Mercenary Tao

Mercenary Tao

桃白白 Taopaipai

Anime name Mercenary Tao
Manga name Taopaipai
Alternate names General Tao
General Tao Pei (Harmony Gold Dub)
Cyborg Tao
Master Tao
Tao Pai Pai
Tao Paipai
Kryminator (Polish Dub)
Debut Manga: "Taopaipai the Assassin"
Anime: "The Land of Korin"
Appears in [2][3]
Race Human (rebuilt as a cyborg after his defeat by Goku)
Gender Male
Date of birth Age 459[1]
Height 5'10" (178 cm)[2]
Weight 154 lbs. (70 kg)[2]
Occupation Mercenary for hire
General (Mystical Adventure only)
Allegiance Crane School

hired by the Red Ribbon Army

Family Master Shen (Brother)

Tien Shinhan (Former Student) Chiaotzu (Former Student)

"Pleased to kill you."
— "The Notorious Mercenary"

Mercenary Tao (桃白白 Tao Pai Pai) is a highly skilled assassin-for-hire and the younger brother of Master Shen. He is very expensive to pay as he normally charges ten billion Zeni per kill, but gave Commander Red a 20th anniversary discount of five billion Zeni (fifty million in the Japanese version).[3]


[hide]*1 Biography


Early Life[5]Edit

[6]Master Shen and Mercenary TaoAdded by Kill YouTao was born in Age 459 just two years before the King Piccolo Wars which his brother Shen served in.[4] Even though he was younger, Tao was always one step ahead of his older brother and a rivalry then grew between them. They began to fight over the smallest things and eventually, a simple spilled bowl of rice was enough to break them apart. At the age of 279, Tao started his career as a mercenary for hire.

Though it was never stated, Tao must have gained immortality in some sort of way causing him to live for over two hundred years. Tao was said to be a major influence to Tien Shinhan during his days training with the Crane School.

Dragon Ball[7]Edit

Commander Red Saga[8]Edit

Main article: Commander Red Saga [9]Mercenary TaoAdded by Kill YouTwenty years after starting his career as a Mercenary, Tao was hired by the Red Ribbon Army to kill Goku, who had been defeating all of their operatives and taking away the Dragon Balls they acquired, messing with Commander Red's secret wish of getting taller. When General Blue, one of the Red Ribbon Army's strongest operatives, arrives at the Red Ribbon Army headquarters failing his mission, Commander Red gives him a deal. In order to redeem himself, he must defeat Mercenary Tao. Tao easily dodges Blue's flurry of punches, proves himself to be immune to Blue's telekinesis ability, and kills him only using his tongue, with Commander Red and Staff Officer Black watching, to prove that his assistance is worth the high price.

After looking at his target's photo, Tao throws a pillar from the Red Ribbon Army's headquarters and rides it. Tao meets Goku in the Sacred Land of Korin, but Bora, a man who had previously held off the Red Ribbon Army single handedly and who tried to defend Goku, challenges him. Tao easily murders Bora by launching him into the air and throwing Bora's spear at him, stabbing Bora. This causes Goku to lose his temper and attack Tao. Goku proves to be more of a challenge than Blue, but Tao knocks him around a bit, dodges Goku's flurry of attacks easily, and then knocks him out with the Dodon Ray technique, thinking he killed him. Upa, Bora's son, tries to attack Tao with a rock, but Tao just blows it back to Upa. Tao ends up only retrieving three of the Dragon Balls which were located in the backpack Goku had, and realises this when he is calling Commander Red on his progress. The last ball was in Goku's outfit, which saved him from being killed by the Dodon Ray. [10]Tao with the tailor, who just asked for money for his servicesAdded by Kill YouSince Tao's uniform was ruined by Goku's Kamehameha in the battle, he takes off to a town where he forces a tailor to make a new copy of his uniform for free. During the three days, Tao intimidates the townspeople into obtaining free luxuries such as a hotel room. In filler, a sniper in the town tries to assassinate Tao but fails. Three days later, his uniform is finished. When the tailor asks for money, Tao kills him using a Pressure Point Attack and returns to the land of Korin to retrieve the missing Dragon Ball. [11]Mercenary Tao fighting GokuAdded by BeadtmdcWhen he arrives, Upa attacks him, but Tao dodges his attack and strangles him for where the Dragon Ball is located. When Upa refuses to answer, Tao throws him at the tower, where Goku narrowly saves him, to Tao's surprise. He then fights Goku, who had been specially trained by Korin after climbing his tower and proved to be far too strong for Tao. Tao resorts to bringing out his sword, which breaks in a clash with Goku's Power Pole. [12]Tao's sword being broken in half by Goku's Power PoleAdded by BeadtmdcAfter Tao decides Goku was too powerful, he himself climbs Korin Tower to retrieve the Sacred Water that had made Goku so powerful. He easily ascends the tower and meets Korin. Korin knows that Tao is a wicked assassin, so he tricks Tao and gives him the useless Sacred Water. After that, Korin uses a trick to make Tao believe he has improved so he will leave. He sends Tao back down the tower on the Dark Nimbus to prevent him from gaining any strength from the tower climb. Tao challenges Goku again when the Nimbus crashes into the ground and only manages to do slightly better, not enough to defeat Goku. Seeing that he was still no match for Goku, Tao pretends to surrender, tricking Goku for a split second. While Goku is asking Upa if he thinks they should let him go, Tao throws a grenade at Goku whose back is still turned. Tao then jumps high into the air to avoid the explosion, Goku kicks the grenade back at him, which detonates and seemingly kills the assassin. [13]Tao riding the Dark NimbusAdded by BeadtmdcThough Goku presumed Tao dead, Tao used all of the money he gained from his previous jobs to be rebuilt as a cyborg. During the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament, Master Shen learns of Goku's encounter with his brother, Tao. Shen instructs Tien to kill Goku in the arena to avenge his death, but, thanks to Master Roshi, Tien comes to his senses and ceases his affiliation with the Crane School, with Chiaotzu following him.

Piccolo Jr. Saga[14]Edit

[15]Mercenary Tao rebuilt as "Cyborg Tao"Added by BeadtmdcHowever, Tao is rebuilt as a cyborg by his older brother, Shen, and competes in the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament, brutally defeating Chiaotzu. He fights Tien Shinhan next, and after knowing he cannot beat him fairly, violates the rules of the tournament by using a hidden knife to cut Tien's chest, scarring him for life. Despite being disqualified, Tao continued to fight, admitting that he doesn't really care if he actually wins the match, and that he only participated so he could kill Tien. After Tien broke Tao's blade, Tao used the Super Dodon Wave, only for Tien to nullify it with a Kiai. Tien then knocked him out swiftly, then carried the unconscious Tao to his older brother Master Shen, who carried him away in disgrace.

Dragon Ball Z[16]Edit

Cell Games Saga[17]Edit

[18]General Tao as he appears in Dragon Ball ZAdded by BeadtmdcTao never appeared again in the Dragon Ball Z section of the manga, but exclusively in the anime. He makes two appearances during the Cell Games Saga.

In his first appearance, he works as a personal bodyguard for Mr. Borbonne, a short man who runs a shelter which can supposedly protect people from Cell at Chazke Village. Everything was going exactly according to plan until Gohan appeared in the village, disrupting the scheme Mr. Borbonne had going. As the man's bodyguards surrounded Gohan, an old man from the village (Mr. Lao) arrived dressed in a Chinese-styled dogu martial arts outfit. After dispatching the black-suited bodyguards, the man called for Tao to come out and take care of the old man. After a series of exchanged blows, Tao has the man on the ground. He would have finished the man off with a Super Dodon Wave, but Gohan stepped in the way at the last second, protecting Mr. Lao and himself from the Super Dodon Wave. Tao asks his name and breathes a sigh of relief in hearing his name was Go-HAN instead of Go-KU (Tao is fearful of Goku because of their previous confrontations in Dragon Ball). However, his relief is quickly exchanged with fear as he learns Gohan is Goku's son and he flies off on a pine tree, effectively resigning from his position as a bodyguard. [19]Mercenary Tao during the Cell Games SagaAdded by BeadtmdcIn his second appearance, he works as a henchman for Vodka, a rich gangster who has hired him to gather the Dragon Balls so he may wish for immortality to protect himself from Perfect Cell. Goku shows up to gather the two that Tao has collected, but Goku is disappointed at himself for having nothing to offer Tao in return. The assassin then poses a challenge to Goku: if Goku can disassemble three complex puzzle rings by dawn the following day, then he will be awarded the Dragon Balls. If he cannot, however, Goku must surrender the ones he has with him. Tao then offers to take Goku's jacket (which contains Goku's gathered Dragon Balls) while Goku works on the puzzles, and while Goku is distracted with the puzzle rings, Tao steals Goku's Dragon Balls and drives far away throughout the night with the gangsters. After Goku solves the puzzle rings, he simply uses Instant Transmission to find Tao and the gangsters. The naive Goku is unaware there was any ill-will on the part of Tao, and is given the Dragon Balls without any resistance. Tao could only ask if he is still getting paid as he and Vodka could only stare in shock about what happened.

Tao has not appeared again in the series after this. He presumably met his doom either when Super Buu launched his Human Extinction Attack, or when Kid Buu blew up the Earth with his Planet Burst during the Kid Buu Saga. However, his reappearance in Dragon Ball Online suggests that he either managed to escape the Earth when it blew up or was somehow counted among those not evil when revived by the Dragon Balls.


Mystical Adventure[21]Edit

[22]Tao about to attack the Pilaf GangAdded by Kill YouIn Dragon Ball: Mystical Adventure, Tao is part of a plan with Master Shen and Tien Shinhan to take over the kingdom of Mifan, which is ruled by Emperor Chiaotzu. After having Pilaf, Shu and Mai build a Global Dragon Radar for them, Tao attacks the Pilaf Gang, and he and his brother use the Dragon Radar to have Chiaotzu's army gather the Dragon Balls for them after secretly stealing his "wife" Ran Ran. [23]Tao easily injuring BoraAdded by BeadtmdcTao kills Lieutenant Blue just before the Chiaotzu's Tournament due to his nearly ruining their plans by exposing where they were keeping Ran Ran. During the tournament, Tao is ordered to kill Bora right in the arena: After dodging Bora's attack easily, Tao throws him and Bora gets impaled by a spear held by a statue. After Bora is killed mercilessly, Goku desperately attacks Tao. Tao's clothes get ruined by a Kamehameha and Tao retaliates with a Dodon Ray, which blows Goku off all the way to Korin Tower. After he gets his clothes changed, Tao takes a pillar from the castle and rides it to the location Goku was at. [24]Tao in Penguin VillageAdded by BeadtmdcOn his way, he passes by Penguin Village and gets knocked off the pillar by a rock thrown at him by Arale. Falling face first into the ground, Arale pokes at him with a stick and laughs. When Tao gets up he tries to ignore Arale, but Goku shows up. Tao begins to charge at Goku but falls back because Arale and the Gatchans had his pony tail tied to a tree. Tao undoes the knot and uses a Dodon Ray on Arale, but it turns out to not injure her. The Gatchans shoot Tao with a beam and Tao continues to fight Goku. After Goku is able to block Tao's Dodon Ray, Tao begins to fake surrendering and throws a capsule to bring a vehicle out. Just after shaking Goku's hand saying that he was a worthy opponent, Tao steals Goku's Dragon Ball and flies off in his vehicle, shooting two missiles as he leaves. However, Goku and Arale deflect both missiles back at Tao, destroying his vehicle and killing him as well.


Tao is shown to be extremely psychotic and sadistic, taking a lot of joy in killing people. He also has absolutely no qualms in regards to murdering children, as evidenced when, shortly after Upa attempted to avenge his father, Tao stated that Upa should be lucky that he even survived. He is also shown to be a coward when confronted with an enemy he can't beat, resorting to dirty tactics to beat them, as evidenced by his attempt to throw a grenade at Goku after begging for mercy and promising to change his ways.


When Tao is introduced he is shown to be very powerful at that point in the series. He toys with Goku and the only damage he receives from Goku's Kamehameha is to his clothes. At this point, Goku's strength was near to that of Master Roshi's during the 21st World Tournament (which was weaker than Roshi's strength in the following Tournament). After Goku receives training from Korin, Tao is easily overpowered although in the anime, Tao drinks Korin's Sacred water and Goku states that Tao's strength has increased.

When he reappears as a cyborg he is believed to have gained a lot of strength. In an issue of V-Jump, Cyborg Tao's power level is stated to be 210. This would mean he would be stronger than Krillin and Yamcha were at the beginning of Dragon Ball Z. This great power was still not enough to defeat Tien Shinhan who defeated Tao with ease.

Techniques and Weapons[27]Edit

[28]Mercenary Tao's Super Dodon WaveAdded by Beadtmdc*Pressure Point Attack: Tao uses his tongue or fingers to pierce the opponent's temple, striking their pressure point and killing them. He does this with General Blue, stating that he does not need his hands to kill the man, and later to a the tailor he forced to make a new copy of his uniform.

  • Flying Pillars: Tao throws a pillar (or something similar, like a tree) into the air in a certain speed and direction, then jumps on it, riding it to his destination. The pillar may also strike the opponents at the landing spot.
  • Levitate: Though Tao cannot fly, he is shown to be able to fly in the Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi, though this feature is removed in the sequels (he can once again fly with a flight capsule on Tenkaichi 3). He can fly without the flight capsule in his cyborg state.
  • Dodon Ray: Crane School's signature technique. A super heated ray fired from the tip of his finger.
  • Crane Style Assassin Strike: A Rush Attack used by Mercenary Tao against Goku in Dragon Ball.
  • Ultimate Final Strategy: Tao launches his pillar at that opponent, however, Tao's opponent kicks him, in which he begs for mercy to make his opponents drop their guard. When Tao's opponent will then walk away, Tao pulls out a hand grenade and throws it at his opponent.
  • Grenade: Used to end the Ultimate Final Strategy technique. A dirty final resort that backfired and caused Tao to be rebuilt into a cyborg.
  • Swordsmanship: From a capsule, Tao brings out a sword for fighting.
  • Concealed Knife: After Tao became a cyborg, he disconnects his left hand to reveal a retractable knife. When Tien was slashed by this sneak attack, he claimed that Tao has lost his honor and pride of a warrior. Due to his use of this technique during the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament, Tao lost his tournament match with Tien by disqualification for violating tournament rules banning the use of weapons. In the Budokai Tenkaichi series, this move is called "Hidden Blade".
  • Super Dodon Wave: After Tao became a cyborg, he disconnects his right hand to reveal a built-in cannon, which can fire an enhanced Dodon Ray. This technique also has lock-on capabilities[5] and is Cyborg Tao's ultimate attack.
  • False Courage: One of Tao's Blast 1 in the Budokai Tenkaichi series.
  • Wild Sense: One of Tao's Blast 1 in the Budokai Tenkaichi series.
  • Afterimage Strike: One of Cyborg Tao's Blast 1 in the Budokai Tenkaichi series.

Video game appearances[29]Edit

[30]Tao in DBZ Tenkaichi 3Added by JazpronTao is a boss in Dragon Ball: Daimaō Fukkatsu, Dragon Ball 3: Gokuden, and Dragon Ball Z: Super Gokuden: Totsugeki-Hen. He is also a boss during the quest for the Dragon Balls in Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II in which he can use his special attack, Dodon Ray (essentially a yellow-orange version of the Kamehameha) and fire energy blasts. He appears as a boss in the game Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure twice, once as an undefeatable opponent (due to the story) and again as a regular boss; his normal and cyborg forms are also unlockable as playable characters in Tournament Mode and Extra Mode. He also appears in Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo as the main enemy of chapter 4 and is unlocked once gaining all the treasures in this chapter. He also appears as a boss in Dragon Ball: Origins 2. [31]Tao's design in Dragon Ball OnlineAdded by Jeangabin666Tao is featured as a playable character in Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi and its sequels, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 and Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3. In the Majin Buu Saga chapter of Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2, Videl and Gohan, the latter donning his Great Saiyaman alter ego, ended up having to fight Mercenary Tao in order to apprehend him.

Cyborg Tao also appears, redesigned as Tao Pai Pai X, in Dragon Ball Online. He is apparently residing in the base of the former Red Ribbon Army and has started excavating and mining Korin's Sacred Land.

Major Battles[32]Edit

  • Tao vs. General Blue
  • Tao vs. Bora
  • Tao vs. Goku
  • Tao vs. Goku (second time)
  • Tao vs. Chiaotzu
  • Tao vs. Tien
  • Tao vs. Mr. Lao

Voice Actors[33]Edit

  • Japanese Dub: Chikao Ohtsuka (DB, Current Video Games), Yukimasa Kishio (DBZ, Early Video Games)
  • FUNimation Dub: Kent Williams
  • Ocean Dub: Scott McNeil
  • Harmony Gold Dub: Michael McConnohie (Movie 3)
  • Latin American Dub: Gerardo Reyero (first voice), Pedro D'Aguillon Jr. (second voice)
  • German Dub: Rolf Berg
  • Italian Dub: Maurizio Scattorin
  • Portuguese Dub: António Semedo
  • Brazilian Dub: Wellington Lima


  • Tao has been known by a number of names in the various English versions of the series. He is called "General Tao Pei" in the abortive late-1980's Dragon Ball anime dub by Harmony Gold, "Taopaipai" (all in one word) in the Viz adaptation of the manga, In FUNimation's dub of Dragon Ball Z, he is erroneously referred to as "General Tao", as well as erroneously being referred to as the leader of The Red Ribbon Army; these errors were NOT corrected in the revised dub in the Season Sets. The "General Tao" denomination is a mixup with the movie Mystical Adventure, an alternate-dimension Dragon Ball story. In that movie, Tao is actually a General. However, in the main timeline of the series, he never holds that position.
  • Mercenary Tao is the first villain Goku faces to use an Energy Wave technique (the Dodonpa).
  • Tao is the first villain to defeat Goku in battle (Master Roshi, disguised as Jackie Chun, first defeated Goku, but he was not a villain).

[35]The back of Tao's outfit where it says "KILL YOU!"Added by Kill You*On the back of his outfit it says "KILL YOU!". This is edited in some dubbed versions of the show (but not the Cell Games Saga of Dragon Ball Z).

  • Mercenary Tao's Super Dodon Wave cannon later holds the puzzle rings seen in "The Puzzle of General Tao".
  • It appears that in the Budokai Tenkaichi games he can fly (1st form with flight capsule equipped only in Tenkaichi 3, but in his Cyborg form he can fly without the flight capsule). Oddly, despite being Crane Hermits's younger brother and theortically knowing the Crane style, he apparently lacks the signature Crane bukujutsu flying technique.
  • Also in Tenkaichi 3, he is called General Tao, his position in the film Mystical Adventure.
  • In the german dub of Dragon Ball, Tao is given a robotic voice after he became a Cyborg.


  1. Daizenshuu 7
  2. 2.0 2.1 Kanzentai, DragonBall Daizenshuu 7 – DragonBall Encyclopedia
  3. Dragon Ball chapter 85, Taopaipai the Assassin
  4. Dragon Ball episode 102, Enter King Piccolo
  5. Dragon Ball anime. Piccolo Jr. Saga, Episode 136 ("Tien Shinhan vs. Mercenary Tao")
    Mercenary Tao explains the lock-on capabilities of the Super Dodon Wave

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