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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Feature: The Wear and Tear for Taiko no Tatsujin

Please, just don't.
Source: Twitter (original tweet deleted, mirrored from here)

That Taiko no Tatsujin as a franchise stood in the gaming market (mostly in Japan) for over 15 years is evident that Don-chan can take some serious wear and tear through time. But when the game ask you to literally hit on a drum, the physical equipment can and eventually will suffer from deterioration even when everyone takes very good care of it. Worse is that not everyone will necessarily be as nice to the drum as possible, especially towards an arcade cabinet drum.

We have previously talked about how much of a bad shape the cabinet-included drumsticks can be. In continuation to that, here is an overview of what the drums might do when one is out of maintenance.

Unresponsiveness (無反応 muhan'nou)
Exactly as it says on the tin, the drum just not recognize your hits at all. A likely explanation is that prolonged impact has rendered the force sensors desensitivized or just straight-up destroyed.

Accidental Firing (暴発 bouhatsu)
This means when you hit the rim, the game recognize that as a don hit, or vice versa, hence messing up your more intense streams you execute by motor memory. Dislocated internal parts may be a root cause.

Multiplexing (多重 tajuu)
One actual hit on the drum registering as multiple hits in the game (even when recoil is well-upheld) is also an abnormality for physical Taiko no Tatsujin drums. While you might think this is a good thing because "yay free hits", it really isn't as it can cost a few unnecessary Goods and Misses due to early hitting.

Torn Drumskin
This is in fact the least severe condition among the list, because the drumskin acts only as cosmetic appearance and a first-line of cushioning. Still, having torn drumskin often implies that other symptoms is also already present deeper down.

★   ★   ★

Again while the physical equipment will eventually come down with deterioration, it doesn't mean Donders do not have to mind of their gameplay to prolong that fate. While a great deal goes back to arcade (especially Taiko no Tatsujin) ethics we have previously talked about, here we highlight some the more direct causes of severe drum damage:

Crasher (クラッシャー)
This term of course means people whose actions are basically destroying the drums, intentionally or out of not understanding the game alike. Usual crashing behavior includes indiscriminately hitting at random places (like the sides which doesn't register any input) and/or using unnecessary amount of force (more forceful hits don't get you more points as long as you are over the recognized threshold). That also goes to frustrated players that blow off steam onto the drums. Remember: "Taiko is a music game, not a game of hit the drum as hard as you can."

Blank Hitting (空打ち kara-uchi)
Hitting when you did not put in credits just takes up the cabinet's service life away from actually paying players. And doing this while another player is playing is just plain rude.

Not that blank hitting does not have any more-legitimate use (e.g. practice upcoming patterns before a song starts, or supportive arrangement play by filling in spaces), but if you can try to limit the additional damage to the equipment.

Double-hand (両手 ryoute) vs Single-hand (片手 katate)
To clear up the misunderstanding, arcade Taiko no Tatsujin does not need you to hit both sides of the drum to get the double points for a 特良 hit, so long as your hit is forceful enough to exceed the (slightly higher than normal) threshold. Only console Taiko no Tatsujin games need you to double-hand hit large notes because button set-ups or tatacons do not have those force-sensing capabilities.

Unless your hits are so weak they never give you the bonus, you shouldn't be double-hand hitting your large notes. Not only does it save the drum from unnecessary hits and damage, it also saves your stamina for the rest of the song/credit.

In video evidence, look at this clip of an expert player on Yami no Mahou Shoujo, clearing all the large notes at with only one-sided hits:

★   ★   ★

Drum Condition Wikis
With the rise of collaborative content-building internet places like wikis, communities of Donders can band together to provide up-to-date drum condition (i.e. how bad it is) with shop location lists. Ask your local Donder communities for an existing list of shops in your area and respective drum condition. If there isn't one for your neck of the woods, consider starting one!

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