An Introduction to the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil

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Article by Mrrp


The Summer of the 118th Season and Gensokyo’s sky is consumed by a dense red mist. If it descended to where humans lived, outside of Gensokyo, the balance for sure would be lost and Gensokyo destroyed by those humans. The mysterious energy is so powerful that an ordinary human could survive no more than half an hour within it, and the sun is entirely blotted out. A lake at the base of a mountain seems suspicious to the Shrine Maiden’s sharp intuition, and an Ordinary Magician flying high in the sky notices an island on the lake’s surface. This marks the inciting incident of the first Windows Era game, Touhou Koumakyou(Scarlet Devil Land) ~ the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil(EoSD).

The events of Embodiment of Scarlet Devil are equivalent to the A6 Universe in LostWord.

The Scarlet Mist Incident

This game introduces Reimu Hakurei(Modern era), Marisa Kirisame(Modern era), Rumia, Daiyousei, Cirno, Hong Meiling, Koakuma, Patchouli Knowledge, Sakuya Izayoi, Remilia Scarlet, and Flandre Scarlet.

That summary of the prologue might seem a little strange, and that’s because it is. As the first windows game, the concept of Gensokyo was not yet entirely formed. The barrier is not mentioned, and it’s as if the human population ZUN mentions is that of the outside world. Gensokyo at this point in Touhou is still just a secluded mountainous area, where supernatural youkai and deities find solace away from the rapid advancement of human civilization. The rest is familiar. Reimu Hakurei is the Shrine Maiden and Marisa Kirisame is the Ordinary Magician, and both head to the Misty Lake to find the source of the mist, the Scarlet Devil Mansion.

On the way, they encounter a youkai and a couple fairies: Rumia, Daiyousei, and Cirno. For those unfamiliar, Daiyousei was never intended to be a character, but a nameless midboss. Her name was given to her by fans, and simply means Greater Fairy.

Next, Reimu (or Marisa, depending on the character you play) finds themselves at the entrance to the Scarlet Devil Mansion, guarded by the youkai Hong Meiling. She threatens them with violence, pondering if it’s alright to eat shrine maidens, before being promptly defeated. Within the mansion itself, our protagonists find themselves within a massive library. There they are attacked by yet another Nameless-Midboss-Turned-Character Koakuma. This time, her fan-given name translates to Little Devil. So we now have the Greater Fairy and the Little Devil. Seems they meet somewhere in the middle. Of course, the library is Patchouli Knowledge’s, the magician. They defeat her(she bemoans her anemia causing her to not have the strength to finish her spells) and move on. Through the massive hallways of the mansion the protagonists fly, now assaulted by fairy maids, until they are stopped by the Chief Maid Sakuya Izayoi. She showcases her ability to control time in their spell card duel but is defeated nonetheless.

The final stage is brief but intense, with Sakuya attempting one last time to halt the protagonists(or to at least make them waste a Bomb or two) before they reach the final boss the Scarlet Devil herself, Remilia Scarlet. Remilia’s not pleased with the idea of withdrawing the scarlet mist, as with it, she’s able to go outside without a parasol. For such a powerful youkai to have such a personal reason for starting an incident... is perfect for Touhou. If you manage to defeat Remilia the incident is over, and you immediately are sent to a good or bad ending, depending on if you used a continue or not. One of the main wishes ZUN has regarding Touhou is that the endings are not spoiled, so play Embodiment of Scarlet Devil to see for yourselves!

Of course, there’s one last character to meet. Once you’ve beaten the game, the Extra Stage is unlocked, where you meet Flandre Scarlet, Remilia’s younger sister who hasn’t left the mansion for 495 years. An eccentric girl, with incredible destructive power, she’s kept inside by Patchouli’s rain magic after the events of the main game. Though after Gouyoku Ibun, there’s no telling if that’ll work again…


Reimu Hakurei’s ability in EoSD is stated to be the Ability to Manipulate Spirit Power, just as Reimu Hakurei Scarlet’s ability lists, alongside her ability to float. This can be seen in her bombs, Dream Sign “Evil Sealing Circle” and Spirit Sign “Fantasy Seal”. In Evil Sealing “Circle” Reimu sends out four waves of energy in each cardinal direction, hitting every enemy onscreen. Fantasy Seal is an attack where Reimu summons a multitude of rainbow-colored homing balls of light to wipe out her targets. In Lost Word, Reimu Hakurei (Scarlet/A6) uses both of these as well, and an extra spell card for her Last Word Experimental Fantasy Nature, something the Reimu we know as of EoSD, did not have at the time.

Marisa Kirisame is a very sincere character, though she tends to lie just for the heck of it. Her ability in Lost Word, stating that she is Capable of Using Magic, is as straightforward as it gets. Stars and pure power, she’s worked hard to be able to use magic of this level, and it’s culminated quite visibly in her bombs, Love Sign “Master Spark” and Magic Sign “Stardust Reverie”. Master Spark is quite well known and consists of a massive beam that is, no joke, fueled by mushrooms, from her beloved mini-hakkero. Stardust Reverie is a showcase of her love of star-type danmaku, something that is much more clearly seen in Imperishable Night. Like Reimu of the A6 universe, Marisa Kirisame (Scarlet/A6) has another spellcard at her disposal in her Last Word Prototype Blazing Star.

Cirno is an Ice Fairy who lives around Misty Lake. She’s known for her less than stellar intelligence and bombastic confidence in her abilities. However for a fairy it’s true that her abilities shine above the rest, and she’s even gone on to tackle incidents, albeit orchestrated by a certain Secret God. As you’d expect from an ice fairy her spell cards are all about freezing things through and through. Freeze Sign “Perfect Freeze” is an excellent example of such, and from the Grimoire of Marisa, “An unexpectedly amazing Spell Card that instantly freezes danmaku of any kind.” In Lost Word, her A6 version also has access to a spell card called Permanent Scarlet Ice Fog, in theme with the incident of her world.

Izayoi Sakuya is perhaps another of the most iconic from EoSD, and has become a recurring protagonist, even joining Reimu and Marisa in resolving the next game’s incident, with many others to follow. Her ability to manipulate time is her defining trait in spell card duels, and she uses it with great prowess. Maid Secret Skill: Manipulating Doll is a dangerous card where she places knives in stopped time, and re-aims them while time is still frozen causing daggers to fill the screen. She appears to teleport as well. In Lost Word, Sakuya from the A6 world, has Deflation World - Carmine.

These are the current A6 characters we know of, and it’s quite the showing from EoSD! Hopefully there’ll be more to come in the future, as it’s a cast of fan-favorites all around.

I’m not good enough to be taking screenshots while playing, even on normal mode, it’s like playing one of the photo games without having a hotkey for it and I can’t just repeat the spell card.

The current characters who lack an A6 appearance.

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