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         Touhou 6: The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, known in Japan as Touhou Koumakyou (東方紅魔郷 Tōhō Kōmakyō?, lit. Eastern Land of the Scarlet Devil) and the Super Nintendo as Touhou 6: The Embodiment of the Scarlet Curse, and often referred to as Touhou VI or EoSD, is a 1992 maniac shooter game developed by the newly-founded Team Shanghai Alice branch at Drillimation Studios and published by Namco. The game was released in the arcades in June 1992 followed by a home console port for the Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, and home computers in Japan on July 10, 1992, and the rest of the world on August 11, 1992. Nintendo also released a port for the Game Boy Advance as part of the Touhou Advance series.

It is also the first game in the Touhou Series to use the Driller Engine 2 engine and the first in the current canon from the Driller Engine 2 Era. The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil also depicts Reimu Hakurei and Marisa Kirisame in their brand new outfits as seen from the extra ending in Touhou 5: Mystic Square and the 1990 short film Touhou 5.5: Mima's Great Defeat.

The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil received critical acclaim for its visuals and difficulty, and became the winner for the Game of the Year Award For Best Arcade Game in 1993, beating out Driller Engine Grand Prix and Super Smash Keyboards. The game also received three other nominations for game content, including Best Soundtrack, Best Boss, and Best Female Lead Role. Despite receiving praise for is difficulty, it is considered one of the toughest video games to beat.

Blurb

Arcade, SNES, MS-DOS, and Genesis versions

"Welcome back to bullet haven!"
- Official attention grabberA red mist from a mansion on an island in a lake is being emitted and spreading all over Gensoukyou, blinding you and the sun, making the summer gloomy and chilly! In the eastern land of the scarlet demonoid, you take on the roles of Reimu Hakurei, the shrine maiden of the Hakurei Shrine or Marisa Kirisame, the magician and friend of Reimu. If you haven't seen them yet, it's been four long years and before that time, both Reimu and Marisa have undergone a complete makeover. When you finally meet both Remilia and Flandre Scarlet, you'll be in the fiercest battle ever yet. They're young in sight, and your place in history is 1692, four years after the previous adventure. Don't wait until Flandre, because she has been sealed for nearly five centuries.

GBA version

"Enjoy arcade-quality Touhou anytime, anywhere!"
- Official attention grabberReimu and Marisa's Game Boy Advance debut throws one of the most influential arcade games of all time, and enhanced versions of Mario Bros. and Pac-Man. First released in the arcades in 1992, The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil comes to the Game Boy Advance with new enemies, improved bullet patterns, and tougher challenges. You must adventure through seven challenging quests to save the day, though they have bombs for defense, new challenges include collecting red coins and finding hidden objects.
  • Has all the great features that made Touhou 6: The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil a smash hit, alongside new features.
  • Three great multiplayer modes let you play as Reimu or Marisa, each with their own shot array and bombs used to clear the path!
  • The Game Boy Advance version is better like you remember it! Remember that game you played as a kid? Now share the fun of it with a whole new generation!

Gameplay

Touhou 6: The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, or abbreviated as EoSD, features two playable characters to choose from, each having two distinct attack types. Reimu Hakurei covers a wide area of the screen with weaker attacks, whereas Marisa Kirisame relies on her speed and power to make up for her thinner attack spread. The bombs ("Spell Cards") also show different behavior and damage depending on the character and type chosen.

Some important gameplay features that Touhou 6: The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil introduces over its predecessor Touhou 5: Mystic Square are automatic item collection, which allows the player to collect all items on screen by moving to the top of the screen at full power; and the counter-bomb system, which allows the player to negate an enemy hit by pressing the bomb button immediately after contact with the enemy projectile. Also, this game is the first Touhou game to feature Touhou's iconic "Spell Card" system. Each Spell Card is a particular bullet pattern and is given a name. A bonus can be earned if the player does not use a bomb or die during any particular pattern.

Score Advance Table

Enemies

Enemy Points Scored
Normal Fairy 50
Purple Fairy 70
Red Fairy 80
Spinning Needle 60
Ice Shard 50 (small)
100 (large)
White Dove 90
Chinese Fairy 100
Korean Fairy 120
Mongolian Fairy 150
Monster Book 200

Mechanics

Mechanic Points Scored
Grazing 50
Standard Bonus 20 * No. of bullets on-screen
Spell Card Bonus Stage number * 1,000 + (seconds * 100)
Clear Bonus Stage x 1000 (stage number, Extra = 7)

Power x 100 (power level)
Graze x 10 (graze count)

Final Stage Bonus Lives * 100,000

Bombs * 50,000

Items

Item Points Scored
Point Item 1,000 (Easy/Normal)

1,500 (Difficult)
2,000 (Lunatic)
3,000 (YOLO or Extra)

Power Item 10 - 500

Controls

Action Arcade SNES GEN MS-DOS
Move Joystick D-Pad D-Pad Arrow Keys
Fire Button itself 16px-SNES A.svg A Z
Focus 16px-SNES B.svg/x16px B Shift
Bomb 16px-SNES X.svg/x16px C X

Plot

The game is set in 1692, roughly four years after the events of Touhou 5: Mystic Square. Reimu Hakurei and Marisa Kirisame have cut their hair short and changed outfits permanently to avoid being hit with Yuka's Virus. Everything during that time has seemed peaceful and quiet after the defeat of vengeful youkai Mima. However, on the verge of the Scarlet Devil Mansion, a vampire named Remilia Scarlet is unable to go outside due to the sun shining, and with enough strength, emits a large red mist that covers the sky of Gensoukyou, blocking out the sun and perilously dropping the temperature to start autumn early and prevent the villagers from exiting their homes.

The duo then adventures out to the mansion to defeat Scarlet but are interrupted by battles with Rumia and Cirno. Hong Meiling refuses the two to be admitted inside the mansion, and when they defeat Meiling, Sakuya Izayoi, the head maid of the mansion, is angry over the defeat of Meiling and Patchouli and uses time-stopping spell cards in an attempt to kill the duo. When they finally get to Remilia, the two face off in a dangerous battle that nearly defeats the duo, but manages to escape it. When Remilia is finally defeated, the mist slowly fades away as the duo return home.

Soundtrack

Like Seihou 2: Kioh Gyoku, which was released a few months earlier for the Super Famicom, the soundtrack for this game was originally made with the Roland SC-55 MIDI module. However, before the game's release, ZUN arranged and re-recorded the tracks using a different module in Impulse Tracker format.

Two separate versions of the soundtrack with seventeen tracks each were included in the game. The Impulse Tracker version is based on ZUN's later arrangement of the soundtrack and marks a significant step up from the 2A03, FDS, and N163 chips ZUN used for the Driller Engine 1 games. The MIDI version is based on the original compositions, and will only play correctly on an SC-55. Recordings of the MIDI versions made using this module can be found on YouTube and can play on regular PCs from 1998 and beyond.

ZUN was aiming to give the music a "brighter" feel over the Driller Engine 1 games by attempting to add jazz fusion elements to the tracks. He goes on to say that Septette for a Dead Princess and U.N. Owen Was Her!? were the songs he most thought of as representative of The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil. Incidentally, these two songs are among the tunes most popular in the fandom.

Shanghai Alice of Meiji 17 and U.N. Owen Was Her!? would later appear in the music album Dolls in Pseudo Paradise, with the former being the original version of the track. Shanghai Teahouse ~ Chinese Tea would also be arranged for Changeability of Strange Dream, and Locked Girl ~ The Girl's Secret Room for Retrospective 53 minutes. U.N. Owen Was Her!? was also arranged for a CD extra that came with the first volume of Strange and Bright Nature Deity, where it was redone to carry a more suitable tone for the manga.

Hirokazu Tanaka arranged the entire soundtrack for the Super Nintendo port of the game. The Genesis version soundtrack was done using a Drillimation in-house converter called IT2VGM. In addition, Beloved Tomboyish Girl in Love would later be arranged in Touhou 9: The Phantasmagoria of Flower View retitled Adventure of the Lovestruck Tomboy.

Touhou 6: The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil: The Original Arcade Game Soundtrack
No. Song Name Location played Time
1 A Dream That is More Red Than Scarlet Title screen 1:48
2 A Soul as Red as a Ground Cherry Stage 1 2:32
3 Apparitions Stalk the Night Fight against Rumia 1:48
4 Lunate Elf Stage 2 2:45
5 Beloved Tomboyish Girl in Love Fight against Cirno 2:56
6 Shanghai Teahouse ~ Chinese Tea Stage 3 3:52
7 Shanghai Alice of Meiji 17 Fight against Hong Meiling 2:56
8 Voile, The Magic Library Stage 4 3:34
9 Locked Girl ~ The Girl's Secret Room Fight against Patchouli Knowledge 3:21
10 The Maid and the Pocket Watch of Blood Stage 5 5:02
11 Lunar Clock ~ Luna Dial Fight against Sakuya Izayoi 2:42
12 The Young Descendant of Tepes Final Stage 1:45
13 Septette for a Dead Princess Fight against Remilia Scarlet 4:03
14 The Centennial Festival for Magical Girls Extra Stage 4:28
15 U. N. Owen Was Her!? Fight against Flandre Scarlet 4:06
16 An Eternity That Is More Transient than Scarlet Ending 1:46
17 Crimson Tower ~ Eastern Dream Staff Roll 3:22
Total: 52:23

Development

Touhou 6 Prototype

The original prototype logo. The game was originally going to be made in Driller Engine 1, but was made in Driller Engine 2 after ZUN was given a preview of the then-upcoming hardware.

Touhou 6: The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil began development after the release of Touhou 5: Mystic Square in early 1989 for the Driller Engine 1000 board under the title of Touhou 6: Eastern Scarlet Teahouse (東方紅茶館 Tōhō Kōchakan?). The game was in development for three and a half years before being released. After ZUN acquired the Driller Engine 2000 board and development kits, development of the game shifted to the new board.

ZUN's general goal when creating Touhou 6: The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil was to remove the systems appearing in newer shoot' em ups, which he thought overly complicated the games, and to let the player have fun simply dodging bullets. The original name was a reference to the stage 3 theme. However, engineers at Drillimation Studios felt the name didn't match the game's story, so Hiroshi Takajima, very politely, asked ZUN to change the name to make it match the story.

Touhou 6 Beta

The beta logo, used in teaser trailers found in VHS releases of the Drillimation anime.

As the first Driller Engine 2000 game, a new engine was written from scratch using the new programming functions that Driller Engine 2 offered - with help from a few libraries from Amusement Software after it went defunct the previous year due to improper sales management - and ZUN apologizes for the seeming lack of creativity with things like grunt enemies, citing a lack of manpower while concentrating on building up libraries and tools himself. The engine would later be used for the games Touhou 7: Perfect Cherry Blossom, Touhou 8: Imperishable Night, and Touhou 9: The Phantasmagoria of Flower View. The engine was also used in the main Drillimation games including Super Lucky Star 4, Star Trigon: The Arcade, Angry Video Game Nerd: The Arcade, and Lucky Star Bloodlines.

The game's data files show the name Satsuki Rin near the other playable characters. Associated with her are the attack types Flower Sign and Wind Sign. These suggest that this girl was planned as a playable character, but got scrapped during development due to time constraints. The unused character exists within the game's files, but can only be accessed through hacking and cheating devices. When asked about it, ZUN didn't remember her.

When Nintendo was porting The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil to the Super Nintendo and during localization, Minoru Arakawa, founder of Nintendo of America, and Howard Lincoln, vice president of the company, objected to the game and Drillimation was advised to change the title. Nintendo warned Drillimation that they will refuse to license any game with the word "devil" in its title, and major retailers in North America like Target, Walmart, and Best Buy would also not sell any game containing that word. To get around this problem, Hiroshi Takajima spent several hours trying to come up with a name. The Embodiment of the Scarlet Curse was chosen by his son, Susumu Takajima. The original title was still kept in the game's data, as the change only applies to the box art.

Differences between the Japanese and International releases

  • The Super Nintendo version of the game is called Touhou 6: The Embodiment of the Scarlet Curse, as Nintendo of America had policies regarding the use of religious referencing. After the ESRB was founded, the game's original title was restored.
  • The Sallyish release of the game is called Touhou 6: The Embodiment of the Scarlet Demon, and all religious references were removed or replaced.
  • Several sprites had to be altered for the international release. There were numerous sprites depicting a Star of David, as well as a spell card with the same name. They were changed to the emblem used in Lucky Star to avoid sparking controversy in European countries.
  • Several lines of dialogue had to be censored after being translated:
    • There were a couple of instances of cannibalism within the game's dialogue. The line "I have no problem with you - grabbing them and eating them for dinner" said by Rumia was changed to "I don't have a problem here - we take you and eat dinner with us". The line "Is the person in front of me the edible kind?" said by the same character was also changed to "Do you want to eat any of our treats?" Reimu's line "And who makes food out of humans in your household?" was changed to "And the one who steals people's souls here!"
    • Several religious references were removed as well. Rumia's arms were lowered in the international version as it resembled a crucifix in the Japanese version. Rumia's line "The saint was crucified on the cross" was changed to "The queen was killed by a dark wizard", referencing Lucky Star respectively. Flandre's line "This is the power of those who serve gods!" was changed to "And that's the power of shamen who serve the world!"
    • Marisa's line "If you're alone, does that mean you'll hang yourself?" was changed to "Since you're lonely, how about you go kill yourself?", as the term "hang" was considered offensive in western territories. Subsequent uses of the word in the poem that Flandre recites were also changed.
  • The voiceovers used in the arcade and PC versions of the game are different in the international release. The game has English voice acting in all regions except Japan, where the voice acting is in Japanese.

Marketing

Like with almost all Drillimation games, the game was marketed in North America under a Reverse Kirby Effect. The North American box arts for the arcade and home console ports depict Flandre Scarlet with an evil grin, usually to make it look cool. However, the original revision has Scarlet smiling evilly but was changed with her mouth shut but with a peaceful look to it. This was to avoid scaring off children from trying to buy the game.

Unused Content

  • In the Super Nintendo version of the game, the music room has a Driller Engine 2 rendering of the overworld and invincibility themes from Super Mario Bros. The invincibility theme is written in three different keys, being C Major, D Flat Major, and D Major.

Reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
MetaCritic 89/100
GameRankings 90.40%
Review scores
Source Rating
GamePro 4.5/5.0
Famitsu 35/40
Nintendo Power 91%
The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil was met with critical acclaim upon release, and was ranked as one of the greatest video games of all time. Critics praised the gameplay and story but were criticized for Reimu and Marisa's new appearances as well as the voice acting in the arcade and PC versions. GamePro stated that "Touhou 6 is great with the soundtrack but the voice acting sounds cheesy and feel like little kids voiced them. It wasn't until the Driller Engine 4 Era where they finally got it right." The SNES and Genesis versions did not have the voice acting, primarily due to system limitations and the fact parents thought voiced video game characters would be "lame". EoSD was also met with criticism for the arcade version's controls, with Nintendo Power stating "It's a lot better with a d-pad, rather than the arcade joystick". Howard Lincoln of Nintendo of America also stated, "Despite its girly atmosphere, this is a great game."

Many characters that debuted in The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, including Cirno, Hong Meiling, Patchouli Knowledge, Sakuya Izayoi, as well as the Scarlet sisters of Remilia Scarlet and Flandre Scarlet, became very popular among American players. The songs Septette for the Dead Queen and U. N. Owen Was Her!?, as well as the stage 3 songs Shanghai Teahouse ~ Chinese Tea and Shanghai Alice of Meiji 17 were recognizable by 84% of all gamers, as well as 91% of all non-gamers. The recognitions of these songs caused the game to become ultra successful, selling more than 10 million copies worldwide. In an interview with Time Magazine, Susumu Takajima made the following comments:

Touhou 6 was the first Touhou game in the Driller Engine 2 Era in the early 1990s. Many kids told us that Touhou 6, besides Touhou 7, was the first Touhou game they played in their entire life. The song in-game, called U. N. Owen Was Her!? was very popular and was one of the songs that introduced a lot of teenagers into tracker music. Almost all music in Touhou Project is tracker-based, and there are thousands of remixes on the internet. It was because ZUN created something he loved and put it out to Drillimation Studios.

Controversy

The release generated some minor controversy in El Kadsre. The cover of the September 1992 issue of El Kadsre Gaming featured a fully-fledged artwork of Flandre Scarlet, given an evil and aggressive grin. This led to a lot of telephone calls to El Kadsre News Group about the cover, as it gave some players nightmares. El Kadsre News Group apologized about this and ranked this as their worst cover art.

Google Easter Egg

In 2013, over two decades after the game was released, Google created an easter egg for the game's twentieth anniversary. Upon searching "Touhou 6" on Google, Flandre's sprite will appear in the Knowledge Box for the game. Upon clicking her, the user is redirected to a page where they can play a mini game to test their reflexes against all of Flandre's spell cards without any shooting, usually the pacifist route.

Awards and Accolades

Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result
1993 El TV Kadsre Game of the Year Awards Best Arcade Game The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil Won
Best Boss Flandre Scarlet Nominated
Best Soundtrack The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil Nominated
Best Female Lead Character Reimu Hakurei Nominated
1995 Grammy Awards Best song U. N. Owen Was Her!? Won

Gallery

Known glitches

  • During the period of violent shaking caused by Marisa Type B's bomb, "Master Spark" or Reimu Type B's bomb, "Evil-Sealing Circle", enemies that are scheduled to appear from the right side of the screen will consistently fail to show up. Enemies that disappear in this fashion do not produce any points or items.
  • If Rumia's first nonspell is timed out, the health carries over to the first spell card, making it impossible to defeat if she has full health. Moreover, on Easy, it causes her spell card "Night Bird", which is normally not available on Easy, to start.
  • It seems that the sound of Reimu Type-A's shooting (Fire Button/Z Key/A Button) disappears when Power is between 16 and 31.
  • When facing Flandre Scarlet in the Extra stage, if the player shoots at her immediately after her second-last Spell Card (Secret Shot "And Then Will There Be None?") ends, she will take a significant amount of damage to her healthbar for her last Spell Card (QED "Ripples of 495 Years"). This can also be done for Remilia's last Spell Card ("Red Magic" or "Scarlet Gensokyo"). This bug will not work if second-last Spell Card of Flandre or Remilia is beaten by bombing.
  • If the player times out the last Spell Card of Remilia or Flandre and use a bomb right before the Spell Card finishes off (that will cause Remilia and Flandre turn into bats), the Spell Card will finish, but the bat-looking bosses will still remain on the screen. In this case, the player will have to wait a minute or so before the final score (for Remilia) or the final dialog (for Flandre) appears.
  • Pausing the game exactly when the statistics screen is about to open up causes the game to show both the statistics menu and the pause menu at once, giving the player control of both simultaneously, allowing players to go back to the main screen and even start a run while the other menu is still open, causing weird effects. This can only be done in the MS-DOS and Windows versions of the game.
  • Meiling's "Wind Chime of Colorful Rainbow" does not give any items after defeating it if the bullet count is 511 or higher (a bonus of at least 23250). It only gives 2 out of the intended 5 point or power items if the bullet count is 510 (bonus of 23180). The difficulty must be Hard or Lunatic for the spell to have this many bullets. In Extra, this can also affect Patchouli's "Silent Selene".
  • Sometimes Flandre stops shooting for one wave during her 6th nonspell for currently unknown reasons.
  • If the player finishes a nonspell when the timer of the boss is at the end of 00 seconds (a frame away from timing out), the Spell Card that comes afterward is skipped. The player gets all of the items they would normally get from finishing the Spell Card off, but they do not get any Spell Card bonus. This can be done for most nonspells that have Spell Cards after them, but not all of them. This bug works for every nonspell except for Flandre's last nonspell and Remilia's last nonspell.
  • Dying at the same time as a cancel happens at certain parts of the game, for example, the green books in stage 4 on Lunatic can cause Reimu or Marisa to not drop any power items after the death.

Behind the Scenes

  • There is an easily known mistake on the logo in the International version of the game, with the first "T" in the romaji name being bolded, while the rest is unbolded. The romaji is not bolded for the in-game logo, however.
  • In the pre-release trailer mainly found in North American VHS releases of Lucky Star and the 1986 Mr. Driller anime, both Reimu and Rumia's Japanese voices can be heard during the dialogue sequence, as the game's respective English dub was not recorded yet.
  • The game also has some unused Scream Tracker 3 files which have Driller Engine 1 renderings of the first seven songs in the soundtrack. Some of these songs were also heard in the pre-release trailers of the game. The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil was originally a Driller Engine 1 game, before ZUN made it in Driller Engine 2 instead.
  • This is the first Touhou Project game to have voiceovers, which would later become a staple of the series.
  • There were two lines that were accidentally left out in the Japanese version's data. These lines include Reimu's line "It's been a while since my last job." and Flandre's line "Bad girls don't need to go home." This error was corrected in all future revisions of the game.


Touhou 6: The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil
----

Soundtrack
A Dream More Scarlet Than Red | A Soul as Red as a Ground Cherry | Apparitions Stalk the Night | Lunate Elf | Beloved Tomboyish Girl in Love | Shanghai Teahouse ~ Chinese Tea | Shanghai Alice of Meiji 17 | Voile, the Magic Library | Locked Girl ~ The Girl's Secret Room | The Maid and the Pocket Watch of Blood | Lunar Clock ~ Luna Dial | The Young Descendant of Tepes | Septette for the Dead Queen | The Centennial Festival for Magical Girls | U. N. Owen Was Her!?


Touhou 6 Drillmation

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