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Ten Desires special and two-part interview with ZUN

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A Ten Desires special and a two-part interview with ZUN were featured in Chara☆Mel Febri volume 9. It is infamous for the many typos included in the 44-page feature regarding Touhou in general. Okonogi, the editor-in-chief, issued an apology on Nikenme Radio after the volume's release.

Interview Part 1

The first part of the interview consisted of ZUN talking about Ten Desires, and its music and characters.

Summary

Ten Desires was created because ZUN wanted to build a bridge between the new trilogy (Mountain of Faith, Subterranean Animism, and Undefined Fantastic Object) and the old one (Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, Perfect Cherry Blossom, and Imperishable Night. Gameplay-wise, it's somewhere in between Perfect Cherry Blossom and Undefined Fantastic Object. He also mentions that there is never an instance where a character design doesn't give him trouble. Furthermore, he said that usually the first three stages included in the trial version and the last three included in the full version are to him like book duologies - consisting of the "first half" of the story, and the "second half" of the story, respectively.

The story is ironic in the sense that Byakuren Hijiri and her group lands the Myouren Temple on top of the mausoleum in order to keep Miko sealed, but that very act ended up stimulating the tomb enough to revive her.

ZUN did not know anything about Taoism going into this game, so he had to do a lot of studying on the subject beforehand.

Kyouko Kasodani: She is indeed a young priest(小坊主) at the Myouren Temple.

Yoshika Miyako: There is obviously some similarity here as she is a Chinese Stage 3 boss, like Hong Meiling. Yoshika's original character design bore a lot of resemblance to Leilei (Hsien-ko from Darkstalkers), so he dumbed her down and made her brain rotten. She's also tangentially related to the main plot of the game, as the Stage 3 bosses usually are. After the main story ended, ZUN says that she "might have" sunken back into the earth where she belongs; but if she's ever needed, Seiga can revive her again.

Seiga Kaku: Seiga's personality is such that she will follow people she likes, but she doesn't really feel an obligation to anyone. Her power to walk through walls is "a power that doesn't really have a meaning".

Mononobe no Futo: Futo was planned from the start to be the stage 5 boss, because she(he) was historically Prince Shoutoku's right-hand man. Soga no Tojiko was added in there for an element of surprise. Both characters' specific backgrounds were rewritten to ZUN's liking, and to fit in with the world of Gensokyo. ZUN also says he was greatly satisfied at getting Futo to ride a boat. He also mentions that Futo's abilities are, while coming from the perspective of Taoism, actually Shinto in nature - the opposite of Reimu.

Toyosatomimi no Miko: The image of the Shoutoku Prince is fairly set in stone, so ZUN decided to go with a wildly different appearance. ZUN has a personal image of her using that wooden implement as a konjoubou, or spirit stick. He says he originally wanted to have dialogue occurring throughout the battle, but he settled on using one-liners, as he did in Fairy Wars. He also claims that he thinks it's cool to put the concepts of lasers and of constitution ordering together, which is how her spellcard "Discernment 'Laser of Seventeen Articles'" came to be. He also states that she is indeed wearing headphones.

Mamizou Futatsuiwa: ZUN wanted to make Mamizou's theme distinctly different from the mood of the rest of the game, but it was extremely difficult. He was pleased by the end result, however. Other candidates for the extra stage's boss were actually Byakuren Hijiri and Kasen Ibara.

The entire extra stage was created for its title, "Raise the Flag of Rebellion". It also stands far apart from the rest of the games; ZUN intended it to give a kind of "bonus" or "preview for next time" feeling.

Regarding Reimu's power coming from Taoism, ZUN says he doesn't know how to work that into the story at all yet. However, plans for next year are starting to progress, little by little. His favorite song from the game is Legend of the Great Gods, and his second-favorite is Desire Drive. [1]

Interview Part 2

The second part of the interview consisted of ZUN talking about the Touhou Project in general.

References

  1. たていと1 (26 November 2011). "キャラ★メルFebri Vol.09 東方44P特集、神主のインタビューをまとめてみる". http://tateito1.blog48.fc2.com/blog-entry-744.html.