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Overview
This article refers to the inital arcade game.
If you are looking for the Xbox 360 port released in 2007, please see here.
If you are looking for the anime produced in 2011, please see here.
If you are looking for the franchise as a whole, please see here.


THE IDOLM@STER
THE iDOLM@STER Arcade Cabinet
Game Information
Developer Metro
Bandai Namco Games
Publisher BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment
Platform Arcade Cabinet
Released July 25, 2005
Genre Music
Raising Simulation
Rhythm
Mode Single-Player
Multi-Player
Available Languages Japanese

THE IDOLM@STER (アイドルマスター Aidorumasutaa?) was an arcade game released on July 25, 2005, where the player becomes the Producer of a new talent agency called 765 Production where their main goal is help produce their newly scouted idols.

With the popularity of the game, it received a Xbox 360 port on January 25, 2007 under the same name.

The termination of the game's online service and mobile site was announced on May 28, 2010, and officially ended on September 1, 2010[1]. In October 2017, repair support was also terminated[2][3].

Gameplay

The Producer has a choice of nine idols from 765 Production to produce. In the beginning, the Producer can only choose one, but as they gain more experience they'll be able to produce up to three and make them a unit with a custom name. With the selected idols, the game depicts the activities between the Producer and idols for a day within an in-game week.

Players can also compete against other Producers in Japan with the "Newcomer Producer" network, which would rank them based on their performance as a Producer.

Idol and Unit Production

The process of producing idols and units are the same, and the production follows this general flow:

  1. The player selects the idol(s) they wish to produce.
  2. For units, the player then chooses the unit name.
  3. The player will gain fans with their idol(s) by completing Lessons, Communications, or Auditions.
    1. With Lessons, the idol(s) will mainly increase their stats and fan gain will relatively low. The same applies to Communications, where the idol(s) will build up Memories to be used in Auditions.
    2. With Auditions, if the idol(s) succeeds, they will be able to make TV appearances to gain fans and the amount of fans gained corresponds with the level of the Audition. However, if they fail to pass the audition, their fan count will decrease, but there is a rare chance that it will increase slightly,
  4. If the required amount of fans are gained, the rank of the idol(s) will increase. However, if they fail, the idol(s) will no longer be able to do any activities and a retirement concert will be held.

Office

The Office serves as a main screen as players start their production here in the Morning, and return after completing which production style they chose to complete at Night.

Morning

In the morning, the player can:

  • Check the date and how much time is left in the production period, the rank up limit, and how many of fans the idol(s) have.
  • Choose to either greet the idol(s) to begin work, or give them the week off.
    • If a player gives their idol(s) two weeks off in a row, they will have the option to retire.
  • See their options of Lessons, Communications, or Auditions.
  • Change the song or costume for Auditions.
  • Choose their production style for the week.

Night

At night, the player can:

  • See the rank of the idol(s) and the rank up limit after the production for the week.
  • See fan mail, presents, or letters of misfortune.

Activities

With the selected idol(s), the Producer has three in-game activities to complete to gain experience: Lessons, Communications, and Auditions.

Lessons

Lessons are made up of five mini-games: Voice Lessons, Pose Lessons, Lyric Lessons, Dance Lessons, and Expression Lessons. The goal of these lessons are to level up an idol's four main stats: Dance, Visual, Vocal, or Character. The lessons are divided into six parts, and the overall performance in each part will be ranked from Bad, Normal, Good, or Perfect. However, unlike the other activities, Lessons aren't always available.

Communications

Communications have the Producer talk with their chosen idol, along with choosing jobs for their idol to complete to raise their idol rank. These will create good or bad memories for the idol which will be ranked from Bad [4], Normal [5], Good [6], and Perfect Communication [7]. The memories created can then be used during auditions and lives.

Auditions

Auditions have the Producer choose a song and costume for their idol to perform and wear while they are judged to determine if they pass or fail. There are three types of Auditions: Limited, National, and Special. Limited Auditions are for idols ranked E or F,  National Auditions are for idols of any rank, and Special Auditions can only be done after completing certain conditions. Once the audition type is chosen, Producers will be matched with other players who are currently doing the same audition type or matched with random NPCs. 

Types of Auditions
Rank Name Type Possible Fans Gained Requirements Master Trend
≤EF THE DEBUT +5,000 Tutorial
E + F HOP JAM Limited +5,000
E + F NEW BE@T Limited +40,000
E + F NEW BE@T Limited +40,000 Personality Levels

During the audition, three judges representing the Vocal, Dance, and Visual stats will give out points depending on the idol's appeal. The interest level is represented by gauges which will increase or decrease depending on the success of the appeal which is determined by staying within the song's rhythm and the good memories used. Each audition is made of three segments with nine attempts at an appeal proceeded by a mid-audition review, and at the end of each segment the idols with the three highest scores in each category will receive stars and idols with the lowest scores in each category will lose stars. The amount of stars your idol has at the end will determine if they pass or not.

If the idol is able to pass the audition, they will be able to do a televised performance with the song and costume previously chosen which will increase an idol's fan count and in turn their rank.

Retirement

If an idol or unit is unable to reach the minimum rank within the required period, the idol or unit is able to reach the maximum rank by the end of the period [8], or the idol or unit has taken the week off two times in a row, a Retirement concert will be held. The process of the the Retirement concert follows:

  1. Venue Selection
  2. Costume and Song Selection
  3. Communication
  4. Concert
  5. Communication
  6. Credit Sequence

Development and Cabinet

The development of the game began in 2001, with Namco designer Akihiro Ishihara's desire to create a game that would utilize the progress-saving magnetic stripe cards found in some arcade games. With the main goal being a game that players would return to everyday, in order to create an emotional bond with the characters, a raising simulation where players befriend girls and young women was chosen.

To fit in with the competitive nature of other arcade games, the characters were to be idols where players raise their own to compete against others to become the top idol. In order to create realistic characters that weren't perceived as being too moe, various idol groups, such as Morning Musume, were used as inspiration for designs by Toshiyuki Kubooka.

The game was announced at the All Nippon Amusement Machine Operators' Union in February 2004. Despite worries and criticisms that the game would be awkward to play or unsure in its premise, when the game was tested in arcades, it's popularity quickly spread through word of mouth.

The design of the cabinet consists of a live tower and the touchscreen Rewritable Stage arcade cabinet. On the live tower, the nationwide rankings and TV appearance images of the idols are displayed, but can be easily skipped to the next ranking display. The main station cabinet has a touchscreen display in the center, a coin slot and headphone jack on the right side, and a card slot on the left side.

Official Event "Super Producer Tournament"

This was only official event organized for the game, and took place from December 15, 2005 10:00 to January 15, 2006 23:59.

  • Create, play, and retire a new unit within the event period.
  • Enter the unit on the official mobile site.
  • The unit can only be produced with one song that cannot be changed once chosen. (THE IDOLM@STER is excluded.)
  • One or more of the Special Auditions[9] must be passed.
  • To rank the players, the number of fans by the players' retirement point would be added and adjusted by the idols included in their unit and the players' producer rank.

The winners of the tournament were featured on THE IDOLM@STER MASTERPIECE 04, with 10 CD Producers who got their featured unit and song as a song on the single, and 50 Booklet Photo Producers who received photos of their unit with the single booklet.

Characters

Idols
Name Vocal Visual Dance Personality Total
Haruka Amami 19 13 5 19 56
Chihaya Kisaragi 37 19 21 1 78
Yukiho Hagiwara 7 15 1 27 50
Yayoi Takatsuki 5 7 11 27 50
Ritsuko Akizuki 25 21 23 3 72
Azusa Miura 15 21 5 17 58
Iori Minase 21 33 19 1 74
Makoto Kikuchi 11 13 19 17 60
Ami and Mami Futami 1 7 13 27 48
765 Production Staff
Producer
Kotori Otonashi
Junichirou Takagi

Songs

Songs
Vocal Dance Visual
Taiyou no Jealousy THE IDOLM@STER Ohayou!! Asagohan
Aoi Tori First Stage Here we go!!
Mahou o Kakete! Agent Yoru o Yuku Positive!
9:02pm

Discography

Gallery

Profiles

Gameplay

Cabinet

Trivia

  • To differentiate the arcade game from the port, it is commonly referred to as Akemasu (アケマス?)

References and Notes

  1. May 28, 2010 and September 1, 2010 News Notice
  2. About Maintenance Termination of Our Products - BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment September 2016 (PDF)
  3. Maintenance End List - BANDAI NAMCO Technical, October 1, 2017 (PDF)
  4. Bad Communications: The idol does not gain any Memories, and their Tension drops. Retirement concert Memories and Audition Memories decrease by one, if the idol's tension is low. However, the Memories will not decrease if the idol already has zero.
  5. Normal Communications: The idol gains one Memory for both Retirement and Auditions.
  6. Good Communications: The idol gains two Memories for both Retirement and Auditions.
  7. Perfect Communications: The idol gains five Memories for Auditions if their Tension is high, three Memories if Tension is normal. Four Memories for Retirement Concerts are gained.
  8. Solo: 61 Weeks
    Unit: 62 Weeks
  9. Vocal Master, Dance Master, or Visual Master