Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Touhou Eiyashou ~ Imperishable Night

Go To
This time you're on a time limit.

A glowing, ancient, virgulate object.
A small gem. A shining orb. A fragile soul. And the largest sphere.
"How is she doing these days?" she wondered as she stared at these objects.
Time does not flow in this place. History repeats itself.
She, too, was in Gensokyo.

Touhou Eiyashounote  ~ Imperishable Night is a video game created by Team Shanghai Alice for Windows computers in 2004. It's the eighth installment in the Touhou Project franchise.

It's the night of the full moon, seemingly one like any other. But the youkai who tonight would normally be invigorated have instead been thrown into panic... because the power of the full moon is missing. Sensing a formidable enemy at work, one youkai seeks out a human accquaintance and together they cast Gensokyo into eternal night until the one who "stole the moon's light" can be found.

It's the night of the full moon... but it refuses to end. Another human sets out to break this curse, seemingly unaware of the real incident.

Designed as The Climax of Touhou's first "trilogy", Imperishable Night has higher stakes, returning characters Promoted to Playable, and even the heroes fighting each other. It's also filled with gameplay content, including a huge number of playable characters (12 including the unlockable solo routes) and two possible versions of Stages 4 and 6, each with different bosses. Finally it introduces the Lunarian civilisation, which would go on to be prominent in Touhou Bougetsushou and Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom.

IN expands on the "focus" mechanic by using it to switch between the human Player Character and their youkai partner, and including a "Human/Youkai Meter" which must be managed in order to collect Time Orbs and resolve the incident before dawn.

The game also features the Last Spell mechanic - a final "sudden death" Spell Card which bosses will use under certain conditions, granting the normal bonus if captured (completed without getting hit, bombing or timing out) but ending without penalty if not. Players have their own Last Spells as well - a variant on the normal "deathbomb" mechanic which activates an extra-powerful Smart Bomb if you press the bomb button as you are struck by an attack.

The game's official website can be found here (in Japanese).

This game provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: Eirin's profile says that she's surprised to see Sakuya, but that only Eirin herself knows the reason, implying the two have met in the past. However, this is never brought up within the story itself, and no other works have ever touched on the matter again.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: When confronted by Reimu, Marisa blames every abnormal occurrence on Alice, including "the endless night, that broken, warped moon, hiding the human village, and putting hats on the stone statues".
  • Attack Drone: Each youkai partner has a "familiar" that attacks for them. Bosses have many familiars, which only the human member of the Player Character team can destroy.
  • Bad Moon Rising: The true incident, though initially only Youkai can notice the difference. It turns out to be because Eirin replaced the night sky with a fake.
  • But Thou Must!: Hilariously inverted with Netherworld Team when you choose whether to fight Eirin or Kaguya; both options say the same thing, despite having different outcomes:
    Go where Lady Yuyuko says (Final A)
    Go where Lady Yuyuko says (Final B)
  • Comeback Mechanic:
    • Netherworld Team: Gets a free bomb if they end a stage with fewer than 3 bombs.
    • Scarlet Devil Team: A bomb item spawns if the player dies while they have bombs.
  • Continuity Nod: In the Spell Practice menu:
    • ZUN's comments on Marisa's "Earthlight Ray" spell on Normal read that "Marisa ran through everything else, so she had to dig up this nostalgic old spell", alluding to its resemblance to "Rise Laser", her EX-Attack in Phantasmagoria of Dim. Dream.
    • The comments on "Non-Directional Laser" point out that "it's definitely an attack we've seen before". This refers to Patchouli's nonspells in the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, which look similar, implying Marisa based the aforementioned Spell Card on said nonspells.note 
  • Dueling Player Characters: Stage 4 pits the player against Reimu (if playing as the Marisa/Alice or Sakuya/Remilia teams) or Marisa (if playing as Reimu/Yukari or Youmu/Yuyuko).
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Less than the prior two games, but still present:
    • The idea of the "Human Village" as a single, very significant location essential to Gensokyo's continued survival was not yet established at this point. The disappearance of the entire village in the middle of the night is treated as just a mildly unusual event rather than a serious dilemma in its own right, and Reimu acts like she rarely if ever visits it, rather than it being a place she visits constantly as part of her work.
    • It's pretty clearly inferred in the Barrier Team's story that neither she nor Reimu know each other. Later works would have pretty much everyone in Gensokyo recognize Reimu on sight as the Hakurei Shrine Maiden, and Keine would be established as an important figure in the Human Village.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: You have to get each team's normal ending once to unlock that team's better ending.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: When you play as a solo character, that character's partner still shows up in the dialogue, and the story plays out exactly the same as if you were playing as the full team.
  • Godzilla Threshold: A human incident-resolver teaming up with a youkai to cause an incident shows how the real problem is even worse.
  • Harder Than Hard: Both Waxing Gibbous (Lunatic) and Full Moon (Extra) Difficulties have denser/faster danmaku patterns than First Quarter (Hard).
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: The difficulty levels are named after the phases of the moon, befitting the game's theme.
    • Easy: New Moon
    • Normal: Waxing Crescent
    • Hard: First Quarter
    • Lunatic: Waxing Gibbous
    • Extra: Full Moon
  • In-Universe Game Clock: Imperishable Night starts off explicitly at 11:00 PM, and your goal is to reach the end of the game and restore the real moon in time for a festival by 5:00 AM. Depending on how many time icons you collect in a stage, time will advance either by 1 hour or 30 minutes. Using continues also adds 30 minutes.
  • Lame Pun Reaction:
    Wriggle: Hey, hey, hey! You've got some guts not being bugged by me. I hope you've got the determination to match that!
    Reimu: Was that a pun?
  • Lovely Angels: This game fits this trope by the player playing a team of two female characters, although most LA teams are a little bit more functional than they are in this game.
  • Mechanically Unusual Fighter: The Netherworld Team (Youmu and Yuyuko) take this and run with it.
    • Most teams have a Human/Youkai meter going from -100% to +100%. However, because Youmu is half-phantom rather than a full human, their human gauge stops at -50%. Conversely, when playing as solo Youmu she's the only solo character whose meter caps at -50%/+50% rather than scaling to 100% on one side and 20% on the other.
    • Normally unfocused mode has wide shots and focused mode has narrow ones. The Netherworld team inverts this, with Yuyuko's shot being much wider than Youmu's.
    • Youmu's externalised soul functions as an Attack Drone which angles away from the direction she's moving.
  • Mercy Mode: After running out of continues a few times, the game's options allow you to start with a few additional lives. "A few" ultimately resulting in a continue's worth of lives totaling 8, where most other games only let you have half as many. Perhaps another reason for Easy-Mode Mockery specifically in this game.
  • Mythology Gag: When Marisa appears as the Stage 4 boss, she says "Move and I'll shoot! I messed up. I mean, shoot and I'll move. Right away". This is a reference to her appearance in Seihou, where she says "Shoot and I'll move!!" before appearing on screen.
  • The Night That Never Ends: As mentioned in the title, twice. Unusually it's the Player Characters who are doing this, in an attempt to counter the strange moon.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: If the in-story clock reaches 5 AM before you finish the game, you're immediately taken to the bad ending.
  • No-Sell: An example that goes both ways: youkai cannot take Collision Damage from enemy familiars, but they also cannot shoot said familiars; only humans can do so, but they can also collide with them (except for Reimu, who has the special perk of being immune to collision with familiars).
  • Not Me This Time: Perspective-inverted. When you run into Reimu or Marisa in Stage 4, she accuses the player characters of starting the incident because she's only aware of the unending night and not of the fake moon, and the youkai playable characters are very powerful and have been involved in past incidents. Reimu/Marisa is technically correct in that the player characters caused the unending night, but is still wrong to assume they're the troublemakers.
  • One-Hit Polykill: Instead of Marisa, this time around Alice is the one who fires an enemy-piercing laser.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The boss fight with either Reimu or Marisa is the result of one or both sides either not understanding what's actually going on, or outright refusing to listen. When the Ghost Team tries to mention the Moon to Marisa, Marisa says "this has nothing to do with the Moon!" and if Magic Team brings it up to Reimu, she turns around and blames them for the Moon as well!
  • Powerup Magnet: As before, the player attracts items while at full power and above an invisible line on the screen. However, Imperishable Night also grants you this benefit if you cross the line while focused or while playing as Marisa.
  • Public Domain Character: Princess Kaguya, and more subtly her attendant Eirin (Touhou's version of the Shinto god Omoikane). ZUN notes that he'd been reluctant to include such big names in Touhou until it had established its own identity, fearing that it would seem like a Shin Megami Tensei ripoff.
  • Series Fauxnale: The game was intended as the Grand Finale to the series originally, hence the playable roster featuring a substantial amount of characters from the two prior games, and the use of Kaguya-hime, the Japanese Public Domain Character, as the Final Boss. It was only after the game came out that ZUN decided to instead continue Touhou onwards.
  • Swap Fighter: The game has a central mechanic of Human/Youkai Teams where you control set teams of two characters at once and can switch between who's active on-screen depending on whether you're focused or not. The teams consist of the Illusionary Barrier Team (Reimu and Yukari), the Aria of Forbidden Magic Team (Marisa and Alice), the Visionary Scarlet Devil Team (Sakuya and Remilia), and the Netherworld Dwellers Team (Youmu and Yuyuko). In non-focused mode, you control the human characters of their teams by default, while in focused mode, you switch to their non-human teammates respectively. Each character of the teams has different shot attributes and bombs, adding a layer of strategy of when to bring them out for appropriate situations.
  • The Turret Master: Remilia's shot type. When she focuses, she puts down her turrets, which remain in place until Remilia unfocuses again, which summons them back to her.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: "Now bitch, get out of the way!"
  • Timed Mission:
    • The game clock starts at 11:00pm, progressing by 1 hour at the end of each stage and by 30 minutes each time the player uses a continue. Allowing the clock to reach 5:00am will result in a Non-Standard Game Over. The progression can be slowed by collecting above a certain number of Time Orbs on each stage, which halves the amount of time that stage adds to the counter (and on difficulties higher than Easy, causes the boss to use their Last Spell).
    • After being defeated, Kaguya will unleash a series of five Last Spells in an attempt to dispel the eternal night, causing the time counter to accelerate for each the player fails to capture. Running out of time in this phase will end the fight, but still counts as clearing the game.
  • Translation Convention: Marisa responds to some confusing dialogue between Reimu and Yukari with "Speak Japanese. This is Gensokyo!"
  • True Final Boss: The first time each team reaches Stage 6 without continuing it will be Stage 6A "Princess-Concealing Orb in the Night Sky", in which they are lured away from Kaguya by Eirin. The second time it will be Stage 6B "Five Impossible Requests", in which they face Kaguya herself. Completing both unlocks the Extra Stage and allows the player to choose their route on subsequent playthroughs with that team.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: This game's storyline is based around The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. The theme music of Kaguya Hōraisan, the final boss, is even called "Flight of the Bamboo Cutter".

Alternative Title(s): Imperishable Night