I wanna be the very best
Like no one ever was
To capture spells is my real test
To graze them is my cause
I will travel from stage to stage
Dodging left and right
Bullet patterns for me to guage
The power of focused flight
Gotta graze 'em all--
I'll shoot with Z
And time out till victory
Ooooh, the pattern's tough
Will three bombs be enough?
Gotta graze 'em all--
My skills have showed
I'll wait for the screen to load
Never played on Easy Mode
Gotta graze 'em all!
Some time ago, Patchouli Knowledge got tired of Marisa always coming to steal her books. She enlisted the help of the puppeteer Alice Margatroid, and together they created a series of magical dolls based on the residents of Gensokyo. Originally designed to guard their precious things, these "Touhoumon" have since spread throughout all of Gensokyo, integrating into society over decades of development. Or something like that, there's not really much of a backstory here, so I'm kind of making it up as I go along.
Touhoumon is a hack of Pokemon Fire Red, replacing every Pokemon with a character from the scrolling shooter series Touhou Project. However, unlike other Pokemon hacks like Moemon, Touhoumon is far more than just a sprite swap. Stats, moves, and even the type chart have been changed quite a bit as well. While still using the engine and basic game structure of Pokemon Fire Red, it adds a new touch to strategy and the overall gameplay experience. Also, awesome new remixed music.
For this Let's Play, I'll be playing Aquamentis's English version of Touhoumon. I chose this because it's a direct hack of the English Fire Red game, rather than a translation of the hacked Japanese version. The game is fairly similar to the original Fire Red game, with a few exceptions (other than the stuff I've already listed). While normal trainers are still just as strong or weak as ever, the gym leaders in Aquamentis's version have been boosted tremendously. They each have bigger rosters, much higher levels, and even new dangerous TM moves. This makes each gym leader a much greater challenge than they originally were.
Of course, since this is a Let's Play, I want my readers to help me along my journey! You'll all get to vote and decide on who gets to be on my team, what I should nickname my stuff, how I should raise certain Touhoumon, and in what order I should do certain parts of the game. Each Touhoumon typically has 3 evolutionary forms: chibi, normal, and EX. Chibi forms are meant to be cute, and EX are badass. However, many characters have alternate evolutions (often based on Doujin works, like Advent Cirno), and you'll help me decide those too. And if there's any other suggestions you'd like to submit to make this more interesting, I'd be glad to consider it as well.
Here's what will happen: Each time I'm about to enter a new area with new catchable Touhoumon, I'll present a poll of all the new species available. Top pick gets to join my team. There will also be an option to not keep anything for my team from that area. Once my team is full, a new option to drop an existing member will be added to the poll. Since the game starts me off with the National Dex already available, and some 100+ unique species appear throughout the normal game, you can expect lots of choices. (Want to learn more about the characters? Check out the TV Tropes Character Page.)
All right then, enough talk. Let's begin!
Here's the team you've voted on thus far, at the end of Chapter 8:
And as of 7/09/10, I'm pleased to announce that this Let's Play is complete!
Good day, all! My name is Maribel Han. I'm currently an undergraduate student at Kyoto University, majoring in Relative Psychology. Lately, I've discovered that I possess the ability to see and manipulate boundaries between this world and other worlds. A while back, my friend Renko Usami and I used my power to enter a world called Gensokyo. However, I ended up losing control of my power, and, well...the rest is kind of a blur. But we managed to return home safely in the end, somehow.
Anyway, some time later, when I became more confident in my powers, Renko and I decided to return to Gensokyo again for our end-of-term vacation. However, when we arrived Gensokyo looked completely changed from how I remembered it. It was as if a long time has passed since our last visit. Things looked a lot more modern, although I'm told it was only for that particular region. Is this place suppose to be like Narnia or something, where time passes differently between worlds? I don't know; Renko's the Unified Physics major, she can figure it out.
Strangely enough, when we arrived at this world, an odd old man approached me and began to talk to me about the world.
Weird, I don't remember those little creatures from the last time I was there. But they looked pretty familiar somehow, so I thought I might as enjoy myself here. But, studying Touhou as a profession? Either he's a total quack, or he has the best job ever!
Yeah, I know I'm not suppose to give my name to strangers, but I'm a university student by now. I can handle myself just fine. I mean, it's not like I'm 10 years old, right?
Professor Oak mistook Renko for a boy, but I guess that's understandable. After all, Renko does rather lack...talent in a certain area, shall we say.
How exciting! I better take lots of pictures this time, to prove to my friends back home that I'm not making all of this up...
I awoke in an upstairs room, in front of an outdated video game console. Huh, I guess forgotten technology really does end up in Gensokyo. Anyway, first thing's first: there were some settings I needed to change. Increasing message speed to fast goes without saying, but there was something more important that I had to do. I follow two important rules: never play on Easy Mode, and never play with Shift Battle Style.
I don't know who's room this is, but surely they wouldn't mind my looting some items from their PC. As it turns out, data materialization technology has become quite advanced in this world. Maybe that means it'll forever be in the realm of science fiction in my world.
I wandered around town for a bit, catching the sights and learning interesting things from the signs (like how to open the START menu!). I found my way to Professor Oak's lab, where I was delighted to meet up with my friend Renko. Unfortunately, no one else of consequence was around, so dejectedly I returned outside again.
Professor Oak caught me just as I was beginning to leave town. Hmm, if he was looking for me this whole time, why did it take him this long to find me? A proper gentleman should never keep a young lady waiting like that. Actually, he's probably some kind of dirty old man, greeting random stranger girls like this.
Back at the lab, Professor Oak offered us our choice of his three remaining Touhoumon. Apparently, his claim of being a talented trainer was complete nonsense, given that all his Touhoumon were level 5. At least Renko was kind enough to let me pick first. She's such a sweetie.
But here comes my first dilemma: which one should I pick?
Should I take the cute little red-white shrine maiden?
Or the adorable little witch with the mischievous smirk?
Or perhaps the meek little maid hiding sharp objects behind her back?
Hey, Meiling and Sakuya's daughter is freaking adorable! The fanmade one i mean. And it is not like Yukari couldn't handle the pesky little problem of incorrect genders anyway, she could just mess around with the barrier between them for however long is necessary.
After some careful deliberation, I chose to take Marisa, the ordinary magician Touhoumon. After all, you can't go wrong with more firepower.
My good friend Renko decided to go with Sakuya, the elegant maid Touhoumon. I really don't know why; I mean, it's not like my girl's evolved form won't be able to hit Sakuya's quadruple weakness with a STAB'd attack. Wait, what did I just say?
When prompted for a nickname, I just had to go with "Magical Mary". Unfortunately, whoever designed the Touhoumon registration form only gave enough scantron spaces for a 10-letter name, which is just ludicrous. What if someone like, oh, I don't know, Keine, needed to fill in their last name? How ridiculous; at least to me, she'll always be called Magical Mary. Isn't she cute? She's bold enough to take on any comers!
Speaking of comers, Renko offered to be my very first dueling partner. All right! I'm so excited to start battling like a-
What. Is. This? A tutorial? OK, I can be a little understanding if this were to give me some more useful information, but...Professor Oak? Did you really think a college student would not be able to figure out that I should try to inflict damage? What's next? Teaching me that leveling up is considered a good thing?
Regardless of the inane tutorial, what followed next was an exciting battle of epic proportions! First came chibi Sakuya with her Leer, which Magical Mary canceled out with Growl. Then a Tackle, followed by a Scratch, then a Tackle, then a Scratch, then a Tackle, then a Scratch, then a...Ok, you know what? I take that back. This is the most boring fight I've ever been in. And the fact that this is the only fight I've been in doesn't diminish that statement one bit.
I think that fight could have gone either way. Renko was a really good sport about it.
Even the irritation caused by another piece of Oak's useless tutorial did not negate my joy from my first victory, boring battle or not. Renko bid me farewell in a very cordial manner. It pleases me to talk with polite people. One of my greatest fears is for the phrase "smell you later" to replace "good-bye" in the future. Could you imagine what that would be like?
Fresh from my victory, I left town and headed north through the only land route from Pallet Town. Route 1 (how conveniently named!) was a quaint grassy road up a mild hill. Along the way, I met a few other fellow travelers. One was handing out free items on behalf of the Kirisame Mart chain of stores. I love free samples! I mean, who doesn't? It's been ages since I've been willing to accept things being passed out by random strangers. Back at my university, the only things people handed out were fliers protesting budget cuts and denouncing current world leaders.
As I walked up the hill, I got a chance to see some new Touhoumon. They were the usual common fare one would expect to see in the wild, but they made good fodder for Magical Mary to practice on. She quickly picked up a new trick, which of course involved blasting her foe with indiscriminate firepower. Isn't that the solution to everything? Well, except those pesky ground-types. But it was certainly useful for making some grilled chicken along the way.
After the short and pleasant walk, I came to the neighboring town of Viridian City. Unfortunately, my attempt to go further north was blocked by a cranky old man who desperately needed his morning cup of coffee. Old people in this world sure are strange. They're either teaching you how to breathe, or using their bodies as human roadblocks. Weird.
With nowhere else to go, I went to check out the local Eirin Center, a hospital dedicated to the treatment of Touhoumon. The free healthcare here is great, but it always makes me wonder about the quality of care being offered. That, and the nurse always says she hopes to see me again. Does she really want my Touhoumon to get injured more often? I think they ought to re-examine their hiring policy.
My last stop was the Kirisame Mart, where I hoped to stock up on supplies for the upcoming journey. However, the clerk was very rude, absolutely refusing to sell me anything. He just kept going on and on about making a delivery to Professor Oak, and forced me into doing his job for him. Look, unpaid internships are one thing, but college students are NOT suppose to be a free source of manual labor. Still, I took the package just to shut him up.
By the time I made it back to the senile professor, Renko had also returned from who-knows-where. Apparently our timing was good, because in his old age Professor Oak had forgotten to give us something else when we were there earlier. At least he didn't take the time to explain to us how to open the item menu.
Professor Oak handed Renko and I these nifty devices called the Ayanote, which somehow manages to write down information on every Touhoumon we come across. Which just begs the question: who's writing this down? I mean, I don't know a thing about the creatures I'm coming into contact with. Either Professor Oak had already known all this about Touhoumon, and had programmed the Ayanote to say these things, or...the Ayanote itself is intelligent and is coming up with all of this on its own! Wait, he wants to send us on a journey alone with a high-tech AI that could become sentient and turn on us at any moment? As if I needed another reason to be creeped out by him...
...but at least he gives us free stuff. That's always welcome.
And now he's forcing his own dream upon us. Great. Doesn't he know that's a huge parenting mistake? Makes me wonder just how messed-up his children and grandchildren are. Now I just hope he doesn't tell us he made a blood oath to complete this quest too.
Ah, Renko. My one and only ally on this quest. You're the best friendly rival one could ask for. I can only imagine how hard this would be if you were a total jerk.
Well, with all that done, now I can finally have some fun on this vacation. As I walked up Route 1 again, I saw the same common Touhoumon from before, as well as some new rare ones.
Hmm...might as well take these Toho Orbs out for a spin, and start catching a few of these critters. Perhaps Magical Mary could use a partner?
Time to vote on a new team member! Here are the new characters available on Route 1:
B. Mystia Lorelei
C. Kanako Yasaka
D. Suwako Moriya
E. Alice Margatroid
G. (None of the above)
By the way, I think I'll omit any characters that have already been voted on before for future polls, leaving only the new characters. Otherwise, I'll have to include Chen and Mystia on almost every list...
So we only vote on one new girl? This is going to be pretty hard, actually. I think i will go for Suwako, we get that thing eating her brain too then. Also she was in one of my favorite Touhou doujins, though i still preferred Meiling and Sakuya on a date outside Gensokyo.