Touhou Koumakyou ~ the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil (partially found early builds of shoot 'em up game; 2002)
Touhou Koumakyou ~ the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil (東方紅魔郷 ~ the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil; 東方紅魔郷 lit. Eastern Scarlet Devil Land), also known as "the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil", abbreviated as "EoSD", or simply referred to as "Touhou 6" by its fans, is a popular vertical-scrolling danmaku shoot 'em up game developed by Team Shanghai Alice (上海アリス幻樂団) in 2002. It is the sixth official installment of the Touhou Project and the first game to be released specifically for the Windows operating system, meant to serve as a break-off point from its PC-98 era.
Plot[edit | edit source]
"During a peaceful summer in Gensokyo, an unnatural scarlet mist appears without warning and covers much of the land. It is strong enough to block out the sun, causing the affected areas to become dark and cold. Reimu Hakurei, a shrine maiden working at the Hakurei Shrine, and Marisa Kirisame, a magician, set out to find the source of the mist. Their search will lead them to the Scarlet Devil Mansion and to its eccentric owners..."
Gameplay[edit | edit source]
The game primarily centers around bullets being emitted from enemies, and is up to the players to defeat all enemies by shooting whilst trying to avoid and pass between bullets thrown in their way. At the end of every stage there will be a boss, who will converse with the player, giving out details on what each game's story is about. The game is positioned vertically, with the player always facing upwards. The goal of the game is to defeat all of the bosses, in order to unlock the ending.
There are 4 available difficulties for the player to choose from: Easy, Normal, Hard, and Lunatic. Each difficulty varies in the number of bullets fired by each enemy, rate of fire, variations in the bullets' pattern of movement, and the number and type of enemy Spell Cards used. 
The players can choose between 2 playable characters—Reimu Hakurei and Marisa Kirisame—each having different traits: Reimu Hakurei has a wider range of attack, and good movement speed and attack power. Marisa Kirisame has a much smaller range of attack, but is relatively higher movement speed and attack power, when compared to Reimu.
Each game consists of 6 stages, each stage of which gets increasingly more difficult. 1 extra stage can be unlocked when the player manages to beat the game without continuing on Normal or any harder difficulty. The Easy difficulty cuts off after the 5th stage, making the game impossible to beat when that difficulty is chosen.
Development and Release[edit | edit source]
The game started development when Team Shanghai Alice's sole member ZUN waited for Comiket 62, after his failed attempt to register his group as a music circle for Comiket 61. Later on, the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil was first announced by ZUN on his website on April 15, 2002, approximately three and a half years after the release of ZUN's last official Touhou installation for the PC-98, Mystic Square.
Being the first release for Windows, ZUN has written the engine for the game from scratch on his own using the DirectX API, along with some help from a few libraries from Amusement Makers. This engine will later be used for his following games, up until Touhou Kaeizuka ~ Phantasmagoria of Flower View (東方花映塚 ～ Phantasmagoria of Flower View; 東方花映塚 lit. Flower Reflecting Mound), the last time the engine was used.
The first trial build was released on June 10, 2002, with revised builds being released after. Finally, on August 11, 2002, the full build of the game was released and distributed at Comiket 62, alongside the music CD Hourai Ningyou ~ Dolls in Pseudo Paradise (蓬莱人形 ～ Dolls in Pseudo Paradise; 蓬莱人形 lit. Hourai Doll). Patches for the full version were also released to fix bugs up until late November 2002, ending in ver1.02.h.
Early Builds[edit | edit source]
At the time of development, the working title for the game was "Touhou Kouchakan" (東方紅茶館 lit. Eastern Scarlet Teahouse), but was later changed into it's current name as ZUN didn't think it suited the story of the game. The gameplay of the trial versions and the final release remain the same. The only differences between the trial and the final release being that the trial prematurely cuts off after the player completes the 3rd stage of the game, and the extra stage is not accessible. Practice start, where the player can choose to play a specific stage they've unlocked, is also absent in the trial.
The trial versions were released by ZUN on the official website for the game and were downloadable. The site also included screenshots from the earlier builds of the game, meant to serve as promotional images for the game. The screenshots of which shows that the builds were very different from the final release of the game. Interestingly enough, the earliest known build of the game going by Taikenhan ver0.01(体験版 ver0.01 lit. Trial version ver0.01), was posted on a separate page. The page seem to have contained several pictures that were later used for the current page of the game, also serving the same purpose.
Both pages contain download links for early trial builds of the game, with the current page containing download links for Taikenhan ver0.10a to Taikenhan ver0.13, and the other page containing the download link for Taikenhan ver0.01. Back in June 10th to July 11th of 2002, Taikenhan ver0.02-ver0.09a were also downloadable from the official site, but no backups of the page from that span of time was made and uploaded online. The images from earlier versions of the current page and of the hidden page were archived, with the exception of the images named th6_10.jpg, th6_11.jpg, th06_16.jpg, th06_17.jpg, and an unknown image found on the top of the page, it might just be the cover art for the game.
Unfortunately, the download links to all trial versions are dead, with the exception of Taikenhan ver0.13 which can still be downloaded to this day. This makes all of the earlier builds of the game prior to Taikenhan ver0.13 entirely lost, outside from a handful of screenshots.
Additionally, Taikenhan ver0.08+ was included in the POWER CD-ROM set that was distributed alongside the September 2002 volume of DOS/V POWER REPORT (ドスブイ パワーレポート), a Japanese magazine published by Impress Japan (ンプレスジャパンが) focusing on home-built PCs, that had monthly issues until publication became quarterly, after its 300th issue in August. However, this version of the demo can only be played on the disc it's included in. To this day, someone has yet to upload a playable version online without the use of said discs.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
External Links[edit | edit source]
- Touhou Wiki page of the game. Retrieved 07 Feb '21
- The Cutting Room Floor's page on the game's prelease build. Retrieved 07 Feb '21
- Official website for the game Retrieved 07 Feb '21
- Kagipen's blog post about the differences between ver0.08+ and ver0.13 (Japanese) Retrieved 10 Feb '21
Reference[edit | edit source]
- Game's story summary (CONTAINS SPOILERS) Retrieved 07 Feb '21
- Basic Gameplay of Touhou 6. Retrieved 07 Feb '21
- 東方文花帖 ～ Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red: 22: "幻想の音覚" (Translation) Retrieved 08 Feb '21
- A mysterious page hosting a dead download link for Taikenhan ver0.01 Retrieved 08 Feb '21
- Official website for the game (Archived) Retrieved 07 Feb '21
- Announcements from ZUN on his site Retrieved 10 Feb '21
- Wikipedia article on DOS/V POWER REPORT (Japanese) Retrieved 10 Feb '21
- Blog post about the discs in question (Japanese) Retrieved 10 Feb '21