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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Touhou Corner: Story of Eastern Wonderland

Touhou Fuumaroku (lit. 'Sealing Magic Record') ~ the Story of Eastern Wonderland (東方封魔録 ~ the Story of Eastern Wonderland) is the 2nd Touhou Project game for PC-98 computers, as well as the first danmaku shoot-em-up entry in the series. In this game, Hakurei Shrine maiden Reimu comes back from a training session in the mouintain, only to discover that the Shrine has been pestered by ghosts and youkai of any kind and shape. With the aid of her powerful Yin-Yang orbs and her shrine turtle Genjii, she sets up to find the cause of the invasion, leading to the fabled World of Fantasies where she first meets the magician Marisa Kirisame and the vengeful spirit Miru, Marisa's master (in the PC-98 canon).

The creation of this game went along the production of the very first Touhou title, Highly Responsive To Prayers, both of which were released at the same time at Comiket 52 in August 15, 1997. For Story of Easter Wonderland, ZUN wanted to make a vertical shooter whose number of bullets would turn all the other shooters of the time pale in comparison, accomplishing that feat by accordingly reducing the hit-boxes to a minimum. Most of the game's structure has been inspired by some of ZUN's favorite shooters from Taito, such as Darius Gaiden for the stage designs and Metal Black for the soundtrack placement, complete with in-game song titles pop-ups.

Since the very first Touhou shooter title, a lot of the elements that have been established in later installments were already featured in the game; alongside the already-mentioned small hit-boxes, it's possible to choose between three different fire combinations between weak wide-fire/average fire with auto-targeting/slow-moving but powerful shots (relegated in later sequels to multiple playable characters), as well as bomb shots which were related to the attack pattern chosen. Boss characters already are nearly as big as Reimu on screen but have frequent movements and many attack formations at their disposal. The difficulty selection already follows the canon of Easy, Normal, Hard and Lunatic, with the player being able to unlock an even harder Extra stage if a good enough gaming performance is pulled out with all attack formations.

At this point in time, the only musical contribution from the first Touhou shmup in Taiko gaming lies in form of the 2016 doujin collaboration song that has been performed for that year's Uta-Matsuri concert.


-Story of Eastern Wonderland songs-

  • Senshaku Zesshou no Fantasia


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