Pokemon. Touhou. When one peels back the layers, the two series have a surprising number of similarities. Both have a rather extensive cast of characters. Fans of both tend to fawn over their favorites. Both feature monsters (youkai, in Touhou's case) that have turned beating each other up into a competitive sport, which is driven by the humans in both cases. In fact, if pokemon themselves all looked like girls wearing fancy clothing, the two series would be nearly identical. All you'd really be missing is a backstory for the pokemon world that sets it in a place sealed off from the real world. That, and one series is an RPG, and the other a bullet hell shooter. And then someone said, "Let there be a crossover!" Thus, Touhoumon was born.
Given the rather large number of fangames that Touhou tends to generate, at least in Japan, this combination was pretty much inevitable. Especially considering the above. I, for one, originally got into the series through Touhoumon. At first it was almost Scarlet Weather Rhapsody that finally introduced me to the series after a friend shoved the game down my throat. I was never much for fighting games but found I kinda liked the more projectile-focused SWR. But when I switched computers I lost the files and never really bothered to go looking for them. Thus I pretty much forgot about Touhou for a while.
It was in the summer of 2010 when I finally got into the series after stumbling across a Let's Play of Touhoumon Aqua+Yui on the Giant in the Playground forums. At the time I was mostly interested in it because it was so different from most Pokemon games. All the 'mons were more balanced out statwise and a large number of them had alternate final evolutions, kinda like Eevee. Between this and the LP itself, I was hooked and eventually decided to try out the actual shooting games themselves. Which I also enjoy.
But enough of that backstory. You want to hear about what Touhoumon Insane is, right? Well, Touhoumon Insane is a version of the Fire Red Touhoumon hack that's inspired by the Japanese Touhoumon Lunatic version. In my opinion, it doesn't even come close to matching the Lunatic version as far as being a quality pokemon hack goes, but I'll talk more on that later. Incidentally, some of my commentary will be equally applicable to that as well I suppose.
What Insane and Lunatic both attempt to do should be rather evident just from the names. Here's a hint: What's the highest difficulty in the actual Touhou games? That's right, Lunatic! I think that's about all that needs to be said there, however, as instead of explaining further I think a look at the readme file for Touhoumon Insane would be far more prudent.
Starting with the How To Play section, it first tells us "Real Time Clock On (IT'S A MUST)" and "Save Type : Automatic, Flash 128k" Those are kinda important. You can't save your game otherwise. But then it says "Relaxed", "Knowing youre going to live Hell", "Be Insane", which just sounds silly. Was that part written by a 13-year-old? I get it, it's going to be a hard game. But the "How To Play" section should really be kept instructional...
Moving on, we have the features. Day/night system, though I can't for the life of me imagine what use it has in Touhoumon. 2 regions, Kanto... sorry, Gensokyo. It just looks suspiciously like Kanto and in no way resembles Gensokyo. The other region is a "Dark World". Sounds dark. Next it says there is 386 touhous to catch and train. I can't confirm or deny this without trying to catch them all, though. "Competitive Area for Online Battling"? Really? This is a ROM hack. No one is going to go out of their way to battle each other with it. Even if they did, just how popular did the creator expect this hack to be? No one, to my knowledge, really flocks to this type of game. I'll have more on that "competitive" thing in a bit though. Finally, "Improvement of status for some puppets". Well, can't argue with that. Just check out the next section.
The next section of this readme is, of all things, tiers! If you've looked into the pokemon competitive battling community at all, then you know what NeverUsed, UnderUsed, OverUsed, and Ubers are. Basically, OverUsed pokemon form the standard metagame and is decided by, as the name would suggest, which pokemon are used the most. Any pokemon that is overpowering or would centralize the metagame to too great a degree, however, is shipped off to ubers. This tier isn't even remotely balanced as it's basically just a ban tier. UnderUsed is the next tier down from OverUsed. In between the two is Borderline, pokemon that are too powerful for UnderUsed but not powerful enough for people to try using them much in OverUsed. NeverUsed, meanwhile, is basically the bottom of the barrel with no ban tier.
The guy who wrote this, however, clearly has no idea what these tiers mean as he uses the terms but designates the tiers differently. NeverUsed is for chibis and any touhoumon with a stat total of 320 or less. UnderUsed, the next tier, is for 321 - 490 BST. Standard is 491-600, OverUsed is 601 - 750, and Uber is 800+. Notice anything... unusual about those numbers? If not, then let me fill you in.
Arceus, the most powerful Pokemon in the series at the moment, has a BST (base stat total) of 720. The next highest are powerful legendaries like Mewtwo or Kyogre at 680 or 670 BST. Legendary pokemon or pseudo legendaries like Dragonite or Metagross have BST's of 600. Trio-legendaries have BST's of 580. Legendary pokemon in this game, however, have BST's in the range of 700 - 800. Make note here, that means the most powerful Touhoumon you can get would have a BST of 800. Assuming you use legendaries. Also take into consideration that the creator of this hack seemed to be expecting to create a balanced metagame under these circumstances...
There's more tiers after Uber, however. First is the God tier, where Touhoumon with stat ranges 850 to 1200 lie. These are AI-only. Then there's the Dark Being tier, featuring puppets with power range from 1250 up to 1530. That's over twice as high as Arceus's BST, and we're expected to go up against those things. Yeah. I'll just let those BST's sink in.
After that, the readme just goes on to explain Advent, Final, and LastWord forms. Final and Advent are alternate evolution paths, basically, and LastWord is the last evolution attainable for most touhoumon lines achieved by using a Moon Stone on the EX forms. All of this is pretty irrelevant, though. Why? Because I intend to see just how far into this mess I can get with just EX puppets.
But now that the rather lengthy introduction is over, I think it's time I got going on this.
Let's play Drakuaza's Touhoumon Insane Version!