Subterranean Animism

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Subterranean Animism
Th11 Cover.jpg
Developer(s) Team Shanghai Alice
Publisher(s) Team Shanghai Alice
Series Touhou Project
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release August 16, 2008
Genre(s) Scrolling shooter
Mode(s) Single-player

Touhou Chireiden ~ Subterranean Animism (東方地霊殿 ~ Subterranean Animism.?, lit. Eastern Palace of the Earth Spirits 〜 Subterranean Animism) is the eleventh main game of the Touhou Project scrolling shooter series. Made by the dōjin game maker Team Shanghai Alice, the full version of the game was released in the 74th Comiket which commenced in August 2008.


Screenshot of Stage 2

Subterranean Animism features two playable characters, each with three weapon types representing a youkai assisting them from above ground. Like Mountain of Faith, collecting power items adds up to four "option" satellites around the character (or eight for the Marisa/Alice combination), which behave differently according to the character and weapon type, and can be sacrificed for a bomb effect. However, unlike Mountain of Faith, each bomb has a different behaviour, and some cause special gameplay effects to occur.

The scoring system is once again based on "grazing", the act of positioning the player as close as possible to the bullets without being hit, coupled with collection of two types of items dropped by enemies. Overall, the system resembles some of the core elements of Embodiment of Scarlet Devil fused together with the Tension Bonus System from the Shikigami no Shiro series. As such, the player is urged to actively graze at every possible opportunity in order to increase the point item value and not let it drop. Grazing large amounts of bullets in little time, thus filling the "communication gauge" on the bottom left corner, is rewarded by the temporary effect of autocollecting all the freefalling items at their maximum value, letting the player concentrate entirely on the act of dodging bullets.


On one wintry day, a geyser erupted near the Hakurei Shrine. Delighted at the resulting hot spring, the shrine maiden Reimu Hakurei paid no heed to the earthly spirits that came along with the geyser. In the Scarlet Devil Mansion, however, the well-read librarian Patchouli Knowledge grew concerned at the situation and sought Yukari Yakumo for advice. Since there had been an agreement that the youkai of the worlds above and below the ground should not disturb each other, the youkai above ground sent the human Reimu Hakurei or her friend Marisa Kirisame to the subterranean world to investigate this breach, while the youkai stayed behind and communicated with the humans via magical artifacts.

Descending toward the lowest levels of what used to be Hell, the heroines discover the cause and purpose of the spirit geyser. Utsuho Reiuzi, a hell raven, received the power of nuclear fusion from a mysterious god of the mountain (assumed to be Kanako Yasaka) by consuming the Yatagarasu. Misunderstanding what the god told her, she plotted to fan the fiery flames of Hell and burn the world above into a furnace. Utsuho's feline friend, Orin, worried about Utsuho's sudden change of character, set off the geysers to alert the world above. In time, the nuclear threat is neutralized and the heroines turn their attention to the mysterious mastermind behind the incident.

In the Extra Mode, the heroines pay a visit to the Moriya Shrine atop the mountain, but the resident gods are not there. There is, however, a peculiar visitor to the shrine, Koishi Komeiji, who climbed all the way up to the shrine without being detected. They decide to have a spar. Afterwards, an inhabitant of the Moriya Shrine explains their motivation: the mountain god Kanako Yasaka wanted to introduce a new form of energy to vitalize the mountain, dubbing the plan the "Mountain Industrial Revolution Project". Seeing that the gods meant no harm, the heroines disengage and go back to their daily lives.


Playable characters: The two human characters can each choose one partner from three yōkai associates remotely assisting from above ground.

  • Reimu Hakurei (博麗 霊夢) - The usual protagonist shrine maiden of the Hakurei Shrine.
    • Yukari Yakumo (八雲 紫) - A yōkai who can control boundaries, so Reimu can warp from one end of the screen to the other. Attacks using high speed needles.
    • Suika Ibuki (伊吹 萃香) - An oni whose ability is to gather things, so Reimu can automatically collect all items on the screen. Attacks with penetrating bullets that home a little.
    • Aya Shameimaru (射命丸 文) - A tengu with exceptional speed, so Reimu can move really fast. Fires missiles in the same and opposite direction of movement.
  • Marisa Kirisame (霧雨 魔理沙) - Reimu's magician friend who lives in the Forest of Magic.
    • Alice Margatroid (アリス・マーガトロイド) - A magician puppeteer, so Marisa shoots streams of bullets with her dolls and able to store up to 8 dolls.(focused mode is swapped with normal mode)
    • Patchouli Knowledge (パチュリー・ノーレッジ) - A magician of the elements, so Marisa can shoot different patterns of shots when switching between the 5 different elements; fire-being super concentrated, water-being wide spread shot, Wood-three way shot, metal-shots fire left and right from options, Earth-shots fire behind you.
    • Nitori Kawashiro (河城 にとり) - A kappa who uses advanced technology, so Marisa attacks with high-powered missiles (when you bomb if you don't get hit you get 50 percent of the power back)

Enemy characters:

  • Kisume (キスメ) - Stage 1 midboss, a tsurube-otoshi who attacks the heroines out of nowhere. She appears in a well bucket and it is assumed she rarely, if ever, leaves this.
  • Yamame Kurodani (黒谷ヤマメ) - Stage 1 boss, a tsuchigumo who is able to inflict diseases on her target despite her cheerful personality.
  • Parsee Mizuhashi (水橋パルスィ) - Stage 2 boss, she is a green-eyed, jealousy-driven hashihime who tries to drive the heroines away from the ancient city.
  • Yugi Hoshiguma (星熊 勇儀) - Stage 3 boss and friend of Suika, she is also an oni who leads the heroes to the Palace of the Earthly Spirits.
  • Satori Komeiji (古明地 さとり) - Stage 4 boss and owner of the Palace of the Earthly Spirits, she is a satori who has the ability to read minds, making her hated and feared among all living creatures other than animals who cannot speak.
  • Kaenbyou Rin (火焔猫 燐) - Midboss of stages 4 to 6 and boss of stage 5, she is a pet kasha of Satori who is left in charge of the Hell of Blazing Fires. She spends her time carting off corpses from the premises. Though her full name is Rin Kaenbyou, she is referred to by her nickname Orin in the game.
  • Utsuho Reiuji (霊烏路 空) - Stage 6 boss, she is a hell raven who was given the power of nuclear fusion via a yatagarasu. She attempts to revive hell's down-scaled fire with her new powers.
  • Sanae Kotiya (東風谷 早苗) - Extra stage midboss who was introduced in the last game, Mountain of Faith. The heroines meet her once again in the Moriya Shrine.
  • Koishi Komeiji (古明地 こいし) - Extra stage boss, she is Satori's sister but does not have the power of mind reading after she sealed off her third eye, sealing her heart to others in the process. By doing so, she became able to control the unconscious mind. She goes up to the shrine to find the god that gave Utsuho her power

Background characters:

  • Suwako Moriya (洩矢 諏訪子) - Explains Kanako's motivations to the heroines after Koishi is beaten in the Extra stage.
  • Kanako Yasaka (八坂 神奈子) - Set the plot of the game in motion by giving the power of nuclear fusion to Utsuho.

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