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Nintendo Entertainment System

Game Description:

Recommended for Eastern Mythology Buffs and Bibliophiles.

This game is a rare gem, and is recommended for those who take the time to savor its strangeness. Don’t expect to know everything at the onset, as the main protagonist is a spiritual wanderer. The first area is a Temple of the Shingon Sect. The monks speak in mystical abstractions, as well as the Christian monks in later towns. The quatrains of Nostradamus are also infused in the story. At the end is an oral eastern tradition that is not documented in English, which is the Tennen Kobutsu. If you like the writings of Umberto Eco, Cayce, or Blavatsky, you will enjoy this. :) The main character goes in an out of reality much like the Matrix, which adds to the dreamlike quality. Enjoy!

Translation Description:

The Sci-fi mystical RPG set in a post apocalyptic world, where a young man unravels a mystery regarding his origins and attempts to thwart an Nostradamus-tinged apocalypse that begins as a meteorite slams into his hometown. Find eight pieces of a trigram, 7 chakra statues and 7 amulets of the star lords in 7 mystic cities while fighting a cast of bizarre demons and gods!

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Tao (Japan).nes - NOINTRO
  • CRC32: 8326EE33
  • MD5: C7991931FCF2645CDD6712AF97A9DC5F
  • SHA-1: B7E3F28C856E42D799FB9B659FB2BB45A9871E40
  • SHA-256: 7ACDC9024B0EE8D09974B9F914B8AD28639712F92E9E427229DFF1DD47C0B6C6


Screenshots: Patch Patch Images


ContributorType of contributionListed credit
snarkHackingHacking and Translation

User Review Information

Bizarre RPG--but don't blame the translator!

Reviewed By: Problembär on 18 Jun 2011

I was lured into playing this game by way of the translator’s description of Tao’s text as being reminiscent of the work of Umberto Eco. Being an admirer of Eco’s work, my curiosity was duly piqued. So if you’re the sort of fellow that enjoys pondering semiotics or is a fan of ‘The Name of the Rose’, will that mean that you were meant to play Tao? Not really.

The introductory note was, I think, a bit too kind on the part of the translator. Tao’s text and plot is a dense, nearly impenetrable thicket of obscure and confusing plotwork. What there is to do is difficult to discern without an FAQ or walkthrough. This is no fault of the translator, who did an excellent job of rendering the original Japanese into English. Rather, the problem lies with the original text itself, elusive as it is.

Despite these nearly fatal flaws, Tao manages to weave an eerie spell over the player. Its music is definitely notable; it’s quite good. But the design of the game itself–its enemies, backgrounds, and NPCs–wield a slightly creepy charm that is difficult to dispel once you’ve allowed yourself to meet this game on its spiritual wavelength. Though the game’s sense of the macabre and bizarre do give it a somewhat claustrophobic quality at times.

Definitely not a game for the average player–or even the dedicated fan of 8-bit JRPGs. Whatever audience this game may have had would have been limited at best, even during the JRPG heyday in Japan. But if you can manage to work your way through this game’s perplexing interface, a very unique experience awaits.

Recommended - Yes

User Reviews
Bizarre RPG--but don't blame the translator!Problembär18 Jun 2011N/AYes
Tried For the Life of Me to Get Into ThisKlaviaturist30 Mar 2011N/ANo