Gitaroo Man
Developer(s): iNiS, Koei
Publisher(s): Koei, THQ (Europe)
Release Date: PlayStation 2 Version
Flag of Japan: June 21, 2001
Flag of the United States.svg/Flag of Canada: February 18, 2002
European flag/Flag of Australia: June 21, 2002

PlayStation Portable

Flag of Japan: June 8, 2006
Flag of the United States.svg/Flag of Canada: November 14, 2006
European flag/Flag of Australia: September 29, 2006
Genre: Music
Game Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
Ratings: CERO: CERO A Rating
ESRB: Rating US-Everyone
Platform(s): PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable

Gitaroo-Man (ギタルマン) is a music rhythm game that follows the adventures of U-1, the legendary Gitaroo-Man. A normal but clumsy youngster armed with the Legendary Gitaroo, U-1 is forced to rescue the Planet Gitaroo from the Gravillian Empire.

A PSP version, titled Gitaroo-Man Lives! (ギタルマン ライブ!), includes a new duet mode (where two players work together for a performance) and Wi-Fi multiplayer capabilities. It also adds two new songs to the title.

The character designs and visuals were created by Japanese illustrator and poet, 326. His art alias is pronounced as Mitsuru, which is his actual name (Mitsuru Nakamura). The musical production was headed by the two-man unit COIL, who performed eight songs in the game.


The controls for the game simply relies on the PlayStation analog sticks and the Square, Tri, Circle and X buttons. While players can choose to alter the setup, the default method of playing uses the left analog stick.

U-1's main goal is to defeat enemies by jamming tunes on his Gitaroo, a mythical and stylized guitar. He needs to defend his life during each performance with timing and reflexes.

  • A blue dot lying in the center of the screen, called the "Attack Point", appears during stages. This judges the accuracy of U-1's actions.
  • As the stage plays U-1's notes, a blue-green line eventually appears on the screen called the "Trace Line". As the name suggests, players direct the analog stick to trace the Attack Point along the Trace Line's direction. Three arrows and a blue fanned area around the Attack Point can help guide the player's path. Players can tell if they're correctly on the line when it is highlighted green.
  • The Trace Line presents U-1's note as an orange circle followed by a pink bar. These are called "Phase Bars" and each vary in length. The beginning of these Phase Bars are marked by their orange circles, which are meant to be correctly aligned in time with the Attack Point. The goal is to press and hold a button while successfully tracing the Phase Bars' trail along the Trace Line.
  • When U-1 isn't attacking, his rival will fill in the gap with their own attacks. During this time, the Trace Line will disappear and the Attack Point will remain. To dodge their attacks, U-1 has to successfully tap the corresponding Square, Tri, Circle, or X buttons as they head towards the Attack Point. Square comes from the left, Tri drops from the top, Circle moves from the right, and X rises from the bottom.
  • Landing a correct action on the Attack Point perfectly will score a high "Great", an input that is slightly off will score a "Good", and actions a little too fast rewards an "Ok". Missing happens when the player puts in the wrong button input, fails to trace the Phase Bar correctly, or doesn't perform the action in time.

Each stage generally consists of three basic phases.

  • Charge: Notes played by U-1 to boost his power gauge. Missing notes will not hurt him but he won't gain any health. It is usually set at the beginning of the stage except in a few instances.
  • Battle: The main meat of the stage which has U-1 attack or defend. During the Attack Phase, U-1 has a chance to play his notes and deal damage to his rival. Having him defend will rely on his dodging skills. If the player performs well during this phase, they will hear special alterations of the stage's usual tune.
  • Final: A fixed section of the tune that doesn't allow Charge phases or defending sequences. It's U-1's final riff in the stage and the last phase he needs to defeat a rival. It's possible to still lose health during this phase, but finishing this segment with U-1 standing ends the stage.

Scoring and completing stages depends on the performance of the player. The less Misses and more Greats the players score, the better. Their rank ranges from E (worst) to S (best). The main game consists of ten stages for the player to finish.


Single PlayEdit

The main story where the players play through U-1's adventure. When a stage is completed, the players proceed to the next stage.

Master's PlayEdit

Unlocked once single play is done, it features more complicated versions of the game's songs. Some arrangements remain relatively the same, but a majority of the songs offer new remixes and challenges not seen while playing normally.

Vs. ModeEdit

Allows up to four players to compete against one another. They can select two stages and most of the compositions in the game to test their skills.


Lets players watch cinemas they have obtained.


Features images and other tidbits of information regarding the game's characters and robots. Players can view more images as if they finish stages with a higher score (A~S).



Related MediaEdit

A soundtrack and a drama CD that follows the events in the game was released.

A CD-Rom exclusive to the PlayStation 2, called Gitaroo-Man One (ギタルマン ワン, "Wan" being a pun for the English pronunciation of "one" and the Japanese onomatopoeia for "woof") was also released. It contained the TGS trailer, alternate recordings of songs, an extended art gallery of 326's illustrations, and a mini-game with Puma. The bonuses in this title was affected by the save game data of the player's normal Gitaroo-Man playthroughs. Each copy of Gitaroo-Man Wan came with three character illustration cards. These cards could be collected and used to play a card version of Rock-Paper-Scissors.

Koei also released an adaption for the i-mode phone titled Gitaroo-Man I (ギタルマンアイ, "Ai" could be a pun on the Japanese word for "love" and the English letter "i"). It has Puma star in several mini-games with him collecting drinks. Drinks would be used to make friends in the game and to also unlock music and images for the user.

Artists and SongsEdit

Soft Machine (Opening Theme)
Words/Music: Sadayoshi Okamoto
Written, Produced, Performance: COIL
Arrangement: Mitsuhiro Yokota (A&R for Imperial Records)
Boogie For An Afternoon
Music/Arrangement: Tomohiro Harada
Guitars & Bass: Yoshifumi Yamaguchi
Twisted Reality
Performed, Recorded, Mixed: COIL
Keyboards: Tomohiro Harada
Additional Words & Vocals: Kaleb James
Flyin' to Your Heart
Vocal: a-li (阿麗)
Music/Arrangement: Tomohiro Harada
Words: Masako Harada
Performance: YUAN
Bee Jam Blues
Performed, Recorded, Mixed: COIL
Remix Arrangement, Programming: Tomohiro Harada
EWI: Keiichi Yano
Chorus Arrangement, Words: Kaleb James
Chorus: Brenda Vaughn
Music, Arrangement: Tomohiro Harada
Guitars: k-nzk
Nuff Respect, featuring NAHKI
Produced, Performed, Recorded, Mixed: COIL
2nd Remix, Synthesizer: Tomohiro Harada
Additional Vocal & Words: NAHKI
Turntable: Masanori Kamide
The Legendary Theme (Acoustic version)
Performed, Recorded, Mixed: COIL
Keyboards: Tomohiro Harada
Born to be Bone
Percussions/Voice/Musical Motifs: Steve Eto (by courtesy of Boogaloo Co. Ltd.)
Music/Arrangement: Tomohiro Harada
Acoustic Guitar: Kazuki Abe
Electric Guitar: Yoshifumi Yamaguchi
Tainted Lovers
Music/Arrangement: Tomohiro Harada
Drums: Kozo Suganuma
Guitars: Yoshifumi Yamaguchi
Drums Recording Mixer: Noriyasu Joko
Drums Recording Assistant: Hitoshi Sato
Drums Recording Studio: SOUND A TELIER
Music/Arrangement: Tomohiro Harada
Drums: Yusuke Nishikawa
Guitars & Bass: Yoshifumi Yamaguchi
Drums Recording Mixer: Noriyasu Joko
Drums Recording Assistant: Hitoshi Sato
Drums Recording Studio: SOUND A TELIER
The Legendary Theme (Album version)
Performed, Recorded, Mixed: COIL
Keyboards: Tomohiro Harada
Performed, Recorded, Mixed: COIL
Keyboards: Tomohiro Harada
21st Century Boy (Ending Theme)
Words/Music: Yosuke Sato
Produced, Performed, Recorded, Mixed: COIL
Arrangement: Mitsuhiro Yokota (A&R for Imperial Records)

The following songs are exclusive to the PSP remake, Gitaroo-Man Lives!, in the Duet mode.

Metal Header
Lyrics/Vocals: Andy MacKinlay
Guitar: Satoshi Izumi
Music/arrangement/keyboards/other instruments/programming: tomozuin h
Toda Pasión
Vocal, Chorus, Lyrics: Yordanka Farres, Kenjiro Imawara
Chorus: Tetsuo Koizumi
Percussion: Yoshihiko Miza
Bass: Satoko Arita
Guitar: Satoshi Izumi
Organ/Music/arrangement/keyboards/other instruments/programming: tomozuin h



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