Taiko no Tatsujin (太鼓の達人) is a series of rhythm games created by Namco. The series has seen releases for the arcade, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Wii, iPhone OS, Advanced Pico Beena, and mobile phones.
The player uses a simulated taiko drum controller to play the notes of a chosen song's drum part as they are displayed on the screen. The PlayStation 2 and Wii versions can be played with a TaTaCon (stands for Taiko Tapping Controller), a special controller which looks like a small taiko drum. The Nintendo DS and iPhone OS versions uses the touch screen as an interactive taiko drum, with the DS games including two styluses in their packages.
The Nintendo DS and PlayStation Portable versions also have the ability to engage in 4 player wireless multiplayer.
Symbols moving horizontally along a timeline show the player what to hit and when. Blue symbols indicate that the drum should be hit on the rim. Red symbols indicate that the face of the drum should be hit. The drum can be hit on the left and/or right side. The symbols can be either large or small. Large symbols indicate that the drum should be struck on both sides simultaneously, and small symbols indicate that the drum should be hit on either side. A large blue symbol thus means that the left and right rim should be hit at the same time.
In the Japanese version, subtitles under the symbols give the pronunciation of the sounds (for example, "do don do don") using a traditional system called kuchi shoga (口唱歌).
While its appearance may seem cute, it is actually quite difficult: the player needs to accomplish at least 65% of the drum chart to pass, and the harder levels (hard and Oni mode) and modifiers (e.g.: hidden mode) will require much skill and chart recognization.
Successful play builds up a life meter, and if the meter is past a certain point by the end of the song, the song is passed.
A soundtrack based on these series has been released on May 2008. It includes songs from Taiko no Tatsujin 10, Taiko no Tatsujin 11, Taiko no Tatsujin DS: Touch de Dokodon, and Mecha! Taiko no Tatsujin DS: 7-tsu no Shima no Daibouken.
- 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) (Summer 2010)
- 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 (Meccha! Taiko no Tatsujin DS: 7tsu 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 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 タタコンでドドンがドン (Taiko no Tatsujin: TATAKON 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 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 TAIKO DRUM MASTER (Taiko no Tatsujin: TAIKO DRUM MASTER Japanese Release) (17 March 2005)
- 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 ドンカッ！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 (Taiko no Tatsujin) (February 1, 2010, only in Japan)
- 太鼓の達人 2(Taiko no Tatsujin 2) (2010, only in Japan)
- 太鼓の達人 +(Taiko no Tatsujin +) (May 28, 2010, only in Japan)
- 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)
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.
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- The Kamen Rider Hibiki video game 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
- Official Website (Japanese)
- Table of music tracks by version of the game (in Japanese)
- Taiko no Tatsujin Asian Version (in Chinese)