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Good morning, Producer-san!

What Kind of Game is Idolm@ster 2?Edit

Welcome to the entertainment company 765 Production, newly-hired producer! Your iM@S2 mission: design a pop trio and send them to the top of the charts. You have one year to do it. Go!

Advertising speak aside, you may have seen the Idolm@ster videos on the internet and be wondering if this game is for you. Like iM@S 1, iM@S2 is a simulation game where you manage the career of a group of aspiring idols. An idol in Japan is somewhat different from a pop singer in the US; idols can do radio work, modeling, product endorsements, and their own advertising work in addition to singing and dancing on stage. It's a demanding career that takes careful management to succeed. That's where you come in as producer.

You'll be responsible for setting the girls' schedules, deciding when they train, when they audition for TV gigs, when they do promotions, how to manage the money pool, which songs they will sing, and which clothes they will wear. You'll also get to know the girls individually as you interact with them during promotional jobs and help them succeed. Those videos you've seen? Those stage performances are the reward you get to watch for passing an audition in story mode.

It is helpful, but not required, to know Japanese in order to enjoy the game. iM@S2 is reasonably Japanese text-heavy (albeit with voice-acting for most of it), and you'll need to understand the language in order to understand the individual girls' storylines. However even if you don't understand a lick of the story there's still enough gameplay that you can enjoy on its own merits. Plus the stage performances are fun to make. Helping you play the game without any Japanese knowledge is the whole point of this wiki!

Basic Story and CharactersEdit

Your role in iM@S2 is that of a producer at a fledgling entertainment company called 765 Production. The events of The Idolm@ster (first game) did not happen - no amazing producer came in and rocketed the company to major profitability. All the girls have been working off and on as unknowns at 765Pro just getting whatever small jobs they could land.

iM@S2 is set about six months after where the first game would have started. Remember, in this universe that game never happened. So, all the girls' storylines include six extra months of working in obscurity and thus their life circumstances have changed somewhat since the first game's storylines.

This time out, 765 Production has a stable of nine idols that you can produce in iDOLM@STER2: Haruka, Miki, Chihaya, Mami, Yayoi, Yukiho, Makoto, Takane, and Hibiki. Three of them -- Mami, Takane, and Hibiki -- are new for iM@S2.

765 Production also has an "existing" idol unit this time around, called Ryuuguu Komachi, that will rival your unit in the game. RK is produced by Ritsuko (she achieved her dream of moving from idol to producer), and its members are Iori, Ami, and Azusa. All four were idols from the first game but are no longer available to use -- at least directly -- in iM@S2. Since 765 never got its star producer (iM@S1), Ritsuko stepped up and created the first serious idol unit the company has had.

iM@S2 also has 765's rival company, 961 Production, first introduced in the iM@S SP PSP games. 961's boss (Mr. Kuroi) and 765's boss (Mr. Takagi) are personal rivals, which by extension make the companies rivals of each other. 961 has a new all-male idol unit called Jupiter that will rival all of 765's units in the game.

You can learn a little more about all these characters and groups in the Character Introductions From The iM@S2 Manual.

Game ModesEdit

There are seven main game modes selectable off the Idolm@ster 2 Main Menu:

  • Produce : the story mode
  • Stage For You! : music video creation using your items from story mode
  • 765 Shop Catalog : view or buy DLC items
  • Albums : see photos and videos you've saved of your idols
  • E-Mail : re-read e-mails you've gotten in game
  • Leaderboards : compare scores on songs and fan counts
  • Options : the Options Menu

You'll be spending most of your time in Produce mode at first as you learn the game and take your girls to stardom. Along the way you'll buy clothes and unlock extra characters to use in Stage For You, which is probably where you'll spend most of your time after you've beaten the regular game with all nine girls.

Although Stage For You doesn't include a Taiko-like rhythm game portion (a la Live For You), it is nice that Namco included the music-video engine edit mode in the iM@S2 game this time, rather than making it a separate game.

How to ControlEdit

There are four simple controller setups you'll use in iM@S2: normal gameplay, lessons, auditions, and stage performance scenes. Most modes use only a couple buttons on the controller and aren't hard to use. For details, see Game Controls (Idolm@ster 2).

It can be a bit tricky figuring out for the first time how to take photos of your idols to store in your Photo Album. That's one place the control reference page especially comes in handy.

Navigation controls for individual gameplay screens or menus can be found on the respective menu pages.

Overarching Structure and Goals of the Produce ModeEdit

55 WeeksEdit

Produce Mode is what iM@S2 calls its story mode. Your new boss at 765 Pro will allow you to create an idol unit and produce them for one year, which actually turns out to be exactly 55 weeks of game time. You can see which week you are on at any time via the Pause Menu.

Trios Only: A Leader + Two SupportsEdit

It's worth mentioning that the first few weeks will be tutorial weeks that introduce you to the different parts of the game. You don't pick your whole unit all at the same time; rather, you pick your leader first and then your two support girls a few weeks after. You must have a trio, no more and no less, unlike iM@S1. The unit leader is who personalized story events will be centered around.

Required, Scripted Story EventsEdit

During many of your 55 weeks you will be free to decide how to produce your girls. However unlike iM@S1, this game has several Required, Scripted Story Events that happen during specific weeks in every playthrough. You needn't worry about them at first (just let the story unfold), but eventually you'll want to plan around them when optimizing your unit.

Goal: Idol Academy AwardsEdit

The goal given by your boss is to obtain "proof" of your idol unit's success by winning the Idol Academy Grand Prix Award at the end of the game (given to the country's most popular idols).

The first step towards the IAGP is getting nominated for the award, which the "right" way to do is to have a single in the top 20 of Dotop TV by week 36. This is what the 36 week countdown you see every game morning is, and it's an example of the game's scripted story events. There is also a backup way to get nominated (that happens automatically if you fail the CD selling goal), so don't worry too much about your early playthroughs where you can't place high on the charts.

There are five other Idol Academy Awards you can win, too, for amassing fans in certain areas of Japan. The six total awards are all what you're shooting for as goals in the game. Realistically it will be hard to get any on your first few playthroughs and you can certainly finish the game without winning any at all. Your unit's career ends after 55 weeks regardless, win them or no.

Four Ending TypesEdit

At the end of the game you'll get one of four endings for the storyline of your unit leader, depending strictly on how many awards you won:

  1. Bad Ending (a capella): no IA awards won.
  2. Normal Ending: At least one Area award won, but no IA Grand Prix.
  3. Good Ending: IA Grand Prix won, with or without any of the others.
  4. True Ending: all six awards won.

If you get the true ending, stick around after the credits for an extra scene. That's the difference between the True and Good endings.

Producer EvaluationEdit

At the end of the game you'll also receive a letter grade evaluation of how you did as a producer, on a scale of {E,D,C,B,A,S}, worst to best. You are graded on 11 criteria. They are: Unit Image Level (stats), Highest Score on any song, Total CD sales across all songs, Highest chart placement, number of Game Rewinds, and all six IA awards. Your final grade is a weighted average of those criteria.

Your producer rank, something that is maintained across playthroughs, will go up, go down, or stay the same depending on your evaluation and your current level.

Idol Unit Data Cleaned UpEdit

Finally, once your unit's 55 weeks are up, their data is permanently deleted. Be sure to take all the pictures and save videos you want while you can, if you want to remember a particular unit! You still keep your producer level and all items you unlocked, so that you can start up a new unit and produce again.

The game expects you will do multiple playthroughs in order to see the story of all the girls and earn all the achievements. Knowing that upfront, you can feel free to focus your first few playthroughs on learning the game and only really worry about optimizing after you have some experience under your belt. This advice holds true even if you've played other iDOLM@STER games since iM@S2's game system is different.

SummaryEdit

  • You have 55 game weeks to play per unit.
  • You produce a trio, picked out in two increments.
  • There are required, scripted story events that use up some weeks.
  • Your first goal is to get the IA Grand Prix nomination. (36 weeks)
  • Your ultimate goal is to win as many of the six IA awards as you can.
  • You'll be graded at the end of the game.
  • You get one of four endings for your leader.
  • Your idol unit data will be deleted at the end but all your items will be kept.

Structure of One Gameplay WeekEdit

Each gameplay week is separated into three major sections: Morning, Daytime, and Night. In the morning you set the schedule, during the daytime you do the work, and at night you see the results. While that sounds like a single day, those events often actually take place on different days of the week so it counts as one week of play.

MorningEdit

This is the planning period where you set the tone for the week. The activities you do in order are as follows.

1. Morning GreetingsEdit

Choose one of your three girls to have a quick morning comu with. Depending on how you respond to the comments she makes, her trust level with the producer and friendship with the other idol unit members will change.

The trust and friendship levels are invisible stats not displayed onscreen, but you can get a sense of them by how the idols treat you and treat each other. Trust with the producer affects how much stats can be gained from Doing a Lesson, and friendship affects the Danketsu Points you earn as well as your Unit's Status.

Information on how to answer is on the Morning Greetings page.

2. Schedule SelectionEdit

Next you'll pick your idols' activities for the week. The types of things you can pick are detailed below in the Daytime section. Each activity takes place in a specific region of Japan, carries a time cost from 1-3 units, and carries a money cost. You are limited to either two activities or 3 total time units for the week, whichever is less.

This is where the important decisions are made. You need to balance the rewards of money gained, fans gained, fan awareness in different regions, lucky stars gained, memories gained, song scores, and CD sales. It sounds complicated but there's no one right way to manage your idols - it's just up to what you as the producer want to do with your unit. You won't be able to be perfect in every area so don't stress out trying to be.

Further information and examples are on the Schedule Selection page.

3. Coordination SelectionEdit

A popup will appear asking if you want to change the clothes, accessories, and amulet that your idols are currently wearing. If you want to make a change you go into the coordination menus, otherwise your idols continue as they are.

These are the Costumes & Accessories and Amulets you can wear.

4. New Song Selection (occasionally)Edit

Another popup will sometimes appear asking if you want to change the song your idols have released. This only appears according to the game's CD Release Rules. Otherwise the morning time will end after the coordination select question.

DaytimeEdit

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