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Touhou Rei'iden

Touhou Rei'iden
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General Information
Type PC Video Game
Created by ZUN
Years on Air 1996

Japanese Title: 東方靈異伝

English Title: Highly Responsive to Prayers


Airdate: November, 1996


Plot

As we first get a glimpse of Gensokyo, we are introduced to Reimu Hakurei, the Shrine Maiden of the Hakurei Shrine. The Shrine is located near the gate to Hell and the gate to Makai, the Demon World.

Exiting the Shrine, Reimu is tested by her gatekeeper, Shingyoku.

If the chosen path is Makai, our heroine battles the mysterious evil eyes- YuugenMagan. She then is encountered by the not-so innocent devil, Elis. At the edge of Makai, Reimu enters the Fallen Shrine and battles the Angel of Death, Sariel. Sariel may have led Reimu into the Fallen Shrine wishing to trap her in Makai forever. Our heroine defeats Sariel and escapes Makai, proud of her abilities with the Yin-Yang Orb.

If the chosen path is Jigoku, our heroine meets the vengeful ghost, Mima for the first time. The ghost was possibly murdered, for she holds a blood-stained blade. After defeating her, she comes across the nearly anonymous Kikuri. Finally, deep within Hell, Reimu enters the Silent Shrine and encounters Konngara, who may have destroyed Reimu’s shrine out of pure sinful jealousy. The heroine defeats Konngara and leaves Jigoku, hoping to repair her shrine as soon as possible.


Gameplay

Highly Responsive to Prayers introduces the Shrine Maiden Reimu Hakurei, who frantically attempts to persuade a bouncing Yin-Yang ball to hit various on-screen targets, "cards" and "bosses" alike. Reimu can knock and maneuver the ball around by whacking it with her gohei, slide-tackling it, and firing shots at it. Enemies will be trying to hinder your progress by firing at you, but you can cancel out their shots with your own, or even deflect them by swinging your gohei. Only the Yin-Yang ball can damage the enemies, however, so simply firing your shots at enemies will have no effect whatsoever. As a last resort, Reimu can use a "bomb", once per life, to hit all cards on the screen. There is no guarantee that any given card will be hit. Bombs will often fail to damage a boss.

The game consists of several fixed-layout levels which increase in difficulty, with a boss fight occurring every fifth level. To complete a level, the player should disable all cards or strike the boss of that level a certain number of times. Reimu will lose one of her lives whenever she is hit by an enemy's bullet/laser/magic or gets hit by her own ball.

There are two selectable paths in the game: the Jigoku (Hell) path and the Makai (Demon World) path. Each route features unique stages, bosses, and endings.



Touhou Fuumaroku

Touhou Fuumaroku
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General Information
Type PC Video Game
Created by ZUN
Years on Air 1997

Japanese Title: 東方封魔録

English Title: The Story of Eastern Wonderland


Airdate: August 15, 1997


Plot

Determined to find who sent these monsters to her shrine, Reimu embarks on yet another journey, this time accompanied by her flying turtle Genjii. She first meets the suspicious engineer Rika, who claimed to have created the monsters at the Hakurei Shrine. Despite Rika's piloting of her own tank, Rika is easily defeated. Rika then tries to lure Reimu into a trap, but Reimu outsmarts Rika and continues on her way. The night comes while Reimu and Genjii enter the Forest of Magic. The samurai Meira attacks Reimu in hope to defeat her and obtain her inherited power. Reimu is reluctant to fight, but not because she fears defeat. In fact, Reimu wasn't even paying attention to Meira's theory. Reimu however, fights Meira and defeats her. Meira runs off into the night and hasn't been seen since.

Still wandering about, our heroine meets the upbeat magician, Marisa Kirisame, who is determined to stop Reimu before she can get to her mistress, Mima. Once defeated, Marisa warns Reimu of Mima's power, quite confident that Reimu will not win. Genjii also doubts Reimu could win against Mima, telling her that she should train more and come back to exorcise her later. Reimu angrily disagrees, and goes on to fight Mima. Mima admits that she truly sent the monsters to the Hakurei Shrine. Mima is finally defeated, but she disappears before Reimu could exorcise her. Rika attacks Reimu once more, this time with the avoided trap… her tank Evil Eye Sigma. Using the full power of the Yin-Yang Orbs, Reimu ultimately defeats Rika and heads home to find that the monsters at her shrine had disappeared.


Gameplay

The Story of Eastern Wonderland casts the player as the Shrine Maiden Reimu Hakurei and offers three distinct attack types to choose from — a wide-range type with weak attack power, a mid-range type with moderate attack power and auto-targeting capabilities, and a narrow-range type with high attack power but lowered player movement speed. The bombs (Spell Cards) also exhibit unique behavior depending upon the type chosen.

As the first Danmaku shooting game in the Touhou series, the Story of Eastern Wonderland introduces many features that are now hallmarks of the series as a whole: relatively small hit boxes, boss characters who are not much larger than the player character yet are highly mobile, a power-up system, variable worth point items, an unlockable Extra Stage, and a semi-complex scoring system. The game also marks the first appearance of Marisa Kirisame, who would become one of the most persistent characters in the series, appearing as often as Reimu herself.



Touhou Yumejikuu

Touhou Yumejikuu
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General Information
Type PC Video Game
Created by ZUN
Years on Air 1997

Japanese Title: 東方夢時空

English Title: Phantasmagoria of Dimension Dream


Airdate: December 29, 1997


Plot

While enjoying a quiet morning walk, the local shrine maiden Reimu Hakurei stumbles across some curious ruins a short distance from the Hakurei Shrine's gateway. Spotting Mima and Marisa Kirisame among the crowd gathered, Reimu inquires about the ruins' sudden appearance and is given a flier indicating that the Grand Opening is to occur shortly and that those who enter will be rewarded. Unable to locate any sort of entrance into the ruins, the group instead discovers a notice posted nearby which warns that the ruins can only support one visitor. Thus those wishing to enter the ruins decide to stage an impromptu competition: the one who defeats all others will be allowed to enter the ruins and receive the mystery prize.

The contest winner, having successfully trounced all seven rounds of competition, triumphantly enters the ruins only to be confronted by Chiyuri Kitashirakawa, who levels a strange weapon at the winner and demands that she follow her deeper into the ruins. Yumemi Okazaki appears and accosts Chiyuri for her brusque treatment of their visitor before explaining that the ruins are actually a "probability space hypervessel." Yumemi has come to this world to study the amazing magical powers of its inhabitants and, after denying any knowledge of the promised reward, orders Chiyuri to battle the winner so that she may observe and record data.

Afterward, Yumemi rages that Chiyuri was defeated before she was able to gather enough data and strikes a deal with the protagonist: should the winner be able to defeat her as well, Yumemi will grant her one wish; however if Yumemi wins, the visitor must return with her to their world for further study. Once beaten, Yumemi holds true to her promise and the victor is rewarded well for her efforts.


Gameplay

Phantasmagoria of Dim. Dream is considered to be a competitive vertical danmaku shooting game, in which two characters engage in moderate danmaku gameplay within individual and separate play areas (aka. split-screen). Upon meeting certain conditions, players are able to unleash a variety of character-specific Spell Attacks upon their opponents in an attempt to whittle down their remaining health points, in a manner not unlike a VS. puzzle game such as Puyo Puyo.

In Story Mode, the player will face 9 increasingly intelligent AI opponents, each more capable than the last. Phantasmagoria of Dim. Dream also features a Match Play Mode in which the player may face off against individual AI opponents or compete against other human players, as well as observe AI vs. AI matches.



Touhou Gensoukyou

Touhou Gensoukyou
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General Information
Type PC Video Game
Created by ZUN
Years on Air 1998

Japanese Title: 東方幻想郷

English Title: Lotus Land Story


Airdate: August 14, 1998


Plot

Following the events of the previous games, youkai soon began to swarm the Hakurei Shrine, prompting Reimu Hakurei and Marisa Kirisame to seperately head for a lake in the mountains, which appears to be the source of a tremendous power surge. The two reach the gateway underneath the lake, which teleports them to a strange dream world, in which the mansion Reimaden exists, where the mastermind supposedly is.

The heroine sets off to the lake, but sees a youkai, Orange. Orange wasn't going to fight, but the heroine attacked Orange merely because she was a youkai. The heroine goes off but encounters a vampire, Kurumi. Kurumi attempts to prevent the heroine from reaching the island in the mountain lake but fails. Ironically, Kurumi is not a lake guard or anything. After Kurumi is defeated, the heroine sets off somewhere else and finds the boundary line between the dream world and the real world. However, the heroine encounters Elly, the gatekeeper of the boundary. Elly states that depending on who you're using, either a Shrine Maiden or a Magician had entered the world. Elly is battled and defeated, thus the heroine entering the dream world. After, the heroine explores the dream world, but encounters either Reimu or Marisa, depending on who you are playing as. They are surprised to see each other and then they battle. The heroine wins as usual, forcing the other to leave the dream world. The heroine heads deeper in the dream world, but encounters Yuuka, who had just woken up and is upset that someone is in her mansion at this hour. They fought and the heroine wins. However, Yuuka retreats and runs away. The heroine is forced to chase her, leading to the final stage. Yuuka appears and again and battles the heroine one last time, however Yuuka loses again.

Later on, the heroine sets into another unknown dream world. While exploring the dream world, the heroine encounters Mugetsu, a Maid who claims that this dream world is hers. Mugetsu doesn't seem to know about the tremendous power surge, but still battles the heroine merely because she was bored. Mugetsu is defeated, and asks her older twin sister, Gengetsu for help. Mugetsu leaves and Gengetsu comes into the battlefield. Gengetsu doesn't know what is happening, but knows her job is to defeat the heroine. But of course, the heroine wins and the twin sisters are defeated.


Gameplay

Lotus Land Story features two different playable characters to choose from, with two different attack types each. Reimu Hakurei can pepper a wide area of the screen with weaker attacks, while Marisa Kirisame relies on her power to compensate for her narrower attack spread. The bombs (Spell Cards) also exhibit unique behavior and damage amounts depending upon the character chosen.

Lotus Land Story is the first game in the Touhou series to feature bombs that auto-collect items, graze counting, and a non-trivial scoring system that involves the collection of special dream items that boost the player's ultimate scoring potential. Lotus Land Story's scoring system also marks the series' first instance of score bonuses for the elimination of bullets following the defeat of mid-bosses and bosses.



Touhou Kaikidan

Touhou Kaikidan
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General Information
Type PC Video Game
Created by ZUN
Years on Air 1998

Japanese Title: 東方怪綺談

English Title: Mystic Square


Airdate: December 30, 1997


Plot

For no apparent reason, large quantities of demons and youkai begin to travel from Makai, the world of demons, to Gensokyo, swamping the land and leaving Reimu Hakurei with a lot of extermination to do. Frustrated, Reimu tracks the source of the invasion to "The Cave in Which the Door to Makai is Said to Be," which lies in the mountains behind the Hakurei Shrine. Reimu decides that it is her duty as a shrine maiden to root out the cause of this mess. Unbeknownst to her, Marisa Kirisame has learned of her plans and decides to follow along with the hope of discovering some unique powers to steal within Makai. Elsewhere, Mima, the evil spirit of the Hakurei Shrine, and Yuuka Kazami, the youkai, decide to travel to Makai as well, although they have their own reasons for doing so.

Within the cave, the heroine encounters the guardian of the gateway to Makai, Sara, and dispatches her with ease before beginning a high-speed flight through the boundary between worlds. Therein the heroine happens across a demon traveling in the opposite direction named Louise and crushes her as well. The heroine then arrives in Makai above a massive dark city, where she is confronted by Alice Margatroid, who attacks her with the help of her living dolls. After defeating her, the heroine flies away from the city and toward a grim fortress that rises up in distance. Along the way the witches Yuki and Mai appear and attempt to impede her progress, ultimately to little effect.

Entering the fortress Pandæmonium, the heroine soars past fantastic crystal designs while battling through legions of enemies. At the top she is met by a strange individual named Shinki who politely informs her that the demon invasion is entirely the fault of a civilian travel agency that is arranging tours of Gensokyo and that it lies outside of her jurisdiction. Before the protagonist can inquire as to the meaning of this they are interrupted by Yumeko, who adamantly insists that Shinki retire so that she may dispose of their uninvited guest. After defeating the maid, the protagonist meets Shinki again, who now explains that she is actually the god and creator of Makai itself. She promises to look into the tourist issue, but only after severely punishing the heroine for disrupting her realm so. This final battle is extraordinarily violent and Shinki's tremendous power leaves much of Makai in flames.

At an unspecified later date, the heroine again encounters Alice Margatroid, this time in a strange wonderland. Alice now possesses a large grimoire that grants her great magical powers and challenges the heroine to a rematch. After a lengthy battle and her second defeat, Alice laments her inability to defeat the heroine before fleeing with the book.


Gameplay

Mystic Square allows the player to select from among four unique protagonists, each hailing from one of the 2 prior danmaku shooting games in the series. Series mainstays Reimu Hakurei and Marisa Kirisame are joined by former enemies Mima and Yuuka Kazami for a journey reaching to the depths of the Makai. Mystic Square also marks the first appearance of Alice Margatroid as an opponent, who later stages a comeback in Perfect Cherry Blossom.

Although limited by the PC-98 hardware, Mystic Square is the most refined of the PC-98 Touhou titles, and features gameplay quite similar to Windows Touhou games. It employs a variant of Lotus Land Story's Dream Bonus system, rewarding the player for taking risks (i.e. collecting point items from the top of the field area). However, notwithstanding the fact that its rank system is far more lenient than Lotus Land Story's, Mystic Square is the first game in the series to punish the player for the use of bombs.



Touhou Koumakyou

Touhou Koumakyou
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General Information
Type PC Video Game
Created by Team Shanghai Alice
Years on Air 2002

Japanese Title: 東方紅魔郷

English Title: The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil


Airdate: August 11, 2002


Plot

During a peaceful summer in Gensokyo, an unnatural scarlet mist appears without warning and covers much of the land. It is strong enough to block out the sun, causing the affected areas to become dark and cold. Reimu Hakurei, a shrine maiden working at the Hakurei Shrine, feels it is a shrine maiden's duty to find the cause of this unnatural weather. Marisa Kirisame, a magician, hopes that the person casting the spell will have some interesting items to collect. Depending on who you choose, only one of these two heroines actually goes out and investigates.

The heroine travels toward the island of a lake where the mist seems to originate from. Before reaching her destination, the heroine is intercepted by Rumia, who was traveling by the lake's edge, and then Cirno, who called the lake her home. However, Rumia and Cirno were not related to the source of the mist. Upon reaching the island, the heroine is immediately attacked by many guards. The offensive is led by Hong Meiling, who is unsuccessful in driving away the intruding heroine from the premises. After the fight, the heroine enters the Scarlet Devil Mansion, certain that the person causing the mist is inside. The heroine first looks through a dim library, where Patchouli Knowledge tries to stop the heroine from proceeding any further. The heroine then reaches the main hallways, where the chief maid Sakuya Izayoi also tries to stop the heroine from reaching her mistress. After the long journey, the heroine comes face to face with the Scarlet Devil herself, Remilia Scarlet, on the balcony of the Scarlet Devil Mansion. Remilia reveals that the scarlet mist was created so that she could feel comfortable walking out during the day. After a fierce battle, Remilia is defeated and things return to relative normality in Gensokyo.

A few days later, the heroine returns to the Scarlet Devil Mansion during Remilia's absence and finds the entire household in chaos. Making her way to the main hallways, the heroine fights a stronger maid staff than before, as well as a much stronger version of Patchouli. As the heroine wonders why everyone is on edge, Remilia's little sister, Flandre Scarlet, appears. Flandre reveals that she has been hidden inside the mansion for 495 years, and she has never seen a human before. Flandre asks the heroine to play with her, and after a long and difficult battle, Flandre is defeated.


Gameplay

Embodiment of Scarlet Devil features two different playable characters to choose from, with two different Spell Card types each. Reimu Hakurei can cover a wide area of the screen with weaker attacks, while Marisa Kirisame relies on her speed and power to make up for her thinner attack spread. The bombs (Spell Cards) also show different behavior and damage depending on the character and type chosen.

Some important gameplay features that Embodiment of Scarlet Devil introduces over its predecessor Mystic Square are "automatic item collection" which allows you to collect all items on screen by moving to the top of the screen if you are at full power, and a counter-bomb system, which allows you to negate an enemy hit by pressing the bomb button within a short reaction time immediately after.



Touhou Youyoumu

Touhou Youyoumu
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General Information
Type PC Video Game
Created by Team Shanghai Alice
Years on Air 2003

Japanese Title: 東方妖々夢

English Title: Perfect Cherry Blossom


Airdate: August 17, 2003


Plot

In Gensokyo, people relax and bask in the calm of a winter without end. Spring has shown no sign of arriving even though it's already May, and in fact the snowstorms are continually getting worse. Reimu Hakurei, a shrine maiden of the Hakurei Shrine, is tired of being cold day in and day out and wants to find the source of this unnatural weather. Marisa Kirisame, a black-clothed magician, sees a cherry blossom petal float down outside her warm house and wonders if spring is happening somewhere else. Sakuya Izayoi, the chief maid of the Scarlet Devil Mansion, knows that their winter supplies are diminishing quickly, and wants to end this prolonged winter before they run out completely. Depending on who you choose, only one of these three heroines actually goes out and investigates.

The heroine starts off her journey by heading off into the snow-covered forests in search of clues. She battles the ice fairy Cirno and the winter spirit Letty Whiterock in the forest, and the nekomata Chen in the village of Mayohiga, without any progress in her search. Finally, after defeating Alice Margatroid and her dolls, the heroine finds a lead when she notices several cherry blossoms blowing around in the sky. The heroine follows the trail of cherry blossoms high above Gensokyo, breaking through the greetings of Lily White, eventually reaching a great magical boundary and the poltergeist musicians Prismriver Sisters (Lunasa, Merlin, and Lyrica). After silencing the Prismriver Sisters, the heroine crosses the boundary into the Netherworld.

After fighting off several ghosts, the heroine is confronted by human-ghost gardener Youmu Konpaku. Youmu explains that she had been stealing the essence of "spring" throughout Gensokyo in order to make the Saigyou Ayakashi, a youkai cherry tree, bloom perfectly with the rest of Hakugyokurou's gardens, as per her master's orders. The heroine defeats Youmu and hurries to Hakugyokurou to get Gensokyo's spring back. Now at the end of a long journey, the heroine comes face to face with Yuyuko Saigyouji, the ghost princess of Hakugyokurou. Yuyuko reveals that she wanted to revive a certain soul that has been sealed within the Saigyou Ayakashi from before her existence. In order to break the seal, the youkai cherry blossom tree needed to bloom fully and completely. Yuyuko and the heroine wage a fierce battle, to get the last "spring" contained in the heroine needed for the Perfect Cherry Blossom, and to reclaim Gensokyo's spring, respectively. After the heroine defeats Yuyuko, the Saigyou Ayakashi starts to lose its health. However the seal has been weakened from the near-complete bloom, and the sealed soul is temporarily unleashed. The soul is actually Yuyuko's. The heroine dodges attack after attack until Yuyuko's soul is finally sealed once more.

A few days later, Yuyuko asks the heroine for a favor. The magic boundary between Gensokyo and the Netherworld was weakened by Yukari Yakumo, one of Yuyuko's friends, to make stealing Gensokyo's spring easier. Yuyuko asks the heroine to find her friend, who would be preparing for the flower-viewing event during this time, and remind her to repair the boundary. As the heroine flies closer to her destination, Chen leaps out in front of the heroine, seemingly revitalized and much more powerful. The heroine manages to defeat Chen again, but this only serves to draw out an angry Ran Yakumo. It turns out that Chen was the shikigami of Ran, and Ran is intent on making the heroine pay. Ran reveals that she is also a shikigami, and that she will not let any troublemakers disturb her master. The heroine figures that defeating Ran will get the attention of Yuyuko's friend, and after a fierce battle, Ran is defeated. Surprisingly, Ran's master, Yukari, doesn't appear, and Ran tells the heroine that she should try coming back at night, since her master sleeps less often during the night. After returning that night and defeating a weakened Ran again, Yukari emerges to greet the heroine. Yukari is quite surprised at the heroine's ability and decides to continue where Ran left off. After a vicious fight, Yukari is defeated, and quickly uses her abilities to do the heroine's request.


Gameplay

Perfect Cherry Blossom features three different playable characters to choose from, with two different Spell Card types each. Reimu Hakurei can weave through the smallest gaps with ease, and her attacks deal low to decent damage, depending on which type you use. Marisa Kirisame relies on her speed and power to compensate for her thin attack area, but the amount of power she wields is very considerable. Sakuya Izayoi has even wider and more versatile attacks than Reimu, but can be quite tricky to use and maneuver.

The largest change Perfect Cherry Blossom introduces over its predecessor Embodiment of Scarlet Devil is the addition of the "Cherry" scoring system. Almost every part of the game is linked with the "Cherry Meter": shooting enemies increases your Cherry points, bombing or dying decreases your Cherry points, reaching 50,000 Cherry+ points gives you a temporary shield. The higher the Cherry Gauge becomes, the more points you gain from Point Items.

Other important gameplay changes introduced in Perfect Cherry Blossom are the appearance of your character's hitbox while you are focused, a change in the properties of your attacks depending on whether you are normal or focused, and a helpful cursor on the bottom margin during a boss battle which tells you where the boss is currently located.



Touhou Suimusou

Touhou Suimusou
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General Information
Type PC Video Game
Created by Tasogare Frontier

Team Shanghai Alice

Years on Air 2004

Japanese Title: 東方萃夢想

English Title: Immaterial and Missing Power


Airdate: December 30, 2004


Plot

While making preparations for the feast three days away, Reimu is distracted by a strange powerful mist that is covering Gensokyo. She and many other inhabitants of Gensokyo (such as Alice and Patchouli) go to investigate.

Suika Ibuki is an oni. Although legends say all the oni are gone, Suika has decided to reunite the humans and oni by attracting them through partying. Using her special ability to spread across the land, she causes the humans and youkai to have feasts and parties. The more drunk she gets, the stronger she becomes, and she carries a gourd treasured by the oni, which never empties of sake.


Gameplay

IaMP differs from the other games in the Touhou Project series in that instead of being a Shoot-em-up, it is a fighting game with a heavy slant toward projectiles.



Touhou Eiyashou

Touhou Eiyashou
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General Information
Type PC Video Game
Created by Team Shanghai Alice
Years on Air 2004

Japanese Title: 東方永夜抄

English Title: Imperishable Night


Airdate: August 15, 2004


Plot

It's the eve of the Harvest Moon Festival in Gensokyo when youkai sense that something is wrong with the moon. It appears that the moon has been replaced by a fake one. Someone must freeze time and find the real moon to ensure a full moon on the night of the festival.

A human and youkai team set off along a forest path to investigate. Along the way, they encounter a firefly (Wriggle Nightbug) and a night sparrow (Mystia Lorelei), who are quickly defeated. Next, they meet a half-beast (Keine Kamishirasawa) who is protecting a Human Village from youkai. She mistakes the team for enemies and attacks them. After the team defeats her, Keine indicates that the person who switched the moons is in the bamboo forest. In the bamboo forest, they encounter a character (either Reimu or Marisa) who demands to know why the team has been freezing time and causing an imperishable night.

Finally the team reaches the mansion of the perpetrator. But once inside, they find that the mansion is guarded by a pair of rabbits (Tewi and Reisen). The rabbits are defeated, but not before disorienting the team. Confused, the team must choose which path to take (one leads to the real moon and the other leads to the fake moon). After choosing the wrong path, they were able to meet a town pharmacist named Eirin. Eirin had attempted to seal the passage between the Moon and Earth. After picking the right path, they are able to meet the perpetrator of this mischievous scheme, Kaguya. Kaguya is a moon princess in hiding who has taken the real moon in order to sever the link between the earth and the moon. The team restores the real moon and Kaguya challenges them to face the "5 impossible requests."

Having completed the 5 impossible requests, the team is given another challenge by Kaguya: assassinate her rival, Mokou. With the full moon in place, all the enemies become much stronger and Keine becomes a hakutaku. Nevertheless the team prevails, proving that the player controlling them is indeed skillful and probably hopelessly addicted to Touhou games.


Gameplay

Imperishable Night features a total of eight playable characters, in pre-set pairs (and later, individually). The pairs work in tandem: one person fires when unfocused, while the other pops in and fires when focused, with a reduction in movement speed. The two attacks can be drastically different. The individual characters do not have an attack change when focused, with the exception of Remilia.

Quite a few smaller details are unique to this game, including Last Spells - for an enemy, a Last Spell is a bonus Spell Card which the player can tackle without fear of losing lives/bombs. On the player side, Last Spells are secondary "bomb" Spell Cards, which last longer/do much more damage at the expense of two bomb stocks. There is a gauge which tracks how human/youkai (normal/focused) you are, as well as a new "Time" system, which affects gameplay.



Touhou Kaeitzuka

Touhou Kaeitzuka
Th09cover
General Information
Type PC Video Game
Created by Team Shanghai Alice
Years on Air 2005

Japanese Title: 東方花映塚

English Title: Phantasmagoria of Flower View


Airdate: August 14, 2005


Plot

Spring has come and the flowers are blooming... Only this time far more than normal and even flowers from every season at once. Each heroine (most of them anyways) soon realize something odd is happening when they see the thick covering of flowers all over Gensokyo. The heroines head out in search of answers due to curiosity, duty, or boredom. Nearly all of the heroines start at the lake near Scarlet Devil Mansion.

Reimu was alarmed when she noticed the flowers everywhere and quickly went out looking for answers, thinking that not only was it her duty but that if she didn't people might think she was neglectful. Marisa on the other hand noticed the oddness of the out of season flowers, but didn't seem to think too deeply into it at first. Instead she sets out to find who's behind it all simply because she wants to and, more importantly, so she can be the first to find out what's happening. Sakuya also began searching for answers, but again more out of curiosity than from any sense of danger. Youmu looked for answers while admiring the scenery, but without any clue where to start all she could do was wander as well. What she did notice were the ghosts hanging around the flowers, which most of the other heroines paid no attention to. Reisen didn't sense any need to be worried about the flowers, but checked them out anyways. While she was at it she also looked for Tewi who had left without saying anything. Tewi was so excited about the flowers everywhere that she just forgot to say where she was going. Cirno at first appeared to be, basically, an idiot, but at closer look she actually realized not only that there was something strange about the flowers early on but also that a similar event happened 60 years ago before anyone else figured that part out (even characters that had been around 60 years ago). Maybe that has something to do with being a fairy, since all the fairies were becoming more active because of the flowers. She just doesn't seem to care about why it's happening, and instead chose to enjoy herself while she can between bumping into the other heroines. The only thing Lyrica is interested in is finding a good place for a solo performance and to find new sounds to use. Poor Lyrica just keeps bumping into weird people while looking for a place to play until she gets more and more lost. Like Lyrica, Mystia just wants to make music during the whole event, literally singing her way into every encounter. This time even Cirno makes Mystia look a bit "slow" in their encounter. Aya knows a big scoop when she sees one. With all the flowers blooming at once she was sure there'd be something newsworthy around, but what was even more interesting were all the ghosts showing up. Everyone was so focused on the flowers that hardly anyone even noticed those ghosts at first. Yuuka, being a Youkai that's been around for a long time, knew exactly what was happening when this incident started. Of course being the youkai of flowers helped too, but unfortunately that also put her straight at the top of everyone's suspect list when they found her enjoying the flowers. Meanwhile Medicine had no interest in finding out what was happening, but rather used this opportunity to defeat whoever she came across with poisonous flowers.

It didn't take long before the heroines ran into each other one after another. Each of them demanded answers from the others about what was going on, but few had any real information. Finally we got to Komachi who, as it turned out, is the primary cause for the event. Of course it's not like any of the heroines knew it, they just wandered anywhere they saw flowers blooming until they reached the Higanbana field where Komachi was. It seemed that Komachi was such a slacker that everyone in Gensokyo noticed the flowers except her. The flowers were being possessed by ghosts which were waiting to cross over to Higan and it was Komachi's job to get them there, a job she had neglected. 60 years ago (1945, the end of World War II) there had been another flower incident like this because of the sudden large number of ghosts needing to be ferried across to Higan. It can be assumed Komachi was slacking back then too.

After a brief battle with her, Sikieiki (the judge of the dead and Komachi's boss) showed up to give Komachi a scolding for slacking so much. However, before the heroine could leave, Sikieiki saw a perfect opportunity to lecture her on whatever various faults each heroine has, which somehow turned into a danmaku battle to prove the point.


Gameplay

Phantasmagoria of Flower View is considered to be a competitive vertical danmaku shooting game, in which two characters engage in moderate-to-heavy danmaku gameplay within individual and separate play areas (aka. split-screen). Upon meeting certain conditions, players are able to unleash a variety of character-specific Spell Attacks upon their opponents in an attempt to whittle down their remaining health points, in a manner not unlike a VS. puzzle game such as Puyo Puyo.

In Story Mode, the player will face 9 increasingly intelligent AI opponents, each more capable than the last. Phantasmagoria of Flower View also features a Match Play Mode in which the player may face off against individual AI opponents or compete against other human players, as well as observe AI vs. AI matches. With the netplay patch, multiplayer is also possible through LAN or over the Internet, although it has proven to be unstable, at best.



Touhou Bunkachou

Touhou Bunkachou
Touhou9 5
General Information
Type PC Video Game
Created by Team Shanghai Alice
Years on Air 2005

Japanese Title: 東方文花帖

English Tile: Shoot the Bullet


Airdate: December 30, 2005


Plot

In Shoot the Bullet, you play as Aya Shameimaru as she photographs the bosses from various Touhou games. However, no one ever reveals the reason for these, and in fact at one point it is pointed out that "No one knows the purpose of the photos, except Aya," and the only reason she does not shoot the opponents is "not to be nice, but because she doesn't want her bullets in the picture."


Gameplay

In Shoot the Bullet, you play only as Aya Shameimaru. Unlike the previous Touhou games where you advance by taking down a boss, Aya must take pictures of various bosses and their bullet patterns while avoiding them as well.



Touhou Fuujinroku

Touhou Fuujinroku
Th10 cover
General Information
Type PC Video Game
Created by Team Shanghai Alice
Years on Air 2007

Japanese Title: 東方風神録

English Title: Mountain of Faith


Airdate: August 17, 2007


Plot

Autumn has come to Gensokyo, and to its only shrine, the Hakurei Shrine, a common meeting place for its youkai that was seldom visited by its humans. As a result, faith in the Hakurei Shrine's deity began to fall like the leaves from the trees. It's in such a season that Reimu Hakurei, the shrine maiden of the Hakurei shrine, is visited by a mysterious stranger who claims to represent a god of mountains and orders her to shut the shrine's doors for good. Reimu is deeply troubled by this state of affairs, as she knows the shrine can't be allowed to close down due to the role it plays in watching over the Great Hakurei Border. Marisa Kirisame, her ordinary magician friend, is suspicious and also suitably bored. Depending on who you choose, one of these girls finally decides to ascend the Youkai Mountain to confront the mysterious deity behind the threats.

En route to the mountain, the heroine encounters several of Gensokyo's myriad gods, including two spirits of autumn, Shizuha Aki and Minoriko Aki, and a curse god, Hina Kagiyama, who tries to chase her away from the dangers of the mountain (unsuccessfully). As our heroine reaches the foot of the mountain and begins to climb it, another youkai appears to try to convince her to leave - Nitori Kawashiro, the valley kappa. After Nitori's equally unsuccessful bid to get her to go away, she mentions that a god has recently appeared on the mountain, causing some trouble for the tengu and kappa that live there.

Ascending the waterfall that fed the rivers Nitori swam in, the heroine faces the forces that guard the mountain from outside influence, including Momiji Inubashiri and the traditional tengu reporter, Aya Shameimaru, who was sent to investigate by the leaders of the tengu society due to her familiarity with outsiders. Aya puts up a token fight, but eventually allows the human interloper to pass on to the lake where a new shrine, the Moriya Shrine, has appeared. As she enters the grounds, she is confronted by a new shrine maiden - Sanae Kochiya. Sanae says that the lake and the Moriya Shrine were both recently moved to Gensokyo, and that she intends to collect all of Gensokyo's faith for "Lady Yasaka". Naturally, to do that would mean the end of the Hakurei Shrine, to which our heroine objects, leading to a battle where Sanae is ultimately defeated. At the top of the mountain, our heroine finds a lake surrounded by pillars, and Kanako Yasaka. Kanako, a goddess of the wind and rain, seeks to gain all of Gensokyo's faith in order to prevent the declining level of faith in Gensokyo to reach the point where its gods lose their power. Were such a thing to happen, she believes, Gensokyo would fall into a state of chaos. After a protracted battle, however, Kanako is convinced to make peace with the tengu and kappa, who are also convinced to accept her as the goddess of the Youkai Mountain.

Once the issue is resolved, Reimu resumes her normal life of cleaning and whiling away the time with Gensokyo's youkai, and Marisa turns to sneaking into the mountain for chestnuts. While pilfering snacks from a monstrous chestnut tree, it seems she'd heard a rumour that there was another god at the Moriya shrine. This, and the observation that Kanako had taken residence at the lake, and not at the shrine, the two set out for the mountain again. Kanako attempts to chase them off, but they eventually reach the inner sanctuary and discover Suwako Moriya, the shrine's true god, who tells them that Kanako defeated her in battle long ago, thereby winning use of the shrine in the public eye, though it was mostly left as Suwako's demesne - though it was by Kanako's hand that the Moriya shrine moved to Gensokyo. As our heroines make ready to leave, Suwako demands they play with her, just like they've played with Sanae and Kanako - with beautiful danmaku barrages.


Gameplay

Mountain of Faith features two playable characters, each with three weapon types (but no personalized Spell Card bombs). In a break from previous games, collecting power items results in an increase in "option" satellites around the character (for a total of four), which behave differently according to the character and weapon type. Each characters' options also fire bullets, and either shift position or freeze in place in focus fire mode.

The scoring system is based on the Faith meter, which has a refillable gauge and a numeric value (minimum 50,000). As long as the gauge is partially full, the player's Faith value doesn't decrease, but the gauge is always emptying unless the player is killing enemies or collecting point items. Point items also partially refill the gauge, and Faith items increase the numeric Faith value. The Faith value directly affects the point value of point items and Spell Card bonuses.



Touhou Hisouten

Touhou Hisouten
Th105
General Information
Type PC Video Game
Created by Tasogare Frontier

Team Shanghai Alice

Years on Air 2008

Japanese Title: 東方緋想天

English Title: Scarlet Weather Rhapsody


Airdate: May 25, 2008


Plot

A bizarre phenomenon is occurring in Gensokyo. In the middle of summer, untimely rain and hail fall in the Forest of Magic, snow blankets Hakugyokurou, the Scarlet Devil Mansion is enveloped in a cloudy, dense haze, and the Hakurei Shrine is leveled by a sudden earthquake. Throughout the game, Reimu and the other protagonists set out to investigate the source of the strange occurrences.

Tenshi Hinanai is a celestial. Finding her newfound life in Heaven boring and monotonous, she enviously saw the youkai of Gensokyo stirring many incidents from above. Wielding the power to control the earth and the divine Sword of Hisou, the jaded celestial decides to instigate a catastrophe of her own.


Gameplay

As with Immaterial and Missing Power, Scarlet Weather Rhapsody is a fighting game featuring a variety of Touhou Project characters. It appears to be similar in many ways to its predecessor, with many similar sprites and attacks. However, the inclusion of a new weather system that can affect the tides of battle, a 20 card deck system, and the implementation of flight marks a vast difference in gameplay between IaMP and its successor.



Touhou Chireiden

Touhou Chireiden
Th11 Cover
General Information
Type PC Video Game
Created by Team Shanghai Alice
Years on Air 2008

Japanese Title: 東方地霊殿

English Title: Subterranean Animism


Airdate: August 16, 2008


Plot

One day in Gensokyo, all of a sudden, there were lots of evil spirits going around. Reimu Hakurei, a Shrine Maiden and Marisa Kirisame, a black-clothed Magician were getting suspicious. They go into the underground to ask them to stop driving them to Gensokyo's surface. Depending on who you choose, one of them goes out to investigate.

The heroine starts to head underground, but runs into a Tsuchigumo, Yamame Kurodani who tries to stop the heroine from continuing. Yamame is quickly defeated and the heroine moves on. She moved on to a bridge leading to the Ancient City but runs into the bridge guard of jealousy, Parsee Mizuhashi, who also tries to stop the heroine from proceeding. Parsee is obviously defeated, and the heroine continues to go into the Ancient City. The Ancient City is populated by Oni therefore encountering Yuugi Hoshiguma. After defeating Yuugi as a midboss, Yuugi starts following the heroine while shooting Danmaku. After, they battle and the heroine is victorious. Yuugi tells the heroine where the Palace of the Earth Spirits is. The heroine enters the Palace of the Earth Spirits and a cat is seen following the heroine. Later, the heroine meets the Master of the Palace of the Earth Spirits, Satori Komeiji. After Satori is defeated, she permits the heroine to go through to talk to her pets. The heroine proceeds to a much hotter place. She runs into a cat, Rin Kaenbyou. The cat transforms into her youkai form and is surprised to see a human make it all the way here. Rin tries to stop the heroine from proceeding to whom she describes as the most dangerous bird underground. Though, Rin is defeated. The heroine finally reaches somewhere even hotter than the place before. She makes her way but encounters Rin again. Rin states that if the heroine dies, she'll burn so hard she won't even leave any ashes. Rin attacks the heroine again, but is defeated. The heroine finally reaches Utsuho Reiuji, the most dangerous bird underground. Utsuho ate the god, Yatagarasu and claimed the nuclear powers. Utsuho states that with these powerful nuclear powers, she will take over the world above, which what made Rin Kaenbyou worried that she sent evil spirits into the world above. The heroine defeats Utsuho to stop her plan from taking over Gensokyo. After Utsuho's defeat, she states that it was Kanako Yasaka that whispered to her about swallowing Yatagarasu.

Some time after that, the heroine decides to pay a visit to the Moriya Shrine to find out more. While trying to find Kanako, she encounters Sanae Kochiya. Sanae is defeated and the heroine moves on until they suddenly found Satori Komeiji's little sister, Koishi Komeiji. Koishi asked where the goddess of the shrine is, but the heroine tells Koishi that they were actually doing the same. Koishi states that she went from all the way from the underground to up in the world above to visit this shrine. Koishi learnt that the heroine defeated her older sister, Satori. Koishi asked to fight the heroine because she was able to defeat Utsuho, so it must mean the heroine is stronger. After Koishi is defeated, on Reimu's story, Suwako Moriya, Moriya Shrine's true goddess appears. According to Suwako, Kanako is on a shopping trip. Apparently, Koishi wanted a gloomy power of love for her pets. For Marisa's story, after Koishi is defeated, Sanae Kochiya, a Shrine Maiden of the Moriya Shrine tells Koishi and Marisa that Suwako and Kanako are currently out.


Gameplay

Subterranean Animism features two playable characters (Reimu and Marisa), each with three weapon types representing a youkai assisting them from above ground. Like Mountain of Faith, collecting power items adds up to four "option" satellites around the character (or eight for the Marisa/Alice combination), which behave differently according to the character and weapon type, and can be sacrificed for a bomb effect. However, unlike Mountain of Faith, each bomb has a different behavior, and some cause special gameplay effects to occur.

The scoring system is once again based on grazing, coupled with collection of two types of items dropped by enemies. Overall, the system resembles some of the core elements of Embodiment of Scarlet Devil fused together with the Tension Bonus System from Shikigami no Shiro series. As such, the player is urged to actively graze at every possible opportunity in order to increase the point item value. Grazing large amounts of bullets in little time is rewarded by the temporary effect of autocollecting all the freefalling items at their maximum value (identical to the point of collection effect, but without regard to the character's location on the screen), letting the player concentrate entirely on the act of dodging bullets.



Touhou Seirensen

Touhou Seirensen
Th12cover
General Information
Type PC Video Game
Created by Team Shanghai Alice
Years on Air 2009

Japamese Title: 東方星蓮船

English Title: Undefined Fantastic Object


Plot

Rumors have been spreading throughout Gensokyo since early spring about a strange flying treasure ship. Figuring there must be something up there regardless of the rumor itself, and aided by Sanae Kochiya, the girls take off into the air to find it and plunder its treasures.

During the high-speed chase of the "UFO", the player confronts Nazrin, who has come from the flying object and is looking for something in particular. She insists that there is no treasure ship at all. After that, the player runs into Kogasa Tatara, whose role is nothing else but to scare the girls.

As the player finally catches up to the ship, Ichirin Kumoi and her familiar Unzan appear, complaining that all sorts of fairies and humans have been pestering them. She explains that the ship isn't a "ship" at all, but rather some kind of remodeled building given the power of flight. She also mentions that she's trying to revive a certain someone. The fragments - the UFOs that the player has been collecting - are necessary for this purpose, but rather than handing them over, the player instead defeats the pair and enters the ship.

Inside, the player runs into a strange flying object that promptly attacks, then leaves items. Disregarding this, the player then finds Captain Murasa, the youkai ghost captain of the ship. She tells the player that the ship is headed for Hokkai, located on the outer edges of Makai, a world connected to Gensokyo. Since the player entered with enough fragments in their possession, the ship has already begun to enter Hokkai.

Before very long, just outside Hokkai, the player runs into Nazrin again, who has found what she was looking for - the Bishamonten pagoda. After defeating her a second time, Shou Toramaru appears. Now that both the pagoda and the fragments are together, the revival can begin. Shou tells the player that they are trying to revive a "saint" who has been sealed for many years - a person who helped both humans and youkai, and was punished because of it. After defeating Shou, the player opts to help revive this person, since they're already there and everything.

The final confrontation happens deep inside Hokkai, where Byakuren Hijiri has been unsealed. The player's job is to exterminate youkai(or, in Marisa's case, to prioritize protecting humans), so Byakuren disagrees - she is an ally to both, and treats both equally. The player defeats Byakuren in a long battle, and the story ends on peaceful terms, as she and Murasa cruise around Gensokyo in the ship for a while before settling down and rebuilding Byakuren's original temple.

However, the mystery of the UFOs hasn't yet been solved. Marisa discovers that upon opening one of them, a snake comes out and the UFO turns into a piece of wood. The girls take off once again into the night sky to figure out what's going on. Kogasa reappears in the process, again attempting to surprise the player. After that, the strange flying object appears again and transforms into a youkai named Nue Houjuu, who was the one that disguised the fragments. Apparently the player was the only one who saw the UFOs as UFOs - the enemies the player fought against knew that they were actually pieces of the ship. After defeating her, she explains that she was originally just trying to mess with Murasa's efforts to revive Byakuren, but the player caught her interest, so she ended up helping the player out too.


Gameplay

Undefined Fantastic Object features three playable characters (Reimu, Marisa and Sanae), each with two weapon types. The weapon types are often denoted A and B. In total the player can choose between 6 different ways to start UFO. However, unlike Mountain of Faith and Subterranean Animism, the spell card (bombing) system from the older games (such as Perfect Cherry Blossom and Imperishable Night) has been reintroduced.

The gameplay system unique to Undefined Fantastic Object comes this time in the form of colored UFOs. Certain enemies will drop a UFO on destruction, which the player can collect for different effects. By utilizing this system, the player can receive more bombs, life pieces, or point bonuses.


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