Wheel Ghosts are flying yin-yang objects that appear as stage enemies in the Touhou Project, which first appeared in Subterranean Animism, and were given an official name in 100th Black Market. Their appearance bears resemblance to the Yin-Yang Orbs, but their connection to them is unknown.
A green wheel ghost in Double Dealing Character.
The wheel ghosts have two outer layer rings that spin on their opposite directions with 5 spherical lights on each ring. There are four known colours to these: blue, green, red and purple. Which colour and what kind of danmaku they shoot depends on the game stage they're on and the difficulty.
Wheel Ghosts' Appearances
- Subterranean Animism
The wheel ghosts made their debut on stage 2 of Subterranean Animism, coming in fast and shooting danmaku in the Underworld. On stage 3, they were zooming in from the background and appear to support Yuugi Hoshiguma during her boss battle. They re-appeared on stage 4, coming down in queues and again in stage 5.
- Undefined Fantastic Object
The wheel ghosts appeared again in Undefined Fantastic Object. On stage 2, they'll appear from a mist and shoot large danmaku at the heroine while homing on them. They were shown to appear in Makai on stage 5, creating a sort of obstacle for the player to dodge.
- Ten Desires / Double Dealing Character
- Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom
The wheel ghosts make a return in Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom on Stage 3 in the Dream World as stage enemies. Although they shouldn't able to access this place physically, ZUN states in the music comments that these are "just things in each dream". They're primarily the only stage enemy on Stage 4 at the Lunar Capital, and Sagume Kishin, the midboss and boss of the stage, uses them in large amounts in her spell cards and non-spell cards.
- Hidden Star in Four Seasons
The wheel ghosts appear as enemies in Hidden Star in Four Seasons on Stages 1, 5, 6, and the Extra stage. They're the main stage enemies of both the final and Extra stage, and in the Extra stage Okina Matara, Mai Teireida, and Satono Nishida all use these wheel ghosts in their spell cards.
- Wily Beast and Weakest Creature
The wheel ghosts are stage enemies in Wily Beast and Weakest Creature on the 4th, 6th, and Extra stages. They are the main enemies in the final stage, but none of the characters use wheel ghosts in their attacks.
- Unconnected Marketeers
The wheel ghosts appear as stage enemies in Unconnected Marketeers on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and Extra stages. A large, transparent, and invulnerable wheel ghost appears as Stage 4's midboss.
Wheel ghosts in the spell card Orb Sign "Disorderly Flock's Curse"
Wheel ghosts in the spell card Orb Sign "Impure Body Detection Mines"
Wheel ghosts in the spell card Orb Sign "Shotgun Coronation of the Gods"
Wheel ghosts in the spell card Drum Dance "Powerful Cheers"
Wheel ghosts in the spell card Mad Dance "Crazy Backup Dance"
Wheel ghosts in the spell card Secret Ceremony "Rear Shots of Betrayal"
Wheel ghosts in the spell card Secret Ceremony "Performers Unattached to Society"
- The sprites for the wheel ghosts on each game appears to only have the yin-yang and the inner ring. It's currently unclear where the outer ring is coming from.
- They bare a resemblance to the Blood-Vessel Yin-Yang Orbs, a stage enemy that appears in Story of Eastern Wonderland, as well as SinGyoku's first form.
- The Windmills, Kedama and spinning enemies have a few similarities to the wheel ghosts with the way they spin and how they enter the screen.