Beatmania IIDX 12: Happy Sky (stylized as beatmania IIDX12: HAPPY SKY) is the 12th game in the beatmania IIDX series of music video games. It was released in arcades by Konami on July 13, 2005. The game features over 45 new songs, some of which are unlocked over Konami's e-Amusement platform. Happy Sky introduced several small but significant changes to the series, such as a new difficulty scale, and a new boss song.
Core gameplay remained the same on Happy Sky. Songs are now ranked on a 12-point rating scale, with the difficulties being renamed in the process as well. "LIGHT7/14" is now Normal and "7/14KEYS" is now Hyper. All songs have been readjusted to fit the new ranking scales. A new folder called "HARD CLEAR" has also been added to the song selection screen for songs cleared using the Hard mode modifier, it is considered to be of higher value than a Full Combo.
Two new modifiers have been added, Hidden+ and Sudden+, which allows the user to adjust a lane cover to cover up a specific portion of the screen. This had been popularly done with towels beforehand, acknowledged by Konami in the PS2 version of Gold, which offers a picture of a towel as one of the lane cover options.
Happy Sky was the last version of IIDX to support the old styled e-Amusement cards, as Distorted would switch to the new "e-Amusement Pass" system. A cell phone application called "IIDX WAVE" could customize the interface of Happy Sky, with different menu music options, different frames for the gameplay interface, and being able to create custom courses.
If the player gets AA's on all stages (with all 3 stages being played on Hard Mode and on Another difficulty, and the final stage being a 10), the player is awarded a chance to play the extra stage, where Scream Squad by Calf is offered. If a AAA is scored and the stage is played on Hard Mode, the player gets to play One More Extra Stage, 冥 (Mei) by Amuro vs Killer, a song rated 12 on Another. Mei, the OMES of Happy Sky, is known for its Another chart, which is rated 12 on Another and contains exactly 2000 notes. It is considered one of the hardest songs in IIDX history. Xepher gained more exposure outside of IIDX when it was one of several new IIDX crossovers featured on Dance Dance Revolution SuperNOVA, and later as part of a set of Bemani crossover unlocks on Toy's March 2 (which also included Mei). Scripted Connection sounds slightly different on each difficulty level, thus having 3 different "versions". DJ Murasame stated in a "bio" page for the song on Konami's Happy Sky microsite, that the 3 different versions could be played together one after the other at once, and suggested a situation where all 3 versions could be played sequentially using 3 IIDX cabinets next to each other. The console version of Happy Sky would later include all 3 variations playable separately, and a long mix of all 3.
A home version of Happy Sky was released in Japan for the PlayStation 2 and includes 9 new songs, plus an unlockable "long mix" of Scripted Connection. The home version also features unlockable customization features and artwork.
The original soundtrack for Happy Sky was released on October 19, 2005. The soundtrack spans 2 discs, and includes the console exclusive songs from 9th Style, plus 6 long versions.
Source: Wikipedia, "Beatmania IIDX 12: Happy Sky", available under the CC-BY-SA License.