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This is for Wild Mass Guesses about Touhou's creator ZUN or future games he has planned. Otherwise, post it on the main Touhou page.

Yukari is always visiting him with all the information he needs, whether its gossip, the Bunbunmaru, or Akyu's historical records. How else do you think he got this much detail? For all that this artist's portrayal shows, it may well be how Zun gets everything so right. Possibly Yukari is his drinking buddy.
  • Yukari enjoys playing along so much, that when ZUN makes stuff up, she starts fooling around to make the made-up stuff happen.
  • Since belief apparently makes youkai stronger (cf. Symposium), Yukari has a pretty good incentive to make the Touhou games popular.
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Aya Shameimaru is ZUN's girlfriend.
Seriously. How else do you explain the fact that she's in every official Touhou game from Phantasmagoria of Flower View on? She has to be either offering him sexual favors, or sweet-talking him with "Ooh, can I be in this game, too?" at regular intervals.
  • She's always either defeating the opponents without realizing it in PoFV, defeating the opponent by taking pictures of them in a spin-off game, to holding back in the most recent game. Then again, Aya is quite popular with the target demographic...
    • In said spin-off game, she outdoes the series' main character Reimu Hakurei in defeating not only more characters in a single game than Reimu has so far, but defeating notorious opponents such as Eirin, Shikieiki, Flandre, Yukari, Mokou and Suika. Not to mention that Shikieiki conjures, as her final attack, Aya's mirrored image against her, and although this mirrored image does use bullet barrages like any of the former and latter opponents, Aya defeats it. By taking pictures of it.
      • Where was it stated that Aya actually defeated anyone in Shoot the Bullet? I thought she just got the pictures she needed and that was it - almost like a photo shoot. After all, the danmaku duels aren't in any way dangerous, and maybe getting hit causes her to lose any pictures she had.
      • Even if non-letal, I guess it hurts. Isn't it a good reason to dodge everything?
      • Vouching for that, in a manga Marisa mentioned that getting hit by a danmaku is like getting pelted with a ball or something. Also, she doesn't defeat them, she just takes their pictures and runs away.
  • I think Aya is a rare breed of Creator's Pet. Author favoritism plays hard on her, but she's THAT popular towards the audience, not utterly hated, she doesn't look like a Creator's Pet.
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    • Aya, in her peak, did have quite a few detractors, and very vocal ones at that. But she also had a lot of fans as well. Her roles in the series have been reduced lately (she doesn't appear at all in Undefined Fantastic Object or Great Fairy War, and while she does appear in Hisoutensoku, she only does so if you have Scarlet Weather Rhapsody and has no role in any of the stories), and as a result, much of the hatred towards her has died down.
      • Not quite true. She's in one of Fairy Wars' ending (the one that leads to the EX stage, even), and she's mentioned in passing in UFO.
    • Aya was probably based off of a girl who did photography in the past that ZUN liked, or ZUN himself was into photography when he was younger and tried to create a character based off of his past experiences.
  • It looks like Sanae is also trying to close in on this territory as well. Stage 5 boss in Mountain of Faith, and extra stage mid-boss in Subterranean Animism. Who knows what's next?
    • Actually she's just another "stage 5 boss that appears in the next game", but instead of being a playable character she's a midboss.
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    • Retracting my earlier point to say this, but Touhou 12 has been announced, and Sanae is indeed playable. Oh God, it's so scary when people are right.
    • Update: Sanae has been confirmed as playable in the third fighting game, Touhou 12.3. Look's like ZUN's been getting more action lately.
    • Now, Sanae has also been confirmed as a playable character in Touhou 13.
  • Due to ZUN's announcement on the latest Touhou game, Double Spoiler, Aya is back in action.
    • ...and Sanae's in it.
      • As an EX-Boss noless.
    • ...and Only One New Character, Hatate Himekaidou.
    • Well, come on, Sanae's a shrine maiden. It's the stated job of shrine maidens to deal with incidents. I think she's supposed to be the third main character.
    • As of Hopeless Masquerade and Double Dealing Character, Sanae seems to have lost her place as the third main character. Particularly jarring in the former, as it's a game about religious wars.
  • Alternatively, Aya just brings ZUN lots of beer.
  • Wait, so with the announcement of Touhou 12.8, starring Cirno...
  • As of Double Dealing Character, Sakuya seems to have regained ZUN's attention. Make of that what you will.

Every single character is based on someone ZUN knows.
How prominent of an appearance a character has in a game reflects how much contact he had with them in real life during the making of that game. He never admits this to protect his friends from Loony Fans.

Obviously, he moved sometime between the PC-98 games and the Windows games. This explains why almost none of the PC-98 characters returned in the Windows games; the few who have either moved as well or are/were frequent visitors.

In fact, the entire series could be simply Life Really, Really Embellished!

The next Touhou game will finally see the return of Mima.
Alright, bear with me. Most, if not all, of the endings from Subterranean Animism imply that Kanako Yasaka, final boss of the previous game, gave Utsuho the power of nuclear fusion for reasons as yet unclear. Considering what Utsuho was planning to ''do'' with that power, it's hard to imagine what possible gain there could have been in this. I'll tell you what: chaos. Mistrust. My fellow tropers, I put it to you that the plot of Touhou 12 will reveal that Kanako has been framed by the Charismatic Spirit of the Hakurei Shrine, as part of a larger plot to reassert herself as a power player in Gensokyo by stealing the Yin-Yang Orbs! Playable characters will include Reimu (natch), and Sanae (on a mission to clear her goddess' good name); Marisa's presence, due to possibly conflicting loyalties, is an X-factor.
  • Point: The Moriya stooges are fresh out of a world that has electricity. I'm sure Kanako was just trying to rig up something to power Suwako's multitude of consoles. Air conditioning wouldn't hurt either.
    • Tangental Point: she could have always asked Yukari, who apparently owns a Gameboy as a result of Rinnosuke finding one in one of the non-game works, since Yukari seems to have unlimited access to electricity and even fuel for Rinnosuke's oil-burning heater.
      • Well, it is possible that Kanako just doesn't trust Yukari, and, consequently, doesn't want to become dependent on or indebted to her. Given the fact that Yukari is a rather shady character who has manipulated people in the past, such distrust would not be unreasonable.
  • That plot makes more sense for either Shinki or Yumemi.
  • Hm, Touhou 12 does feature Sanae as a playable character. Maybe it's all coming true.
  • Mima will forever be to return in the next (main) Touhou game. Regardless of whichever the current one is.
    • 13 is about Holy Spirits, so it's quite possible
  • As for me, I'm betting she'll return in the last Touhou game ever.

The next Touhou game will have Marisa and Reimu as the stage 4 boss, depending on the player character.
Works nicely with the above. It goes like this: in Lotus Land Story (that is, Touhou 4), the stage 4 boss is Reimu if you're playing Marisa, or Marisa if you're playing Reimu. In Imperishable Night (that is, Touhou 8), the stage 4 boss is Marisa if you're playing the Border Team or Ghost Team, and Reimu if you're playing the Magic Team or Scarlet Team. Going by the previous examples, it appears that every four Touhou games, the stage 4 boss is Marisa/Reimu, and the next main Touhou game will be number 12.
  • Refinement of the above: add Sanae to the list of bosses. The boss will be Marisa with Reimu-A, Sanae with Reimu-B (or vice versa), Reimu with Marisa-A and Sanae with Marisa-B, and so forth.
  • Actually, Reimu/Marisa had shown up as bosses in Phantasmagoria of Flower View. So much for that theory.
  • If we combine it with the theory above, Mima will be stage 5/final boss, and stage 4 is, once again, someone protecting her. Marisa is, by her nature, protecting her Master, and Reimu doesn't want the two of them teaming up again or there would be more mass chaos. The chain would be: Boss 1-2-3-Marisa-Shinki/Yuka?-Mima.
  • I'm betting on that happening in Touhou 16. Here's why:
    • This is kind of a stretch, but one reason Mima may not have returned is that she was too similar to Marisa. In Touhou 1 Marisa didn't exist yet, but Mima was the third from last boss in one route, which every stage 4 boss since Touhou 4 has been. (No patterns were quite established yet.)
    • Touhou 2 was Marisa's debut, as a stage 4 boss in a 5-stage game, making her The Dragon. She wasn't playable, only Reimu was.
    • Touhou 4 was the first standard game where both Reimu and Marisa were playable. Whoever you didn't pick was the stage 4 boss. (The Big Bad was both the stage 5 and 6 boss, and The Dragon was the stage 3 boss, interestingly.)
    • In Touhou 8, you had four teams of two characters. One team's "human" character was Reimu and another's was Marisa. Reimu's team and another one faced Marisa as the stage 4 boss, and Marisa's one and the last one faced Reimu. (You didn't know who the real culprit was yet.)
    • Follow the pattern and the next power of 2 is 16.

Yumemi Okazaki will appear in Touhou 12
For those who haven't played it, Yumemi entered Gensokyo in something very much like a UFO way back when. Plus, there is a red cross on the status screen.
  • Agreed. The story of Unidentified Fantastic Object is also confirmed to be mirroring Phantasmagoria of Dim Dream: A strange object from the sky appears and girls race to reach the object first, except instead of Reimu, Marisa and a bunch of other girls (including Mima), this time it's just Reimu, Marisa and Sanae.

Aya isn't ZUN's girlfriend, but rather, his self-insert character.
It makes some amount of sense, if you think about it a little bit. First, there's the matching outfits (as well as the black hair and Nice Hat.) Secondly, Aya, being a tengu, loves to drink — and ZUN is well-known for being akin to a Drunken Master himself. Third, Aya's entire purpose is to collect interesting information on the ladies of Gensokyo, as well as photographs of their danmaku / spellcards; ZUN himself collects "information" in a sense in the supplemental materials, and creating the danmaku itself is pretty close to collecting pictures of it. Her tendency to be overpowered could be attributed to ZUN simply indulging in a little bit of Mary Sue-ism every once in a while, like most fanfiction authors occasionally do. (As for why Aya isn't male? Heck, when in Gensokyo, do as the youkai do.)

Another goddess will be introduced later.
She will represent herself with slugs, and will be revealed to have beaten Kanako in a fight in the past. If you don't know why, Jan-Ken-Bo, the Japanese version of Rock-Paper-Scissors, goes like this: Snake eats Frog, Slug melts Snake, and Frog eats Slug.

If Suwako ever fights Slug-Goddess, she will come out victorious in accordance with the theme.

  • Sorta confirmed. Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom gave us Hecatia Lapislazuli, the goddess of Hell. She's not a slug-goddess, but she's still a goddess none the less.

ZUN is building up an actual game to game plot and has at least one future game planned out already.
Before the events of Mountain of Faith, the games could only be identified of their place in the timeline by which characters were around. This gets tossed out the window now, with Kanako coming to Gensokyo in 10, granting Utsuho her powers in 11, and the geyser from 11, a result of Utsuho going mad from her new power, blasted the eponymous Undefined Fantastic Object (actually a grain silo) out from underground and into the air, setting off the events of that game. In addition, more exploration of the Fantastic Racism between humans and Yokai in Gensokyo has emerged to the point of being a major plot point and the entire motivation of that game's final boss, who comes off more as "Gensokyo Gandhi" than "Threat". Add that to other subtle inclusions, such as the presence of the technologically advanced Kappa, now with their own living fusion reactor courtesy of Utsuho, and it seems that a much more wide scale and important conflict is being set up by ZUN then just "Go out and shoot at things until the problem goes away".
  • That or the opposite: the next standard shooter will see a character reset like Mountain of Faith did and start on something completely new, and we'll never hear about all this stuff again. Note that even though the first three Windows shooters don't appear to be connected, they actually were planned as a set together; ZUN has said that he wanted to make a game where the humans and youkai team up (Imperishable Night) but first needed to spend some time establishing familiar characters. So those three games can be seen as a sort of story arc. Now the "Moriya Shrine Conspiracy" arc has had three games... and after all, ZUN is the Touhou fandom's biggest troll.

One of the 12.x games will be a RTS
Well, the above WMG suggests that ZUN is planning for war in Gensoyko. Why not?
  • A war that involves "PC-98 Touhou" VS "Windows Touhou"? Or a three-way battle between "PC-98 Touhou" against "Pre-Mountain of Faith Touhou" (when stories tend to be standalone, and when Sakuya used to be a sub-heroine [she seriously is in danger of becoming the new Mima]) against "Post-Mountain of Faith Touhou" (up and coming), with Reimu and Marisa caught in the middle.
    • And then the Moon gets involved. Mima stomping the Hime sisters would be hilarious.
  • Or perhaps just Humans vs. Yokai, given Byakuren's arrival as something of "Gensokyo Gandhi", as that above WMG stated, or a leader for discriminated Yokai. Excellent Fan Fic fuel even if ZUN doesn't touch on this.
  • Given the high amount of factionalism (The Tengu, the Spiders, the SDM, Byakuren's Temple...), the petty egos, and high potential for large scale fueds, I'm almost surprised that a massive Youkai war hasn't erupted in Gensokyo.
    • And there are a number of known potential flashpoints too. To name a few; Kappa-Earth Spider, Byakuren-Hakurei and/or Kochiya, Kirisame-Margatroid, SDM-Eientei, Hakugyokurou, and/or Yakumo.
  • Alternate WMG: One of the 12.x games will be a FPS. I mean hey, we have to cover the bases here.
  • Nah, it'll be something like Dynasty Warriors with danmaku. Which would be pretty freaking awesome.
  • 12.8 was just announced with the title "Great Fairy Wars," which stars Cirno and is based on the Strange and Bright Nature Deity setting. It's a shooter though.
  • PC-98 vs Windows, with reoccuring characters caught in the middle.

ZUN is trolling the PC-98 fanbase.
In Touhou 12 there are so many Shout Outs to the PC-98 games, and yet NOT ONE PC-98 CHARACTER APPEARS! Seriously, he's doing this stuff on purpose. And we can't do anything about it.
  • When combined with the above theories, however, it works out to more hopeful conclusions. Or ZUN is having a Writer Revolt and honestly doesn't want to go back to his old work for reasons that no doubt will eventually be speculated at and become WMGs of their own, slipping in tantalizing references either as subtle Player Punches or as a way of rewarding the old fans with easter eggs and references..
  • References is the wrong word. The most recent charaters are Ripoffs from existing characters such as Nue is Flandre, Murasa is Chiyuri, and Byakuren is Mima.
    • But Flandre isn't from PC-98... Also, Byakuren is more of Shinki. And then, Shou originated from Makai. Hm...
    • On the other hand, Kogasa fits as an Expy of Kana Anaberal (they both fail to scare their intended targets).
  • If I may redirect your attention to this:
    Q: What's happened to the older characters? Like Alice, Yuka-san, and Mima-sama...
    ZUN: Well, it would be a huge pain to try to bring in older characters all the time. They'd show up, and everyone would be, "Where have you been all this time!?" It'd be weird to fit them into the story. And, I'd rather make new characters. Of course, I won't say they'll never show up again...
    So that means that he's not intentionally trolling the fanbase — he's simply going with whatever's most plausible for the storyline.
    • The question is flawed. Alice? She lived on in Alice Margatroid!
    • The question is quite obviously from before Perfect Cherry Blossom. Yuka came back with virtually no alterations at all, the only one from the question that HASN'T showed up is Mima. This troper simply thinks ZUN is saving her for a special occasion, given how he seems to be aware of fan trends like Yukkuris, the China jokes, and so on, there's no way he's unaware of how people want her back.

The PC-98 characters will return via Time Travel.
That solves the "where have they been all this time" problem, doesn't it?

ZUN has only short-term memory
Maybe he is making up all those new characters since he cannot remember all PC-98 works properly?
  • The games aren't that long.
    • After all the series is 13 years old right now.

Touhou 13 will involve a REAL invasion from Makai
In the plot of Mystic Square, the Makai invasion was actually an influx of Makai tourists and vacationers, so it wasn't a real invasion. Now that that is out of the way, let me explain my theory.

1) Touhou 11 was caused by events in Touhou 10. Similarly, Touhou 12 was caused by events in Touhou 11. If ZUN continues, this pattern, than Touhou 13 will be caused by events of Touhou 12.

2) In Touhou 12.3, the fighting game, Reimu's victory dialogue with Yukari in Arcade/Versus has her states that it "Feels like the calm before the storm" This is after Touhou 12. Something big is going to happen.

3) Now think of Touhou 12 from the perspective of a Makai demon: A giant flying ship crash landed! Unidentified objects are flying around everywhere! A powerful being was unsealed! And finally there were sightings of a shrine maiden, a witch, and some green-haired girl during the whole thing, possibly the same ones that caused so much destruction to Makai and defeated our wonderful god when we were only trying to relax and explore a new world! Are they attacking Makai again? Are these the warning signs of a full scale invasion? We must make a pre-emptive attack before they do! We won't lose again!

And there's your plot for Touhou 13. (Alice and Shinki team up as the final boss!)

  • And somehow Mima will be the EX-Boss.
    • No Yuka would be the EX-boss. Mima would be Phantasm. XD

The other two Devas of the Mountain will appear in future games.
Well, there's Suika in IAMP and Yuugi in SA... chances are the other two will pop up as bosses in the near future.
  • My bet's on them being Blue Oni since Suika and Yuugi are pretty clearly red.

Youki Konpaku is ZUN!
It explains why he isn't in the games, and no one seems to know where he is. This also explains why ZUN is so thin In real life... he merged with his ghost half, to hide it. As for the hair... there is no official art for him, so Youki may have black hair. This leads to a problem though. 'How is he making these games?' Well, an above post said that Yukari is ZUN's drinking buddy, and tells stories from Gensokyo, and gives him Bunbunmaru news papers. That would explain it.

The next fighter will have Meira.
Surely there are more deserving characters from the PC-98 era to return. Well, that may be but Meira has a reason. She wants to steal Reimu's power, giving her perfect reason to return.
  • Arguably the same logic could apply to almost any PC-98 Touhou. Orange returned from training in the mountains and wants to test her new skills. Kotohime broke out of the palace again and is playing "cops and youkai" with all the new faces. Rika and/or Rikako have stolen Hisou Tensoku from the kappa. The Scarlet Sisters drank Kurumi's blood lake.

ZUN will create a Mima Expy for Touhou 13.
Alright, so Byakuren's not quite an expy of Shinki (borrowing one spellcard? Jeez), but she's apparently close enough to piss off some fans. If ZUN did this for his own personal amusement, my guess is that for the next game he will create another character borrowing at least a few of Mima's spell patterns, to further enrage us and/or emphasize the point that Mima's not coming back.
  • Who would know, maybe he did it before, But we didn't know who.
  • Hell, We even have a New Youkai Moe~
  • If he did that, half the fans would just insist that it's Mima operating under an alias anyway.

Confirmed!!

  • By what, exactly? I don't see anyone who stands out as a Expy of Mima...
    • Soga no Tojiko. Fog Feet, somewhat similar outfit

Touhou doujin is produced in Gensokyo
This was proposed in #tropers-touhou. Basically, Touhou doujin is the porn industry of Gensokyo: Patchu writes them, Koishi makes them happen, Aya takes the pictures, and Keine erases the history/evidence. Then, Kaguya uploads them to the Internet. The black-and-white manga style comes from a combination of data loss when the upload crosses the border and the fact that everyone in Gensokyo really looks Super-Deformed.

ZUN has only learned how to draw males relatively recently
ZUN has always drawn everything for the Touhou series himself, even though ZUN isn't exactly the best artist ever. This seems to suggest that ZUN takes a certain amount of pride in drawing everything himself. Since he seems to have an obsession with creating female characters, it's not that huge of a stretch to suggest that at least during the PC-98 era ZUN simply had no clue how to draw a character that looked male. Instead of getting someone else to do the art, however, ZUN decided that since he liked to design female characters anyway, he should just make the cast be all-female. Notice that before Rinnosuke, none of the male characters were even remotely humanoid.

This all changed during the Windows era, when ZUN decided that he might as well try to draw male characters for once. Wriggle Nightbug was practice for him, as even though she was a female character she has feature usually associated with male characters, and is one of the first touhou characters to wear pants. ZUN couldn't draw a guy character in a dress, now could he? Rinnosuke is the result of his practice, but now that the tradition of Touhou having only female spellcasters has been established, it's doubtful ZUN will ever get to draw more males.

  • ZUN has never drawn Rinnosuke. He only appears in a manga he hired another artist for.

Touhou 13 will be another Phantasmagoria Game
Because Phantasmagoria of Flower View came after three games, so now that another three games have passed, it seems fitting.
  • Dubious. ZUN has to know that nobody really likes the Phantasmagoria games.
    • That might just encourage him.
  • Nope. Regular shooter
  • The next Phantasmagoria will probobly be number 27, they are all powers of three.

Kogasa will be a midboss in some future game, though not 13.
Why? Because who would expect her? Besides, Cirno did it, and she didn't have the fourth-wall breaking excuse.
  • She's a midboss in 13.

Mima won't be in the Touhou games until Reimu gets more donations.
Her profiles in Phantasmagoria of Dim. Dream and Mystic square refer to her as the "(evil) deity of the [Hakurei] shrine". No one seems to visit the shrine, so Reimu is low on donations and Mima is low on faith. So unless the Hakurei shrine gets more visitors/donations...

The True Final Boss of the last Touhou game ever made will be Rinnosuke.
The plot of the game will most likely be the result of Marisa and Reimu getting into a fight that will end up completely destroying his antiques store. In a fit of righteous fury Rinnosuke will unlock his true power and transform into the fundoshi-clad MANosuke who then, wielding the legendary Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi he obtained from Marisa during Curiosities of Lotus Asia, will go on the warpath effortlessly owning all who stand in his way. The end of the story will see Reimu and Marisa join forces in a desperate last ditch attempt to stop him in a battle that will shake the foundations of Gensokyo and which will be hailed through the Internets as the most seizure-inducing, nerve-racking, bone-breaking, blood-boiling, ass-kicking, computer-destroying, explosion-laden fight of all Touhou.

And then they'll all go have tea.

Touhou 13 is the NEW Duke Nukem Forever
As Duke Nukem forever was cancled, something MUST take it steed as there must always be a Duke Nukem forever. Touhou, was given this role.Think of it like this.Touhou 12 and 12.3 comes out. We then skip over Winter Comiket. Now Double Spoiler Comes out, as Another spinoff. Recently declared on July 23rd, Touhou, not 13, but 12.8 is coming out with the Fairy Wars.There will never be a Touhou 13, as the highly anticipated Touhou 13, which is the Storm after the calm (claimed by Reimu in TH 12.3) will never happen.

12.8 will chronicle how Cirno got her title as the strongest... of the fairies.
By diplomatic means, it seems, as Cirno freezes bullets instead of fighting the fairy head on. It seems Cirno is a pacifist when it comes to fighting Fairies. Guess she's a lot smarter than people assumed.
  • Well, it's a sequel to a story that at least took place after IN, and Cirno was calling herself the strongest fairy back in EoSD...

Mima returning in the windows games will be the Duke Nukem Forever of Touhou.
And it's totally gonna happen in 12.8.

ZUN can actually draw very well. The reason he doesn't is because if he did, the epicness would collapse the universe.
Why not?
  • Why would he intentionally draw badly? Simple: He's like the guy who made Fourecks - anything he puts too much effort into becomes real.
    • In fact, he created a real copy of Gensokyo before he made the games, so there are now three Gensokyos in existence:
      1. The true Gensokyo that exists independent of anyone, the one that his drinking buddy Yukari comes from;
      2. The Gensokyo (copy) he created when he did some sketches that carried too much "reality" in them'
      3. The Gensokyo (copy) that exists on the other side of the Fourth Wall, created by ZUN for the game series and remoulded by the countless hands of the fandom in their fanvids, fangames, and doujinshi.

Alternatively and more down-to-Earth'ly, ZUN draws purposefully bad so his fandom can prosper.
It makes sense. He knew from the start that, if you have diehard fans, and at the same time a huge flaw n your works, they'll move mountains to even things out, ZUN likes the sight of those impressive fanmade artworks so much that he's willing to use a memetically kitschy artstyle (which is very well-known and recognizable, helpingly) for that.

Games 11 and 12 were experiments by ZUN to circumvent the usual Touhou stereotypes into which he had forced himself by previous games.
Subteranean Animism, as the first of these experiments, only possessed small deviations. Instead of the character with the most authority also being the most powerful she was merely the Stage 4 boss, instead of the final boss being some ancient, epic individual with a grand history she was merely a stupid bird with powers far beyond her comprehension, and there was even a sort-of Mission Control.

Undefined Fantastic Object, however, possessed far greater variances. There was no great disturbance to investigate or powerful youkai to thwart, only a ship in the sky and a group trying to free their friend. Only one of the characters were not related to the plot at all, and she was specifically there to surprise people. The source of the original problem was not the final boss, but instead the Extra boss. There were two male characters, albeit one only in the backstory and one as an assistant, and three without any headwear, hair decorations or animal ears of any kind.

The reason that such a relatively large time has transpired between 12 and 13 is ZUN is attempting to make it his biggest deviation yet but is having troubles with it possessing numerous new elements while simultaneously remaining essentially a Touhou game.

  • Now that Touhou 13 has come out (a while ago, actually), we can conclude that ZUN was attempting to include a male character (Prince Shoutoku) as a boss, but couldn't bring himself to do it, resulting in Toyosatomimi no Miko.
    • Although ZUN had considered that for Touhou 12 as well. The final boss was initially to be Myouren.

ZUN will eventually be forced become a Youkai in order to survive.
Lets face it, he's looking pretty old for a guy in 20s or 30s, an alcoholic, and quite possibly poor. His fans (or Yukari) WILL find a way for him to live, and this may or may not lead to him gaining immortality via Youkai transformation, ala Alice. Alternatively, somebody will find a way to make the Hourai elixer.

  • Or the theory somewhere on Touhou Wiki was right and you can become immortal by eating the liver of someone rendered deathless and/or getting it surgically implanted. Just have Yukari rip out Kaguya's liver (It'll grow back!) and implant it in ZUN and boundary hax him immortality from there.

  • Maybe ZUN is a youkai and Yukari's just a really really REALLY good disguise artist... And dared him to live outside Gensokyo, ZUN gets bored... Cue Touhou.

  • Fun fact: ZUN's comment on Forbidden Arcanum "Hourai Elixir" was that he was worried if it tasted bitter or not, and Imperishable Night was quite a few games ago. He may be a hourai immortal now.

Kogasa will surpass Yukari in hax one day.
think about it. She went from a weak stage 2 boss to an EX-Midboss with no warning at all. If power comes with age and training for a Youkai, this could mean that the Umbrella will be able to get power boosts right out of no where to the point where she can go toe-to-toe with Goku.

  • Alternatively, Kogasa is the youkai powered by umbrellas. Which some powerful characters have... Kogasa's receiving power from Yukari, the SDM residents, and anyone else with an umbrella in Gensokyo. All it takes is a rainy day, and Kogasa's suddenly boosted in power.

The next Gaiden Game will be based around a jurisdictional pissing contest between Reimu and Sanae
One's pro-extermination, the other would rather throw a tea party with the Youkai. It's not a stretch to say they'd eventually get fed up with each other and eventually draw lines in the sand, then start arguing over where they should be and make everyone nearby pick a side. In theme with this, the game will have a story for each side and team elements, whether is's Imperishable Night style tag teams, Phantasmagoria competitive shooting with team members replacing multiple hitpoints, or a third-party SRPG or tag-team fighter.

Mima is Returning for real in Ten Desires.
In Youmu's scenario, Yuyuko mentions that she wagers "some troublesome individual will make a return." Also, this game's focus seems to be on spirits, monsters, ghosts, and etc.

Erm, yeah. That's pretty much all I got. Still, it would be awesome.

  • The prologue ends with the Big Bad awaiting their resurrection and plotting vengeance. Mima certainly needs to resurrect, and has had vengeance as her motivation since her first appearance.
  • In Reimu's Scenario, Yuyuko said that these are not ghosts but spirits - Mima once said something similar about herself.
On the other hand, Myouren Temple might point at Byakuren (her brother's name is Myouren), so it could be about Shinki too.

Every character in Ten Desires will have a different goal than the others.
Based on nothing more than the fact that 4 playable characters + 6 boss characters = 10 desires. How the EX-boss fits into this, I have no idea.
  • The playable characters could be the stage four bosses

Ten Desires name comes from...
The game will contain ten things fans have been begging ZUN to do.
  • Youmu has returned as a playable character.
  • Which subsequently leads to having more than 3 playable characters.
  • Spell practice is back.
  • Mima returns?
  • Supposedly it will be easier than most.
  • Other characters from past games will be back.
  • Rinnosuke will appear in the game.
  • A fan theory will be confirmed.
  • We will get another Phantasm mode.
  • At least one shipping war will end.
    • It might be a reference to the ten commandments.

Youki Konpaku will make a appearance in Ten Desires.
Yuyuko sends the party in the right direction, so this might be possible.

Sakuya will be a boss in Ten Desires
She's pretty much going to pull what Reimu/Marisa did in Imperishable Night and investigate herself.

Touhou 14 predictions
The stage 4 midboss of 13 will pull a Tewi and appear next game, the EX-midboss of 13 will pull a Sanae and appear playable next game, and based off the backstory of the EX-boss of 13 Ran will probably appear as well. Yukari might also appear if Ran does. Because of all of this, the next game might be a Phantasmagoria type shooter.

Because of the gathering of spirits that had occurred in Ten Desires, Kasen Ibara may make an appearance in the next game.
Considering that Toyosatomimi no Miko's presence is what caused the spiritsnote  to gather all around the mausoleum, and that Kasen Ibara has a bit of a habit of destroying "vengeful spirits" with her powersnote . Let those two idea sink in for a bit...

One of the new characters that will appear in the coming games will be a kitsune, possibly a "nogitsune"(field fox).
Mainly to give the dislike that Mamizou Futatsuiwa has for foxes a target that is not Ran Yakumo, and also possibly to give a sort of contrast between Ran herself (who is a tenko under the service of Yukari) and a kitsune youkai who is as free to do as she pleases as most other youkai in Gensokyo...

If Mima does EVER return, it'll be as a playable character in a sidegame where she goes against Byakuren and Miko
Given she wouldn't really fit a main story now and that IS how Yuuka came back. Also, Byakuren wants peace among Humans and Youkai. Miko wants to kill all Youkai. Mima wants to kill all humans, but she tends to act alone.
  • Um, where exactly does it say that Mima wants to kill all humans? I thought that she simply tends to want to mess around with Reimu, prior to her unfortunate run in with the sickness known as "Chuck Cunningham Syndrome". If anything, she would simply appear due to the fact that Miko's very presence (with causes spirits from all over to just show up) will give a reason for Mima showing up: because said presence will of actually caught Mima's attention from wherever she is, causing her to investigate.
  • Alternately, the people of the mausoleum may end up, in an attempt to get more people to join in their fight to kill all youkai, finding wherever Mima is being held, and set her free, hoping that they can ask for her aid...
  • Phantasmagoria of Flower View isn't a side game

A youkai will appear in a future installment. One with the power to cause gender flips in others.
Sounds strange, you say? Well, considering that this would allow ZUN to insert male characters into a game without actually doing so, stating either that "they were cured of their curse of being turned into a girl at the end of the game" or "they decided to remain as they are now, as they actually like their new form more" as their ending, with the former allowing him an excuse to draw male characters in the ending, with the possibility of an actual male character become a Player Character in the next game, and the latter allowing him to pander to the fanbase, should it be something that he feels that would work out better that way.

  • Alternatively, he can just redraw pre-existing characters and blame different spellcards on second sets, hidden spells, the plot, and the genderbend confusion left. And any incidences where male versions of characters meet the normal versions can be blamed on a trolling Yukari.

Next game will feature a Gashadokuro.

There might NOT be an official Touhou game in 2012.
Given the amount of stuff that the upcoming written work Symposium of Post-mysticism will have and the fact that it was delayed until March recently, it feels like the next actual Touhou game will be sometime in 2013. The last time such a large official written work was released was PMiSS in '06, which was a year that didn't have a Touhou game released in it (PoFV was released on 8/14/05 and MoF on 8/17/07). With the amount of apparent effort being put into this work, it probably wouldn't be wise to expect another game as well this year.

On the other hand PMiSS was released very late in '06 (12/27), so the possibility of a new Touhou game isn't that much of a stretch either. This could go either way, but since there's been at least one every year since '07 a lack of one in 2012 will likely come as a shock to quite a few. This is more of a heads-up than anything, but the next Touhou game might be coming a little later than expected.

The plot of TH14 will be triggered by Mamizou starting trouble with foxes.
ZUN supposedly commented that he intended the extra stage of Ten Desires to feel like a possible link to the next game, and Mamizou's profile says that her fox problem is a "story for another day". Given how every game since SA has had a plot that was indirectly caused by the events of the one before it, it seems to fit.
  • Every game since Mountain of Faith, since Kanako was behind the events of SA.

Aya is the Touhou version of his girlfriend and now wedded wife
Think about it, the article says that they have known each other since Imperishable Night, and there is also a WMG of Aya being ZUN's girlfriend, especially when Aya was introduced after Imperishable Night, starting from Po FV, only to reappear many more times after in the following games.

  • Phantasmagoria of Flower View
  • Shoot the Bullet
  • Mountain of Faith
  • Scarlet Weather Rhapsody
  • Subterannean Animism
  • Double Spoiler
  • Fairy Wars

    • Actually, photos of ZUN's wife have revealed that she looks a lot more like Mamizou than Aya. Hmm...

One of the next touhou games will involve a religious war
I mean it's pretty obvious, touhou 10 was all about this, Kanako moves to gensokyo reimu gives her a "warm welcome". After this Kanako messes up and forces her "energy" solutions into the people of gensokyo, she feeds a underworld's crow a god, almost destroying gensokyo, she almost floods the village (in the manga), the only good thing about her coming to gensokyo really is sanae, since she helps (and enjoys) the youkai hunting, it's pretty easy to assume anyone that doesn't care for her Kanako's shrine would be pretty pissed off at her. But then, to make everything worse a new challenger appears, Byakure builds the myouren shrine, giving people of gensokyo another option, this is, something else to belive in, sure , her temple is mostly for youkai, but still...Then appears Miko, with her human laws and manipulation (this is canon, i mean she pratically became the imperor through manipulation japan), this will put her at odds with Byakuren, their followers, that probably are new to religion, will jump into confrontation, and most likely, the kanako followers will too , for the sake of it. To make it all the more plausible, Reimu and Zun have expressed how "quiet" the youkai have been, and how they've barely come up with any incident lately, remilia has been in her mansion ever since she went to the moon, yukari too, suika has only recently appeared on the manga, yuyuko only appears as a 1st boss in Ten Desires (And curiously she advices the main character to check out the graveyard where miko is, so, she's informed about what's going on). My guess, Yukari/Kanako will find a way to destroy both Miko and Byakuren through their holy war. The effects of a war in gensokyo will be the storyline in the game, cause there's no register of a war in gensokyo, so it's effects would probably summon some crazy ass youkai, or something. Meanwhile the war itself will be despict on a new manga! Toughts?
  • Except that Kanako, Byakuren, and Miko spend the entirety of Symposium of Post Mysticism getting along just peachy. There's no reason for them to fight: Miko was dissuaded from trying to reclaim her old authority simply by being told that there was no need for a human ruler in Gensokyo, and gleefully went back to being a hermit; Byakuren would have no interest in forcibly changing others' religious views; and Kanako's current policy is to use a "friendly face" over "impressive stature" when dealing with others, so she can't be be seen as the aggressor (and given how non-violent her opponents are, she would be). And if they tried to start a war, not a large danmaku battle but a real war, then all those youkai you mentioned being quiet are likely to come down on them hard; most of them rather like the peace that comes with non-lethal warfare.
    • That's true, and to be fair, I didn't read the Symposium of Post Mysticism. This makes the whole religious war alot less likely...But still , isn't it possible that the followers of each faction to start a war by themselves? I mean... Byakuren wants youkai and human to live in balance, and im assuming (altough i might be doing some wrong character interpretation) that this means she also wants humans to live in peace , not just youkai (even 'cause she's a former human), still, kyouko kasodani, who's a monk at Byakuren's shrine downright talks about eating the heroine (Altough she could be bluffing)... So, if there were more followers like this, isn't it possible for a religious war to break out? I mean... sudently gensokyo is FILLED with different religious and shrines, up until then, and that we know of, there was only the hakurei's, that after awhile got completly infested by youkai and scared the humans off (even tho there probably weren't many humans willing to visit that shrine for starters... ), then boom! Kanako shows up, new shrine, then byakuren builds her temple, and then even Miko builds one! Maybe a war is something too... uh.. stretched, but isn't it possible that the sudden rise of faith will have some sort of effect on gensokyo? Gensokyo is pratically (from what i could gather) held up by the Hakurei clan, with new shrines and religious appearing there might be some sort of unexpected effect! right?
  • Based on the description for Hopeless Masquerade, I think we can call this confirmed.

Calling the final boss of Hopeless Masquerade right now!
Since the game is basically Gensoukyo's version of the Crusades, the final boss is either going to be a god, if not an outright expy of the Christian God. At the very least, the final boss will be a Messiah. A REAL Messiah. Not Byakuren. Although, I am still accepting the possibility of Mima.
  • How about Shinki? Her name's in the English romanization of the Japanese title! (Even though Japanese does not work that way...probably).
    • Wait a minute...the "ki" in both Shinki and in Touhou Shinkirou is the same character. And the Shinkirou in the title is a pun on the Japanese word for "Mirage" - Shinki's theme is..."Legendary Illusion - Infinite Being". OH SNAP!
  • Alternatively there could be three of them since there are three different factions fighting each other and the Final Boss is the representative deity for an opposing faction. With the representatives maybe being Shinki for the budhists (due to the possible connection between Shinki and Byakuren) maybe Sariel for the Taoists (Just pulling out of thin air here since she basically looks like the Foil to Shinki) and the Hakurei Deity (maybe Mima ascended).

Hopeless Masquerade will bring the first appearance of the Hakurei Deity.
By now we all know the situation. The religious figures of Gensokyo are trying to restore order to the Human Village and gain faith. The prologue also mentions "the shrine maiden who seeks rehabilitation." Which goddess has the most to gain from such an incident? The very one who receives very little faith as it is. The one whose shrine is devoid of human visitors, prayers and donations. The one whose shrine has become a haven for youkai. The one whose shrine maiden is seen as lazy and uncaring. The goddess of the Hakurei Shrine herself.

Byakuren will return in a future game...
...as a stage midboss. That stage's boss will be Shinki.

Shingyoku will be the final boss of Touhou, and it will be epic.
The last game will be an IN-style duo of Marisa and Reimu, with ally-powered bonus bombs. The final/6th boss will be an angry-as-hell MA Nnosuke Rinnosuke seeking revenge for his shop being destroyed in a previous danmaku battle, with Cirno as his midboss for no reason. The EX boss will be ZUN, with every single touhou character in order with all and more (But MUCH FASTER) spellcards as his midbosses, including PC-98 and appearances of Marisa and Reimu with Yukari reappearing just before ZUN. The Phantasm level will be Reimu returning home to find the Hakurei Shrine demolished by a furious Shingyoku and parts of it being launched everywhere, with the Hakurei Barrier collapsing around Gensokyo. The midboss will be a possessed Chen, because Hakurei orbs. After exorcising Chen with danmaku, parts of the exploding shrine and collapsing barrier will start attacking the heroines, with Reimu commenting at one point that she saw her bed get launched into the pond. After this, Genji will appear carrying Suika, the 3 Fairies of Light, the incapacitated Chen, and Reimu's stuff away, shouting at Reimu that it's too dangerous and whatnot. Reimu and Marisa acknowledge him without fight, but continue anyways. Post this, Mima will appear only to get hit by Shingyoku and get launched past the protagonists, shocking Marisa. A long and protracted danmaku battle that is so epic that the arrange of The Positive and the Negative will be interrupted midway by Necrofantasia and Yukari attacking Shingyoku with extreme spellcards. After escaping the crossfire, the background will display Yukari's giant gap-location body fighting with the giant yin-yang of Shingyoku. The heroines lead an evacuation line, clearing out the danmaku patterns of exploding Hakurei Barrier, Japanese city, bits of the rapidly crashing Gensokyo, and shrine stuff. After various demands of Kanako to explain what the hell is going on, Sakuya and Eirin mess with timespace enough to stabilize Gensokyo back into Japan. Then awkward Seihou crossover outro, and Touhou is won.

Akyuu is intentionally giving contradictory information.
For several possible reasons:
  • It may be human prejudices contradicting with what she's actually observing.
  • She may be "in" on the conspiracy to make Youkai appear sinister. Thus solidifying belief in them and keeping them existing. Simply depicting them as Always Chaotic Evil might lead to retaliation, or worse, humans realizing her information is completely wrong and ignoring it. Contradictory information leaves open the possibility of them being monsters; leaving uneasiness that manifests their existence.
  • This is part of a plan to have a longer life-span in her reincarnation cycle. She dies whenever her chronicle of that generation of Gensokyo is complete. By writing down "slightly wrong" information, and then correcting it with more "slightly wrong" information, she can extend the amount of time needed to write down her chronicle.

Hopeless Masquerade will have branching story paths.
One of the most mayor reason I believe this is after the release of the new demo. Now using certain moves increase your faith for one of the 3 factions, and I don't see how this will have any effect on the gameplay since you only have one popularity meter.

Eventually ZUN will allow someone to localize the games and will release them on Steam
A guy can dream, right?
  • Would be Nyu Media in that case.

Some of the background characters in Hopeless Masquerade will be Early-Bird Cameo's

Touhou 14 ties into Ten Desires and Forbidden Scrollery
ZUN has announced the plot for Touhou 14 in which the weapons of Reimu, Marisa, and Sakuya become animate and self-acting. He also mentions what appears to be a youkai rebellion. In chapters 4 and 5 of Forbidden Scrollery, several household items from the Human Village start acting on their own - in short becoming tsukumogami, or an item youkai. The one behind this is Mamizou. Mamizou's first appearance was the Extra Stage of Ten Desires which ZUN titled "Raise the Flag of Rebellion!"

Sanae and Youmu are going to be DDC's stage 4 bosses
Specifically, A characters will fight Sanae, while B characters will fight Youmu. The idea being that Sanae has remained pure and weaponless and is here to deal with you during the A routes (because your character is a psycho). Youmu, on the other hand, relies on weapons and got corrupted, so you're dealing with her as an incident. In either case, she knows something about what's going on and send you to deal with the source of the problem after you beat her up

The final boss of DDC has a grudge against the girls.
She turned the weapons evil as revenge.

DDC's plot is the result of Hell expanding
To do so, they need to borrow some land from the mortal realm, and punch a hole in the barrier separating the two while setting up. This results in a bunch of negative energy washing over Gensoukyou, driving inherently negative things like youkai and weapons mad.

'Double Dealing Character' refers to...
How people normally hide their true feelings and ambitions. The incident is merely causing them to do what they want.
  • Also, the person behind the incident could be causing both the weapons and the youkai to go berserk because they would benefit from making both sides more violent. It's double dealing in multiple ways.

The next Touhou game will be a P.O.V. Sequel to Double Dealing Character

ZUN is only going to Atlanta so he can try American booze.
His guest appearance at Anime Weekend Atlanta is simply an excuse to travel there.

Cirno's name is Engrish
The word "Chill" when transliterated in Japanese would be "Chiru." "Chiru no Yousei"note  => "Chiruno" => "Cirno."
  • But Engrish can make for badass. Take Barthandelus. Baldanders doesn't have the same ring does it?
    • And we can't forget the Varia Suit can we? (It was intended to be "Barrier.")

Seija Kojin will do that stage-5-boss-becomes-a-protagonist-next-game thing Touhou does
She's a stage 5 boss and manipulative enough to pull an incident (She's supposedly manipulating the inchling with the miracle mallet or something), so she has both the protagonist firepower and reason to be there (enemy incidents tend to interfere with plans). Her bullets would be ripoffs of persuasion needles and attempt to change the enemy's ideology or something, and her bomb would flip all the enemy bullets on screen into her danmaku, and the more that go back and hit the boss, the more damage caused.
  • Confirmed but nothing like this. Seija is the playable character of 14.3 Impossible Spellcard, but she uses a totally different method of attack.

Rin Satsuki will appear when Mima does.
Mima disappeared between her last appearance in the Mystic Square endings and Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, with the possible exception of a music track appearance (it's not quite clear to me how the stories within are supposed to fit together), and Rin disappeared immediately before Embodiment of Scarlet Devil if she exists, since she was going to be a playable character. Since they disappeared around the same time, why not reappear together?
  • Bonus WMG: Mima will be the EX-boss of an incident caused by Rin Satsuki, because why not.

Rin Satsuki was intended to be Reimu's partner.
ZUN has said that he wanted to make Touhou 6 a partner game like Touhou 8, but couldn't bring over enough characters from PC-98 to do so and didn't want to make new ones. Rin looks a lot like Reimu and doesn't look like she would be a boss character in this game, so the best explanation is that the data that exists for her was added before ZUN realized that he wasn't going to be able to make it happen.

Double Dealing Character was secretly a collaboration between ZUN and Shinobu Yagawa.
It would explain why the game's bomb and extra life systems as well as the scoring system favor constant bomb use and constant suiciding to get more bombs.

Touhou 15 will have six playable characters
The last two games have been reintroducing the old heroines, and, in Sakuya's case, apparently reintroducing them for the sake of reintroducing them— Sakuya's reason for being involved in DDC could have just as easily been written to affect a different character, and the other established heroines had weapons that could have been affected like Reimu and Marisa's were. So ZUN's gone out of his way to establish that there's five heroines active. This is one short of the typical Touhou shottype count, but we have a couple good candidates for a sixth: Futo (Ambiguously Human stage 5 boss) and Shinmyoumaru (heroic Demihuman).

There will be TH14.5
Why else would Impossible Spell Card be 14.3?

ZUN has stopped releasing whole-number Touhou games every year.
The last time he did that was between Touhou 11 and 12, then he released two spinoffs in 2010 and saved Touhou 13 for the following year, then in 2012 he released a major manga, and this year he's set to release a Touhou 14.3, with implications that there will be more than one spinoff before Touhou 15 comes around.

This is no cause to panic: in the PC-98 days he released two numbered games each year, and then Touhou 6 to 12 mostly every year with the exception of 2006 (when he released another major manga and a spinoff). Mind you, the Windows games are much more involved affairs than the PC-98 games: they have the spell card system and each one has a unique mechanic on top of it. This flood of spin-offs may signal a new trend; perhaps ZUN is taking longer to think of new characters and story ideas (let's remember how much ground he'd covered there even with Touhou 12). But we have so much already that less frequent new ones are not terrible. But this may signal a new trend.

Mima will be the VERY last character to appear in the last touhou game or material, should the series end.
Because ZUN is saving the return of Mima for the absolute latest point possible. As a corollary, absolutely every other touhou character including PC-98 characters and nameless midbosses and those that fall into both categories will return before Mima does. Mima will probably be Extra or Phantasm boss.

ZUN is deliberately waiting for 2015 to release Touhou 15.
People often shorten the year to the last two digits. 15 in '15. It's a perfect match.

One of the games will see Reimu and possibly Marisa 'kidnapped' as the incident.
Sakuya, Youmu, Sanae, and possibly others would go around Gensokyo trying to find them. They would be found somewhere unrelated from everyone new or returning who just got beat up, resulting in the EX-boss being a dual boss fight with Reimu and Marisa.

Reimu will never noticeably age or die, ever, as far as we are shown.
The very first non-title theme is Eternal Shrine Maiden. Makes perfect sense!

Seija will be an Arc Villain in the current story arc.
Unlike the Moriya Shrine arc where almost everything was cause by Kanako by accident, Seija will be an active villain and a recurring Big Bad.

Thoughts on future Twilight Frontier games:
Post additional theories about each idea under its bullet point.
  • Non-Touhou games.
    • Their first major project was Eternal Fighter Zero (2001), and they only released their first Touhou project in 2004. Since then they've made two other non-Touhou games, Higurashi Daybreak and Grief Syndrome. Good news is, they released a Touhou game both those years too (they release one new Touhou game every year). But that does mean they don't make just Touhou games.
  • Megamari X.
    • Given that Twilight Frontier went from Super Marisa Land to New Super Marisa Land, it's more likely that they'd go for this than a simple Megamari 2.
    • It's less obvious who would be a Sigma-type villain in this game, but Kanako is a good bet.
  • Bullet Hell games.
    • This year, Twilight Frontier made a surprise move and made a Bullet Hell game starring Nitori that plays differently from the mainline series. If they follow up with more such games, ZUN may have to think fast.
  • A Kirby type game.
    • Kirby involves power copying like Mega Man, and a lot of Western fans appear to want such a game, but I can't really judge how the Japanese (who Tasofro is more likely to listen to) think about it.
  • A Zelda or Metroid type of game.
    • Touhou games aren't usually these adventurey exploring types, but who knows.

ZUN doesn't want an export for fear of Cultural Translation and/or censorship.
Just look how butchered Ace Attorney was because of that trope. The games included many distinctly Japanese cultural elements, some less plot-critical than others. This in a game about practicing law. Even the most thorough translation left some in. Of course, Touhou Project is entirely built around Japanese culture (with some Western elements thrown in, but no more than is already present in Japan). It would be incredibly blatant that this was in Japan, and still some elements (the Western bits, the combination of the premise with Bullet Hell gameplay, and simply the whole idea of a mainly fan-built franchise) would not go over well in the Western mainstream. Besides, a straight translation would not mesh with Western cultural norms and, on the other hand, a successful Woolseyism would be seen by ZUN as stealing his thunder. Of course, anything in between would completely fail at avoiding both.
  • Mid-2015, ZUN came to terms with an American company that has his official approval to sell the games in the West. However, the company does not translate the game, only... sells them. While some may see this move as odd, others would agree that if the translations are done by decidated fans with (now) easier access/better possibilities to actually buy them, the games and fanbase will ultimately benefit more from it than if the translation was done by professionals. Mainly since they may not share the same knowledge and thus may be more prone to mistranslate things, especially since Japanse is a very subjective and context-sensitive language with many double or even triple-meanings and resulting word plays. The fact that Touhou is a fairly medieval setting based on Japanese mythology would make it even harder.

Urban Legend in Limbo will feature Youmu as a major character.
Youmu is a half-ghost who is accustomed to real ghosts but afraid of ghost stories. Urban Legend in Limbo is all about ghost stories. Even if I'm not putting much weight into this idea, it seems to good to pass up.

ZUN is planning to round off the series and bring the main cannon to a close.
It's just something about the writing in the series as of late that give me this hunch that it is building up for some sort of finale, I just can't quite put my finger on it. But Wham Episode's are becoming more frequent and the series is starting to put a greater emphasis on Arc Welding. As for what that finale would be, anything is possible, but my personal guess would be that the Barrier is brought down but instead of destroying Gensokyou, things have been prepared for a The Magic Comes Back scenario where Youkai once again roam the Earth freely. This could also be what caused the state of the world where Maribel and Renko live. It is pretty much a new Gensokyou but on a worldwide scale.

Final Game analysis
My theory is that the final game's 2 routes has 2 different bosses.

Reimu: Stage 6 Meira, EX Mima, Mima comes back to say farewell.

Marisa: Stage 6 MA Nosuke for destroying his shop, EX Shingyoku.

Phantasm would be the two of them vs ZUN, unifying the several final game theories.

Note, this doesn't necessarily mean the end of the series period, just the main cannon. Side games and other material could still be released, but at a much slower rate than before.

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