Mad Maestro!, known in Japan as Bravo Music (ブラボーミュージック Burabō Myūjikku), is a classical music rhythm game for the PlayStation 2 (PS2). It was developed by Desert Productions and released in Japan by Sony Computer Entertainment (SCEI) and abroad by Eidos Interactive under their "Fresh Games" label. The game features classical songs, such as Swan Lake, Hungarian Dance No. 5 & 6, and Night on Bald Mountain.
Typically rhythm games rely on timed input according to on screen cues and tempo. Mad Maestro features this style of gameplay, with the additional layer of pressure sensitivity. Utilizing the pressure sensitivity with the DualShock 2, the player must conduct an orchestra by tapping correlating buttons with varying degrees of pressure. There are three levels of pressure; light, medium and hard. The Japanese release featured an optional Baton peripheral.
- Takt: A young orchestra composer, and the main composer for the "Bravoes", an orchestra group created by himself. He is visited by the magical fairy Symphony while looking at new songs, who tells him about the demolition of the town's Concert Hall, and how him and his orchestra can save it with Takt's musical powers. Takt is also willing to help out other people with their problems with his powers, often whistling to get their attention.
- Symphony: A magical fairy that was originally stone, but is awakened in the Concert Hall. She immediately goes to Takt to tell him about the demolition of the Concert Hall, and convinces him to save it. Before a stage, she tells what's the situation so that Takt can fix it. At the end of the game, she reverts to the stone statue, Takt looking at her before leaving. She doesn't appear in another Bravo Music game until Let's Bravo Music, where her and Takt plan to restore the pages of the Legendary Opuses.
- Darlin: A man who is in love with Hannie. At the beginning of his stage, he and Hannie were supposed to meet for a date at the town's Park, but was extremely late, causing Hannie to get mad. Before the two could fight, Takt came and stopped them, using his musical powers to make them dance to Johannes Brahms' "Hungarian Dance No. 6". He is also one of 5 starting people Takt helped out to join him and help save the Concert Hall. In his second stage, he is trying to convince Hannie to join Takt, but fails, until some of the Bravoes help convince her to play along with the song that was currently playing. At the Final Concert, he plays the cello along with Hannie, and gets married to her during the credits scene. Darlin's name is based on Darling, which is a surname, and he speaks in a stereotypical Italian accent.
- Hannie: A blonde female who is Darlin's girlfriend. She seems to have a very bad temper, as she gets mad at Darlin for being late in stage 1, and is not convinced to join Takt and the Bravoes in stage 7, where Takt performs March from the Nutcracker by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky while Darlin tries to convince her to join. However, she seems to warm up to Takt after stage 7, as she also helps Takt find someone to join them. She is friends with Nikki Domino. In the end, she gets married to Darlin. Hannie's name is a play-on words of honey, a surname that husbands use for wives.
- Antonio: A reporter for BNN. In his stage, him and his crew are chasing after a UFO that has been spotted. As aliens come out of the UFO, Antonio waves to them, however the aliens begin to attack the area. As Antonio's crew flees, Takt comes to help Antonio and calm the aliens, playing Ride of the Valkyries from The Valkyrie by Richard Wagner. He also helps Takt to convince the aliens to join his orchestra during stage 10. During the final concert, Antonio plays the trumpet. Antonio is also involved in Bravo Music: Chou-Meikyokuban, reporting that the aliens are coming from Mars to Earth to listen to the Bravoes. He pleads Takt and the Bravoes to use their music to make sure the aliens don't invade Earth. He also helps out along with Takt to come up with compositions for the concert for the aliens. Along with the aliens and Symphony, Antonio is the only character to appear in a Bravo Music game outside of the original besides Takt.
- Jean-Paul Neostyle: A fashion designer, mainly known for designing the clothes Nikki Domino wears. In the beginning of his stage, Nikki yells at him constantly before a fashion show, turning him into a nervous mess. Before he could freak out completely, Takt comes in to help both Nikki and Jean with the fashion show, playing "Finale from Carnival of the Animals" by Camille Saint-Saëns. He is also one of the 5 starting people to join him and help save the Concert Hall. He seems to even have a fear of Nikki, as he responded to Hannie with fear in his voice when she had said when she knew a top model who could help Takt. During the final concert, he plays violin.
- Nikki Domino: A very popular supermodel. Just like Hannie, Nikki has a bad temper (Symphony even lampshades this), as she's often yelling at Jean at the designs of the outfits she has to wear. After Hannie's stage, she tells Takt that she knows Nikki, and she might be able to help. After convincing her during another fashion show by playing 40th Symphony K550 / 1st Movement by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. After her stage, she admits that she doesn't know much about music, but she loves hard work, so she agrees to join Takt's orchestra. During the final concert, she plays piano. During the ending, she is seen with Jean viewing another outfit, only to end with her yelling at him, along with her attending Darlin and Hannie's wedding.
- Lunar: A popular clown at the rundown circus. In her stage, her and Lionel are getting ready for a performance, however barely anyone comes to it. As her circus performer looks around in shock, Takt comes to help, playing Slavic Dance No. 7 by Antonín Dvořák as she performs. She is also one of the 5 starting people to help Takt, and plays the Violin during the final concert. During the ending, she is seen with Lionel, happy that the circus has once again become popular.
- Lionel Heart: A popular lion that performs in the circus along with Lunar, however according to Symphony, he is simply a man in a costume. Takt and the Bravoes help him out during his performance in the circus, playing Marche Militarie by Franz Schubert. After his stage, he says that if Lunar was helping out, then he'll help too. During the final concert, Lionel plays the drums.
- Adonis: A young blue-haired boy who plays the flute. At the beginning of his stage, he is playing the flute peacefully before a raging storm interrupts him. As he watches birds fleeing, Takt comes along to help him from the storm, playing Scene from Swan Lake by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. He is the last of the 5 starting people to help Takt. Much like in his stage, he plays the flute during the final concert. During the ending, he is seen playing his flute at sunset near the castle in his stage.
- The Martians: A group of aliens who attack during Antonio's stage, however with Takt's musical powers, they were able to calm down. They appear in a later stage, where Antonio recommends recruiting them for the concert. Here, Takt performs Baba Yaga'a Hut from Pictures at an Exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky. After their stage, Nikki is uncertain if Takt really wants to include the Martians in the orchestra, as it cuts to Lunar and Lionel bumping the Martian's heads together. During the final concert, the Martians (named Sho, Ron, and Poe) play the Marimba. The Martians are also involved in Bravo Music: Chou-Meikyokuban, as they plan to come to Earth in 5 days due to them wanting to hear Takt's music again.
- Etoile: A fisherman who Symphony tells about after Adonis mentions he doesn't have any powerful friends. Takt finds Etoile down by the lake and plays Dance of the Four Swans from Swan Lake by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. After his stage is completed, Jean-Paul Neostyle realizes it is Etoile, who was once a famous conductor. Much like Takt, he is silent, as he doesn't respond with words. When Symphony asks if he can play an instrument, he whips out a triangle and smiles, said triangle being his instrument for the final concert. Etoile's stage is the final stage before the final concert.
The list of pieces of music in the order they appear on the game.
1. Hungarian Dance No. 6 in D major - Johannes Brahms
2. Hungarian Dance No. 5 in G major - Johannes Brahms
3. Slavonic Dance No 7 - Dvořák, Antonín
4. Thunder and Lightning - Johann Strauss
5. Finale from Carnival of the Animals (Finale Carnivale des Animaux) - Saint-Saëns, C.
6. The Marriage of Figaro - W. A. Mozart
7. Scene from Swan Lake
8. Toreador from Carmen
9. Baba Yaga's Hut from Pictures at an Exhibition - Modest Mussorgsky
10. 9th Symphony-4th Movement - L. V. Beethoven
11. Entry of the Gladiators
12. Marche Militaire - Franz Schubert
13. March from the Nutcracker
14. Trepak from the Nutcracker
15. 40th Symphony K550-1st movement
16. Orpheus in the Underworld Overture
17. Flight of the Valkyries, Richard Wagner
18. Night on Bald Mountain
19. Dance of the Four Swans from Swan Lake
20. Morning Mourn from Peer Gynt
21. William Tell Overture - Rossini
22. Rakoczi's March - Franz Liszt
23. 5th Symphony-1st Movement
24. Radetsky March - Johann Strauss
25. Csikos Post
26. Toy Symphony
27. Eine Kleine Nachtmusik - Mozart
28. Dance of the Reed Flutes from the Nutcracker
29. Algerian Suite from French Military March Music
30. Flight of the Bumblebee
31. Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks from Pictures at an Exhibition
32. Divertimento No. 1 in E flat major K113
33. L'Arlesienne Suite No. 2 from Farandole
34. In the Hall of the Mountain King from Peer Gynt
Reception and legacy
The game received "mixed or average" reviews according to video game review aggregator Metacritic. The use of pressure sensitivity in addition to standard rhythm game play mechanics was considered by some to be overcomplicated. In Japan, Famitsu gave it a score of 30 out of 40.
According to Dengeki Online, the Japanese edition of Mad Maestro was the 195th best-selling video game of 2001 at 54,794 copies. Mad Maestro! was followed by three Japan-exclusive sequels, all for the PS2: Bravo Music Christmas Edition (ブラボーミュージック Christmas Edition) on November 22, 2001; Bravo Music: Chou-Meikyokuban (ブラボーミュージック 超名曲盤) on January 17, 2002; and Let's Bravo Music (Let’s ブラボーミュージック) on December 12, 2002.
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