Taiko no Tatsujin

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This article is about the Taiko no Tatsujin series. For the North American installment in the series, see Taiko: Drum Master.
Arcade version

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.[1] Other releases can also be seen in other regions despite not having been officially exported.



The main objective of Taiko no Tatsujin games is to hit a simulated Taiko drum following a chosen piece of music, corresponding tonotes (音符 onpu?) scrolling from the right.

A song is cleared when the spirit gauge (魂ゲージ tamashii gauge?) is filled past the target (ノルマ noruma?), by playing accurately enough.


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 variety of notes in the game consists mainly of red and blue markers. The red don (ドン?) note requires a hit on the face of the drum, and the blue kat (カッ?) note requires a hit on the rim.[2]

Other notes require quick consecutive hits on the drum. Types of such notes includes the yellow bar, the balloon note and the Kusudama ball.[2]


Most games in the franchise provides four difficulty levels for play, namely Easy (かんたん kantan?), Normal (ふつう futsū?) and Hard (むずかしい muzukashii?) and the hardest Oni (おに?, lit. demon).

The sequence of the notes in a level is commonly referred to as a notechart (譜面 fumen?).

Inner notecharts[edit]

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.[3] Although not a main objective, most inner notecharts are made more difficult than regular notecharts.[3]

Some inner notecharts works by changing to an alternate version of the song, or, exclusively in arcades, switching out for a completely different song.[3]

Notechart branching[edit]

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?).

Gameplay options[edit]

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) [4]
  • 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),[4] 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)

Nintendo DS[edit]

Nintendo 3DS[edit]


Wii U[edit]

PlayStation 2[edit]

  • 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)

PlayStation Portable[edit]



  • 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[edit]

  • 太鼓の達人 Beena (Taiko no Tatsujin Beena) (14 April 2005)

Mobile Phone[edit]

  • 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[edit]

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.

In Mario Kart Arcade GP DX, there is a Japanese-themed stage based on the series. Don also makes an appearance as a playable driver.[5]



  1. ^ "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. 
  2. ^ a b "太鼓の達人とは". Taiko no Tatsujin official site. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c "「裏譜面」のおはなし". Taiko no Tatsujin Development Blog. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  4. ^ a b The first arcade version and the current, continuously updated arcade version share the same release title, and is not to be confused.
  5. ^ http://arcadeheroes.com/2013/02/05/namco-formally-announces-mario-kart-arcade-grand-prix-dx/

External links[edit]