Meiji University talkshow "Dawn of Touhou"

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ZUN had a small talkshow at Meiji-University yesterday (Oct 30th, 2004), and fortunately marvs(Coolier admin) and other volunteers uploaded the contents on the web. Here's a translation from the uploaded data...

Rough Impression

- ZUN looked a bit tense.
- The host wasn't good.
- ZUN learned how to play the electone(electronic piano) and trumpet before.
- ZUN's been creating music since he was in junior high school.
- Oh shiiite! My real name has been cought by photo!!1(it's marvs's comment)

Q&A

  • are additions from volunteers that were missing in marvs's notes.


Q. How do you set your time schedule while making games?
A. I set a loose schedule for a year and follow it in order. One year is quite long for that.

  • "I spend 1 month per stage, so if I start in January I can finish Extra stage in July. Well, later stages take far more time so it doesn't go this way though."
  • In fact, he seems to have quite a detailed schedule.


Q. What's your motivation for making games?
A. Because I like it. Otherwise I couldn't make anything.


Q. Why do many of your songs use electric guitar?
A. The atmosphere and story of PCB was kinda laid-back, so I wrote music based on that story.
For IN, the characters are in a hurry to make it in time, so the music follows that too.

  • "I like the sound of cheap, high-pitched (that you hear in game) trumpets. A real trumpet never sounds like that though."
  • Seems he's been playing the electone(his parents bought that for him) since elementary school, then he belonged to the wind music club in junior high school and played the trumpet there.


Q. What do you imagine while writing music?
A. I didn't learn the proper ways to write music, so these are based on my images of characters and curtain-fire [games].


Q. What do you like in Gensokyo?
A. The beautiful source code. There are some hidden messages that might interest you in there.

  • He said he often puts some weird, meaningless comments in source code, even though no one would ever see it.


Q. When did you write the story and plot of Gensokyo?
A. When I was in highschool.

  • "At first, I was thinking of making 2D fighting games, not Shmups, because it was the trend of that time."


Q. What do you like in the Touhou project?
A. I like Japanese atmosphere, so I named it Touhou, now it has many things that aren't Japan-ish though.

  • "I like to put western things in there because it's "Eastern", hehe."


Q. Why all the phantoms/ghosts in the series have physical bodies?
A. It's just that all the ingame characters "happened" to be in that way. They are more suited for shmups anyway.

  • There are many non-humanoid phantoms, ordinary humans, humans that don't use curtain-fire, in Gensokyo too,
  • The reason you don't see these characters in game is because they don't do danmaku-play.
  • "It's not as if Rinnosuke will use spell cards though... er, or he will, perhaps."


Q. Can you see ghosts or anything "unusual"?
A. Nope, but it would be funny if they exist.

Q. What kinds of food and drink do you like?
A. Beer, comparing A beer and B beer and finding the difference between them, or things like that.
I like meat, but I don't like to eat it too much. I also like seafood where I can imagine what they looked like before being cooked.

  • "Prepare beer A and B claim the only difference between them is water. Now I drink both, so it's obvious that water isn't the only difference *lol*"
  • "Fish is good, because I can imagine how they looked like before. Shrimp is also good. Crab too."
  • "It's hard to imagine what they looked like from a piece of meat."


Non-serious Q&A

Q. What's the appeal of a miko(shrine maiden)?
A. The red/white coloring is auspicious, isn't it?

Q. How do they have multiple "lives" in the game?
A. It's guts.

  • "So if you earn more points, they have more guts(life)" *laughter*


Q. Can I marry Marisa?
A. Japanese in general can't say no, but NO.

Q. What was the trigger for your miko-loving?
A. The red/white coloring is auspicious. But I don't like something that "really has power", or slow.

Q. Aren't throwing-knives lethal?
A. Not if it doesn't hit a critical body part... or maybe it is.

  • "Unless it hits a critical body part, humans don't die... or maybe they do, but

dying a bit doesn't matter in there."

Q. Where's Genjii(the turtle in PC-98 series) now?
A. Probably living in the lake at the back of the shrine... at least he's not consumed.

Q. Who's the strongest in Gensokyo?
A. Absolutely, ......isn't it Reimu? Although it seems obvious.

Q. Where's the entrance to Gensokyo?
A. An old shrine in the heart of a mountain perhaps.

Q. How much do you weigh?(ZUN IS really thin...)
A. Less than 50kg.

Q. Is Chugoku's name forgotten?
A. Er, who was that?
(They mean Hong Meiling. She's almost never called her actual name in here... and it became half-official.)

Q. Will you name your child "Reimu" when you get one?
A. Reimu is not an unusual word, but for my child... I'd rather name it "****ko".

  • Yuyuko, for instance? lol


Q. Don't they feel ashamed for flying with skirts?
A. No one is looking at that, anyway.

  • Also he said that making trousers needs a professional dressmaker, so it's no wonder that skirts are more popular in there.


Q. What's your favorite Umai-bou?(popular molded confection in Japan)
A. Sweet ones are bad. Also, the cheese one smells bad.

Q. Why was Highly Responsive to Prayers an Arkanoid-clone, not a shmup?
A. Because it was a study product.

Q. What do you think about maids?
A. An occupation... or should I say, a "fantasy being" that all of you have heard about, but have never seen.

Q. Sakuya is freakin difficult in IN! Is it a bug!?
A. Oh, is she? ...hmm, it's a feature.

Q. Do you want to live in Gensokyo if you get the chance?
A. That place isn't convenient... no internet there. I'll die if I live there.

Q. How can I be a great person like you?
A. Ehh, I'm not that great.

Q. What's the reason behind so many frills in the character's clothes?
A. Because I can't draw straight lines... No, I like clothes with unnecessary details.

Q. Who has the largest bosom in the series? Do you like large bosoms?
A. Er... in general, maybe...

Q. Is Patchouli's clothing pajamas? Or casual wear?
A. It's like how foreigners sleep in their jeans, and go shopping with them too.

Q. Please talk about moe. Forget about curtain-fire, moe about Marisa.
A. Marisa... she has a dirty mouth, are you fond of....?

Q. What's your favorite/least favorite word, or motto?
A. Effort, hustle... these are what I don't like.

Q. What's your favorite character/music in the series?
A. See my votes at the popularity poll.

Q. What's your hang-up with your clothing?
A. It's casual clothes, not pajamas.

Q. I've met Reimu in my dreams.
A. Describe the details of that dream, and ask for medical help.

Q. What games do you play, other than doujin games?
A. Shmups or RPGs. I didn't play DQ or FF that much.

Q. I want to make Doujin games. where should I start?
A. I won't tell you what I did. Learn by yourself.

Some additional comments:
- All touhou characters are somewhat similar, because they all prefer danmaku-play.
- He'll be selling Arranged Music CDs at C67.

That's it for now.
There should be an official log of the interview soon, so stay tuned.

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