PnM AC General Info
General Arcade Gameplay
Pop'n Music has a very straightforward menu layout and playing screen. The first screen encountered is of course the credit screen. Insert coins to activate the buttons. On most AC versions, codes are entered at this point, before pressing the red button to start. On e-AMUSEMENT enabled consoles, your card should be inserted now. Navigation through menus is very simple:
- Red button makes selections and advances menus
- White buttons cancel selections when available
- Blue buttons scroll left and right or up and down through all menus
- Green buttons scroll horizontally through the song select screen
- Yellow buttons, when held down, advance a large distance through the song select screen
The first menu will be the game mode select screen. Here you can pick between battle mode, challenge mode, beginners mode, and the like. After selecting a game mode, you will need to select the number of buttons you wish to play with, 5 or 9. This will bring you to the song select screen. Once you've chosen a song, gameplay will start. This is when you would select modifiers to go with your song. After the song, your play will be judged, and you will be returned to the song select screen. After the final song, a rundown of all your songs will be shown, and if you qualify, the name entry screen will be displayed.
There have been several different game modes across the Pop'n Music series, and not all of them are available in every game.
- Enjoy mode
- Select from a limited number of simple songs on a simplified menu, perfect for beginners.
- No modifiers
- Normal mode
- 3 songs per credit.
- Any of the available songs can be used.
- All difficulties but 5 button can be selected
- Challenge mode
- Tallies EX points based on song difficulty and challenge modifiers.
- Extra stage if a certain amount of points is accumulated.
- Battle mode
- "3 Key" mode for two players.
- After a certain amount of gameplay, attacks can be launched against your opponent, which can be deflected. The attack puts a modifier on your opponent if successful.
- Winner is determined best 2 out of 3 songs.
- Expert mode
- 4 song course mode.
- Later mixes add the ability to customize courses.
- Osusume mode
Each mix has its own version of the song select screen. Only since Pop'n 10 has the song select screen looked similar across diffrent versions. In these later versions, songs are scrolled vertically with the blue buttons, and versions or sorts are scrolled horizontally with the green buttons. There will usually be a section that sorts all songs by level, and another alphabetically (by genre, of course). Earlier mixes, like Pop'n 8 do not have such luxuries. To change difficulty, press both yellow buttons simultaneously. This will cycle you up from 9 to Hyper, and on to EX if available. In 5 key mode, you will only cycle from 5 to 9 key, then back to 5.
To access gameplay options in all versions (except Animelo 2,) press both yellow buttons at the same time during the song loading screen. There are four modifier options available: Hi Speed, Random/Mirror, Hidden/Sudden, and Pop-kun.
- Hi Speeds range from x1 up to an unlockable x8 in Pop'n 9, but earlier mixes only had Hi Speeds up to x4. All the recent PS2 titles have come with speeds up to x6 as default.
- Random randomizes the columns in which the notes, or pop-kuns, drop. Mirror reverses the order of the columns from right to left. S-Random, an unlockable feature in some newer versions, dynamically randomizes the columns that the pop-kuns descend, during the song.
- Hidden and Sudden do just what you would expect, either hide the pop-kuns when they get to the bottom of the screen, or make them appear more suddenly by hiding them at the top. The combination of these two modifiers gives you Hidden-Sudden, which makes the notes appear for a short time where the Hidden and Sudden curtains overlap.
- The Pop-kun modifier changes the appearance of the notes, replacing the Pop-kun graphic with the face of your character, the stage's character, or a Beatmania IIDX bar.