Part 2: Chapter 1R: Wonderful Shrine Maiden of Paradise - Part 2
Here's your tea.
Thanks. Good work back there.
That was nothing. If it's just fairies, it doesn't matter how many show up. I'll just shoot them down one after another.
I heard some rumors that you don't actually do you job, but it looks like you're the real thing.
I don't think they were talking about things like that... Well, whatever. I haven't seen you since the SCNG, but it seems you're doing well.
Huh? SCNG... You've been hinting at it for a while, but have we me somewhere before?
Yes. It was at a meeting for the 'Society for the Creation of a New Gensokyo'. I've sat in on explanations of the spellcard rules several times.
The Spellcard Rules are one of the main cornerstones of the Windows Touhou series. It's essentially a non-fatal way for everyone to fight. There's a bit more to it, but that's the most important part.
Oh. That thing was a huge pain. Don't expect me to remember the people who attended.
...I figured as much. Your reputation preceded you, even at regular meetings. Your attendance was appallingly low, despite the fact that you're the shrine maiden.
Hey, no one told me where it was. ...Probably.
...Well, how about I at least introduce myself?
And (self-appointed?) Guardian of the Human Village.
Though I say I'm a teacher, our facilities are rather small. It's a pleasure to meet you.
I'm Reimu. Nice to meet you, Keine. I actually have heard that there's someone who teaches history in the human village.
Right. That's because my main job is compiling history. I only teach on the side, but I take it seriously.
So, what does that teacher want with me? You mentioned something about investigating an incident?
Oh, that's right. Allow me to explain why I'm here. I just want to confirm, but you are a specialist in resolving incidents, correct?
Yup. It's my job to beat up anyone that causes an incident.
Then I'd like to talk to you immediately about this mist.
Mist? Are you talking about this scarlet mist? What's wrong with it?
There's no way you haven't noticed, right?
Well, yeah. It hasn't really gotten to the shrine yet and I figured it'd clear up eventually.
About that. The mist has been growing steadily thicker in the village. This area is fine since the elevation is high, but at this rate... The humans are going to start being affected by it sooner or later.
Can't I just deal with is when the time comes? My job isn't to prevent incidents. It's to resolve them.
I should note that, despite how Reimu's come across, she does actually have a pretty great track record for dealing with incidents. It's just that all of the prior incidents happened outside Gensokyo, so nobody knows about them.
Did you say something?
Just talking to myself. But regardless... You have to have noticed that something was strange with those fairies just now. Fairies are normally powerless, and yet ou saw how much power they hold now.
...So you're saying that's proof that the scarlet mist is throwing nature out of order? Fairies are incarnations of nature itself, after all.
Oh, so you did know. That will save some time. Will you cooperate with me to investigate the scarlet mist incident? No matter what, I want to ascertain the cause of this mist before it spreads any further.
But it hasn't even gotten that serious yet...
I'm worried about the villagers! Understand?
Keine's so angry the screen shakes.
So I just need to investigate, right? All I have to do... is find out the cause of this mysterious mist before it's too late?
Looks like you finally get it. Let's investigate together and share our findings.
You're too unreliable, so I'll lend you a hand.
You'll just get in the way...
Reimu is actually correct here. Left to her own devices, Reimu successfully stopped the mist on her own... after it got so thick she couldn't ignore it anyways.
Now, where should we meet... How about in front of Daimonji in three days?
Um, are you listening to me? Wait, Daimonji? You mean that one sweets shop?
I have a soft spot for their taiyaki. Specifically, the taiyaki Maryuu Azking advertised on their sign.
(...I want some.)
So... will you be free in three days?
Yeah, I think so. Well, I'll try to investigate until then.
Understood. I'll be counting on you. Ah... When did it get to be so late? I need to prepare for tomorrow's class. I'll take my leave for today.
All right. It gets dangerous around here at night, anyway.
I'm counting on you to investigate this. Now if you'll excuse me, I'll be heading off.
... What am I getting myself into? Sure, the fairies were acting kinda strange, but it's not like it's a huge problem.
Our protagonist, ladies and gentlemen.
Looks like things are gonna get busy!
Yes, the entire background is black. I don't even know why they bothered saying it was a mansion.
I have returned, my master.
Welcome back. So, how was it?
Youkai Mountain has been silent ever since the turmoil a few days ago. If you consider the scale of the situation, it's surprising how little chaos there's been.
That's the Tenma for you. After the oni left, his control over the mountain's society has been firm.
Indeed. It was good for him to decide to stop fighting so soon. Martial law is currently in effect for the entire mountain and, some crow tengu excepted...
Tengu have been posted as lookouts around the perimeter and their defenses are perfect. Most of the information regarding the matter has been cut off.
I see they're as unsociable as ever. If their defenses are so strong, it must have been tough for you to scout them.
A needless concern. Who do you think I am?
Oho, that's true. You are a kyuubi... My strongest shikigami.
Since that probably made no sense of all to most of you, kyuubi are nine-tailed, incredibly powerful fox youkai that are pretty close to divinity. Shikigami are servant familiars. The fact that this mystery person has a kyuubi as a servant says a lot about her!
They merely let the big fish slip away. Without further ado, allow me to continue informing you of their movements.
I'm counting on you to continue your surveilance of the mountain, Ran.
Please leave it to me, Lady Yukari. By the by, have there been any developments regarding the mist?
Not particularly. The shrine maiden has begun to take action faster than I expected. It seems the half-beast from the village managed to motivate her somehow.
To think that even Milady could not predict it...
Probability is not a static thing. Local calculation errors are bound to occur.
After all, she is the border of Gensokyo's equilibrium.
Yes. And I understand that that is the reason why she created the Spellcard Rules.
Heh heh... Oh, look, Ran. She's jumping for joy. Is she really looking forward to taiyaki that much?
...You shouldn't peep, Lady Yukari. It's in bad taste.
(...It's the first major incident since the establishment of the Spellcard Rules. This incident is different from the previous ones.)
(Gensokyo's incidents are resolved by the Hakurei shrine maiden. How will you go about resolving this incident, Reimu...?
If you're curious, the previous incidents were the destruction of the Hakurei Shrine, the release of a dangerous evil spirit, a battle royale with a wish as the prize, a shit ton of youkai swarming the Hakurei Shrine, and a demonic invasion. So yeah, compared to those a bunch of mist seems kind of piddly.
Before I move on to the next part, I want to talk about how well done this chapter was. Keine is from Touhou 8, and as such didn't even exist when Touhou 6 was made. But in a world with all of the Touhou characters present, it makes perfect sense for her to take pre-emptive action to save the Human Village. Sanbondo could have made an original character rally everyone or have Reimu break character and stop being so , but instead they chose an actually reasonable way to have the various characters meet. That's going to be a common thing in this game; I'm pretty sure that in every scene, there isn't a single character who is only there just because Sanbondo wanted to throw in as many characters as they possibly could.
Finally, the "mysterious" scene at the end. Don't worry, Yukari isn't going to end up being the main villain of the game or anything. She's not even a minor villain, actually. The main thing about the scene is that it tells us what happened to Youkai Mountain after the Opening in a way that actually justifies exposition; Yukari's kind of the overseer of Gensokyo, and it's her business to know what's going on. Having her servant tell her is much better than, say, flashing over to Youkai Mountain and having some tengu loudly complain about the lockdown for no particular reason.
Anyways, welcome to the Intermission screen! As the name implies, you'll see this screen everytime you finish a chapter. There's quite a lot of things to do here and a lot of things I said I'd explain, so let's get cracking. Like last update, everyone already familiar with SRW can skip ahead.
Ignoring the menu on the left for now, the main bulk of the Intermission screen tells you some basic data: how many turns you've taken, your difficulty level, your average level, etc. There's some stuff I want to focus on though.
This little thing tells you which of your characters has the most kills. This is actually kind of important in most modern SRW games since the top ranking character usually gets a bonus, but it's just a cosmetic thing here. Similarily, Ace Bonuses (special ability learned after getting 50 kills) don't exist in this game.
EDIT: Turns out characters with 50 kills start with +5 Power, a la SRW Judgement. I can't believe I never noticed this.
For you SRW fans, Points are money. For everyone else, all the Points your units get are summed up and can be spent to upgrade units.
Points are kind of two Touhou references at once. Obviously enough Points are the Score you normally build up in Touhou games, but the decision to not use money to upgrade units is probably tied to the fact that having poor, penniless Reimu amass a ton of cash would be really, really weird.
Okay, the menu. System, Save, Load, Suspend, and Next Chapter do what you think, so let's start with Unit Status.
This is a straight list of your current units, arranged in one of four orders: by level, by recruitment, and by HP totals. You can choose which one you want with the square button.
Selecting any of the units takes you to that Unit's status screen. Alright, let's break this screen down.
At the top left is Reimu's name and species. There's some correlation between what species a character is and what their stats are like, but with one exception it's pretty meaningless.
On the bottom left is a list of Reimu's attributes. HP and MP should hopefully be self-explanatory, Move tells you how far a unit can move (with the number in parenthesis saying how far the unit can move while focused), and Armor and Mobility are essentially side stats that work alongside Defense and Accuracy/Evasion respectively. Repair is how many Points it'll cost you at the end of a chapter if Reimu dies, and Size just tells you Reimu's size. Medium pretty much means nothing, but being Small decreases damage dealt and increases evasion while fighting larger opponents while being Large increases damage dealt and decreases evasion when dealing with smaller units.
To the right of the attribute list is Reimu's terrain rankings. Ground, Air, and (Under)water are the three main kinds of terrain in this game, and a unit's terrain ranking will tell you how well they can fight on them. Reimu here has an A in Ground and Air, which means she suffers no penalties on either. But if she gets in the Water, her B rank means she'll take a 10% hit to damage and defense, which needless to say is bad. Night is something completely different, and won't come up for a while so I'll skip on explaining it.
Finally, on the right side of the screen is the Ability and Equip screens. If a unit has some kind of special inherent ability or an equipped item, you'll be able to see it here and find out what it does.
The Character screen tells you basically everything else. Most of this is entirely self-explanatory, and the things that aren't will be covered in this update.
Finally, the Weapon screen tells you about the character's weapons. The information bar on the bottom will tell you how much Power the character needs to use the move, total ammo/MP cost, how much the attack boosts your critical chance, the attack's terrain rankings, and if the attack has any special requirements.
For an example of the latter, Yin-Yang Orbs here can only be used if Reimu's flying.
Not everything's on the information bar though. The symbol next to the attack name signifies if the attack runs off the Melee or the Ranged stat, and the numbers to the right tell you attack range, attack power, and how accurate the attack is. And if you're curious, as far as I can understand from Google Translate the damage formula for this game is:
The wiki posted:
((Attack Power * (Melee/Range + Power) * Weapon Terrain Bonus/Penalty) - (Enemy Armor * (Enemy Defense + Enemy Power) * Enemy Terrain Bonus/Penalty)) / (200 * Distance Bonus/Penalty * Size Bonus/Penalty * (1 + Terrain Defense Bonus/Penalty + "Barrage Bonus/Penalty"))
After that, critical hits, skills, damage multipliers, etc are applied. I have no idea what the "Barrage Bonus/Penalty" at the end is by the way.
Let's move to the next item on the Intermission menu, Unit Upgrade. Here you can spend Points to upgrade your character's attributes. Everything is kind of cheap to upgrade at first (HP/MP especially),
but the upgrade costs will rapidly increase. Oh, and as you can see in this picture you can't fully upgrade your characters. You can only get half-way.
By the way, see this? You do not want to do this. One of the things that made Embodiment of Scarlet Devil (if you forgot, the Touhou game FMW1 is reimagining) one of the harder Touhou games is the lack of resources the game gave you. Likewise, FMW1 doesn't give you that many Points to work with, so wasting them all on one character is not a very good idea.
Speaking of bad ideas, let's skip ahead to Attack Upgrade. In this screen, you can spend an absurd amount of Points to boost the attack power of all of one unit's weapons by 100 (which does a lot more than you'd think considering the damage formula). This is pretty much a gigantic waste of Points, and it's never worth it. Especially since there's another way to boost attack power!
Let's get back on track. Skills is the next item after Unit Upgrade, and it's pretty important. Besides the character-specific skills a couple characters have (which upgrade at certain levels), Characters can spend the Graze they earn from killing enemies on a variety of special skills.
There are three pages of skills total, and moving the cursor over any of the skills will tell you what they do.
A good chunk of the skills in this game have levels, and as long as you're willing to pay a gradually increasing amount of graze you can significantly boost the effect of whatever skill you want.
Unfortunately, this game kind of suffers from having a bunch of skills that are noticably better than the rest. Worse, Graze is in even shorter supply than Points because you can only get it by killing enemies. Every unit has their own separate pool of Graze too, so no rampaging around with God Character to help power up the weaker girls.
If at this point you're wondering what the heck Graze is (besides a new name for Pilot Points), it's another Touhou reference. Every time your character's hitbox "grazes" a bullet, this counter on the side of the screen goes up. The exact effect of Graze tends to change every game, but in general the more Graze you have the higher your score will be. So yes, high score runs of Touhou games involve hugging as many bullets as possible.
And then this game got kind of creepy. Wife Upgrade, a reference to the infamous concept of a waifu, lets you spend the WP you get every chapter on any of your characters. Once you reach certain WP checkpoints (20, 60, and 110), your character will learn a special Wife Bonus that... is usually completely pointless.
The WP system in FMW1 is terrible, and I am very glad that FMW2 significantly revamped it and made it actually useful.
Finally, Change Item! This lets you equip special items that you can pick up on to characters. Most items will passively boost something, but there are also consumable items that can be used on the battlefield.
Now let's talk about what I'm actually going to do.
First, I bought this for Reimu. P-Evade will give her +1 Power every time she dodges an attack, something that is basically a guaranteed. This is a crucial purchase for Reimu because having a Resolute personality means she doesn't gain any Power from dodging!
After P-Evade, Reimu has a pretty clear skill wishlist.
Shotgunning (180 Graze)
This skill works best on units with good Post-Movement attacks that hit from Range 1 to a number above 1, and Reimu qualifies. It's pricey, but for Reimu it can be exceedingly helpful. Also, this is yet another reference. In shooting games, shotgunning is the act of having your character sit right next to whatever boss you're firing at so you do damage faster.
Predict (140 Graze)
This is just a good skill for Real units in general. Kind of overkill on Reimu, but still helpful.
Unfocused Movement (this skill levels up)
Here's one of the big skills. Those familiar with SRW will recognize this as Infight, and it's basically the main way you'll ever increase weapon damage in this game. It's especially good on Reimu since almost all of her moves are Post-Movement.
Meanwhile, Keine won't be spending any Graze for a while. Support Defend will allow her to take a hit for any unit standing next to her, which is a hell of a lot more useful than it sounds. After that, she wants
Belief (140 Graze)
This is practically a requirement on any tank character.
Berserk (this skill levels up)
While Keine could also benefit from Shotgunning and Unfocused Movement, I find this to be better for her. At high levels of Berserk, a low on health Keine is practically invulnerable.
Finally, I boosted Reimu's Mobility because why not make her even dodgier.
That's the end of this update, so let's have the end-of-update wall of text. For these updates, instead of attack videos and save/quit conversation I'll be posting my analysis of each character and the next chapter's scenario summary. FMW has a little flowchart of all the chapters, and each of them has a little summary with a next episode preview kind of feel to it.
Initial Stats - Level 20 Stats
Personality: Resolute (Hit: +2 Power, Miss: -1 Power, Kill: +5 Power, Get Hit: +2 Power)
Character Skill: Shrine Maiden Lvl 1-4 (Boosts Hit/Evasion rates by [Skill Level - 1] * 5%) [Levels up at levels 8, 15 and 19]
WP Bonus: Youkai Buster Lvl 1-3 (If the next attack is against a youkai, damage +15%/30%/45%. Can only be used once per chapter. Probably one of the only decent WP Bonuses, as just about every boss is a youkai)
Spirits: Sense [25 SP, Level 1], Focus (+30% to Hit/Evasion rates) [15 SP, Level 7], Luck (x2 Points after the next battle) [40 SP, Level 13]
Reimu is arguably the best character in the game, and the undeniable best Real. Her stats, her spirits, and her unique skill make her ridiculously accurate and dodgy from the beginning of the game to the end, her wide range of attacks are almost all ammo-based, and best of all she's very low maintenance. All Reimu ever really needs is Mobility, as HP and Armor are useless when you don't get hit and MP is unnecessary when the majority of your attacks don't use it. Having a very clear set of skills she wants also helps. Reimu is a capable team player, as her average damage means she can weaken enemies for others to finish off, but I find the best way to use her is to send her out, solo half the map, then get to the boss and start whacking away while the rest of the group catches up.
As good as Reimu sounds in this game, though, that's nothing to how good she is in FMW2. She's just completely unstoppable there.
Initial Stats - Level 20 Stats
Personality: Strong-willed (Hit: +1 Power, Evade: +1 Power, Kill: +5 Power, Get Hit: +1 Power, Ally Killed: +1 Power)
Character Skill: Parry Lvl 1-2 ([Skill Level/16] chance of nullifying Strike attacks, which are marked by a S next to the name) [Levels up at level 12]
WP Bonus: Teacher Lvl 1-2 (Units in the adjacent eight panels get +10%/+20% experience. Not as good as it sounds, especially since despite only having two skill levels you still have to pay 110 WP for Teacher Lvl 2. At 60 WP you just get nothing.)
Spirits: Trust [20 SP, Level 1], Strike (hit rate locked to 100% for one turn) [20 SP, Level 8], Guard (damage taken halved for one turn) [25 SP, Level 16]
Keine is Reimu's competition for best character, and also the undeniable best Super in the game. Yes, you start Reimu's story with the two best characters. There's a reason I said Marisa's story was harder. Keine's main appeal lies in being pretty much the only dedicated tank character in the game. Besides her strong defense/offence, Keine is also excellent for her utility. Not only does she have Trust, she starts the game with Support Attack (which lets her attack alongside nearby characters for half damage if she hasn't moved yet) and in fact is probably the second best Support Attacker in the game. Keine should always have someone next to her to benefit from her Supports, and will probably always be at the core of the group.
In FMW2, on the other hand, she's no longer the best tank, or the only dedicated one for that matter. She's still a solid character though, and Headbutt even gets its own theme song.
Next Time on Fantasy Maiden Wars E: A Visitor to the Human Village
Reimu and Keine set out to investigate the scarlet mist. Upon Keine's advice, they visited the weaver of Gensokyo's history, the girl known as Akyu Hieda. A meeting with Youmu, the gardener of the Netherworld, awaited them there. They will soon welcome another uninvited guest...
"Enemies? *chomp chomp*
I'm actually doing Marisa's chapter one next.