We all picked up and moved to a mountain in the east. Two years of honestly boring daily life passed us by.
One day, one of us found a little hole in a peach tree.
Yes, that was the day we were lost in this paradise.
And right away, I stopped being human."
—Dolls In Pseudo Paradise opening words.
Gensokyo is host to over a hundred assorted Cute Monster Girls who can potentially toss as many bullets at you. However, even though being surrounded by such a massive amount of girls might seem like something fun at first, that doesn't mean Gensokyo is a hospitable place of marzipan and kittens. The aforementioned amounts of bullets thrown at you, the possibility of death, the potential of some of these monster girls, and the very real possibility that Yukari just might pop in one day and spirit you away are just some of the many horrors that await you in the rural world that is Gensokyo...
Unmarked spoilers below.
- The Dolls in Pseudo Paradise story. In resume, these are short stories about eight innocent people that are spirited away to Gensokyo and they start dying Cruel And Unusual Deaths. The first (the most curious), the third (the youngest), and the eighth (the earliest to rise) are Off with His Head!, the second (the most beautiful) is Killed Offscreen, the fifth (the wisest) is Back Stabbed, the sixth (the most mature) is poisoned, the seventh (the wariest) is nailed to a tree. And it is implied that one of them is the youkai responsible without even realizing it until the end (revealed to be the fourth, the most cowardly and the only girl of the group), who then ends up accepting her fate and is Driven to Suicide by hanging herself twice (the first attempt failing, the second attempt being successful).
- Opening up Story of Eastern Wonderland's "OP.EXE" file in an emulator and turning on the MIDI option in the title screen with a MIDI output set up will greet you with a disturbing cacophony straight from Hell.
- Yuuka Kazami. It gets worse when you realize that the description "youkai moe~" is a pun on Yuuka being a flower youkai ("moe~" means "budding")... her real personality is evident from her route in Phantasmagoria Of Flower View, and though she smiles very pleasantly, her conversations often carry some unsettling subtext.
- One of Yuuka's lines in her scenario in Mystic Square is "Genocide is just another game." Whether she is actually serious or merely trolling is up to debate and even if she's only joking, it still says something about her warped sense of humor.
- In Lotus Land Story, Yuuka also states to Reimu that "In a few hours, you'll become a mist of atoms. ♥"; she does admit she won't, but does it by saying "I thought it'd be neat if that actually happened. ♥". We repeat; Yuuka thinks someone being reduced to atoms is 'neat'.
- In her profile in Perfect Memento in Strict Sense, Yuuka's "Threat Level" is given as "Extremely High" and her "Human Friendship Level" is simply described as "Worst"... To put those ratings into perspective, she shares Flandre Scarlet's "Threat Level" and is the only youkai in the compendium in the "Worst" category of the "Human Friendship Levels"... the genocidally insane doll Medicine Melancholy a little further down this page? Yeah, her "Human Friendship Level" is "Poor"... Never interact with Yuuka Kazami. Ever.
- The inside of Yukari's gaps contain countless unblinking eyes and arms trying to claw their way out.
- Yuyuko's powers. She can invoke death, which is freaky enough, but then there's the fact that she was Driven to Suicide because of those same powers. That's why she's a ghost in-game; she killed herself with (and also because of) her own powers.
- It's said that the reason Reisen's eyes appear red is because the mind of the person observing them is receding, fast.
- Medicine Melancholy. Sure, she's just a sentient doll, but her genocidal ramblings, her thoughts of pure hatred against humans, and how she has no qualms with testing the effects of her dangerous poison on them or killing whoever steps into her territory drive her straight into this category.
- The Scarlet Devil Mansion. According to game manuals, it's much Bigger on the Inside, monochrome, and very dark. It would be very easy for someone to get lost. Also, if you fell down a hole (which exist in there, according to manuals), no one would hear you, and you would most likely be stuck there until you died of starvation or thirst. Or until Flandre found you, which is probably worse.
- Yukari herself. She's so otherworldly that almost every other character finds her mere presence unsettling.
- And despite likely being one of the people who put together the spellcard rules, like Reimu below, she is absolutely fine with tossing them out the window when someone is stupid enough to smash her Berserk Button and screw with the Hakurei Barrier. Her conversation with Iku in Scarlet Weather Rhapsody can be summed up in a single line of dialogue: upon being asked why she wants to see Tenshi, Yukari bluntly states, "I plan to make her deceased." Unambiguously premeditated murder. Yukari is a whimsical person who generally doesn't care about incidents and prefers to nap, drink, and pester those she likes, but in the extremely rare instance where something has successfully angered her, she turns cold-blooded serious quick. Thankfully she changes her mind and just beats Tenshi senseless in a proper (if close-combat) spellcard duel, instead.
- In chapter 14 of Wild and Horned Hermit we get an introduction closeup shot of a Hobgoblin. While it isn't creepy on its own, it will certainly catch many readers off-guard.
Yukari: "Gensokyo's getting enough food to fill the stomachs of all its youkai from somewhere."
- Another example from the same chapter. Yukari is a youkai, but one that is dedicated to maintaining the balance between humans and youkai in Gensokyo. Since humans are vastly outmatched and outnumbered, she's more likely to side with us, right? Wrong. Yukari admits to Kasen that she only keeps an eye on humans and manipulates events in the their favour because it makes them easier to corral and hunt. And this chapter deals specifically with Yukari sending her youkai spies to the Outside world for a short while...
- Enenra from Forbidden Scrollery. A kind of Super Smoke youkai with huge Glowing Eyes of Doom that haunts various houses, and if it isn't noticed by the house residents, then the house will really burn down. And if it fails to burn down a house, it then jumps on to the next closest victim, making it hard to corner. Just the way the thing is presented make it even creepier.
- In chapter 25 of Forbidden Scrollery, we see firsthand that, despite being friendly with a number of them, Reimu is not above murdering Youkai. A resident of the human village sets up an elaborate plan in order to posthumously turn into a Youkai. The man-turned-youkai explains to Reimu that he's going to leave the village and live a peaceful life far away, so Reimu doesn't have to needlessly kill him... And then Reimu states that she "doesn't particularily mind needless killing", whereupon she cleaves his skull in two. He tries to call Reimu out on harboring Youkai at her shrine, but she casually brushes it off and simply states that a human villager becoming a Youkai is "the greatest sin there is." Even without taking the questionable morality of Reimu's justification into account, the chapter ends with an ominous note that preventing villagers from turning into Youkai, and killing them if they do, is the reason why Reimu keeps a close eye on certain humans... like Kosuzu, who, it's been repeatedly stated, is in the danger zone of becoming a Youkai herself.
- The circumstances behind the villager's youkai transformation are pretty unnerving in and of itself. He killed himself and used Kosuzu's fascination with his annotations to pull his spirit from the Netherworld, which would then be turned into a youkai. Peaceful intentions or no, there's no denying that this villager defied the very natural order of Gensokyo.
- In Chapter 49, Mamizou admits freely that she's a youkai in a flashback. Then she kindly asks to borrow the Night Parade scroll. A visibly sweating Kosuzu mentions that it's actually hers, not the library's, and that she doesn't like to lend out her youma books. Mamizou breaks out of the "kindly" persona and shows just a teensy bit of just how ruthless and inhuman she truly is, before leaving without the scroll. Later (earlier in the manga), Kosuzu, already rattled by this, meets someone by the road, who graciously offers to talk to her about the event and give some explanations. It's Yukari.Mamizou: "... Let me say it just to be clear. I'm a youkai, and youkai want youma books only makes sense, right? Now, it'd be simple enough to kill you and take them if I wanted to, but I don't work that way. Since we're in human village, I've been acting human in appearance. You don't know anything about my nature as a youkai."
- Chapter 50, something has happened to Kosuzu again; however, this time, the cause of it is the Night Parade scroll itself, which makes her believe that Reimu and Marisa themselves are villains out to suppress humanity for the sake of gaining more power and control for themselves. It gets so bad that at the end of the chapter, she uses the Night Parade scroll herself to potentially summon an extremely powerful Youkai, with the final page being Marisa futilely trying to stop her as a spiral of darkness surrounds them.
- Chapter 51, we finally learn the species of the Youkai sealed in the Night Parade scroll. It is an Oni. Specifically, one that feeds on lesser Youkai. And Yukari manipulated events so that Kosuzu would summon it. This makes Reimu exclaim to Yukari that she is going to exterminate her.
- The fate of Maribel Hearn between Trojan Green Asteroid and Neo-traditionalism of Japan. What could have happened to her that resulted in her being consigned to a mental asylum? Randolph Carter would love to have an extra-strong drink or two with her.
- Rumia. One of the few youkai that are actually known to eat humans. And since she doesn't have any ability that allows swift and painless kills, her prey are most likely eaten alive, or butchered in a horrible and bloody way.
- Part of the plot of Double Dealing Character is that the protagonists' signature weapons (Reimu's gohei, Marisa's Mini-Hakkero, Sakuya's knives) have been corrupted. If you choose to keep your character's weapon, she gradually becomes a twisted, Ax-Crazy version of herself.Kagerou: I'm scared... Humans are scary!
Sakuya: What am I trying to accomplish by bullying around youkai like this?
Marisa: I don't have to go that far...
- Even though she feels her weapon's corruption, Sakuya is still compelled by it to cut things up, including her master and other youkai. Not that Remilia is particularly bothered by it; in fact, she's happy to see that her maid has gotten "bolder."
- Marisa is also very disturbed by realizing her newfound fascination with her Hakkero, and ponders burning Kagerou:
- Surprisingly enough, Reimu is the only one who remains largely unaffected by her weapon; she knows that it's different than usual, but aside from a few changes to dialogue, she isn't any more bloodthirsty than usual.
- Urban Legend in Limbo provides a little with the introduction of the new character. First everything is quiet, and then all of a sudden, a huge ball of darkness starts forming and eventually showing her. However, she is covered in shadows and it is impossible to make out anything other than her silhouette. All while radiating an aura of darkness plus a hellish static noise one would never expect to hear in a Touhou game.
- At the end of the first demo, we can see Reimu attack the new character. At the end of the second demo, we can see... um... a little problem...
- The new Last Words, which are based on the occult and the outside world, are, for the most part, pretty awesome; however, there are a couple of unsettling ones. Koishi's looks like something straight out of a horror movie, with her creepily walking towards the opponent before slashing them with a knife. Kokoro's feature her being a bit creative with her masks. Mokou's features her completely burning up her body to fill the arena in fire. But the worst is arguably the new Final Boss, Sumireko, which features what looks like the people of the outside world's souls rising to the sky. Recently, Reisen's Last Word; a narrowed view, Reisen at a moderate distance with her back turned, before turning to reveal a rather manic smile and a glowing eye, then a sudden extreme close-up of said eye.
- One spoiled screenshot of the Hakurei Shrine shows a very unnerving detail. Namely a giant crack in the Hakurei Border revealing the outside world! It's also heavily implied that it is the work of Kasen who did this. What could be so threatening to cause one to need to create a crack in the Hakurei Barrier?
- As it turns out, the crack is due to the occult balls Sumireko has been seeding Gesokyo with, in a deliberate attempt to break a hole in the barrier so she can enter, not knowing how much of a huge problem this would create. In addition to this, the main characters' plan to get Sumireko to stop beating her up until she's too scared of Gensokyo to think of returning backfires horribly. Sumireko is so sure that she's going to actually die in Gensokyo that she decides to suicide bomb the place, sacrificing herself to activate the balls fully and completely destroy the Barrier, which would kill everyone involved. Gensokyo is not a toy.
- In Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom, we meet the true culprit behind the Occult Balls: Sagume Kishin. Her motive? She and the rest of the Lunarian society got chased out of their own home by Junko and her impurity-spreading fairies, and forced to take shelter in the Dream World. In order to remedy this, she decided to use her powers to create an Occult Ball that would materialize the Lunar Capital inside Gensokyo once its inhabitants spread the "Apollo Project Coverup Theory" urban legend and purify life and death from Gensokyo, so the Lunarians could live in Gensokyo instead. By preventing Sumireko from activating it, Reimu actually barely saved Gensokyo (and possibly, the entire Earth) from obliteration. Granted, Sagume didn't want to use it until she had no other choice, but it's still shudder-worthy. And she doesn't even get called out on it - instead, the heroines help her retake the Lunar Capital.Sagume's profile: The "Lunar Capital Transfer Plan" was to purify Gensokyo and build a new capital there. To 'purify' is to eliminate life and death. That is to say, they were going to annihilate all the living things on the Earth's surface.
- And according to ZUN, if the Lunarians had been serious about migrating to Gensokyo, then everyone would have just vanished before they even realized what was happening. Gensokyo wouldn't go out with a bang or even a whisper. It would just be... gone.
- And the reason why all this was triggered? All from a plan of Junko and Hectatia to get revenge on a Lunarian who is already sealed in a prison for a crime. And the whole thing is really a huge example Revenge by Proxy, since the Lunarian's late husband was the one who wronged them, not her. Talk about a vicious example of Evil Is Petty, and shows just how the mysterious Junko has become a being of pure hatred and resentment. And considering that the protagonists foiled her plans... Let's just hope that her resentment doesn't end up turning against Gensokyo.
- The later half of chapter 42 of Wild and Horned Hermit features Okina drinking with Reimu. While Reimu having a drink with the Final Boss of a game isn't anything new, the mood quickly turns ominous when Okina reveals that the creation of Aunn from one of the statues was because of Okina's powers, and that she can create entirely new Youkai and even muses a couple of times to Reimu herself that she could remake Gensokyo if she wanted to. While Okina half shoots down the idea, the whole meeting ends up being sobering, both literally and figuratively, to Reimu herself.
- In Antinomy of Common Flowers, we have Yukari's Last Word, which involves trapping the opponent and cleaving them in half with a Portal Cut, punctuated by even the music cutting short for a second.
- Hidden Star in Four Seasons introduces us to the crazed backup dancers Mai Tereida and Satono Nishida, servants to Okina. They were once ordinary human girls, but prolonged service to the goddess has been eroding their humanity and slowly transforming them into mindless extensions of Okina's own will. Talk about devotion.
- Violet Detector kicks off its climax with a really freaky twist: the Sumireko who's been Shoot-the-Bullet-ing her way through the Dream World (and drove off a strangely furious Doremy) is not in fact Sumireko Usami, it's her dream-soul, who was switched into Sumireko's body while she herself was left adrift in the Dream World. Doremy had sicked all the other characters' dream-souls on her to destroy her and give Sumireko back her body. And who did this to a human so close to the likes of Mokou, Mamizou, Kasen, and Reimu and Marisa, all people most would think twice about crossing? Okina Matara, that's who. And seemingly just For the Lulz, no less. Sumireko manages to kill her dream-soul and retake her body, but the fact that Okina was so flippant with a mostly-innocent human life - let alone a girl that calls many dangerous people her friend - is absolutely chilling, and follows the already bad precedent set in Wild and Horned Hermit. And it's implied little Sumi only had a chance because Okina revoked all the blessings she'd given the dream-soul, seemingly just so they could have a fair fight and not out of any deeper moral compunction.
- Chapter 47 of Wild and Horned Hermit features Reimu having her soul separated from her body and trapped in Hell. While there, she can do nothing but continually walk forward into an infinite void, while her body is unconscious back at the shrine. All of this is caused by what is implied to be Kasen's missing arm .
- Chapter 48 gets worse: now Reimu's body is missing and Kasen has journeyed to Hell, with her motives being extremely ambiguous - is she trying to help Reimu, or simply cover up the biggest risk to her personal secrets in recent memory, regardless of who needs to be silenced or how? And one has to wonder what's happening to the Great Hakurei Barrier with Reimu in her current state...
- Part one of Chapter 49 raises the stakes even higher. On the plus side, Reimu has somehow willed her body to rejoin her soul in Hell, so at least now she's intact. On the bad side, however... that really is Kasen's arm, and it's still full of enough malice from Kasen's old life as Ibaraki-douji that it's become sentient and formed a body for itself. And for reasons unknown, this newly-independent entity is trying to kill Gensokyo's Barrier Maiden. Either Arm Kasen doesn't know what'll happen, or she does, and either doesn't care, or that's exactly why she's doing it...
- Well, part two brings us two bits of good news. One, Kasen was the one who ferried Reimu's body to Avici for her soul to reclaim. Two, she arrives just in time to calm and then reclaim her arm, becoming whole for the first time in what is likely centuries (assuming she originally lost the arm to Tsuna Watanabe as in her source myth). But therein lies the bad news: with her arm back, and her broken horns mended, the first thing Kasen does is challenge Reimu to a full-on fight, only offering her a small meal first so she'll be at her best. Reimu, admittedly extremely powerful in her own right, versus who is likely the second most powerful of all the oni, armed with both taoist magic and her own fearsome strength. And all this happening in the series that has often emphasized Reimu's flaws rather than her strengths. Fans are praying, please wait warmly...
- Chapter 50 gives us hope and terror in equal measure: the Kasen we know and love was real... because when she lost the arm, nearly all of the negative energy in her soul was crammed into her arm when it was severed, meaning the arm is a Literal Split Personality and manifestation of all Kasen's darkest traits she cast aside as a hermit. The negative energy in the arm is able to fully hijack Kasen's body when it turns out she just wanted it resealed, almost costing her the entire gambit. And nothing Reimu did could destroy it. Kasen simply keeps the arm in its sealed box now, but who knows when an incident might tempt her into crossing the Godzilla Threshold of reattaching it yet again? And could anyone save for Suika and other ultraweights like Yukari even control her in that state...
- The power of Yachie Kicchou in Wily Beast and Weakest Creature is truly frightening, as it allows her to drain people's willpower and make them obey her every command, and she even uses it to control the protagonists of the game to finish her enemy for her. Combined with her smug, serene aura and her goals of continuing to oppress the human spirit population of her home, it makes her possibly the most powerful and dangerous of the more "evil" natured Touhou girls so far.
- She even threatens to kill your character in the bad endings. This not only shows what a ruthless monster she is, but really heaps on the Fridge Horror given she can be threatening REIMU with cold-blooded murder. She doesn't give a rat's ass about Gensokyo, never mind about the very possible threat of having Yukari or Kasen suddenly busting down her door if she actually did attempt to carry out her threat.
- Koishi Komeiji, mentioned above for her Urban Legend In Limbo ultimate, is quite unnerving in general. Due to the way she sealed her Third Eye, her actions are entirely controlled by her subconscious - without a conscious mind, she cannot truly think. She is basically an Empty Shell. She has no motivation to commit evil actions, but nothing to stop her from committing them either. Her power is to manipulate the subconscious of others. Mind Rape is the obvious application that the fandom has run with, but not even the most terrifying, even worse is the fact that she cannot be perceived by others unless she allows it. Koishi could be standing right beside you, and you wouldn't even know it. You could have met Koishi in the past, and you wouldn't remember it. Because children's minds are still developing, they are resistant to her ability, so Koishi likes to hang around children a lot as an "imaginary" friend, their parents none the wiser. When they grow up, they forget about her. Everyone does.
- While Bad Endings of Touhou PC-98 games are quite comical, Bad Ending 3 from Story of Eastern Wonderland is surprisingly horrifying. After Reimu failed to exterminate Mima, she was distraught about not training hard enough in the past, and then Marisa would appear. Guess what happenned next? Marisa crucified Reimu and burned her alive, similar to witch hunting trials in Medieval era. Needless to say, this ending comes as Wham Shot especially to those who played the Windows games first before the PC-98 games and not knowing that Marisa used to be Reimu's enemy.
Not important news in the least."
—Dolls In Pseudo Paradise ending words.