Taiko no Tatsujin
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Taiko no Tatsujin (太鼓の達人?), literally translating to English as Drum Master, is a series of rhythm games created by Namco. The series has seen releases for the arcade, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Wii, Wii U, iOS, Advanced Pico Beena, and mobile phones.
While the series is mainly designed for use within Japan, there are also official releases for other regions, including one North American release on PlayStation 2 using full English, two Chinese arcades (11 Asian Version and 12 Asian Version) accommodated for Asian regions such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia, and an alternate build for Momoiro ver., referred to as its "Asian Version", currently running in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand. Other releases can also be seen in other regions despite not having been officially exported.
- 1 Gameplay
- 2 Releases
- 3 Collaborations and guest appearances
- 4 Spin-offs
- 5 Trivia
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Arcade releases are equipped with simulated Taiko, which can register hits when played with drum sticks (bachis).
Console releases mainly uses buttons to play, while certain devices can support additional methods of input:
- A virtual Taiko drum is provided on devices with touchscreens (DS, 3DS, Wii U, iPod touch, smartphone), played with either styluses or fingers.
- Dedicated peripherals simulating real drums can be purchased additionally for PS2, Wii or Wii U releases.
The sequence of the notes in a level is commonly referred to as a notechart (譜面 fumen?).
Certain songs also has extra inner notecharts (裏譜面 ura fumen?) in addition to the four standard levels, intended to be alternate takes on the regular set. Although not a main objective, most inner notecharts are made more difficult than regular notecharts.
Some inner notecharts works by changing to an alternate version of the song, or, exclusively in arcades, switching out for a completely different song.
Some songs can feature notechart branching (譜面分岐 fumen bunki?) in certain difficulty levels. According to the player's performance, the notechart changes between Normal notechart (普通譜面 futsuu fumen?), Expert notechart (玄人譜面 kurōto fumen?) or Master notechart (達人譜面 tatsujin fumen?).
Various aspects of the game can be changed to the player's liking:
- Players can choose an alternate instrument or sound to play, instead of the classic Taiko drum.
- Players can apply modifiers to change aspects of gameplay, like increased note speeds, reversed notecharts (red and blue notes interchanged) or randomized notecharts.
- In console releases, players can choose to have the notechart played automatically and correctly.
- In console releases, players can choose to have the song end early as soon as they miss one note.
- 太鼓の達人 (Taiko no Tatsujin) (February 2001) 
- 太鼓の達人 2 (Taiko no Tatsujin 2) (August 2001)
- 太鼓の達人 3 (Taiko no Tatsujin 3) (March 2002)
- 太鼓の達人 4 (Taiko no Tatsujin 4) (December 2002)
- 太鼓の達人 5 (Taiko no Tatsujin 5) (October 2003)
- 太鼓の達人 6 (Taiko no Tatsujin 6) (September 2004)
- 太鼓の達人 7 (Taiko no Tatsujin 7) (September 2005)
- 太鼓の達人 8 (Taiko no Tatsujin 8) (March 2006)
- 太鼓の達人 9 (Taiko no Tatsujin 9) (December 2006)
- 太鼓の達人 10 (Taiko no Tatsujin 10) (September 2007)
- 太鼓の達人 11 (Taiko no Tatsujin 11) (March 2008)
- 太鼓之達人 11 亞洲版 (Taiko no Tatsujin 11 Asian Version) (April 2008)
- 太鼓の達人 12 (Taiko no Tatsujin 12) (December 2008)
- 太鼓之達人 12 亞洲版 (Taiko no Tatsujin 12 Asian Version) (June 2009)
- 太鼓の達人 12 ド～ン！と増量版 (Taiko no Tatsujin 12 Don to Extra Version) (July 2009)
- 太鼓の達人 13 (Taiko no Tatsujin 13) (December 17, 2009)
- 太鼓の達人 14 (Taiko no Tatsujin 14) (September 2010)
- 太鼓の達人 (Taiko no Tatsujin) (November 2011), and its major overhaul updates:
- 太鼓の達人 (C/N: KATSU-DON) (Taiko no Tatsujin (C/N: KATSU-DON)) (July 2012)
- 太鼓の達人 ソライロ ver. (Taiko no Tatsujin Sorairo version) (March 2013)
- 太鼓の達人 モモイロ ver. (Taiko no Tatsujin Momoiro version) (December 2013)
- 太鼓の達人 キミドリ ver. (Taiko no Tatsujin Kimidori version) (due July 2014)
- 太鼓の達人 DS タッチでドコドン(Taiko no Tatsujin DS: Touch de Dokodon) (26 July 2007)
- めっちゃ! 太鼓の達人 DS 7つの島の大冒険 (Metcha! Taiko no Tatsujin DS: Nanatsu no Shima no Daibouken) (24 April 2008)
- 太鼓の達人 DS ドロロン！ヨーカイ大決戦！！ (Taiko no Tatsujin DS: Dororon! Yokai Daikessen!!) (1 July 2010)
- 太鼓の達人 ちびドラゴンと不思議なオーブ (Taiko no Tatsujin: Chibi Dragon to Fushigi na Orb) (12 July 2012)
- 太鼓の達人 どんとかつの時空大冒険 (Taiko no Tatsujin: Don to Katsu no Jikū Daibōken) (26 June 2014)
- 太鼓の達人 Wii (Taiko no Tatsujin Wii) (December 11, 2008)
- 太鼓の達人 Wii ドドーンと2代目！ (Taiko no Tatsujin Wii: Do Don to 2 Daime) (19 November 2009)
- 太鼓の達人 Wii みんなでパーティ☆3代目！ (Taiko no Tatsujin Wii: Minna de Party 3 Daime) (December 2, 2010)
- 太鼓の達人 Wii 決定版 (Taiko no Tatsujin Wii: Kettei-Ban) (November 23, 2011)
- 太鼓の達人 Wii 超ごうか版 (Taiko no Tatsujin Wii: Chogouka-Ban) (November 29, 2012)
- 太鼓の達人 Wii Uば～じょん! (Taiko no Tatsujin: Wii U Version) (November 21, 2013)
- 太鼓の達人 特盛り！ (Taiko no Tatsujin: Tokumori!) (November 20, 2014)
- 太鼓の達人 タタコンでドドンがドン (Taiko no Tatsujin: Tatacon de DODON ga DON) (24 October 2002)
- 太鼓の達人 ドキッ！新曲だらけの春祭り (Taiko no Tatsujin: DOKI! Shinkyoku Darake no Haru Matsuri) (27 March 2003)
- 太鼓の達人 あっぱれ三代目 (Taiko no Tatsujin: Appare Sandaime) (30 October 2003)
- 太鼓の達人 わくわくアニメ祭り (Taiko no Tatsujin: Waku Waku anime Matsuri) (18 December 2003)
- 太鼓の達人 あつまれ！祭りだ！四代目 (Taiko no Tatsujin: Atsumare! Matsuri da!! Yondaime) (22 July 2004)
- 太鼓の達人 TAIKO DRUM MASTER (Taiko no Tatsujin: Taiko Drum Master) (Oct 26, 2004)
- 太鼓の達人 ゴー！ゴー！五代目 (Taiko no Tatsujin: Go! Go! Godaime) (9 December 2004)
- 太鼓の達人 とびっきり！アニメスペシャル (Taiko no Tatsujin: Tobikkiri! Anime Special) (4 August 2005)
- 太鼓の達人 わいわいハッピー！六代目 (Taiko no Tatsujin: Wai Wai Happy! Rokudaime) (8 December 2005)
- 太鼓の達人 ドカッ！と大盛り七代目 (Taiko no Tatsujin: DON-KA! to Oomori Nanadaime) (7 December 2006)
- 太鼓の達人 ぽ～たぶる (Taiko no Tatsujin: Portable) (4 August 2005)
- 太鼓の達人 ぽ～たぶる2 (Taiko no Tatsujin: Portable 2) (7 September 2006)
- 太鼓の達人 ぽ～たぶるDX (Taiko no Tatsujin: Portable DX) (14 July 2011)
- 太鼓の達人 -人気曲ぱっく-(Taiko no Tatsujin -Popular Song Pack-) (February 1, 2010, only in Japan)
- 太鼓の達人 -人気曲ぱっく2-(Taiko no Tatsujin -Popular Song Pack 2-) (2010, only in Japan)
- 太鼓の達人プラス(Taiko no Tatsujin +) (May 28, 2010, only in Japan)
- 太鼓の達人RS (Taiko no Tatsujin RS) (July 21, 2010, only in Japan)
- 太鼓の達人 AR (Taiko no Tatsujin AR) (only in Japan)
- 太鼓の達人 AR 妖怪バトル(Taiko no Tatsujin Youkai Battle) (Spring 2011, only in Japan)
- 太鼓の達人 新曲取り放題!(Taiko no Tatsujin Shinkyoku Tori Houdai!) (August 2012, only in Japan)
Advanced Pico Beena
- 太鼓の達人 Beena (Taiko no Tatsujin Beena) (14 April 2005)
- 太鼓之達人 流行月租 (Taiko no Tatsujin Pop Monthly) (2 January 2008, only for Taiwan)
- 太鼓の達人 もばいる (Taiko no Tatsujin Mobile) (20 March 2008, only for Japan)
- 태고의달인 (29 March 2011, only for South Korea)
Collaborations and guest appearances
Taiko no Tatsujin frequently hosts collaboration campaigns with other video game franchises and companies. Collaboration efforts include porting signature songs into Taiko no Tatsujin games, sometimes with special dancers and background designs. In return Taiko no Tatsujin elements are respectively ported to other games.
The following are a selection of larger collaboration campaigns:
- Puzzle & Dragons
- Three Puzzle & Dragons background music pieces were added to the track listing of Taiko no Tatsujin Plus and the new arcade.
- Special dungeons featuring Taiko no Tatsujin characters are available for a limited time in Puzzle & Dragons.
- Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA
- The song Hatsune Miku no Gekishou (初音ミクの激唱?) is available in Portable DX, featuring note sequences exactly corresponds to the gameplay of the same song in Project DIVA.
- Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate
- A Taiko no Tatsujin-themed Hunting Horn Weapon and Guild Card Background are available as downloadable content in the game. The Hunting Horn is unique in that apart from utilizing Taiko sounds it also changes the standard notes into Taiko no Tatsujin-themed notes.
From 2005, Kids Station broadcast 3-minute shorts of the Taiko no Tatsujin characters in clay anime. There is 26 episodes in the series. A manga version of the series was also serialized in Comic Bom Bom.
Mini versions of the game appear in the Namco game Tales of the World:Narikiri Dungeon 3 when the main characters is equipped with a costume resembling a drum, and in the Nintendo DS game Nodame Cantabile.
- The Kamen Rider Hibiki video game included a Bonus Disc with the Opening and Ending of the Show, which can use the TaTaCon controller.
- The arcade version of the game is featured in the films Lost in Translation and Wasabi.
- The ninth arcade version of the game is also featured in episode 2 of the anime Lucky Star. Obs.: The music is Hare Hare Yukai from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. In response, NAMCO added Lucky Star's opening theme "Motteke! Sailor Fuku" into the 10th edition.
- The ninth arcade version of the game is also featured in episode 13 of the anime Nodame Cantabile.
- The mini version of Taiko no Tatsujin was featured on Nodame Cantabile Game on Nintendo DS
- In the documentary Global Metal, anthropologist Sam Dunn can be seen playing it while in Japan
- Taiko no Tatsujin's famous song, Saitama 2000, is featured in the arcade music game Music GunGun.
- The thirteenth arcade version of the game is featured in episode 3 of the anime Ore no Imōto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai.
- The ninth arcade version of the game is featured in one episode of the anime The Idolmaster.
- Don appears in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U as part of Pac-Man's "Namco Roulette" taunt, which summons a random Namco character.
- "現在、台湾の他に香港、タイ、マレーシアの一部店舗で稼動中のモモイロVer.、見かけましたら今のうちに「PaPaPa Love」遊んでみてくださいね♪(タケモト)". Twitter. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
- "太鼓の達人とは". Taiko no Tatsujin official site. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
- "「裏譜面」のおはなし". Taiko no Tatsujin Development Blog. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
- The first arcade version and the current, continuously updated arcade version share the same release title, and is not to be confused.
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- Official Website (Japanese)
- Table of music tracks by version of the game (in Japanese)
- Official Site Taiko no Tatsujin 3DS (in Japanese)
- Taiko no Tatsujin Asian Version (in Chinese)