
they want to. You can still win.
4. Don't use voice masking.
Every Xbox Live game has voice masking, for privacy reasons. In actuality, it
just annoys people, and makes it harder to understand what you say. Just don't
5. Enjoy the game.
This is a game; enjoy it. Don't get hung up on anything, like controller users
or your mat acting up or ANYTHING. Just have fun.
This is what you came for, isn't it? Ultramix doesn't have the highest number
of songs ever, but it's still not too shabby. The song list will follow this
Beats per minute (bpm)
Difficulty on Single Light/Standard/Heavy Double Light/Standard/Heavy
Information, if any
The information could be the song's history, tips on playing it, or whatever I
want. It's my FAQ. For hidden songs, the Information will always contain
the conditions you need to meet to unlock them.
What's that name mean? .59 in Japanese is pronounced "tengokyuu," while
"tengoku" means "heaven." Get it? A fun song to start out the song list.
You'll see this online a lot; everyone seems to like it. Once you've got a
hang of reading streams of arrows, this becomes a joy to play on Heavy.
ABSOLUTE (CUFF-N-STUFF IT MIX)
A cool new mix of the DDR classic Absolute, which was originally a Beatmania
classic. The part in the end will screw you up every time, and remember that
steps are worth more points later in the song, so it can be beneficial to
practice just the last few seconds in Training Mode.
AFTER THE GAME OF LOVE
This originally appeared in the US without its lyrics in Konamix as After the
Game, but now you can hear it in its full beasty glory. How the game's rated
E with it in there, I'll never know. This may be the first song you AAA, and
it's the only one foot song in the game. If you want to start Doubles play
with a one foot song, tough luck.
BALLAD FOR YOU
NM featuring Thomas Howard
Thomas Howard returns with a song that, believe it or not, is even sappier than
Silent Hill. The song, not the game. Without pumping up the speed, you'll
have trouble with this one even on Standard. It's not seen online very often,
simply because it's not too much fun. But maybe you'll like it.
CAN'T STOP FALLIN' IN LOVE (SPEED MIX)
A favorite from 5th Mix, making its US debut. Playing on Light can give a
first-timer an opportunity to practice crossovers, and playing on Heavy isn't
complicated but it gets your blood pumping. If you've got the skill to beat
9-footers and you're full of energy, this one can be a lot of fun, and will
blow the minds of your friends.
The version of Candy mysteriously absent from MAX2 US. Oddly enough, the
Heavy steps in this one are the same as Candy(star)'s, which explains why I
remember having more fun playing them in MAX2 JP. The Standard steps are still
plenty fun, though.
CASTLES IN THE SKY
Ian Van Dahl featuring Marsha
Exclusive US licensed track. You might lose the timing on some of the arrows
when they switch to the offbeats, so watch the color of the arrows carefully.
Also, on Heavy, watch for gallops where you might think you're doing 8th beats.
Try it with the arrows sped up a few times to get the hang of where they are,
and watch them carefully after that.
Be For U
Every DDR game since 4th Mix had a version of Dive, I think. This is the one
that started it all. Fun steps on Light and Standard, not on Heavy I think.
DO THAT THANG (M*A*S*H RADIO EDIT)
Exclusive US licensed track. Many think this is the best of them. It's the
only one with a real video playing in the background. Steps aren't too rough,
nor are they too simple.
DROP THE BOMB SY S F MIX
This was the big unlock in MAX US, which required playing 500 songs to unlock.
You get to play it right out of the box. An online favorite, thoroughly
enjoyable and not too tricky on any difficulty.
ELECTRO TUNED (THE SUBS MIX)
RevenG's always good for a challenge.
A good, new-agey track that you need to beat to get its tougher brother. It
starts really slow, then picks up to become quite fast, so messing with the
speed will bite you in the tail at some point. Your best bet to learn this,
if you can't do it the normal way, is to practice it in Training Mode.
L. E. D. Light featuring Goro
INSERTION (MACHINE GUN KELLY MIX)
What does that name MEAN?
KEEP ON MOVIN' (DMX MIX)
N. M. R.-typeG
KEEP YA BODY MOVIN'
This is pretty slow, but it can be fun. New players like to play this one, and
veterans can join in. Freestyling with your upper body just sort of happens.
I dare you to tell me you don't like Kind Lady. I dare you. Enjoyable song,
enjoyable steps... it's on every mix for a reason.
LA SENORITA VIRTUAL
The only song with roughly the same difficulty on all three difficulties,
although they all have different steps. I wonder why they didn't include the
original La Senorita; it's much better.
LET THE BEAT HIT EM! (CLASSIC R&B STYLE)
LET'S TALK IT OVER
Shin Murayama featuring Argie Phine
LOOK TO THE SKY: TRUE COLOR MIX
Sy S. F. featuring Anna
I hope you like this guy's work. I hear tell DJ Sota is going to replace Naoki
as the music director for future DDR versions. I look forward to it.
LUV TO ME (DISCO MIX)
You might be surprised at how much you like this song. I was. Originally from
the now-obscure Bemani game Para Para Paradise.
ON THE JAZZ
Another favorite for new players. This is just an SOB on Heavy, though. You
have to KNOW the song to be able to do it, and even then, it's rough. Again,
try it sped up a few times.
L. E. D. Light
Also fun. Knowing the song ahead of time can really help with some of the
steps, so try it on Light and Standard before jumping in Heavy.
Every mix of DDR has had at least one mix of Paranoia. Some people have their
favorite version, but if you ask me, they all sort of blend together. They're
always known for their challenge, so good luck with this one.
READY STEADY GO
Exclusive US licensed track. Don't be fooled into thinking this is super-
tough, because it's not. The arrows speed up at one point where the song
doesn't really do so; you'll know that part is coming when you see the arrows
spaced out twice as much as before. Keep the same beat, and you're fine.
SANA MOLLETE NE ENTE
Togo Project featuring Sana
"If it's only 90bpm, how can it be 8 feet?" You've clearly never heard of Bag.
Try it on Heavy, just try it, without turning up the speed. Holy hell, did you
see all those arrows? After playing it a few times, though, you can read them
with some help from memorization.
Good for beginners on Light, and another tough reader for Heavy without
speeding up the arrows.
Oni remix is actually a better song, which is rare, but we don't get that.
SHINY DISCO BALLS
Who Da Funk
Exclusive US licensed track. The original version has more lyrics other than
just the title, but they don't add too much. You like it or you don't; I think
SO IN LOVE
DJ Rich featuring Tail Bros.
SWEET SWEET (HEART) MAGIC
This one will get you on Heavy. It's got one of those pauses midway in the
song that'll really trip you up if you're not expecting it... so expect it.
THE EARTH LIGHT
L. E. D. Light
THERE 4 YOU
TRIP MACHINE (LUV MIX)
The Trip Machines, like the Paranoias, are known for their challenge. They're
built from the ground up for that purpose, although I would argue that they
sound a lot better than the Paranoias.
RevenG vs. De-Sire
Ah, gallops. It's one of those songs that you try and say, "OH SWEET JESUS!
HOW AM I EVER TO DO THAT?" And then you do, but just barely. You keep doing
it, and it gets easier and easier, until it takes almost no effort to pass. At
least, that's how it is for me.
COLORS (FOR EXTREME)
Play 90-100 songs to unlock this. The easiest way to unlock this quickly, if
you play online a lot but not offline, is to repeatedly start songs and then
hold Back to quit them. That'll get you the Colors in about 5 minutes. This
is a very fun song that a lot of people like to play online, so I do recommend
getting it quickly. On DDR Extreme, this has Oni steps that clock in at 9
feet, but we don't get them in this version. Still, the 7-foot Heavy steps are
a lot of fun.
GRADIUSIC CYBER (ANOTHER)
Get a AA on any song to unlock this one. This is a tough song that's different
from the Gradiusic Cyber you may be used to, hence the "Another," even though
the game itself makes no mention that it's Another version.
HEALING VISION (ANGELIC MIX)
Pass Healing Vision on all three difficulties to get this. The Heavy steps on
this are widely regarded as one of the hardest 9-footers around, so good luck
with them. It's tiring, very tiring. This is known for its abrupt pause in
the middle that will take you totally by surprise, and then jump right back in
full swing, so watch out for it.
Get a AAA on any song, or land on it in Roulette and pass it. The original bad
boy, this one will hurt you. Some of the self-proclaimed DDR experts will say
that this is an easy song, but they're what we call "poseurs." It's hard, very
hard, and there's nothing wrong with that. Warm up before you attempt this.
The steps aren't complicated, there's just a lot of them, and they fly at you
at an alarming rate.
MGS2 MISSION R
L. E. D. Light
Get an A on any song to get this remix of music from the great MGS2, a game
known more for its terrible story than its excellent gameplay. The Heavy
version has what I call machine gun steps, in which you'll have to step the
same two arrows very rapidly. Just keep hammering on them until it's over
without worry of timing and you'll get most, if not all of them.
ORION .78 (CIVILIZATION MIX)
Either play 300 songs or beat all of Challenge Mode for this very unimpressive
song. Yes, it's just my opinion... but man, I hate this one. It's a
challenge, but if Jesus himself picked it on Live, I wouldn't play it with him.
Beat all three difficulties of Paranoia Eternal to get the Rebirth.
If you've heard one Paranoia...
PUT YOUR FAITH IN ME (SATURDAY NIGHT MIX)
Just fail any song to get this one. If you haven't gotten it yet, then you
will; just keep playing 9-10 foot songs and it'll happen. It's a nice remix
of an old DDR favorite. Not too hard, downright relaxing in fact.
SANA MOLLETE NE ENTE (BLT STYLE)
Togo Project featuring Sana
Conquer all three difficulties of the first Sana to unlock this sandwich-titled
mix. It starts at the same speed as the first, but then kicks in to twice
that. A personal favorite. If you're having trouble unlocking it, try
doubling the speed on Sana.
All Song Packs are $5 each, and contain 5 songs. Click Download New Content on
Xbox Live to get them. There isn't, and almost certainly won't be, a way for
users without Live to get them.
i. Song Pack 1
A fun song from 5th Mix. I was hesitant to buy the song pack at first, since
there are only two new songs, but then I remembered that I really like Abyss.
Think back... you probably do too.
BURNIN' THE FLOOR
Stock Naoki fare. Fun but unmemorable.
BURNING HEAT! (3 OPTION MIX)
Mr. T. featuring Motoaki F.
Unlike Gradiusic Cyber, which was only inspired by Gradius, this one is
straight-up based on it. It's even got some of the old classic sounds towards
the end. And, on Heavy, it's a beast. Real easy on Light, tough as all hell
on Heavy, this one runs the gamut. Something for everyone.
IN MY EYES
One of the two new-to-DDR songs in SP1, it's very good. I hope you like freeze
arrows, because this has some great ones. This is the song that sold me on the
The other new song in SP1, and also lots of fun. Also, like In My Eyes, it's
got some great freezes. Maybe that's going to be standard for new songs in
ii. Song Pack 2
A remix of one of the first 9-footers, it's fast and it's fun. The 4-foot
Light steps may be the first 200+ bpm song you beat.
Slow, and second in trickiness only to Ballad For You on this mix. I recommend
turning up the bass on your sound system to help you keep the beat on it. You
love it or you don't, and I think I don't.
U1 Jewel Style
I'm a little surprised it took all the way until SP2 for this song. It's
notable for being one of the most recognizable Konami Originals that has never
seen a playable remix. The steps might get a little confusing on Heavy, but
it's pretty simple on Light and Standard, and has always been a fun song since
its debut in 4th Mix.
L. E. D.
This is probably the best song on SP2, in my opinion. Lots of freeze again;
its Groove Radar looks like In My Eyes'. L. E. D. is certainly getting his
share of songs in this mix, and I'm all for it.
L. E. D. -G
Yeah, you heard me. 10 feet. Playing this on Heavy is a hardcore player's
dream, and quite a stamina sucker. I think it's a little easier than Max 300,
but harder than Sakura, a 10-footer from Extreme. The steps aren't too
complicated, but the speed and length (about 1:50) will come together to bring
you down. Good luck to ye. It is glitched a bit: the speed of the song
increases before the steps do early in the song, and so you actually have to
make the steps before they hit the top to get a full combo. Of course, if you
CAN FC this song, you'll have no trouble remembering where these steps are.
iii. Song Pack 3
According to Konami representatives on the DDRFreak.com forums, SP3 will come
out on March 1, 2004, and will include the following songs:
Analyze by B. Band J
Baby Baby Gimme Your Love 2002 by Divas
Battle Breaks by DJ Takawo
Dynamite Rave by Naoki (the only one returning from past DDR mixes)
Nemesis by D.J. Setup
V. DDR Strategy
This is a section mainly for players new to DDR, since DDR gameplay hasn't
changed at all since the introduction of freeze arrows... and even that wasn't
a huge change from when DDR was introduced back in 1998. The only Xbox-
specific strategy is this: when you play on Live, don't wear the headset. You
may trip on the cord.
The number one tip I can give you is to practice, and practice a lot. Your
skill is directly related to how much you've played, so keep at it, and don't
get discouraged. Keep challenging yourself, too; if you can beat 5-foot songs,
play sixes now and then.
Keeping your controller in good working order is an important part of playing
any game, and in this one, your whole body is your controller. Don't eat less
than a half hour before playing, and be sure to stretch before playing, or you
might cramp up. If stomach cramps occur, eat a banana and wait a while before
continuing play. Drink lots of water before, during, and after play - not soda
or juice. Gatorade is fine, but water really is best. If you're tired, take
a break before the next song. You should push yourself to get better, but not
Another important thing to remember that many people forget is that you don't
need to slam on the arrows for them to register on home mats. That saves you
quite a bit of energy, when you learn you only need to lift your foot a little
bit. With jumps, bend your knees to exert less energy and make less noise.
The lighter you hit the arrows, the longer you can play.
Beginning players often make the mistake of watching the arrows rise to the top
and trying to hit them at the right time using visual cues alone. That makes
sense, except this is a music game, and so the music is there to help. The
stationary arrows on the top of the screen flash with the beat of the music,
and most notes (especially on Light mode) are in perfect synch with that beat.
Watch the stationary arrows flash at the beginning of the song before the
arrows start rising and get a feel for the song's beat, and hit the arrows with
that beat. To summarize, you watch WHAT arrows to hit, but you listen and feel
WHEN to hit them.
To keep the beat throughout the song, it may help to count out the beat quietly
(one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four...) or breathe in and out with
alternating beats. Also, remember that you're not penalized for extra steps.
I like to make steps at every beat, even if there are no arrows, just to make
sure I keep right on the beat. When you're trying to AAA a song, that's
Some songs like to change up beats on you, like Ready Steady Go, or even come
to a sudden stop and start up again, like Sweet Sweet and Healing Vision
Angelic. The only way you can be prepared for this is by playing the song
enough to anticipate it.
Every beginner, bar none, makes the same mistake in the beginning: they step on
an arrow, then return the foot to the center of the pad. This is absolutely,
positively NOT what you want to do, period. It means that you're effectively
making two steps instead of one, thus making it twice as hard on yourself. In
addition, this can cause missteps, because while you think your foot's in the
middle, it's actually on the edge of one of the arrows, so when you try to hit
that arrow with your other foot, it doesn't register. The simple solution is
to keep your foot on the arrow until you need to move it. The next arrow you
need to hit with that foot could very well be the arrow it's on, saving you
When you've played a lot, you stop seeing individual arrows and see patterns.
Recognizing and knowing what to do with these patters is the key to moving from
having difficulty on 4-foot songs to being able to do 8-footers in your sleep.
I'll be using some abbreviations here:
L left arrow
R right arrow
U up arrow
D down arrow
LF left foot
RF right foot
A triple is a set of three arrows, with the first and last on consecutive beats
and the middle one between them. You have to hit these twice as fast as
regular beats, and so it trips people up. The important thing to remember is
that you want to alternate feet. If the triple is, say, U-R-D, you'll want to
hit it LF-RF-LF. You do not want to go RF-RF-LF or LF-RF-RF, because that
would involve moving your right foot very quickly, and it would not only tire
you out faster, but send your accuracy down the crapper.
Of course, if the triple involves two of the same step in a row, like L-L-R or
U-U-L, you'll want to hit them with the same foot. That's the only exception
to the rule. A special kind of triple starts with either L or R and ends on
the opposite arrow, which requires a crossover.
You'll want to do a crossover if you see one of these four triple patterns:
L-D-R R-D-L L-U-R R-U-L
You'll remember I said that for triples you want to hit them with alternating
feet, and I stand by that rule. "But," you may be thinking, "that would
require me to hit L with RF, or R with LF! Such a thing is unnatural!" That's
exactly what I want you to do. It's called a crossover because your foot
crosses over to the other side of the mat, where it usually isn't. Let's use
L-D-R as an example. A beginner might hit it LF-RF-RF, which is totally what
we don't want, because you're using RF twice in a row. If you've already
started the triple LF-RF, go ahead and bring LF over to R to finish it up. If
you see the crossover coming a mile away, you can start it with RF, so you'll
end with RF on R, which is a much more desirable position. Either way is fine,
though; I honestly usually do that one LF-RF-LF myself.
Can't Stop Fallin' In Love (Speed Mix) is a great song to use to master the
crossover. Its Light steps use L-D-R-D-L on regular beats, so you can practice
it without much pressure. Its heavy steps have large streams of crossovers, so
once you can pass that you'll be set to use the technique for the rest of your
Yes, like a horse. A gallop is a set of two arrows very close to each other,
like a triple but without the third step, and often much much closer together.
Tsugaru on Standard and particularly Heavy has a lot of these. The trick is
to treat these like jumps, but to land on one of them a little before the
other. You absolutely don't want to use the same foot for a gallop, unless
it's an emergency. You might find yourself in a position where you pretty much
have to unless you want to face away from the screen, and then it's okay, but
don't come crying to me if you get a Good.
Shiny Disco Balls has some nice, slow gallop practice on all three
difficulties, when the singer is saying, "Disco, disco, disco, shiny disco,
disco..." Tsugaru Heavy, as mentioned before, is your test for gallop mastery.
Some songs have long streams of arrows on and in between the beats. Speeding
up the arrow flow to 1.5x can help read them. The key, as before, is to
alternate feet as much as possible. Sometimes, it'll make it easier to use
the same foot twice in a row, but as a general rule try to minimize that. This
just takes practice.
VI. Dance Pads
Like most Bemani games, you can play with a stock controller, but getting the
special game-specific one is much more fun. To get the most out of DDR, you'll
have to get a dance pad, but there's more to it...
i. Xbox Mats
Probably the easiest thing to do is get an Xbox-specific mat. Easily the best
of these is the Konami Dance Dance Revolution Controller, or simply Konami mat,
but as of now the only way to get it is from either the bundle, where it adds
$20-$25 to the cost of the game, or from RedOctane.com, where it's a whopping
$45. Still, it's the most accurate soft mat out there, and has two memory
card slots built right into it so you can plug in your voice communicator. For
some annoying reason, you can't just plug your communicator into controller 2
and talk through that, so you'll have to pay extra for that feature on the mat.
In addition to the official mat, there are a number of unofficial soft mats,
from such companies as Naki and Mad Catz. These range from $20-$30, but be
careful; many have no expansion slots, so you'll have to plug in your
controller every time you want to talk. They also tend to break faster than
the Konami mat, starting to miss steps that you clearly hit, and slide around
on the floor more. Some are universal for PSX and Xbox, which is a good deal
in theory... but remember, you're sacrificing quality for convenience.
Ignition-style Xbox mats are starting to appear, at websites like levelsix.com.
These tend to be more comfortable and less slidy, thanks to a 1" foam insert
in the mat. This drives the cost up, but can improve your game just because
it can never bunch up by design. However, again, these aren't official, so
you don't really know how long they will last.
If you want a good soft mat, the best thing to do (in my opinion, anyway) is to
get a Konami mat with the bundle when you buy the game, and then modify it,
which will be discussed shortly.
ii. PlayStation Soft Mats
If you, like so many Ultramix players, already have a PSX or PS2 version of
DDR, you almost certainly already have a mat. With a PS-Xbox controller
adaptor (various brands, $25 or so), you can use that mat on your Xbox. It's
cheaper than getting a Konami mat separate, but not cheaper than getting it in
the bundle. Make sure you try it before throwing away the receipt, though, as
a lot of converters have a split-second delay between button press and action,
which is murder for DDR. There are a few other caveats, though.
The first problem, and the only one that will affect your gameplay, is that
you can't turn button input off. That means that the X, O, and in some mats
triangle and square buttons will register as arrows when you step on them.
This can cause trouble in more ways than you might think. For example, let's
say you need to press up, then down. You step on up with the front of your
right foot, but your heel goes on the X button. The game, then, believes
you're already hitting the down arrow, so when you press down, nothing happens,
and you get a Boo. While it may not sound it, that sort of thing will happen
all the time, and really bug you.
The other problems have to do with Live play. Not all converters have the
standard Xbox expansion slots on them, so you wouldn't be able to talk on Live.
Even if they do, they don't come with the handy headset extension cable that
Xbox mats do, so you'll have to go up to the adaptor to talk and then go back
to the mat to dance. Also, no matter what adaptor you use, you'll show up as
a controller user to other players, so the less tolerant may scream at you and
refuse to start the game. It's best to just mute them and go somewhere else;
they're not worth the trouble.
If you've already got a Konami mat for PSX, that's pretty much just like the
Xbox mat, but you'll have to deal with button input and you won't have the
headset port. Not bad for a second mat for Versus and Doubles play. Third
party mats tend to be the same as third party Xbox mats; in fact, most third
party Xbox mats are just PSX mats with a different controller connector. They
don't come recommended.
There is one company, however, that makes and sells soft mats of arguably
higher quality than Konami themselves... but at a price. This is RedOctane.
They make a soft thin mat with excellent accuracy for $50, and the real
Ignition for $100. The Ignition is widely regarded as the Rolex of soft mats,
and if you're not into modding, you can't do better for the PSX. However, us
Xbox users will still have to deal with the above mentioned conversion woes.
You can get the Ignition from redoctane.com and some GameStop/Babbage's stores.
iii. PlayStation Hard Platforms
Serious DDR players will swear that the only way to play is on a hard surface
with a hard platform made of metal, with buttons either of hard plastic or
plexiglass. You can find some of these online, for around $100. For $200, you
can get RedOctane's model, which is, as you'd expect, better. These platforms
do have a problem with breaking, though, and if you like to play in socks, you
might get yourself a nice blister. Also, if you miss a jump and land on a
corner of the thing, you could be in some serious pain. On the plus side, they
won't slide at all, and you can wear shoes. Some also even have bars you can
hang on to, to help you pass Max 300 without draining your stamina.
But if you're willing to spend the money on a great hard platform, there's only
one way to go: the Cobalt Flux, from CobaltFlux.com. This SOB runs about $300,
but those who've bought them swear they're worth every penny. If the Ignition
is a Rolex, this is Big Ben. And not only that, but there's tell that the CF
folks are working on their own Xbox adaptor for it, so it'll be recognized as
a mat on Live and you won't have to worry about the normal conversion issues.
It's pricey, but if you're bleeding money and love DDR, look into it.
Without a doubt, the easiest mats to get your hands on are soft ones, but
they have problems. They bunch up, they slide around, and on a thick carpet,
accuracy isn't great. For a little bit of money, though, you can mod it, and
really enhance your experience.
First, if you plan on playing Double, you absolutely need to tape the two mats
together. Having them slide about will make the game not only more difficult,
but actually impossible.
The mod that I use is simple. Start with a Konami mat. Any soft mat will do,
but the Konami mat is, as mentioned earlier, the best of them. Now, get
yourself an Ignition mat insert from RedOctane.com's DDR store, located here:
Ignition Pad Dense Foam Insert, in the Other subsection of the PSX section,
$15. Okay, got it? Now tape your mat down on top of it really tight with some
good packing tape. I like to use long strips in a "C" shape, wrapping around
both the mat and the insert. One on both sides of each arrow, for a total of
8 strips of tape. Boom, you're done. Those inserts are what makes the
Ignition style mats so good, because they absorb the pressure of the steps and
much of the sound while maintaining the mat's accuracy. It won't bunch up
and will slide less. It won't stop sliding entirely, but it won't slide
enough to screw you up even if you're playing Max 300 Heavy.
Want to play with shoes on? You can mod your mat further by either cutting a
hard plastic carpet cover and taping that on top, or taping on a RedOctane mat
cover. It's also $15 from the same page as the insert.
If you're playing with shoes on, and noise level isn't important, you can
replace the Ignition insert in the first step with a piece of plywood, the
thicker the better. It won't absorb the shock, so it'll be like dancing on
a hardwood floor, but it won't slide at all. I think using the Ignition insert
is more comfortable, but others swear by plywood.
Kevin Abato sends in this alternate mat mod...
"I got the mad Catz pad, and have not had any issues with it. It does however
bunch up and move, but I found a low cost solution for fixing it.
I looked up the info for the "DDR Chubby Pad" on goggle, and modified his steps
(less expensive and easier to do)
I got a piece of Pegboard cut to 32"x36" (size of the pad)
Cut a piece of Optiplex (Plexiglas) from Loews to the same size
I put down the peg board, then the pad, then the Plexiglas (all as one sheet)
on top. I put Office "binder Clips" on the edges to hold it all together.
WALLA! The mat stays still, and can take a pounding! It works really well and
takes about 10 minutes and $20 to make."
No matter which route you take, you've got a great mat now, at not too bad of a
cost. And all it took was some ingenuity, and lots and lots of tape.
Oh, right, this is a FAQ, isn't it? Okay, here we go.
Q: Can I make steps to the songs I ripped to my Xbox hard drive and dance to
A: No. If you could do that, why would you ever download new songs? Follow
the money, as they say.
Q: Will Konami release the song packs on disc, so those of us who don't have
Live can get them?
A: No, never. See, if that happened, one person would buy the disc, and then
he'd install it on all of his friends' Xboxes. That causes Konami to lose
Q: What about downloading new steps to songs? Surely, you can do that.
A: Nope, not yet anyway.
Q: How to I unlock more dancers?
A: You can't. Sure, there's only two, but at least the choreography is much
better than in past DDR games. I turn them off, anyway.
Q: Why should I pay $5 for 5 songs? Shouldn't all downloads be free?
A: Well, you payed $40 for 50 songs, so it's not much worse. I say be
thankful Konami's giving you the option to expand your song library at all.
Song Packs are an option, not a requirement; no one's forcing you to download
Q: When's the next Song Pack coming out?
A: No one will know until it's actually out. Just check every day or so.
Konami aims to have one out every month from here on.
Q: I got a higher letter grade than the one that was saved, but my old, worse
grade is still there! What gives?
A: It saves the best score, and score and letter grade are calculated based on
different criteria. While a better score generally yields a better grade, it
doesn't always (see next question for why). So, if you get an A on a song
with a worse score than the B you got before, it keeps the B.
Q: Both myself and someone else full comboed a song online, but I got more
perfects. However, he won! What up?
A: Steps are worth more towards the end of the song. If he got his Greats in
the beginning and you got yours in the end, he wins.
Q: Why does it say I completed all of the challenges in Challenge Mode? I know
A: Once you play 300 songs in Game Mode, it says you completed all the
challenges. It's a bug in the game.
Q: My combo was higher than the total number of Greats and Perfects I got in
the song. How so?
A: Jumps count as two towards the combo, but only one towards the final count.
The difference in the tally is the number of jumps you did.
Q: I got a AA without getting a full combo once. Not only that, but one time
I got a full combo and only got a single A!
A: AA does NOT mean full combo. That's a common misconception, and indeed
you're more likely to get the AA if you FC the song. However, it's not a
requirement. If you get 160 Perfects, 8 Greats, and 2 Goods, you're a shoo-in
for a AA. If you get 100 Perfects and 70 Greats, though, it's looking more
like an A or B.
Q: Is the timing different from the PS versions?
A: Yes. You get used to it after a few days, but then you need to totally
relearn PS timing when you switch back. It's a pain.
Q: When I play DDR in the arcades, there's no Almost step grade, and there's
one called "Miss."
A: Yeah, that's something they've always changed for American releases. In
Japan, Boo is the second worst you can do, and Miss is the absolute worst. For
us, Boo was changed to Almost, and Miss was changed to Boo. This is, I assume,
to not discourage people. Almost implies that you nearly got it, and just a
little more effort is required, while Boo implies you didn't try at all. The
Japanese will Boo you if they know you tried and yet you still fail... and
that's just mean.
Q: How do I play system link?
A: You can't. The box lied to your face.
Q: Will this come out in countries other than the US?
A: Canada, probably not, thanks to some licensing problems. PAL territories
will be getting Dancing Stage Unleashed for their Xboxes, which has four new
songs. Japan, well... neither of the Xbox owners who live there will be able
to get it, it looks like.
Q: I broke/lost my mic. Do I need to buy a new one?
A: Not necessarily. If your mic adaptor still works, you can use almost any
cell phone headset. Take the adaptor into Radio Shack or another such store
Q: Is playing on Live any fun?
A: Yes, a lot of fun.
Q: Is modding the mat really worth the trouble?
Q: Should I get a Naki or Mad Catz mat?
A: No, get the bundle pack when you get the game.
Q: If someone's using a controller, isn't that cheating?
A: Konami wouldn't put the option in if that was the case. I always use a mat,
and I certainly don't mind playing against controller users. It is true that
there's a stamina advantage on 8-10 foot songs, but playing online is generally
an accuracy battle, and you can be just as accurate on a pad.
Q: Is the Konami mat perfect?
A: No mat is perfect. My Konami mat's dropping some steps, but it's the best
Q: How is billing for the song packs handled?
A: You need to be paying for Live with a credit card, and you also need to
enable premium content download on the Live dashboard. When you do all that,
it'll bill $5 to your credit card when you download the pack. If you're paying
with a Live subscription card, it won't work. If you're using your free trial,
you can do it as long as you link it to a credit card from the dashboard.
Q: Do you play a lot?
A: 2000 rivals or so.
Q: Do any girls play?
A: Plenty, and none of them want to touch you, so stop asking.
Q: I'll bet you cheat. You and that BPTX.
A: We really don't.
VIII. DDR Terminology
Like any good community, the DDR crowd has developed their own terms for
various things. You tend to pick up on a few here and there, but if someone
on Live tells you that they "couldn't FC a cata for my life until I got a
CF, and now I SDG them all the time," there's no shame in being a little
befuddled, and so this section was created.
Bar - Arcade machines have a bar in the back that you can hold on to in order
to better keep your balance, and to decrease the amount of weight on your
feet. Some believe this to be cheating, others point to the fact that
Konami put them there. While home mats generally don't have these, some
hard platforms do, and some people like to use chairs as makeshift bars.
Beatmania - The original Bemani series, played with 5 or 7 keys and a
turntable. Some really like this game, but it's known for its high
learning curve, so it's winning few new fans and thus its
popularity is waning.
Bemani - Konami's music series. It contains several subseries in itself,
including DDR, Beatmania, Guitar Freaks, Drummania, and Karaoke
Revolution, just to name a few. Every game uses a special controller.
DDR and Karaoke Revolution are the only ones available in the US.
Cata - Short for "catastrophic," refers to 9-foot songs. Early DDR games had
a word for each level of difficulty, like "simple" and "exhorbitant."
Even after this practice stopped, people continued to refer to 9-footers
Crossovers - See section V-d-ii.
Cobalt Flux (CF) - See section VI-a-iii.
Dance With Intensity (DWI) - A DDR simulator for the PC. As using Bemani songs
on this is largely illegal, it won't be discussed
Full combo (FC) - To complete a song with only Great and Perfect steps, so your
combo is the highest it can be. You're more likely to get a
AA if you FC the song, but it's not definite.
Gallops - See section V-d-iii.
Single digit great (SDG) - To complete a song with only 9 or less Greats, and
no Goods, Almosts, or Boos.
Stepmania - A DDR simulator for the PC. As using Bemani songs on this is
largely illegal, it won't be discussed here.
Streams - See section V-d-iv.
Triples - See section V-d-i.
IX. Version History
v.1.4 2/26/2004: Added some preliminary SP3 info, plus a mat mod from a reader.
v.1.3 2/02/2004: A good amount of SP2 info, now that it's out, plus a little
more terminology and some more Qs.
v.1.2 1/22/2004: Added DDR Terminology, added new Qs to the FAQ, and was a
little more specific with the mat mod. And, of course, SP2
v.1.1 1/21/2004: Added DDR Strategy section, and cleaned up a few loose bits
pointed out to me by GameFAQs message board users.
v.1.0 1/17/2004: First version. Expect more about the songs, and more
That's it for the Ultramix FAQ. It's easily the biggest FAQ I've written yet,
and I totally didn't expect it to be. I hope you enjoyed it; writing it was
a pleasure. Keep buying Bemani games, and I'll see you on Live!
This FAQ is copyright 2004 Michael Kelehan. Dance Dance Revolution is a
trademark of Konami. Distribution of this FAQ is permitted (in fact, it's
encouraged) as long as it isn't altered in any way. Don't sell it.
This document is copyright Michael Kelehan and hosted by Neoseeker with permission.