Touhou Eiyashou
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Beautiful shooting game with great story and perfect music... and lots of bullets on screen.

Go to: [ Game Mechanics and Controls | Good | Bad | Notes ]

Developer Team Shanghai Alice
Web site 東方永夜抄
Platform Windows 98 and above + DirectX 8
Cost 1470yen
ESRB Rating Not rated. Contains no offensive material.

Twice the fun of the previous game.

In Eiyashou, players set out to investigate why the moon has gone missing. Because the balance between human and youkai is very much affected by the moon, restoring the real moon is most urgent to restoring peace in the world of Gensoukyou, and this must be done before the night is over.

If not at least twice the fun compared to the last game, definitely more than twice the characters -- the players get to choose one of four teams in this game, each come with a human and youkai team member. Similar to previous games, pressing shift causes the player to move slower for more precise maneuvering, but here it also toggles the character that is being controlled. Reaction to enemy attacks and the scoring system changes significantly depending on whether human or youkai is currently being controlled, thus knowing when to switch sides is key to mastering the game (in this sense, it's somewhat similar to Ikaruga). The individual human or youkai characters are selectable after completing the game with all four teams.

Also novel in Eiyashou is the concept of time, a story element that is nicely integrated to the game. As players progress through each level, they collect "time" points. The amount of time points gained for defeating each enemy depends on the current state of the player (how much human/youkai they are, as indicated in the bottom left meter), and how the enemy is defeated (e.g. not much time points for killing bosses with bombs). At the end of each level, the amount of time points determine how much game time is lost (30 minutes if above par, 1 hour otherwise). Getting killed and continuing causes time to be lost. Game ends when time reaches 5am.

Every team requires two rounds to see the true ending -- after finishing the game for the first time (before the 5am limit), an alternative last level becomes accessible, with an alternative ending. Each of these 8 endings vary for each team, but they are all remotely related to Taketori Monogatari, and may be see as one possible sequel to the classic. Reading the dialogs along the way and seeing the true ending is reason enough to want to play this game ^_^

Once a team have completed the second path, they become selectable in the Extra stage, following the tradition of Touhou series. As usual, the Extra stage is extremely difficult, even though Eiyashou is a bit easier compared to previous Touhou games (even I managed to get 8 endings after ~48 hours of playing). In addition to the Extra stage, there is also various spell practice modes (boss fights without bombs) and Last Word stages, enough to keep anyone occupied for countless nights.

Demo version of the game is available from the developer's site. The demo version is playable up to stage 3.

Game Mechanics and Controls

Gameplay is intuitive, and similar to previous versions of Touhou games. Notable features:

  • One of four teams is selectable. Individual team members are selectable after having finished the game with all teams.
  • Moving at normal speed causes the human team member to be used. Time points will be given if the human meter drops below -80%.
  • Moving at slow speed causes the youkai team member to be used. Time points will be given in boss battles for grazes (near misses), if the youkai meter is above 80%.

Again, there is more focus on reverse-engineering enemy patterns rather than aimlessly killing everything on screen. There is much fun in playing the game that way also, but it makes the game more difficult in later stages.

Excellent Ideas

  • Beautiful and intricate curtain fire attacks, more beautiful than previous versions.
  • Seamless integration of story and game, especially with the time points.
  • Excellent music, this time it's a bit more fast paced to produce a sense of urgency. Although it's hard to listen to the music with a straight face these days because of certain remixed songs...
  • More flashy graphics than previous version, lots of glittering sprites on screen.
  • Integrated replay feature, for the passive players like us ^_^;


  • Hard, although not as hard as the previous version.
  • Increased requirements -- the improved graphics meant more of the game will run slower unless you have a decent video card. Although some of us find the game more playable at 30fps...

Other Notes


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