After the appearances of the characters originating from the world of Scarlet Mist, two more Friends are coming to LostWord from similarly different worlds than the original cast. This time is a double header: Reisen Udongein Inaba from the world of Eternal Night and Aya Shameimaru from the world of Phantasmagoric Flowers. Just as Scarlet Reimu, Marisa, and Sakuya came from a Gensokyo entrapped in an incident, Reisen and Aya’s worlds were in the middle of their own incidents.
Before getting to know Eternal Reisen and Flower Aya themselves, let’s take a quick look at the worlds that each originally resided in. Just like how the alternative Scarlet versions were based on ZUN’s danmaku game Touhou Koumakyou: Embodiment of Scarlet Devil (2002), or EoSD, the Eternal Night incident occurred in Touhou Eiyashou: Imperishable Night (2004) while the flower incident takes place shortly after, during Touhou Kaeidzuka: Phantasmagoria of Flower View (2005). These incidents were slightly more intense than the previous burst of red mist, bringing together more characters to resolve the incidents.
World of the Eternal Night
First Appearances of: Wriggle Nightbug, Mystia Lorelei, Keine Kamishirasawa, Tewi Inaba, Reisen Udongein Inaba, Eirin Yagokoro, Kaguya Houraisan, Fujiwara no Mokou
Touhou Eiyashou: Imperishable Night, or IN, is the eighth entry to the mainline Touhou games and was the last traditional danmaku game developed for the “first generation” of Windows Touhou, a period of time centered around the release of Touhou 6 (Embodiment of Scarlet Devil) to Touhou 9.5 (Shoot the Bullet). Unlike the previous entries, IN has players control both a human and youkai as they resolve the latest incident in Gensokyo. The masters of borders Reimu Hakurei and Yukari, the magicians Marisa and Alice, residents of the Scarlet Devil Mansion Remilia and Sakuya Izayoi, or spirits from the Netherworld Youmu Konpaku and Yuyuko Saigyouji move out to find out who stole the full moon from Gensokyo. The selected team creates the titular eternal night in order to buy themselves time, but they have to make sure to play well before the mystery of the moon is lost to time.
Discovering the culprits of the missing moon is a lot more difficult when a sinister mansion isn’t around as a clear target. Youkai are more active during the night, where they can see through the darkness compared to their human prey, which proves to get in the way while the teams attempt to find any leads. Eventually, Keine Kamishirasawa, a protector of the Human Village, points the human and youkai toward the right direction, the Bamboo Forest of the Lost. After a short skirmish with Reimu (if playing as the Magician or Scarlet team) or Marisa (if playing as the Border or Netherworld team) due to accusing the teams of causing the incident, the path toward the true culprits within the Eientei mansion is revealed.
This is where Reisen Udongein Inaba and her master, Eirin Yagokoro, reveal themselves as the ones who have caused the disappearing of the full moon. Eirin, a Lunarian (the term for those who come from the moon), has prepared a fake moon to temporarily replace the real one in order to hide from Lunarian emissaries. Both her and the moon princess, Kaguya Houraisan, went into hiding from the Lunar Capital after drinking the Hourai Elixir, granting consumers immortality. Gensokyo and the timeless mansion of Eientei served as a helpful hiding spot, but fear of being discovered led Eirin to cast a spell of a fake moon, one that would prevent anyone from the moon to discover them on Earth.
The Lunarians agree to remove the fake moon and return Gensokyo to its original state- but only if the team is able to succeed in a battle of bullets. Not only are the Lunarians themselves strong opponents, but breaking through the fleet of youkai Earth rabbits proved to be very difficult. Their leader, Tewi Inaba, rounds them up to protect their masters from the moon, but even she is only a middle line of defense. Instead, Reisen Udongein Inaba serves as the final blockade before her master and princess, a spot similar to the Scarlet Sakuya. And just like Sakuya, Reisen was a very difficult foe. Unlike the other rabbits from the Earth, Reisen is a runaway moon rabbit who found refuge at Eientei and has the unique ability to manipulate wavelengths to the point where any unfortunate soul to stare into her eyes will end up going insane.
Will the teams of humans and youkai prove to be strong enough to triumph over Eientei, avoid delving into insanity, and cancel Eirin’s spell? And who even knows which path is the right one to take after the battle with Reisen…?
World of Phantasmagoric Flowers
First Appearances of: Aya Shameimaru (in an official game), Medicine Melancholy, Komachi Onozuka, Eiki Shiki Yamaxanadu
Touhou Kaeidzuka: Phantasmagoria of Flower View, or PoFV for short, stands out from the other traditional danmaku shooting games of the past, as characters now face each other in a split-screen version variation of normal danmaku shooting. Utilizing the energy from defeating wayward fairies and spirits on their screen, players throw special attacks at the other and build up a meter which can be used for even more offensive tactics. When fully charged, the character can even invade their enemy’s screen, just like a normal Touhou boss! The format of this game is heavily based off of Phantasmagoria of Dim Dream (1997), the third Touhou installment from the old PC-98 timeline. Coincidentally, this game features the return of a character who originated from the PC-98 era: Yuuka Kazami.
If the previous 8 characters of IN weren't exciting enough, PoFV features a grand total of 16 characters to resolve the strange new incident. There has been a sudden increase in the amount of flowers growing during Gensokyo’s Spring. Normally, flowers should bloom during Spring…except the rate of bloom is rather alarming, especially considering when flowers out of season are popping up as well. Now while dealing with the panicking fairies and sudden surge of spirits, each girl must battle each other to get closer to the source of the countless flowers.
Resolving the incident is not the priority for every playable character, such as Medicine Melancholy, who would rather be by herself and the poison flowers. Aya Shameimaru, a crow tengu who writes for the Bunbunmaru Newspaper, does notice the abnormality of wandering ghosts before other characters, but would rather collect information from everyone else to write up a good story. This usually leads to her fighting the other incident resolvers in hopes of finding a good story with the final goal of revealing the truth about the flower incident.
In the end, the large surge in flowers was because of the numerous ghosts entering Gensokyo that were stuck in limbo, waiting to be ferried to Higan for judgment. The shinigami Komachi Onozuka was the one meant for this task, but she slacked off like she usually does, leading to this temporary incident. This is a cycle that occurs around every 60 years, likely due to a major war or natural disaster in the Outside World, ending in many casualties. Of course, Aya was around 60 years before but…she just forgot about all of this. At least she got some good tidbits and photos from all the battles she went through!
As an additional, unrelated note, PoFV was actually not Aya’s first appearance in Touhou Project. Instead, Aya debuted in the first official Touhou book, Bohemia Archive in Japanese Red (2005). Many of Aya’s articles are archived within the book, going into detail on all of the characters appearing throughout EoSD to PoFV as well as the Three Fairies of Light. There are even comments on some of ZUN’s music collections from around the time. Aya sure knows a lot, as expected for a newspaper reporter…but there’s a reason why people avoid getting articles written about themselves by her.