Highly Responsive to Prayers/Gameplay

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Title screen of the game

This article describes the overall gameplay and background information for Highly Responsive to Prayers.

Gameplay[edit]

Controls[edit]

The game must be played using the keyboard. Keyboard controls are as follows:

  • and moves Reimu around. She cannot go up or down.
  • Z causes a single shot (properly, Ofuda) to be fired towards the top of the screen
  • X swings Reimu's gohei back and forth
  • Combinations of / and the Z and X keys may be used to perform Special Moves, detailed below.
  • Esc pauses the game and brings you to the in-game menu

Basic Gameplay[edit]

Highly Responsive to Prayers is unique within the Touhou Project. Rather than being a Danmaku shooting game, it plays similar to Arkanoid, but allows the player a much greater variety of abilities, including multiple ways to influence the movement of the ball. Highly Responsive to Prayers could be considered a Danmaku puzzle game.

There are 4 levels of difficulty: Easy, Normal, Hard, and Lunatic. Each difficulty level features differences in the number of bullets fired by enemies, rate of fire, variations in the bullets' pattern of movement, and chiefly, the difficulty of boss encounters. When playing on the Easy difficulty, stage enemies will not fire bullets. On Lunatic, each overturned card fires a single bullet at Reimu's position.

The player will traverse 20 increasingly harrowing stages through the course of a regular game. Boss encounters occur every five stages, or at Stages 5, 10, 15, and 20. After completing Stage 5, the player is offered a choice between two distinct routes to follow for the remainder of the game: the Makai route, or the Hell route. Each features different stages and boss encounters, as well as different ending sequences.

  • Stage 01-05: Shrine (神社 jinja)
  • Makai Stage 06-10: Gate (ゲート geeto)
  • Hell Stage 06-10: Hokora ()
  • Makai Stage 11-15: Ruins of Vina (ヴィナの廃墟 vaina no haikyo)
  • Hell Stage 11-15: Rotting World of Flame (炎の腐界 honoo no fukai)
  • Makai Stage 16-20: The Fallen Temple (落ちたる神殿 ochitaru shinden)
  • Hell Stage 16-20: The Silent Temple (静かなる神殿 shizukanaru shinden)

Highly Responsive to Prayers does not have an Extra Stage.

The Yin-Yang Orb[edit]

Th01YinYangSprite.png

The Yin-Yang Orb is your only true weapon against the powerful enemies in Highly Responsive to Prayers. However, Reimu lacks the training to be able to fully control it. As such, she must avoid contact with it at all times, and instead manipulate it with her various tools and abilities. Should the orb impact Reimu, she will be hit, and a life will be lost (see: Lives).

When the orb passes over a card in the field, the card is considered to be hit (though no actual collision occurs). In most cases, a single hit is enough to overturn a card and eliminate it from the field, though in later stages, occasional cards will require multiple hits to overturn. Additionally, when the orb impacts a boss's weak point, the boss takes damage and loses a single notch from its health bar. Furthermore, the orb can dispel small white bullets (but nothing greater) as it passes through them.

Shot[edit]

When the player presses the Z key, Reimu tosses a single ofuda upwards. These shots can be used to manipulate the movement of the Yin-Yang Orb. Additionally, when a shot collides with a small white bullet fired by an enemy, both are cancelled out.

The shot cannot damage boss enemies.

Purification Rod[edit]

When the player presses the X key, Reimu swings her gohei called the "purification rod," back and forth. The purification rod too can manipulate the movement of the Yin-Yang Orb, as well as deflect small white bullets. If the purification rod contacts the orb on Reimu's first swing (clockwise), the Orb will be repulsed at a high rate of speed, however, if the purification rod and orb contact during Reimu's second swing (counter-clockwise), the Orb will only be repulsed lightly.

The purification rod cannot damage boss enemies.

Special Moves[edit]

Slide
Th01MikoSlide.gif

When pressing or in conjunction with the X key, Reimu performs a short distance slide that can be used to repel the Yin-Yang Orb, as well as move quickly across the screen. This move is useful as it always repels the Yin-Yang Orb at the same speed and angle, no matter where in the slide it makes contact. Also, while sliding, Reimu has a smaller than usual hit box, making the move useful for escaping difficult situations. Reimu will continue sliding for as long as the player continues tapping X while holding a directional key. Reimu is vulnerable between slides, however.

Power Slide
Th01MikoPowerSlide.gif

While sliding, if the player hits the X key again and holds it to the end of the slide, Reimu will lift her leg in the air and do a Power Slide. While the Power Slide moves Reimu the same distance as a normal slide, if she makes contact with the Yin-Yang Orb during a power slide, the Orb will be propelled at a much higher velocity and a lower angle. It is not possible to Power Slide twice in a row.

Moving Flip Kick
Th01MikoMovingFlipKick.gif

While sliding, if the player lets go of or and taps X once at the moment the slide ends, Reimu will perform a flip kick while moving forward. A maximum of three of these kicks can be done consecutively by tapping X at the end of each kick. The flip kick repels small white bullets, and can also repel the Yin-Yang Orb with great force.

Stationary Flip Kick

While sliding, if the player holds or opposite to the direction of the slide and taps X at the moment that the slide ends, Reimu will perform a stationary flip kick. A maximum of three of these kicks can be done consecutively by tapping X at the end of each kick. The flip kick repels small white bullets, and can also repel the Yin-Yang Orb with great force. The spriting animation is similar to the previous.

Th01MikoRapidfireMultishot.gif

(It should be noted that while the maximum number of consecutive Flip Kicks remains three, any combination of Stationary Flip Kicks and Moving Flip Kicks is possible, regardless of which type the player started the combo with.)

Rapid-fire Multishot

While Reimu is sliding, if the player presses or opposite to the direction that Reimu is moving and Z simultaneously, Reimu will cease her movement and rapidly fire 8 shots upward (at slight angles).

These shots cannot damage boss enemies.

Bomb
The screen when a bomb's activated

Reimu's Spirit Attack, or "bomb", is the player's limited-use method of getting out of difficult situations, equivalent to the spell card in the Windows era. The bomb can only damage boss enemies when you have 0 lives remaining in reserve. When activated, the bomb cancels out all bullets on the screen, and hits every card one time. To use a bomb, either:

  1. press , and Z simultaneously; or
  2. simultaneously tap Z and X twice.

Reimu becomes invincible during the bomb's effect. As a result of this, if the Yin-Yang Orb comes in contact with Reimu during a bomb's effect, the orb will be repelled with moderate-to-great force. At the beginning of the game and any time Reimu respawns, you will receive 1 bomb. Your bomb stock does not reset when Reimu is hit. Bomb Extend items will increase your current stock by one. You can carry up to a maximum of 5 bombs at a time. If you receive a bomb when you already have the maximum, that bomb will be lost.

Lives[edit]

With default settings, you will start off with 5 lives (i.e. 4 lives in stock). You can lose a life by getting "hit" by an enemy attack.

The hit box for Reimu is approximately the same size as her sprite. If Reimu's hit box comes into contact with the hit box of her Yin-Yang Orb, an enemy bullet, laser, a boss itself, then she is hit.

The player is awarded extra lives every 400,000 points. Though if you pass through 400,000, 800,000, 1,200,000, etc. points after getting a Boss Stage Clear Bonus, you will not get an extra life. You can carry up to a maximum of 6 extra lives at a time. If you receive an extra life when you already have the maximum, that life will be lost.

Upon losing all their lives, the player is given the choice to continue from the beginning of the stage. However, if you do continue, your current score will be reset back to 0 and you will reach the "Bad Ending" if you finish the game.

Items[edit]

Point Items
Th01pointitem.gif

Point items appear when certain (that is, random) cards are hit (but not necessarily eliminated) by the Yin-Yang Orb. The first point item collected is worth only 1000 points. Each additional point item collected is worth more than the previous one collected, up to a maximum of 65530 points per item. However, if you fail to reach and collect a point item before it disappears from the field, the values of the items will reset, and the next point item collected will only be worth 1000 points again. Losing a life does not reset the sequence.

Bomb Extend Items
Th01bombitem.gif

Bomb extend items appear when certain (that is, random) cards are hit (but not necessarily eliminated) by the Yin-Yang Orb. Bomb Extend items will increase your current stock by one. You can carry up to a maximum of 5 bombs at a time. If you collect an extend item when you already have the maximum, that bomb will be lost.

Field Objects[edit]

Cards
Th01card.gif

In order to clear a regular stage, the player must overturn every card in the play field through the (often haphazard) manipulation of Reimu's Yin-Yang Orb. As the orb passes over cards, they are considered to be hit. In early stages, cards only require one hit to be overturned and eliminated from the field, however, in later stages, cards may require as many as five hits to overturn.

As the Yin-Yang Orb flies through the air, it can and often will pass over and hit (but not necessarily eliminate) multiple cards consecutively. This is considered to be a combo. When the orb touches the ground, however, the combo is reset. The Combo Counter (See: Regular Stage Screen Layout) tracks these instances and reflects them numerically, displaying both your present combo and the highest combo attained in the stage. These values contribute to the Regular Stage Clear Bonuses.

Bumpers
Th01bumper.gif

These objects repulse the Yin-Yang Orb when it comes in contact with them, rather like the bumpers of a pinball table. Bumpers cannot be destroyed.

Bumper Bars
Th01bumperbar.gif

Bumpers, in horizontal or vertical bar form.

Portals
Th01portal.gif

When the Yin-Yang Orb enters one of these objects, it is instantly transported to another Portal on the field and fired out of it at high speed. On some occasions, the exit Portal will simply drop the orb rather then fire it; on others, the exit Portal will direct and fire the orb at either a card (in situations when there are few cards remaining in the field) or at Reimu.

Turrets
Th01turret.gif

These objects fire small white bullets in pre-set patterns at regular intervals, often directly at Reimu. Turrets cannot be destroyed. On Easy difficulty, these do not fire at all.

Stages & Boss fights[edit]

In order to clear a regular stage, the player must overturn every card in the play field through the (often haphazard) manipulation of Reimu's Yin-Yang Orb. As the orb passes over cards, they are considered to be hit. In early stages, cards only require one hit to be overturned and eliminated from the field, however, in later stages, cards may require as many as five hits to overturn.

Each regular stage is accompanied by a timer. When time runs out, the message "HARRY UP" (typo) appears and a flurry of small white bullets begins raining down from above, and continues until the stage is cleared, you are hit and more time is added, or you run out of lives.

Regular Stage Screen Layout[edit]

Th01ScreenLayoutStage.png
  1. Reimu Hakurei – the player
  2. The Yin-Yang Orb
  3. Cards
  4. Player Status
    • Lives remaining
    • Bombs remaining
  5. Player Score
    • HI (High Score): Displays your highest score for the difficulty
    • Score (得点): Your current score
  6. Combo Counter
    • MAX: Displays the highest combo achieved thus far in the current stage
    • Combo (連X): Your current combo
  7. Timer (残り時間): Displays how much time remains before the "HARRY UP" message appears et. al.
  8. The current stage and difficulty setting

After completing 4 relative stages, the fifth stage is the main challenge and the main attraction; the boss. Each boss has a notched health bar that represents their current status. In all cases, bosses can only be harmed by Reimu's Yin-Yang Orb, which removes one notch from the bosses' health bars whenever it contacts the bosses' hit box, which are not visually indicated. There are 4 bosses overall in one scenario of the game (7 if including the Makai and Hell routes together).

Each boss battle is accompanied by a timer. When time runs out, the message "HARRY UP" appears and a flurry of small white bullets begins raining down from above just like in regular stages, and continues until the boss is defeated, you are hit & more time is added, or you run out of lives.

Boss Stage Screen Layout[edit]

Th01screenLayoutBoss.png
  1. Reimu Hakurei – the player
  2. The Yin-Yang Orb
  3. Boss Enemy (This being SinGyoku)
  4. Player Status
    • Lives remaining
    • Bombs remaining
  5. Player Score
    • HI (High Score): Displays your highest score for the difficulty
    • Score (得点): Your current score
  6. Boss health bar
  7. Combo Counter
    • MAX: Displays the highest combo achieved thus far in the current stage
    • Combo (連X): Your current combo
  8. Timer (残り時間): Displays how much time remains before the "HARRY UP" message appears et. al.
  9. The current stage and difficulty setting

Scoring[edit]

Cards[edit]

Each card flipped either by the Yin-Yang Orb or a bomb rewards the player with an incremental point value.

The first card flipped is worth a fixed value, depending on the stage number:

Stage 1-4 Stage 6-9 Stage 11-14 Stage 16-19
100 200 300 400

Each additional card flipped before the orb touches the ground is worth a value of

base value + (number of cards flipped - 1)^2 * 20

on most difficulties, or

base value + (number of cards flipped - 1)^2 * 35

on Lunatic, up to a maximum of 25600 points per card. However, when the orb touches the ground or at the start of a new stage, the values of the cards reset.

Point Items[edit]

As the name implies, point items can be a major source of points in the game (however, chaining cards will result in more points overall). The first point item collected is worth only 1000 points. Each additional point item collected is worth more than the previous one collected, up to a maximum of 65530 points per item. However, if you fail to reach and collect a point item before it disappears from the field, the values of the items will reset, and the next point item collected will only be worth 1000 points again. Losing a life does not reset the sequence. The progression is as follows: 1000, 2000, 3000, ... 10000, 20000, 30000, 40000, 50000, 65530. In other words, it takes 15 point items to get from a value of 1000 to 65530.

Regular Stage Clear Bonus[edit]

At the end of each regular stage, the player is awarded a point bonus based on their performance throughout the stage.
This bonus is calculated as follows:

Time Remaining x 30
Continuous (Highest Combo) x 1000  (capped at 65530)
Bomb & Player (Players remaining x 2000 + Bombs remaining x 1000)

This combined total is then added to a Stage Bonus that is dependent upon the stage cleared.

Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 6 Stage 7 Stage 8 Stage 9 Stage 11 Stage 12 Stage 13 Stage 14 Stage 16 Stage 17 Stage 18 Stage 19
0 2,000 4,000 6,000 10,000 12,000 14,000 16,000 20,000 22,000 24,000 26,000 30,000 32,000 34,000 36,000

The end result is then added on to your score.

Boss Battles[edit]

Each time you hit a boss, you receive a fixed number of points, depending on the stage number:

Stage 5 boss Stage 10 boss Stage 15 boss Stage 20 boss
3,000 5,000 7,000 10,000

At the end of the first three boss battles, the player is awarded a point bonus based on their performance during the stage. This bonus is calculated as follows:

Time Remaining x 50  (capped at 65530, or 1311 time)
Continuous (Highest Combo)  (Always 0?)
MIKOsan (Players remaining x 5000 + Bombs remaining x 2000) (This might vary with stage...)

This combined total is then added to a Stage Bonus that is dependent upon the stage cleared.

Stage 5 Stage 10 Stage 15
50,000 100,000 150,000

The end result is then added on to your score.

At the end of the final boss battle in stage 20, the player is awarded a fixed bonus of 50,000 (60,000 including the points for the last hit on the boss) instead.

Endings[edit]

The game has four endings in total, two good and two bad. Difficulty doesn't matter.

  • To get Good Ending no. 1, complete the game on the Makai path without using any continues.
  • To get Good Ending no. 2, complete the game on the Hell path without using any continues.
  • To get Bad Ending no. 1, complete the game on the Makai path using at least one continue.
  • To get Bad Ending no. 2, complete the game on the Hell path using at least one continue.

Glitches[edit]

Th01OrbThruBarBug.gif

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

  • On any stage where a bumper is located anywhere on the screen with another one located 1 up then 3 or 2 to either left or right in squares, by getting the Yin-Yang Orb to drop on the correct spot to bounce, it will be stuck in an endless loop by bouncing on both bumpers, spinning in a rectangular shape on its side. Doing this trick is hit-or-miss.
  • It's possible to make the Yin-Yang Org go straight through a horizontal Bumper Bar from under. By getting the orb directly above Reimu and shooting at it (this is a hit-or-miss), then the orb will be stuck in vertical movement until Reimu moves to another position to hit the orb. By shooting at it with rapidfire when stuck like this, it'll go through the bar. The same can happen if there's two bumbers right next to each other.
  • Mima appears to have more than two arms. When she moves to shoot bullets, her left arm stays in place and a third arm appears. This is most likely a sprite error as her third arm shows to also be holding the bloody knife.
  • The palette colours of Reimu's sprite will sometimes change depending on the stage she's in, most notably the fights against Kikuri and Elis. This is due to the 16 colour limit the PC-98 has, and keeping Reimu's sprite colour the same while her environment uses different colours can be troublesome.
  • During Konngara's fight, if you were to press pause and unpause a while after, the palettes coloured in red throughout the screen will sometimes change to green.

Beta elements[edit]

This is a list of elements that are unused in the game.

Music[edit]

There is a file called ZIPANGU.MDT, which contains an unused music track that's named "Shrine of the Wind" in the game's music test. It's also the only track from the PC-98 Touhou Project games not to be arranged within Mystic Square, and does not appear on any of the official soundtrack albums.

Bomb Option[edit]

Most Touhou Project games has the option to select how many bombs the player wants to start with in the game, but Highly Responsive to Prayers hasn't got this option. However, the setting still exists in the computer-readable configuration file called REIIDEN.CFG, suggesting it once was or was planned to be an option at some point.

It's still possible to configure the initial number of bombs the player wants in the game. By opening said file in a hex editor, you'll see the following hex code: 52 45 49 49 44 45 4E 00 01 01 02. By changing the last "01" to anything between 0 and up, the initial number of bombs will change in-game.

Debug mode[edit]

In-game with debugging code, along with overuse of bombs

The game has some leftover code used for debugging, consisting of an in-game display and a memory information screen. While the legitimate method to activate these features is unknown, this modified .exe file of REIIDEN.EXE enables them automatically. If you're going to replace the original .exe with the modified version to view the debugging code, ensure to make a backup of it.

During gameplay, some game state information is displayed under the status bar:

  • gx is Reimu's current on-screen position
  • coreleft is the amount of remaining memory available to the game
  • HEAP Cheak displays the status of the free store (either "empty", "OK" or "corrupt")
  • kbhit is unknown
  • dir is the player's current direction of movement or 0 if standing still
  • sp is 1 if the player is currently firing, 0 otherwise
  • sh is 1 if the player is currently swinging, sliding or otherwise using the X button, 0 otherwise
  • exit is unknown
  • end is 1 during end-of-stage sequences and game over screens, 0 otherwise
  • main increments constantly, resetting to 0 after the player performs an action (at the end of the animation)
  • rand is a frame counter likely used for random number generation
  • bomb increments constantly, resetting to 0 as soon as the player performs an action
  • timer measures the number of frames that's elapsed in the current stage, occasionally followed by one or two more digits of unknown purpose.
Th01DebugEx.png

Also, pressing Roll Down (PgDn) during gameplay displays a screen with information about currently allocated memory, as shown on the right. The available actions here:

  • Z frees all currently allocated memory for panel graphics. This causes any further panels cleared to draw junk onto the screen instead of revealing part of the background
  • X frees all currently allocated memory for boss graphics, resulting in junk sprites appearing during boss battles.
  • Up clears all bullets from the screen
  • Down is unknown
  • Return displays another screen with info about specific memory regions
  • Roll Up (PgUp) returns to the normal game, although two presses are required for gameplay to resume fully.