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 arcade versions, codes are entered at this point, before pressing the red button to start. On eAMUSEMENT 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 NORMAL MODE, BATTLE MODE, EASY MODE, NAVIGATE MODE, and the like. Before pop'n music Sunny Park, you needed to select the number of buttons you wish to play with, 5 or 9 (instead, in pop'n music Sunny Park you can select your player character now.) 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 and ojamas (also known as normas) 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. Currently in pop'n music Sunny Park, the following two modes are available:
- NORMAL MODE
- The main pop'n music mode. You can play any of the available songs, using all 9 buttons.
- There's no 5-Buttons mode, but some songs have EASY charts which use less buttons.
- Tallies EXTRA POINTS based on song difficulty and ojama modifiers.
- EXTRA STAGE can be accessed if a certain amount of points is accumulated.
- BATTLE MODE
- 3-Buttons 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.
Older pop'n music games included other modes:
- ENJOY / EASY MODE
- Select from a limited number of simple songs on a simplified menu, perfect for beginners.
- No modifiers.
- CHALLENGE MODE
- Much like NORMAL MODE, except there's no COOL judgment.
- 超CHALLENGE (CHOU-CHALLENGE) MODE
- Much like CHALLENGE MODE, but with COOL judgment and more ojamas. Replaced by NORMAL MODE.
- EXPERT MODE
- 4 song course mode.
- Later mixes add the ability to customize courses.
- OSUSUME MODE
- NAVIGATE MODE
Each pop'n music release has its own version of the song select screen. From pop'n music 10 to pop'n music 20 fantasia, 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 music 8 do not have such luxuries. To change difficulty, press both yellow buttons simultaneously. This will cycle you up from NORMAL 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.
pop'n music Sunny Park divides the song select screen in folder, not unlike the beatmania IIDX series. To change difficulty, you only have to press one yellow button.
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/SSUDDEN, and pop-kun.
- HI-SPEEDs range from x1 up to an unlockable x8 in pop'n music 9, but earlier mixes only had HI-SPEEDs up to x4. All the recent arcade titles have come with speeds up to x6 as default.
- RANDOM randomizes the columns in which the notes, or pop-kuns, drop. MIRROW reverses the order of the columns from right to left. S-RANDOM, an unlockable feature in some 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 (CHARA-POP), the stage's character, or a beatmania IIDX bar (BEAT-POP).