Author Topic: Touhou 12 - 東方星蓮船 ~ Undefined Fantastic Object. An undefined article.  (Read 196629 times)

Helepolis

  • Charisma!
  • *
  • O-ojousama!?
Touhou 12 ? Undefined Fantastic Object
This small article will cover globally the 12th release from ZUN, presented on Comiket 76 on 14th august 2009. A long awaited game for all Touhou fans because the game system has been totally changed. A lot of Demo players, including myself, were very anxious to see the rest of the stages and bosses. Let us dive into this article to discover the wonderful game with their splendid music.



The storyline
A lot of people have mixed opinions about whether or not Touhou has a storyline. It doesn?t needs one as each version of the game is a mini plot, and that is what counts. Same goes for UFO. This is the deal in a nutshell:

Our heroines discover a giant ship floating in the sky. Each of them having their own interest head out to investigate the matter. But they are not alone, as more Youkais seem to be after it. What will be on our heroine?s adventurous path?


The girls are preparing
In 'Undefined Fantastic Object' three heroines will be the center of attention: Hakurei Reimu, Kirisame Marisa and the third, and rather unexpected heroine, is our one of a kind Miko from the Moriya Shrine: Kochiya Sanae. All three are playable characters in UFO and have two shot types blessed with quite flashy bombing animations. And for Marisa lovers, rejoice! She is back with her Master Spark!

I am sure most people had a lot of first impression by playing the demo. Instantly noting the refreshing new sprites and portraits for our heroines. Marisa seems to be promoting fashion as she braided a large M on her new skirt. Our other two shrine maidens have kept their original looks (as in dressing) but their sprite and portraits are a major improvement. Could it be that ZUN became more skilled in drawing? We can judge without any doubt that the first three bosses have improved sprites. Comparing them to the sprites in the previous game makes SA a joke almost.


Our loli opponents
So who are these new opponents brought to life by our drunken master ZUN? Below a list from Stage 1 to Extra. I am sure everybody is familiar with the first three bosses from the demo, but I will list them anyway (click on portraits for full body design as seen ingame):


Portraits shown in stage and appearance order

Stage 1 boss ? Nazrin (also midboss)
A cheerful mouse who is holding rather strange equipment as her tools. She appears in stage 1 with the same motive, in search for treasure.

Stage 2 boss ? Tatara Kogasa (also midboss)
Kogasa is a forgotten umbrella who transformed into a youkai over time and developed a body. The large purple umbrella holds one eye with a large tongue. Her body which is holding the umbrella has two eye colours. The boss is obviously inspired from the classical Japanese ghosts: Karakasa

Stage 3 boss ? Kumoi Ichirin & Unzan. (also midboss)
Ichirin appears as type of nun/pirate together with her controllable cloud Unzan in stage three. She is somehow trying to prevent you from entering the ship. The boss becomes quite interesting once Unzan?s fists start showing up on your screen. It feels like being double teamed.

Stage 4 midboss ? Strange blue spirit
The midboss in this stage is a weird spirit in the form of a glowing ball spraying danmaku. It doesn?t have a lifebar, so you will have to survive it. However, it spawns the same fallen fairies Rin does from Subterranean Animism.

Stage 4 boss ? Captain Minamitsu Murasa
Most people, including me, expected a pirate loli girl. But we got totally surprised and did not think of the other typical character: A marine captain of the ship which our heroines were trying to enter. She wields a large anchor and dipper.

Stage 5 midboss ? Nazrin
Nazrin makes a brief return in stage 5. Her portrait is changed holding a strange glowing item (a lantern?). Her spellcards are also totally different in looks. Normally in the older games, the spellcards would somehow be similar to their boss ones.

Stage 5 boss ? Toramaru Shou
She appears in a pretty fancy tiger patterned dress holding the same lantern Nazrin was before with a spear. She gives me a feeling of being some kind of Aztec or ancient civilization. You will be quite surprised when she uses the same techniques Nazrin does.

Stage 6 midboss ? Strange blue spirit
The same one you encounter in stage four with more difficult patterns. Again here you need to sit and survive.

Stage 6 boss ? Hijiri Byakuren
When she appears you will be stunned by her beauty, at least I was. She has a smooth smile and it looks all dreamy and fake. But don?t be fooled because she has quite a challenging for you.

Extra midboss ? Tatara Kogasa
Kogasa makes a return in the extra stage as a midboss trying to prevent from reaching the extra boss. Equipped with lasers, she will give you a hard time.

Extra boss ? Houjuu Nue
Nue?s appearance is awfully reminding of Flandre. Her weird wings which look like scythes and snakes give the appearance of a reaper. Her specialty is to control and command small ufo familiars.


Game mechanics
ZUN has thrown the entire game mechanism back to the pre-Touhou 8 style. Bombs and lives are separated making them no longer depended on your power. Your power is calculated as in MoF and SA where 1.00 is standard and weak with 4.00 as a maximum.

Unique addition to the game are the Undefined Fantastic Objects (UFOs) that appear when collecting either three the same colours from the fairies or one of each colour. Upon appearing, it will start sucking in all power and point items filling it up. Once full it will glow and reward you with a bonus item which are very handy on your journey. These vary from large power items to lives and bombs.


Looks, sounds and music
What really differs from the previous games are the looks. ZUN seems to have dedicated quite a lot of attention to looks and animations as everything looks smooth and flashy. Every boss has a clearly a smoother animation while idling, attacking and way better portrait designs. Rest assure! No thumb faces on the girls! The backgrounds are nicely animated during spellcards which gives the entire boss fight a good look.

A small set of new bullets are introduced to be used by the bosses respectively. A few examples are the waterdrop bullets used by Captain Minamitsu Murasa and glowing pink bullets by Toramaru Shou and Hijiri Byakuren.

The stage musics are fitting and are unique in their kind. Though you can still hear and feel that typical ?Touhou style? in the arrangements. I am not going to make any personal opinions about the tracks as it is no use in this small post. All I can say is a lot of music tracks are too much reminding of the older game songs. The best example would be Nue?s theme being very close to Flandre?s U.N Owen.

Finally a small set of sound effects have been added. We already know the ?humming/buzzing? sound Unzan makes when appearing, but some laser beams, used by Nazrin, Shou and Hijiri remind me of a boat horn combined with the sound of an electric beam.


Conclusion
What would be a good reason to play Undefined Fanastic Object you would ask. I would say: Nothing. If you are a true Touhou fan you don?t make exceptions and go play and experience it yourself. Judgments can be always made based on your personal opinions such as taste for music and spellcards. More beautiful graphics, the classic bombing system and a rather interesting UFO collecting system changes the gameplay again. For the love of our Touhou girls, please play.

Final words: If I only lived (or were) in Japan now to attend the Comiket =(

'Helepolis'


few teasing screenshots
« Last Edit: August 08, 2012, 08:29:42 AM by Helepolis »

Gpop

Awesome thread.

Anyways, played it for the first time on normal. I died on Murasa's survival as I lost a whole load of lives at the stage due to eagerness and recklessness. Too eager to get those red UFOs.

But it seems really easy for Normal. Who agrees with me on this?

Slaves

  • uHHH,
  • *
  • uHHHHHHHHHH,,,
i should really get off of MoTK. i have to wait at least 7 hours so i can get home and play it, and waiting around here to pass the time is like gouging my eyes out with my fingernails and then dipping my head in acid.

but yeah Heian Alien is still awesome

Nine West

  • Shrine maidens? Evil spirits? Magicians?
  • *
  • How wonderful!
Gahh, I really should play this, which probably won't happen until tomorrow...

Anyways, good job, Hele; I see that Aya have a new recruit, huh.

Tenbatsu! Myon Rabbie

  • I cannot and will not learn.
  • Letty is sick of my shit.
The Tiger-Patterned Vaisravana IS THE SHIT!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqCDd2g9HEk


Tengukami

  • Breaking news. Any season.
  • *
  • I said, with a posed look.
Oh wow. Nicely done, Helepolis.

Everything about this game just impresses the hell out of me. One small caveat:

Stage 4 midboss ? Strange blue spirit
The midboss in this stage is a weird spirit in the form of a glowing ball spraying danmaku. It doesn?t have a lifebar, so you will have to survive it. However, it spawns the same fallen fairies Rin does from Subterranean Animism.

It should be added that if you die or bomb on it's attacks, it drops you a bomb. If you clear all the attacks, you get an extra life. This I found very helpful before ANCHORS AWEIGH!

"Human history and growth are both linked closely to strife. Without conflict, humanity would have no impetus for growth. When humans are satisfied with their present condition, they may as well give up on life."


sohvan

Overall I'd say it's easier than SA, but harder than something like Mountain of Faith on normal.

Just managed to unlock the extra stage. I'll spoiler the comments just in case someone wants to see it for themselves the first time.

Spoiler:
The stage music seems odd for an extra stage music, and I don't think I like it. Seems a bit mellow for an extra stage. The boss theme seems a lot better, though. Nue is indeed the glowing vortex from stages 4 and 6.

Kogasa has stolen the Mt Ooe spellcard from Yuugi for her second attack. It only comes from one side and with less bullets, though. Her third spellcard is just weird, and I don't know what to think about it. The lasers solidify the exact moment they stop moving, so you need to look for a safe spot while the lasers are still on the move. Her first attack is very easy.

Almost all of the extra stage ufos are one-colored, which is an odd change of pace from the regular game. Killed ufos still drop color-changing pieces, though.

As for Nue herself, I've only seen a handful of attacks. The first few were very easy, but the curving lasers return in green color this time, and you can't bomb through them this being the extra stage. I have a feeling that spellcard is going to cause me some headaches  :)

Gpop

but yeah Heian Alien is still awesome

100% fact.

Also, spoilers not needed here anymore.

Tengukami

  • Breaking news. Any season.
  • *
  • I said, with a posed look.
Spoiler:
Her third spellcard is just weird, and I don't know what to think about it. The lasers solidify the exact moment they stop moving, so you need to look for a safe spot while the lasers are still on the move.

Heh. Didn't Satori have a similar attack? If so, that's actually refreshing, as I found that one pretty easy to get through.

"Human history and growth are both linked closely to strife. Without conflict, humanity would have no impetus for growth. When humans are satisfied with their present condition, they may as well give up on life."

Slaves

  • uHHH,
  • *
  • uHHHHHHHHHH,,,
Spoiler:
Her third spellcard is just weird, and I don't know what to think about it. The lasers solidify the exact moment they stop moving, so you need to look for a safe spot while the lasers are still on the move.

Heh. Didn't Satori have a similar attack? If so, that's actually refreshing, as I found that one pretty easy to get through.

yeah, but hers was on a much smaller scale and had pauses in between. Tatara's covers the whole screen and gradually gets faster.

Tengukami

  • Breaking news. Any season.
  • *
  • I said, with a posed look.
Spoiler:
Her third spellcard is just weird, and I don't know what to think about it. The lasers solidify the exact moment they stop moving, so you need to look for a safe spot while the lasers are still on the move.

Heh. Didn't Satori have a similar attack? If so, that's actually refreshing, as I found that one pretty easy to get through.

yeah, but hers was on a much smaller scale and had pauses in between. Tatara's covers the whole screen and gradually gets faster.

Eek! Something to look forward to then ...

"Human history and growth are both linked closely to strife. Without conflict, humanity would have no impetus for growth. When humans are satisfied with their present condition, they may as well give up on life."

Nine West

  • Shrine maidens? Evil spirits? Magicians?
  • *
  • How wonderful!
Am I the only one who haven't played the game around here...

Slaves

  • uHHH,
  • *
  • uHHHHHHHHHH,,,
Am I the only one who haven't played the game around here...

see my above post :|

but i've been watching the videos of the stages(with the sound off of course) for a while now

well, minus the extra stage. that one was too tempting.

Quote
Am I the only one who haven't played the game around here...

I'm waiting till the English patch.

Zengar Zombolt

  • Space-Time Tuning Circle - Wd/Fr
  • Green-Red Divine Clock
Awesome report there, Hele.
I was also quite smitten when seeing Hijiri's portrait. It must be one of ZUN's most beautiful drawings.

Helepolis

  • Charisma!
  • *
  • O-ojousama!?
Thanks all, it was my first time writing such article and it was quite an honour to write about UFO on the news page as 'one of the first'.

I said it at the opening of the post but I will repeat it again here: this is mere a global article covering globally the game. Indept things such as specific drops / tactics / events etc are all left out as I have nowhere the knowledge to judge even about those things. Even though, the idea is to give people first impression and a 'tell-tale' story post. I'll add perhaps a few ingame screenshots eventually.

Surely our godlike lunatic/hard mode players will write a full detail post at the Touhou section explaining the cards and stage tactics.

Glad to be of service.

Slaves

  • uHHH,
  • *
  • uHHHHHHHHHH,,,
just looking around on the wiki, i found something interesting:

"Nue has no visible pupils. "

omg she doesnt DOHOHOHO

that's neat.

Tengukami

  • Breaking news. Any season.
  • *
  • I said, with a posed look.
Who needs pupils when you have thoes giant bad-ass wings?

"Human history and growth are both linked closely to strife. Without conflict, humanity would have no impetus for growth. When humans are satisfied with their present condition, they may as well give up on life."

Nine West

  • Shrine maidens? Evil spirits? Magicians?
  • *
  • How wonderful!
i should really get off of MoTK. i have to wait at least 7 hours so i can get home and play it, and waiting around here to pass the time is like gouging my eyes out with my fingernails and then dipping my head in acid.
I'm waiting till the English patch.

Well, good to know that there are few others who haven't played it yet.

After looking around more, many people here seem to be taken in by UFO characters... I guess the hype is still quite high.

In the meantime, I'll listen to more UFO soundtracks...

Quote
Nue has no visible pupils.

And the memes will arise.

Alfred F. Jones

  • Estamos orgullosos del Batall?n Lincoln
  • *
  • y de la lucha que hizo por Madrid
OHMYGAWD

IT IS MY SOUL MATE

SCREW YUMEMI, SHIKIEIKI, EVERYBODY, BYAKUREN IS MY ONE TRUE LOVE

YEAH YOU HEARD ME

Also fuck yeah Kogasa finally surprised us all

RainfallYoshi

  • Yoshi of Skies & Rains
  • Who is it that calls for me?
Ladies and gents, we have a new sailor girl, bringing the population to 2.

This excites me very much. I'm still waiting on Captain Murasa vs Chiyuri art.

Caber Knight Etch-A-Sketch

  • The return of something
I think that the thing Nue holds is a guide-cane of sorts and Nazrin is a sort of guide-dog (or mouse as it were). Either that or she gets around using echo-location, like what a bat does. Flandre's related to bats, so...

Slaves

  • uHHH,
  • *
  • uHHHHHHHHHH,,,
looking on the wiki again, i find this:

"A meme is starting to develop with Byakuren having a broken arm, because its in such an awkward angle"

and so it begins..

Nine West

  • Shrine maidens? Evil spirits? Magicians?
  • *
  • How wonderful!
SCREW YUMEMI

Great, I am now the #1 Yumemi fan, finally.

Also,

UFO sure is revolutionary...

EDIT:
Quote
A meme is starting to develop with Byakuren having a broken arm, because its in such an awkward angle
Holy... that fast!?

DOUBLE EDIT:
Quote
Because of her and Minamitsu Murasa's relationship and character designs, some fans have described them as newer versions of Yumemi Okazaki and Chiyuri Kitashirakawa
I will NOT accept this.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2009, 06:59:33 PM by Nwbi »

Zengar Zombolt

  • Space-Time Tuning Circle - Wd/Fr
  • Green-Red Divine Clock

Alfred F. Jones

  • Estamos orgullosos del Batall?n Lincoln
  • *
  • y de la lucha que hizo por Madrid
SCREW YUMEMI

Great, I am now the #1 Yumemi fan, finally.

Mmmhmm. At least for today. I'll probably go back to lovin' strawberries, but for today at least, I'm going to cheat on her like mad.

IT IS MY SOUL MATE
I GOT HERE FIRST

FUCK YOU I WAS POSTING SCREENIES SINCE YESTERDAY

Helepolis

  • Charisma!
  • *
  • O-ojousama!?
The memes . . . the memes !! Why mr anderson, why why WHY?!

 :V You people, shame on yourself for abandoning your original girls! My faith will remain in the Mistress Remilia.

Slaves

  • uHHH,
  • *
  • uHHHHHHHHHH,,,
Suwako and Koishi are still my favorites.

Nue's on there now though. i mean, how can you not love her? she tried to mess up everyone cause she thought it'd be funny. GOLDEN CHARACTER

Caber Knight Etch-A-Sketch

  • The return of something
she tried to mess up everyone cause she thought it'd be funny.

Now if she was masochistic, we'd have a playmate for Yuka and Tenshi.