Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom/Gameplay

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Title screen of the game

This article describes the overall gameplay and background information for Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom.



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

Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom 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.

However, unique to Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom is the Pointdevice Mode, in which rather than the player having traditional lives, the game state resets to a checkpoint when the player is hit. The Legacy Mode uses traditional lives.

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.

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.

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 Chapter Finish bonuses in Pointdevice Mode (see below), and are dropped by boss attacks in Extra; five 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.


The hit box for your character is quite small in comparison to your on-screen sprite, approximately only 5×5 in pixel 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 Pointdevice Mode, lives are not used. Instead, the game is divided to chapters and each chapter ends with a waypoint. If the player gets hit the game state will automatically revert to that at the last waypoint, but with 0.01 less power for each such reset (up to a maximum of 0.50).

In Legacy Mode, 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.

In this game, the player's life stock is represented by a health bar with hearts. Extra lives are obtained by collecting 1up items or life fragments, which appear on collecting Chapter Finish bonuses (replacing bomb fragments in Pointdevice Mode); the number of fragments required per life is 3 in the main game and 5 in Extra.

You can carry up to a maximum of 8 extra lives at a time. If you receive an extra life when you already have the maximum, that life will be lost.

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 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 5 times on Lunatic. -You may not continue in the Extra stage.


Each stage is subdivided into chapters. The boundaries between chapters, or waypoints, correspond to fixed points within the stage, as well as after every boss attack. When the player passes a chapter they will receive a Chapter Finish Bonus (below). In addition, in Pointdevice Mode the player's game state will be saved after each chapter, and if the player gets hit they will revert to the start of the chapter, except with 0.01 power deducted for each such reset. This deduction is capped, so unless you were low on power to begin with, you're guaranteed to have some amount of power regardless of how often you fail.

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 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 four characters to choose from in the game, each with one shot type. As in Ten Desires, each shot type has different shots for focused and unfocused movements, and each character has a special ability.

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

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 on either Pointdevice or Legacy Mode, the Extra Stage is unlocked for said shottype.

Full Unlock Code

To unlock all unlockable content at once, navigate to the Extra Marisa records in Player Data and type out heartland. 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.


"Grazing" is the act of having a bullet pass near one's hitbox. The graze counter will increase at a slow rate for as long as the player remains near the bullet. If one continues to graze a bullet for a short time, the bullet will release a graze item, which adds 5 graze to the counter. In addition, after grazing for a short time an aura appears; while this aura is present items will fall more slowly.

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. 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.

In addition, bonus point item value is awarded along with the Chapter Finish bonus (see below).

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 250,000 500,000 500,000 500,000 500,000

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.

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:

1 million × stage number + 1 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 Clownpiece's first and fifth, Junko's sixth and Hecatia Lapislazuli's ninth spell cards, 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

Chapter Finish Bonus

The Chapter Finish bonus is awarded whenever the player passes a waypoint. The player's graze and the proportion of enemies defeated in the chapter are totalled, and the bonus is then calculated as follows:

Chapter Graze × Shooting Down % × 50

If this totals over 1 million, the player will be awarded a bomb fragment in Pointdevice Mode, or a life fragment in Legacy Mode. In addition, for every 50,000 points, the item value is increased by 10.

Clear Bonus

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

(stage × 5 million)

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

Easy/Normal/Hard/Lunatic: (stage bonus (30 million) + 10 million × lives + 3 million × bombs)
Extra: (stage bonus (35 million) + 40 million × lives + 4 million × bombs)


Hitbox glitch 1
Hitbox glitch 1
Hitbox glitch 2
Hitbox glitch 2

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

Glitches reported only in past versions:

  • Hitbox glitches: Upon being hit by a bullet, the player's hitbox may freeze in place. Though the dying animation is played, no lives are lost at first. After the player respawns with a new hitbox, the frozen one can still be hit, which does result in the loss of a life. Another glitch displays an enlarged hitbox on the screen, though only as a graphic that cannot be hit. The code for this is likely to have come from Double Dealing Character for when Shinmyoumaru Sukuna was able to enlarge the player character. Fixed as of v1.00a.
  • Master Spark glitch: During Marisa's bomb, a graphical glitch may occur where another Master Spark appears to be fired in the opposite direction to the first, though the additional Spark deals no damage. When the bomb animation is supposed to end, the glitched Master Spark will jump randomly around the screen Video of this glitch. Fixed as of v1.00a.
  • Master Spark spin glitch: Sometimes, the Master Spark will spin around very fast. Fixed as of v1.00a.
  • 50% boss shootdown: Sometimes, the Chapter Bonus readout after clearing a boss phase would display "50% shootdown" rather than 100%, despite the chapter only containing one enemy (the boss). Fixed as of v1.00a.
  • Red screen glitch: Repeatedly using Reimu's bomb would result in the screen turning red, due to the bomb's brief red overlay staying on the screen permanently. Fixed as of v1.00b.
  • Demo play overwriting Pointdevice: Your Pointdevice save data for a given character and difficulty could be overwritten by a title screen demo playing using the same character and difficulty. Fixed as of v1.00b.

Glitches reported in the full version:

  • Pointdevice Spell Card Bonus glitch: If the player captures a Spell Card in Pointdevice Mode and restarts the chapter immediately following it, the Spell Card bonus will be lost. The chapters for Clownpiece's fourth card (though not her fifth) and Junko's final three cards are exceptions, as each is preceded by a "blank" chapter that re-saves the game after the spell bonus is added to the player's score. (Dying during a blank chapter by running into the boss will presumably still cancel out the bonus.)
  • Junko life count error: Under certain circumstances, Junko's lifebar count will behave oddly. Normally, one star is supposed to disappear each time a boss begins a new lifebar. In Junko's case, the count drops from 6 to 3 upon casting her first Spell Card, to 2 at the start of her second lifebar, 1 upon casting her third Spell Card, increases to 2 at the start of her fourth lifebar, and finally drops from 2 to 0 upon casting her fifth Spell Card.
  • Becoming the One: When dying after defeating Junko in Pointdevice Mode, the game will reset your progress, but the slowdown from her defeat is still in effect. Junko will also become invincible.
  • Hecatia 50% shootdown: Similar to the trial version shootdown glitch, the Chapter Bonus for Hecatia's first nonspell only displays 50% shootdown. This may be because Junko is still counted as an on-screen enemy despite leaving during the pre-boss conversation. As a result, a player must reach twice as much Graze as usual to receive a life fragment from this chapter.
  • Hecatia movement glitch: The maximum bounds on Hecatia's movement range are missing during the fifth nonspell in her fight, making it possible for her to move so far down that her danmaku becomes impossible to dodge. By using Reisen's unfocused shot to do tool-assisted RNG manipulation, it's even possible to move her completely off-screen.
  • Extra Junko Chapter Bonus glitch: The Chapter Bonus for Junko's second nonspell during Hecatia's fight is missing entirely.
  • Teleporting Doremy: After clearing Doremy's final spell in Extra, her sprite will remain onscreen only to instantly vanish 2 seconds later, rather than smoothly flying away.
  • Suddenly, Junko: Bombing during Hecatia's survival card causes Junko to appear in the center of the screen. Her hitbox becomes active immediately after the card ends, which can suddenly kill the player if they happen to be on top of her.
  • Extra final card 0% shootdown: Defeating Junko rather than Hecatia on their final Spell Card will result in 0% shootdown for the Chapter Bonus, and Hecatia's hitbox will still be active afterward, making it possible to die by running into her.
  • Invincible boss glitch: If you use Reisen's bomb exactly when a nonspell or Spell Card starts, the boss will be unable to take damage.
  • Practice clear softlock: When clearing a stage in Practice mode, the menu options will show up. If you click Save Replay, but then press Esc twice, the game will appear frozen. You can still open the menu in this state. If you do that and then exit the menu again, you can play an empty stage. Your options will be frozen in place where they were when you defeated the boss.
  • Shield grazebox bug: Clearing a stage with at least one shield left from Reisen's bomb will carry over the larger grazebox to the next stage, despite the shield(s) disappearing. However, only lasers are affected, due to there being a separate grazebox for lasers, which is the one affected. This laser grazebox stays the same even if the player dies, but bombing will make it work normally again. This glitch does not affect Reisen's hitbox.
  • Waypoint load power glitch: When loading a saved Pointdevice Mode game, your power may be 0.50 higher than what it was before.
  • No graze items: On Pointdevice, under certain circumstances, fully grazing bullets can fail to spawn any graze items.[citation needed] If this has occurred, it can be particularly noticable during Ringo's second Spell Card in Pointdevice Mode. Exiting the game and reloading one's Pointdevice save data may fix it.

The following apply to multiple games, including Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom:

  • 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.
  • Play time bug: The Play time information in Player Score is inconsistent and is usually much shorter than the actual play time.
  • Reimu gohei error: Reimu still uses her sprite from Double Dealing Character, which doesn't carry her purification rod, even though by now her rod is no longer bewitched.
  • 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.