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definition - Patapon

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Developer(s)Pyramid, Japan Studio [1]
Publisher(s)Sony Computer Entertainment
Platform(s)PlayStation Portable
Release date(s)JP December 20, 2007
EU February 22, 2008
NA February 26, 2008
AUS February 28, 2008
Genre(s)Rhythm game, Real-time tactics, God game
Rating(s)CERO: A
PEGI: 7+
ESRB: Everyone
OFLC: General
System requirements3.71

Patapon (パタポン?) is a video game published for the PlayStation Portable handheld game console combining gameplay features of rhythm games, real-time tactics and God games. The game is presented in a cartoonish, silhouetted two-dimensional environment designed by Rolito, and features the player acting as a deity who commands an army of caricatured miniature tribal creatures by beating traditional talking drums. The game was developed by Pyramid and produced by Japan Studios.[1]



Patapon is a real-time strategy video game that the player controls in a manner similar to rhythm games. The player is put in indirect control of a tribe of Patapon warriors; to command the warriors, the player inputs specific sequences using the face buttons on the PSP, each representing a "talking drum", in time to a drum rhythm. These sequences order the tribe to move forward on the linear battlefield, attack, defend, and other actions. If the player inputs an unknown sequence or enters them off the main rhythm, the tribe will become confused and stop whatever they are doing. However, repeatedly entering a proper sequence in sync with the rhythm will lead the tribe into a "fever" increasing their attack and defensive bonuses. The tribe will stop doing anything after performing the last entered command if the player does not enter any more commands. Some commands are square, square, square, circle (Pata, Pata, Pata, Pon.) and circle, circle, square, circle. (Pon, Pon, Pata, Pon.)

The game is divided into several missions. Prior to each mission, the player can recruit new troops and assemble formations, equip troops with weapons and armor gained from the spoils of war or crafted from certain minigames. The player can return to an earlier mission to acquire additional resources and equipment to build up their troops before a larger battle.


The Patapon were a flourishing people until they were defeated by the Zigoton Empire. The player takes the role of their god and uses sacred war drums to direct the Patapon tribe to take back their land. As the story progresses, the Patapon also embark on a journey to Earthend to look upon "IT," a sacred object whose appearance and purpose is unknown to the tribe. The enemy of the Patapon tribe is the evil Zigoton Empire, a powerful tribe of slightly squarish creatures with red-and-black eyes (as opposed to the white-and-black-eyed Patapon) that have oppressed the Patapon since their fall from power. It becomes apparent later in the game that the Zigoton's have their own prophecy which is that when the Patapons attempt to see "IT" the world will fall into chaos. Towards the end of the game many of the main Zigoton warriors sell their souls to the dark forces in an attempt to gain more power. Eventually Queen Kharma, ruler of the Zigotons sells her soul in a final attempt to destroy the Patapons. When she is defeated the Patapons have to kill Gorl, a creature that once threatened the world. Once defeated the Patapon come to the coast, which they assume to be Earthend, and see the rising sun, which they assume to be "IT". However, unfulfilled by the anticlimactic end of their journey, they come to the conclusion that "IT" is, in fact, not the sun and to realize their destiny, they must cross the ocean to the real Earthend and continue their quest. At the end of the game there is a scene in which the Patapons and the Zigotons are working together to build a boat to cross the sea.


There are various types of Patapon that can be integrated into the player's army that are unlocked throughout the course of the game. There are six unit types in the game. The player may use a maximum of three unit types plus Hatapon. This makes unit selection and formation a key strategy aspect of the game.

  • Hatapon - This Patapon is the first one available to the game, and functions to rally the army together. Holds high the Patapon banner and does not participate in combat. His death, or the death of every Patapon except him, results in mission failure. Hata (旗) means "flag" in Japanese.
  • Yaripon - Spear-Throwing Patapon. This is the initial unit type given to the player to control, and is useful for both hunting and fighting. Their fever attack is a jumping spear throw that greatly increases the distance of the projectile while avoiding many enemy attacks. A Yaripon squad consists of 6 Yaripon. Yari (槍) means "spear" in Japanese.
  • Tatepon - Axe-Wielding Patapon. These Patapon are equipped with axes/swords and shields and are primarily melee fighters. They are useless while hunting, as their attack range is negligible at best and scares off prey. Tatepons are arguably the best defense Patapon units, as their shields can protect the entire army from projectile attack. While in fever mode, their shields increase in size and provide better protection. A Tatepon squad consists of 6 Tatepon. Tate (盾) means "shield" in Japanese.
  • Yumipon - Archer Patapon. These Patapon have the largest attack range in the game (wind can increase and decrease the range of their attack depending on which way it is blowing) and are always placed in back of any army. While they are extremely effective and can rain down arrows on enemies from afar, they are vulnerable to fire. While in fever mode, they shoot three arrows every attack instead of one. A Yumipon squad consists of 6 Yumipon. Yumi (弓) means "bow" in Japanese.
  • Kibapon - Cavalry Patapon. Equipped with horses and halberds, Kibapons deal heavy damage and knock back enemy troops. While relatively useless normally, they become faster and push back enemies with great power when in fever mode. They should only be used by a skilled player. A Kibapon Squad consists of 3 Kibapon. Kiba (騎馬) means "horse-rider" in Japanese.
  • Dekapon - Mace-Wielding Patapon. These monstrous brutes are extremely large and bulky, and as a result do massive damage to their targets. Unfortunately, Dekapons are extremely slow, which tempers their awesome might. While in fever mode, Dekapon have a ground pound attack that stuns enemies. A Dekapon squad consists of 3 Dekapon. Deka (でかい) means "gargantuan" in Japanese.
  • Megapon - Horn Playing Patapon. They are taller than most other Patapons, and carry around massive horns. To attack, they play their horns and the sound waves that are projected take on physical form, flying at the enemy and causing damage. Megapons have a variety of attacks, but the two most utilized are a standard wave of 3 blue notes that bounce off of and around the enemy, causing ricochet damage, and a massive red note only used during fever mode or after using the charge- up song then attacking, that hits multiple times causing massive damage. The other is a green note that is only used when you use the charge song (circle, circle, triangle, triangle) and then the defense song (triangle, triangle, square, circle) This song can only be obtained by the Great Dokaknel level (second worm level).. A Megapon squad consists of 3 Megapon. Their name may be based on 'megaphone'.

The Zigoton army is a direct parallel to the Patapon army and are named in an identical fashion, e.g. a Zigoton Kibapon is called a Kibaton.

During the 'birthing' phase at the Tree of Life, players can use different combination of ka-ching and raw materials they gathered during individual hunting missions, minigames, and other means. Higher quality or rare ingredients coupled with higher ka-ching costs results in higher quality base units.


There are 8 divine weapons you can make by getting a perfect game on the smith minigame using a mythril also called mithril and mytheerial.

Playable demo

On January 25, 2008. a playable demo was announced by the Patapon's associate producer Chris Hinojosa-Miranda via the official PlayStation blog. He revealed that the demo would be available for those who pre-ordered a copy of Patapon through GameStop. It has since been released as a downloadable demo for those in Europe and North America through the PlayStation Store. [2] Progress made in the demo version of Patapon (including the acquiring of a special demo-only weapon, The Spear of Protection) is transferable to the full retail release so players can resume progress from where they left off in the demo.[3]


On July 9, 2008, a sequel[4] was announced. The game was released on UMD on November 27, 2008 in Japan and on February 13, 2009 in Europe. The North American version was released May 5, 2009 as a digital format download from the Playstation Store[5]. People who reserved a copy of the game at a retail store were given a voucher to download it off the Playstation Store. The game features new bosses and new units, a multiplayer mode and the appearance of a new tribe.


Review scores

IGN rated the game 9.2/10, and considers Patapon, "not only one of the best rhythm games ever released, it's also one of the best titles for the PSP."[6] GameSpot gave Patapon a 9.0/10 citing its excellent art design and innovative gameplay.[7] 1UP.com gave the game an A, noting its understated strategic depth despite the game's faults.[8] Metacritic has an aggregate score of 87/100.[9] The game has sold 229,000 copies in North America by January 2009.[10]

GameSpot nominated this game in "Best of 2008" awards. It was nominated in "Best Graphic, Artistic", "Best original music", "Best original game mechanic", "Most innovative game", "Best original IP", "Best Rhythm/Music game", "Best PSP game" and won 2 of these awards.


GameSpot's "Best of 2008":

  • Best original music
  • Most innovative game

IGN's "Best of 2008 Awards":

  • Best Music/Rhythm Game
  • Best Artistic Design
  • Best Original Score
  • Best New IP
  • PSP Game of the Year

See also


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