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Double Dealing Character/Gameplay

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Title screen of the game

This article describes the overall gameplay and background information for Double Dealing Character.



The game may be played using either a keyboard or a gamepad. Keyboard controls are as follows:

  • The Arrow Keys move the character around
  • Z causes a short barrage of shots to be fired; it may be held down for rapid fire
  • X releases a bomb, also known as a spell card or spiritual attack (presuming you have bombs left)
  • Shift slows the character's movement, and changes the nature of the character's shot; it generally makes your attacks more focused.
  • Esc pauses the game and brings you to the in-game menu
  • Q returns you to the title screen when the game is paused
  • R returns you to the beginning of stage 1 when the game is paused
  • Shift+C in the pause screen returns you to the title screen.
  • Ctrl fast-forwards through any dialogue and replays
  • Home or P produces a .bmp screenshot in the /snapshot directory. (Only works in 32-bit color mode.)

Basic Gameplay

Double Dealing Character plays like a fairly typical vertically-scrolling danmaku shooting game like the rest of the Touhou Project games, in which the player's character is always facing towards the top of the screen, shooting at anything that moves, avoiding and weaving between enemy bullets, and confronting difficult bosses at the end of a stage.

There are 4 levels of difficulty: Easy, Normal, Hard, and Lunatic. Each difficulty level features differences in the number of bullets fired by each enemy, rate of fire, variations in the bullets' pattern of movement, and the number and type of enemy spell cards used.


A character's "shot" is the player's primary method of attacking enemies. The shot's attack area and behavior varies depending on the character and attack type the player has chosen, as well as the player's power level and whether the player is focused or unfocused.

Damaging stage enemies and bosses with the unfocused or focused shot also has a minor additional effect. The unfocused shot causes power items to appear as damage is dealt (if not already at full power), while the focused shot gradually increases the point item value.

Point of Collection

Like previous Touhou games, there's a line most of the way up the screen called the point of collection. If you move your character at or above this line, all items on the screen will be drawn to your character. As with Mountain of Faith onward, you don't need to have full power or focus to use the POC – it's always available.

Bomb (Player Spell Card)

Like its predecessors, the game features bombs (actually spell cards) with distinctive visual styles that differ between characters. A character's "bomb" is the player's limited-use method of getting out of difficult situations. A bomb's attack area, duration, and power varies depending on the character type the player has chosen, but it typically deals heavy damage to every enemy it touches, in addition to canceling out any bullets in the bomb's way, as well as automatically collecting every item on screen. Most shot types also become invincible during a bomb and for a short time after the bomb's effect wears off; however, MarisaB and SakuyaA only are invincible for a short period after the bomb is launched.

At the beginning of the game, you will start off with 3 bombs. Extra bombs are obtained by collecting bomb fragments, which appear on collecting item collection bonuses (see below), after defeating boss attacks without dying or bombing, or from the ability of SakuyaA's bomb; eight fragments are required per bomb.

You can carry up to a maximum of 8 bombs at a time. If you collect a bomb fragment when you already have 8 bombs, that bomb fragment will be lost. Like in the earlier Touhou games, on dying the number of bombs will reset to the initial value of 3 bombs. Accumulated bomb fragments are preserved when the player loses a life. The counter is reset to 0 upon continuing after a game over, however.

As usual, deathbombing is here. After being hit by a bullet, the player is given a very brief window of time to bomb and negate their death. The "death" sound effect will play, and the bomb will then activate.


You start off the game with 3 lives (that is, 2 extra lives). You can lose a life by getting "hit" by an enemy attack.

The hit box for your character is quite small in comparison to your on-screen sprite, approximately only 5 pixels by 5 pixels in size. If you hold Shift, a colored dot will appear, showing the hitbox precisely. If the hit box of a character comes into contact with the hit box of an enemy bullet, laser, or the enemy itself, then you have been hit.

In this game, the player's life stock is represented by a health bar with hearts. Extra lives are obtained by collecting life fragments, which appear on collecting item collection bonuses (see below) or by defeating boss attacks without dying or bombing; in particular, every fifth bomb fragment dropped will be replaced by a life fragment regardless of whether it was spawned by an item bonus or by a boss (however, bomb fragments from SakuyaA's bomb will not count towards this total). Three fragments are required per life.

You can carry up to a maximum of 8 extra lives at a time. If you collect a life fragment while you have the maximum number of lives, the life fragment will be added as bomb fragment.

When you lose a life, you also lose 0.50 Power points (0.07 are scattered for you to collect); however, your power can't decrease below 1.00. Also, all the bullets on the screen are cleared, and you become invulnerable for a short period of time.

Upon losing all their lives, the player is given the choice to continue right where they left off. However, if you do continue, your current score will be reset back to 0, plus the number of times you have continued. The number of life and bomb fragments will be reset to 0, you can no longer save a replay after continuing, and can reach the "Bad Ending" if you finish the game. You may continue up to 3 times on Easy and Normal, 4 times on Hard, and 6 times on Lunatic. You may not continue in the Extra stage.

Boss Battles

The main challenge and the main attraction that appears at the end of each stage. Each boss has multiple lives, which are represented by stars shown at the upper left of the screen. Bosses usually alternate between attacking normally and attacking with spell cards, switching once with each health bar. Markers on the health bar indicate the start of a spell card attack when the boss' health is depleted that far.

Normal attacks are typically incrementally stronger versions of the boss character's basic attack. Spell card attacks bedazzle the player with combinations of complex patterns that often involve the use of projectiles and obstacles crafted especially for use with that spell card. If the player manages to defeat a spell card attack without getting hit or using any bombs, a substantial score bonus is rewarded for the feat.

Each attack is accompanied by a timer. When time runs out, the boss will switch to their next attack pattern even if their health bar isn't empty. Waiting for a boss's attack pattern to self-destruct may be enough to beat them, but mere survival won't earn the player any score bonuses. The exception however is when the boss is invulnerable for the duration of the spell card; in this case the player will receive the bonus on survival.

When a boss attack is defeated without getting hit or using any bombs, the boss will release a bomb or life fragment (as mentioned above, every fifth bomb fragment dropped will be replaced by a life fragment).

When fighting a boss, a position marker shows up on the bottom margin of the screen, indicating where the boss is on the horizontal axis. Since your target can be completely obscured by bullets or darkness at times, use this marker to help you aim your shots. The marker will dim when the boss is being hit, and will flash red when her health bar gets sufficiently depleted.


There are 3 characters to choose from in the game, each with two shot types. As in Ten Desires, each shot type has different shots for focused and unfocused movements, and each character has a special ability. The two shot types for each character have the same shot for fast movement, but have differing weapons for focused movement and different spell cards.

Reimu Hakurei

Ability: Has a smaller hitbox.
Reimu is rather weak, but she can attack almost everywhere on the screen.

Reimu A

Unfocused uses homing amulets. Focused uses a spinning purification rod that homes in on stage enemies. Power increases the length of the purification rod, and the number of homing amulets.

Reimu B

Unfocused uses homing amulets. Focused uses persuasion needles. Power increases the number of needles and homing amulets.

Marisa Kirisame

Ability: Slightly lower auto-collection line.
Marisa is powerful but has a rather low spread.

Marisa A

Unfocused uses illusion lasers. Focused uses a flamethrower hakkero. Power increases the number of lasers and increases the power/width of the flamethrower.

Marisa B

Unfocused uses illusion lasers. Focused uses magic missiles that make enemies drop Power items. Power increases the number of missiles and lasers.

Sakuya Izayoi

Ability: Slower item falling speed.
Sakuya is rather powerful but tends to focus on a single enemy. She has a fair spread while unfocused.

Sakuya A

Unfocused uses throwing knives. Focused uses silver blades that slow an enemy and then explode. Power increases the number of knives and blades.

Sakuya B

Unfocused uses throwing knives. Focused uses green knives that steal green score items. Power increases the number of knives.

Screen Layout

Screen layout

The layout of the overall screen is typical for a Touhou Project shoot 'em up.

  1. Your character
  2. Player Score
    • High Score: your highest score for the current character, type, and difficulty
    • Score: your current score
  3. The number of remaining lives and bombs / The approximate location of the point of collection
    • Right numbers: fragments needed for an extra life / bomb
  4. Player Status
    • Power: your shot power level, maxing out at 4.00
    • Point value: the maximum points achievable of the point items
    • Graze: the number of enemy shots that have grazed your hit box during the game
  5. Enemy Status
    • Stars: the number of health bars the enemy has left
    • Middle number: the amount of time left before the enemy's attack spell fails (self-destructs)
    • Circular health bar during one star
  6. Spell Card Status
    • Title: the name of the spell card being used
    • Bonus: the constantly-updating value of the Spell Card Bonus
    • History: the number of times you have "captured" the spell card currently being used, and the number of times you have faced it.
  7. The boss enemy (this being Wakasagihime)

Unlockable Features

  • Stage Practice: This feature allows a shottype to practice a stage that they have reached in a full game run. You begin with 9 lives and full power. If you lose all your lives, you can't continue.
  • Extra Stage: By beating the game on any difficulty with a certain shottype, the Extra Stage is unlocked for said shottype.

Full Unlock Code

To unlock all unlockable content at once, navigate to the Extra SakuyaA records in Player Data and type out orionbeer. If done correctly, the 1up sound effect will play and the practice mode stages as well as the Extra Stage will be unlocked for all shottypes.



Any damage you deal to any stage enemy, whether it'd be caused by your shots or your bombs, will cause your score to increase very slightly. Actually destroying enemies will award you slightly more points, but the points earned from this are around the range of hundreds to thousands of points per enemy. This isn't a significant amount at all. However, destroyed enemies release items for you to collect, and those are very important for scoring as covered below.

Point Items

As its name implies, point items are the major source of points in the game. The higher up on the screen you collect them, the more points they're worth, up to a defined maximum. You can easily tell when you are collecting point items for their maximum value, since they'll show the value in yellow text. The auto-item-collect line is the same height as the height where point items reach their maximum value, so take advantage of this fact whenever you can for massive points. As in Undefined Fantastic Object onwards, auto-collected items are still worth their full value if you happen to leave the auto-collect area before items contact your hit box, or if they're auto-collected in another manner such as by bombing or dialogue.

The point items' starting value on all difficulties is 10,000.

The point item value is increased by grazing, and collecting green point value items. These items are released by cancelling enemy bullets, which can come from finishing a boss attack, or using a bomb. However, spell cards won't produce green items when timed out, or from bombs (except SakuyaB's bomb). In addition, damaging enemies/bosses with the focused shot, or with either shot at full power, will release green items as well. Green items also add 10 points each directly to your score.

The total added point item value is:

(number of green items collected × 2) + (graze counter)

This is rounded down to the nearest 10.

The point item value can only increase up to a certain maximum value, depending on the chosen difficulty:

Difficulty Easy Normal Hard Lunatic Extra
Maximum value 100,000 250,000 500,000 500,000 500,000

Item Collection Bonus

When auto-collecting a group of items, if there are 20 or more items collected, the player will receive a bonus to their score. The bonus is based on the value of items collected with a multiplier based on the number of items collected:

Items 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60+
Bonus multiplier 0.5 0.8 1.2 1.6 2.0

In addition to the bonus, a bomb fragment or life fragment will drop. A life fragment will drop if 60 or more items are collected (corresponding to the maximum possible multiplier); as mentioned above, every fifth bomb fragment dropped will also be replaced by a life fragment. Otherwise, a bomb fragment is dropped.

Power Items

Power items increase your power gauge by 0.01 and are worth 100 points. Power items collected at full power are instead worth 10,000 points. In addition, damaging enemies or bosses with the unfocused shot (or either shot for MarisaB) will release power items, unless the player is at full power, in which case green items will drop instead.

Spell Card Bonus

Occasionally, a boss will attack using a spell card. You'll know this is happening when the background changes and the spell card's name appears in the upper right corner of the screen. If the boss's health bar is depleted within the time limit and without getting hit or using a bomb, the spell card bonus will be added to your score.

The bonus starts at out at a value equal to:

3 million × stage number + 2 million × difficulty value

with difficulty value being:

Easy Normal Hard Lunatic Extra (considered to be stage 7 in the formula)
0 1 2 3 4

Except for Shinmyoumaru Sukuna's fourth spell card and Raiko Horikawa's ninth spell card, the bonus decreases over time, starting 5 seconds after the spell card starts. The bonus decreases at a constant rate of:

2 / 3 × (starting value) / (time limit in seconds - 5) per second

The bonus decreases in real time, not in-game time; if the in-game timer is slowed by SakuyaA's knives, the bonus will still decrease as if the timer was not slowed.

Clear Bonus

At the end of a stage, the player is awarded a clear bonus.

(stage × 3 million)

At the end of the game, the player is awarded a clear bonus as well.

Easy/Normal/Hard/Lunatic: (stage bonus (18 million) + 10 million × lives + 3 million × bombs)
Extra: (stage bonus (21 million) + 40 million × lives + 4 million × bombs)


This is a list of known glitches, bugs or other unusual capabilities that aren't supposed to be part of the gameplay.

Glitches reported only in past versions:

  • Unflipping Seija: Players could pause the game, switch to desktop, and then resume to avoid the screen-flipping effect in Seija Kijin's Spell Cards. Fixed as of v1.00b.
  • Benben crash: The game crashes at the end of Benben Tsukumo's second Spell Card on Lunatic. Fixed as of v1.00b.
  • Kagerou death glitch: While fighting Kagerou Imaizumi in Stage 3, you can randomly die, despite not getting hit by a bullet. This has been observed during her second nonspell, her second Spell Card, and her third nonspell, usually just after passing through a wave of bullets. The bug persists in replays of runs where it occurred. Fixed as of v1.00b.
  • Shinmyoumaru bowl bug: Some of Shinmyoumaru Sukuna's spell cards are more difficult in Spell Practice, because her bowl doesn't appear during them, most notably for her third Spell Card. This makes her hitbox much smaller and makes the cards much more difficult to capture for certain shot types. Fixed as of v1.00b.

Glitches reported in the full version:

  • Marisa laser bug: Marisa Kirisame sometimes gets a glitched laser when unfocused. One of her lasers can angle diagonally, or even disappear entirely. If you stop shooting unfocused at any point, it will return to normal. Dying and powering up again may also result in normal behavior. This behavior will not always show up during a replay, or it may appear at a different time, which results in a desync.
  • Underflow glitch: In Spell Practice, by using SakuyaA's knives to slow down a spell, then only killing it right before it times out, it's possible to get negative spell bonus. This causes the score to soar all the way up to 9,999,999,990; a counterstop. In tool-assisted play (TAS), it can even be performed in a full game run.
  • Spell Practice unlocks Stage Practice: Trying a Spell Card with a character will unlock that spell's stage in Practice mode for that character.
  • Seija rotation error: Seija Kijin's Spell Cards involving flipping and rotating the screen do not actually rotate everything. They affect some of the HUD elements, such as the Spell Card Bonus and the boss's name and life counter, but the spell name and the current framerate are unaffected.
  • Character select error: On the character select screen, cyan arrows indicate that you can use the arrow keys to switch characters. However, these are only visible if you are about to play Extra, not the main game.
  • Practice mode graphic error: In Practice mode specifically, the shadow behind the difficulty will always be flipped to the right, even though it only should be for Easy mode. The shadow is displayed correctly in Game Start.
  • Tsukumo sisters knife glitch: In the Extra Stage, using SakuyaA to put knives on either Benben or Yatsuhashi Tsukumo during their attacks will desync them. Timing out their attacks with this can cause various weird effects, such as Yatsuhashi sticking around when the spell is already over, or Yatsuhashi going away while the timer is still ticking. These things occur because putting knives on Yatsuhashi does not slow down the pattern like it should, but they will on Benben.
  • Absent phase marker glitch: Shinmyoumaru's final spell card doesn't show any health bar markers in Spell Practice mode, but does during normal runs or stage practice.

The following apply to multiple games, including Double Dealing Character:

  • Slowdown glitch: If you die while the game is slowed down, you lose more power than you should. This is due to the slowdown being implemented as frames running multiple times, including the frame on which power is lost.
  • Manual glitch: If the manual is opened from the main menu 15 or more times, this has strange effects on the difficulty selection screen. After selecting a difficulty and then returning to the difficulty screen, it will be all garbled up. Selecting this garbled up difficulty and then selecting a shot causes a "run" of the Extra Stage on Hard mode to begin, in which nothing happens, or various other weird combinations. Video of this glitch
  • Spritesheet glitch: On very rare occasions, the game will load incorrectly, resulting in erratic behaviour during gameplay. The game will randomly and rapidly flash chunks of the entire spritesheet during play. If it occurs, the game stays this way until it's closed.
  • Extra Midboss life count error: The Extra stage midboss doesn't show any life count during their first spellcard, when one life should be displayed.
  • 720p full screen softlock: Starting the game with 720p resolution on full screen and exiting the game window with Alt+Tab and re-entering it causes the screen to blink repeatedly, softlocking the PC and making the game impossible to close without either using Ctrl + Alt + Delete to log off and close the window, or launch the Task Manager on a second monitor to forcibly close the game.
  • 720p Alt+Enter glitch: Using Alt+Enter while on full screen closes the game instead of just having the game windowed.
  • 720p full screen black borders: The game on full screen with 720p resolution has thick black borders appear on the right and bottom sides of the game screen.
  • Lifepiece counter glitch: Once you have obtained 49 extends, the game will stop awarding any, and the numbers of life pieces and bomb pieces required will be replaced with ***/***.