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DJMAX is a Rhythm Game franchise by Pentavision spanning three different series:

DJMAX Online — The original game, released as a freeware game on PC with additional pay-to-play content. The game plays suspiciously like Beatmania, though this is due to be being a clone of Ez2DJ, which was even more like beatmania (complete with turntable) to the point where Konami stepped in and sued. Suffers from a partial case of No Export for You; you couldn't play the Korean version since you need a Korean residence number (which is a crime to falsify); you could play the Japanese and Chinese versions, but the Japanese version... is... well... in Japanese, with mostly Japanese players (which means good luck communicating to other players if you don't speak nihongo), and the Chinese version ran on a rather slow server. The latter two versions shut down some time ago.

DJMAX Online got a brief revival through DJMAX Trilogy, a recent PC games with music from DJMAX Online and early DJMAX Portable games, but due to some Executive Meddling (namely, its producer, Forte Escape, leaving Pentavision), updates to it have been put on hold indefinitely, and the inclusion of certain features and bugs further drove it into the ground.

DJMAX Portable — By far the most popular DJMAX series, partly for being one of the first--if not the first--successful portable Rhythm Game series. Originally released on (as its title implies) the PSP in 2006, it saw success not only in Korea, but non-Korean countries as well, leading to an "International" release with English text (albeit with poorly-censored songs and the replacement of a song whose background animations mocked former U.S. President George W. Bush).

Portable eventually spawned several sequels. DJMAX Portable 2 was released in 2007 and held up its ever-growing fanbase. DJMAX Clazziquai Edition was released in 2008 as a somewhat Licensed Game with songs from the Korean band Clazziquai, and is geared towards newer players. DJMAX Black Square was released about a month and a half later, and is targeted at more experienced players. DJMAX Fever was released in late January 2009 as the first DJMAX Portable title to be released outside of South Korea, and its songlist is a mix of the first two Portable titles.

The latest edition to the line-up, DJMAX Portable 3, is the first Portable game since Fever to be released outside Korea (and on the same release date, too). With around 40 songs to choose from (a mix between old returning songs, Technika 2 songs, and new Portable 3 songs), the game is meant to be a return to the roots of the Portable series, hence the numerical naming. The game also features a new mode that utilizes the analog nub to switch to two "turntables" at appropriate times to in a sense remix the song. It was released on October 14, 2010 for the UMD version and October 19 on the PlayStation Network.

DJMAX Technika — The Gaiden Game (gameplay-wise) to DJMAX. Taking a departure from its beatmania-like sibling series, its gameplay is a combination of Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan/Elite Beat Agents and Lumines--a "timeline" passes over notes on the screen, which you touch as the timeline passes over them. Brings in songs from all DJMAX games, with a few new ones. A sequel appropriately named DJMAX Technika 2 reworks the system, making overall improvements and updates while adding two new modes and many brand new songs alongside more oldies that weren't in the first game.

In December of 2008, Konami filed a lawsuit against Pentavision for infringing on Konami's patents with the DJMAX series. While Komani had successfully used lawsuits to terminate Ez2DJ and In The Groove, it doesn't look like anything progressed in Konami's favor. The two corporations settled out of court, apparently letting Pentavision off the hook and Konami retaining the rights to distribute Technika in Japan.

The DJMAX franchise contains examples of:

  • Ascended Meme: Enemy Storm SP/MX in Technika was so reviled that in the background video for "Raise Me Up", a character can be seen screaming "ENEMY STORM SP PATTERN IS DIRTY I HATE THAT PLEASE HELP ME".
  • Attract Mode: Technika 2 has a very interactive attract demo.
  • Awesome but Impractical: Fever in Technika 2. It converts green MAXes to the higher-scoring rainbow MAXes--more technically, for each green MAX, you get 1 point of Fever Bonus during the result screen. However, rainbow MAXes are only worth 1 more point than green ones, and the maximum score for a song is 300,000, so unless you can get all MAXes on the song, there is no point to using it. Moreover, if you submit a score for Crew Race courses, the Fever Bonus gets subtracted from it, effectively turing Fever Bonus into a penalty.
  • Bad Export for You: The original Technika's Platinum Crew updates, in the overseas version, trailed the Korean verison's updates by a year. Technika 2 corrects this so now players outside of Korea get updates at the same time.
  • Blind Idiot Translation — The English language options in every DJMAX game. And then there's any number of songs with English lyrics or text in the vids, such as "Fallen Angel": "Don't walk you away!"
    • Averted in Portable 3. They aimed for accurate translations with the international release; at least with the menus. A few MVs still contain mistakes.
  • Bonus Boss — "CnP" in DJMAX Portable, "Your Own Miracle" in Portable 2. "Your Own Miracle" has a True Final Boss form (in the form of a Hard chart) with not-exactly-known requirements.
    • In Technika, if you can get 95% MAX judgment overall in Technical mode for the first three songs (not 95% for each), you can play a different boss song than you normally would. For example, you would normally get "Come To Me" as a boss song in First Step, but achieving 95% MAX will give you "Lover" instead.
      • The Conquerer Set has two bonus bosses. The first one, "Thor" [Technical] , is unlocked at 95%. The second one, "BlythE" [Technikal] is unlocked at 98%.
        • However, some songs' alternate bosses actually have less notes, making getting to them harmful to your score. On sets where this is the case, you'll need to Do Well, But Not Perfect on the first 3 stages (mainly through deliberately getting some Cools) just to get to the higher-scoring boss song.
    • Technika 2 changed the way bonus songs appeared. Instead of requiring 95% MAX, it is based on which songs are selected to play within each set. The songs are "numbered" from 1-6 based on the order they are listed in the set. Each set has a total number related to the difficulty, such as First Step having an 11. If the three songs chosen total to a number below that set number, the first boss song is chosen. If the total is higher, the second boss song is chosen.
  • Boss Rush — The Conqueror Set (sort of); all of the songs that can be used for the first 3 stages are boss songs from other Technical sets.
  • Difficulty Spike — If you have to use the easiest 3 songs in a Technical set to get to the 4th stage, the 4th stage will probably decimate you.
  • Distracted by the Sexy — "Put Em Up" and "Sweet Dream".
  • Double UnlockPortable 2, Fever, and Trilogy have you leveling up and completing missions to unlock new characters, interface styles, and notes...or rather, the right to unlock them; you then have to use Gold to be able to use them. Thankfully unlocked songs are usable right away...unless you're playing Trilogy, but at the very least they're the cheapest unlocks.
  • Dramatic Disappearing Display — On some songs in Clazziquai Edition and Black Square, there are note-free sections in which the HUD vanishes, giving you a clear view of a climatic part of the song's MV.
  • Earn Your FunTechnika's unlocks are temporary; unlock a song or course via a Platinum Crew mission and you'll get three chances to play it. Once you're out of chances, you have to unlock it again, via the same manner.
  • Easier Than Easy — On Technika machines with Platinum Crew enabled, charts on Lite Mode have three lanes instead of four.
    • A fanmade chart makes fun of this by having only one lane of notes.
    • It may have become a Fake Difficulty due to the notes not fully on beat with the wipe, so it can get a bit difficult the first time for people who already play Technika if they decide to give Lite Mode a shot.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita — The music video for OblivioN features one.
  • Everything's Better with RainbowsDJ Max Technika 2. From the teaser to actual gameplay, DJ Max Technika 2 just SCREAMS this.
    • With the opening of the Crew Race online system, players can buy items to modify the game interface... and this includes notes with rainbow-colored explosions
  • Executive Meddling - Forte Escape, the producer of DJMAX Trilogy, left Pentavision sometime last year, leaving Trilogy update-less since April 2009. Not anymore. Two song updates this year, yeah.
  • Fan Service — Elle's Absolute Cleavage on the box art of Portable 2, Panty Shots in the animation for "Memory of Beach," Gainaxing in "Star Fish"'s animation, just to name a few examples
  • Fake DifficultyTechnika 's Technical mode requires you to finish the first stage with more than 75% life, the second stage with more than 50%, and the third stage with more than 25%. When you combine this with a Life Meter that gets harder to recover each stage...
  • First Kiss — A song title.
  • Game Breaking Bug
    • In Clazziquai Edition and Black Square, the current song will occasionally skip, becoming clearly out of sync with the chart. And just to make things more insulting for those who play with UMDs, these bugs don't happen if you're using an ISO to play.
      • In DJMAX Trilogy, "Remember" is off-sync to begin with. Thankfully the rest of the game is very, very good at keeping the current chart on-beat with the background music, even if the game hiccups for a bit.
    • An unknown bug in Portable 3 creates an issue regarding unlocks from missions and the alternative method for obtaining them being playcount. If you reach a playcount number that would unlock something that a mission would also do, the game may bug out and you don't get the unlock. Even if you get the mission, the unlock will still not appear and is Lost Forever.
    • Inserting credits during Technika 2's tutorial attract demo can cause the machine to freeze up.
  • Gainaxing — "Trip", my goodness.
    • The opening to DJMAX Portable 3 has a bit of this from the middle of the three cover girls.
  • Get Out! — A song title.
  • Guide Dang It — Unlocking Heart of Witch, one of the new(?) songs in the latest patch for DJMAX Trilogy. In Free mode, break your combo at 2011.
  • Harder Than Hard — MX (Maximum) and SC (Super Crazy) in Online and Trilogy, MX and RD (Redesign) in Portable, SP (Special Pattern) in Technika, and WS (Workstation Set) in Portable 3.
    • Technika 2 gives us "YOU FAILED!"
  • Internal Homage — Lots of MVs in the DJMAX universe contain references to previous songs. Examples include:
    • The "Taekwonburi" duck as a statue in "Son of Sun".
    • The "Hard to Start" apple on a book in "First Kiss".
      • The "Hard To Start" faces appear in Lite Mode for Technika... even in the International version, in which the song was cut due to licensing issues.
    • "NB Power" in Portable 2 is chock full of cameos, from the "Light House" animals to "Ladymade Star STORM".
    • Remixing mode in Portable 3 is full of this.
        • And yet no one has mentioned Blythe, which is probably the ultimate version of this trope. The video references (amongst others) Ask the Wind, Piano Concerto No.1, Eternal Memory, Luv Flow, Enemy Storm, Triple ZOE and OUT LAW. We even have a supposed EZ 2 DJ reference popping up.
  • Level GrindingPortable 2 had you unlocking some things (including songs) through a level system.
    • Portable 3 dialed this up to eleven, with the first unlockable song appearing at around Level 30. Enjoy your 30-song songlist for the first 10+ hours.
  • Licensed GameDJMAX Portable Clazziquai Edition. Interestingly, like the single-band-centric Guitar Hero games, Clazziquai isn't the only licensed band to appear in the game; other licensed musicians include 015B, Garion, and Cooly's Hot Box.
  • Luck-Based Mission — The Randomizer Set in Technika, which randomly picks 4 songs for you to play. Somehow, it has local and international leaderboards, so getting a high-scoring set is a matter of praying that you get four high-scoring songs.
  • Multiplayer — The two new modes in Technika 2 are essentially this in different variants.
    • Duo Mixing is Co-Op Multiplayer, in which the screen is split into two and the two players have their own parts to play with the music. The option to play by one's self with both screens is available.
    • Crew Race is Meta Multiplayer, where players challenge various courses set up by other players. Crews are formed with up to 10 members each, and they all race to top the leaderboards of the best crews by earning Crew Points, which are earned for simply playing or beating a crew's course (which is created by a crew member's best Pop Mixing set and score).
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast"D2" stands for "Dance of Death".
  • Nintendo Hard
    • DJMAX Technika 2's Crew Race mode. Most of the crew courses so far consist of level 8-10 songs, so good luck passing any of them. Barring that, good luck beating any crews' scores, unless you've been playing for many months.
      • Except if you know where to look. Sometimes crews design "Low Score Attack" courses, wherein the director of the course intentionally got as low a score as they could without failing. Challengers are intended to try and score even lower, but the game still counts a higher score as a win and a lower score as a loss. As an added bonus, the extra challenge of skirting failure encourages the players making these courses to use easier songs than they normally would play. Not so fast. There are low score sets which use those 8-10 difficulty songs people have been avoiding. Umm... some people even use EFFECTORS in conjunction with those 8-10 difficulty songs.
  • Non Indicative Difficulty — Some of the SP charts in Technika are easier than their TP counterparts. "HEXAD" [SP] is regarded by some to be easier as a result of the easier beginning and ending.
    • Also, much more obviously, compare "End of the Moonlight" TP and SP.
  • Overly Long Gag — The ending of "The Guilty".
    • The second half of "SuperSonic (Mr. Funky Remix)" consists almost entirely of "SUPERSONIC!"
  • Self-Imposed Challenge — A popular one is playing Technika with "Left Swipe" enabled and getting a group of players to take turns hitting notes, in what is known as "Roulette" play. Results range from clearing the song or set to near-completion to failing Stage 1 of a Technical set.
  • Serial Escalation: Thought Customizer Set in Technika was the end of the game's challenges? Well, thanks to the Platinum Crew system, you can unlock even more agonizing courses, such as the Challenger Set and the Conqueror Set. The latter of which consists entirely of boss songs.
    • Thought "Son of Sun" was the fastest a chart could go? "D2" is 75% faster than "Son of Sun".
    • How hard can the Crew Race missions get? Take level 8-10 songs, and add forced mods.
  • Shout-Out — Besides the Internal Homages, Shout Outs to other things not DJMAX appear in a few MVs. "Hanz Up" is notable, however, for having a Shout-Out to the song "Gay Bar" in the MV; blink and you'll miss it (1:30).
  • So Bad It's Good: Music: "Para Q" from DJMAX Online, "Xlasher" from Technika 2. The latter, due to a serious case of Engrish, may also qualify as Narm Charm.
  • Stock Footage — Several songs in Technika share the same generic animation clips done by Kimys. It gets a little silly in "Thor"; its loading screen claims that the background animation was done by a different person, but when the song loads up, it's Kimys' generic clips that show up instead.
  • Take That — The MV for "Dreadnought" makes fun of George W. Bush. When DJMAX Portable got an "International" release with English text, it got replaced by a different song.
  • The Tetris Effect — Go too long without Technika and you may find yourself mock-playing the game on your computer screen using videos (and possibly breaking your monitor or laptop), or imagining Technika charts for your favorite songs.
    • This Troper has never even played Technika before, but does that thing described. I view it as training for the real thing.
  • This Is Gonna Suck — On the loading screen for Technika's Specialist Set, a Man in Black appears to take on three Men in Black with circular target-like things. On the screen for The Specialist Set 2, the same Men in Black faces against three monsters in suits, with sweatdrops of nervousness on his head.
    • Also a common reaction for Technika players doing Randomizer whenever That One Song decides to show up.
  • Title DropDJMAX Technikas subtitle is "Beyond the Future". Late into Technikas "Platinum Crew" service, a song called "Beyond the Future" became available.
  • True Final BossYour Own Miracle Hard Style in Portable 2. In Technika 's Technial courses, if you fulfill certain requirements, you'll get an alternate fourth stage.
  • Wake Up Call Boss — "Area 7" in Technika, which has notes that follow an awkward rhythm.