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FAQ by Crono

Version: 0.95 | Updated: 06/04/01

Pop'n Music
Dreamcast & Playstation FAQ
June 5th 2001, Revision 0.95

Written By :  Crono
E-mail     :  bemanifanatic@aol.com
Real Name  :  Justin Strauss
Home Page  :  www.tows.org

This document is the intellectual property of the author. It is intended to provide help, to 
fellow gamers, on a title that is both entertaining and difficult at various times. Please do 
not copy or distribute this file in any format without consent of the author. This means: on 
other web pages, as part of another FAQ, in any written or electronic publication, etc. And, to 
be crystal clear, this document is legally copyrighted through two or more means. This is 
including a publishing firm clause, as well as various websites' legal setups (such as the one 
found on GameFAQs). If you have any new tips or info you want us to hear, just drop an e-mail. 
And, just in case this comes up, neither Game Cave nor anyone else may distribute this to those 
who purchase this title or who are somehow bringing profit to said party.

Pop'n Music is a trademark of Konami Computer Entertainment, Inc.  Copyright 1998-1999 by 
Konami Computer Entertainment, Inc.  Copyright Konami Computer Entertainment Yokohama, Inc.  
All related names fall under the same applicable laws.  All rights reserved.

You can find the newest version of this FAQ only at the following sites. If you find it 
anywhere else, please let me know as soon as possible. It should not be posted anywhere else 
but at the following sites:

Game FAQs                            Videogame Strategies
http://www.gamefaqs.com/             http://vgstrategies.about.com/

Table of Contents:

0.0 Revision History

1.0 Game Mechanics

2.0 Options Menu

2.1 Save & Load

3.0 Arcade Mode

3.1 Beginner Mode

3.2 Excite Mode

3.3 Hyper Mode

4.0 Song List and Info

5.0 Free Mode

6.0 Training Mode

7.0 Records List

8.0 Game Variant Setup

9.0 Game Secrets and Hidden Options

10.0 Contributions and Thank-You's

0.0 Revision History

V0.5 - 04/05/99 - Bare bones version, soon after release.

V0.8 - 02/15/01 - Pre-Release! Expect typos or grammar problems from it.
                - General setup added, for all modes.

V0.9 - 04/16/01 - Initial Release! General information tweaked.
                - Secrets confirmed and finished thanks to Konami Studios.
                - Layout updated to newest versions.

V1.0 - 06/??/01 - Coming Very Soon!

Coming Soon:

    -more detailed info?
    -whatever might be left out.

1.0 Game Mechanics

    The basic gameplay is very simple to learn, despite the difficulty of the hardest songs. 
The game is played with nine different buttons, each represented by a distinct color. These 
colors come in sets of two, moving outward from the inside (aside from the red center button). 
By default, these nine buttons are layed out on the controller just as they are on the game 
screen. This applies to the arcade, and there is also a special "pop'n controller" which acts 
as this at home. Otherwise, you can simply use the buttons on your control pad to play in any 
setup you choose. The standard layout of the buttons is as follows, in these three diagrams. 
This applies to the controller, as well as their order from left to right when playing. The 
first image below is of the buttons being "lettered" as they are in the config screens. The 
second one is of them "numbered" as they are when codes are being entered. The third is of 
their "colors" onscreen, which are used to make the game easier to play (abbreviated for red, 
blue, green, yellow, and white):

           B D F H              2 4 6 8              Y B B Y
          A C E G I            1 3 5 7 9            W G R G W

    There is a column above each of these nine buttons, colored repectively. During gameplay, 
small bubbles (called "popkuns") will move slowly from the top of that "column" toward the 
bottom where the buttons are. There is a straight line at that point at the bottom. The basic 
premise is to hit the correct colored button whenever the popkuns in that particular column hit 
the bottom line. For each pop that you hit, a certain musical note or sound will be played in 
the song. You are basically helping to complete the song properly, and make pop music. This is 
a similar premise used in the "Bemani" series of games from Konami, where you must hit all the 
notes properly. You have a "rhythm level" meter which increases as you do well in the song. It 
will decrease, however, as you miss the popkuns. When the song concludes, the meter must be in 
the red zone of bars (closer to the top) in order for you to "pass" the stage.

    You must listen to the rhythm of the song as well, because the simple sight of the popkuns 
can't always tell you exactly when to hit each button perfectly. And whenever a scale of notes 
is used, it will usually flow back and forth from one side to another. The pops in the song 
that represent musical notes will generally follow the tempo of the song (which can be heard 
distinctly). In the tougher variants of a song, however, the pops may come at more sparatic 
moments to create sound effects. Either way, knowing and listening to a song will help you 
greatly with performing the pops. There will also be times to hit multiple pops at a single 
moment. These are very important to identify and learn. There will usually never be more than 
four popkuns to press at the exact same time, and there are typically never more than two at 
once (since you only have two hands, with limited capabilities). However, the notes can go 
extremely quickly, to the point where you must carry multiple percussion parts at one time.

    -Pop Rank. Each time you press a button, the game will keep track of how close to the exact 
popkun you were. The three ranks are listed in order from best to worst. "Great" is right on 
the beat, exactly. "Good" is close to the beat, but not perfect. "Bad" is far off from the 
beat, or just missing it altogether. Each of these three possibilities yields more points than 
the one before it. At the end of the song, you see how many of each rank you received overall 
when executing the song's pops. Not only that, but it will show how many of each pop rank you 
received for each of the nine buttons separately. These are tabulated towards your score.

    -Score. You receive a score at the end of the level, depending on how well you did. Better 
pop ranks get you more points per pop. At the end of a stage, you are given your "stage score" 
as well as your "total score" so far. Whenever you play a level, the maximum possible score 
will always be 100000 points. If you achieve all greats for the pops, you will get a perfect 
score. It takes coordination as well as a sense of rhythm to play this game well, especially 
for the later levels. You can set high scores for each of the game's songs, and for each 
variant of the song. These are kept (along with your max combo for each) in the records 
section. This also gives an incentive to play again, to earn high or perfect scores on every 
level variant.

    -Song Difficulty. Each song in the game has a difficulty level associated with it. In 
addition, there are special variants of certain songs (each with more pops and difficulty, see 
other sections). Each song has a different difficulty assigned to it. You can see the 
difficulty level below each song genre/title that you can select when playing. The difficulty 
level itself is indicated by how many colored bars you will see lined up on the meter (from 
left to right). A song can range in difficulty from one (1) to twenty-three (23) bars. These 
bars are separated into four colors which show their range of difficulty. The first five are 
green, the next six are yellow, then six orange, then six red. This adds to a total of twenty-
three bars for the hardest songs (which will have a full bar of all four colors).

2.0 Options Menu

    The Options Menu in Pop'n Music is completely in English, and therefore it should be self-
explanatory in most any case. However, some options may be earned through fulfilling certain 
objectives or might be difficult to understand. *The "shortcut" option is only available for 
Playstation. It removes the graphics from most game menus, and replaces them with text (to help 
eliminate a lot of the loading time). Dreamcast has plenty of free memory, and does NOT really 
have loading time to begin with... so it does not have/need this option. *As for the 
"controller" menu, it is only present on Dreamcast. It manages and automatically detects all 
four controllers (and their types or vibration options); and eliminates the later "vibration" 
choices seen below on the options menu. When you wish to save and load your game, there is a 
separate choice from the game's main menu. The full set of menu options is as follows:

    -Game Level: 1-4

    -Button Mode: 5Button/7Button/9Button

    -Select: Normal/ShortCut *(PSX)

    -Vibration 1P: BeatSync/Miss/Button/NoUse *(PSX)

    -Vibration 2P: BeatSync/Miss/Button/NoUse *(PSX)

    -Controller *(DC)
        -Controller [A]: Normal/ArcadeStick/Pop'nController/-
        -Controller [B]: Normal/ArcadeStick/Pop'nController/-
        -Controller [C]: Normal/ArcadeStick/Pop'nController/-
        -Controller [D]: Normal/ArcadeStick/Pop'nController/-
        -Vibration [A]: NoUse/Miss/BeatSync/Button
        -Vibration [B]: NoUse/Miss/BeatSync/Button
        -Vibration [C]: NoUse/Miss/BeatSync/Button
        -Vibration [D]: NoUse/Miss/BeatSync/Button

    -Key Config
        -Player: 1P/2P/3P*/4P*
        -Default Type: I-VII

        -Sound Mode: Stereo/Monaural
        -BGM Volume: 1-5
        -SE Volume: 1-5
        -BGM Test
        -SE Test

    -Option Reset
        -Wish to Continue: Yes/No


2.1 Save & Load

    This is simply for saving and loading your game, as one might have guessed. It is separated 
into its own section, however, under the options on the game's main menu. With "Auto Save" 
turned on, the game will save data to your memory card after each time you complete Arcade 
mode. It will also do so after changing the options, or when exiting any mode in which 
pertinent things were changed. *The choice for "VM Sound" is only available on Dreamcast, and 
it will activate the beep of the memory card whenever data is saved or loaded. The menu options 
are as follows:

        -Want to Save: Yes/No
        -Overwrite Old Data: Yes/No

        -Want to Load: Yes/No

    -Auto Save: On/Off

    -VM Sound: On/Off *(DC)


3.0 Arcade Mode

    This is the primary mode of the game, and it's the place where you will spend most of your 
time. You must first choose your "play mode," by pressing the "blue" buttons. This determines 
what type of setup the game will use. "Normal" mode is what you play usually, while each 
special mode will have its own subsection later in this file. You then select your character, 
if you wish, by pressing the "yellow" buttons. Change the character's color by pressing the 
"green" buttons. There is a "default player character" for each of the game mode choices. 
However, you may also change your player character to that of anyone whose stage you have 
already completed. The play mode choices (with their respective player character) are as 

        Beginner    :     Nyami&Mimi
        Normal      :     Mary
        Excite      :     The King

    Your standard game will involve playing Three stages, and the game's songs are divided up 
among these three. Therefore, there are specific songs which can be played on each stage, and 
each stage tends to have harder songs than that before it. For the complete list of songs, 
refer to that later section of this file. Otherwise, your next selection is "stage select." 
Each of the game's songs is sorted by its "genre" name (although the song title and artist are 
also given, but only when the stage itself loads up). For each stage, you are given the list of 
genres, along with a character that represents that stage (those with an asterick next to them 
are secret stages). The numbers on the right are the difficulty of each stage:

-Stage 1:

        POPS              Rie-chan          |10
        RAP               Uncle Jam         |08
        J-TEKNO           Shollkee          |06
        FANTASY           Dino              |05

-Stage 2:

        LATIN             Don Mommy         |07
        DANCE             Judy              |12
        REGGAE            Olivia            |13
        DISCO QUEEN       Chamel            |18

-Stage 3:

        TECHNO POP        Kraft             |14
        ANIME HERO        Toru Kamikaze     |16
        SPY               Charly            |23
        DISCO KING        Bamboo            |22
      * BONUS TRACK       Sanae-chan        |14
      * RAVE              Rave Girl         |20
      * J-POP             Pretty            |14
      * FUSION            Sylvester         |16
      * AFRICA            Unbabo            |14
      * TECHNO'80         Boy               |19
      * CLASSIC           Hamanov           |22

3.1 Beginner Mode

    This mode contains the "easy" variations of some of the game's songs. This is for those who 
are new to the game, or who want to practice with all nine buttons for the first time. There 
are separate records kept for your best beginner mode scores in the records tables (along with 
the standard ones). However, not all of the game's songs are available in this mode. It 
consists of two stages rather than three. Before these, you will play a "Lesson" stage which 
shows you how to play. This stage can be skipped by holding the "start" button (as well as 
"select" if on Playstation). Otherwise, the game plays as normal. The stages, with their songs 
and characters, are as follows:

-Stage 1:

        POPS              Rie-chan          |10
        RAP               Uncle Jam         |08
        J-TEKNO           Shollkee          |06
        FANTASY           Dino              |05

-Stage 2:

        LATIN             Don Mommy         |07
        DANCE             Judy              |12
        REGGAE            Olivia            |13
        DISCO QUEEN       Chamel            |18

3.2 Excite Mode

    This mode is a takeoff on the normal game mode. The selection of songs, high scores, and 
all normal aspects of gameplay are handled the same way. In this mode, however, it shakes up 
the popkuns a bit. During most of the song (everything but the intro and outro) the game will 
go into excite mode, and randomly shuffle the popkuns back and forth as they are falling. You 
can see them move back and forth, and they will position themselves before they hit bottom. 
This is as usual in normal mode, except now your opponent will also launch their attacks at you 
(called "ojama"). These can block your view or such, making it much tougher. The screen will 
shake and the background will change when excite time starts, and it will last throughout the 
stage in a more intense manner than usual.

3.4 Hyper Mode

    This mode contains the "expert" variations of some of the game's songs. This is for those 
who are veterans of the game, and who want a new and much higher level of difficulty. However, 
not all of the game's songs have hyper variants. You must access the hyper mode versions by 
playing the normal arcade/free modes. Remember, this will only work when you play on "nine 
button" mode. Highlight a song that has a hyper version, then hold down either the "start" 
button (for Dreamcast) or the "select" button (for Playstation) and the song's name will glow 
in rainbow colors. When you select the song, you will hear a special sound that confirms it 
being the hyper version. The songs with hyper mode variants are as follows:

-Hyper Songs:

        AFRICA            Pretty            |23
        TECHNO'80         Pretty            |23
        CLASSIC           Pretty            |23

4.0 Song List and Info

Dif.   Genre             Song Title                                 Artist

14|    AFRICA            Con Te Sabi 2119                           Hamba Un Aa
16|    ANIME HERO        The Theme Of Gambler Z                     Naramcha feat. Ryo
14|    BONUS TRACK       Sure Chigau Nihito                         Apresmidi
22|    CLASSIC           Chaos Age                                  Waldeus Von Dovjak
12|    DANCE             Hi-Tekno                                   Hi-Tekno
22|    DISCO KING        Funky Town '75                             JV & The Sexy Machine Gun
18|    DISCO QUEEN       What I Want                                The Richie Sisters
05|    FANTASY           Monde Des Songe                            Bikke
16|    FUSION            Crossover 12                               319
14|    J-POP             Life                                       Haya-P & Maru
06|    J-TEKNO           Quick Master                               Act Deft
07|    LATIN             El Pais Del Sol                            Senorita Rica
10|    POPS              I Really Want To Hurt You                  Sugi & Reo
08|    RAP               Young Dream                                Little Fingers
20|    RAVE              E-Motion                                   e.o.s.
13|    REGGAE            Baby, I'm Yours                            Lisa-T
23|    SPY               Spicy Piece                                Original Soundtracks
19|    TECHNO'80         Water Melon Woman                          Nanatek
14|    TECHNO POP        Electronic Fill                            Windslope

5.0 Free Mode

    Free mode does just what it says. In here, you can freely play any songs which you have 
already "completed" in Arcade mode. You do not need to have "passed" them, either. So long as 
you have fully played a song in Arcade mode, pass or fail, you will now be able to play it any 
time you want in free mode. You need not worry about failing, fulfilling requirements, or 
anything else. It's just for fun, after you've earned the right. First you choose your game 
mode, character, and stage just as in Arcade mode. You play one song at a time, and after each 
one you are given these choices:

    -Stage Select
    -Mode Select

6.0 Training Mode

    Training mode is the place to sharpen your skills on any level that you have accessed, 
without fear of losing. When choosing to "start" the level, you can play a chosen segment 
(called "phrase") or just the full song. When choosing phrase, the first selection is the 
starting point, while the second selection is the ending point. "Auto" will play the level's 
notes for you automatically. "Repeat" will set the chosen segment on a constant loop. When 
choosing "Speed" on Playstation, you have five choices. Five is the standard, and will play the 
song. The other four are slower, but will remove the BGM when playing. On Dreamcast, the normal 
speed is zero. It can go down all the way to sixty-four levels of slowness. Better yet, the 
song itself will play in slow-motion with whatever speed it is set to. The menu options are as 


    -Music Select

        -Speed: 1-5 (PSX) ; 0-64 (DC)
        -Phrase: All/Segment
        -Auto: On/Off
        -Repeat: On/Off


7.0 Records

    This is the only Pop'n Music game where records are NOT kept in their own dedicated (and 
detailed) section. Instead, you can see your high scores for overall game in the demo reel that 
runs along with the main title screen. You can also see these scores after completing a game in 
any of the three particular modes (as they all have their own score table). This is the point 
of entering your initials and such when achieving a high score. The modes kept in records are 
as follows, with a top five for each:


8.0 Game Variant Setup

    These "game variants" are settings which make the popkuns fall differently (for added 
challenge and such). Once this is accessed, this option will appear at the bottom of the main 
title screen. (see the secrets section for more on earning). You can switch between one of 
these Three variants, or have it set to "Off" (which is normal gameplay). You may not select 
more than one at a time, obviously, and pressing the "red" button while on this option will 
change between the four settings. "Mirror" means that the usual spot that each popkun appears 
will be switched to the opposite side of the screen (left to right). "Random" means that the 
popkuns will appear in a random spot each time when playing a level (although there will always 
be the same number of popkuns, and at the same times... this just randomizes which color each 
one will be). "Hidden" makes the popkuns disappear from sight once they reach the lower part of 
the screen (towards the line) so you must rely on timing and your ears to hit them properly.


9.0 Game Secrets and Hidden Options

    -Experience. Most of the secrets to be earned in this game are received once you have 
played enough hours in the standard arcade modes of play. The game internally keeps count of 
how many hours you have played, and there is no way to view that total number itself. Also, the 
counter will ONLY count time that you have spent actually playing the songs. It will not count 
time for just leaving the system sitting... or for sitting in the song selection menus. For the 
most part, you will "time-release" a new secret song for every hour or so after a certain point 
in the game. You may also play secret songs by fulfilling requirements, but that will only make 
them appear that one specific time. If you want permanent access to all the secret songs at 
once, it's all about the time-release. In the end, you will have nineteen (19) songs total.

    -Secret Songs, Earned. The usual way to play the secret songs is by fulfilling certain 
requirements as you play the stages in Arcade mode. This may be a "minimum score" on one stage, 
or it may be to choose a particular "player character" for yourself at the start. If you 
fulfill the listed requirements (while playing stages one and two) then the secret stage will 
be available for selection in stage three. This is for that one time, however, and the song 
will not be selectable when you return next time. The songs are as follows, with their 
requirements listed below them:

            -stage 1 is POP
            -stage 2 is DANCE, REGGAE, or DISCO Q.

            -stage 1 is RAP
            -stage 2 is REGGAE

            -stage 1 is FANTASY
            -stage 2 is LATIN

            -stage 1 is J-TEKNO
            -stage is completed with rhythm meter
             right at the boundary of win/lose

            -player character is Bamboo

            -complete a stage where the first
             digit of the great, good, & bad
             counts is either: 5-7-3 or 3-7-5

            -stage 1 is J-TEKNO
            -stage 2 is DANCE, and
             must score 85% or more greats

    -Secret Songs, Time-Release. For every certain amount of time you log in playing the normal 
arcade game modes, you will earn a new secret song by time-release. Some songs are the secret 
ones from the arcade, while the others were added as secret songs for the consumer version of 
this game. This is the only method which can release these songs as PERMANENTLY playable at any 
time (and all at once). Once you have logged in enough game hours, you will eventually have 
access to all of the game's nineteen normal and secret songs at any time you want, without the 
need to unlock them anymore. Note, on the Playstation version, the requirements are in terms of 
how many times you've completed arcade mode (rather than hours logged in) and these will be 
denoted in parenthesis after each time listing. The songs, along with their required 
time/amount, are as follows:

        J-POP             2:00    (60)
        AFRICA            2:30    (100)
        CLASSIC           3:00    (90)
        TECHNO'80         3:30    (70)
        FUSION            4:00    (80)
        BONUS TRACK       4:30    (50)
        RAVE              5:00    (80)

    -Hyper Mode. You can not play the hyper versions of the game's songs right from the start. 
If you try to do so too early, nothing that was explained in the hyper section will work 
properly. You must first "complete" each song in the game at least one time (pass or fail). 
This includes all of the standard songs, as well as each secret song. Once you have played 
through all of the game's nineteen songs at least once, you will then be able to select hyper 
versions of the songs. It's sort of a reward or a last specialty to earn in the game, for 
longtime players. See the dedicated section for more information.

    -Secret Game Variants. The main menu option for Mirror/Random/Hidden will not be available 
from the start of the game. In order to make it available, you must "complete" each of the 
game's twelve normal songs at least once (pass or fail). After doing so, this option will 
appear on the bottom of the others on the main menu. It will be set to "Off" by default, and 
you must press the red button to change it.

10.0 Contributions and Thank-You's

    GameFAQs (www.gamefaqs.com) for hosting this FAQ, along with more great gaming info than 
most any site out there. Keep up the good work, man. Without GameFAQs... where would we all go 
for detailed game help? Sure, lotsa places have great code archives, and some TRY to keep all 
the best FAQs. But who succeeds? Only one, my friend ^_^ Jeff "CJayC" Veasey does an 
astounding, daily job of organizing these entries (and he writes his own wonderful FAQs). I 
must also give a hearty thanks to Al Amaloo, the maintainer of Videogame Strategies 
(vgstrategies.about.com). He has completed perhaps the best and most extensive archive of codes 
and tricks (www.gamewinners.com) and written extensive guides for games that would go otherwise 
un-covered. And what makes these two men (Jeff Veasey and Al Amaloo) so special... is that they 
provide an invaluable service to the gaming community out of the goodness of their heart. They 
work hard, every day, without the help of any major affiliate. Bravo to both of you!

    The wonderful patrons of my own message board, the OtherWorlds Shrine (www.tows.org) which 
is sometimes the only refuge for the true gamer. Along with my friend SineSwiper, we keep the 
shrine alive as a place for gamers to respectfully speak and get together while online. The 
friends that I have made there have meant the world to me, despite how my "real life" sometimes 
drags me offline for days at a time. Either way, here's to ya'll... and I won't mention any 
names (as there are too many of you to possibly remember them all now. And you'll kill me if I 
miss any, hehe). The place has been around for years, and I guarantee that it will always exist 
as long as there is an Internet.

    The select few of my OFF-line friends who love gaming almost as much as myself, and keep me 
inspired to keep on playing. Tacchi, you're as obsessed over games as me. We've been gaming for 
well near two decades. We're getting old, dude. And Crystal, well you can kick most of our 
sorry arses ^_^ Steffannee... you introduced me to Will in Rival Schools! Scott, you've been a 
pal through it all, despite how you suck at games ^_^ Kathryn, your love and understanding will 
always be cherished (yes, call me sappy). And Alex, you've been there since we were infants, 
when the NES was only a dream in the semi-near future. Chris, you're one of my dearest friends 
(as well as one of the most eerily unique). Your love for the Butterfly song and the goofy 
dance you do... will always bring a smile to my face.

    And of course, thanks go out to Lynn and Donna! You two are a few of the only people who 
love Pop 'n Music (and Bust a Move of course) as much as I do. Every time we meet is a 
cherished moment. And, speaking of music games, I owe a world of thanks to Malcolm. His 
friendship has meant a ton to me, and he's one of those few folks who plays and works hard at 
ALL the music game series just like I do (Beatmania, Dance Dance Revolution, Pop 'n Music, Bust 
a Move, and the countless other Bemani titles as well). And to the fans of music games, 
worldwide, i offer the greatest thanks of all. Our demand is what keeps this amazing genre of 
games coming back to us every month.

    Konami, Sony, Sega, and all the great companies and people who made the game possible. 
Without them, we'd never have been introduced to this wonderous world, beautiful characters, 
and a style of gaming that changed our lives. These Bemani games, like Dance Dance Revolution, 
are perhaps my favorite genre out there right now. It gives those folks with a "rhythmical 
sense" a way to convey that sense through gaming. And besides, it beats having another cookie-
cutter RPG or fighter to deal with.

~End of File~

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