If you’re here, it’s because you play the Touhous. You also don’t play the Touhous that well (Trust me, I know this. Internets are wise on these matters).
So you want to learn to Touhou correctly.
(For the purposes of this guide, I will be assuming you are Touhouing on Windows. If you are Touhouing on *nix, then this guide will still work, but you’ll have to do certain things for yourself. Then again, if you are Touhouing on *nix, then you know how to do this.)
The first thing you will need is this tool. You will use it to set your keyboard up as follows:
A = <-
S = ^
D = v
F = ->
(The arrow keys, obviously. Map them to A,S,D, & F. This will enable you to Touhou with one hand whilst consuming beverages or pickled onions with the other. This key configuration also has the added advantage of being entirely on the home row, which is far more ergonomic.)
Now that your buttons are correct, let’s take a look at the Touhou interface and get familiar with it. Not being familiar with it can make you confused and then you fall down a long flight of punches and your legs explode and someone has to clean up the mess.
I’ve numbered every part of the interface that I think stands out, so let’s go through it and see what’s what.
- The name of your honourless, annoying wretch of an opponent. They will shoot danmakus at you and spasm erratically across the top of the screen, being annoying and honourless. In this case, it’s Yukarin.
- These are danmakus. Dodge these.
- This is the “win counter” - when it gets to 0, you will be a winner.
- These are points. You get these automatically while Touhouing. Don’t pay too much attention to them, because staring at this part of the screen will get in the way of dodging danmakus and you’ll lose.
- These are “red things”. I don’t quite know what they do, but you get them automatically while playing. They’re probably some sort of reward for Touhouing so well.
- These are “blue things”. Again, I’m not really sure of what they’re for, but you get them automatically while Touhouing. You can do something on the keyboard that makes them go away, but since they’re rewarding you for doing so well, you wouldn’t want to do that.
- I have no idea what this is.
- These are “graze points”. Better Touhouists will have more of these than you. I have all of them, for example. The secrets to getting more of these are deep and arcane and probably beyond you, so don’t worry about them for now. Just remember that the better you get at Touhou, the more of these you will have.
- These things will be different from game to game. Don’t really bother much with them because I don’t think they do anything.
- This number is a measure of how good your PC is. The lower it gets, the crappier your PC must be. I’d suggest buying a new PC if they go too low.
- This is the name of the Touhou you are playing. Don’t stare at it too much.
- This is the Touhou you are playing as. In this case, it’s Raymoo. Despite being very good at dodging the danmakus and getting lots of the “graze points”, not many people play as Raymoo. It must be a hipster thing.
There’s also a Touhou that looks like this:
It’s my expert opinion that this Touhou is unplayable, and is probably some sort of cruel joke at the fandom for being so horrible. If you find yourself playing this Touhou, then all you can do is slam your face and limbs into the keyboard repeatedly and offer prayers to your ancestors for guidance.
NOW, if you are indeed playing the right kind of Touhou, and you now know how to find your way around the interface, it’s time to tell you how to play.
The rules to bear in mind are:
- Dodge the danmakus.
- In case of doubt, refer to rule 1.
- Don’t get hit by the danmakus.
- Always select “lunatic” at the menu, it makes the danmakus faster so they get out of your way quicker.
- If you fail to dodge the danmakus, standard practice is to headbutt your screen, which will hopefully both erase your failure, and kill you with MAGIC ELECTRICITY, preventing you from having to deal with the shame of Touhouing badly.
- Always dodge the danmakus.
Now, in order to follow those rules, Touhou correctly, and win with many graze points and point-scores for great justice, all you need to do is follow these handy tips.
- Using the A,S,D, & F keys, move your Touhou around the screen in order to avoid the danmakus. Use mainly the A and F keys to move from side to side, as this will make incoming danmakus miss you by several nautical miles, making your enemies look foolish. If you have to, use the S and D keys to go up and down; you won’t have to do this often, but sometimes your enemies, being horrible, unpleasant Youkai, will cheat and form danmakus that you have to dodge this way.
- After dodging some danmakus, use your free hand to point at your enemies and laugh heartily. This will break their morale and make them feel bad about themselves.
- Never, EVER take your fingers off the A,S,D, & F keys, or you might accidentally press a wrong button and lose your blue things.
- DON’T glare fanatically at your Touhou. They are already obeying your key-presses and your staring is just making them uncomfortable. Also, it prevents you from paying attention to the danmakus you have to dodge.
- There’s no need to go to the top of the screen. Your Touhou is already doing her best to move forward, so just wait warmly and watch for danmakus.
- At the same time, DON’T look at the enemies much. They’ll feel ignored and sad and this only deepens the sense of failure they’ll feel when you casually move aside of their danmakus.
- People in Gensoukyou are jerks - most fairies will just stroll on by and shoot danmakus as they pass, but some people will insist on getting in your way for a little while. Just dodge their danmakus until the growing sense of failure and frustration makes them explode.
- Sipping on wine while Touhouing could make you a better player, but it could also lead to you falling all over your keyboard, losing all your blue things, and failing to dodge the danmakus - then you’ll have to headbutt your screen and die and that’s just bothersome.
- Take it easy, and live a happy life.
Did you know there are SUPER SPESHUL skills that certain advanced Touhouists use to make their Touhouing experience more entertaining, and to further humiliate their enemies?
Here, in this second part of the guide to Touhouing correctly, I will be sharing these secrets with you, for the low, low price of only $299.95... I kid, I kid; it’s free, really. (And open source too!)
Before we begin, you need to go back to that keyboard mapping tool and make the following additions.
I = Z
J = Left Shift
P = X
(This is just because Touhou was originally made with a very odd key configuration - probably because ZUN was drunk (Well done!). I use H, C, and L, but again, I’ve corrected for you Qwerty using folks. Just use whatever keys fall under your hands as they naturally lie across the keyboard.)
Now that you have set up these secret extra buttons, let’s look at some of the advanced features they will allow you to access.
Again, I’ve numbered the key parts of the image, and will be going through them ONE BY ONE, because doing it three by three would just be silly.
- These red things, despite being things, and despite being red, have nothing to do with the red things we looked at earlier. Instead, these consist of magical “war juice” that enable you to shoot ever more and bigger danmakus. Yes, that’s right, you can shoot danmakus. It’s not often needed, but advanced players have all sorts of special uses for it.
- Again, danmakus, as you can see here, they have been successfully avoided and are on their way to being off the screen. Out of sight, out of mind, as they say.
- The Touhou you are controlling. In this case, it’s Yukarin.
- As a bonus offer, with Yukarin, you also get Ran. Ran is like a furry sawblade, leaping across the screen maniacally (It’s probably all the “war juice” - I suspect it contains a lot of sugar or something.) and beating the living daylights out of everyone. It’s this violent attitude that makes her a well respected member of the Gensoukyou community.
- These are Yukarin’s danmakus. They’re not as impressive as the ones she used against Raymoo in the other picture. Perhaps she’s just feeling a little sleepy? On the left, you can see what they look like initially, but after consuming a lot of “war juice” you can see they become a little more impressive (on the right).
- This is what it looks like when you throw away one of your “blue things”. It’s very flashy, and your enemies, being poor and having no blue things of their own, will just kill themselves at the sight of such excess.
Tips for Advanced Touhouing:
- Using the “I” key (or whatever you have set it as), you can shoot danmakus at your enemies. Enemies shot to death this way will probably drop “war juice” - presumably because they were killed before chugging it all, the bastards, the fiends, the SCUM! ...ahem. If you shoot down one of the more notable enemies before the “win counter” runs out, you will get extra score points to reward your violent nature - which fits in well with Gensoukyou’s way of life. Think of it as a tax refund.
- Using the “P” key (or whatever), you can throw away your blue things. Doing this in sight of the very poor will make them kill themselves in shock. The middle class will probably just be somewhat stunned. Again, as this throws away your blue things, it’s not of much use. Besides, you can just dodge their danmakus as discussed before.
- Using the “J” key allows you to perform “slow movement” - consider it like casual strolling. Now, your enemies, being raving sociopaths, don’t quite understand that it’s even more insulting to have someone stroll past their danmakus, so it’s not much help there, but skilled Touhouists will use this to stroll right into and safely through entire walls of danmakus, getting whole bags of the “graze points” and thereby proving their superiority. However, some look down on this, saying that you should be able to do this quickly, and that your attempts at being impressive are just wasting time. Still, the technique is recorded here, for your perusal.
- Expert Touhouists are divided on whether or not it is better to humiliate your enemies by simply ignoring them, or to punish their arrogance by beating them into dust with danmakus of their own. Of course, it’s probably best to do both, on alternating days, until they have learned to properly fear you.
- Always be careful throwing away your blue things for small gains. Used rarely, it can be a powerful display of your wealth and superiority. Used often, it makes you look like some insane person who has trouble holding onto their blue things.
- Despite these tricks, you still have to dodge the danmakus, so don’t get too caught up in your newfound power and forget to do that.
Until next time - remember to dodge all the danmakus, make your enemies suffer great humiliation, get ALL the graze points, and win many Touhou matches.