Would having the wrong octane make a tapping noise in the motor and make the check engine light come on?

Not sure about the check engine light; however, several of the Hondas, I have owned, acted as if they were missing or mis-firing because someone had put 85 gas rather than the 87 required for that specific engine. As I recall I put half tank of the highest octane 91 in the car to blend with the 85 and it solved the problem. This was after several mechanics had diagnosed it as plugs and wires, firing order and distributor problems.

NPR put a program on the air that stated if you were above a certain elevation then puttting 85 in a tank asking for 87, it would not matter. I found that to be inaccurate by my experience at 7000 feet above sea-level, here in Colorado.