The first game includes Beginner Mode, Normal Mode, and Hard Mode. Beginner is the easiest mode, starting out with a short tutorial stage, and only two songs can be chosen instead of the usual three. Mimi and Nyami are the default characters for this mode.
Normal Mode is the standard mode, with three stages per round. Characters will interrupt or block some of the play area using an ojama-like effect. Mary is the default character for Normal Mode.
The CS game also includes Training Mode and Free Mode. Training Mode allows players to play a specific segment of a song, play at different speeds, or toggle ojama settings. Free Mode has all unlocked songs available for play, and isn't limited to three songs per round.
Censorship and Differences
There are several of uncommon changes for the original, CS, and Asian American versions.
- In Mary's Miss and Lose animations from the original version, Mary's comment bubble was printed as "My God"; however in the Asian English version and later games, it was replaced by "@*#%", to avoid religious references.
- Toru Kamikaze's FEVER! animation includes the comments: "Sacchan!♥" (さっちゃーん！♥?) and "Toru!"♥ (トオルー♥?), but they are omitted in the Asian English version.
- Almost every song background is modified in the CS version and in later games.
|Kantan (カンタン Easy?)-First Stage|
|LITTLE FINGERS||UNCLE Jam|
|Futsuu (フツウ Normal?)-Second Stage|
|Senorita Rica||DON MOMMY|
|THE RICHIE SISTERS||CHAMEL|
|Muzui (ムズイ Hard?)-Final Stage|
|RYO song:NARAMCHA||TORU KAMIKAZE|
|JV & THE SEXY MACHINE GUN||BAMBOO|
|Himitsu (ヒミツ Secret?)|
|Hamab un Aa||UNBABO|
|Haya-P & Maru||PRETTY|
|Waldeus von Dovjak||HAMANOV|
- This game ran on the BEMANI DJ-MAIN HARDWARE arcade system, the same one used for beatmania. The series would continue to run on this hardware through pop'n music 3, as well as spinoff pop'n stage. Also, two of the game's composers, Reo Nagumo and Hiroshi Takeyasu, worked on beatmania.
- This game also marks the first appearance of beatmania sound data analyzer Hiroki Koga (Naya~n) in a song. He arranged Anime Hero.
- First appearances of Tomonori Ikeda, Youhei Shimizu, Kiyotaka Sugimoto (DJ SIMON), and Sanae Shintani in Bemani.
- Only one difficulty level for songs, and none were given ratings. This would change come the next game, however.
- It is one of the two standalone arcade versions to have an English version for the Asian market; the other being Pop'n Music 2.
- Pop'n Music is the first game in the series that released on home consoles.
- This is the first Pop'n Music game to include Hyper charts (which required to be unlocked)
- This is the only Pop'n Music CS game without Records mode.
- As the original arcade game did not have specific difficulty levels, the difficulty levels in this game are based off of Pop'n Music 2.