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Video Game / Touhou Koumakyou ~ the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil

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The game that brought a revolution.

If we suppose the mist is the work of a human, one could say that the human must have eaten belladonna flower.
In the very center of it all is an island, rejected by mankind simply because they could not live there. On that island is a mansion; one of few windows.
Inside the mansion that knows neither day nor night, "she" was there.
—From the prologue

Touhou Koumakyounote  ~ the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil is a video game created by Team Shanghai Alice for Windows computers in 2002. It's the sixth videogame installment in the Touhou Project franchise, and the first in the Windows series.

The remote mountain region of Gensokyo has become covered by a strange mist that chokes out the light of day. Shrine maiden Reimu Hakurei and witch Marisa Kirisame see that it's coming from an island on the lake, and head there to investigate.

The first game for Windows PCs, EoSD was designed as a fresh start from the PC-98 era, trimming down the cast to protagonists Reimu and Marisa,note  renaming the setting from "Eastern Country" to "Gensokyo", and introducing the iconic Spell Card mechanic. However, it wouldn't be until its sequel that the modern Touhou franchise was fully formed.

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

This game provides examples of:

  • Action Commands: EoSD introduces the "deathbomb" mechanic - after being struck by an enemy attack, the player has a small window in which they can escape death by activating their Smart Bomb.
  • The Battle Didn't Count: If you beat Sakuya on Easy difficulty, she mocks you for it and tells you she's still not letting you see Remilia.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • Reimu's hitbox is the same size as Marisa's, rather than slightly smaller. note 
    • You can't see your hitbox by focusing.
    • The concept of the Great Hakurei Barrier hasn't yet been introduced - Reimu's profile describes her as keeping youkai from wandering outside Gensokyo, and keeping humans from wandering in.
    • The location of the Scarlet Devil Mansion is described as an island on Misty Lake. In later depictions it's instead along the shore.
    • The antagonists are mostly European-themed, in contrast to the Japanese youkai that the series later puts more focus on.
    • The game ends prematurely at the end of Stage 5 if you are playing on Easy. Subsequent games let you play to the end on any difficulty.
    • The game being a Continuity Reboot was only something established retroactively, with Reimu and Marisa's profiles still directly referring to them as being the same characters in the PC-98 games.
    • The tone of the game's dialogue is extremely farcical, with many exchanges consistently entirely of intentionally nonsensical wordplay and Shout Outs. This would gradually be phased out over the following games in favour of more straight exposition.
  • Homage Derailment: During her path, Marisa asks Remilia how many humans she's sucked blood from, only for Remilia to respond by asking how many slices of bread Marisa's eaten in her life, mimicking a similar exchange between William Zeppeli and Dio Brando in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood. This quickly gets turned on its head when Marisa responds, "Thirteen. I prefer Japanese food."
  • Lost in Translation: Flandre's dialogue saying "coin ikko" (Which is a "Blind Idiot" Translation that Atari made in STUN Runner's Japanese version) was simply translated to "One coin".
  • No Name Given: Since this game (like past ones) do not show the boss's name during gameplay, and the Stage 2 and 4 midbosses do not have any dialogue to introduce them, this leaves those bosses canonically nameless.
  • Powerup Magnet: EoSD introduces the series's staple "Item Get" mechanic, where the player auto-collects items if they move above an invisible line on-screen while at full power.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: In Marisa's scenario, when Marisa asks Remilia how many people's blood she's drank, Remilia asks Marisa in return how many times she's eaten bread (this is taken almost word-for-word from Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure Phantom Blood). Marisa replies "thirteen", since she prefers Japanese food.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Embodiment Of Scarlet Devil


Touhou 6: The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil: Flandre

To be honest, I could've picked any mainline ''Touhou'' game for this, but this one's the most iconic.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (16 votes)

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Main / BulletHell

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