東方紅魔郷 ~ the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil
Posted by meronpan on July 27, 2009
Looks like I’ve been a little less prolific in posting this month, but I guess that’s a good thing so as not to burn myself out ^^; One big reason for the drop off in posts has been good ‘ol 東方 (touhou). This obsession is niconico’s fault. niconico -> U.N.オーエンは彼女なのか (U.N. Owen was her?) meme videos -> what’s that song from? -> omg there’s a billion touhou references everywhere -> guess I better play it.
If you’re not familiar with it, touhou is a series of curtain fire shooters. It started out on the PC-98 platform moving to Windows releases starting with the 6th game – 東方紅魔郷 (touhou koumakyou. “the Embodiment of the Scarlet Devil” is the english subtitle of the game, not the tranlation of koumakyou). There are short interludes in the stages in which the character you play converses with bosses/mid-bosses…
… and somehow that along with the character art has been enough for many of the characters to develop large fan bases ^^; I guess that’s the beauty of the otaku/doujin community. Always filling in the gaps when left unsatisfied.
Each game seems to have somewhere around 6 or so stages, and each of these comes with at least one boss character, sometimes an additional mid-boss character. The 12th game is soon to be released — and though some characters appear in later games, we’re still talking about a huuuuge number of ’em.
Thanks to my previous trip, I am now the proud owner of 3 touhou games, we’ll see if I can even make it through one of them without using a continue ^^; So far I’m just focused on beating the game with any number of continues so that I have access to the practice mode (you can’t practice a stage until it’s been completed).
If you like shooters at all, you might want to give touhou a try. If you’ve never played a danmaku game (shooters where the bullets fill the screen), they may appear intimidating but I think you might be surprised how quickly you adapt and improve. Plus, it’s a part of otaku culture! :P
The games are also really cheap! I think I paid 1000 or 1500 yen for Embodiment of the Scarlet Devil and like 1500 to 2000 for the more recent releases. Online stores usually mark up the prices by 500 yen or so, but still a helluva lot cheaper than a regular game.
If you’ve been following my twitter you may have noticed that sakuya‘s been giving me a hard time. The mid-boss & boss of stage 4, she’s a knife wielding maid.
Incidentally she can also manipulate time ^^;;
Right now the best I can do is get up to the final boss. I even got her down to her last life bar on my first attempt… alas haven’t done nearly as well since then. If I can ever down her without using a continue I’ll unlock the extra stage… in which I’ll finally be able to face the boss whose theme music got me started in the first place…
Can’t wait ^^
Oh, and speaking of EoSD someone recently made a great video set to double lariat. I think I cried a little ^^; I don’t mind spoilers for games like this and if you’re of like mind you may want to read up on the characters before watching.