The Let's Play Archive

Fantasy Maiden Wars E

by BlitzBlast

Part 32: Trap in the Great Library - Part 1b

Alice is a required unit for this chapter, though I'm not sure why you wouldn't have her come anyways.

Also, for this chapter's initial formation I'm moving Reimu to the back. Or to be more exact the front. You'll see what I mean.

Are you the one behind this incident? We're troubled by all the mist pouring out. So we'll be stopping you right now!

Yes. The human village must not suffer any longer!

Whatever you say, there's nothing I can do. I'm merely a resident here. Direct your complaints to the head of the mansion.

In that case, let us through to her already. We ain't got time to waste.

Oh, certainly... not. I have been tasked with protecting this place for now.

Koakuma, Kurumi. Are you two ready?


Of course!

What...! Two devils, and reinforcement eyeballs and tongues!

Guh, why are those weirdo eyes here?

Seriously. We already beat Elly up just now... ...Hey, that's...!

I'll take revenge on you two for Elly!

...The tongued ghosts and that devil... I kind of remember that pairing.

You think so too, Reimu? That devil's name was...

It was three syllables and it sounded like something you'd eat, I think. Caramel? Chocolate? ...No, hm...

The joke here is that Kurumi's name literally translates to Walnut.


*sob* I fought so hard, yet I've already been forgotten...

Having played Touhou 4 (in which Kurumi is the stage 2 boss), let me just say that Kurumi is barely a speedbump.

L-Lady Kurumi! Please keep your composure!

...What's going on? Is that devil an acquaintance of yours?

...Ahh, I remember. She's the one who was with Elly back then. She was called Kurimu... er, Kurumi rather.

There's no time for meaningless chatter, you two. I presume you're prepared?

Ooh... Yeah, yeah I am.

Y-Yes! I will perform final checks right now! Umm, spirit pressure distribution is normal, all vertexes have been activated... ...All conditions green. Lady Patchouli, it is ready to go any time!

...Okay, start it up. Kurumi, don't leave your station. Koakuma, support her.


The heck? Danmaku's pouring out from those weird stones!

I've never seen danmaku being shot out from unmanned objects.

Danmaku's still danmaku though. We'll just dodge 'em!

Yes, they're not scary at all if they don't move.

...No, be careful. There might be other tricks up their sleeves.

Other tricks...? Why do you think so?

I wouldn't expect that she would show off her entire hand at the start.


...L-Lady Patchouli, that blonde magician has good intuition.

...There's no need to be worried. The square will not be disturbed.

Hint: Go after Kurumi.

Don't make any mistakes.


Music: Confusion in the Moonlight

Ryza posted:

The map theme for this and the next chapter is great and I will have No Fucking Arguments.
No arguments from me!

Anyways, the EASIS system. It's completely original to FMW (and basically exists so Patchouli can look smart), and it's... kind of a problem? Its penalties are really severe but

it's still danmaku so Focusing will negate most of the negative effects. If the WP bonus was beat the chapter in X turns or something it would be a hassle, but it's not so the EASIS system is kind of a joke.

Especially since, as the game not to subtly hinted, Kurumi is the one keeping it up. Once she goes down, the whole thing will just vanish.

And Kurumi's not exactly very hard to take down. You could do it with a single character.

Which is exactly what I will be doing! The party is going to be split between Reimu, a group heading for Patchouli, and

a group headed for this spot since there's a secret Beer hidden here.

There's also a secret Oni's Nail here too, but it's on the way to Patchouli so no need to make a new team for it.

Here's what the three groups will be.

Come enemy phase, the red crystals start creating danmaku. Each enemy phase will have a different color crystal shoot out danmaku.

Not that it matters since only one enemy could even target anyone.

Look, the danmaku's arrangement has changed!

It was pouring out from the green gems earlier... But now, the red gems are firing danmaku.

What's all this about? The corridors are so narrow to begin with. I've been banging into things left and right.

...That would be because you never look where you're flying.

It is a bit scary never knowing where the danmaku will be coming from next...

Yes. We should be careful in case a different stone starts firing danmaku...


What's up, Alice? You look perplexed.

...It's nothing. I was just thinking about something. Let's focus on the battle. We don't know where the danmaku is coming from next.

Remember how Patchouli said she would make the party cave in? If that's what the EASIS system was supposed to do, she's doing a pretty terrible job at it.

Anyhow, I think now you can see the reason I moved Reimu to the back. She could head north from the part where Marisa's group is, but then she gets caught in a clusterfuck of units and danmaku and ends up really slowing down. Back here's she's free to charge north unfocused for at least two turns.

Marisa chips down this Grimoire's HP to hopefully let Cirno destroy it.

Though I should probably discuss these things first. Grimoires are fairly flimsy one-trick ponies.

With that trick being "long range Laser attack that half the party can dodge and the other tank."

Seriously, if either of the magicians or Rumia choose to Defend the Laser will do no damage.

Cirno fails to kill the Grimoire, but it's weak enough now that I can kill it next phase.

One of the reasons why the Grimoires are so non-threatening is that, like all attacks, their laser will drop in both damage and accuracy if they fire from too far away. There are usually ways for player characters to get around this distance penalty, but none in this game.

Keine takes a direct hit from a laser...

but she does much more damage in return. Imagine how much she'll improve now that I can start buying Berserk for her.

By the way, for some perspective here's how much damage Nitori took from the same attack while she was Defending. And Keine's the one with a debuff from the Night terrain.

Reimu finally starts Focusing on turn 3 because there's some danmaku right in her way.

Youmu finishes off that Grimoire Keine weakened earlier,

and Keine weakens another Grimoire for Marisa to kill.

Keine got a level in the process too.

That's probably all Marisa's group will really be doing this chapter since they can barely move through all of the danmaku.

Rumia takes care of the Grimoire Cirno failed to defeat, freeing a path for Cirno and Dai. Thus ends my turn (after I manage to barely move Nitori and Alice a square east).

It's so cute how it thinks it actually has a chance.

It doesn't, of course.

Turn 4 starts with another chat.


I think it'll be green. I'll bet a rare frog!

Don't offer things that no one needs. I'll bet my rocket pencil on black.

why would you need a rocket pencil

Hey, don't just leave everything to Alice! You need to help figure this out too!

...The EASIS system is working perfectly. They seem to be having a tough time!

Yes, the conditions seem favorable. Kurumi is also doing well.

S-See? I'm not getting the order wrong or anything, yeah?

...Rotating all this magical energy...? And five colored stones that alternate firing danmaku...

...I understand now. I know how this trick works!



Have you really seen through the tricks to the enemy's trap?

...When forming a large magic square, if you do not plan it carefully... The magic power required will increase, and controlling it becomes more difficult. But you can save on magic power by cycling it around the square in a steady manner.

And the energy to power it is rotated among those stones.

So the traps spitting out danmaku runs on the same idea?

Most likely. That devil mentioning "rotating the magical energy" was what I needed.


...So you can tell which colored stone the danmaku will be pouring out from next?

Yes. With the elements carried by the magical stones and their affinities... It's possible to deduce the order. In short, it'll be black next.

The order's green > red > yellow > white > black, for all the good knowing that does.

Ooh... She is absolutely correct.

Gah, what do we do now, Patchouli...? They've figured out the trap!

...You were the one who let it slip to begin with. Good grief, this is why I hate taking care of children.

...Ooh... Then since that blonde girl figured it out... Can I stop making danmaku come out?

What madness are you blabbering now? You were the one who gave it away and shifted the balance of power to them.

Eek... But I'm already so tired...

All right, now that the secret's out... Your ability to create this magic square is indeed outstanding. But unfortunately for you, your plan will be no more.

...Your mouth is the only thing skillful about you. I can't imagine how you progressed all the way here. At least, not with those street performer-like skills of yours.

You seem to underestimate the power of dolls. I shall give you a lesson in them.

Let's go Shanghai!


...! Hey, that doll wasn't just a mascot!?

To fool your enemies, you must first fool your allies. Besides, I didn't want to expose this to you all.

...You're a very audacious magician, in many ways.

By utilization of knowledge at the right situation... The same technique can be made several times more effective...

Alice is half right.

Now that Alice has revealed her trump, her finisher has been unlocked. It's kind of like Master Spark lite, only because Alice almost entirely fights with ammo-based weapons she doesn't have nearly as much problems with her MP as Marisa does.

Anyways, the real beauty of Shanghai Doll is that its range just so happens to perfectly coincide with

Master Spark. If Fantasy Seal + Headbutt is this game's close range nuke, Master Spark + Shanghai Doll is the long range one. Together the two beams can practically one-shot boss life bars, giving you a useful "fuck this spellcard" button. And since both attacks can be long range, you don't have to put the two at risk of enemy counterattack or do any fancy movement!

Getting back to the game, Reimu casts Focus and keeps on heading up.

Youmu and Dai also dip into their SP.

It turns out casting Focus was being overcautious; only this Evil Eye attacked Reimu. Oh well, now that she's in range to attack she'll need to cast Focus every turn anyways.

At the beginning of every player phase until the EASIS system is shut down, Alice will tell you which crystal will fire danmaku next.

Not that it means much since Reimu's about to erase the problem.

Oh yeah, you're from back then...

Long time no see. I'm Kurumi, and I'm now the lake gatekeeper here. And I will defeat each and every one of you who dares to interfere!

Well, that was easy to understand... Wait, this isn't a lake.

Ooh... It's cold outside, so it's better to stay in...

Well, whatever. I'll be getting rid of you anyway.

Music: Rise Above the Lake, Scarlet Phenomenon

At this rate, Kurumi will be shot down by the end of next turn.

Meanwhile, movement!

Enemy phase starts with Keine tanking and countering two Grimoires.

Even if this had hit, I had Marisa Defending so she wouldn't have taken damage anyways.

Reimu's using Persuasion Needle here both to conserve MP for Fantasy Seal and to benefit from Shotgunning. As you can see, the latter makes it almost do as much damage as Evil Sealing Circle.

And I guess it got Reimu to level up too.

This fight goes exactly how you think it did.



One of the devils has been defeated!

Just about. How was our reunion greetings?

Ooh, it's gonna hurt real bad if I stay here any longer... As long as I can get away, I win!

Ah, wait! If you leave your station...

Kurumi leaves, and without her the EASIS system stops.

It's a bit sad to see it gone now that we've managed to figure it out.

At least now, we have nothing left to obstruct us!

Lady Patchouli, Lady Kurumi has disappeared off to somewhere! What do we do now? Who will maintain the EASIS system...?


It's a blessing to have good subordinates, eh? Things look bright on our side now!

...I never had hope in her to begin with. She's not my subordinate after all.

Pretty nice spoils.

With the EASIS system out of commission, nobody needs to Focus to move now. So Cirno zooms over to this,

and Keine (who got another Trust from Dai) does a little multitasking.

At least she didn't mess this up.

Youmu also messes up her attempt. You have 20 more Skill than this thing Youmu, get a critical!

Nitori and Marisa have to step in to finish the jobs.

Alice weakens a nearby Grimoire to wrap up the phase.

Said Grimoire proceeds to commit suicide.

And this Doofy Ghost tries to follow its example, but unfortunately Reimu didn't critical.

Reimu's heading off to rejoin the rest of the crew (though I doubt she'll make it to the frontlines fast enough to fight anything), but that doesn't mean she can't finish the job.

For everyone else, movement's all that happens this turn because

Koakuma's Danmaku field is nasty.

Let's take a look at the last two unique enemies.

Koakuma's pretty harmless, but what else would you expect from a support unit? Her thing is recovering MP, which would be a really helpful thing to have!
She joins in FMW2 and makes MP problems vanish forever.

Patchouli is the quintessential RPG magician: built like a house of cards, but hits with the force of an angry God. She's a primarily long range unit though, so if Youmu or Keine get to her she's doomed.

Speaking of Keine, the damage she's taken makes her a magnet for attacks. Good thing she can take it.

But Koakuma can't reach her so she targets Marisa instead.

Hey you, wanna come with me tonight?

...Huh!? W-Why so suddenly...!?

Ehh, you look like one of those "Secretaries" from the outside world, right? And "Presidents" pick up "Secretaries" using those kinda lines or something.

L-Lady Patchouli would never say such vulgar things! ...But it would be nice if she asked me to join her for some things... Like reading books, and...

Ohh, she dropped her guard. Now's the time to attack!

Marisa, you're even not attacking. Like hell I'm wasting MP on Narrow Spark.

Music: With an Eternally Innocent Heart

Koakuma's strongest attack is just her rapid firing bubble bullets.

It's safe to blow a bomb on Koakuma since she drops one too.

Based on your appearance, I presume you are a devil?

Yes I am. Why?

Hm... So devils do reside in Gensokyo. Though I don't know the details about why you live here. Given what that magician has shown, she should be able to summon her own minions.

I... I am not a minion! I possess my own feelings, I am just assisting Lady Patchouli.

Huh, that's odd. I wouldn't have thought your master would be liked by anyone.

This danmaku... So you wish to impede our path towards that magician.

Yes. I shall do my best in this danmaku battle to be of use to lady Patchouli!

...I see. That girl is able to use as much power as she wants due to your support. Your powers combined are not to be trifled with. I will have to take you down first!

I've never left Koakuma alive to check, but I presume she can Renew Patchouli's MP.

You are brave to stand in front of your master, in the midst of all this danmaku.

Ooh... There have been a lot of close calls, yeah... But as long as it's for Lady Patchouli... I will be glad to gather whatever little magic power I can!

You revere your master greatly, I see. I fully understand your feelings.

However, it is for that exact reason that I cannot back down as well!

And now to get Marisa to level 10.

Lady Patchouli, I'm sorry!

Yay, Alert.

If you are not the culprit, then wouldn't it be better to just let us pass through?

Things are never that easy. A hero must put in the necessary time and labor.

I will use all means to stop the suffering of the humans as quickly as possible!

...You expect us to comply when we're playing around? Time and labor is one of the most important processes, you know.

That's enough talk. Let's go!

Music: Magician of Aprisyra Metrosil

Here's the first rule of dealing with Patchouli.

don't get hit directly. Everyone will be clustering around Keine since she's the one who can most effectively tank the blows. Rumia could also do it for this first part of the fight if she had Support Defend, but she doesn't so who cares.

The two remaining Grimoires conveniently let Youmu cripple them.

Priority one is to eliminate these things so I can get the Bonus.

Nitori and Rumia both get levels for their efforts.

Now the goal is to get Youmu over to Patchouli. Keine will be acting as the bodyguard until Youmu can Accel on over.

Dai also blows the last of her SP just in case.

And Cirno starts moving in. Hopefully she'll attract Patchouli's attention.

Oh, okay.

What are you doing here? You don't look like the type to have an objective.

This is just how things turned out. I'm not going along just cuz I lost!

...This group really does have all kinds.

Such strong danmaku with huge range... I cannot break through it.

Of course. There's no way I'll let such a dangerous sword get anywhere near me.

...However, your movements are sluggish, unlike Marisa.

It will be a battle to see whether I can get into striking distance. Here I come!

There goes half of Patchouli's health.

Also come on.

Good thing Keine still has SP.

This should finish her off.

Or not. Patchouli smelled like books, if you were wondering.

Oh what the hell, why not?

Fairies possess the power of nature. I see you have the power of ice in you.

Yeah. Are you jealous?

Of course not. Elemental magic utilizes the power of spirits and fairies... Fairies are more akin to being my slaves.

Grrr...! How dare you make fun of us!

Cirno hits her next level, for all the good it'll do her.

...I see, this much isn't enough to stop you. It's about time I borrow the full power of the spirits.

...! Please be careful. I can feel severe power converging around that magician...!

Hmph, showing your special powers now!?

...For a noisy, reckless bunch like you all, this magic should be appropriate.

Princess Undine is the first spellcard to have multiple fields of effect. Where Keine's standing is where most of them converge and as such a very bad place to be,

but right next to her Rumia's totally fine. You can tell which field is what by their different shade of blue.

Still, due to the massive Defense penalties Princess Undine is pretty damn dangerous. It's a spell you want to get through pretty quickly.

You know what that means.

Your magic imitates stars, I see.

Yeah, it's flashy and pretty. That's what my magic's all about!

One must be ridden with confusion within to produce that dance. Just how much of a mess are you inside?

Ahh? The heck are you talking about? Though it's true that my room's a mess.

I wanted to record this, but I completely forgot that I had Fraps set to record at 10 FPS because I was trying to TAS something earlier. I'll have to get it on the Marisa run.

In the meantime, screenshots!

Marisa and Alice's finishers will both go right through Patchouli's barrier.

Thank you Alert.

Alice's cut-in is a lot different from everyone else's. I'm not sure if they got a different artist, or if it was a purposeful stylistic choice.

Also I'm pretty sure Shanghai Doll's animation is a reference to Mazinger Z's Breast Fire. You'll see it later.

Fuck your spellcard Patchouli.

Since Support Attack doesn't use up the Supporter's turn, I could just have Alice fire again and end it,

but Marisa's actually going to regenerate back to 70 MP next turn, so I'll have Alice hold off.

Keine will take out Patchouli instead.

All right, it's broken!

Wait, take a good look, Marisa. That magician's still looking fine!

...Wha? You gotta be kidding me. You've already used so much magic!

Has all her book reading made it easier for her to store up her spiritual power?

...When using elemental magic, only the power from the spirits can be conserved.

That part alone is stupid strong though. And she can even change elements at will.

Why bother borrowing power from all those spirits?

...You have not studied sufficiently. Using one element alone no longer makes it elemental magic. By making use of the interaction between the seven elements... The power of each and every one of them is complemented and amplified.

Complementation and amplification through interaction...?

...By combining conflicting elements, their weaknesses are covered. And by combining complimentary elements, their merits are strengthened. It's a fairly simple theory.

Hey, guess what?

The raging fire becomes furious when combined with the power of wood. Feel the true meaning of elemental magic in the midst of burning flames.

Bosses in this game can have more than one spellcard!

On a first playthrough this could come as a major shock, and could really screw you over if you've gotten used to just dumping finishers on spells. Every boss from now on is going to gradually up the ante on how many spells they have too, so this is essentially the game's "hey you should really conserve your resources" wake-up call.

By the way, it's really fitting that Patchouli is the first boss to have more than one spell. Back in EoSD, she had 13 (not counting the harder difficulties) different spellcards that she only picked four from depending on which character you chose. The three she chose here, Agni Shine, Princess Undine and Forest Blaze, are only used against Reimu A, Reimu B and Marisa A respectively.

Forest Blaze also has two fields, and it's got a pretty nasty effect too: Graze damage goes up 20%.

I moved Nitori and Dai to cover Marisa and Alice, and had Dai heal Nitori while I was at it. She got a level.

I also had Nitori cast Guard, so this works out wonderfully!

If I'm facing a magician, I may be able to get through this okay.

...And why would you be so confident?

I've been hanging around magicians a lot lately. I'm used to magic danmaku now.

You'd do well not to think of my magic as being on the same level as theirs. Have a taste of it, then rethink your view.

I'd be worried for Nitori's survival if Patchouli had any chance of surviving the next turn.

Rumia starts the Patchouli destruction plan with a bomb.

Keine follows up with a Headbutt, and does so much damage that I won't even need to use Shanghai Doll.

Finally, I stupidly have Marisa cast Alert instead of Gain despite the fact Patchouli can't survive a Master Spark.

Text formatting!

With my condition today, I suppose this was predictable.

Thankfully, Marisa leveled up anyways.

Also she got a very, very, very useful item.


That should do it!

Good grief... Those flames were certainly severe. I thought I was going to burn up for a second.

Eeeek! Cirno's half-melted!

Well, forgetting Cirno for the moment, at least we can finally move on.

Yeah, that took more time than I thought. It's amazing that she's still standing.

...*cough cough* ...Even enhanced fire magic eventually reveals its limits of power. With my condition today, this is as far as I can take it...

Your condition today? What a sore loser.

Oh believe me, she's not kidding.

Well then, since you've been beaten, we'll be getting some information out of you.

I don't mind, but let's talk in a more relaxing place. I'm out of breath.

Yes... I saw that red-haired demon's shadow from that bookshelf earlier. Let's have a chat over there.


Patchouli Knowledge


No one passes through that gate alive!

Reimu steps into the Scarlet Devil Mansion to be greeted by Meiling!

Her special technique is here: Colorful Wind Chime!

Next time on Fantasy Maiden Wars E: "Youkai won't need gravestones! This is Scarlet Devil Mansion hell!"

I'll get rid of all the demons!

I thought the Bunbunmaru was supposed to be fast.