Let's Play Touhou Project, PC98 Era

By Zorak

Original Thread: Welcome to Gensokyo, the most bullet-infested place on Earth. The Touhou Project
LP Archive version: Here.
Runtime: Jan 19th, 2010 - July 19th, 2010


What is Touhou?

The Touhou Project is a series of independently made 2D vertically-scrolling bullet curtain/ bullet hell games.

Here's what to expect:

Yikes huh? The Touhou games are some of the most brutal danmaku/ shmup games ever, requiring equal parts pattern memorization, skill, and luck. They're insanely popular in the incredibly dorky circles of Japan (and thus the US as well), but even so they're pretty fun games.

The first five games in the series were developed for the PC98, but after that everything has been Windows compatible.

Is there actually some plot to these games or something?

Yes, actually. The Touhou games take place in Gensokyo (Land of Illusions), a "lost" region of Japan sealed off from the rest of the world in 1884 A.D. Gensokyo has a sizable population of Youkai (Japanese mystical beings/ creatures), as well as normal humans. Culture there is similar to feudal Japan due to its isolation, though people and objects from outside do occasionally manage to find ways in.

Located on the impassable border between the rest of Japan and Gensokyo is the Hakurei shrine, a small, run-down Shinto shrine in the mountains. Largely isolated from society, the Hakurei shrine is unique in that it is accessible from both sides of the border. The current and only permanent inhabitant of the shrine is Reimu Hakurei, a shrine maiden who often takes it upon herself to investigate strange occurrences going down in Gensokyo.

Gensokyo is filled with both the most relaxed people in existence and the most fucking cheating bastards in existence. These aren't two distinct groups.

Why are these games so popular?

Well, for one, they're fun. Don't knock them until you've tried one of the recent ones out. For two, they've got a really neat aesthetic to them all in all. Everything in the game is made by one guy, ZUN. Music, art, programming, everything. And they turn out pretty good, really; well, the art not so much, but it's charming as it is. It has character. For three, the plots and characters, while not particularly deep by any means, are rather interesting, neat. Gensokyo is rather well developed (for a Shmup setting, anyway), and is almost what I'd call "quaint", in the most positive way that I could call that. ZUN's writing style is really informal and conversational.

The music fuckin owns, check out this old-but-good Ronald McDonald remix of U.N. Owen was her?

Really OCD fans have attached to the series in crazy amounts, of course. There is probably more fanart for Touhou in existence than for any other single thing ever. There's like a terabyte of Touhou cover albums out there, plenty of fan-made Touhou spin-off games (Touhou Castlevania, Touhou Rogue-like, whatever), so forth. There is a bit of a creepy element to it often, but it helps just to ignore that stuff, especially since there is a fair share of neat stuff too.

Why is nearly every character in these games girls??

Would you prefer dudes?? But seriously, there are likely only five or six male characters in the series. Of those male characters, one is a turtle, I think two are one-off people mentioned, one is an old-man cloud (yes), one is a giant catfish, and one is fuckin' Rinnosuke so whateva. Take it easy.

So what was this LP's deal?

I'm WASgonna LP every Touhou Project game (currently 12 main games, a few spin-offs, and a bunch of fan-games (maybe we'll do some of them)), one stage at a time. Unfortunately, while making this LP I burned out exactly six games in (aka, after beating all of the PC98 games and one game into the Windows ones). Difficulty wise, I tried the hardest that I could actually manage. I didn't spend a month trying to get through each stage on Lunatic or whatever.


Touhou 1 ~ 東方靈異伝 ~ The Highly Responsive to Prayers (The Wondrous Eastern Legend) - Wiki

Update 1: Backstory, Stages 1-5, Boss: Shingyoku
Update 2: Hell Route Stages 6-10, Boss: Mima
Update 3: Hell Route Stages 11-15, Boss: Kikuri
Update 4: Hell Route Stages 16-20, Boss: Konngara, Hell Route Good + Bad endings
Update 5: Makai Route Stages 6-15, Boss: YuugenMagan, Boss: Elis, Lunatic Demonstration
Update 6: Makai Route Stages 16-20, Boss: Sariel, Makai Route Good + Bad endings, Complete Boss + Music List

Touhou 2 ~ 東方封魔録 ~ The Story of Eastern Wonderland (Recorded Sealing of an Oriental Demon) - Wiki

Update 1: Backstory
Update 2: (Reimu Type-C) Stage 1, Boss: Flower Tank, Stage 2, Boss: Meira
Update 3: (Reimu Type-C) Stage 3, Boss: The 5 Magic Stones
Update 4: (Reimu Type-C) Stage 4, Boss: Marisa
Update 5: (Reimu Type-C) Stage 5, Boss: Mima. Ex-Stage Attempt. (Reimu Type-B&Type-A) Demos. Good Endings 1-3. Complete Boss + Music List.

Touhou 3 ~ 東方夢時空 ~ The Phantasmagoria of Dim. Dream (Oriental Dream Dimensions) - Wiki

Update 1: Backstory, Dramatis Personae
Update 2: Marisa Playthrough
Update 3: Reimu Playthrough, Music List

Touhou 4 ~ 東方幻想郷 ~ Lotus Land Story (Fantastic Home Village of the East) - Wiki

Update 1: Backstory, Protagonists
Update 2: (Reimu Type-A) Stage 1, Boss: Orange. Stage 2, Boss: Kurumi.
Update 3: (Reimu Type-A) Stage 3, Boss: Elly. Stage 4, Boss: Marisa. Bad Apple! supplementary material.
Update 4: (Reimu Type-A) Stage 5, Boss: Yuka (Sleepy). Stage 6, Boss: Yuka (Awake). Good Ending 1. Bad Ending 1.
Update 5: (Marisa Type-A) Stage 1, Boss: Orange. Stage 2, Boss: Kurumi.
Update 6: (Marisa Type-A) Stage 3, Boss: Elly. Stage 4, Boss: Reimu.
Update 7: (Marisa Type-A) Stage 5, Boss: Yuka (Sleepy). Stage 6, Boss: Yuka (Awake). Good Ending 3. Bad Ending 3. Music List. Extra Stage (Lazy).

Touhou 5 ~ 東方怪綺談 ~ Mystic Square (Fantastic Eastern Tales of Romance) - Wiki

Update 1: Backstory, Protagonists
Update 2: (Yuka) Stage 1, Boss: Sara. Stage 2, Boss: Luize.
Update Chorocojo-1: (Mima) Stage 1, Boss: Sara. Stage 2, Boss: Luize.
Update 3: (Yuka) Stage 3, Boss: Alice. Stage 4, Boss: Yuki and Mai.
Update Chorocojo-2: (Mima) Stage 3, Boss: Alice. Stage 4, Boss: Yuki and Mai.
Update 4: (Yuka) Stage 5, Boss: Yumeko. Stage 6, Boss: Shinki. Good Ending 4. Bad Ending 4. Music List. Extra Stage (Lazy)
Update Chorocojo-3: (Mima) Stage 5, Boss: Yumeko. Stage 6, Boss: Shinki. Good Ending 3. Bad Ending 3. Extra Stage (Effortful)


Touhou 6 ~ 東方紅魔郷 ~ the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil (Eastern Lands of the Scarlet Devil) - Wiki

Update 1: Backstory, Protagonists
Update 2: (Marisa-B) Stage 1, Boss: Rumia.
Update 3: (Marisa-B) Stage 2, Boss: Cirno.
Update 4: (Marisa-B) Stage 3, Boss: Hong Meiling.
Update 5: (Marisa-B) Stage 4, Boss: Patchouli Knowledge.
Update 6: (Marisa-B) Stage 5, Boss: Sakuya Izayoi.
Update Word Search: (Zorak-A) Stage X, Boss: Word Search.
Update 7: (Marisa-B) Stage 6, Boss: Remilia Scarlet. Ending #6. Bad Ending #2.
Update 8: (Reimu-B) Stage 1, Boss: Rumia. Stage 2, Boss: Cirno.
Update 9: (Reimu-B) Stage 3, Boss: Hong Meiling. Stage 4, Boss: Patchouli Knowledge.

Touhou 7 ~ 東方妖々夢 ~ Perfect Cherry Blossom (Bewitching Eastern Dream) - Wiki


Extended Q&A

I want to play these games, how?

It can be tricky, but you can purchase all of the Windows generation games, and I'm fairly certain most of them have at least rudimentary translation patches out there.

This page on TouhouWiki is a good guide of where to buy them, feel free to ask for help here or in the ADTRW thread if you need help figuring it out or something something.

With the PC98 games, they're pretty much impossible to buy and run now, so emulators and images are your only real option. I use Anex86 as my emulator, running the emulator through Microsoft AppLocale so the character set doesn't break, and then modifying the configuration settings to set the font so the English letters will render better (Courier).

Okay I got one of these Windows-era games installed oh god oh god I'm on normal and im dying a billion times and I also think my keyboard caught fire for some reason??

Yes, they're hard games. Just remember: easy mode is for elementary schoolers. Just sayin'.

Who IS this ZUN fellow anyway? Why IS his character art so bad?

ZUN made the Touhou games because there wasn't anything out there that was quite the kind of game he wanted to play, so he decided to make something he'd enjoy.

As for the art, he's an alcoholic with poor motor skills. It's endearing, really.

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