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Video Game / Touhou Kenbun Roku

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Meet our heroes: Bunroku and Marco, in Shifting Sand Land of all places.

Touhou Kenbun Roku ("The Travels of Marco Polo") is a text based adventure game, released for the Famicom by Natsume as a Japanese exclusive. It focuses on a troublemaker known as Bunroku, whom travels to the times of famous explorer Marco Polo.

Despite the fact that the title has "Touhou (東方)" on it, it hasn't any relation to the ZUN's long-running video game franchise. This is an actual Japanese word meaning "Eastern" which can also be read as "Higashikata".


This game provides examples of:

  • Accidental Nightmare Fuel: Jump Scares everywhere, some quite disturbing looking characters, and that ending.
  • Bamboo Technology: Midway through Chapter 4, Bunroku pulls out a rocket launcher made from bamboo, and open fires on a giant mansion.
  • Blackface: One of the first characters you meet, in the very first part of the game after starting proper.
  • Distressed Dude: Happens to Bunroku in Chapter 2.
  • Downer Ending: Following Marco's death, Bunroku washes up on some island which is some sort of detainment for those who mess with history. Bunroku is forced to go into a Japanese bathtub, where he soon goes insane, leaving him screaming in the style of Edvard Munch's famous "The Scream" panting.
  • Mushroom Samba: In Chapter 2, following his Distressed Dude moment, Bunroku gets drunked up and begins hallucinating.
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  • Non-Standard Game Over: During Chapter 3, you meet a king and his daughter. You can opt to touch the daughter, and if you do, the game abruptly ends.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Where a good ordeal of the first three chapters are set in, on occasion reaching the levels of Impassable Deserts.
  • Your Head A-Splode: Unused in the final version of the game; during the final chapter, when Marco is killed by gunfire from several planes, his head was intended to implode; in the final, he just blinks, and disappears, supposedly drowning after taking a fatal wound, from the massive array of gunfire. The graphics for the explosion are still in the ROM.