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The Revised All-Purpose Touhou/Doujin/Shmup Thread

cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm RegentChantry of NightmaresRegistered User regular
edited April 2011 in Games and Technology
The old thread is somewhat dated, so here's a revised with (hopefully) more useful info.

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Doujin is essentially the Japanese equivalent of indie games.
Projects made by small teams(occasionally one person) which are then sold by the developers at conventions like ComiKet and what have you.

Among the most popular of these, if not THE most popular, is the quintessential Touhou franchise.

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A long-running series of danmaku(lit. 'curtain fire', more commonly referred to as bullet hell) shooters; the Touhou games are programmed, scored, designed, and written by one guy: ZUN, aka Team Shanghai Alice.


The first five games were on the PC98, and are generally considered worth passing up on.

touhou6.jpg

The good stuff began when the team that made the PC98 games dissolved, and ZUN set out on his own.



This was the result.

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Embodiment of Scarlet Devil was the first game of the 'ZUN' Touhous, created for the PC.


Long-term series protagonist Reimu Hakurei and black magic specialist Marisa Kirisame set out to investigate a red mansion that appears at night, and have to defeat its undead mistress: Remilia Scarlet.

RemiliaSWR.png

Touhou 06 not only maintains a devout following, but it also introduced many characters who still remain popular today, such as Hong Meiling, Flandre Scarlet, and the idiotic yet lovable fairy named Cirno.

Reimu and Marisa are in nearly every game, with an assortment of other characters of new and old origins showing up to help out from time to time. Reimu uses homing shots consisting of spiritual wards, Marisa lays waste to everything with hi-powered, focused black magic lasers.


Here's a good summary of Touhou 6's events:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgWf7JNl3b8


What separates Touhou from other shmups, among many other things, are the bosses using what's known as Spell Cards:

Th06sc42.jpg

When a boss' life is almost spent, they break out ridiculously powerful attacks.
The only way to stop them are to finish them off.

There's also the Extra Stages, a series tradition, where things get realllly crazy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Nb5Ohbt1Sg


Touhou is first and foremost a shmup series, but the popularity of the series(namely for the wild and varied cast of characters) has gone so far beyond that to the point that some fans haven't even played the games they're based on.

The entry point for some is the ridiculous amounts of fan art and fan works the series has lead to, such as the insane videos created by IOSYS(a doujin remix group).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kc8GNaED3Ok

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsBgCYL9Dn8&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWhVXDTPKjc
(^Another EoSD tribute.)

IOSYS mostly make vids based on the music from the series.

In addition, you can find all kinds of awesome remixes if you know where to look.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=su45a_yVc8E


Since Touhou 06, there have been seven additional games, not counting the fanmade offshoots such as Touhou 12.3 and such. Quality and appeal may vary, but one thing is for sure: the production values continue to improve along the way.

The design of my favorite, Touhou 08: Imperishable Night, is up there with my favorite mainstream shmups.

Th08screenLayout.jpg

You can find information and free demos of all the mainline Touhou games at The Touhou Wiki. If you own the full games, you can also download translation patches for all of them from the Touhou wiki.

otw.jpg

Quality may vary, but they tend to at least cover the jist of the plots(vague as they are).


The 13th Touhou Game, Ten Desires, recently made a demo available.

http://www16.big.or.jp/~zun/html/th13top.html

Good luck. If you can't get it from the many broken mirrors, hit one of us up.

Several fans have created mirrors of their own, we can surely get you one.


So you don't like shmups and want to know more about other doujin games?

Well, Doujinstyle is a good general resource. You can find information on all manner of doujin games there, as well as one of the largest Touhou communities around.

One noteworthy game is Umineko no Naku Koro Ni (When The Seagulls Cry), a visual novel by 07th Expansion, which has been fully fantranslated.

(Note: Umineko is a visual novel, which is literally just that. There is no gameplay involved,
just one heck of a story-driven audio/visual experience.)
rKUKC.jpg

The Ushiromiya Family has gathered at their patriarch's home to discuss the manner of his inheritance, but a witch named Beatrice is also waiting, and only those she considers worthy will be allowed to earn the Ushiromiya Fortune.

The rest will die.

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The son of one of the four Ushiromiya siblings, Battler Ushiromiya, has taken it upon himself to solve the Riddle of the Golden Witch, and prevent death and despair from befalling his siblings.

pbrAB.jpgF9lOQ.jpgLUQt3.jpg

You can get a fully fantranslated, and creator-sanctioned, version of the first episode here.

There's also a PS3 version, but most(myself included) feel it best you play the PC version first to appreciate what the PS3 version brings to the table: updated artwork, and full voice acting for all characters.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3g6Jaq23PME


Any discussion of Touhou, doujin, or general shmups is welcome. I'll update the OP as is appropriate.

g3IMBTw.png
Nothing to declare, my friend. Nothing at all.
cj iwakura on
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Posts

  • Master BigodeMaster Bigode Registered User
    edited April 2011
    The touhou wiki has moved to http://touhouwiki.net , please update the link in the OP.

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Chantry of NightmaresRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Hmm, there's also one at Wikia. I'll put them both in.

    g3IMBTw.png
    Nothing to declare, my friend. Nothing at all.
  • Master BigodeMaster Bigode Registered User
    edited April 2011
    cj iwakura wrote: »
    Hmm, there's also one at Wikia. I'll put them both in.

    That one was abandoned, and now only people who don't know about the move and a guy who's trying to get in the way of the new wiki (for whatever reason) edit there. You can read more about the move here.
    I would thank you if you removed the wikia link.

    EDIT: Thanks. ^^

  • TNTrooperTNTrooper Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    If there is still enough interest in it then my offer to make some Google spreadsheets for a PA Touhou scoreboard still stands.

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  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Chantry of NightmaresRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I'm a terrible player, but by all means, go for it. How thorough do you plan on being? The PC Touhous with separate character charts?

    g3IMBTw.png
    Nothing to declare, my friend. Nothing at all.
  • TNTrooperTNTrooper Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I was thinking each PC game get's a separate spreadsheet with each difficulty getting it's own page. It will probably be mixed unless it get's big enough that I need to separate the characters to prevent it from being huge.

    I can't host the actually replays so just upload the replays at http://replays.gensokyo.org/ and PM the URLs.

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  • CantidoCantido Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    God I love me some Touhou. I was put off by the loli cast...at first. Imperishable Night made me permanently better at games of the genre. When Ikaruga came to XBLA I was pulling of things I could not fathom ten years ago. Same for Gradius V.

    Is the new one on Youtube yet? What number are they on nowadays?

    3DS Friendcode 5413-1311-3767
  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Chantry of NightmaresRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    The demo is out, and they're up to 13: Ten Desires. I don't know when the full game's coming out.


    I wasn't too impressed by the demo, but I liked the theme music.

    g3IMBTw.png
    Nothing to declare, my friend. Nothing at all.
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    So it's like Parodius, but not as cool?

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Chantry of NightmaresRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    In terms of gameplay, they're lots of fun, especially in that moment when the boss breaks out the spell card and you know it's about to get real.


    In terms of story, uh... the dialogue doesn't tell you much, but the plots can be pretty epic if you read between the lines. Imperishable Night's about a race from the moon who stole it and left a fake one in its place so their moon princess could evade notice.

    The second to last stage goes through a giant tunnel of endless doors with the moon in the background.

    If you kill the boss without dying, you find the true path. If not, you get laughed at by the Princess' subordinate.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUikrSzRabY

    g3IMBTw.png
    Nothing to declare, my friend. Nothing at all.
  • TNTrooperTNTrooper Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I should mention that the video was of the hardest difficulty which is called lunatic for a good reason.

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  • CygnusZCygnusZ Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Surely Higurashi and Umineko are way more popular than Touhou?

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Chantry of NightmaresRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Are they?

    g3IMBTw.png
    Nothing to declare, my friend. Nothing at all.
  • ZandraconZandracon Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    CygnusZ wrote: »
    Surely Higurashi and Umineko are way more popular than Touhou?

    Touhou started in '96, though there was 4 year gap between the first five games on the PC98 and the "modern" ones on Windows. There's a shitton of musical arranges and fanart (though I admit much of it isn't that good), as well as a large doujin convention dedicated to it. 07th Expansion released the first arc of When They Cry at Comiket 62, 2002. Though I guess popularity is subjective and why am I even typing all these words ugh.

    Also CJ, you should probably put up the newest title screen.
    2nXIW.jpg

  • CygnusZCygnusZ Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Not sure how to measure popularity exactly, but I'm pretty sure that Higurashi and Umineko sold way better than any of the Touhou games. At least, the doujin releases of the game were actually distributed to major retailers and well, do we really need to go into how huge Higurashi became?

  • Fig-DFig-D Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Any good recent or up and coming doujin fighters? Last one I started getting into was Big Bang Beat before it started patching itself into stupidity/oblivion.

    I still play Akatsuki BK from time to time, favorite doujin fighter by a large margin. Did En-Eins ever make it to arcades? It looked... different. Like Akatsuki had a roll in the hey with Melty Blood and rainbow.

    SteamID - Fig-D :: PSN - Fig-D
  • Page-Page- Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    The newest non-fan game (or joke) doujin fighter I can think of right now is Vanguard Princess. There are other ones that have gotten arcade and console releases, but if you're just talking about freeware pc stuff, that's about it.

    Also, I'd be down for radiozonde stuff. It's still my favourite doukin shmup. I know it isn't that hard, but it's got some decent variety in characters, and it's fun as hell.

  • Fig-DFig-D Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Yeah, I downloaded Vanguard Princess some time ago. Amazing sprite work and animation quality, but not my cup of tea.

    SteamID - Fig-D :: PSN - Fig-D
  • Page-Page- Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Seems most are taking pages from Melty Blood's playbook and going full-on commercial with their games, getting those console releases and such, even when the games barely seem to justify the attention. There have been a whole bunch of doujin-style fighters released in the last year or so, but not on pc.

    Found a couple newer ones.

    Wonderful World (still in beta version 0.50)

    Site. Download. [vidURL="

    Ougon Musou Kyoku (Umineko-spin off, getting console releases as well)

    Site. Download (direct link to the zip). [vidURL="

    I knew about the Umineko game, but for some reason I thought it was just the console release.

  • Fig-DFig-D Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I've seen videos of Ougon Musou Kyoku, looks pretty cool. I know it had a retail PC release, but is there a demo? The link you have there is to the most recent patch.

    EDIT: There doesn't appear to be a demo. Darn.

    SteamID - Fig-D :: PSN - Fig-D
  • Page-Page- Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Oh yes it is the patch. I found it on the download page and figured it was something. Whops.

    I've found full downloads in most of the usual places, but a demo or trial version seems conspicuously absent from the official site.

    Honestly, the game looks really lame anyway. You could wait for the 360 release (or the sequel, later this year) if you like. Maybe that will have a demo.

  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I love shmups (except for Touhou; not a fan). Although you can't beat the arcades for good shmups, there are a number I like available for free on the PC.

    Hydorah is a love song dedicated to Gradius. Many people had the same idea basically the day Gradius came out, but this one is especially well-done with a great soundtrack. Plus you don't have to spend a dime.

    Life Fortress Volcabamba - Another horizontal shooter, this time in the style of old MSX games.

    Cho Ren Sha 68k is a vertical shooter at blistering speeds. It's pretty basic, but solidly designed.

    Warning Forever is one of the finest free shooters available. It is a series of boss battles, each generated procedurally based on how you destroyed the previous boss. Tons of replayability here.

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  • CantidoCantido Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Cho Ren Sha is a good one.

    3DS Friendcode 5413-1311-3767
  • TNTrooperTNTrooper Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Is Hamachi any good for online play with Touhou PoFV? Would be fun if we can get an online game going sometime.

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  • setrajonassetrajonas Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    CygnusZ wrote: »
    Not sure how to measure popularity exactly, but I'm pretty sure that Higurashi and Umineko sold way better than any of the Touhou games. At least, the doujin releases of the game were actually distributed to major retailers and well, do we really need to go into how huge Higurashi became?

    Higurashi and Umineko don't have an entire convention devoted to them, so I'd say Touhou is probably still bigger. Not to mention if you take a look at the past few years Comiket booths, like an absurd number of them have been for various Touhou wares alone.

    In any case, Tasofro's DynaMarisa demo (EDF clone, essentially) is out. Haven't gotten a chance to mess with it yet myself.

    Other shmups out there that are pretty awesome are Diadra Empty, Hellsinker and Trouble Witches. The latter is actually getting a Live Arcade release I believe.

    There's a Big Bang Beat 2 in the works by Frontier Aja (who developed the Touhouvania game in the OP) which I'm pretty hopeful for, mainly because they kicked out NRF who was in charge of such masterpieces as the original BBB and Million Knights Vermillion. For now though, the playing field for good doujin fighting games is pretty empty, unless you want to try learning Immaterial and Missing Power.

  • Fig-DFig-D Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Does BBB2 still exist? I remember the announcement and later an engine test release but then... nothing.

    Been playing a bit of Ougon Musou Kyoku. Systems are kind neat, but weird. Not big on some of the character designs, but I'm having fun with it.

    SteamID - Fig-D :: PSN - Fig-D
  • Page-Page- Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Frontier Aja's Touhouvania games are straight garbage, too. Beware.

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Chantry of NightmaresRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    It looked mediocre, but the artwork(as seen in the OP) is amazing.
    touhouakumajou.jpg

    g3IMBTw.png
    Nothing to declare, my friend. Nothing at all.
  • Page-Page- Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Maybe the 2nd one is better, but the first is basically a very poor oldschool Castlevania game with a character who can fly (rendering 99% of all the stage design pointless), and really lame bosses. Some of the art was nice, but the rest looked ripped straight from Castlevania and didn't fit at all.

    You'd be better off playing Bunny Must Die or something.

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Chantry of NightmaresRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I've heard the second one is way better.

    g3IMBTw.png
    Nothing to declare, my friend. Nothing at all.
  • ZandraconZandracon Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    setrajonas wrote: »

    There's a Big Bang Beat 2 in the works by Frontier Aja (who developed the Touhouvania game in the OP) which I'm pretty hopeful for, mainly because they kicked out NRF who was in charge of such masterpieces as the original BBB and Million Knights Vermillion. For now though, the playing field for good doujin fighting games is pretty empty, unless you want to try learning Immaterial and Missing Power.

    French Bread has Under Night In-Birth in the works. No idea when it's coming out though. Don't really play fighting games, but they made Melty Blood, I remember some people talking about it last thread. But man, they really love mangling the English language. Melty Blood Actress Again Current Code.

  • setrajonassetrajonas Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Zandracon wrote: »
    setrajonas wrote: »

    There's a Big Bang Beat 2 in the works by Frontier Aja (who developed the Touhouvania game in the OP) which I'm pretty hopeful for, mainly because they kicked out NRF who was in charge of such masterpieces as the original BBB and Million Knights Vermillion. For now though, the playing field for good doujin fighting games is pretty empty, unless you want to try learning Immaterial and Missing Power.

    French Bread has Under Night In-Birth in the works. No idea when it's coming out though. Don't really play fighting games, but they made Melty Blood, I remember some people talking about it last thread. But man, they really love mangling the English language. Melty Blood Actress Again Current Code.

    UNIB is going to be an arcade release scheduled for the end of the year :V

    And yea, the second Touhouvania is a big improvement over the first. There's even an official translation patch for it, I believe.

  • PataPata Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Fig-D wrote: »
    Been playing a bit of Ougon Musou Kyoku. Systems are kind neat, but weird. Not big on some of the character designs, but I'm having fun with it.

    Have you read Umineko? If so I suggest doing so.

    Umineko is probably one of my favorite pieces of fiction to come out of Japan in a long while. It has strong and interesting themes, and strongly defies a lot of the cliches and stock characters that plague Japanese popular fiction.

    SRWWSig.pngEpisode 5: Mecha-World, Mecha-nisim, Mecha-beasts
  • Fig-DFig-D Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I don't think Under Night is getting a PC release. None of the Melty Bloods after Act Cadenza Ver. B did.

    Doujin fighters don't get localized very often either. Or, ever, really.

    It would be kinda cool if Carpe Fulgur (the guys behind Recettear's localization) could pick up some more work, as they proved that there's money to be made in the US market from niche Japanese games.
    Pata wrote: »
    Fig-D wrote: »
    Been playing a bit of Ougon Musou Kyoku. Systems are kind neat, but weird. Not big on some of the character designs, but I'm having fun with it.

    Have you read Umineko? If so I suggest doing so.

    Umineko is probably one of my favorite pieces of fiction to come out of Japan in a long while. It has strong and interesting themes, and strongly defies a lot of the cliches and stock characters that plague Japanese popular fiction.

    I have not. I suppose I could go looking for an English version of the works.

    SteamID - Fig-D :: PSN - Fig-D
  • PataPata Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    http://witch-hunt.com/

    Basically the unofficial english translators (They're fan translators, but the author has acknowledged them and even gave a shout out to them in the actual story)

    The site even gives a link to buy DL versions of the series.

    SRWWSig.pngEpisode 5: Mecha-World, Mecha-nisim, Mecha-beasts
  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Chantry of NightmaresRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    You can get the entire first episode for free, too. It's the largest 'demo' I've ever seen.

    g3IMBTw.png
    Nothing to declare, my friend. Nothing at all.
  • Dac VinDac Vin found out what Love is and it turned out to be forbidden. Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    CygnusZ wrote: »
    Not sure how to measure popularity exactly, but I'm pretty sure that Higurashi and Umineko sold way better than any of the Touhou games. At least, the doujin releases of the game were actually distributed to major retailers and well, do we really need to go into how huge Higurashi became?

    The thing about this argument is, the reason any of the Touhou games aren't as big as they could be and weren't officially ported under nearly anything you can find is quite simple: ZUN just doesn't want to. He's simply not interested in making it a commercial thing, and just about any actions of his in recent years supports that theory. (It's also THE reason why there isn't an official Touhou anime)

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  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Chantry of NightmaresRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I respect him for that, just like I respect that his art(mediocre though it can be) is very low-key; not at all sexualized.

    g3IMBTw.png
    Nothing to declare, my friend. Nothing at all.
  • JouleJoule Registered User
    edited April 2011
    TNTrooper wrote: »
    Is Hamachi any good for online play with Touhou PoFV? Would be fun if we can get an online game going sometime.
    No idea but I'd be up for some games. I'm not that familiar with Hamachi though.

  • CantidoCantido Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    cj iwakura wrote: »
    I respect him for that, just like I respect that his art(mediocre though it can be) is very low-key; not at all sexualized.

    Contrast Mushihime and Deathsmiles -_-.

    Deathsmiles is on my xbox! My replay is on xbox! Cave got my money! How I'm supposed to give ZUN my money?!

    3DS Friendcode 5413-1311-3767
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