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Bust a Groove

Bust a Groove is a hybrid music/fighting game for the Sony PlayStation released in 1998. The game was published by the Japanese video game maker Enix (now Square Enix) in Japan and brought to the U.S. by now-defunct 989 Studios. The original Japanese game was titled ; the name was changed as the American release of Puzzle Bobble already used that name. The game combined PaRappa the Rapper-like rhythm-based gameplay with fighting game elements, including special moves designed to damage the opponent. The sequel, Bust a Groove 2, unlike its predecessor, was never released in Europe. A third game in the series, Dance Summit 2001 was only released in Japan on the PlayStation 2.



Name Age Dance Style Jammer Info
Frida 17 West Coast hip-hop She paints a wolf's head, which bites the opponent She is an artist who lives in a shack. Her ambition is to use the Groovetron to give life to her paintings.
Gas-O 15 House dance Traps the opponent in a gas chamber Gas-O first became interested in becoming a scientist when he was eight. Now at 15, he has accomplished several outstanding tasks, including consulting for NASA, logging time on a particle accelerator, and studying the gaseous elements in his laboratory. Gas-O hopes to use the Groovetron to develop the ultimate gas.
Hamm 30 Detroit Modern A giant hamburger squishes the opponent He used to be a great dancer, but his love for junk food has left him somewhat chubby. He became a hamburger joint employee to satisfy his craving for junk food. He wants to use the Groovetron to help him diet.
Heat 19 East Coast hip-hop Breakdance A giant flame comes down on the opponent He is the "poster boy" of this game. He used to be a racer, but hasn't returned to the track because he was nearly incinerated when he was involved in a terrible accident. Luckily, he made a total recovery with the ability to manipulate fire, and now wants to use the Groovetron to get back into the track.
Hiro 20 '70's Disco An autographed picture of himself crashes onto the opponent Hiro is a narcissistic disco-loving character. He lives in a tiny apartment where he works with his computer until Saturday night, where his playboy antics really take off. Don't even begin to try to match his Saturday night standards--he is truly one of a kind.
Kelly 23 Modern Jazz dance A burst of energy gathered in her rattle She is a secretary who has a fetish with everything infantile (related to babies), and wants to find a man. She bought her rubber suit to dress in when she is a guest at secret parties. She seems worried about her new rubber suit; this may be due to its cost.
Kitty Nakajima (Kitty-N) 16 Vogue A burst of energy is thrown at her opponent This lovable TV star is on break from the hit TV show "Love Love Senshi Miracle 5." She wants to use the Groovetron's power to make her the ultimate TV star. She has bought out the top floor of some building and converted it into her private dancing studio, just for the purposes of attracting more people.
Pinky Diamond 32 Classic '70s Motown Giant tarot cards that curse the opponent She is a stripper, fortune-teller, a professional contract killer, and she does hair. It's no wonder she's so weird. She has the power to see into your lover's heart and claims to know you better than you know yourself. Your secrets are nowhere being close to safe near her!
Shorty 12 Funk dance Giant pieces of candy that fall on her opponent She is the daughter of a DJ father and a supermodel mother. Obviously, Shorty lives in a rich family with nothing better to do than dance with Columbo, her pet mouse. Her love for outdated music drives her to madness at a flea market, where she frantically searches for 8-track tapes.
Strike 21 Gangsta Walking Shoots the opponent with his two guns He is from a notorious street gang, and managed to do something bad to get in the state penitentiary. He is gathering his fellow prisoners to form a dance team, called "The Ball and Chain Revue." Strike's favorite word is "freedom."


Name Age Dance Style Jammer Info
Burger Dog Unknown Detroit Modern A giant hamburger squishes the opponent Burger Dog is the dog that runs the restaurant in Hamm's stage. Is unlocked by playing the game through on Medium difficulty or higher with Hamm after the first completion.
Capoeira Unknown Capoeira A wall of energy dazes the opponent Capoeira, individually known as Kiki and Lala, have come to Earth to collect Japanese billboards to construct a giant fan. They are also here to display the power of the Groovetron, their special "dancing energy" invention. Unlocked by finishing the game on Medium after the first completion.
Columbo Unknown Funk dance Giant pieces of candy fall on his opponent Columbo is Shorty's pet mouse, whom she keeps in her chest pocket while dancing. He is unlocked by finishing the game on Medium difficulty or higher with Shorty after the first run through, but will also jump out of Shorty's pocket and dance with her should she successfully execute a level seven freeze.
Robo-Z Unknown Vogue A blast of shock-inducing waves Robo-Z was constructed by a tyrannical organization only known as "Secret X." It was built for the sole purpose of harnessing total power of the Groovetron. It is 50 feet tall on the final level, but on other stages, it is very short. He is unlocked by finishing the game on Hard difficulty after the first run through.


  • Frida - Sora to Umi to Niji no Yume (空と海と虹の夢)
    • Translation: "Dreams of Sky, Sea, and Rainbows"
  • Gas-O - Chemical Love
  • Hamm/Burger Dog - I luv hamburgers
  • Heat - 2 Bad
  • Hiro - The Natural Playboy
  • Kelly - Transform
  • Kitty N - Aozora no KNIFE (Bust A Move Edit) (青空のknife)
    • NA Release - Bust a Groove
  • Pinky - I know
  • Shorty/Columbo - Waratte pon (笑ってぽん)
    • NA Release - Shorty and the EZ Mouse
  • Strike - Power
  • Capoeira - Uwasa no KAPOERA (噂のカポエラ)
    • NA Release - CAPOEIRA
  • Robo-Z - Flyin' to your soul

Additionally, a remix of Aozora no KNIFE (titled "blue knife (start G move mix)" on the Japanese soundtrack) was used as the opening theme for the game. A different remix, "blue knife dream (orchestra stall mix)", was used during the ending credits.


The game was made available in two different packages in Japan; the first is the more common single-disc (game only) version. The second package is a lesser-known version which contains two discs: the game disc and the Premium Disc. The Premium Disc contains four movies, and to access the movies you had to have a memory card with a Bust a Move save file on it. Accomplishing certain tasks in the game would unlock certain movies. One of the movies on the disc featured Hatsumi Morinaga, the artist responsible for singing the theme of Kitty-N's stage. This feature contained shots of the artist singing the song in the studio, an interview with the artist, and a live-action version of the game, complete with costumed Japanese dancers taking the parts of the various characters (Kitty-N, Heat, and Kelly are all included, amongst others). The other three movies contained within the disc were all for other Enix games: AstroNoori (a game unreleased in the U.S.), Star Ocean: The Second Story, and Hello Charlie (known as Eggs of Steel in the U.S.). The premium version was otherwise identical to the game-only version; the gameplay, box art, and instruction manual were essentially the same, with the exception of a large red box with white type on the spine card proclaiming the addition of a Premium CD-ROM.


The U.S. version of the game had a number of changes from the Japanese version, mostly due to cultural differences between countries.

  • Hiro-kun was originally smoking a cigarette in the game but this was removed for the U.S. release.
  • Hamm's song originally included the word 'nigga' in the lyrics. There was also a line referring to the franchises McDonald's and Burger King. These portions of the song were removed for the U.S release.
  • Strike's song originally contained references to alcohol. This line was removed for the U.S. release.
  • Hamm originally had jet black skin with thick lips. The jet black skin was changed to the same color of his lips, giving him a more latino look in the final release.
  • During gameplay, Strike is seen drinking from a flask. This was changed to a can of soda pop (possibly Coca cola).
  • Waratte PON, Aozora no KNIFE, Uwasa no KAPOEIRA and Transform were translated to English and were re-recorded for the U.S. release (The former three were re-titled as Shorty and the EZ mouse, Bust a Groove and CAPOEIRA respectively).
  • Frida (Player 2) hair color was originally brunette, but was changed to blue for the U.S. release.


See also

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