Dance Dance Revolution 4thMix, or 4thMix, is the 4th game in the main Dance Dance Revolution series of music video games. It was released as an arcade game by Konami on August 24, 2000. Although only officially released in Japan, units exist worldwide. 4thMix features 136 songs, 42 of which are new to this mix. Twelve of the songs are initially hidden and must be unlocked by the arcade operator. 12 songs are unlockable in 4th Mix plus.
The following alternate versions exist:
- Dance Dance Revolution 4thMIX Plus ( December 28, 2000.)
- Dance Dance Revolution Solo 4thMIX ( August 24, 2000. Also released in Asia.)
- Dance Dance Revolution Solo 4thMIX Plus ( December 28, 2000. Also released in Asia.)
The core gameplay of 4thMix is the same as the previous Dance Dance Revolution games. For scoring, Each step is given a score based on the accuracy of the step and the running combo. A judgment of Great or Perfect will award points and increase the combo, whereas any lower judgment will break the combo, reducing it to zero. Jumps are only worth one judgment, and only adds one to the combo. Each Great is worth 555 points and each Perfect is worth 777 points. The player also receives 333 points multiplied by the current combo after every step. 4thMix is unusual in that it is the only game in the series where Boo steps do not deplete the dance gauge.
A player may play anywhere from one to five songs, depending on how many the arcade operator sets the machine to play each game. At the end of each song, the player sees their accumulated points, bonus points, and how many of each kind of step they stepped. They also get a letter grade that is dependent on the judgments received during play, ranging from "AA" (all steps Perfect) to D (failure, only seen in Versus mode when the other player passes). If the player manages to pass his or her songs, a cumulative results screen is given, totaling the stats from all played stages.
Nonstop Mode, a feature from Dance Dance Revolution 3rdMix, allows the player to play a course of several pre-determined songs without stopping.
Battle Mode is equivalent to the Unison and Couple modes from previous mixes, and is chosen at the difficulty selection screen while on Versus mode. Battle steps must be played by both players, and are generally designed to make each player take turns between playing simple and complex patterns. As an added challenge, the steps rise from the middle of the screen, and drift to either player's side while continuing upwards.
Some machines have the ports to insert PlayStation memory cards. Such memory cards have to be PlayStation memory cards with Link Data from the home version of 4thMix or earlier. It can exchange data with 4thMix, as well as any earlier version that has songs that are in 4thMix. It can also use Edit Data, custom steps made on the home version.
Interface & graphics
The menu interface of 4thMix is significantly different from previous versions of Dance Dance Revolution. Players can now choose Single, Versus, or Double modes on a dedicated Style selection screen, instead of the button combination required of older mixes. Players must also choose one of eight genres, which each contain a portion of the total song list. The available songs during the game will be limited to those in the chosen Genre.
The song selection screen depicts a series of seven diagonal song banners on the bottom half of the screen. Scrolling off the right edge of the screen causes the next seven banners to replace the current ones. The top half of the screen displays the current song's background image and difficulty ratings. Pressing the start button chooses the song, and replaces the bottom half of the screen with a difficulty selection menu. Each player may choose to play on Basic, Trick (called Another in previous versions), or Maniac (or Battle, if playing Versus). A player can also modify arrow appearance and arrangement on this screen by performing various "step codes" on the dance platform. As in previous mixes, step pattern difficulty is displayed as a foot rating, but the ratings are no longer given text labels (like Catastrophic for 9 feet).
The color scheme of 4thMix consists mainly of black, blue, and violet. The main gameplay screen has a slightly revamped Dance Gauge and score display, and 3D-rendered dancing characters still appear in the background of each song. Which character appears for each player is dependent on the Genre selected.
Dance Dance Revolution 4thMix Plus
Dance Dance Revolution 4thMix Plus is an upgrade of 4thMix, released on December 28, 2000. It adds fourteen new songs not seen in any previous DDR version. Several older songs have received new Maniac step sets, with the old steps being moved to "Maniac-S" (for Single) or "Maniac-D" (for Double). The new steps are generally much harder than before, and are used as the default Maniac steps in Dance Dance Revolution 5thMix. The old step sets have been restored for songs included in DDRMAX2 Dance Dance Revolution 7thMix, and certain 4thMix Plus steps return as Challenge steps in Dance Dance Revolution Extreme.
Dance Dance Revolution Solo 4thMix and Dance Dance Revolution Solo 4thMix Plus were released concurrently with 4thMix and 4thMix Plus respectively, designed for use with Solo cabinets. The changes in the actual game engine are few, but significant. The 4 and 6-panel modes are offered instead of the usual options, and the chubby arrows of the Solo series also appear. Multi-player Mode from the Solo series is not present in either game.
An ALL MUSIC MODE feature is included for Dance Dance Revolution 4thMix Plus where players have access to all songs in the game instead of picking music genres.
The home version of 4thMix was released in Japan on March 15, 2001, for the Sony PlayStation console. It contains 55 songs, including 3 from Dance Dance Revolution 3rdMix (which were not present in the home version of that version) and six hidden songs: one from 4thMix Plus and one as preview songs for the next arcade version, Dance Dance Revolution 5thMix. The game also features the 6-panel mode, branded as Solo Mode.
The game engine and menus have also been used in two North American versions of DDR, Dance Dance Revolution for the PC, and Dance Dance Revolution Konamix. Konamix was the only American version to feature Solo Mode.
Notable songs from this version of DDR include:
- "B4U": A 155 BPM speed rave-style song, produced by Naoki Maeda, with lyrics sung by rapper Aaron G. The song has appeared in numerous DDR games since 4thMix, and has been remixed 5 times, as "B4U (Glorious Style)" (from Dance Dance Revolution 5thMix), "B4U (B4 Za Beat Mix)" (DDRMAX2 Dance Dance Revolution 7thMix), "B4U (Rising Sun Mix)*, "B4U (The Acolyte Mix)"* and B4U (Bemani For You Mix) (from beatmaniaIIDX 16th Style : EMPRESS"", featuring Michael A La Mode as a rapper).
- ORION.78 (AMeuro Mix), performed by Re-venge
According to Naoki himself:
|“||B4U is my favorite song in Konamix because this song best portrays the image of DDR by capturing the perfect blend of performance and physical activity from the player. This is what I wanted to achieve when I wrote the song.||„|
The original soundtrack for 4thMix was produced by Toshiba-EMI under their Dancemania dance music brand. It contains all 42 new tracks from the arcade version, the seven songs introduced by Dance Dance Revolution 3rdMix Plus, four songs from the home version of 4thMix, three songs from the arcade version of 5thMix, and one from 4thMix Plus. It was released on March 15, 2001.
- Dance Dance Revolution Konamix Instruction Booklet, Konami, 2001, as part of an interview for the Konami Musical Show in 2001)