Tao Attacks! (勝負!!カメハメ波ＶＳどどん波 Shōbu!! Kamehameha Tai Dodonpa, lit. "The Match!! Turtle Destruction Wave vs. Boom Wave") is the third episode of the Commander Red Saga and the sixtieth episode in the Dragon Ball series. The episode first aired on April 29, 1987.
The despicable hired hitman, Mercenary Tao, will stop at nothing to complete his mission and earn his huge paycheck. After finding Goku near Korin Tower, he made short work of Bora. Goku will not prove to be so easy. Goku's determined to avenge his friend's death and hang on to the Dragon Balls. Goku strikes Tao first, but Tao easily evades all of his attacks. The difference in their skill and power is not in Goku's favor. Frustrated, Goku uses a Kamehameha, but the attack is easily blocked by Tao and only manages to burn Tao's clothing. Tao enraged retaliates with an aimed Dodon Ray at Goku's heart, which "killed" him (it is later revealed the Four-Star Dragon Ball Goku had in his clothing protected his heart). Tao leaves Upa alive, as well as Goku, thinking he is dead.
Since his clothes were destroyed by Goku's Kamehameha, Tao heads to the nearest town to have them remade by a tailor, giving him three days time to finish his outfit. Tao contacted Commander Red at Red Ribbon Army Headquarters to inform of his planned three days delay due to "certain circumstances" and confirm his mission's success. He is informed that in fact he got only three out of four Dragon Balls. Red, very pleased with this, assured that it is not a problem and that they will retrieve the last Dragon Ball from Goku's corpse.
Upa is seen to have buried Bora and is in the process of burying Goku, but before he could, a soldier sent to get the ball arrives. To both Upa's and the soldier's astonishment, it appears that Goku is bruised but was not killed by Tao. After a failed attempt to finish him of with a shotgun, the soldier gets airborne and tires to contact the base, however is made short work by Goku's Power Pole in mid-air. Feeling sorry for Upa's grief due to Bora's death, Goku becomes hell-bent on reviving him using Shenron's power.
To do that he needs to defeat Tao and get his the three Dragon Balls back. Because their skill difference is vast, Goku decides to climb Korin Tower to gain more power. Thus he begins his long journey upwards. Meanwhile, Commander Red informs Tao of strange things happening over that place and orders him to go there at once. Tao reluctant to take any orders refuses and firmly states he will go but after three days time.
- The designs of the two drunkards that taunt Mercenary Tao are based on those of the two bullies of the Orin Temple.
- After Mercenary Tao's clothing is burnt, a piece of his sleeve disappears and reappears throughout the scene with Goku and Upa.