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Video Game / Danmaku Amanojaku ~ Impossible Spell Card

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Impossible? Come on, it can't be that hard...

Danmaku Amanojaku ~ Impossible Spell Card is a video game created by Team Shanghai Alice for Windows computers in 2014. It's the 14.3th videogame installment in the Touhou Project franchise.

After the events of Touhou Kishinjou ~ Double Dealing Character, the amanojaku troublemaker Seija Kijin has been collecting some of the tools that were corrupted by the dangerous energies of the Miracle Mallet. Alarmed, someone places a bounty on Seija's head, and many youkai set out to claim it. Seija's opponents are no longer interested in a civilised duel, so they wield illegal Spell Cards designed to be impossible to dodge... but they're not the only ones willing to cheat, and Seija will use every trick in her new arsenal to snatch victory.

The game has a similar overall structure to Touhou Bunkachou ~ Shoot the Bullet, being divided into groups of short "scenes" instead of stages, but with more conventional gameplay. Seija can equip one of nine "cheat items", each with a Game-Breaker power, and later can equip a second item for a passive ability.

A single-stage "Score Attack" edition of the game named Danmaku Amanojaku Gold Rush was playable at Tokyo Game Expo 2014, where Seija uses the Miracle Mallet to convert Reimu's bullets into coins (similar to the gameplay of Fairy Wars). Gold Rush is non-canon and has never been publicly released.

This game provides examples of:

  • Achievement System: With upside-down trophies, naturally.
  • Armored But Frail: In scene 4-2, Seiga hides behind her sidekick Yoshika, who can take a lot of damage. However, Seiga's own health is laughably low, and the Spell Card can be trivialized by getting right on top of Seiga's head before the spell begins.
  • Auto-Revive: The "Substitute Jizo" item grants Seija multiple lives.
  • Awakening the Sleeping Giant: Mamizou tries to convince Seija to surrender by telling her that her exploits will soon be in tengu newspapers, where some of Gensokyo's most powerful figures will take notice of them.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Seija is being hunted by humans and youkai who are "cheating" by using spell cards that are considered impossible to dodge. In normal gameplay, you counter this with magic items that also let you "cheat", however, to get the highest rating, you have to forsake the artifacts and dodge the "un-dodgeable" spells on your own.
  • Charged Attack: When equipped in the main slot, the "Miracle Mallet (Replica)" can be swung as a powerful melee attack that takes a few moments to charge.
  • Combat Pragmatist: On both ends. Everyone breaks the Spell Card rules in a bid to finally take out Seija, who evens the odds with a variety of "cheat items" that let her bypass enemy danmaku in unconventional ways.
  • Draw Aggro: When equipped in the main slot, the "Cursed Decoy Doll" item can make itself the target of enemy attacks.
  • Dual Wielding: Seija can't equip a sub-item until she encounters Mamizou, who suggests she try holding items in both hands at once.
  • Effective Knockoff: One of Seija's equippable items is a plastic replica of the Miracle Mallet. While there aren't any indications that it can grant wishes, it's still a useful tool in her arsenal.
  • Evil Weapon: The "cheat items" gained their enhanced powers from exposure to the Miracle Mallet, like the protagonists' corrupted weapons in Double Dealing Character. Though rather than making Seija more aggressive, Raiko claims that they're crying from how poorly Seija treats them.
  • Evolving Weapon: As the player clears more scenes with the same item in the main slot, it will level up and become more powerful. If a scene is cleared without using an item it counts towards every item at once.
  • Exploiting the Fourth Wall: One of Seiga's scenes has her using her ability on the sides of the screen to Teleport Spam.
  • Flawless Victory: This game will recognize if you can beat an attack without cheating (although some passive effects can still be used), and the Achievement System has a secret achievement for players who beat every attack that way, with the description basically being ZUN asking people who got it to tell him in-person about it.
  • Four Is Death: The enemies of the fourth day are Yuyuko (a ghost), Yoshika (a jiang shi who's closer to being a zombie), and Seiga (a necromancer).
  • Godzilla Threshold: Everyone is so serious about defeating Seija that they've all decided to break the Spell Card rules. Even Reimu herself gets in on breaking out the illegal spells.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: Equipping the "Bloodthirsty Yin-Yang Orb" in Seija's sub-slot makes her hitbox smaller, similar to its owner.
  • Invincibility Powerup: The effect of the "Nimble Fabric" and "Ghastly Send-Off Lantern" items. The Fabric's invincibility is very short but has multiple uses, making it function like a dodge maneuver.
  • Item Amplifier: When equipped in her sub slot, the "Miracle Mallet (Replica)" boosts the power of Seija's main item.
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: This game is what happens when the combatants in a Wizard Duel stop following this.
  • Mirror Boss: Two spell cards are based on things the player can do:
    • Reimu's "Persuasion Needle" is based on her normal shots in games where she's playable - a rapid-fire stream of needles in front of her, combined with homing orbs. The stage title is "Normal Shots Are Scary, Huh?"
    • Stage 4-7, "Wall-Phasing Wormhole," has the boss wrapping around the stage borders, similar to the Umbrella item. The stage title is "Enemies Have Freedom Too."
  • Never Trust a Title: Despite the game being called Impossible Spell Card, it is actually possible to clear every single scene without using items. However, many of them are absurdly difficult, to the point that managing to do so is the final achievement of the game and the flavor text says you should go tell ZUN himself about it.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: Being programmed over the course of a few days, Gold Rush has no plot and features Seija wielding the real Miracle Mallet (which should be impossible). ZUN says not to think about it too hard.
  • Powers as Programs: Due to being corrupted by the Miracle Mallet, each cheat item lets Seija wield some of the powers of its original owner.
  • Screw the Rules, They Broke Them First!: Seiga resorts to her "cheat items" in response to the other characters using illegal Spell Cards.
  • Self-Recovery Surprise: Mokou's final Spell Card, "Fire Bird -Legend of Immortality-", is deceptively straightforward with a small life bar, only getting moderately tougher if you drag it out. Deplete the life bar for the first time, though, and Mokou resurrects in a violent shower of bullets before resuming the Spell Card.
  • Smart Bomb: Both the "Tengu's Toy Camera" and "Four-Foot Magic Bomb" are capable of clearing bullets from part of the screen - the former works like the gameplay of Touhou Bunkachou ~ Shoot the Bullet, while the latter is planted on the screen and detonates a few moments later. Equipping the Magic Bomb as a sub-item will also add a minor bullet-clearing effect to Seija's main item.
  • Spread Shot: The effect of "Cursed Decoy Doll" when equipped as a sub-item.
  • Sprint Shoes: The effect of the "Tengu's Toy Camera" when equipped as a sub-item.
  • Teleportation: The power of the "Bloodthirsty Yin-Yang Orb" when equipped as her main item.
  • Villain Protagonist: The game has you playing as Seija, the true Big Bad of Double Dealing Character, as she fights off everyone trying to claim the bounty on her head.
  • Wrap Around: The "Gap Folding Umbrella" item lets Seija teleport from one edge of the screen to the other. Unlike other examples of this trope in the series, she can do this on the vertical edges of the screen as well, rather than only the horizontal ones.

Alternative Title(s): Impossible Spell Card