I've finally reached the Hakurei Shrine.
It doesn't look like a shrine at all. But if this is where the Grand Masters are, then I guess this is where I need to be.
Buy 50 Full Restores, 50 Max Potions, and 20 Phoenix Down. I have plenty of funds in reserve in the form of nuggets, vitamins, etc, and money is pretty easy to get in this hack anyway so I think this is well spent.
I also decide to use some SP Ups. Since dungeons in this game aren't worth exploring in the least, I don't have many Ether or Elixir equivalents. But I do have plenty of SP Ups. So I decide to use those.
Think that's about the last of the preparations to be done. So let's get this thing started.
The plot behind the puppets in this game is that Alice created them. There's another Touhoumon game attempting to base itself in Gensokyo that uses this backstory. Granted, this makes more sense than the plot of the one Touhoumon game to actually be based in Gensokyo, appropriately called Touhoumon Gensokyo (Japanese only, though there is an english hack based on it) In Touhoumon Gensokyo, the plot is that Patchouli created the puppets to guard her library. I get that it's supposed to tie into another fangame, Patchcon, but way to have Alice completely upstaged...
Anyway, as for the battle itself... wow. Did not expect DLwSakuya to outspeed Thief. Didn't expect Thief to survive a Cross Chop either. Sakuya wasn't surviving the Flamethrower, though.
Then Mannosuke hits the field.
I was hoping for Green to do her usual thing against this guy, but the power of his Earthquake is completely off the charts! I end up falling back on the alternate strategy of "get him to use Earthquake a lot, THEN tank".
Incidentally, while utilizing said strategy, I decide to send Korea out and use an EX Guardian to satisfy my curiosity. Mannosuke is a Fighting/Ground puppet with 255 base attack. Korea manages to take the hit after an EX Guardian. Go Korea!
Mannosuke also knows Aqua Blast and Ice Blast for some strange reason. Seriously, his special attack is non-existant.
After depleting Mannosuke of his PP, it was a simple matter of boosting up Green and stomping him and LwAlice into dust. As powerful as Last Word puppets are, facing them this late into the game is kinda like if Lorelei had a Smoochum instead of a Jynx. DLwUtsuho manages to beat Green, though, due to my lack of special defense boosters, so Neko-Chen finishes the fight.
Sanae feels a bit out of place here, but maybe that's just me. Beating her now.
The biggest problem with Sanae was her H-Rumia. I think that beast scared me more than any other puppet in this hack. Incredible stats, Dark/Ghost typing gives her lots of immunities and only one weakness, and Levitate for an added immunity. My usual "Green Boost and Rampage" strategy was completely failing here. But then I thought of something.
Why not deplete Kongala of her Shadow Ball and Earthquake PP, leaving her unable to harm DyZenGar and thus let DyZenGar boost up and sweep Sanae's team?
And so, that's what I did. Once DyZenGar was boosted up she basically cut through Sanae's team like a hot knife through butter.
It's the Hakurei Shrine. We were going to face her eventually. Though you'd think she'd be last.
Layla goes down easy to DyZenGar. DLwRemilia was supposed to go down easily to DyZenGar after Korea takes a fall to let DyZenGar switch in without being hit by Intimidate, but Korea manages to beat Remilia somehow.
Green... KINDA takes out DLwReimu. There's a long stall battle, Green eventually goes down to a crit, Reimu takes out Neko-Chen but then falls to the curse.
Sent out Ghost and Orange against B-Mystia to buy time for me to revive Neko-Chen and Green. Have Green hit Mystia with a Voodoo and finish her off with a combination of curse and Master Spark. I have Ghost on my team but Green is doing all the cursing here...
Kikuri was another pain. Revive Green so she can Curse this one too and then stall it out. After Kikuri, Green manages a draw against a DLwMarisa thanks to a lucky special attack drop from Aura Beam.
I think Marisa and Reimu should have switched places, personally, but that's just me.
And, gee, I keep saying H-Rumia is a pain, but I keep sweeping past her don't I? Still can't believe how lucky I got with those Rock Slides. EX Sniper ensured they won't miss but the flinches were just luck.
The strategy for this battle was simple. DLwReisen was the lead and 3/4 of her attacks lower her special attack with each use. Easy set-up bait for Korea. Boost Korea up and sweep Marisa's team into oblivion.
The Grand Masters themselves didn't have any answers for me, but I now face the Ultimatum, who is apparently a step above them. I had no idea there even was an Ultimatum.
This woman seems familiar to me, yet I've never seen her before in my life...
I like how Yukari said I "took it easy". Yeah, it has been fairly easy. Not really a fan of most memes, though, and this is one of them. I just find Yukkuris really weird looking. Also, apparently they're supposed to be steamed meat buns. I can't take it easy when it's coming from a meat bun with a face...
Anyway, back on topic. There's an Ultimatum/Gap Master to beat.
It was a bit of a pain to have to deal with B-Mystia right from the start. Green eventually manages to wear it down with Voodoo and takes out the S-Youmu that follows with Voodoo and Aura Beam. Was only really relying on the Voodoo part but, hey, bonus.
H-Sakuya I knew Thief could handle, so I let her handle that instead of Green.
LwYukari makes sure I regret that strategy by forcing me to bring her back out. I suppose I could have had DyZenGar take a shot at her, but I really wanted to play it safe for this particular battle.
DLwMarisa is an easy win for Neko-Chen. S-Flandre... apparently not so much. Green ends up sacrificed both to put a Curse on her and to use a Phoenix Down on Neko-Chen, who finishes the battle.
After battling her, Yukari... well... actually, I think it's plot time.
Yukari was a tough opponent, but all the while I was battling her I couldn't help but feel as though something was off. Something just didn't make sense here.
After the battle ended, I heard the sound of someone clapping slowly. Then HE stepped out of the shadows.
"Well done, Renko. But you've reached the end of the line," he said as he approached. Yukari immediately stepped aside and backed away, as if she was somehow the lesser individual here. She was a fierce opponent. I find it hard to believe that, of all people, Link somehow holds power over her...
"Did you enjoy your trip through Gensokyo?" he asks me with a smug grin. "Of course, it's not the real Gensokyo. I've done some remodeling, you see, using my own world as inspiration..."
"So you're from the same world as me..." I had realized some time ago that the Gensokyo I was witnessing and the Gensokyo my friend had described to me were not at all the same. The Gensokyo I was travelling through more closely resembled the Kanto region of Japan.
"You figured that out pretty quickly," he says to me. "Technically speaking, I'm from the future of your world. In my time I discovered the existance of a dark, twisted world that existed opposite our own. Using power I obtained there, I decided to create my own world to test this new power. And, wouldn't you know it?" A grin spread across his face. "There already existed a world both part of our own yet cut off from it as well. I was able to use that world as a testbed for my new powers. This entire world is merely my personal plaything."
The dark world. Weren't Hina and Karen trying to access that?
Of course, now I realize the mistake I made. This world really was rotten. The way they acted was likely just a product of that. But all this time I assumed they were the villains, while the real villain kept hidden.
"No doubt you've now realized the truth, that Team Rocket was never your enemy," Link said to me. "In fact, I had intended to deal with them myself when you suddenly emerged into this world." I feel his eyes burning through me now with a seering hatred. "It seems something beckoned you here, Renko. I let you wander around freely, knowing you would assume Team Rocket to be the enemy and defeat them for me, but now you have outlived your usefulness."
Link reaches for a Touhou Orb.
"But after battling against the Grand Masters, and even Yukari, your puppets, your sole defense in this world, are running out of steam. Now I, Link, shall be your final opponent. With my own puppets imbued with the power of the dark world themselves you stand no chance of victory, Renko!"
I ignore what he's saying and draw a Touhou Orb as well.
I've come too far to lose now!
(Actual plot in the video)
Yeah. Seriously. Link is the final boss, upstaging Yukari. Link is the final boss, upstaging Yukari. Yeah, this hack/bad fanfic doesn't kill off Yukari, but it does place its own OC in a higher spot than her. Yukari is literally just the placeholder for Link as the Ultimatum because... because...
Actually, I don't have the foggiest idea why this guy is the real Ultimatum OR why Yukari would be filling in for him. The implication seems to be that he somehow saved Gensokyo in the past. From what, exactly? What can Link do that one of the other Touhou characters can't? We literally know NOTHING about this guy but we're expected to believe he's somehow greater than Yukari.
Screw trying to figure this out. Beatdown time.
Neko-Chen beats his lead, DLwUtsuho, easily enough with Rock Slide. DLwMarisa goes down just as easily with Earthquake. Two puppets down and we've just gotten started.
DLwReisen I struggle on for a bit. For a while it seems like I just keep coming short of taking her down. Even a boosted Neko-Chen didn't do the trick. The leftovers were NOT helping. Green manages to stall while I use a few Phoenix Downs and ends her round against Reisen with Voodoo. This weakens her enough for DyZenGar to finish.
I think a LwTenshi followed but it just kinda got trampled underfoot.
Ghost was supposed to be a sacrifice so DyZenGar can get a free switch-in without the attack drop, but I guess DLwRemilia actually had no attacks that could hurt it. Which is strange because I'm sure she had Rock Slide...
Thanks to S-Flandre switching into a Sky Attack from Ghost, Neko-Chen manages to make short work of the rest of Link's puppets. Remilia is too weak to put up a fight, even after the Intimidate, and S-Flandre eats an Earthquake.
Wow. It's finally done. This hack is really and truly over and done with.
Link stares in a stunned silence as his last puppet, a Dark Last Word Remilia, falls in battle. He thought my puppets were losing steam, but they gave this battle their all and are still ready for more.
Which is probably a good thing since he's now drawing his sword.
"This isn't the end! You may have surpassed my puppets, BUT YOU HAVE NOT SURPASSED ME!"
Link lunges for me and I'm only barely able to get out of the way. I fumble for a Touhou Orb and manage to release DyZenGar. The two clash blades as Link comes around for another attack. The sound of metal striking metal rings out again and again and it soon becomes clear that Link himself is no ordinary man. Likely empowered by whatever power it is he found in the dark world. DyZenGar already looks like she's starting to sweat, barely able to keep up with his movements.
"Do you really think a mere puppet can defeat me!?" Link growls. With one powerful slash he manages to knock her sword aside. I can see darkness billowing from the blade now as he raises it over his head, preparing to finish DyZenGar. "I'm more powerful than ANY puppet!"
Fortunately, while he was locked in combat with DyZenGar, I was able to get the rest of my puppets out. Link staggers as Green sets a curse on him, glaring at him from afar with her glowing green eyes, while Korea restrains him and pulls him away from DyZenGar with her oni-like might. He manages to throw her off, only for a small cat to suddenly punch him and knock him into the wall. The room shudders with the impact. Surprisingly, he's still able to get up, but now all my puppets save for Ghost - who fell in combat and now rests in its orb - surround him.
"You're only delaying the inevitable..." Link growls bitterly, drawing his sword again.
As I watch this, I notice Yukari beckoning me toward a room in the back. For some reason I feel as though I can trust her and decide to follow. She leads me into a long room with a reflective floor. A strange computer sat at the far end.
"Renko, do you care about your puppets?"
"Of course. They've been my only friends throughout all this..."
"That bond that you share with your puppets is what gives them the strength to overcome the power of the dark world," Yukari explained to me. "Because your puppets have been able to harm him, Link's hold on me has been weakened. With my power, I can sever the link between the dark world and our own. Once I have done so, it will be as if this world never existed."
"Then why not do it now?"
"There will be nothing to stop Link from simply retaking that power," Yukari explained, then gestured toward the computer. "Renko, register yourself and your puppets in that computer. The bond you share with your puppets will stand as a barrier against the dark world for all time."
The unmistakable sound of a Master Spark being fired sounded out from the room behind us.
"Hurry! There isn't much time!"
I make a mad dash for the computer and quickly begin registering my puppets.
I ended up recording this but didn't think to grab a simple screenshot. So here's a brief video of my Hall of Fame entry.
Phew. Think next time I'll play something that doesn't suck. Or require me to grind so much...