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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Touhou Corner: Imperishable Night

Touhou Eiyashou (lit. 'Eternal Night Vignette') ~ Imperishable Night (東方永夜抄 ~ Imperishable Night) is the 8th main-line title in the Touhou Project series. Released on August 15, 2004 for the 66th Comiket, this game was developed alongside the first fighting spin-off game, Immaterial and Missing Power.

It's the night of the Harvest Moon Festival in Gensokyo, and the celebrations were going strong until several youkai notice that the full moon on display was missing a small sliver. Upon further inspection, it's found out that the moon was actually fake, so the main characters have decided to stop the time and team up in couples in order to find out what's behind the lunar replacement. Their investigations will lead them to the Bamboo Forest of the Lost and the Eientei mansion, inhabited by bunnies and other residents from the real Moon. According to the path chosen, the investigating team will face off against either Lunarian medicine genius Eirin Yagokoro or Moon princess Kaguya Houraisan, who is hiding from his home lands by hiding on Earth and sealing the planet from the real Moon, with a fake one created by Eirin shining on its place.

ZUN's story for this game has been molded by his decision to make a shooting game with a partner system as its main focus (with individual characters becoming unlockable features); four playable teams are formed this way: Illusionary Barrier with Reimu and Yukari Yakumo (from Perfect Cherry Blossom), Aria of Forbidden Magic with Marisa and recurrent mini-boss Alice Margatroid,  Visionary Scarlet Devil with the Embodiment of Scartlet Devil duo of Remilia/Sakuya and Netherworld Dwellers with PCB ghosts Youmu and Yuyuko. For the means of the gameplay, the primary character shoots its bullets when unfocused, while the other one switches in and fires focused at the price of a lower movement speed. Other gameplay additions include the 'Last Spells', 2-bomb-stock attacks from the player and a bomb-less, death-less bullet hell challenge from the enemy and new gauges for either the ratio of item drops withing stages according to the unfocused/focused shot ratio (the youkai gauge) and a timer which can influence the game's endings.

The addition of a timed deadline for the teams to solve the mystery before the sun sets made ZUN's musical score for the game to mostly be fast-paced, to give the players a more stronger impression of running against the clock. Always for the same reason lies the fact of Imperishable Night's soundtrack including tracks that have either being inspired by the PC-98 era games or direct remixes of those songs.

Together with Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, Imperishable Night's soundtrack is the one whose arrangements have got the most recognition in Taiko grounds, although it's an almost 50/50 quota between publicly-playable songs and Reitasai-exclusive tracks. Among those, it's surely worth mentioning Help me, ERINNNNN!!, which has been playable in Taiko games in three different forms.


-Imperishable Night songs-


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