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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Song of the Week! 25 August 2012

This week we're covering a recent difficult song from the Taiko 0 generation. Ready?

 Dodon ga Do~n (ドドンガド~ン)
Allx4 (233)x5 (293)x7 (457)x8 (727)
 Taiko 0, Taiko Wii 5, Taiko 3DS, Taiko +, CD Full Combo

This is quite a new pattern established in the release of Namco Original songs; when a Namco Original song by Sampling Masters AYA or Mega is released, the other person will follow suit in the same version. It happened in Taiko 12 (Rotter Tarmination/Rumble Ranbu) and it's happening here again, in Taiko 0. Dodon ga Don is composed by Shinji Hosoe (細江慎治), paired with Samba Alegria by AYA. The voice in the song is Takahiro Eguchi (江口孝宏), also together with Mega and Aya from Super Sweep Records.

The title Dodon ga Do~n has been used in Namco's history more than once. However the title is not just  referring to the subtitle of the first Taiko console game (Tatacon de Dodon ga Don) but another one also by Namco, an old 1994 coin-op game, also called Dodonga Don (Belly Bomber in America and Europe). Released on July 30th, the old arcade game's rules were simple: an alligator-dragon like creature -the Dodonga Don- periodically pushes 5 bombs down the playfield and the player must shoot them back up to the top towards the creature. This creature goes even further back, as it was one of the enemies of the 1991 Namco shooter game Cosmo Gang the Video for arcades and SNES.

Like other arcades which involves physical action, Belly Bomber supported 2-Player link play with two different machines. It may be related, or it may just be a naming coincidence; take this in your own stride! This song being related to an ancient arcade game almost no one knows about sounds like a more interesting explanation though.

The song itself is a fast-paced techno track with lots of shouting sounds, exactly the same style as Rotter Tarmination, another popular Namco Original from MEGA; the notecharts and patterns are similar and so is the song's flow. Even the BPM is completely identical! Dodon ga Do~n is not without its new innovations though; it has longer and denser clusters with tons of short Go-Go Time sections. But no worries, there's no impossible 999 balloon note this time!

  Dodon ga Do~n (ドドンガド~ン)
Taiko 0, Taiko Wii 5

x10 (876)
Taiko 3DSx4 (233)x5 (293)x6 (457)x10 (876)
 Taiko 0, Taiko Wii 5, Taiko 3DS

With the introduction of Taiko 0's new ranking standards, both Venomous and Dodon ga Don's Ura modes have the heavy task to represent a new generation of 10* Oni songs. Venomous made use of the same number of notes to create a more effective chart, and Dodon ga Don expanded its space with a completely different chart and more notes. Here the similarities between Rotter Tarmination and Dodon ga Don become stronger and stronger.

Like Rotter Ura, this one relies on consecutive clusters of every length at high speed, and follows the same general scheme of scrolling speed change: after the first half of the song at regular scrolling speed (with a pair of x3 drumrolls), there is a slow-down to x0.75 speed (Rotter Ura's was x0.5) for some 1/24 clusters, then the song speeds up to x4, just like Rotter, for another memory-based notechart gimmick. The high-speed portion is longer than that of Rotter's, making for more memorization than ever before. Despite all the similarities with the older Mega song, this is still a little easier due to the linear patterns and the generous rest portion in the middle of the song.

Taiko 3DS has added Ura modes to the difficulties below Oni, simply by recycling the regular patterns and (almost) fully painting them blue (changing them all to Kat notes) without adding or subtracting anything. Check out Dodon ga Don's Ura Muzukashii patterns and compare them with the regular one!

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