Japan's Drum Master- Don-chan for Smash. Localization Inbound!

Tikivoy

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#1
Don-chan drums into battle!

Pippidonidle5.png


Who?

Don-chan (full name: Wada Don) is the main hero of the Taiko no Tatsujin (Taiko Master) series, a Namco game series very popular in Japan. Normally alongside his brother Katsu-chan, he often goes off on world saving adventures, all of which are usually solved with music.
Oh, and if you haven't noticed, he happens to be a Taiko drum. Isn't that sugoi, Smashboards-chan?

I've never heard of this series. What is it and how is it important?
Taiko Master is a music game series that has mostly been exclusive to Asia. As you would expect from a Japanese music game, it includes music from popular Japanese artist, along with an impressive amount of music from video games and anime. Due to its soundtrack and various difficulty levels, it appeals to players both young and old, and gamers both casual and hardcore.

The series itself is among the most well known music games in Japan, and is definitely seen as a big series by Namco. Every game since the first has had a "Namco genre", featuring music from just about every Namco series you could think of, such as Pac-Man, Tales, Tekken, iDOLM@STER(2 full games dedicated to it actually), Soul Calibur, etc...

Furthermore, its well known for having guest songs and character appearances by gaming and anime icons: Mario, Kirby, Ace Attorney, Yakuza, Vocaloid, Tohou, Assassination Classroom, Sonic, Dragon Quest, Yo-Kai Watch, Monster Hunter…just to name a portion. That’s not even including the countless anime and video game songs they’ve included without guest appearances, from Evangelion, to Totoro, to Dragon Ball, to Frozen and Jimmy Neutron. See this link for a list of every collaboration song in the series, be warned it’s a lot.

They even collaborated with Mcdonalds Japan for kids meals and included papamamamac as an unlockable song.

But as for popularity, if the amount of guest hasn't displayed it, there's not much to say besides really, really popular in Japan, enough for Namco to create over 50 titles between console, mobile and arcade releases in the past 15 years. If you go to a Japanese arcade, its almost a guarantee you'll see a version of Taiko at it.

If you want somewhat of a sales example, the mobile version of the game is very popular. The game released back in 2010, yet has rarely left Japan's top 100 iOS games list, and only left the top iOS 10 music games genre once.

How often has the series/character had international releases?

Not much. Namco's Donkey Konga 1 & 2 are unarguably Taiko with DK, Bongos, and a more western soundtrack in oversea's versions. So far, the actual Taiko series has had one video game releases over here, being Taiko Drum Master on PS2. Aside from that, the only sort of "game" we had was the Taiko mini-game in 2016's Yakuza 5.
Don-chan himself has appeared in a ton of recent games that released overseas, including Tales of Grace f, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, idolm@ster Shiny Festa, Yakuza 5, Mario Kart Arcade GP DX, Yo-kai Watch 2, and, pretty important, Super Smash Bros for Wii U/3DS, being the only "modern" Namco character seen in Pac-Man's up taunt.



Why would he be chosen for a future Smash Bros title?
Series popularity for starters, as mentioned Don-chan is the face of a very popular series over there.
We also have the possibility of Namco working on a future Smash title and considering Don as a playable character. Being from a rhythm game, and being a fighter himself in his games, he has great potential to be a unique fighter. As Heihachi was briefly considered as a playable character, Namco may bring up Don as a playable character, which Sakurai or a future director may take into consideration.Or, perhaps he was already considered, and the taunt cameo came from that?

Another good reason is his association with Nintendo. Of the 30 console games, 14 of them have released on Nintendo consoles. While that doesn't sound too special, one must consider 10 of them were on PS2, and at that time Gamecube had Namco's Donkey Konga instead. Since the 7th generation, the main home console releases (the ones with an actual drum peripheral) have only released on Nintendo home consoles, skipping PS3 and PS4 for Wii and Wii U, a trend continuing with the Taiko game planned for Switch. There's a ton of DS and 3DS Taiko games as well, and many of them feature songs from Nintendo series in them, alongside the Arcade games.


July 28th update: Since the original post, Japan has seen the release of 2 new Taiko games on PS4 and Switch.
Yesterday, these two games were confirmed for localization!

Additionally, Don-chan has not been seen in Pac-Man's Namco Roulette taunt. While its possible he just hasn't been sighted in the Ultimate demo, it does brings hope he has a greater role in the game.

Chances in short:

+Very popular in Japan, having over 50 games between Arcade, console and mobile, and very associated with Nintendo, having the home console releases exclusive to Nintendo since the 7th generation until very recently.
+Mentioned games almost always have Nintendo music in them, and occasional appearances from their characters as well, such as Mario and Kirby.
+Possibility of being considered due to being a Namco series. Could be considered important to Namco's history as he was the only modern Namco character that appears in Pac-Man's Smash 4 taunt.
+Has good potential as a character due to the focus of rhythm in his games. Demonstrates also being a fighter in his own games.


-Pac-man already represents Namco, Don indirectly competes with other potential Namco characters such as Lloyd or Heihachi should there be only one more Namco fighter. If his moveset is rhythm based, he may even compete with characters from Nintendo's Rhythm Heaven.
-Still not well known overseas due to Taiko only now seeing its first worldwide release since 2005.
+- His recent games are seeing localization, may or may not affect Smash depending on how long Namco planned the release.
+- Don-chan has not yet been sighted in Pac-Man's Taunt, which may indicate he has a different role in Ultimate...or not.

Moveset:
Coming eventually...

Costume room (costumes):
Giving him recolors are very easy to do since he’s often customizable. If they wanted to go for more popular color swaps or actual costumes, his sibling Katsu-chan is an obvious choice, Strawberry and Knight costumes made an appearance in Mario Kart Arcade 3, and Haruka Don-chan would be funny and work well since iDOLM@STER is another popular Namco series in Japan.

taikoswap.jpg



It's a music game, so here is some of the music!
The Taiko no Tatsujin's (supporters)
Tikivoy
fogbadge
smashkirby
Famicomdisk
SegaGameBoy
I Never Felt It Before
JazzaDawg
smash puffle
 
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Luminario

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#2
This little drum is absolutely adorable, but I have no idea how he'd actually fight. Would he require precise timing on button presses to maximise damage and knockback? And what would his attacks be? besides using the drum sticks to whack people with of course.
 

Tikivoy

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#3
This little drum is absolutely adorable, but I have no idea how he'd actually fight. Would he require precise timing on button presses to maximise damage and knockback? And what would his attacks be? besides using the drum sticks to whack people with of course.
He can always transform into this:

Or not :troll:

One move I always imagined would be incorporating the rhythm game notes into an attack. Have them appear on a notetrack (like in DK's final Smash), then have them fly at nearby opponents if the player hits them on time, perhaps as a neutral special with a slow startup.
That would work, since in a few of the Taiko games the notes fly and hit the boss during boss battles.


Aside from that, i'm not completely sure myself. Most of the Taiko games imply he fights, but its not really seen on screen. There's also a ton of characters in the series that are seen fighting (like Raruko, the dragon in the above video), so perhaps he could summon them for some attacks?
He'd certainly need alot of creativity to work. One of the reasons why I never made a full moveset for him since I thought of him joining a year ago :estatic:
 

fogbadge

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#4
well ive never played any of his games but i loved him in yo-kai watch 2 so i wouldn't mind having the little gut in smash
 

Tikivoy

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#6
I'm gonna give this topic a bump in light of Smash Switch. I''ll see if I can get around to updating it later.

Until then, it should be mentioned, while the last Taiko game was on PS4, Taiko is coming back to Nintendo platforms in "Taiko for Nintendo Switch"! It contains music from Splatoon 2 and Mario Odyssey, once again showing how much love Nintendo gives to this series.


 

FamicomDisk

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#8
I support him! I've loved every Taiko no Tatusjin game I've played. Here's hoping the Switch one gets released outside of Japan! If not, I might have to get it off the Japanese eShop! :p

Giving this thread a bump! I'm wondering, does anyone expect a Taiko stage? Cause I am for some reason...
I can't say I'm expecting one, but I think a Taiko stage that incorporates rhythm elements would be incredibly fun! My idea would be a stage that looks like the regular gameplay, with the fight happening in the visual area at the bottom.

The rhythm area would usually have nothing coming, but every so often, it counts down, and then starts a little game of Taiko, in which players press A or B to hit the incoming notes, like they're actually playing the original game! Pressing A will still make you attack, and the same is true for B, but it would also affect the Taiko game at the top. After a short bit, the game ends, and whoever performed the best gets a bonus, similar to winning a game in the WarioWare stage! I think that would be a fun way to incorporate the original game mechanics into Smash.
 
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#10
I deeply apologize for the late post but I legit think this is HIGHLY possible for the next Ultimate for many, many reasons.

1. Don-Chan has been supporting Nintendo and crossing over with all of their ips for a long time, even featured in Mario Kart

2. Namco has no 2nd rep. So far Sega and Capcom do, and presumably Konami. Namco does not. Neither does Square but that's for another time

3. Pac-man has no Don Chan taunt anymore. usually the sudden removal of a cameo/AT could possibly mean they're playable

4. Don Chan is easily a unique character. We have no rhythm type character, and hes a drum (hey, we need a cat character. Jibanyan, anyone?)

5. Don Chan made history for gaming despite not being so well known overseas. He is the pioneer of "drumming" (lack of a better name) rhythm games. It has been copied between plenty games such as Osu, Persona Dancing all night/moonlight, IDOLMASTER, and many more. And this also applies to DK's old FS being a straight copy of Taiko's gameplay.

6. Speaking of DK's old FS (which is basically Taiko gameplay), it's odd how instead of improving it, they just gave him a generic ATATATA move that Giga Mac has. Sounds odd, huh?

7. Just like all of the third parties right now, Don has been around forever. Kickstarted in the early 2000's. He may not be your favorite character or you haven't heard of him one bit but many people in japan, Taiko No Tatsujin could possibly of been their childhood!

8. Don-Chan Pac-man? Sounds very catchy to name them together, huh? Nintendo has to be stupid to not think of something cute and witty for combining the two names.


9. Taiko No Tatsujin's console minigames vary over time, so they all can easily be incorportated into Smash + the costumes from the minigames.

The biggest contender I can see him have is Lloyd and Heihachi. But Lloyd's biggest fall is that he's highly irrelavent while Don is still kicking and drumming today. Heihachi is a stronger opponent for being considered and a highly requested character. Personally I'd rather have a drum (and cat) over a generic human number 30 (literally, I like Tekken and all but the fighters are so boring and slow for a smash game)


With how things have been lately, Don has more of a chance to be an assist than a character. Personally it's way better than being a hidden taunt.
 
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Tikivoy

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#12
Pac-man's taunt not having Don is making me abit more hopeful we'll see him. If not a character than i'd be happy with an AT or item, since Bomberman showed we can have that.

Also, it is still kinda weird DK's new final smash is based off Jungle Beat, the other game that used DK Bongos. All this is not too long after Nintendo filed a patent that included a newer version of the bongos for Nintendo Switch. Sort of makes me question if the Konga series is coming back, which might help more people get into Taiko since the gameplay is so similar :ultdk:
Edit: Wait its based off DKCR I silly.
 
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#13
Pac-man's taunt not having Don is making me abit more hopeful we'll see him. If not a character than i'd be happy with an AT or item, since Bomberman showed we can have that.

Also, it is still kinda weird DK's new final smash is based off Jungle Beat, the other game that used DK Bongos. All this is not too long after Nintendo filed a patent that included a newer version of the bongos for Nintendo Switch. Sort of makes me question if the Konga series is coming back, which might help more people get into Taiko since the gameplay is so similar :ultdk:
I feel like the reason it got removed is because they want to transfer that old FS to a Don Assist/ playable character.

It'd be depressing if they remove the taunt cameo and there's no larger Taiko Drum Master representation in Ultimate, It's kinda a waste of a franchise rep.
 
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JazzaDawg

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#14
While i have another rhythm game in mind for a character, i really wouldn't mind if Don-Chan got in over them.
 
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#16
I looked at some footage of Taiko for Switch and physical appearance of some of the nintendo characters + Mario Kart appearance (and still relavent)? You gotta be a fool to think they won't put don in Smash again one way or another. Namco would be a fool to not make him at least an assist trophy. This is just too much potential to waste.
 
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#17
I doubt Don-chan would make it in as a playable character, especially over a representative from Nintendo's own rhythm franchise; popularity be damned. It's the same reason I doubt they'd put in Arle over Lip, licensing fee for a character with essentially the exact same gimmick vs. characters they already have free range to use.
 

Tikivoy

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#18
For those who havn't heard the great news:
Rumors and trademarks indicate Taiko PS4 and Switch will be coming to the West. The Japanese version of the Switch release will even been updated to include an english option.
Really interested in seeing how this goes. Also hoping they'll add a Smash Ultimate track to the game.
 
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#19
For those who havn't heard the great news:
Rumors and trademarks indicate Taiko PS4 and Switch will be coming to the West. The Japanese version of the Switch release will even been updated to include an english option.
Really interested in seeing how this goes. Also hoping they'll add a Smash Ultimate track to the game.

On top of that, it means he has a better chance of being an AT or a PC. Worldwide notice and releases can push a character up there to at least prescence.
 
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#21
Since when was Taiko for the switch announced? Just this week? 2018? I'm sure a game like that could take around 2 or 3 years. That's 2016 or 2015. Around that time Sakurai probably was considering a roster. I doubt it'd be any longer or shorter.
 
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#22
I'm not gonna tell the entire moveset because as someone who only played 3 Taiko games (none even have any minigames) . ( also doubt sakurai would give a move nod to the claymation or Yokai watch for that matter until Jibanyan gets in) i'm sure someone can think of more memorable and better movesets than I have. But as for his neutral he can probably get a drum out and bang on it making the donkatsu faces. Low damage but they come out really fast. THe faster you tap the more they come out. Since they have bounce physics like Mario, they can be good for edge guarding.

For down special he can summon the dragon partner from the 3ds games, and Final smash, he takes his opponent into the festival, and all of the background characters come in and dance as Don from above along with Katsu launches a flaming don face towards the opponent..... *With their arms* and it ends up exploding on contact. If it weren't all cinematic id just say port DK's old final smash.


My original moveset was more based on both the Don chan MUGEN character in smash gameplay and the other Don chan MUGEN character. But they referenced stuff i'm unsure if they are the best to reference
 
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Lichzim

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#25
TBH I've been playing a lot of Taiko on my switch. I love Taiko and I've always loved Rhythm Games. Wasn't even aware that Don-Chan was in Pac-Man's roulette. Count me in.
 
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#26
The new localization is giving Taiko more exposure to the west (and you know how Sakurai loves western audiences) and that's a good thing. The PS2 version only drove away a lot of people. Jimmy Neutron did no justice. Let me tell you, Taiko has supported many companies, from Sega to LEVEL-5 and mostly Nintendo for YEARS. Nintendo needs to give back by putting Donny in Smash
 
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#27
Well shoot. No Don chan. Like at all. What a letdown on that end. On the other Simon's here. YES!



Konami: Snake, Simon, Ricter



Capcom: Mega Man, Ryu



BANDAI NAMCO: Pac-man



Sega: Sonic, Bayonetta

Square Enix: Cloud

Don chan could easily fill that missing 2nd rep



Namco and SE getting neglected hard. Namco is literally working on the game why can't they have 3 reps themselves? Square enix was buddies since SNES. I expect a 2nd direct to fill in these missing pieces.
 
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#28
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#29
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#33
America and europe have plenty of Jpop fans (unlike the last time Taiko tried to hit West) and plenty of people interested in being the next Beatles, Justin Bieber, Kid rock, and the likes as well as Guitar Hero being super popular with as much inspiration but less than Taiko's Switch version. So i can see it happen.


Also wanna say this:
Sakurai likes adding characters no one really knows outside of Japan. While Don wasn't really unknown outside of Japan (But rather known more in Asia). This could very well be the first time a Third Party character of the sorts gets in Smash. I mean we are getting bombarded with rule breaks from Sakurai right now so who knows if we get the Marth/Ness/Falcon of 3rd parties where no one in the West know him? Although it's not really like that anymore, even during the development of Smash as he was slowly being known out of Asia the more cameos he was in the west. Especiallly Mario Kart and is now almost everywhere in the gaming scene now with his newest game. If we were to go anything by Mario Kart GP, it's Pacman first and THEN Don chan, then Mamechi/Heihachi. Or was it the other way around? Maybe it's based on what company they're dealing with? PSASBR has a really dumb roster.
 
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#34
BTW I need a curious poll... -
If he does make it in Smash, what would the announcer call him since he goes by 3 names and 1 name for those who don't know his name?

Wada Don

Don-Chan

Don Wada

or

"Taiko"
 
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#35


Check this out.

Tekken's out and SC is out thank goodness.

What's their major franchises not in Smash yet?

Tales of? Okay, we get Lloyd, maybe?

and

Wait

OH NO
i can't take the guy who confirmed EVERYONE IS HERE, and SIMON BELONT for a grain of salt. I'm hyped. Then a gain. Who wants to play as an inverted don chan. I don't really know any tales of echos either. If there is a Lloyd copy, then I will be ok with that. I like Tales of but I'm not big on it.
 
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