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"The Last of Mercenary Tao" (さいタオパイパイ Saigo no Tao Pai-pai, lit. "The End of Tao Pai-pai") is the seventh episode of the Commander Red Saga and the sixty-fourth episode in the Dragon Ball series. This episode first aired in Japan on May 27, 1987. Its original American airdate was November 7, 2002.


Goku and Upa have dinner and then go to bed. Upa is confused about why Goku is not worried about Mercenary Tao drinking the Sacred Water. Meanwhile, Bulma's Dragon Radar is being scrambled by the Red Ribbon Army, but so is the Army's radar.


Tao begs for mercy

As Tao reaches the top of the tower, Korin draws some water from a barrel, picks his nose and drops the booger in the cup, then spits in the cup a few times before handing it to Tao. Before Tao drinks the water, he fires his Dodon Ray at a pillar, which has absolutely no effect. He drinks the cup of water, and fires at the pillar again. This time, it cracks, but Tao is not satisfied. He is confident that Korin has duped him, so he decides to drop a barrel of water on Upa, who is waiting at the tower base. Korin first tries to reason with Tao and tell him the truth, that even Goku just drank tap water, but Tao does not believe him. Finally, Korin destroys the pillar himself, claiming that it just took a while for Tao's ray to take full effect. He lends Tao a black nimbus to ride down with, so that he doesn't gain extra strength from climbing down the tower, and slips the cloud out from under him about halfway down, causing Tao to fall the rest of the way.


Tao shortly before the grenade explodes

Tao, thinking to himself that he is much stronger, decides to fight Goku. He appears to have the upper hand at first, but then Goku stops toying with Tao and nearly kills him. Tao even uses the Crane Style Assassin Strike, but even that doesn't work. Tao tries to beg for mercy, but just as Goku drops his guard, he throws a frag grenade at him. Goku, however, kicks it back at Tao, and the grenade explodes, seemingly killing him.

Goku then sets off for the Red Ribbon Army stronghold, to recover the Dragon Balls and bring Bora back to life.

Major Events[]

  • Mercenary Tao climbs Korin Tower and believes that he drank from the Sacred Water.
  • Goku defeats Mercenary Tao and seemingly kills him after kicking back a grenade towards him.
  • Goku heads off to the Red Ribbon Headquarters.


  • Goku vs. Mercenary Tao






Differences from the Manga[]

  • Tao never attempts to climb Korin Tower to drink the Sacred Water in the manga. There the fight goes uninterrupted with Tao suddenly gaining a momentary advantage being Goku allowing it so he can get a sense of Tao's fighting style so he could properly counter it. A few lines about how Tao is testing the results of the Sacred Water are thus anime only.
  • The scenes of Korin watching the fight are filler.
  • Upa stands beside a tree in the manga watching the fight in its second half. In the anime, he watches from in front of his father's teepee.
  • Goku punching Mercenary Tao before kicking his face is not in the manga.
  • The scenes at Kame House are filler.
  • The scenes at the Red Ribbon Army HQ are filler. There was no mention of a tracking device being placed on Tao in the manga.


  • During Goku's dream about Bulma showing many flashback scenes of her, the part of him taking her panties off was reanimated differently from the way it was presented in "The Emperor's Quest".
    • Similarly, the scene of Bulma lifting her dress up for Roshi was reanimated differently from the way it was presented in The Nimbus Cloud of Roshi.
  • Goku eats a banquet with Upa in his teepee. But Goku should not be hungry, since he ate a senzu bean just three days earlier, and they are supposed to sate their eaters for ten days total. While this could be seen as foreshadowing Goku's Saiyan heritage (suggesting that the 10-day estimate given by Korin did not take into account Saiyan biology), this is unlikely, as neither Toei Animation nor even Toriyama himself knew that Goku was supposed to be an alien yet.
  • The victims that are shown in Tao's vision consist of an unidentified man, General BlueBora, and the tailor who Tao forced to stitch his new outfit.


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