Phantasmagoria of Flower View
〜 Phantasmagoria of Flower View.
|Developer(s)||Team Shanghai Alice|
|Publisher(s)||Team Shanghai Alice|
|Release date(s)||14 August 2005|
|Genre(s)||Shoot 'em up|
Touhou Kaeidzuka ~ Phantasmagoria of Flower View. (東方花映塚 〜 Phantasmagoria of Flower View. lit. Oriental Flower Viewing Mound?) is the ninth official game in the Touhou Project scrolling shoot 'em up series. It is often abbreviated as PoFV in English speaking circles. Phantasmagoria of Flower View, like the third Touhou game Phantasmagoria of Dim. Dream, differs from other games in the series in that two equally matched characters fight competitively instead of one player clearing stage bosses. In this regard, the gameplay most resembles Twinkle Star Sprites by ADK.
Phantasmagoria of Flower View is a competitive vertical danmaku shoot 'em up, in which two characters engage in moderate-to-heavy danmaku gameplay within individual and separate play areas (aka. split-screen). Upon meeting certain conditions, players are able to unleash a variety of character-specific Spell Attacks upon their opponents in an attempt to whittle down their remaining lives, in a manner like versus puzzle games such as Puyo Puyo.
In the Story Mode, the player will face 9 increasingly intelligent AI opponents, each more capable than the last. The Extra Mode is basically the same except the player is only given one life at the beginning and the enemies are invincible for a period of time. Phantasmagoria of Flower View also features a Match Play Mode in which the player may face off against individual AI opponents or compete against other human players, as well as observe AI vs. AI matches. With the netplay patch, multiplayer is also possible through LAN or over the Internet.
Spring has arrived in the oriental enclave of Gensokyo, but this year's spring is just too strong to believe. Every plant is in full bloom, even out-of-season flowers and bamboo trees, and consequently the fairies and creatures are becoming hyperactive. This completely unnatural spring prompted the heroines to set out, either to try to find out the reason behind the hyperactive spring, or just to wander around for lack of better things to do.
The incident, as it turns out, is a natural occurrence that happens once every sixty years, or one sexagenary cycle. Once every sixty years, something major happens in the outside world and fills Gensokyo with ghosts, who then infest flowers and make them bloom all over. Right from the beginning, it is not a cause of concern at all.
A total of 16 characters are available to play, among them: all are playable in the Match Mode, 12 are playable in the Story Mode, and 2 are playable in the Extra Mode.
- Reimu Hakurei (博麗 霊夢?): The miko of the Hakurei Shrine, protagonist of the Touhou Project. She goes out to investigate the massive blooming of flowers, thinking that if she doesn't do something about it others will think she's slacking, since it's her duty to solve these problems.
- Marisa Kirisame (霧雨 魔理沙?): An ordinary magician and secondary protagonist of Touhou. She sets out to find out about the flowers simply because she is bored.
- Sakuya Izayoi (十六夜 咲夜?): The maid of the Scarlet Devil Mansion who's become playable in all games up to this one after her introduction in Embodiment of Scarlet Devil. She didn't sense any danger with the flowers, so she collects tea along with her investigation.
- Youmu Konpaku (魂魄 妖夢?): A half-ghost from the Netherworld from the game Perfect Cherry Blossom. The ghost princess of the Netherworld, Yuyuko, wasn't interested in investigating the flower outbreak, so Youmu goes off on her own.
- Reisen Udongein Inaba (鈴仙・優曇華院・イナバ?): A rabbit from the moon who now resides in Eientei from the game Imperishable Night. The rabbits of Eientei became restless because of the blooming flowers so Reisen decides to investigate, and on the way tries to look for Tei, who went missing.
- Cirno (チルノ?): An ice fairy of the lake who was introduced in Embodiment of Scarlet Devil. Since the flowers are making the fairies excited, she sets out to enjoy herself amid the excitement. In the manual of the game, the creator ZUN labelled her as "⑨ Idiot" (⑨バカ, baka) in a screenshot. Since then, the symbol ⑨ (pronounced "marukyū" in Japanese or "nineball" in English) gained notoriety as a shorthand for Cirno and "idiot" in Touhou fandom.
- Lyrica Prismriver (リリカ・プリズムリバー?): The keyboardist of the Prismriver Sisters from Perfect Cherry Blossom. She splits off from her sisters this time to go solo, and sets off to gather musical inspiration during the flower outbreak.
- Merlin Prismriver (メルラン・プリズムリバー?): The trumpeteer of the Prismriver Sisters. Not interested in the flower outbreak at all. Playable only in the Match Play Mode.
- Lunasa Prismriver (ルナサ・プリズムリバー?): The violinist of the Prismriver Sisters. Not interested in the flower outbreak at all. Playable only in the Match Play Mode.
- Mystia Lorelei (ミスティア・ローレライ?): A night sparrow from Imperishable Night who loves to sing. This time she just wants to find a place to make music.
- Tei Inaba (因幡 てゐ?): The leader of the rabbits in Eientei from Imperishable Night. The rabbits grew excited with the flowers, Tei included, and she went out to play without telling anyone.
- Aya Syameimaru (射命丸 文?): A reporter in the tengu society, she writes for her own newspaper, the Bunbunmaru Shinbun (文々。新聞). Thinking that the flowering incident would bring a scoop, she goes to stalk potential news makers. Although this is her first game appearance, she was first introduced as the main character of the official Touhou fanbook Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red that was published shortly before this game was released.
- Medicine Melancholy (メディスン・メランコリー?): An abandoned doll who gained free will over the years due to exposure from the lily-of-the-valleys. The massive blooming strengthened the poison in the lily-of-the-valleys, prompting Medicine to test the poisonous power she wields on whomever she comes across.
- Yuka Kazami (風見 幽香?): A yōkai with the power to manipulate flowers, returning with a new design and a new surname since her appearance in Lotus Land Story. Although the flowering incident isn't her doing, she became the prime suspect when she's only enjoying herself.
- Komachi Onozuka (小野塚 小町?): A shinigami who was supposed to ferry dead spirits across the Sanzu River, but her slacking off made the already abundant spirits reside in the flowers of Gensokyo, hence causing the massive blooming incident. Playable in the Extra Mode and the Match Play Mode.
- Shikieiki Yamaxanadu (四季映姫・ヤマザナドゥ?): The Yama responsible for judging the dead of Gensokyo, reflected in her title Yamaxanadu, or "Yama of Paradise". Dead spirits aren't coming across the Sanzu River so she goes to check on her subordinate Komachi. She also takes this opportunity to lecture whoever that heads her way on their various faults. Playable in the Extra Mode and the Match Play Mode.
ZUN, the sole member of the developer Team Shanghai Alice, originally did not plan to make a game for Summer 2005; however, he changed his mind when he realized 2005 marks the tenth anniversary of the Touhou Project, and decided to make a fanservice-type game to mark the occasion. He believed that, in a game, the best kind of fanservice is to pit players against each other so they can have a chance to meet, and so tournaments can happen and so on. In this spirit, ZUN adapted the system used by Twinkle Star Sprites to create a versus shooter, with the focus on dodging bullets (like other Touhou games) instead of shooting each other down. Quite unlike ZUN's usual games where he is the sole programmer, music composer, and illustrator, alphes from the circle Twilight Frontier is listed as a "Graphics Helper" in this game.
After releasing the game in the 68th Comiket, ZUN worked on a netplay patch to support online multiplayers, and released the patch in October 2005. The patch was not without its problems, as online games were often unsynchronized and unstable. However, a year later ZUN announced that he will not continue making patches to enhance PoFV's netplay because he wanted to move forward.
ZUN had also written a short spin-off story to PoFV named "Sexagennially Empurpled Fragrant Flower" (六十年ぶりに紫に香る花?), included in the fanbook Seasonal Dream Vision, featuring Yukari Yakumo as its main character.