Video Game / Touhou Mother

A fan-made crossover game of Touhou and EarthBound/MOTHER, made in RPG Maker 2000 by 'S'.

The game begins when a meteor crashes into Gensokyo. After Reimu and Marisa go to investigate and fight off the mysterious alien that arrived with it, they find an unconscious boy nearby, who reveals that he has no memories. Soon after, things go to hell in Gensokyo. Not that that stops the lightheartedness and endless references to other works.

The translated game can be found here, while a playthrough can be found here. A sequel, Return of Touhou Mother, was released on September 1st here, and the translator, vgperson, did playthrough videos of it before release here.


This game contains examples of:

  • Amnesiac Dissonance: When he first arrives, Porky has no memory of his past. Unfortunately, he gets better, and later fakes his amnesia to further his plans.
  • And I Must Scream: This is revealed to be Tenshi's punishment in Return for helping Porky. She had ALL her five senses sapped away, meaning she can't even move, feel, see, and hear, and she's been like that for 6 months. When she's finally able to scream, she promptly does so.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: After Reimu, Marisa, and Yuka are sent to Old Gensokyo, Sanae stars in her own chapter. She returns after Reimu collects the seventh melody.
    • In Return, every time you finish a chapter, the main character changes as well.
    • A really jarring one happens in Return: You'll have spent a lengthy part of the game playing as Ness, right up to freeing Reimu of her mind control, at which point she attacks you out of anger - and then you're suddenly controlling Reimu and fighting against Ness.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Reisen.
  • Art Shift: The PC-98 designs for Reimu, Marisa, Yuka, and other characters are used when they're in Old Gensokyo. Mima's design stays the same when she leaves to join the party, however, since she never appeared since the PC-98 games.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: In the first game, the Devil's Machine actually defeats Reimu and Marisa, and Porky gets away with everything he's done.
  • Big Damn Heroes: ...This happens a lot, let's just say that. It's subverted almost as often.
  • Boss Rush: There's one in the sequel that pits you against five opponents in a row actually six against Evil Eye Sigma, Yuugenmagan, Kikuri, Elis, Konngara and Mima, Yuka, and Marisa.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Sakuya early in the first game, due to the mask she's wearing. Reimu, Marisa, and Patchouli manage to destroy the mask and return her to normal.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Suwako somewhat, at least to Sanae. For one thing, if you say you don't understand what she's saying, she won't even bother to repeat herself and gets mad at you. Possibly a minor case of Took a Level in Jerkass too. Don't worry, she's undeniably still a good guy, and as a frog goddess, she's the one you have to go to save the game, just like in Mother 3.
    Suwako: "You watch too much anime."
    Suwako: "Did you understand all of that?"
    Sanae: "No."
    Suwako: "Since when were you this stupid?
  • Break the Haughty: After the party defeats Future Badass Cirno, she's reduced to staring at a wall and muttering about how useless she thinks she is.
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: Played with horribly near the climax of the first game, when everyone else shows up and mistakes the roboticised Reimu, Marisa and Tenshi for mere Mooks.
    • Ness and co. do arrive in Gensokyo... in Return, six months after the incident.
  • Call-Back: After much Touhou-related stuff and references, this is finally done for the MOTHER series proper with Ran and Chen discovering the Absolutely Safe Capsule in Return, wherein the screen fades to black afterwards... and then you hear a click.
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: This is how Mima joins the party.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Eight Melodies.
  • Clipped-Wing Angel: Tenshi gives Scarlet Weather Rhapsody of All Mankind a second try during her second fight... and the Rainbow Sword can't take a second round of it and snaps to pieces, knocking her out.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: In the vein of Metal Gear Solid no less, complete with its insane Press Z To Not Die.
  • Darker and Edgier: While the first game has a large number of lighthearted and comical moments in the middle of everything, Gensokyo's industrialization and the human/youkai conflict it escalates are always taken quite seriously. Return takes a pretty hard hit of Cerebus Syndrome as well, to the point where you have to squint for any humour that isn't in the battles.
  • Death Seeker: Tenshi in Return, after realizing the consequences of her actions six months ago and subsequent punishment, she finds no more reason to live anymore and is all too willing to end it all. She gets better with help from Ness, Paula, and some self-introspection.
  • Demoted to Extra: While the gameplay leans decidedly towards the MOTHER side of things, the characters from said series are for the most part pushed to the wayside - even Lucas and Claus are mere side characters. There's a reason for this.
    • Not so in Return though, where Ness enters the scene proper as a playable and important character.
  • The Dragon: In the first game, Tenshi works against the heroes more than almost anyone else, effortlessly beats down Remilia and Yukari, and unlike the other Touhou characters is never persuaded to switch sides until the very end of the game, after Porky turns her into a robot to cover his escape.
  • Dueling Player Characters: In Return, the last part of chapter 6, Ness' party ends up fighting previous teams that you controlled before. They're actually one of the hardest battles you'll face.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Throughout both games, Reimu and Ness end up fighting pretty much every little and big name in Gensokyo in order to make things right again.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: In the first game after fighting Ness, which happens before entering the final dungeon. Reimu gets a very large boost in all of her stats and learns PK Dream Omega. And before that, Marisa learned PK Starstorm Alpha and Omega while fighting Mima.
  • Fake-Out Fade-Out: Both times against Tenshi's final attack. The first time has Ridley's battle music, the second time has Bhava Agra As Seen Through A Child's Mind start back up at full force.
  • Fantastic Racism: One of the conflicts in Return, found near the end of Chapter 1. Porky was just the nudge needed for the humans and youkai to realize just how much they disliked each other.
  • Friendship Moment: Several between Marisa and Porky in the first game, until his Face–Heel Turn.
  • Final Boss: All of Gensokyo in the first game, Yukari in the second.
  • Future Badass: A few characters become this after the party returns from Old Gensokyo.
  • Glass Cannon: Marisa in the first game, having the second-highest speed and IQ, along with two immensely potent spells, but with the lowest Defense and HP.
    • Koishi in Return; offensively strong, but defensively weak.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Several, always filling a 'fifth' slot. In the first game, these include Nitori, Sanae and Tenshi.
    • In Return, Shou, Kasen, and Elis.
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: Source of a fairly big Mood Whiplash in Return. En route to your next destination you happen upon Sanae and a very transparent Kanako. They explain that the incidents in the previous game caused a great many humans to no longer believe in or care about gods, so Kanako's physical being is vanishing from the world. And then when you return to that area later, neither Kanako nor Sanae are present.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: Are the humans justified in liberating themselves from the youkai they had feared for so long by merging Gensokyo with the Outside World? Or is it the youkai who are justified in keeping the humans under their thumb if it means preserving Gensokyo?
  • Heel–Face Turn: Eirin, Kaguya, and Kanako.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Reimu and Marisa refuse to fight all of Gensokyo, mostly ignoring the player's input.
    • Happens again in Return when Reimu just breaks under the gravity of trying to protect Gensokyo but also wanting to see the outside world, willingly letting Yukari make the choice for her.
    • Yukari herself after her final defeat. She spends most of the epilogue in a funk, thinking she's ultimately failed to save Gensokyo, and is baffled that Reimu's own plan to save it worked.
  • Heroic Mime: You'd expect Ness to be this instead of Reimu, but it's surprisingly the other way around in the first game. This is corrected in Return.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Several, but the worst comes right at the end, against all of Gensokyo.
  • Homage: Sanae's side of the story is a loving tribute to Metroid and Metal Gear Solid.
  • Important Haircut: After gaining her resolve, Tenshi promptly cuts her hair short.
  • Karma Houdini: Unfortunately, Touhou Mother is set before MOTHER 3, meaning that Porky gets to escape justice. Considering the Cold-Blooded Torture she engaged in, Eirin is also Easily Forgiven.
    • In a surprising twist, Return reveals that MOTHER 3 (in this continuity anyway) chronologically precedes the MOTHER series and thus this duology, made apparent by the Absolutely Safe Capsule making an appearance and Porky returning near the end where he is fought and defeated for real.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: In Return, after Reimu throws off Yukari's helmet, the latter pretty much just leaves the scene rather than force it back on.
  • Last Villain Stand: In Return, when Yukari learns of Reimu's plan to allow youkai into the human world, she is mortified because under normal circumstances this would mean destroying the Hakurei Barrier, and by extension, Gensokyo. By the time the party confronts her, she's the only person in Gensokyo left that has no faith in Reimu finding a way to save everyone, and adamantly refuses to listen to reason unless they can defeat her.
  • Let's Play: Naka Teleeli has a blind run of the first game beginning here, where he points out many of the Shout Outs and references. Notably includes character 'cheat sheets' to help anyone unfamiliar with the Touhou series, and a quick summary of the events of the MOTHER series as an optional starting point.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Mima hits almost as hard as Yuka, is faster than Marisa and has some of the most powerful offensive and healing spells right from the beginning.
    • Reimu in the last dungeon of the first game is this. All her stats have skyrocketed. She can basically defeat all the mooks in one hit and tank their attacks. Also she has PK Dream Omega.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: Bhava-Agra As Seen Through a Child's Mind. It plays when Tenshi prepares Scarlet Weather Rhapsody of All Mankind for the second time. And then, her Rainbow Sword breaks. Maybe you get to hear it for 15 seconds tops.
  • Medium Awareness: Marisa likes to make references to game mechanics, particularly the four-person party aspect.
  • Mighty Glacier: Yuka fills this role, having very high strength, but a Speed stat of 1; everyone else will act before she does.
  • Mood Whiplash: All over the place. The game is so full of these that it's very easy to be laughing or enjoying a Crowning Moment of Awesome at one moment then bawling like a baby the next.
  • More Than Mind Control: In Return, it's assumed that Yukari put a mind control helmet on Reimu. It turns out that Reimu put it on herself, after Yukari told her what it did, because she was so distraught by everything that was happening and didn't want to think anymore. Yeesh...
  • Mundane Solution: The fix for the human/youkai conflict and the potential destruction of Gensokyo? Simply making a permanent bridge to the outside world to allow Gensokyo's residents to come and go as they please. Reimu mercilessly lampshades it in the epilogue, but doesn't deny that it wouldn't have worked if the party hadn't defeated/browbeat pretty much everyone in Gensokyo beforehand, showing them that the humans' and youkais' mutual hate of each other ended up causing nothing but destruction.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Platonic version (though it's admittedly muddled with all the Ship Tease that gets thrown around). Marisa wants to be the one to save Reimu so badly that she's willing to kill Ness just so he can't.
  • Mushroom Samba: Mimicking Tanetane Island, of course.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: JoJo's Bizarre Adventure-related items are presented with much more dramatic fanfare than the normal items. How much? Finding Remilia's full JoJo collection causes the earthquake in the Scarlet Mansion.
  • My Human Village, Right Or Wrong: Poor Keine...
  • Mythology Gag: Because of Phantasmagoria of Flower View, Yuka's speed never naturally increases.
  • Not So Different: Reimu notes in Return's ending that humans typically take a heavy-handed approach to solving problems, destroying whatever gets in their way - just like youkai and Gensokyo's population as a whole. This ends up being important, as this big similarity allows youkai to exist in the human world.
  • Oh, Crap!: Return is quite possibly the only time you will ever see Yukari having this reaction. And it is glorious.
  • One-Hit Wonder: Sanae, for a little while, anyway.
  • Reality Ensues: Porky's Absolutely Safe Capsule has been around for eons by the time Return's story starts, and like any technology that goes unmaintained, time eventually takes its toll on it. When Ran and Chen find it, they're able to open it with little effort.
  • Recurring Traveler: S, appearing as a white Kirby, more or less.
  • Recurring Boss: Cirno is the most fought boss of the game, being faced a total of four times, and "a", a slime who multiplies his stats by some number each time you fight him. Also Tenshi and Reisen, as New Reisen and Miracle Reisen.
    • Marisa is fought twice in one of the later chapters in Return.
    • Reimu and Yuka are also faced three times in Return.
  • Rogue Protagonist: In Return. While Reimu doesn't qualify due to More Than Mind Control, Marisa is a different story - she is absolutely livid at Ness, whom she holds responsible for her friend's current state.
  • Running Gag: Yuka and her (lack of) speed.
  • Ship Tease: Possibly between Reimu and Ness.
  • Shipper on Deck: Mima seems to ship Marisa/anyone.
    • Ness' mother ships Ness with every girl visiting his house.
  • Shout-Out: So many that it's hard to know where to begin...
  • Silent Protagonist: Reimu has no written lines; Marisa and her other companions do most of the talking. Until the The Stinger at least.
    • Ness takes up the role instead in Return. It's ironic given that he has spoken lines in the first game, despite being a Silent Protagonist himself in EarthBound.
  • Squishy Wizard: What else would you expect of Marisa?
    • Paula is this in Return.
  • Stable Time Loop: The game's author seems to have gone with the "MOTHER 3 precedes EarthBound chronologically" route, so all of the characters are living in the world Lucas rebuilt using the Dragon in MOTHER 3 - which Porky was born in. Loose knowledge of those two games is all you need to know what happens next...
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Sanae absolutely hates Tenshi, but they don't have any choice but to work together if they want to save Gensokyo.
  • Too Awesome to Use: PK Dream Omega in the first game; it always deals 9999 damage to everything. Problem? It costs 500 PP, and the max PP is 999.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: The humans who want to rebel against the youkai's rule aren't portrayed in a positive light. After all, they are led by Porky and if they get what they want, Gensokyo will vanish as the consequence.
  • Time Skip: Return is set six months after the end of the first game. Things aren't going well.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In the first game, Cirno goes from Goldfish Poop Gang to one of the more difficult boss battles sometime while the party is stuck in Old Gensokyo.
  • The Unfought: Porky and Eirin.
  • Unwilling Roboticisation: Happens to Sanae and poor Reisen in the first game, with the latter sticking better than the former.
  • Technology Is Evil: One of the major conflicts is the forced modernization of Gensokyo.
  • The Quisling: When stuff starts going to hell in Gensokyo, Kanako, Tenshi, Eirin and Kaguya align themselves with Porky and the Pigmasks.
  • Victory Is Boring: In the climax of the first game, Porky finds that he's just too bored to kill off Reimu and Marisa after they're defeated by the Devil's Machine, and instead roboticizes them as a final "screw you" to Gensokyo before leaving.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: In the first game, Remilia tries to take over the human village to drive Porky out of Gensokyo. By bringing an army of undead there and killing everyone in it.
    • Return has Yukari bring some of the most powerful youkai in Gensokyo together and forcefully takes over, under the impression that should humans get any sort of power, they will always abuse it.
  • Worthy Opponent: "a" considers you this by the end, fully healing you before the fight and giving you a strong weapon upon defeat.
  • Wham Shot: In Return, after Reimu's Heroic B.S.O.D. moment. The next time we see her, she has become something similar to the Masked Man.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Rinbokusan is stated to be on board Porky's ship. She never actually shows up.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Marisa does most of the calling-out.
  • You Cannot Grasp the True Form: Unreasonable Guy... did something!

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