Getting Started With Scoring

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So, you want to score Touhou?

Well, here's a guide to hopefully get you started.

Before you even think about doing runs

Now, before you jump in and start spamming runs, you'll need to prepare and make a few decisions.

Choosing a category

For starters, what category do you plan to "specialize" in? Since you'll be working on it for a while, and in some instances put in up to hundreds of hours of runs and practice, you need to make sure it's one you enjoy to play. MAKE SURE YOU ARE GOOD AT THE SURVIVAL PARTS OF YOUR CATEGORY. This is probably one of the most important things to think about when choosing a category. Most scoreplay doesn't allow for any deaths or bombs, so you need to make sure you have adequate dodging skills. Look at some good score replays of your category, does it look like something you'd enjoy?

Expectations and setting goals

Scoring takes time. Lots of it. Unless you are some sort of god reincarnate, you will need to dump tens, hundreds, or even thousands of hours into your category. Don't expect to get a world record in a week, because it's not happening. However, don't let that discourage you. With enough practice, a world record could be within your reach.

Setting goals is an important part of scoring. You need to make sure that your goals are attainable. Don't start off and have your goal score very high, because all it will do is sadden you when you can't reach it. Instead, plan your goals at a reasonable pace. The feeling when you reach a goal is great, but if your goals are too easy, that's not good either.

Scoring terminology

億 - Oku - Japanese for 100 million, so 13.3億 becomes 1.33 billion.

亿 - Yi - Chinese for 100 million. Less commonly used.

PIV - Point Item Value - The higher this is, the higher your score!

Graze - Sometimes abbrievated to g. Increases each time the player comes close to a bullet.

WR - World Record

PB - Personal Best - Someone's best score in a category.

NM - No Miss

NB - No Bomb

FS - Full Spell - Every spellcard in the run is captured. Rare with scoreruns.

Making routes

When it comes to routes, here's a little secret.

Copy routes from the best runs you can find.

It may sound dumb, but if their route is better, why not use it? Of course, you'll need to adjust your route to maybe do less score tricks for more resources, so you can die and be okay in those strict resource-managment categories. Now, I say best run instead of the WR because some people don't upload their replays (cough LYX). You'll also want to take a look at multiple good runs, since some runs can have a better earlygame, but a worse latergame, for example.

Practicing routes

When it comes to effective practice, this might be redundant, but if there's a certain part in a stage giving you trouble, work on that part instead of the whole stage. While it doesn't hurt to practice the whole stage, if there's a specific spell or attack whooping your butt, you don't want to slog through the rest of the stage leading up to it. Practice patches are your best friend here, and if you can, find ones that include spell practice, and can let you modify variables such as power and PIV.

Make sure you're consistent at the route, don't just pull it off once and decide that that's enough practice, because chances are it won't go as smoothly in a real run or your next practice run.

Practice Tools

This is a tutorial on how to use SpoilerAL, a practice tool for EoSD to DDC.

This is a "super practice tool" for SA, and allows control over more things compared to SpoilerAL.

This is a practice tool for UFO spell/nonspell practicing, made by RIRI.

This is a practice tool for LoLK spell/nonspell practicing, made by RIRI.

Finally doing runs

You've watched good score runs of your category, you've taken notes, you've made routes and practiced them, so now, it's time for you to start doing runs!

There is a "meme" in the touhou community about being able to do something consistently in practice, but failing miserably in runs. Depending on who you are, this could happen to you, or it couldn't. My advice here is to not let it get to you, and keep doing runs. Make sure you do some practice throughout, though, since practice always helps.

Uploading runs to Royalflare

Did you just get a sick new PB? Well now it's time to upload it to Royalflare, so everyone can see how dank it is :^). (Or you can not upload it, but that will get cause lots of controversy and hate amongst other score players.)

Royalflare is a touhou replay hosting website which ranks scores and has leaderboards. There are other places to upload your run to like 'Gensokyo.org' and 'Best in the West 2hu Replays', but I'd recommend uploading them to Royalflare.

Royalflare's web adress is http://score.royalflare.net/

Initally, upon opening the page, most will see a lot of japanese and be intimidated. There are English translations on the site however, so it shouldn't be a big problem. Scroll down to 'Games', and click the game which your replay is in. I'll use Double Dealing Character as an example. To upload your replay, simply click '新規登録', or if you can't find it, click the link above 'Add new entry'. Enter the name you want your run to go by, select the replay (hint: use the number of your replay in the replay selection list), enter in a delete key so you can remove your entry, and a comment giving details on your run. Hit submit, and congratulations, your run is now on Royalflare!

Miscellaneous

Other scoring related things.

Hurr durr if you dont have a mechanical keyboard u suck!11!!

Actually, you don't. Despite what some people will tell you, buying a mechanical keyboard is NOT objectively better. Whether or not a mechanical keyboard makes scoring easier is up to the person. Some scoreplayers use rubberdomes, and some even use gamepads. If you hear someone spouting this insanity, please politely tell them to stop.

Prominent Scoreplayers

  • K・G - Has held world records in many games, specializes in UFO. (Twitter linked in his page.)
  • Kisara - LoLK score player. Held every world record in LoLK at some point. (Twitter linked in his page.)
  • MegaPulse - GFW score player. (Twitter)
  • ゆ~すけ - PCB score player. (Twitter)
  • Deplore - EoSD score player. Getting really close to a world record. (Twitter)
  • SOC - Score player in multiple games. (Twitter)
  • おとど - TD score player. (Twitter)
  • Morth - SA and TD Extra score player. (Twitter linked in his page.)
  • LYX - Has held world records in multiple games, specializes in MoF. (Inactive on twitter as of April 22nd, 2017.)
  • にゃんこ - SA score player. (Twitter)

Ending remarks

Congratulations, you now score Touhou! Go brag about your score, and get roasted by superplayers far better than you, or bash your face into your keyboard after hours of failed runs and contemplate your existence! Make sure you follow all the prominent Touhou superplayers on Twitter to stay notified of any new world records, and remember that taking breaks is good for your health. Good luck, and may all your future scoring endeavors be fruitful.