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Webcomic / Touhoumon Nuzlocke Challenge

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A girl and her cute killing machines.

"The best Nuzlocke Comic this side of Gensokyo!"

It was, perhaps, inevitable.

The sheer popularity of Pokémon has led to, among other things, countless Game Mods and Romhacks of varying quality... such as Moemon, whose entire gimmick is replacing every last pokemon with Moe ginjinkas of the original Mons.

There's also the rules of Nuzlocke, which have become a popular Self-Imposed Challenge. Since Nuzlocke first presented his rules through a Web Comic detailing the results, many who took on the challenge followed suit, creating their own records of whatever occured in their runs.

Touhou Project, meanwhile, boasts many characters — enough, in fact, that fans saw fit to create their own crazy spin on the Mons genre with Touhoumon.

Lina Ciari's Touhoumon Nuzlocke Challenge is, therefore, the next logical step — applying the rules of Nuzlocke to a Touhoumon game. Season 1 is based on Touhoumon Aqua+Yui, while Season 2 is based on Touhoumon Emerald 1.8.

Amber, our heroine, is an impulsive, stubborn young girl whose 'rival' is... another Amber from an Alternate Dimension. Though this other Amber seems calmer and gentler, Amber is convinced that she simply must be an Evil Twin! Thus, after picking up her first Touhou — a surly, foul-tempered Chibi Reimu whom she immediately dubs "Bitch" — she immediately attacks her alternate, then sets out on her grand journey across Gensokyo—!

...Only to swiftly discover that just because Touhous are cute and almost everyone is raising and fighting them, it doesn't mean those battles don't have consequences... As with pretty much every Nuzlocke, Touhoumon Nuzlocke Challenge is filled with Mood Whiplash, swinging between silly, lighthearted humor, intense combat, and tragic loss.

Season 2, set in Hoenn as opposed to Kanto, stars Lyla, a science-oriented girl who begins her journey to fill the Touhoudex for research. She initially states a dislike for battling, but takes to it quickly, though she has a mysterious aversion to embracing fighting. An Older and Wiser Amber has reappeared, making her way through Hoenn as well, and acting as a bit of a mentor/Cool Big Sis to Lyla.

As of September 2015, the comics have been taken down by the author due to the use of problematic tropes that she has since regretted including.

Touhoumon Nuzlocke Challenge contains examples of:

  • Ascended Extra:
    • Amber's Violet, Hitomi, WindyThing, Kura, and Marcia became part of the main team right before the championship. Amelia and Gregoria also earn this status after the Elite Four.
    • Amelia and Gregoria in the postgame, not that they get much screentime or personality anyways.
    • In Season Two, Amber's unused team members from the previous season will be used according to Lina. So far we've only seen Merchant.
  • Alternate Dimension:
    • Amber's rival Amber comes from one. Nice girl, despite Amber's assumptions otherwise.
    • Later it is revealed that Other!Amber's dimension was destroyed by Sariel after Giovanni attempted to capture him and use his powers.
    • ZUN has the ability to travel through said dimensions and has claimed to see many others be destroyed.
  • Anticlimax: Lampshaded by Nineball Breaking the Fourth Wall to chastise Lina Ciari:
    Nineball: That's what happens when you write a character as threatening and then in-game she's a wuss.
    • The Sabrina fight after Yukari gets KO'd
    • Subverted by Flandre in Bohemian Archive in Burnt Red.
  • Berserk Button: NEVER call Nyah, a useless kitten. Surge's EX-Luna Child finds this out the hard way.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Daisy, Other!Amber, and Professor Oak's Sakuya save Myon from being killed by Sariel.
  • Black Comedy:
    • While the others react with horror to every death, Bitch prefers to make snarky comments. She gets called out on this frequently.
    • Violet seems to have this attitude as well. She hates being called out on this.
  • Blood Knight:
    • Bitch, who would much prefer to kill everything they come across and is not pleased by Amber's insistence on catching other Touhous.
    • Violet as well. Much to her chagrin.
  • Boss Subtitles: Used to introduce the Gym Leaders is Season Two. Usually comes with a Shout-Out or two.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The Silph Scope gives an awareness of the Fourth Wall.
    Marisa: Are you scared? Even after that melodramatic Flash update?
    • During a conversation between Giovanni and Amber:
    Jackie: (after Giovanni states that this is not a game and that actions have consequences) Haha, it's funny cause this is actually -punched-
  • Brick Joke: Amber leaves behind her hat at Lavender Town in memory of her Touhou. During the Q & A segment we're a shown a scruffy bearded man coming across and taking it as a "free hat."
  • Bystander Syndrome: Steven Stone knows that Team Aqua's up to no good, but isn't bothering to do anything about it. Amber's attempts to call him out on this haven't been very effective...
  • Chekhov's Gun: A trainer's mentioning of the Winged Miracles.
    Lampshaded by Nineball: "What you thought they weren't? Even I knew that."
    • Apparently, a good majority of what Lina's fans suggest she should do.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: ZUN is the Champion.
  • Cool Shades:
    • Nineball's Silph Scope, as well.
    • Kura wears a pair of Blackglasses.
  • Cue the Rain: In Chapter 36, Shingyoku (Male) makes it rain to set the atmosphere for Amber and Other!Amber's battle. That ends up helping Marcia to score a direct hit on Aya with Thunder.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Nyah versus the Vermillion Gym trainers, Nineball versus the Celadon Gym trainers, Marcia versus Blaine.
    • Amelia and Gregoria versus the SDM Flandres.
    • Sariel versus lots of Touhous in strip 52.
    Sariel: I am shitting myself right now.
    • Most opposing Touhous tend to be defeated unceremoniously in one or two attacks, and many battles only last a page because there's five of them. Of course the flipside is that losses are usually even more sudden.
  • Curse Cut Short: Invoked by Amber, interrupting Nineball.
    Nineball: Eat Water Pulse, bitch! Although, you're a cat so I guess I should call you a p-
    Amber: That's enough Nineball.
  • Darker and Edgier: The later chapters during the first season reveal that Other!Amber and Daisy's Alternate Dimension was destroyed by Sariel after Team Rocket attempted to capture him. Other!Amber is forced by Shingyoku to eliminate Amber and their battle results in the deaths of Bitch, Babs and Other!Amber's Marisa).
  • Deadpan Snarker: Bitch, whose sense of humor tends towards the black.
  • Deal with the Devil: As of Ghostly Backstory Club, Other!Amber has agreed to kill Amber so that Sariel will not bring about Armeggeddon.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Bitch, Nineball, and Jackie all take down Kikuri, Kongala, and Yuugenmagan, respectively.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Metal Gear Re- I mean EX-Nitori's Crotch Laser.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: Amber explains to Laughter, a Chibi Medicine, just why she named her that. Bitch is not amused. Bitch is never amused.
    • Once again in Part 38. Violet is not amused.
  • The Dragon: Sabrina to Giovanni.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady:
    • Much like Moemon, some of the Touhous Amber catches turn out to be male.
    • Birdo the Mystia, he says he likes wearing a dress.
  • Dumb Muscle: According to Brawly's Boss Subtitles, he only has five brain cells.
  • Evil Costume Switch: When her attitude shifts from just trying to avoid her crazy counterpart to actively wanting to fight her, Other!Amber dons a small black mantle.
  • Evil Twin: Parodied; Amber assumes the other Amber is this, and won't be told differently. Her bullheaded behavior towards her so-called rival leads to that Amber declaring "You're the bad one!"
    • Zigzagged once again where it is revealed that Other!Amber's Dimension was destroyed by Sariel after she failed to stop Team Rocket. Amber then thinks that she's the bad one. Until Daisy says that Dimensions don't work that way.
  • Expy:
    • By the nature of the game, all the cast members resemble the actual Touhou Project crew, but are distinctly different.
    • Blaine has a strangely familiar mustache.
    • In Season 2, Max, Lyla's Reisen, is an obvious expy of Max
    • Gadget, Lyla's Nazrin, may turn out to be an expy of Marcia, if she can survive... She also is an Expy of Gadget Hackwrench from Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers.
    • Amber's new Suwako, Anko, is an expy of Kyouko. Her name is even a reference to a Fan Nickname of Kyouko.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Bitch generally has an angry, closed-eyed expression. The first time she does open her eyes, it's accompanied by a Slasher Smile.
    • Jackie as well, because he is Chinese after all.
  • Fade to White: Used at the end of the Championship Fight, as Hitomi calls down the Thunder.
  • Fan Art: A decent amount for Season 1, and an explosion of it in Season 2.
  • Fanservice: Two words. Hot Springs.
  • Flat "What": Lyla's rival Derek, upon realizing the battle he's just talked her into ended before he even realized it.
  • Fun Size: All Touhous start out as Chibi.
  • Flipping the Table: Bruno's Mokou when having to fight Marcia.
  • Follow in My Footsteps: Norman wants Lyla to become a gym leader just like him, even though she's more interested in becoming a researcher. Derek has a similar problem, as he'd rather become a gym leader than a boring scientist like his dad.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Ghost types are immune to Fighting type attacks but Jackie takes Agatha's Youmu with his fists. Lina states that Jackie was using Outrage, however.
  • Genki Girl:
    • Amber, though she's not so genki whenever she's just lost a party member.
    • Hatate, who retains her cheerful attitude even as she's dying from a critical hit.
  • Gilligan Cut: Amber upon returning home to Pallet Town.
    Amber:Mom, how I missed you...
    Amber's Mom: Aw, I missed you too, honey
    Amber: ...r cooking! What's for dinner, ma?
    (Next panel cuts to Amber with Daisy)
  • Gratuitous Disco Sequence: Surge's Iku comes with "Stayin' Alive" playing in the background.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Anko in order to defeat Oktavia.
  • Hope Spot: During the Championship Fight, Marcia survives two attacks by hiding in her shell, and Amber is just about to heal her when her luck runs out. According with Lina, she predicted ZUN would use a Full Restore on EX Marisa, because her health was in red. He didn't.
  • Humongous Mecha: Other!Amber's EX-Nitori pilots a Metal Gear Rex, and the Lorelei's EX-Nitori pilots a Metal Gear Ray.
  • I Hit You, You Hit The Ground: Seen in Part 37 when Jackie takes out Patchouli.
  • Identical Stranger: The two Ambers. A Running Gag is that the gym leaders keep wondering why Amber keeps returning for another badge...
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Max frequently eats his opponents. Played for Laughs.
  • Implied Love Interest: Babs to Jackie. Her death induces an Unstoppable Rage in Jackie that takes out Other!Amber's Patchouli and Momiji.
    • And in Season Two, Steven Stone to Amber.
  • Ironic Echo:
    Koga: Cirnos really aren't too bright. Did you forget that you're a water type now?
    Nineball: Gym Leader's aren't too bright. Did you forget...that I'm the Strongest?
    • Once more near the end of series.
    Amber (in strip 51): I am shitting myself right now.
    Sariel (in strip 52): I am shitting myself right now.
  • Karma Houdini: Giovanni gets scott free from his attempt at taking over Silph Co. because he knows people in the police.
  • Killed Off for Real: Final death tally for Amber's Touhous: Birdo, Twinkle, Hatate, Baka, Bucket Girl, Autumn, Spring, Laughter, Nyah, Blue, Mona, Jade, Marisa, Nineball, Ms. Wright, Winter, Bitch, Babs, Marcia, Violet, and Hitomi. That's more than three times the size of your active party. Early on she lost them almost as fast as she gained them.
    • Also, Other!Amber's Youmu and Marisa.
    • In season 2, Lyla has lost: Tomas, while Amber has lost Chirp and Anko.
  • Lack of Empathy: Bitch has a very cold attitude towards everyone. If someone dies, it's their own damn fault, though she's quick to harp on Amber for being upset and point out any and all mistakes she's made.
  • Lava Adds Awesome: Welcome to Cinnabar Island. We have a volcano!
  • Leave Her To Me: Despite her type disadvantage, Bitch insists on taking on Other!Amber's starter Marisa every time they cross paths. Amber calls her on this in Magical Metronome, but allows her to fight... until she takes a Master Spark in the gut, causing the demise of Bitch and Other|Amber's Marisa.
  • Les Yay: It was implied between Other!Amber and Daisy, then pretty much confirmed in the epilogue.
  • Martial Arts Headband: Amber leaves behind her hat at Lavender Town in memory of all the Touhou she has lost and dons one of them instead.
  • Meaningful Name: Bitch, who's a snarky jerkass, often lives up to her name.
  • Megaton Punch: Jackie takes out Lorelei's EX-Nitori with a Dynamic Punch.
  • Motive Decay: In Season 2, Amber worries if she's slipping into this, as she's not entirely sure why she's started over with another adventure.
  • Mythology Gag: Upon entering the Scarlet Devil Mansion, Jackie begins to feel that he shouldn't let them enter.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Amber destroying the Winged Miracles basically, pisses off Sariel to the point where he considers to destroy the world.
  • Nintendo Hard: Touhoumon games have a reputation for being quite difficult, and this bears out in the comic.
  • Noodle Implements:
    Lyla: Wait, aren't you a beast type user why is it called the ston-
    Roxanne: 'Some things man was not meant to know'.
  • Nosebleed: Jackie gets a bunch of these in the Q&A session.
  • No-Sell: Patchouli does this against Babs in the chapter 37. She received various attacks from her, but she only shrugs Babs's efforts. After a while, Patchouli decided she had enough of her useless attacks, then promptly kills Babs with Flamethrower.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: After being treated as a complete joke for sleeping through their first couple encounters, Other!Amber's Patchouli opens her eyes and one-shots Nyah with Bubblebeam. Another proof? She also kills Babs in Part 37, who defeated her in the chapter when Nyah dies.
    • Surge's Chibi Shou. It looked really inoffensive, then it takes out Laughter with Rock Slide.
  • Oh, Crap!: Jade's death at the hands of Other!Amber's EX-Nitori.
    • Koga's EX-Hina using Explosion on Babs.
    • Encountering Flandre in the Scarlet Devil Mansion.
    • Sariel's reaction to being cornered by Amber's team, Other!Amber's team and Professor Oak's Chibi Sakuya:
    Sariel: I am shitting myself right now.
  • Parental Neglect: Lyla's father Norman cares about her... but not enough to pay child support. And he'd really prefer for her to follow his dreams rather than hers.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Amber's treatment of her rival (including trying to kill her, Played for Laughs), who's not actually evil, as well as some Rocket Grunts, who are.
  • Plot Device: The Silph Scope. Lampshaded by Amber at one point.
  • Plucky Girl: Amber. Given the losses she's suffered, the fact she can drive forward at all is astonishing sometimes...
  • Psychic Powers:
    • Sabrina but she can only use them when she's confident.
  • Red Shirt: The Team Rocket Grunt's Pokemon.
  • The Rival: While the AU Amber would much rather be left alone at first, her Marisa makes a perfect Foil to Bitch; while she appears nicer at first, she has a disturbingly cavalier attitude towards life-and-death combat. The other Amber eventually does decide to seriously oppose her, in no small part since it's clear Amber would just keep attacking her anyway.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Curiosities of Rival Asia is more or less an entire update dedicated to one of these.
  • Running Gag:
  • Sequel Hook: The ending seems to imply there may be another Touhoumon Nuzlocke Challenge taking place in a different Touhoumon game. Then Season 2 was released.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Archie calls Amber Steven's girlfriend, which she denies.
  • Shockwave Stomp: Bruno's Tenshi and Yuugi.
  • Shout-Out: Several of the names Amber gives her Touhous are references, such as to common Touhou Memes or other games.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Bitch is not exactly the most understanding or supportive of teammates.
  • Sinister Scythe: Gregoria the Komachi wields one.
  • Sour Supporter: Bitch, whose 'pep talks' aren't exactly peppy.
  • Splash of Color:
    • The strips are mostly monochrome, but blood and the Rs on the uniforms are always painted red. Certain dramatic moments also get splashes of color, such as Patchouli opening her eyes for the first time.
    • Whenever one of the girls reaches their final form, she gets a panel where she's fully colored to show off her new look.
    • In Part 37, the first color seen in that strip is a single red X at the end of a row of Xs, signifying the latest casualty... Bitch.
  • The Stinger: Each Flash animated episode has one:
    • After Curiosities of Rival Asia, Bitch informs Jade that her death had nothing to do with Team Rocket, painting it as a Senseless Sacrifice.
    • At the end of Bohemian Archive in Burnt Red, Bitch snaps the others out of their shock at Nineball's death with a warning that the fight isn't over yet.
    • At the end of Lance, after being defeated by Amber and informing her of having to beat the most recent Champion he and his two Iku's start dancing to disco.
  • Stealth Pun: In Lorelei, the song in the background is a rock remix of Mystia Lorelei's theme.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Hitomi when asked if she's reading pornography.
    Hitomi: The proper term is erotica. I mean, no
  • Taking the Bullet:
    • Birdo does this rather unintentionally when Amber shoves them into a fight to save Bitch.
      Bitch: Hey, I thought it was a good strategy. He was just Cannon Fodder, anyway.
    • Marisa taking an attack from Giovanni's Rumia that was aimed at Amber.
  • Taking Up the Mantle: Marcia covers the Water and Ice attacks Nineball had.
  • Taking You with Me: Thanks to Destiny Bond, this is the fate of Other!Amber's Youmu.
    • Later in Season One, Other!Amber's Marisa opts for a point-blank Master Spark in Bitch's gut, and by consecuence, both died.
    • In Season Two, Anko destroys herself and her "Soul Gem" in order to defeat Oktavia.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: The Portal Maze in Silph Co.
  • Training Montage: It even included Eye of the Tiger!
    • Another one occurs in Part 38, with Jackie, Marcia, Violet, Windy Thing, Hitomi, and Kura. One of the scenes involves Hitomi painting a fence.
  • Tranquil Fury: At the end of the Championship Fight, Hitomi does not take the deaths of Marcia and Violet well.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Duh.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: In Season Two, Amber is running a Randomlocke challenge at the same time that Lyla's starting her journey.
  • Unstoppable Rage: In Part 37, Jackie, following Babs' demise.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Amber has elements of this, before getting some Character Development.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Flying attacks on Princess Wriggle.
    "Bug/Grass? Seriously."
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Some of Amber's Touhou don't last very long at all. Most notable are Baka and Bucket Girl, who both lasted for only a couple of panels.
  • Wham Episode: Several of the late-run deaths effectively function as this.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: After Amber immediately attacks and beats up her just-obtained Marisa:
    Other!Amber: You're the bad one!
    • Much later, Amber calls out Other!Amber after both their starters die and her rival stoically continues the fight.
    Amber: N-now look what you did...! T-they're dead! They're both dead... *Other!Amber calls EX Nitori* And you STILL wanna fight? ARE you nuts?
    Other!Amber: ...I have to.
    • And in Part 48, she calls out her counterpart again after realizing she and Daisy are going to run away from the impending destruction of this dimension.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: Ghostly Backstory Club, as it name implies, explains the history of Other!Amber and Daisy and how they ended up in Amber's dimension.
    • EX 1: Starters looks at the starters' lives shortly before being picked by their trainers.
    • EX 2: Silph Scope looks at Nineball and Marcia discussing about the Silph Scope. That happened before Nineball's death. She promised that when she finished in playing with it, it would give the scope to Marcia. The last panel shows Marcia with the Silph Scope remembering Nineball's demise, and with a sad expression because Nineball couldn't fulfill her promise to Marcia.
    • EX 3: Return features Other!Amber returning home after failing to kill Amber and cries in Daisy's arms.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Jackie takes on a disciple to teach them how to be strong and use their strength for good. Kura becomes a Vigilante that protects people from youkai. WindyThingy publishes the groups adventures. Gregoria became a custom pony maker. Myon and Amelia decide to work on the best garden ever.
  • Why Don't You Marry It?: Frustrated by Lyla's attempt to make him feel better after Amber curbstomped him, he snaps "If you like her so much, why don't you marry her?"
  • Yaoi Fangirl: Inverted by Hitomi. Played straight with Amber.
    • In Season 2, Roxanne.
  • You Never Asked: Jackie's response when Amber asks why he didn't toss the turtle out of the way in the first place.
  • Youthful Freckles: To help tell her apart from her rival, the Amber we follow has freckles dusting her nose.

Touhoumon Nuzlocke Challenge: contains 48% of the Reccomended Daily Intake of TV Tropes.For Touhou!