12-30-2004, 01:02 PM

    Achieved on December 4th, 2004 at the GameWorks Arcade in Philadelphia.

    Exclusive Report Prepared by Twin Galaxies' Chief Referee, Robert Mruczek, December 30th, 2004

    Hello fellow gamers:

    Since it's inception several years back, Konami's \"Dance Dance Revolution\" series has taken the world by storm. Combining old fashioned arcade reflexes with some awesome music that the player can choose from among dozens of choices, and adding in a chance for the gamer to display their own personal style and athleticism, and you can understand why this series has captivated today's generation of video gamers across the globe. In truth, the series can be thought of as a phenomenon in terms of both it's rewarding arcade content with it's broad social appeal.

    But when it comes down to it, all video games have one thing in common, and that is from the moment any video game title is released, inevitably some gamers become better than others at the title, and some go far beyond.

    One of the latest releases of the series is called \"Dance Dance Revolution Extreme\", and this past Saturday on December 4th, I had the privilege of watching one dedicated and talented gamer establish the inaugural world record for the title. Gregory Kantor danced his way into the Twin Galaxies Intergalactic Scoreboard with an awesome, verified score of 375,311,150 points, and in the process becomes the inaugural world record holder at the title.


    Gregory, who hails from Pennsylvania in the USA, contacted Twin Galaxies so that he can let the world know how good he is at his favourite arcade title. Being that Gregory lives in a different state than I am, arrangements had been made through the generosity of his family for a representative of Twin Galaxies to come to Gregory's local family
    entertainment venue and have his performance officially witnessed and verified. I was the lucky TG representative to have made the trip.

    The event took place at \"Gameworks\" which is located in Philadelphia at the corner of Delaware Avenue and South Waters Street by the Riverview Shopping Center, is definitely the place to be. Dozens of the most modern titles in excellent working condition, and kept separate by genre zones such as Sports, Racing, Adventure and Prize Zone, so gamers can quickly find their favourite titles to play. I was greatly impressed by how clean the center was, and how friendly and respectful that staff were to their
    customers. This was an excellent choice for Gregory to showcase his talent and expertise.

    When I arrived outside the center, I was cordially greeted by Gregory's mother and lead inside where Gregory had been practicing in anticipation of being filmed and photographed. After meeting with the photographer and videographer, and discussing the logistics of where we all would be standing and how to best capture Gregory's performance, we discussed the basics of the Twin Galaxies video submission process, and I handed the necessary player submission/agreement forms to be completed with
    Gregory's best performance of the day.

    This is an extraordinarily difficult series to master. A number of songs are selected by the gamer who must then dance quickly and accurately, matching the correct directional sequence as displayed on the game screen. The slightest misstep can cost a gamer millions of points as combo sequences are broken. Additionally, gamers must step not just accurately but with the proper timing, as each step...and there are hundreds per song...are \"graded\" by the gamer program. The more accurate and timely your dancing moves are, the higher you score.

    Seems easy ? Far from it. Gregory played in five (5) song sets, with each song lasting well over a minute. By the time the game is completed, it's like an accelerated aerobic workout for both the mind and body. Eye-feet coordination is more like it, and an interesting analogy would be that this is like playing \"Whack-a-Mole\" with your feet while dancing to a cool beat !!

    Serious \"DDR\" players like Gregory come fully prepared for their performances. This is not the kind of game that is played in business attire, far from it. Comfortable, loose fitting clothing often works best. Most, if not all series \"DDR\" players come with their water bottle and a towel. When players dance to the beat on this title, the pace is not that
    of ballroom dancing, not even close. The pace is frenetic and requires a great deal of energy to maintain. It is not uncommon for players to make multiple attempts on a given day, so having water available is an absolute must.

    Additionally, most players try to find the songs that they most enjoy honing their skills at, as well as the songs that potentially yield the most points. While no song is an absolute cakewalk when played at \"Heavy\" mode, which is the mode that all serious \"DDR\" players choose, some songs are devastatingly hard.

    Strategy also comes into play. Select songs that are too strenuously difficult at the beginning of your 5-song set and you might wear yourself out before the close. Like a marathon runner, a \"DDR\" player must choose whether to go full spint, selecting nothing but really hard songs all the way, or pacing themselves and putting the harder choices at either the beginning, middle or end of their set. There is a lot more to the title than you might think due to the physicality involved. Unlike classic arcade titles such as \"Asteroids\" where you dealt with what the game threw at you each wave, here, in \"DDR\", the player is in full control of their gaming destiny at every step of the way (pun intended)


    I have seen \"DDR\" players dancing while wearing shoes, sneakers, even comfortable slippers, but this was the first time I've seen a player go at it barefoot !! Nothing is in the rules that says a player can only dance while wearing shoes, so this is the player's choice.

    Like a tennis pro about to serve, or a pitcher about to throw, a gamer steadies themself before each song. Expert players already know what is in store for them, having practiced each title for dozens, if not hundreds of times. Gregory was no exception.

    Throughout the morning, Gregory made six (6) complete attempts at the title, the key word being complete. One of the settings on the game under Twin Galaxies rules governing this title is \"Game Over During Song\" is set to \"ON\", meaning that too many missed steps and your performance, no matter how well you've done or how far into the game you are, will come to an immediate end. Unlike classic arcade titles such as \"Pacman\", the \"DDR\" series offers no concept of extra lives. Too many mistakes and your dancing performance comes to an abrupt end. And considering that this modern title averages more than two dollars a gameplay in the New York City arcade in my home town, you do not want to make too many mistakes !!

    I took my place next to Gregory where I would be standing for the next approximate two hours, watching him play and logging his results. The game was set to free play and Gregory started his first official attempt.


    Using the rules established for last year's world record submissions on \"DDR2 Max7\" as a guideline, the rules for \"DDR Extreme\" are as follows...

    -> Difficulty = 3 (Easy)
    -> Five (5) songs
    -> Game over during song = \"ON\"
    -> Mode (i.e. \"Heavy\", etc) is player's choice
    -> Gamer allowed to take as much time inbetween sets as timer allows
    -> No song may be selected more than two (2) times in the performance
    -> Selection and sequence of songs is player's choice
    -> Player's hands may not touch the dance pad during a song
    -> Only the player's feet may touch the dance pad

    Again, these basic rules are based on the guidelines established by
    \"DDR2 Max7\".


    Due to the nuances of the title, and the extreme difficulty in nailing every single not with a rating of \"perfect\" every single time, and with hundreds of notes per song, final valuations per song can vary widely. Indeed, there are songs that, when completed, can be worth anywhere from several million points up to approximately 100 million points.

    Gregory made six attempts at the title during my stay. As it turned out, his second attempt was the highest in terms of points. Keep in mind that due to the physicality requirements of the title, it is very conceivable that a tired gamer may not be able to execute a song as quickly and accurately as a fresh gamer. Nonetheless, In Gregory's very
    last attempt, he came ti within 99% of his best verified performance, which is a testament to his physical conditioning and determination.

    In his world record attempt of 375,311,150 points, Gregory was completely fresh and full of energy, and selected a combination of song titles that were both exciting and with an opportunity for major points.

    Here is a recap of his performance that lead to his new world record. Afterwards, a brief recap on the attempts that followed, as they are equally noteworthy. Also, due to the number of digits in the game's score, I will only recap down the the hundred-thousands digit by song, but will provide the complete score at the end of the set.

    1st song - \"Max 300\" - song score 71.1M points
    2nd song - \"Maxx Unlimited\" - song score 70.0M, running score 141.1M
    3rd song - \"(unpronounceable by \"RevenG\") - song score 81.2M, running score
    4th song - \"Bag\" - song score 80.3M, running score 302.6M
    5th song - \"Paranoia Rebirth\" - song score 72.6M, running score 305.2M

    As I rounded the above numbers due to the number of digits, the final score tally was 375,311,150 points for the inaugural world record !!

    I must admit that although each of the songs had it's own charm, of the first five that Gregory selected, the 3rd and 4th were my favourites.

    As for combos, Gregory hit 200+ on the 3rd song, 100+ on the 4th, and
    260+ on the last.

    Here below are highlights from his other attempts...

    -> In a 352.5M attempt, he managed to pull off a 280+ combo on \"Paranoia/Kcet\", 240+ on \"Paranoia Max\" and 345+ on \"Max 300\"

    -> In a 346.8M attempt, he pulled off a 270+ combo on \"Across the Nightmare\", 400+ on \"Afonova\", which was his best combo performance of the day, and also 100+ on \"Max 300\"

    -> In his 362.0M attempt, he pulled off both a 200+ and 100+ combo in the very same unpronounceable song from his 1st attempt by artist/group \"RevenG\", and a 300+ combo on \"321 Stars\"

    -> In his last attempt of the day, Gregory mentally regrouped and was dead serious on breaking his verified personal best. His plan for this attempt was to double up on both \"Bag\" and the unpronounceable title from the first attempt, and clean up with a great score on \"Afronova\".

    He started out with \"Bag\" and achieved over 70M on each, and then selected the other song, and ion back-to-back performances hit 80.2M and mid-70M, leaving him within 75M of breaking his earlier record.

    Now came time to execute on \"Afronova\". He had previously nailed a 400+ combo and was trying for a perfect rating. If he achieved it, that would easily put him over the top.

    He readied himself and started his song, and reached a pinnacle of 248 combos starting with about 3-4 seconds into the song, and ended in one misstep that interrupted the combo and he started his next...which turned out to be 98+ but a second misstep ended the combo, and his finishing score as a result was 371,561,665 points. So very close to his earlier attempt, and proof that as tired as Gregory was, he could still dance circles around the other gamers on this title !!


    \"My feet are SO wrecked !!\"

    These were the very first words spoken to me by Gregory after his last set was over. And I had no doubt. If any of you had seen a 1983 movie called \"Flashdance\" in which the lead character practiced a fast-paced series of dancing steps in her home to the tune of \"Maniac\" by Michael Sambello (or was it Sembello, I forget), you have a pretty good idea of what Gregory was talking about. The dancing pad on the game is not a sheet
    of velvet, that's for sure. So playing barefoot will definitely hurt after a while.

    I asked Gregory a few questions, as this was his moment in the spotlight,
    and here's how it went...

    RTM - \"What is it that you like so much about the DDR Series ?\"

    GC - \"The first thing that I liked about it was that it was a new experience.At first it was about the speed and challenge, not about the songs. Now, it helps to play the songs before I try them, to assist me with getting higher scores.\"

    RTM - \"How long have you been playing DDR Extreme ?\"

    GC - \"About a year and seven months' I also bought it for the home system and recently built my own machine at home.\"

    RTM - \"What do your friends think at the title ?\"

    GC - \"Only a few actually play. Some don't understand it. Most are impressed by the speed.\"

    RTM - \"Your friends that do do they fare against you ?\"

    GC - \"In the beginning, one friend was close to what I could do, but not now.\"

    RTM - \"I can imagine !! WHat are your future goals on DDR Extreme ?\"

    GC - \"Getting Paranoia Survivor maxed on Oni mode.\"

    RTM - \"Ever win any tournaments ?\"

    GC - \"To date I've won about $15,000 competing everywhere. I recently passed on a chance to play in Germany.\"

    RTM - \"Ever consider competing in Japan ?\"

    GC - \"It's too much money to go there, plus my mom feels I'm not ready yet.\"

    RTM - \"How long have you been gaming since ?\"

    GC - \"Since about the age of 5. Now I mainly play DDR and GTA Vice City.\"

    RTM - \"Ah, good choice. We actually have a few submissions on that title in terms of fastest completion and some of the mini-games if you are ever interested.

    What about your friends...what do they have to say about your gaming habits ?\"

    GC - \"I can almost hear them right now. They might say 'You have a lot of time on your hands, but it's worth the fame, the fun and the exercise, and it's better than sitting on your couch eating Doritos' \"

    RTM - \"What do you think of Gameworks, where you've been playing DDR ?\"

    GC - \"I think it's the best place for gaming in the area. There are a few other places, but the neighborhoods are not so good.\"

    RTM - \"Any words that you have for everyone about DDR ?

    GC - \"I encourage you to at least try DDR. It is a new experience, and is the most fun you will ever have on a video game. You can even go to a boardwalk, show off, and people will pay to see you play, so it can be profitable, too.\"

    RTM - \"Is there anyone you wish to thank in getting you to this plateau ?

    GC - \"I would like to thank my parents for buying me a system to practice at home, and would like to thank Konami and Bemani for creating the title.\"

    RTM - \"Okay, sounds good. Best of luck on your future gaming challenges.\"

    GC - \"Thanks.\"


    Gregory's mom assisted me with obtaining the technician and witness signatures for the TG player agreement/submission form, and discussed the details of getting the tape recording to me for archiving. The photographer too a snapshot of Gregory by the machine for the TG website article, and also one of me standing next to Gregory for proof that a TG referee was indeed present.

    I took a quick scan of the place while everyone was getting set to leave (read more on \"Gameworks\" later in this article), and received a generous ride to the 30th Street train station after it was all said and done.

    On behalf of the staff of Twin Galaxies, I congratulate gamer Gregory Kantor on becoming the inaugural world record holder at the Konami title \"Dance Dance Revolution Extreme\", and wish him all the best on his competitions yet to come.

    And now for \"Gameworks\".

    Located in Philadelphia at the corner of South Waters Street and Delaware Avenue, by the Roverview Shopping Center, this is definitely a great place to take the family for some enjoyable gaming.

    This family entertainment center is extremely clean, and the staff are accommodating, friendly and professional. It is open seven (7) days a week as follows, and even has it's own newsletter !!

    Sunday thru Wednesday - 12:00pm to 10:00pm
    Thursday - 12:00pm to 11:00pm
    Friday thru Saturday - 12:00pm thru 12:00am

    The modern arcade titles, which are arranged by genre zones such as \"Racing\", \"Adventure\", \"Sports\" and \"Prizes\" (ticket-producing titles), include \"Hydro Thunder\", two different \"DDR\" variations and many, many others.

    According to the informative staff member that I spoke with, they also handle parties, so Philly residents, and even families close by, please keep this in mind !!

    According to the business card that I was given, the general manager of the family entertainment venue is Steve Egan and his direct E-MAIL address is \"\".

    This is definitely one of the cleanest and friendliest places to go for video gameplay, I highly recommend it.
  2. 12-30-2004, 02:36 PM

    EDIT: XD at below post.

    12-30-2004, 04:13 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by WalterDay
    RTM - "How long have you been playing DDR Extreme ?"

    GC - "About a year and seven months' I also bought it for the home system and recently built my own machine at home."
    :lol: :lol: :lol:

    RTM - "Ever win any tournaments ?"

    GC - "To date I've won about $15,000 competing everywhere. I recently passed on a chance to play in Germany."

    RTM - "Ever consider competing in Japan ?"

    GC - "It's too much money to go there, plus my mom feels I'm not ready yet."
    :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

    Everyone else might want to know what REAL DDR players think of this "record".

    12-30-2004, 04:24 PM
    Yet another shining example of DDR brats acting like punks.

    If they're all so good, let them prove it. All you need is a ref or a video camera. :roll:
  5. 12-30-2004, 04:44 PM
    For the most part, yeah, they're being a little immature, but some of them have a point. Though I admit I know nothing about DDR, this record does seem extremely beatable from what I have read.

    Of course, maybe this will give them a little more motivation to send a tape.
  6. 12-30-2004, 04:49 PM
    I don't doubt for a second that there are many players that could beat this score. The problem is none of them want to through with the submission process. They'll just say, \"I can beat that\", and move on with their own projects. That's totally their choice but I must admit it would be great to get some of the top scores on here, similar to that Japanese score for some other DDR variation.
    Martin Bedard

    Arcade Finder - Find the coin-op games you want to play!

    12-30-2004, 05:25 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by NumbFingers
    Yet another shining example of DDR brats acting like punks.

    If they're all so good, let them prove it. All you need is a ref or a video camera. :roll:
    You wanna talk about "DDR brats"? I've observed that there are a lot of people on NNR and other ranking sites who love lying about their scores and make false claims. Yes, those people are brats. But the people posting in that thread I linked though... they have pictures and sometimes videos of accomplishments, along with reliable witnesses. They are totally on the level, and have even posted some pictures of scores for song sets in that very thread that destroy this world record! Ironically, the so-called "world record holder" is one of those brats who obviously enjoys telling lies. I mean, $15,000 in tournament winnings? That's pure crap. NOBODY has won that much money playing in tournaments, especially someone who been playing for less than two years... and ESPECIALLY someone who gets such low scores. 72.6 million (out of 90 million) on Paranoia Rebirth... I average 86-87 million on that song, and I still don't consider myself to be all that great since I've seen so much better out there.

    As has been said before, a lot of them do not know or care about Twin Galaxies. So they haven't gone through the process, probably because it's a lot of trouble just to set this all up. Some players might not have an arcade nearby that has the machine set to the required settings (like 5 songs), and have uncooperative arcade owners willing to make the changes. It sounds like a couple of the better players may be doing this though, which would be good since it would at least put a more respectable score up. The other factor is TG's way of tracking scores... pretty much nobody in the DDR community cares about cumulative score on regular song sets. Nonstop and Oni courses, sure. But regular song sets... no. Those scores aren't even eligible for ranking on the machine's high score list. As pretty much every DDR player knows, the game's scoring system is very flawed, it puts more emphasis on steps near the end. Somebody who gets 5 Misses on the first five steps of a song will get a higher score than somebody who gets 1 Great/Good/Boo/Miss on the last step of a song. The hardcore players are more concerned about single song accomplishments, and people never care about what the "regular" score is... they want to know the number of Greats.

    I mean no disrespect towards Robert, but that little interview with the guy is REALLY not attracting any positive publicity for TG.
  8. Starting the ball rolling is very important

    12-30-2004, 05:32 PM
    Even though many people judge this inaugural record to be not up to par, starting the ball rolling with an inaugural record is very important, so, three cheers for Gregory Kantor.

    Now its up to the top players to counter the record with something higher-- or Gregory Kantor himself try to beat it.

    All DDR players are forwarned that when the 2nd edition of the reocrd book comes out, there will be significant coverage devoted to the DDR family of titles, and the only players mentioned will be the ones who bother to submit and prove their claims.

    So, tell anybody you know who is good at any DDR title to get their videotapes in as soon as possible

    Walter Day
  9. 12-30-2004, 06:03 PM
    BBH, all we need is one player to submit a respectable score. You'd think it wouldn't be too much too ask. If these guys in that topic are winning money and posting pictures with a digital camera, I'm sure they could afford a camcorder or at least borrow one from a friend and send in a tape.
  10. 12-30-2004, 06:19 PM
    As the old saying goes BBH... Put up or shut up.
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