Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix
Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix (known as Dance Dance Revolution with MARIO in Japanese and Dancing Stage: Mario Mix in European languages) is a Nintendo GameCube game based on the popular Dance Dance Revolution video game series, but with a Mario theme. Mario Mix utilizes an included Mario-themed dance mat. To play the game, players must step on the up, down, left, and right arrows when they line up with a bar on the screen. The player can choose to play with either Mario or Luigi in a number of modes and difficulty levels with nearly thirty songs.
Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix is the second dancing game to be released on the Nintendo GameCube. Mario Mix is not as intense as standard versions of Dance Dance Revolution; Super Hard difficulty is equivalent to "standard" difficulty in other Dance Dance Revolution games (though some later songs are considered "heavy" in the standard games, especially Bowser's Castle).
The game includes a Story Mode, which the player must clear in order to unlock all of the songs in the game. The playable characters are Mario and Luigi. The opening scene starts out with Waluigi breaking into Truffle Towers. This is trouble as the Music Keys are able to grant any wish. However, when Waluigi opens the door to the room of the four Music Keys, they all scatter across the Mushroom Kingdom except for one that Waluigi gets to keep. Meanwhile, Toad, having seen this, rushes to tell Mario or Luigi, depending on which character the player chose.
Toad warns Mario (or Luigi) that someone has stolen the Music Keys and explains the trouble that this causes. Mario decides to go stop Waluigi and Toad decides to come with him to Truffle Towers. On a boat, the two cross a river, and after climbing a vine, reach Truffle Towers. However, once there, the two find the doors to Truffle Towers locked. Waluigi then laughs and tosses a Bob-omb at them, knocking Mario down a nearby Warp Pipe and into a cavern filled with Goombas, though Mario is able to get out by dancing, causing the mushroom he is standing on to grow. After escaping the cavern Mario and Toad enter a shop run by a Lakitu, who has the key to Truffle Towers. He agrees to give it to them only if Mario is able to get rid of the Koopa Troopas playing in his farm. After getting rid of the Koopas, Lakitu gives them the key and they enter Truffle Towers. Inside the tower is Waluigi with one of the Music Keys; he refuses to return it unless he is beaten in a dance-off. After beating him Waluigi is gone and the Music Key is recovered. Mario and Toad set off to recover the other keys on a ship, the SS Brass.
On their way to investigating a seaside area, a Tweester suddenly appears and causes the SS Brass to spin out, turning a nearby hotel into a corkscrew. Toadette, the owner of the hotel, comes out and scolds Mario for ruining her hotel. Mario, however, decides to dance to fix the hotel, and after the hotel is fixed they set out to sea, only to get caught in a whirlpool. Mario and Toad escape the whirlpool and sail to a nearby island to rest. Here, they find a shop run by a pirate Lakitu who has a device called the "Boogie Booster", which will allow their ship to travel through the whirlpool. Lakitu refuses to give it to them, though afterward decides that they duel to decide who can have the part. After beating Lakitu, he installs the part onto their ship, allowing them to get through the whirlpool Toad notes that the Music Keys have something to do with the storms, and the SS Brass sails into the whirlpool and down to an underwater temple, where a Music Key is being guarded by a Big Blooper. After defeating it in a dance-off, Mario and Toad retrieve the second Music Key.
Mario and Toad head to their next destination, Wario's Carnival. They arrive at the entrance, which is blocked by two Hammer Bros. who will not let Mario and Toad through unless they are able to beat them in a dance-off. After Mario beats them the Hammer Bros. allow them to enter the park. Inside, they see Wario riding a roller coaster carrying a Music Key. Mario and Toad chase after him on the roller coaster and on foot until finally cornering him in front of a Ferris wheel, where he states that he plans to use the Music Key to wish for his own game: DDR: Wario Mix. Wario then challenges Mario to a dance-off on the Ferris wheel, though when he loses he gives Mario the Music Key.
Mario and Toad's next destination is a a snow-covered mountain, where they notice the final Music Key inside a Freezie at the top. After failing to climb up the slippery path, they instead enter a nearby Warp Pipe leading to an underground tunnel which ends up taking them higher up on the mountain. After warming up in a nearby log cabin they reach the top of the mountain and try to claim the Music Key, though the Freezie does not give it up. Toad suggests melting it, and after using Fire Flowers on it the Freezie melts and the two claim the key. The two then sled down the mountain, though an avalanche follows them; after avoiding the avalanche the two set off back to Truffle Towers.
Mario and Toad return the Music Keys to their original place, though soon after Bowser appears and steals the keys again. Mario and Toad sail to Bowser's Castle in the SS Brass, and after dodging oncoming Bullet Bills arrive at the castle. Bowser is about to use the Music Keys when he finds that they are gone, Mario and Toad having stolen them back. Bowser then challenges Mario to a dance-off, and after knocking Bowser away with a rocket he is defeated. Afterwards, Bowser admits that he was going to use the keys to fix his tone-deafness. Mario then uses the keys to turn the area surrounding Bowser's castle into a green field, and they suddenly feel strange and start to dance. The keys are then returned to Truffle Towers, and Mario finally goes home.
The Action Pad
Included with the game is a dance mat (or as Konami calls it, an action pad) which plugs into a controller socket on the GameCube. Then, standing in the center of the mat, the player can simply step on an arrow when it reaches the top of the screen: left, right, up, or down. Of course, as the difficulty rises, moves such as jumps to step on two arrows at the same time are required, when they must move around the mat quickly.
Incidentally, the game can be sold by itself without a dance mat. The regular controller then uses the or the and the face buttons for directional input, with for up, for down, for left and for right.
At the start of each song, a dance meter appears in the upper left corner (and upper right corner for 2 players and Boss Battles/Dance-Offs). It consists of ten stars, with each song starting with five (this can be varied with items). As the players get Perfects and Greats, the meter rises. When they miss, it decreases. In the Options menu, the player can set how much a miss decreases their dance meter, and in Story Mode, the higher the difficulty, the more they lose. The meter will flash if the player is under two and a half stars, and when the dance meter runs out of stars, the song will end automatically and they will get an F for the song and a 'Failed' message. In Story Mode, the player will lose a life.
Grades for the Song
When the player keeps their dance meter filled and get a Cleared! message at the end of the song, these are the possible grades:
Two major factors decide the grade for a song: the number of missteps in relation to the song length and total points. As the difficulty rises, more missteps can still mean a better grade (B), but the A still requires barely any missteps.
Grades for Each Step
Each step the player makes gets a grade that affects the player's overall score, by giving points per step:
Getting Perfects and Greats not only increases the player's dance meter but also adds a combo on-screen. When the player gets a 100 combo, the announcer comments and arrows flash differently when players step on them. A combo stops if the player does a misstep (Early, Late, or Miss). As with all Dance Dance Revolution games, the announcer comments on the player's dancing skill and grade along the way. This can be turned off in the Options menu. If the player's dance meter empties, an option can allow the player to finish the song right away, but the player still gets an F grade.
Easy: Only includes left and right arrows.
In Story Mode, the player can choose every difficulty (except Super Hard) at the beginning of the adventure and this choice stays permanent throughout all the songs. It can only be changed by a Music Wand.
Two players, one as Mario and the other as Luigi, can face off in any song, at any difficulty like Free Mode. However, the initial package comes with one dance mat. A second one must be ordered online at Nintendo's official website.
* The song only appears in the regular Story Mode. In Story Mode EX, it is replaced by the next song.
Mush Mode is the Mario twist to the standard series genre. Common Mario enemies and items replace steps on the screen and must either be stepped on or avoided. Others cover the screen when missing steps, giving the brothers less time to react. Initially, Mush Mode is enforced in Story Mode, but it can be turned off in options. Mush Mode is optional in Free Mode. On the hardest difficulties, two Mush Mode effects are not uncommon.
Items can be bought from a store in each world from Lakitu after the player completes Stage 1-3. The classic 1-Up Mushroom can also be won in certain minigames. Sometimes bonus songs are available. All items except the 1-Up Mushroom had to be triggered before a stage for the player to feel its effects. The player can only carry three of these items at a time. The player may access the store if they visit it during their progress or before any stage after 1-3, by pressing the Z button.
References to other games
References in later games
Names in other languages