Fairies of Sorcery/Gameplay

From Touhou Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Hakurei Shrine collapsed and needs rebuilding Attention: This article is a stub and it needs expanding with more information related to the article's topic. If you can add to it in any way, please do so.



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 rapidfire
  • X releases a bomb, also known as a Spell Card (presuming that any are 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
  • R resets to the Touhou Danmakufu title screen

Basic Gameplay[edit]

Fairies of Sorcery plays like a fairly typical vertically-scrolling danmaku shooting game, 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 5 levels of difficulty: Easy, Normal, Hard, Lunatic and Ultra. 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 the player has chosen, as well as whether the player is focused or unfocused.


Fairies of Sorcery features bombs (actually spell cards) with distinctive visual styles that differ between shot types. 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. The player's character becomes invincible during and for a short time after the bomb's effect wears off.

At the beginning of the game, you will start off with 2 bombs. Green crystals will give one bomb fragment (multiplied during burst mode, see below). In the normal game 30 items are required for the first bomb, incrementing by 3 for each successive bomb; in Extra 80 items are required for the first bomb incrementing by 8 for each successive bomb. There are no limits on the number of bombs that can be accumulated.

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 a single pixel in size. If you hold Shift, a colored dot will appear, showing the hitbox precisely. If the hit box of your character's sprite comes into contact with the hit box of an enemy bullet, laser, or the enemy itself, then you have been hit.

In Fairies of Sorcery, the player's life stock is represented by stars. Red crystals will give one life fragment (multiplied during burst mode, see below). In the normal game 50 items are required for the first life, incrementing by 10 for each successive life; in Extra 100 items are required for the first life incrementing by 20 for each successive life. There are no limits on the number of lives that can be accumulated.

When you lose a life, 5 stars are dropped that are worth 10% magic each. 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 game ends and the player is given the option to restart from the beginning, save a replay or return to the menu.

Boss Battles[edit]

The main challenge and the main attraction. Each boss has multiple lives, which are represented by multiple health bars 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, using any bombs, or spending any time in the spiritual world during the attack, 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 character'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 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 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.


The only playable character in Fairies of Sorcery is Marisa Kirisame. The player can choose one of four attack types to use at the start of the game.

Screen Layout[edit]

  1. Your character
  2. Difficulty
  3. Player Score
    • High Score: your highest score for the current character, type, and difficulty
    • Score: your current score
  4. The number of remaining lives and bombs / The approximate location of the point of collection
    • Right numbers: fragments needed for an extra life / bomb
  5. Player Status
    • Rate: the current score multiplier
    • Magic: your shot power level, maxing out at 400%
  6. Burst Status: the number of items of each type collected during the double burst
  7. 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)
  8. Spell Card Status
    • Title: the name of the Spell Card being used
    • Bonus: the constantly-updating value of the Spell Card Bonus

Unlockable Features[edit]

  • Stage Practice: This feature allows the player to practice a level that they have already beaten using the selected shot type. If starting on Stage 2 or Stage 3 the player will start with 300% Magic.
  • Spell Practice: This feature allows the player to practice a spell they have already seen. In Spell Practice, all cards are played as Last Spells (i.e. sudden death, no bombs). The player starts with 400% Magic for all shot types except MarisaD, which starts at 300%.
  • Extra Stage: Unlocked by completing the game on Normal or higher.
  • Ultra Difficulty: Unlocked by completing the game on Lunatic.
  • Double Burst spellcards: These are spell cards that are earned by accomplishing certain feats such as beating the game using certain difficulties or seeing/mastering a sufficient number of spell cards. See Double Burst Spell Cards for details.



The Decoration page shows a list of achievements and whether they have been completed in the main game and in Extra. The following are the requirements for each entry on the Decoration page:

  • Clear: Clear the game.
  • FillPlayer: Clear with 5 or more lives in stock.
  • FillSpell: Clear with 6 or more bombs in stock.
  • FillRate: Clear with a rate of over 2500%.
  • NoBurst: Clear the game without using a burst at any point.
  • NoFullPower: Clear the game without reaching full power at any point.
  • SpHalf: Capture more than half of the spellcards in a run (10/19 main game, 8/15 Extra).


  • There is a cheat to unlock everything in the game (Ultra, Extra and all stages and spellcards for practice), which is performed as follows: On the title screen, enter the inputs up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, Cancel, OK. If done correctly, instead of quitting the title screen should reappear.



Damaging or destroying enemies will not award you any points in Fairies of Sorcery. However, destroyed enemies release items for you to collect, and those are very important for scoring as covered below.


"Grazing a bullet" means to have a bullet or laser come dangerously close to your hitbox. You can only graze a bullet once, so you won't gain any additional graze by following a bullet. Lasers can be continually grazed throughout their duration, but once again, moving around will not gain you any additional graze.

Every 10 graze points will increase the magic level by one percentage point.


Crystals are dropped by defeated enemies, as well as by bosses after defeating a spell card (with the exception of the last spell card in a stage). The colour of an enemy usually indicates what colour crystals it will drop.

In addition, bosses will continuously drop yellow and blue crystals while they are damaged. The rate at which the crystals appear increases the closer the character is to the enemy/boss. This can be anywhere from almost none at long distances, to 3+/second when the character is very close. One blue crystal is dropped with every sixth yellow crystal.

Crystals are attracted slowly to the player.

All crystals add one percentage point to the player's Magic meter. In addition, each type of crystal has unique effects as follows:

Blue: Adds one percentage point to the player's multiplier.

Yellow: Acts as a point item, granting points equal to 10000 multiplied by the multiplier

Green: Adds +1 to the player's bomb meter.

Red: Adds +1 to the player's extend meter.

Star Items[edit]

In addition to regular and burst-converted crystals, there are also special star items that appear when bosses are defeated:

Type Normal Large
Yellow 10% magic 50% magic
Red 5 fragments 20 fragments
Green 5 fragments 20 fragments
Blue 10% rate 30% rate


The rate is a multiplier is applied to every source of points in the game (except the clear bonus). Its starting value is (50 + 50 * difficulty)%, where difficulty ranges from 0 to 4 for the main game and equals 1 for Extra. The rate increases when blue crystals are collected.

Burst System[edit]

If the Magic level is at least 150% a burst can be used by pressing C. The burst consumes 50% Magic and will cancel all bullets within a circle around the player for 0.5 second.

If the Magic level is at least 200% at the start of the burst, a double burst can also be used by holding C as the burst finishes. A double burst consumes an extra 50% Magic and lasts for 6 seconds, cancelling bullets for the first 0.5 second and for another 0.5 second if it completes. The player is not invincible during a burst or double burst; if the player uses a bomb or dies during the burst it will be cancelled instantly.

During a burst all items increase in value. If a double burst completes, the player will also receive bonuses based on the number of items collected during the double burst. The following table shows the multipliers and bonuses applied to each colour of crystal. In the following table, n = floor(crystals of that colour collected/5).

Type Burst Double burst Bonus
Yellow 3x value 5x value, 2x magic n*(n+1)*10000*rate points
Red 2x 2x n*(n+1) fragments
Green 2x 2x n*(n+1) fragments
Blue 2x 2x 3/2*n*(n+1) percentage points rate

Spell Card Bonus[edit]

Occasionally, a boss will attack using a Spell Card. You will 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, using a bomb, or activating two or more bursts, the Spell Card bonus will be added to your score after the multiplier is applied. If no bursts were used during the spell an additional 1.25x multiplier is applied.

The bonus starts at out at a value equal to 4 million during the main game and 6 million in Extra.

Except for survival cards, the bonus decreases over time, starting 2 seconds after the spell card starts. The bonus decreases at a constant rate of (starting value)/(time limit in seconds - 2) per second.

Clear Bonus[edit]

At the end of the game, the player is awarded a clear bonus:

PlayerBonus x 20,000,000 (lives in stock, not including your current one)
SpellBonus  x 10,000,000 (bombs in stock)
RateBonus   x 10,000,000 (rate as a decimal, rounded down to the nearest 0.1)

This is then multiplied by a difficulty modifier:

Easy Difficulty:     x 0.5
Normal Difficulty:   x 1.0
Hard Difficulty:     x 1.5
Lunatic Difficulty:  x 2.0
Ultra Difficulty:    x 2.0
Extra Difficulty:    x 1.5