Part 7: Chapter 2M: Magicians and Lies - Part 1
This chapter starts off with a letter.
It has been some time since I left. How have you been doing? A massive storm has just passed here, and the long rainy season has come to an end. It will soon be brighter and more befitting of summer.
My house, and the dolls which are damaged by moisture both require it. I have been doing well on my research too. Do you remember the soul-string puppetry theory you taught me? I am currently using it as the foundation of my research. I am still scratching the surface, but with the perspective I have just found... I believe progress will continue favorably.
Hey, weren't Marisa and Nitori going off to meet someone who used dolls? I wonder if this is her? Of course it is.
She has been intruding on me often recently. She is a very annoying person who constantly interferes with my research. She even runs away with the books I was planning to read. In a spellcard battle, she continuously attacks directly with missles and lasers.
By the way, thank you very much for the magical grimoire you sent me. It has been very helpful for my research.
Anyway, I should be hanging out the clothes I washed to dry now. Mother, please try to help Yumeko and not let her handle everything.
This little segment did more than serve as a ~mysterious opening~; it actually cements how Sanbondo wants to handle this crossover.
Alice here originally appeared in Touhou 5, but when she reappeared for Touhou 7 she had changed to such a degree it's arguable she had become a different character. In fact, Touhou 1-5 (the "PC-98 games") are kind of in a gray zone of "maybe canon, maybe not," so quite a few fanworks ignore them entirely. Sanbondo's decision to reference Alice's Touhou 5 backstory here, though, confirms that they're going to be including the PC-98 games too.
Incidentally, the person Alice is writing to is literally Touhou Satan.
Hey, you two! Sunny, Star, you two go too fast... Just wait a sec...
Geez Luna, did you trip again?
You're really so clumsy, Luna.
... Well, excuse me.
Now that we're already this deep in, could you kindly explain yourself?
Explain myself...? Didn't I tell you already? We're treasure hunting! Searching for mysterious treasure is a succession of thrills and excitement!
That's fine and all, but it was still sudden.
Blame this weather. All this scarlet mist around means there's nothing else interesting going on.
Ahh, it hasn't been bright for about a week, huh?
Yep. And I'm a sunlight fairy, so in this kind of weather...
...It's impossible to get you up early.
Now that you mention it, you have been sleeping until the afternoon recently.
When the sun doesn't shine, the sunlight fairy is worthless! So we'll start an incident in order to restore the glory of the light fairies!
My, so you weren't just drunkenly blabbering yesterday, I see.
Obviously. Those humans will suffer at the hands of us fairies this summer!
This sounds ominous, but Sunny's definition of "suffering" is "got pranked."
What does searching for treasure have to do with starting an incident though?
Oh ho ho ho, that's a very good question.
It's not ordinary? What do you mean?
I found a creepy house right around here when I was wandering about before... There was no one inside, but it was chock full of dolls and magic items.
This is pretty much a straight reference to the beginning of a chapter from the comic these fairies came from.
That sounds like it's straight out of a horror movie.
Doesn't it sound great, though? We'll borrow one of those items and use it to start an incident.
Would that really work out okay...? I've heard of cursed items destroying houses.
I don't want to, you're sure to leave me out in the cold.
Ehehe, so fun!
You really like scary stuff, huh?
Ohh, there it is! There's the haunted house!
It's not as messy as I thought it would be. That makes it even creepier if no one lives there.
All right! Let's hurry and blow this gloom and doom away by finding awesome items!
Geez, don't drag me back like that! What's the big deal?
There is? No one was there the last time I went in.
It probably never even crossed Sunny's mind that the house's owner was out the last time she visited. Nobody there at the moment + house full of things = haunted house!
I'm not kidding. I can sense the presence of animate objects, after all. I can hear a voice too. Listen carefully.
Yet drying out my washed clothes with all this mist around is nearly pointless. But I've built up so much of them, so I have to... I could air them out inside a room, but I can't get by without washing them normally. You think so too, right?
Hehe, yes. I need to change your clothes too, as well as everyone else's. Alright then, everyone... These ones will perform the cooking duties. The rest will handle the laundry.
Now now, no complaints. You all were the ones who ended up buried under that mountain of laundry after all. Now hurry up and get to work... Hey, you all are supposed to handle the cooking duties, remember?
... Umm, I can hear some conversation...
Based on the human-like movement inside, there should be only one person there... So that was all her talking to herself?
Hoo boy, we made our way to a really creepy house. And this time I mean in an entirely different way. Someone who'd live here definitely wouldn't know how to socialize.
Who wouldn't know how to socialize?
You've been loitering around in front of the house for quite a while now. What might you be up to?
(Hey wait, she heard our entire conversation!? Why isn't Luna hiding our sounds!?)
(She should be, but now that you mention it, I haven't seen Luna... oh, wait.)
When Star dragged you back earlier, she knocked you into me! Ooh, I finally got my foot out... But where's my shoe?
Geez, you're really so clumsy, Luna...
Well, excuse me!
You appear to be fairies, so I would assume you all are here to play a prank...
Ooh... Well, that's... (Hey, what are we gonna do!? We can't tell her we're searching for treasure...)
You seem to have a rather troubled look on your face, mm?
Remember how I said that fairies are immature pricks?
No, actually, we were, um... We were coerced into this!
By now you've seen plenty of how immature they are, now it's time to see how they're all kind of jerks.
... Huh? Coerced... Who would coerce fairies like you all?
Eh, erm... We may look like fairies but we're actually youkai.
...That doesn't matter. More importantly, you said someone coerced you into this, correctly?
U-Umm... yeah. It was when we encountered that person some time ago...
That magician's seven-colored lights were really amazing, and she wanted... Um... a magical grimoire... And she coerced us into snatching one away from a magician from this forest!
(A black and white magician... Who would wear something so old-fashioned?)
(It's amazing that she could lie so smoothly in these circumstances though.)
A magician clad in black and white... Who wanted a magical grimoire?
(See? She's all suspicious.)
...Could you elaborate a little further?
O-Of course! Um, I believe that magician also lives in the Forest of Magic... And she's always, always forcing us to help her steal things!
Yeah, she keeps telling us that if we don't do as she says, she'll bottle us up!
...I see, I get it now. A thief clad in black and white.
(Huh? She seems to know someone like that.)
(This is gonna end up being that Marisa's fault!)
Yeah, Marisa! That was her name!
...It's all so clear now. I always thought she dropped by too often, so that was her intention. So, where were you planning to meet that magician?
Never mind, here she comes.
Will she really come with us?
What? There's no need to worry. She ain't got any friends. If we invite her out to play around a bit, she'll accept eventually.
Marisa and Alice's relationship can best be described as "better friends than they'd like to admit," so they know each other pretty well. This is actually kind of important, because it ties into the gameplay!
There she is. Hey!
Black and white clothes, a broom... That means...
...A black and white magician really exists.
...Marisa. I'm expecting a very good explanation of this from you.
Hm? Whaddya mean?
Don't play dumb. Coercing youkai into stealing is absolutely horrible. And that's not even mentioning aiming for my precious grimoire...
M-Marisa, she seems kinds angry...
Hey wait. I ain't got a clue what you're talking about. It's true I'm interested in that book, but...
See? So every time you came here, you had your eyes on my grimoire the whole time.
Huh? The heck are you going on about?
(The conversations's gone in our favor now. Let's take this chance to run away.)
(Wait a little longer. It's finally gotten interesting!)
(You really like this stuff too much, Star...)
If TV shows were a thing in Gensokyo, Star would be watching soap operas all day.
(Besides, since we've come all the way here, we should explore inside that house. Once we hide our figures and sounds, of course.)
(I see, that's a great idea Star! Let's do it!)
(Ehh? Wait, you're serious!?)
(Of course! Come over here, Luna!)
Nitori, say something to her.
Um... I've been with Marisa since yesterday, and we didn't meet anyone then.
Yep, see! I have an alibi!
Since yesterday... Did you two have an all-night party or something? Actually, who are you?
I'm Nitori Kawashiro, a kappa. I slept over at Marisa's house last night.
My, in that dirty room of hers? That must've been quite a treat.
It really was so messy. And she had the nerve to tell me to clean it up too!
I just keep things as soon as I get my hands on 'em. I'd rather you call me practical.
Ehh, you want proof? But...
That's enough. I have no confidence in the words of a youkai I do not know. And that rule applies twofold for those of a rural magician. You'll regret making an enemy out of me.
The whole "rural" magician thing is based off Alice's dialogue with Marisa in Touhou 7. For some reason, Alice considers herself an urban magician (even though she was probably raised in a palace) and as such a superior. Of course when Marisa beats Alice in the ensuing fight, she conveniently drops the subject entirely.
Wait, Alice! You're misunderstanding things!
Yeah! Talk to those fairies... Ehh?
That's enough talk. Prepare yourselves!
Ahh geez, how annoying. You ready, Nitor!?
Ehh, I think those fairies that dissappeared just now are more important...
Don't be so hesitant! She's coming!
So yeah. Fairies. Jerks.
An amusing detail: while Reimu's deployment screen gives the neutral options "All ready!" and "Switch positions.", Marisa's offers the more casual "Ready whenever!" and "Checkin' positions."
A spellcard right off the bat? She's really pissed off.
Marisa's version of the spellcard tutorial is a lot more to-the-point.
The spellcard rules are a means of carrying out duels. You give a name to one of your special skills. Anyone who can endure it or break it after a short while wins. The time limit is the number that popped up at the top-right. You see it?
I see it. So we defeat her within 5 turns, or withstand her attacks for 5 turns?
Yep yep. We won't get any experience points if we don't defeat her, though.
If more details are needed. I'll refer to the manual, then.
What are you two mumbling about...?
Hmph, you're being really annoying, throwing all those false accusations at me. Nitori, we're gonna cool her head a bit.
Ehh? You're gonna shoot her down? She just seems to have misunderstood things, I think...
Don't be silly. We'll beat her up, then make her listen. Besides, it ain't gonna be easy getting close to Alice in all that thick danmaku... Hm, getting close? Wait...
Do you feel like talking it out now?
No, I remember her weak point now.
Are your discussions over yet?
See how the Bonus is just a bunch of question marks? That's a clear sign that there's more to this chapter than meets the eye.
Artful Sacrifice doesn't have any special effects, but it does carry a huge Move penalty. There's nothing I can do this turn but move Marisa and Nitori closer, and once I actually enter the Danmaku I'll have to be Focused to even move more than 1 space.
Those are... dolls?
Yeah. She's really skillful with her fingers. That lets her control lots of dolls at the same time. They're not sturdy, but if we let them distract us, it's gonna be a tough battle.
Completely asynchronous and precise manipulation... The human body is mysterious.
The dolls are going to be the only ones advancing toward me; Alice is more than content to stay in the back.
They're not even close to a threat. The only thing they really have going for them is their higher than average accuracy.
Nitori didn't even Defend, and this is all the damage she took. The doll managed to dodge Nitori's 73% counter though.
Normally the dolls won't live past the first turn they're summoned, because they're coded to charge Marisa and Nitori immediately. But, as you might have expected by now, I had some bad luck and two of the dolls managed to dodge what would have been fatal blows.
Nope. It's all dolls, nothing interesting at all.
Hey, we're supposed to look for magic items, not interesting things, remember? Take this a bit more seriously... Ah, hm?
Did you find something?
Yeah, there's lots of other too. There's a really strong-looking green-haired doll, a fat doll with an ahoge...
There's a shrine maiden doll who's hiding her armpits too.
Who cares about dolls? Let's go search for more amusing things!
Because of the Move penalties, this doll is pretty much completely blocking Marisa.
So I'll have Nitori get rid of it.
But of course she misses. Again.
This doll has actually lived long enough to get 105 Power. Now it can Explode and actually do some damage!
It's still a doll though. I bet even Marisa's weakest attack could kill it.
...Welp. Explosion has a 54% change of hitting, hope I win that coin fli-
Son of a bitch.
I don't even get Points or Graze for that fight because
despite the animation showing the doll's HP going to 0, it's actually still alive.
This was a Strike attack, so Marisa couldn't Graze it. Her getting hit on such a low percentage is kind of bullshit though.
Thankfully, the dolls are also coded to split up their assault between Marisa and Nitori, so the 10 HP doll commits suicide.
Nitori continues her kill streak.
And gets a level. Nitori's actually been more useful than Marisa at this point, what is this.
Marisa is now capable of attacking Alice, but she won't because it's a bad idea. And not just because Marisa's HP is super low right now. There are four ways to end the fight with Alice: time out her spell, capture the spell, reduce her to 20% HP, or Talk to her. Timing out and 20% HP don't get you anything, but capturing and Talk do. Capturing the spell means defeating Alice, so you get a boss' worth of points, graze, and experience, as well as a Tengu Fan. Talking does not get you any of that, so naturally you want to capture the spell, right?
Wrong. You want Marisa to Talk to Alice. The reward you get for that is a hell of a lot better.
Though Alice isn't going to make chatting with her easy!
So you're the type of human to coerce youkai, I see.
I ain't got a clue what you're on about. What do you mean? If you're speaking like that, then those fairies earlier hafta be involved somehow...
Do you think you'll have the time to look around!?
Music: Dancing Doll
Alice's theme is based off of two SRW tracks. Can you figure out what it is before Namtab posts the music description?
Cutting it pretty close there Marisa.
The next turn, I have Marisa Unfocus and park her next to Nitori. Even with this setback, I should still be able to Talk to Alice right on turn 5.
There was literally no way for Marisa to die here. Either she evades the attack, or Nitori would have taken the hit. Support Defense is really helpful in situations when there's only one enemy, which incidentally applies to just about every boss in the game.
You've always been weak in close-range fights. Though I guess that's obvious considering all the dolls you control.
Immobilizing my fingers like this... You truly are a wild and rural person.
You won't listen to what I say till I do this, right? So this was inevitable.
I will praise you for dodging all the danmaku to make your way here though. I wasn't expecting that at all. So, now that you're close, you're in perfect position to steal my book, correct?
I wish Marisa actually dodged stuff.
You really don't listen.
Besides, both my arms are busy restraining yours. It's not like I can steal anything in this state.
...You definitely threatened those youkai, though. How would you explain that?
You've been going on about those youkai for so long now. Who the heck do you mean?
I've definitely seen those fairies before.
Ehh? But they called themselves the three light youkai.
There's no way those airhead-looking munchkins could be youkai. It ain't like you to fall for a fairy's pranks.
Guess you finally calmed down?
...I'll capture those three fairies and find out the truth.
No problems here. There's only one version that really happened.
You get different dialogue depending on how you decided to handle Alice, but this is the only actually unique one. The others are just variants of "those were fairies you dope."
Now returning to the 24/7 Fairies Are Jerks channel. While Marisa's been busy trying to calm down Alice,
A pillow and pajamas... She really likes to sleep.
the three fairies have literally been raiding Alice's house.
Hey, these pajamas are pretty cute. I'll modify them to fit me later. And what are you planning to do with that flowerpot, Star?
Now that the rainy season is over, I thought I'd try out gardening. I've been interested in it for a while.
I've found some tasty-looking coffee. Seems like she roasted the beans herself.
All right, that should be it for treasure hunting. Let's withdraw!
It feels like we're forgetting something though... Oh well. Hm...?
It really has. What a creepy place, let's get out of here.
There they are!
All right, let's capture them and bottle them up!
Gah, the battle already ended?
Looks like our lies were found out...
Let's get out of here, fast!
You're not going anywhere.
These are the dolls that were in the house just now!
Don't tell me that girl's controlling all of them...?
Those things you're carrying... Those would be items from my house, mm? It seems you all were the thieves instead. In that case, whether you're youkai or fairies...
You all are now my enemies!
E-Eeeeeek! W-What are we gonna do!? We have absolutely no chance against someone who can control so many dolls!
Hmm, we can't really handle it by ourselves... Though I don't think they'd let us get away either.
...!? What's this...!?
They're the fairies from around here.
They seem agitated somehow. Perhaps they drank too much sake?
I don't know what's up with them, but it looks like they want to help us out.
Alright! You're gonna see the power of us fairies!
Wow, They're all motivated now that they have more allies with them.
Mere fairies like you challenging us to a danmaku battle? Now that's what I call foolish!
Sunny, I think you already know...
Of course. Have a taste of the power of the three light fairies!
Notice how all of the enemies are transparent? That isn't for show, while they're like that you straight up can't attack them. It's just as annoying as it sounds.
Ahh, yeah! They suddenly disappeared just like this a little while ago! But you two were arguing then.
I see, that's quite good for a bunch of fairy thieves. But with them being invisible and us being surrounded, we're at a disadvantage... Come back, everyone.
All of the dolls disappear.
Hey, what was that for? Those dolls were keeping those three surrounded.
The amount of dolls available to me has been depleted thanks to our battle. Those four alone aren't enough to protect themselves, with fairies around them.
This is not a very hard Bonus; only five fairies spawned in.
Normally I'd just charge the fairies to the south, but Marisa's in a bind right now so I'll just let them come to me.
Only a northern fairy took the bait, sadly.
that would've hit are you serious
More positively, the fairy survived! This means I can show you the benefit of Talking to Alice. After a tutorial on Bombs anyways. I'm posting the dialogue again because Nitori.
Crap, where'd those fairies go?
They were going on about light, so they're probably bending light around them. That'll make them hidden from our eyes. So even if we can't actually see them, they're still there.
Even then, I doubt firing everywhere at random would work...
You already know what a bomb does.
I see, I think I got all of it.
I don't really get it, but sure, let's go with that.
I'll let you use the bomb I'm carrying right now. You only have one shot, so make sure it counts!
Back to this fairy. Look at Marisa's hit and evade rate by herself.
Now look at it when Marisa's next to Alice. That's quite the difference, and it can't all be because Marisa is one panel further from the fairy.
If you choose to Talk to Alice, you establish a Support between Marisa and Alice. In other words, as long as they are next to each other, both Alice and Marisa will gain a flat +10% to Hit and Evade rates. This is kind of handy for Alice, but it is an absolute godsend to Marisa. If you're playing on Marisa's route, there is no reason not to have her and Alice stick together for the entire game.
With all that said, Marisa's in no shape to go anywhere without Nitori, so I send Alice to handle the bottom screen,
and position Nitori and Marisa to lure out that one fairy at the north edge of the screen.
Alice just needs to get a little bit closer.
Like that. Alice got a critical here and killed the fairy.
Meanwhile, the north fairy didn't attack so I move Marisa and Nitori closer.
Alice got another critical (she's really good at getting those) and wipes out the last southern fairy.
And this fairy finally took the bait.
I'm not even surprised that Support Defend activated anymore.
Alice approaches the last fairy,
and Marisa cleans up.
As I noted earlier, transparent enemies can not be attacked. This includes counter attacks!
Music: Trickster Girl
I should have had Nitori Defend, but it's not like fairies can actually do much.
On a related note, this fairy kills itself.
Let's take a look at our bosses now.
Sunny Milk is the strongest of the trio, and has average Armor and Mobility. She also has the lowest Repair cost, which has some amusing implications.
Luna Child has the highest defenses of the trio, but that's not saying much. She's the least annoying to handle because her low Mobility does a lot to make her hittable, even with her SS size.
Star Sapphire is by far the most annoying because she has the highest Mobility. Combined with her SS size, she's very dodgy. She's also the most accurate, though at the same time her attacks are the weakest.
They're all still fairies though, so they go down easily. And since you have to Bomb them to even hit them, one good attack will take any of them down.
This animation is a reference to the bombs in Touhou 10, which were just huge circles instead of the standard character-specific attacks. Perfect for a universal attack!
This... is a pretty terrible screen capture, whoops. Each of the fairies took about 2.5k damage, which is absolutely crippling for them. Bomb damage has a separate formula from normal attacks:
(2500 * (Range + Power)) - (Armor * (Defense + Power)) / 200
which boils down to working off the Range stat and usually doing somewhere in the 2000s of damage if you're not up against something with actual defenses.
You even get some experience for using them, though it's a bad idea to actually finish any enemies off with a Bomb. If you do you get vastly reduced rewards.
Yeah, it hit!
Hey, wait! Using attacks that hit everywhere like that is unfair!
It's fairer than hiding youselves so that you can attack without reply.
They're completely incomprehensible. At least they can be directly targeted now.
Ehh, this might be kinda bad... Luna, it's your turn to do danmaku!
Huh? You didn't say anything about that!
That's enough complaining. It's punishment time now!
At this point, any of your units can have a conversation with any of the fairies upon attack. I'm only going to show Marisa's conversation with Luna though, because
that's hopefully the only one I'll even see. Luna has the highest defenses of any of the fairies, but she's also the one with lowest Mobility. That makes her perfect for Marisa, who even with Alice's support bonus only has a 70% on Sunny and a 46% on Star.
There you are!
Eep! I hid my sounds, how did you know where I was...?
Even if you hide your sounds, your figure's still plain to see.
Music: Careless Though it's Spring
Like Alice, Luna's theme is actually based off a SRW track. I'll give you a hint this time: Elemental Lord.
Crossing my fingers.
At least Marisa didn't die.
The annoying thing is that I wasted Alice's turn moving her north specifically to give that bonus to Marisa.
So now Marisa has to survive a full enemy phase. And with her luck so far, I'm not too confident.
Now then, will you return those pajamas and that pillow you're carrying on your back?
Ehh, but I can't find such cute pajamas anywhere else... And this pillow's shaped weird. It's as if it's been hugged tight for a long time.
Shut up and return them now!
Music: Unrefracting Curiosity
I want Marisa to get that Gain kill, so I'll just have everyone Evade/Defend this turn.
Okay, here we go.
If I apologize, will you let me go?
That's a smart move for a fairy. Your movements are surprisingly intelligent too.
That's because I sense the movement of animated objects. I'm especially good at tag.
That sounds fun. Try to dodge all my danmaku, then!
So you're not gonna let me get away, huh...
I guess I'll give Alice the kill.
There's no sound around you, huh? In broader terms... That means your ability can control the density waves in the atmosphere...
Um, I don't really understand that much about how my power works.
I shouldn't have bothered asking a fairy, huh? Oh well, time for your punishment.
What do you think you're doing with my flowerpot?
Oh, nothing... Here, I'll return the flowerpot, okay?
Hold it. I see you carrying a coffee cup behind you too.
Well, that's my cover blown.
Ahh, oh well. I'll go back and have some tea.
Once you kill any one of the fairies, the battle ends. You get pretty much the same amount of points from all of them, but Sunny drops a Ginjou Sake instead of a Beer like Luna and Star. Beers recover 100 MP though, so they're much more useful.
Ow ow ow...
You don't say.
Now then, time to finish this up. Would you all prefer jam, or pickled vegetables? Hurry up and choose.
Hey, wait! You're really planning to bottle us up, you magician!?
W-We're very sorry! We're actually fairies!
We were lying about all those things earlier!
We didn't mean any harm! We're sorryyyy!
That's enough of the bad jokes, Marisa.
Bah, fine. But you all are gonna have a little chat with us first.
This has just not been Marisa's week.
Sunny, Luna, and Star have very short attacks that aren't really based on any one thing, so I just threw their attacks into one video. Since I didn't want to awkwardly segue between all three of their themes, I threw in a song from FMW2. This one's original SRW song isn't very hard to figure out.
Three Fairies of Light
Ah, are you finished? Good work.
What's wrong, Shanghai? ...Yes, it'll be a bit lonely now that the player has stopped playing the game.
... *nod nod*
The player probably has things to do, it can't be helped.
Shanghai wants you to play again, so please do as soon as you can, mm?
...Though you don't really show up that much to begin with.