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Video Game / Touhou Hyouibana ~ Antinomy of Common Flowers

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The Master chooses, the Slave obeys.
The bittersweet story of those who mistook themselves for the strongest duo is about to begin.

Touhou Hyouibananote  ~ Antinomy of Common Flowers is a video game created by Team Shanghai Alice and Twilight Frontier for Windows computers in 2017, with Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch ports releasing in Spring 2021. It's the 15.5th videogame installment in the Touhou Project franchise.

The source of the Urban Legend Incident may have been resolved, but its effects are yet to fade from Gensokyo. Taking advantage of it, someone has brought to life the phenomenon of Perfect Possession — a simple method by which anyone can possess another person, then replace that person's mind and body with their own. Deciding that the best way to figure out the technique's quirks and weaknesses is to try it out for themselves, a number of characters pair up and start searching for the ones behind it.

A Sequel to Touhou Shinpiroku ~ Urban Legend in Limbo, this game features the Master and Slave mechanic — a combination of Tag Team and Super Mode in which the "Master" character can expend some of their Occult Meter to temporarily switch to a powered-up version of the "Slave". For more detailed gameplay information, see the wiki.

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

This game provides examples of:

  • 11th-Hour Superpower: During Shion Yorigami's final spellcard, Reimu's spellcard meter recharges very quickly, allowing her to spam Fantasy Seal, her own spell card.
  • Antagonist Title: The "Antinomy of Common Flowers" is the Yorigami sisters themselves — Polar Opposite Twins whose names come from the Daisy fleabane (ヒメジョオン, himejōn) and Philadelphia fleabane (ハルジオン, harujion).
  • Bottle Episode: Sumireko's route is set mostly in the Dream World, has a limited number of characters, and doesn't feature the Yorigami sisters at all.
  • The Cameo:
    • The Prismriver Sisters and Raiko appear on Concert Stage of the Sun, presumably playing whatever song is selected.
    • Ran and Chen appear for Yukari's "Shikigami 'Ran Yakumo & Chen'" spell card. Chen also appears in one of her victory animations.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: The control scheme has changed drastically from Urban Legend in Limbo. Spell Cards are now mapped to X+C instead of A, S now shields you first before you press a direction to dash, and A now switches to your slave. However, Last Words are still mapped to A+C, meaning that you might accidentally switch to your slave when you meant to pull off your Last Word, making you have to fill up your Occult meter again just for a second chance.
  • Developer's Foresight: When a player picks their characters, the game uses parts of both characters' Boss Subtitles, followed by "Duo". If one of the characters is either Ichirin (who fights with Unzan via Summon Magic) or Jo'on (who is a Puppet Fighter with Shion), the end part of the title will instead be "Trio"; naturally, having Ichirin and Jo'on as a team will have the game call them a "Quartet".
  • Dual Boss: Inverted. Most bosses fight using Perfect Possession, but two characters are exceptions:
    • Yukari considers Perfect Possession dangerous and refuses to use it until she fully understands it and how to defeat the Yorigami sisters.
      Marisa: "Everyone else is using perfect possession, but you're the only one by yourself, huh?"
      Yukari: "Can you guess why that is?"
      Koishi: "Ooh, I know! It's 'cause you have no friends, right? So sad..."
    • Bosses from the Dream World have Doremy as a Slave... but when summoned, she takes no actions to defend herself, effectively giving the player a few free hits.
      • Justified, as in most cases, Doremy is only supervising them and plans to get them back to the real world. She's actually making the player character's job easier. When she's part of player parties, she's either protecting them (Sumireko) or the dream self is happy to go back once it's satisfied (Dream Reisen).
  • Easter Egg:
    • Some character combinations have unique entrance animations. They are as follows.
      • Doremy & Reisen - Doremy leans down on Reisen's back.
      • Futo & Ichirin - They engage in a Brawler Lock before one kicks the other offscreen.
      • Kasen & Reimu - They stand back to back.
      • Marisa & Koishi - Koishi whispers something to Marisa while teleporting around her.
      • Kokoro & Nitori - Nitori adjusts one of Kokoro's masks, and they both pose.
      • Byakuren & Miko - They jump on-screen together, turn to face each other, and perform locking kicks.
      • Mokou & Mamizounote  - Mamizou runs around on fire, Mokou (in fire rat form) clinging to her back.
      • Reimu & Yukarinote  - Reimu somersaults out of a gap, then Yukari peeks out from behind it.
    • If a match ends on a very specific part of "Tonight Stars an Easy Going Egotist", the song fades out, and the audience cheers for the winner. You can easily see this by doing a Vs. Com battle, and waiting on the win quote screen.
    • If Mokou ends a match while using her Occult Attack, the flames in her victory animations will be blue instead of orange.
  • Evidence Scavenger Hunt: Yukari spends most of the story avoiding direct confrontation with the Yorigami sisters, instead gathering information from as many Perfect Possession users as possible. Only once Yukari fully understands the technique's quirks and has developed countermeasures for them does she make her move. Dream Kasen accuses her of cowardice for this.
  • Evolving Title Screen: After the Yorigami sisters are defeated, a flurry of flower petals is added to the title screen (accompanied by the final version of the title theme, Blizzard of Scattering Possession Flowers).
  • The Gloves Come Off: After Jo'on is rendered unable to fight, both she and Reimu treat Shion's defeat as a foregone conclusion, claiming that her only use is being very good at losing. This is the last straw for the long-beleaguered Shion, who snaps and starts clouding the stage with overwhelming amounts of negative energy (though the ending clarifies that this is something she can't do very often).
    Shion: "I've never been serious about this until now. If I let it all out, everyone will be unfortunate, including me! But I've had enough. Who cares about winning or losing? When I'm done here, we'll all be losers; the shrine maiden, me, and you too, Jo'on! [...] No one wins. No one finds happiness. I'll show you a world where we all suffer together! [...] The plague and poverty gods were a match made in Hell? Don't make me laugh! I can bring Hell all on my own! I am the god of poverty, Shion Yorigami! Die cowering before poverty!"
  • Guide Dang It!: Woe the players who die several times over trying to deal with Shion's "The Most Despicable and Disastrous God of Destitution and Misery" spell card. So, what are you supposed to do? Well, the kanji won't hurt you... if you dash into them. They even refill your spell meter. No one tells you this.
  • Harder Than Hard: In the 1.10 update, Overdrive mode is added as a new difficulty.
  • Malignant Plot Tumor: While the main plot is about the Yorigami sisters trying to rob a Prismriver concert, the game also places increasing focus on the side-effects that Perfect Possession is having on the Dream World (to the point where it's followed up in another game). The final route features the Yorigami sisters trying to atone for their crimes by cleaning up that mess. Apparently, this reflects how Doremy's role grew larger and larger while the game was in development.
  • Mirror Match: The final boss of Sumireko's scenario is against her dream self.
  • Musicalis Interruptus: Yukari's Last Word briefly pauses the stage music as she delivers the final Portal Cut to her opponent.
  • Not Himself: As the incident continues, many characters seem to be acting somewhat strangely. This turns out to be an unexpected side-effect of Perfect Possession — it ejects the Master's "dream self" from the Dream World into the real world.
  • Progressive Instrumentation: In the demo, the title screen has an ethereal piano theme. The full game has four variations of this theme (Seeds of the Incident, Sprouts of Suspicion, Branches Reaching to the Truth and Blizzard of Scattering Possession Flowers) which switch out as the player progresses through the game — first adding a drum kit, then synth bass, then violin, and finally a trumpet.
  • Puppet Fighter: Jo'on Yorigami is followed around by her sister Shion, whom she can launch at enemies. While Shion is treated as a Slave (and briefly a Master) in Story Mode, complete with her own portrait, she appears only in spellcards and has no regular attacks. In other modes, she and Jo'on take up a single team slot.
  • Shadow Archetype: The characters' dream selves that were ejected into Gensokyo as a side effect of perfect possession. Reisen's story mode stars her own dream self, escorted by Doremy Sweet, as she goes on a rampage and picks fights with all the characters that she was previously forced to defend herself from in Urban Legend in Limbo. Doremy comments on most characters' dream selves after winning against them. And finally, Jo'on and Shion's story mode involves them apprehending the remaining dream selves running around Gensokyo so they can be returned to the Dream World, in return for being pardoned for causing the Perfect Posession incident in the first place.
    • Marisa's envies Reimu for having the position of a "main character".
    • Byakuren's admits to Jo'on and Shion that she makes her followers do mundane chores for her and lies about it being a part of their training. And also jokes that she planted a bomb in their heads, just in case they tried escaping their punishment. Doremy notes that Byakuren's dream self is awfully similar to her real self, and assumes that it's because of her training.
    • Miko's wishes to govern Gensokyo with an iron fist and purge it of evil.
    • Mamizou's dream self also wants to rule Gensokyo with an iron fist, to the extent of wanting to go outside of Gensokyo and conquer all of Japan, but Doremy also notes she has nightmares of humans from the Outside World.
    • Koishi doesn't dream at all.
    • Mokou's dream self is awfully quiet, and Doremy suggests that Mokou has given up on having dreams.
    • A line from Doremy implies that Jo'on's dream self Just Wants To Be Normal, while Shion always dreams about food.
    • Kasen's dream self tries to pull a We Can Rule Together with Jo'on. Probably an allusion to her past self as The Cunning and Treacherous Oni, from Wild and Horned Hermit.
    • Tenshi's dream self wishes to destroy all of existence and create a world free from sadness and poverty.
  • Source Music: The Yorigami sisters' theme is Tonight Stars an Easygoing Egoist (Live ver.) ~ Egoistic Flowers. It's "Live ver." because their fights take place at a Prismriver concert, and cheers from the audience can be heard in the mix. A "non-live" remix is included on the soundtrack CD.
  • Spell My Name With An S: Downplayed regarding the title of the game itself. "Antinomy" (a real, if obscure word) is sometimes misinterpreted or typo'd as "Antimony" (a chemical element) due to their similar spellings and the element being somewhat more well-known.
  • That One Attack: In-Universe example. The Yorigami sisters' Possession Exchange "Absolute Loser" causes Jo'on to switch Slaves with the Player Character. The voluntary form of Perfect Possession can only be ended by the Master, while involuntary can only be ended by the Slave, meaning that the player is forced to fight their own ally while saddled with Shion's bad luck. It's only countered when the Yukari/Reimu team switch the positions of Master and Slave on both teams just before the spell activates, resulting in the player controlling Reimu/Jo'on against Shion/Yukari.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Both of the Yorigami sisters (especially Jo'on, who's a snob) underestimate Yukari, who's one of the biggest powerhouses in Gensokyo, which didn't end well.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: In the 1.10 update, Tenshi's final spell uses mechanics similar to a regular Touhou game, but the moving is slow and float-like, and it's horizontally-oriented. Melee shots can be used, Jo'on's basic special move is used like a shot type, and her spell card is used like a bomb.
  • Urban Legend: In addition to those returning from ULiL, the following new urban legends are introduced as sources of power.

Alternative Title(s): Antinomy Of Common Flowers