Theatrhythm Final Fantasy All-Star Carnival is an arcade rhythm video game and the successor to the Theatrhythm series of rhythm games that were originally released on the Nintendo 3DS. The game features revamped arcade controls, improved graphics, cooperative play, and songs and characters that were not featured in previous versions. As with many modern arcade games, All-Star Carnival is network-enabled and is continuously being updated with new content.


The core gameplay consists of activating triggers in time with iconic songs from the Final Fantasy series. The main interface of each All-Star Carnival arcade cabinet consists of two large buttons that are flanked on either side by a hemisphere-shaped joystick. In order to active red touch triggers, the player must tap one of the two central buttons with the indicated timing. Similarly, green hold triggers can be activated by holding either one of the two central buttons. To active yellow slide triggers, the player must flick one of the two available joysticks in the indicated direction.

Unlike previous games in the series, All-Star Carnival sometimes requires players to active two triggers at once. For example, occasionally two touch triggers will appear in a vertical stack. This indicates that the player should press both of the central buttons at the same time. Additionally, some slide triggers will have two arrows pointing in the same direction. This indicates that the player should flick both sticks in indicated direction at the same time. These new double triggers greatly increase both the complexity and difficulty of the game when compared to previous entries in the series.

Both Field Music Sequences (FMS) and Battle Music Sequences (BMS) make a return; however, the gameplay of these two song types, in terms of the party's actions, have been combined. Rather than exploring during FMS songs and battling during BMS songs, the player's party now regularly alternates between exploring and battling regardless of which type of song type is being played. A new type of song called an album is introduced. Albums are medleys that contain short segments of five other songs. Albums are unique in that they alternate between BMS-style and FMS-style gameplay depending on whether the current song segment is originally from a BMS or FMS song. Playing an album counts the same as playing two BMS/FMS songs. All-Star Carnival currently contains no Event Music Sequence (EMS) songs.

One of the largest additions is cooperative play. In online mode, each player is automatically matched with other players from around the world. In local-multiplayer mode, players can instead partner with others that are using neighboring All-Star Carnival cabinets within the same arcade. When players are matched, their parties are combined to form a sortie. Parties in a sortie automatically work together to take down monsters and support each other. There can be up to four parties in a sortie. Some items affect the entire sortie, rather than just a single party.

Most BMS songs have the option of being played in pairs mode. In this mode, two players work together on the same arcade cabinet in order to complete the song. Each player controls one button and one joystick. One player is responsible for activating the triggers in the top two lanes, while the other player must activate the triggers in the bottom two lanes.

All-Star Carnival contains several new options that were not available in previous titles. Players can now adjust the scroll speed of triggers, change the color of triggers, and adjust the volume levels for both battle sound effects and trigger sound effects. Two new difficulties are introduced: beginner and transcendent. The beginner difficulty is meant for players who are new to rhythm games, while the transcendent difficulty is meant to challenge highly experienced players.


The game features over 60 playable characters, with all characters from the handheld games returning. The player has access to a large roster of characters by default, and they can unlock new characters by collecting the crystal shards that are randomly dropped by defeated boss-class monsters. There are two types of crystal shards: light and dark. Each of these two types comes in four different colors. Collecting one of each color of light crystal shard will allow the player to unlock a protagonist, while collecting dark crystal shards will allow the player to unlock an antagonist.

Characters in Bold have an additional playable form.

Original Game Returning Characters New Characters
Final Fantasy Warrior of Light
Princess Sarah
Final Fantasy II Firion
The Emperor
Final Fantasy III Onion Knight
Cid Haze
Cloud of Darkness
Final Fantasy IV Cecil Harvey
Kain Highwind
Rosa Joanna Farrell
Edge Geraldine
Final Fantasy V Bartz Klauser
Lenna Charlotte Tycoon
Galuf Halm Baldesion
Faris Scherwiz
Krile Mayer Baldesion
Final Fantasy VI Terra Branford
Locke Cole
Edgar Roni Figaro
Celes Chere
Kefka Palazzo
Final Fantasy VII series Cloud Strife (Cloud #2)
Barret Wallace
Tifa Lockhart (Tifa #2)
Aerith Gainsborough
Yuffie Kisaragi
Vincent Valentine
Zack Fair
Final Fantasy VIII Squall Leonhart
Seifer Almasy
Rinoa Heartilly
Laguna Loire
Edea Kramer
Final Fantasy IX Zidane Tribal
Vivi Ornitier
Garnet Til Alexandros XVII
Eiko Carol
Final Fantasy X series Tidus
Yuna (Yuna #2)
Seymour Guado
Final Fantasy XI Shantotto
Final Fantasy XII Vaan
Ashelia B'nargin Dalmasca
Final Fantasy XIII series Lightning (Lightning #2)
Snow Villiers
Oerba Dia Vanille
Hope Estheim
Serah Farron
Noel Kreiss
Cid Raines
Final Fantasy XIV Y'shtola Rhul (Y'shtola #2) Yda Hext
Thancred Waters
Alphinaud Leveilleur
Final Fantasy XV None Noctis Lucis Caelum
Gladiolus Amicitia
Ignis Scientia
Prompto Argentum
Final Fantasy Mystic Quest Benjamin None
Final Fantasy Tactics Ramza Beoulve
Agrias Oaks
Cidolfus Orlandeau
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Ciaran N/A
Final Fantasy Type-0 Ace
Machina Kunagiri
Rem Tokimiya
Kurasame Susaya
Final Fantasy Record Keeper None Tyro
Mobius Final Fantasy None Wol
Dissidia Final Fantasy Cosmos
Final Fantasy series None Chocobo


All-Star Carnival features a wide variety of songs from the Final Fantasy series, as well as a small selection of songs from other Square Enix titles. Players have access to a large selection of songs by default, and they can unlock additional ones by purchasing them using sound medals. Sound medals are randomly dropped by defeated boss-class monsters. They can also be obtained by participating in Lux Crystal Battles. Most songs cost 5 sound medals to unlock, though some required 10 medals.


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