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Tropers: Horselesshorseman
I have no horse yet some how I am a horseman.

This is the question you must ponder.


Have you pondered today?

Anyway, someone told me to create this page, so I did. The end.


Touhou 13.5: Hopeless Masquerade Guide.

    BACK TO BASICS 

To me, there is little more exciting than trying to learn a new fighting game. Each game has new mechanics, characters, and skills to learn. However, there are some things that are universal: The Basics.

Getting Started

Let's start up a fight and get started, right? WRONG!

You're going to want to head over to that profiles button, there you should see a list of options:

  • This one will be to set your spellcards. These will be discussed in detail later on. Each of the playable characters has 4 loadouts which you can customize. A list of spellcards can be found here. Different Spellcards will add to Taoism(道), Shinto(神), and Buddhism(仏) stats, which are represented by a triangle in the upper right.

  • This one is your key configuration. To change a key use the arrow keys to select one, press z, and then push the key you want it to be. Easy as that!
  • Icon Select. A little bit of personalization never hurt.
  • New Profile. Up to 16 characters.
  • Copy Profile. Need to give it a unique name though.
  • Delete Profile. Be careful, you can't get it back!
  • Rename Profile. Hide the decisions of the past.

I recommend creating a profile with all the keys set to buttons you won't use; you might need a punching bag.

Config

You should set the game to run as best as possible on your machine

  • Sound Effect Volume
  • Background Music Volume
  • Windowed/Fullscreen
  • Fullscreen resolution
  • Background Quality
  • Framrate(60/30 fps)
  • Vertical Sync : Yes/No
  • Display Framerate : Yes/No
  • Save Replay : Yes/No/Ask every time
  • Save Replay(Network) : Yes/Only when playing/Only when spectating/No

Notation

Hopeless Masquerade uses "Keypad Notation." This means that movement keys correspond to numbers of a keypad. For instance: 8 is up, 2 is down, and 5 is when no buttons are being pressed.

Attacks are referred to as A, B, X, Y. As dictated by the game's creators. A is a light attack, B is a heavy, X is a light projectile (which will be referred to as a danmakunote  attack by this guide), and Y is a heavy projectile attack.

Occasionally, you will see a C or Z in notation. C means A and B together, and Z is X and Y together. These are for Special Attacks and can be assigned to a specific key.

This guide will may use this notation at points so here's a quick guide to what some things mean:

6[6]: Press forward twice and hold it down.

5A: Just press A.

5AAA: Just press A three times.

6Z: Forward and Z or X+Y

The Screen

Okay, now you may start fighting.

If you look at your screen then you should see several things.

First, you should see you and your opponent.

Above them, you should see two bars with your characters pictures next to them. These are your health bars. When you take damage it will be removed from your total health. If you lose all your health, you lose the round.

In between these bars should be a number. This is the timer. When it reaches zero whoever has more Popularity wins the round, regardless of damage dealt. In the odds of a tie for popularity, whoever has more health wins. In the odds of a tie for health, both players will receive a lantern. If both sides have both lanterns, the match will end with no winner.

Below each bar, you should see some letters and two lanterns. The letters are your characters name, the lanterns will light up if you win a round.

There should also be a number next to your character's name. This is Popularity; it will be covered later on.

Your characters picture should also be covered by a wheel. This wheel contains three segments Grey(Neither), Blue(Yes), and Red(No). This will show how your popularity is being allotted. Note that you can still have positive popularity with a large amount of Red showing that you could lose it all very quickly.

Below your actual characters there should be a smaller bar.

This is your Spirit meter. Spirit is the currency, so to speak, of your Special and Danmaku attacks. It regenerates slowly after being consumed, but will return quickly if more is not consumed after an amount of time. It will return much quicker if your max spirit is low from blocking or items.

Below your Spirit meter is some small text. This is your profile name. Next to this text is your profile image.

On the other side of this bar is the meter for your character's unique ability. These are passive skills that will be covered in-depth in each characters section of the guide.

Pausing

You can pause the game with the "Escape" key.

Should you want to pause you should know what your options are.

  • Return to Game
  • Check Skills.
  • Change Keys. In fight Key Mapping. Very useful.
  • This one just hides the pause screen. The game will remain Paused.

  • Return to Character Select
  • Return to Main Menu

Movement

Movement in Hopeless Masquerade can be difficult to wrap your head around. The game is a 2D aerial fighter. However, if you are familiar with air dash fighters, such as Guilty Gear or Blazblue, then it should be easier to understand.

Pressing left and right will cause your character to move, well, left or right.

Pressing up or down will cause your character to float up or down, however they will always return to the center. Pressing forward or backward while returning to center will cause your character to drift right or left, respectively.

While holding back, your character will block oncoming damage, however some attacks will still deal damage through block, known as "Chip Damage." Chip Damage can be just as great as regular damage, but it will always leave you at one health if you would run out of health otherwise. In addition part of your Spirit Bar will turn black, and will regenerate back slowly.

If you hold an attack button while blocking, you will perform a "Chicken Guard." This will shield your character with a circular barrier that will push away the attacker, even if they use danmaku. This will give a greater loss to popularity, however. Releasing the button will change it to a normal guard.

Tapping back right before an attack hit you will result in a "Brave Guard," this will push back physical attackers.

You will be able to "graze" projectile attacks to avoid damage while jumping.

66 will cause your character to dash forward. 44 will cause them to dash back. You can hold the second button press (remember 6[6]?) to increase the range of your dash. You can press up and down while dashing to change your flight path.

You can't block while dashing, however you will be able to "graze" projectile attacks to avoid damage.

    FIGHTING 

The moment we've all been waiting for. This is where the game gets tricky, so listen real good.

You have 6 attack buttons, which you can set during the key configuration.

A, B, X, Y, C (A+B), and Z (X+Y).

Pressing 6[6] + A or B will give you a dash attack which is good for getting in close. After dashing a set distance, your character will pass through a shockwave. At this point your dash will reach max speed, and your dash attacks will gain additional properties.

Pressing Any Direction + Any of the first four attack buttons will be a Command Attack. These will be noted in detail in each characters section of the guide. Not all combinations will yield a result.

X, Y, and Skill attacks will drain from your character's spirit at the bottom of the screen. This will not drain from your current stock, but shrink the size of your bar overall.

If you have no Spirit Bar left and you take a heavy hit you will "Guard Crushed." While Guard Crushed you will instantly regain all your spirit, but you will be knocked back and unable to take any actions. It is difficult to get put into this state by your opponent alone, so manage Spirit well.

Spellcards

You will have two "wheels" on which to place your spellcards.

When you take damage you will begin to accumulate blue health.

If your entire health bar is blue, pressing C/Z + the proper direction will "declare" a spellcard. You need to press it again to use it. You see while spellcards are powerful and Spirit free, they will always be telegraphed. It's up to you to figure out how to land that hit.

Once you declare a spellcard, a timer will appear and begin to deplete. During this time you may declare as many spellcards as you like, but you may not declare the same spellcard twice per round. This does not apply to having multiple copies of a spellcard. Upon using one of these spellcards, or once the timer fully depletes, you will begin to accumulate blue again. A round will not end while a spellcard has been declared.

When a spellcard is declared, the match timer will stop until it is used or the spellcard timer runs out. This can give you the time you need to make a comeback.

If you declare a Spellcard and are unable to use it, you will receive a popularity penalty.

IMPORTANT! As a note, you can place specials and spellcards on either wheel, which changes the button to activate them from C to Z and vice versa. Once you get a feel for your character try and put them on whatever wheel suits you better.

If you're in a pinch, you can activate a potentially game changing "Item" Spellcard, but they will always come with a nasty side effect.

There's one final type of attack. A "Last Word." A Last Word can only be used when the number below the health bar is at 100% by pressing both Z & C, or A+B+X+Y. This number is "popularity" and will be described later on. Last Words are insanely powerful finishing moves, however, if you fail to kill with them, you will be left with 0 Popularity.

As a final note, some Skills have different effects when assigned to different directions. Try different combinations to see what works for you.

Faith

Each Skill will add to Taoism(道), Shinto(神), or Buddhism(仏). Each faith gives a unique bonus.

  • Shinto specializes in shooting range. It features more bullets with better homing, but the bullets can be easily destroyed by other bullets or graze.
  • Taoism specializes in shooting speed. Its bullets are faster, have better penetration, and are harder to be grazed, but they have the worst homing.
  • Buddhism specializes in close combat. Its bullets are larger but have worse range. A "high speed attack" (arrow key + strong attack) can be charged.

If you don't put enough points into a religion or you put enough into two, you will have no religion and have no change to your abilities.

Some characters will have complete changes to the mechanics of their attacks rather than the usual change. These will be covered in each character's section.

Combos

Much like a common air-dash fighter, Hopeless Masquerade uses a chain-combo system. This means that one type of move will "cancel" into another type of move.

Here is the system for Hopeless Masquerade: 3 Light Melees > Heavy Melee > Danmaku > Special > [Declared]Spellcard

What this order means is that Light Melee attacks can combo into everything after them, but a Heavy attack will never Cancel back into a light.

Use this order to maximize damage off a single hit!

In addition, some attacks will cause your opponent to hit the wall or ground. These are called a "Wall-bounce" & a "Ground-bounce" respectively. After a bounce your opponent is temporarily placed into a "bound" state. In this state it is possible to add an additional hit to the combo. However, you can only have one of each bounce per combo.

Note! You can combo 3 light attacks before using a heavy, but if you press A again the fourth hit will automatically be a heavy attack. In other words, even a novice can land a combo by just mashing A!

Rate

Rate, or proration, is a system where the damage of each move in decreased by a percentage for every additional hit in the combo.

The decrease depends on which moves are being used, but typically it will be around 10 percent. This decrease is applied to the next attack in the combo.

If you are going for the greatest amount of damage, it may be wise to reduce the number of hits in your combo.

Note! Sometimes landing more hits will still give more damage, remember to experiment to find the optimal potential of your combos!

Stun

In Hopeless Masquerade, hits from certain attacks do a small amount of stun. However, if you land enough of these small hits in the same combo you will put the opponent in a Stun state. However, the secondnote  that combo ends that Stun is lost.

A combo that reaches 100% Stun will stun the opponent and is cleverly named a "Stun Combo."

There are two types of Stun Combos: Regular and Spellcard.

A Regular Stun Combo will place a clear shield around your opponent. In this state you cannot hurt your opponent normally, however, you can still hit them with spellcards. Which brings us to the next type.

In a Spellcard Stun Combo the opponent will be surrounded by a Red Shield, and cannot be harmed in any way until they recover.

Note! You do not need to place your opponent in a Regular Stun state to put them in a Spellcard Stun state, and sometimes you will have no choice if you want to maximize damage.

Teching

Teching is the act of rolling after being knocked down. In Hopeless Masquerade, knocked down refers to being hit with a powerful move, but not stunned, such as Marisa's 5B. Holding a direction during while in this state will cause your character to "roll" to said direction. You will be invincible during this period.

You can also tech after a Stun if you are also knocked down.

However, if you are standing in a Stun animation, you will be unable to tech roll. However, you will be able to cancel into a variety of attacks, but you will not be invincible while doing so.

Popularity

Popularity is not an exact science. However, I pride myself on detail and I shall share what I have found out. If something is wrong or not noted please tell me.

As noted above, Popularity decides who wins in a timeout. If this Popularity is equal then the match will be decided by who has more health.

Popularity needs to be a 100% to use a powerful Last Word Spellcard. The Popularity you have at the end of one round is transferred to the next round.

In the most basic terms, Offensive actions raise popularity and defensive actions decrease it.

When you gain large amounts of popularity a notification will appear explaining why, and more importantly for those who don't know Japanese, how much you gained.

The player who does damage first will receive 10% Popularity. How you play at the start of a match can determine everything.

You will gain 5% if you land a "Counter Hit." This is when you hit an opponent while they are still in the middle of an attack animation with a strong attack. In addition, your opponent will lose that much Popularity.

Each spellcard declaration per round will grant 5% and reduce your opponent's by 5%. You will gain 10% additional popularity if you land the spellcard.

Once you reach 100% Popularity you will enter a Last Word State. While in this state you will have increased spirit regeneration and access to your Last Word. Activating your Last Word will put you and your opponent at 0% Popularity and use up your Last Word. If you do not use your Last Word the state will end and you and your opponent will be placed at 0%. Your Popularity can not decrease while it is at 100%. Similarly, it won't increase while your opponent is at 100%.

If you have already been holding back for some time retreating via holding back or dashing back will decrease your popularity by 1% over time. It will still decrease if you only tap back. Similarly, moving forward will slowly increase your popularity. Your popularity will decrease more if you are actually blocking attacks in addition.

Landing a Guard Crush will increase your Popularity by 5% and decrease your opponent's by 5%.

Making a significant difference in health will result in a popularity increase.

Gaining enough Popularity will result in a blue aura.

Losing enough Popularity will result in a red aura. This will give you increased Spirit loss on block.

Popularity becomes easier to drop after several drops in a row, but this can be reset by gaining popularity even once.

Note! Some items also affect Popularity. Make sure you know what they do before using them.

Art Score

The 1.10 patch included notes about a mechanic known as "Art Score" it works as thus:

Actions such as Brave Guard will increase Art Score, while actions such as Chicken Guarding decrease it.

Art Score does not decrease over time.

Once one player has a certain amount of Art Score, the audience will cheer and that player will gain popularity. Similarly, booing can occur from multiple decreases in Art Score.

After cheering or booing the requirement is increased for both players. This means that the audience will become less and less likely to cheer or boo over Art Score each time they do so.

    TRAINING MODE 

If you haven't yet created a Profile that uses buttons you don't need to press to play the gam, do so now. For this I assign QWER for motion and the numpad for attacks. You can set your opponent to this profile by pressing the 'C' key during character select.

In Training Mode the health bars will remain blue, you may declare the same spellcard as much as you want, the timer will not count down, health will return to 100% after a combo, and Spirit will return to 100%.

Using Training Mode you can spend as much time as you want experimenting with spellcards and combos.

Pressing the "Escape" key will open a menu that will allow you to fine tune your Training Mode experience:

  • Return to Training Mode
  • Return to Character Select
  • Return to Main Menu
  • Restart [Can be activated in Training Mode with F1]
  • Set your opponent's health[Can be toggled in Training Mode with F2]
  • Set your opponent's spirit[Can be toggled in Training Mode with F3]
  • Sets whether or not you want your spirit to regenerate automatically[Can be toggled in Training Mode with F4]
  • Sets your Popularity Ratio(Starts at 50/50, Then goes to Blue Aura, Last Word, Red Aura) [Can be toggled in Training Mode with F5]
  • Sets your opponents Popularity[Can be toggled in Training Mode with F6]
  • Sets the opponents action(Return to start position, move up, move down, COM, Player 2)
  • Sets the Difficulty of the opponent if controlled by a COM
  • Sets the player's starting position
  • Sets the opponent's starting position
  • Sets Counter Hit(On, Off, Random)
  • Sets Blocking(On, Off, Random, Every other time)
  • Sets Barrier Guard(On, Off, Random)
  • Sets what direction the opponent will roll after a knockdown(Forward, Backward, Random)

If you use a profile that is set to the same keys as you, you can have an opponent that will act at the same time you do. Use this to compare the differences between two characters.

Note! When testing combos make sure to test them far from the wall, mid-screen, and at the corner. Certain combos only work in certain parts of the screen, and it will be useful to know when you can and cannot use these combos.

    ITEMS 

Spiritual Strike Talisman: Makes you temporarily invulnerable and sends a nearby opponent flying. Can only be used once per round. Lowers Defense.

Magic Mushroom: Temporarily gives you increased spirit and max spirit regeneration. Afterwards, you will be temporarily unable to use Spirit. Can only be used once per round.

Virtueless Dharmacakra: Summons a nyuudo's fist to attack the air above you. Landing this fist will stun the opponent. Costs a moderate amount of maximum Spirit and goes on a short cooldown. Using it during this cooldown will increase the cooldown's length. Cannot be used while Spirit meter is flashing.

Witch's Broom: Cancels many non-Skill attacks into a dash. Passively allows you to enter the second stage of a dash faster. Consumes a large amount of max Spirit when used. Koishi and Byakuren will use their own unique dashes. Reduces ability to Guard Break after use. This item cannot be used again until the effect wears off.

Pagoda of Bishamonten: Summons a powerful laser that can deal up to 60% Stun. Takes a large chunk out of your Maximum and Usable Sprit.

Hermit-Style Plate: Rides a small plate downwards, and can hit an opponent below you for a small amount of damage and Stun. Costs a moderate amount of Maximum Spirit.

Ritual Baton: Builds Art Score while in use.

Force Shield: All damage you take will passively be reduced. Can be used to further reduce damage and your opponent's ability to Guard Break, but it will no longer reduce damage for that round. Can only be used once per round.

Common Talisman: Passively gives +2 to Shinto and -2 to other faiths. Not usable in battle.

Hermit's Decorative Sword: Passively gives +2 to Tao and -2 to other faiths. Not usable in battle.

Prayer Beads to Hide in the Bosom: Passively gives +2 to Buddhism and -2 to other faiths. Not usable in battle.

Innocent Hat: Passively gives -2 to all faiths. Not usable in battle.

    NETPLAY 

Creating an Icon

Hopeless Masquerade has a small selection of icons to choose from, but you don't have to use one of those. Take any 32 by 32 bitmap image and put it in the game's icons folder. Now you can select that image as your icon. This icon will apparently be seen by opponents online and given to them afterwards.

  • Host Server
  • Specify IP & Port and Connect to Server
  • Use Connection History and Connect to Server
  • Use IP from Clipboard to Connect to Server
  • Select Profile
  • Port to Use
  • Allow Spectating(Yes, No)
  • Save Replay(Yes, Only When Playing, Only When Spectating, Never)

NOTE! If you are the host you must have the port you are hosting on forwarded.

You will be given the option to play or spectate in that order after connecting to a server.

    THE METAGAME 

Coming Soon! Please Wait Warmly!

    REIMU HAKUREI 

The Advocate of the Eight Million

Ability:

Skills

Spellcards

Last Word:

Example Decks

    MARISA KIRISAME 

The Human-Representative Magician

Ability:

Skills

Spellcards

Last Word:

Example Decks

    ICHIRIN KUMOI & UNZAN 

The Overwhelming Youkai Ascetic

Ability:

Skills

Spellcards

Last Word:

Example Decks

    BYAKUREN HIJIRI 

The Ācārya who Surpassed Primates

Ability:

Skills

Spellcards

Last Word:

Example Decks

    FUTO NO MONONOBE 

The Feng Shui Master who Controls Dragon Lines

Ability:

Skills

Spellcards

Last Word:

Example Decks

    MIKO NO TOYOSATOMIMI 

The Almighty Taoist who Administers Space

Ability:

Skills

Spellcards

Last Word:

Example Decks

    NITORI KAWASHIRO 

Handyman of the River

Ability:

Skills

Spellcards

Last Word:

Example Decks

    KOISHI KOMEIJI 

Imaginary Personality Holder

Ability:

Skills

Spellcards

Last Word:

Example Decks

    MAMIZOU FUTATSUIWA 

The Bake-Danuki who Always Holds Surprises

Ability:

Skills

Spellcards

Last Word:

Example Decks

    KOKORO NO HATA 

Expressive Poker Face

Ability:

Skills

Spellcards

Last Word:

Example Decks

     MATCHUPS 
    OUTDATED IN-DEPTH REIMU GUIDE 

Reimu Hakurei: The Advocate of the Eight Million

Ability: Reimu is fortunate enough to have two abilities, unlike other characters. The first is that she has about twenty-five percent more spirit than other characters. The next is that when she has her back to the corner she can backdash to teleport to the other side of the screen; she is completely invincible during this teleport.

General Playstyle: Reimu generally plays as a keep away character. She uses her passives to maintain pressure, and run away when the opponent starts building momentum. Her damage output very rarely reaches the potential of other characters, with or without spellcards. To get the most out of her, the opponent needs to be in the corner, as Reimu gets more out of wall bounces than she puts in. To have the greatest chance of winning you need to take full advantage of the properties of each attack in her arsenal. Her unique playstyle offers itself to unusual setups that can make her completely unpredictable, but there is always a general risk-reward system with her. Reimu is a very advanced character with an emphasis on knowing you match-ups. You need to use your extra spirit to throw danmaku attacks at a fast interval, and then run away through the corner when the opponent draws near. You need to make sure you don't spend to much time retreating, or you will lose popularity. You want to make sure that you are using the right projectiles at the right time to try and push your opponent back, or at least slow their approach. Look out for dashes, as you will need to react quickly to prevent the opponent from grazing into range, and know what attacks crush your projectiles, and what attacks your projectiles crush.

Normal Attacks

5A: A fast low kick. This is a basic combo starter. Almost every bread and butter combo in Hopeless Masquerade requires you to land a full 5A combo.

5AA: Another quick low kick. This is just another part of Reimu's hitconfirm. Don't stop here.

5AAA: Reimu quickly attacks with her gohai. The final part of Reimu's hitconfirm. If this connects you're all clear for a combo.

5B/5AAAA: Reimu does a two-hit stab with her gohai. It does slightly more damage than Reimu's other heavy attacks though I don't think that makes it a good enough reason to use it. However, the gohai itself does not count as Reimu's hitbox so she can safely poke with this move. Try to make sure you combo it on the second hit, or the damage will be significantly less. While I may be pretty down on this move I will admit that if you can land it while you have a blue aura you should always and then combo it into another heavy.

6B/6AAAA: A quick swat for a wall-bounce. It's not nearly as safe a her 5B, but it is ridiculously fast. Generally, you're going to use this to continue a combo already in effect.

8B/8AAAA: Reimu ducks down and flies upward delivering a powerful kick in the process. It has quite a bit of start-up and recovery, but as it attacks from below instead of head-on, it will counter a handful of attacks. However, I don't think that justifies using it as a poke. It isn't really a good combo starter either though, as it knocks the opponent too high up to continue with most moves, but it can lead into a good combo ender in some situations that will be covered in the combo section.

2B/2AAAA: Reimu flies up and delivers a quick kick downward. Like her 8B it can be used a poke, but from above. Also like her 8B, it will counter a small handful of moves, but it's most notable for its use in combos.

66A: A quick swipe. This attack can be cancelled into any heavy attack or greater. It's use is to punish after grazing close to an enemy, but because it requires you to graze the entire attack beforehand it can be extremely limited.

6[6]A: Reimu quickly stabs with her gohai. It's essentially the same attack as the above, but with more reach, and can only be cancelled into heavy danmaku or greater.

6[6]B: A flying jump kick with a wallbounce. Can only be cancelled into special attacks and greater. Good if you want to knock away an opponent who's only using danmaku, but that's really too specific for me to recommend using it ever.

5X: Reimu fires a bunch of magical amulets. Amount can be increased by holding down X. Always fires directly at the opponent. Generally crushes other X attacks. Becomes homing when it passes through Reimu's 6Y gate.

5Y: Fires two large amulets. Good for locking down opponents over a distance. From mid-range you can jump diagonally after collision to get close enough to follow-up.

8Y: Fires a single large amulet upwards. A good follow-up to attacks that knock the enemy upwards, like Reimu's 8B.

2Y: Fires a single large amulet downwards. A good follow-up to attacks that have a ground-bounce, like Reimu's 2B.

6Y: This is one of Reimu's more unique attacks. It has two parts. First, Reimu fires an amulet directly ahead of her. This phase is very short, but it will generally crush all other projectiles — even stopping Marisa mid-laser, and will do minimal damage to any enemies it passes through. Afterwards, it becomes a large gate that will last several seconds. If Reimu's 5X passes through the gate it will become homing. If Reimu's Yin-Yang Orb passes through the gate it will gain speed, damage, and 10% stun. Not very useful, but worth using at least once a round to keep enemies on guard.

Skills

Youkai Buster: This is Reimu's signature move right here, and anything that gets in its way is tossed back into the wall behind them. Here Reimu will throw four amulets, each with 10% stun, and so long as one of them hits the opponent will be wall-bounced. However, there is a catch: Reimu will throw the amulets at a different angle depending on the direction the move is assigned to. The 6 version will throw them in a spread straight ahead, the 8 will throw them 30 degrees upwards, and the 2 thirty degrees down. The 4 is an interesting case, as it will throw them 60 degrees down. You will generally use Youkai Buster for your superior zoning. You should always have at least the 6, however the 8 & 2 are also useful for when the enemy starts trying to position themselves above or below you. I find my self getting popularity for counter hits quite often with this attack. However, this attack does have weaknesses. For one, like all danmaku attacks, it can be grazed to make it completely ineffective. The next is its significant Spirit cost. Don't throw this attack out thoughtlessly. Not only will you conserve Spirit, but you will give yourself an extra second to react if the enemy decides to start dashing.

Mid-Air Ascension Kick: Now this is a fun one. Reimu performs a somersault kick straight upwards, with some variation depending on direction. 2 will have her flip in place, 4 will have her flip straight upwards, and 6 will have her flip upwards while traveling far ahead of her current position. 8 is the odd one out this time, as it will start like 4, but will then have her perform a divekick at the apex for a ground-bouce. So long as the first hit connects, the latter will as well, however said ground bounce can only be followed up with a pre-declared spellcard, and all variations will deal 40% stun. Because this move cannot hit from above, and many of it's variations travel upwards, it is best used from below the opponent. Carry one of these for its use in both combos and for it's ability to aggressively close gaps. Let your opponent take the high ground, it will make falling down all the more painful.

Sub-Space Pressure Point: This is definitely the hardest move in Reimu's arsenal to use effectively. First, Reimu will throw a marker which will detonate for minimal damage when it reaches it's location, where it will stay for the remainder of the round. Reactivating any version of the ability will cause Reimu to teleport to the marker removing it and performing a divekick. The 6 & 4 version will place the marker straight ahead. When Reimu teleports if she hits immediately the opponent will be ground-bounced, if she misses she'll loop back to the top of the screen, and if she hits after that the opponent will just be knocked towards the bottom of the screen. The 8 throws the marker at the top of the screen, and Reimu will dive straight down for a ground-bounce. The 2 version will place the marker straight down, after which it will behave like the 6 & 4. The fact that it allows Reimu to teleport makes it a suitable tool for both escape and pressure. Since I don't really use it as much as I should I'll just tell you a trick I like to play with it: Toss it behind your opponent and then activate it immediately. HM has cross-ups, folks!

Yin-Yang Orb: In the shooting games this orb is the key to Reimu's power. Here, not so much. When you throw it out, it will bounce around until it either hits your opponent or a projectile. Unfortunately, any projectile will destroy the orb completely, and it can be grazed on top of that. 8 and 6, will fire it upwards at at a 60 and 30 degrees angle, respectively. 2 and 4, are the same only they fire down. It will speed up and become more powerful when it passes through your 6Y. You can fire them fast enough to have 2 on screen at once, but you only have enough Spirit for 3. Maybe I'm too hard on this skill, it does bring a lot of chaos to a match, but when compared to the power of the Youkai Buster and the fact that your loadout slots are limited, I'm not sure it's worth having. However, you can get Popularity for spamming it... somehow, so it's not useless.

Spellcards

Fantasy Seal: Reimu rapidly fires several explosive homing orbs. This is Reimu's more damaging spellcard. In addition, it can be both declared and activated while the opponent is stunned. It is an indispensable tool for delivering that deciding blow.

Omnidirectional Dragon Slaying Circle: Reimu forms a great barrier with her as the center. Like Fantasy Seal, it can be both declared and activated while the opponent is stunned, but it does slightly less damage. And that's all it takes for me to say don't take this spellcard. Neither spellcard is as useful outside of a combo as they look, and Fantasy Seal deals more damage. Maybe this spellcard is for story mode? I would have loved something like this for Suika's boss fight in IAMP.

Last Word

Fantasy Nature: A counter attack for melee strikes. It does great damage, but does it's reward outweigh the risk? You don't even get the chance to use it that often, but if you did... It's your decision to use it or not, but there's no way to guarantee it will work. The decision to activate is on your opponent, after all.

Items

Take the Talisman if you're going to use one at all. It works like the bombs of previous Touhou fighters, but with a popularity risk. It's for emergencies only, but what's most important is that it works.

Reimu doesn't need any help in the Spirit department, so the mushroom is off the table, and I don't actually know how to use the Dharmacakra in any effective context.

Match-ups

Vs. Marisa: This is an extremely difficult match-up for Reimu. Marisa has better range, faster attacks, and her zoning is decent for a rushdown character. In addition, Marisa's passive adds a slightly unpredictable nature to the fight. Your trump cards in this fight are going to be your amulets. Your 6Y and Youkai Buster can crush all of Marisa's attacks. If you can zone Marisa with Youkai Buster, you've won. However, Youkai Buster is very expensive, and will require you to play defensively while you spirit regenerates, and 6Y has a bit of startup to it. In addition, Marisa has better damage and no reliance on the corner, so you have no choice but to dodge around. Remember to use your passive to switch sides once Marisa gets too close.

Vs. Ichirin: This is a much easier fight by comparison. Ichirin's attacks are much slower than Marisa's, but she can fight at range with Unzan. In this match-up you will need to play both the role of defense and offense. Approach with 5Y, Subspace Pressure Point, Ascension Kicks, and just old fashioned grazing. You won't be able to take too many hits from her, especially if she can declare a spellcard, so make sure to not stand too close when you don't have any action to take. Other than that, it's a pretty easy fight to win.

Combos

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My Loadout [8,6,2,4]

Wheel 1:[Ascension Kick, Youkai Buster, Youkai Buster, Pressure Point]

Wheel 2:[Fantasy Seal, Ascension Kick, Fantasy Nature, Talisman]

So here's my loadout for The Hakurei Maiden. It's a mix of things not to optimize her for any particular challenger, but to allow her to play multiple roles in a fight. I take an Item and her Last Word for fun, but feel free to replace them if they are too risky for you. Keep in mind this is just an example, I can't speak for the effectiveness of this build, just that it does work for my playstyle.


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