The Invasion of ITG
Disclaimer: I do not own DDR, ITG, or any of their songs. This story may not be an accurate representation of DDR or ITG.
It was 4 PM on Friday afternoon, and the arcade was crowded with kids who had just finished school. This arcade had a Dance Dance Revolution machine, some old racing games, a few fighting games, and a dilapidated Pong cabinet. The sound of video game noises and kids screaming filled the arcade. Suddenly, the DDR machine began to emit a strange sound. It was very quiet at first, but it increased in intensity until some of the kids began to notice. The people who were playing DDR started to back away from the machine in fear that it may explode.
"What the heck is up with this machine?" said the 16 year old boy who was playing DDR.
"I don't know, but let's stop playing for today," said his friend who was standing nearby.
The marquee which said "Dance Dance Revolution" began to flip over. On the other side, it said "In The Groove" in red and orange letters. The screen changed its dimensions slightly. The pads were also changing. People began to notice and back away from the machine. A little kid who was obsessed with Pokemon said "Look, the machine is evolving!" Everyone else questioned what was going on and what was happening to the machine.
Instead of saying 'Let's DDR!" in a loud voice, the machine starting playing creepy music. A witchlike voice cackled "In the Groove! Ha ha ha" All the kids under the age of 9 ran far away, then the arcade manager quickly shut off power to the In the Groove machine.
"It looks like someone hacked our DDR machine," said the arcade manager in a worried tone, "I'll fix it after the arcade closes tonight." He then made an announcement over the loudspeaker to the arcade: "We are experiencing technical difficulties with the DDR machine. Please do not use it until further notice."
Later that night, the arcade manager went on a DDR message board to post what had happened with the arcade's DDR machine. Someone quickly responded about a similar situation that occurred at their arcade.
About two weeks earlier, another arcade had their DDR machine transformed. The transformation occurred in the middle of the night, so nobody was there to experience it. The employees thought In the Groove was simply a new game that had been delivered overnight, so they ignored it. When the arcade opened, some beginners tried to play on the ITG machine but discovered only expert difficulty was selectable. They selected expert and began looking at the song list. At the beginning of the song list was DDR styled songs. They picked a song called "This is so easy." A slow, easy sounding song began playing, but no steps appeared. After about 7 seconds, the music changed to the genre of refrigerators being thrown down the stairs while being smashed into bits by a broken kazoo. A cluster of steps flew up the screen and the beginners instantly failed. "This is impossible!" said the beginner players.
Later that day, a higher level player scrolled through the song list. After the DDR styled songs, there was some hardcore techno, random 1950's songs, electronic "music" consisting of grating, discordant noises arranged in a 100 second composition, "Songs" that sounded like a broken car horn being run over by an airplane, and random collections of noises that no one in their right mind would classify as music. People covered their ears as some "songs" were being played. The higher level player walked away from the machine. An arcade employee turned off the machine to prevent it from annoying the other customers. The intolerable noise was loud enough that it caused nearby businesses to complain about it. This arcade eventually had the machine removed.
After reading about the 2 DDR machines that transformed, arcade owners and DDR players everywhere were worried their machine would transform. The transformed "In the Groove" machines were reported to have a song list consisting of cacophonous "music." They were also reported to have a difficulty rating system that used decimals, fractions, and a variety of other difficult math concepts that had no place being on a video game. There were message board topics on how to prevent transformation, but no one figured out how to convert the ITG machines back. The DDR players who played at the affected arcades wondered if their machines would return to normal.
To be continued…