Touhou Makuka Sai ~ Fantastic Danmaku Festival Part II

The title is a mouthful- it wouldn’t be Touhou if it wasn’t.

As anyone who has known me for longer than ten minutes is aware, I am a stalwart and dedicated fan of the Touhou series. I’ve played ‘em all, even the really weird first one which was kind of like a breakout clone but with bullets and you go to Hell. Anyway-

FDF is a fan-made reimagining of sorts for the older titles in the series. The story goes that the particular incidents in those games (in this case, Touhou 7) are happening again in the current time, and our protagonist of choice is mighty peeved about having to do it all over again.

What follows is largely a beat for beat rehash of the story, with some alterations here and there in order to make sense (for example, Youmu is a playable character in this one, where in the original she was the boss of Stage 5- so FDF Stage 5 has someone else filling that role).

Alright, enough setting the stage-

This game is freaken gorgeous.

Holy dooley, they took what is probably my favourite story of the Touhou series and gave it a whole new fresh coat of paint. It’s not just the art itself, but what ZeroPunctuation refers to as ‘juiciness’- the attention to detail in the backgrounds, the way each character has a slightly different spellcard declaration, Yuyuko dancing with her fans- danmaku games are not the kind of game you can usually spend a long time sightseeing in, but even if it costs you a hit, you gotta look around in this one.

The danmaku itself is also inspired, perhaps even moreso than the original Perfect Cherry Blossom. ZUN’s become a lot more experimental since 2004, and FDF takes that experimental spirit and runs with it, teaching an old dog new tricks.

Fin or Bin:

Speaking from an entirely self-centred fan standpoint- they took one of my favourite stories, added one of my favourite characters to it (Sanae!), made it beautiful, and still managed to make it fun. It’s a Fin! Lily White is a full-fledged boss now! Fin Fin!!!


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eXceed 3rd- Jade Penetrate Black Package


I mean, look at it, it’s obviously a Fin. That’s not what I want to talk about.

As with most shooters, this one allows the player to charge up a special attack to unleash all at once. In eXceed, it’s a barrage of homing lasers very similar to those in Ikaruga. However, this game is fully voiced, and any time our dragon-goth protagonist releases this attack, she yells:

“Bloody Hell!”

It is hilarious, and every time I use it I invariably end up crashing into a bullet moments afterwards, blinded by my own laughter. I understand, if you’re a non-native speaker looking up goffick words to use, combining ‘Bloody’ and ‘Hell’ is sure to be metal as fuck… but to this born-n-raised brit, it’s 50-year-old Norman from Lancaster, who’s just realised he forgot to put the bins out.

Fin or Bin:

To speak a little about the actual game, then- it’s a frenetic danmaku shooter similar enough to Touhou that I’m absolutely on board. Awesome soundtrack courtesy of SSH. Going for the 1CC!