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Touhou influences

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As various games of the same genre influence each other, Touhou series is no exception. This page collects evidences of notable inspirations seen in Touhou games, as well as touhouisms appearing in other doujins, barring generic elements that have appeared since the dawn of shoot-em-ups.

Note: the tables only list earliest chronological appearance of evidences.

Influences on Touhou

Highly Responsive to Prayers (1996)

Evidence Seen in Likely origin
Reimu's character Entire game Sayo-chan, protagonist of KiKi KaiKai (Taito, 1986)
Music: Angel's Legend (YuugenMagan's and Mima's theme) Level 10 'Heart of Fire' from Castlevania (Konami, 1987)
Music: The Legend of KAGE Makai Stages 16-19 The Legend of Kage (Taito, 1985)

Story of Eastern Wonderland (1997)

Evidence Seen in Likely origin
Bakebake Stage 1-3, Extra KiKi KaiKai (Taito, 1986)
Music: Himorogi, Burn in Violet (Stage 4 theme) Stage 4 The Decisive Battle from Final Fantasy VI (Squaresoft, 1994)

Phantasmagoria of Dim.Dream (1997)

Evidence Seen in Likely origin
Player interaction mechanics Entire game Twinkle Star Sprites (ADK, 1996)

Lotus Land Story (1998)

Evidence Seen in Likely origin
Grazing mechanic used for scoring Entire game Raiden Fighters (Seibu Kaihatsu, 1996)
Focused shot that slows down the character Entire game DonPachi (Cave, 1995), or Cybattler (Jaleco, 1993)
Boss invincible to bombs (entire time or during last attack) Extra True last boss of ChoRenSha 68k (Famibe no Yosshin, 1995)

Mystic Square (1998)

Evidence Seen in Likely origin
Marisa's bomb Entire Game Fighter B from Dangun Feveron (Cave, 1998)
Louise's first pattern Stage 2 Double Dealer from Darius Gaiden (Taito, 1994)
Homing lasers Stage 4, 6 and Extra Rayforce (Taito, 1993)
Shinki character Stage 6 Last boss from ESP Ra.De. (Cave, 1998)
Alice's second pattern Extra Last boss of DoDonPachi (Cave, 1997)
Alice's sixth pattern Extra Several bosses from G-Darius (Taito, 1997)
Alice's last pattern and arrowhead bullets Extra True last boss of DoDonPachi (Cave, 1997)
Music: Maple Wise (Stage 4 theme) Stage 4 'The Final Decisive Battle' from Lufia (Estpolis) Series (Neverland Co., 1993)

Embodiment of Scarlet Devil (2002)

Evidence Seen in Likely origin
Sakuya's outfit Stage 5 Najji, a high-ranked maid from a manga Sarai.
Remilia's 2nd non-spell pattern Stage 6 Last boss from ESP Ra.De. (Cave, 1998)
Remilia's Spell Cards 44 and 46 Stage 6 Stage 5 and 6 bosses from Guwange (Cave, 1999)
Flandre's Spell Card 63 (first half of timeout Spell Card) Extra Last boss of Giga Wing (Capcom, 1999)
Flandre's Spell Card 64 (final Spell Card) Extra Last boss of Progear (Cave, 2001)
Music: Apparitions Stalk the Night (Rumia's theme) Stage 1 Let's Meet Dr. Mince from Metal Max (1991)
Music: Septette for the Dead Princess (Remilia's theme) Stage 6 Beethoven's Sonata Pathetique 3rd movement (1798)
Music: U.N. Owen was her? (Flandre's theme) Extra Title Theme from The Immortal (video game) (1991)
Music: Crimson Tower ~ Eastern Dream... Staff Roll Kira & Natsu-Koi Bana - Sakura (26/06/2002)

Perfect Cherry Blossom (2003)

Evidence Seen in Likely origin
Sakuya-B's shot style Entire game Hyper Duel (Techno Soft, 1993/1996)
Yuyuko's fan Stage 6 Last boss from ESP Ra.De. (Cave, 1998)
Yuyuko's Spell Card 113 (final, timeout Spell Card) Stage 6 Last boss in Radiant Silvergun (Treasure, 1998)
Yuyuko's spell card 105 Stage 6 2nd form of the stage 5 boss from Guwange (Cave, 1999)
Chen's/Ran's 5-way midboss pattern Extra & Phantasm Stage 5 boss from Guwange (Cave, 1999)

Imperishable Night (2004)

Evidence Seen in Likely origin
Yukari's homing option Entire game Grind Stormer (Toaplan, 1993)
Remilia's "sticky" options Entire game Armed Police BatRider (8ing/Raizing, 1998)
Remilia's bomb Entire game Gunbird 2 (Psikyo 1998)
Youmu's option Entire game Battle Garegga (8ing/Raizing, 1996)
Spell Card 191 Stage 6B True last boss's final pattern in DoDonPachi DaiOuJou (Cave, 2002)
Music: Lunatic Eyes ~ Invisible Full Moon (Reisen's theme) Stage 5 'Zero Stage 2' from Mega Man X5 (Capcom, 2000)
Music: Gensokyo Millennium ~ History of the Moon (Eirin's theme) Stage 6A 'To the End of the Wilderness' from Wild Arms (Media Vision, 1996)
Music: Flight of the Bamboo Cutter ~ Lunatic Princess (Kaguya's theme) Stage 6B Xevious (Namco, 1982)

Phantasmagoria of Flower View (2005)

Evidence Seen in Likely origin
Youmu's bullet-canceling sword attack Entire game Radiant Silvergun (Treasure, 1998)
Medicine's extra attack (slowdown field) Entire game Metal Black (Taito, 1991)

Shoot the Bullet (2005)

Evidence Seen in Likely origin
Spell Card 8-3 Scene 8-3 Stage 4 boss of Ketsui (Cave, 2003)
Spell Card Ex-4 Scene Ex-4 Stage 3 boss of Mushihimesama (Cave, 2004)

Mountain of Faith (2007)

Evidence Seen in Likely origin
Using shot power for bombing Entire game Metal Black (Taito, 1991)
Marisa-A's "shadow" options Entire game Gradius (Konami, 1985)
Music: Akutagawa Ryuunosuke's "Kappa" ~ Candid Friend Stage 3 Arab Merchant from The Immortal (video game) (1991)
Music: Fall of Fall ~ Autumnal Waterfall Stage 4 Blue ni Naiteru by Anzen Chitai (1984)
Music: The Venerable Ancient Battlefield ~ Suwa Foughten Field Stage 6 Boss theme from Metal Max (Crea-Tech, 1991)

Subterranean Animism (2008)

Evidence Seen in Likely origin
Reimu-A's options Entire game Thunder Force II (Technosoft, 1989)
Reimu-C's speed-up ability Entire game Dogyuun!! (Toaplan, 1992)
Reimu-C's options Entire game Air Gallet (Gazelle, 1996)
Marisa-B's switchable option formations Entire game Battle Garegga (8ing/Raizing, 1996)
Communication gauge mechanics Entire game Shikigami no Shiro II (Alfa System, 2003)
Falling rocks that shoot revenge bullets Stage 1 Stage 1 of Mushihimesama Futari (Cave, 2006)
Large red round bullets Stage 6 Mushihimesama Futari (Cave, 2006)
Utsuho's Spell Card 147 Stage 6 Last boss from ESP Ra.De. (Cave, 1998)
Utsuho's Spell Card 155 Stage 6 DeathSmiles (Cave, 2007)
Koishi's clockwise-rotating bullet sprays Extra Stage 1 boss from Pink Sweets – Ibara Sorekara (Cave, 2006)
Music: Green-Eyed Jealousy (Parsee's theme) Stage 2 Greensleeves (traditional)
Music: Lullaby of Deserted Hell (Stage 5 theme) Stage 5 Bieito Romero's and Mike Oldfield's The Song of the Sun (1996)
Music: Solar Sect of Mystic Wisdom ~ Nuclear Fusion (Utsuho's theme) Stage 6 'Explorer' from Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei II (Atlus, 1990)
Music: Energy Daybreak ~ Future Dream... (Staff roll theme) Ending/Credits Cross a Fear (Castlevania: Rondo of Blood)

Undefined Fantastic Object (2009)

Evidence Seen in Likely origin
Marisa-B's shot style Entire game Star Soldier (Hudson, 1986)
Sanae-A's shot style Entire game Image Fight (Irem, 1988)
Sanae-B's shot style Entire game Mahou Daisakusen (8ing/Raizing, 1993)
Various Space Invaders cameos Stage 6 and Extra Space Invaders (Taito, 1978)

Ten Desires (2011)

Evidence Seen in Likely origin
Spirit Realm System (Trance) Entire game Hyper System from DoDonPachi DaiFukkatsu (Cave, 2008)
Mamizou's transformation during Spell Card 117 Extra Manuke, final boss of KiKi KaiKai (Taito, 1986)

See Also